August 12, 2006

Arizona County Endorses Mixed Use

Pima County in southern Arizona has adopted zoning that mixes "residential, commercial and office space, next to each other and even vertically in the same multi-story buildings," Inside Tuscon Business reports -- "the first step toward what Arlen Colton, Pima County’s director of planning, foresees as broad-based policy of moving away from the traditional suburban community model."

The new ordinance, which goes into effect later this month, allows up to half of any commercial developments to be used for residences, waiving buffer and screening requirements.

"We want to follow the more enlightened communities that want to move away from single-use zoning that forces people to get into their cars for anything at all," Colton told Inside Tuscon Business. "The saying is that retail follows rooftops, but available land for retail is moving farther and farther away from the rooftops they’re supposed to serve. This makes for bad growth by creating problems with traffic, emission and time wasted."

The city of Tucson will consider its own mixed-use zoning proposal, "introducing mixed-use projects to neighborhoods and arterial streets," the article noted.

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