Neighbors Oppose Transit-Adjacent Gated Development

Phoenix housing advocates are pushing back against a developer's plan to build a gated, luxury townhome community—complete with private garages—in an area designated for higher density.

1 minute read

March 4, 2022, 6:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


Phoenix Light Rail

Chris Curtis / Shutterstock

A proposed development in Phoenix is creating backlash from community members and housing advocates who argue that the 72-unit gated townhome development, which would feature private garages for each unit, would go against the city's "Reinvent PHX" plan to increase density and walkability, reports Katya Schwenk.

"The new project, led by a local developer, is billed as a 'luxury,' gated community. It would consist exclusively of attached townhomes, each with its own two-car garage and private roads to connect the community, including an exclusive entrance to a well-known public park." 

Local residents say the development doesn't fit with the surrounding area, where the city has been encouraging high density and mixed-use, transit-oriented development. "Just south of the proposed townhomes would be a massive mixed-use development with high-rise apartments, a movie theater, and a pedestrian plaza, renderings show," notes Schwenk. "Some activists and neighborhood groups are frustrated by the plans for a luxury development within walking distance of a bustling light rail train station."

The current plan replaces a prior design that would have built 256 housing units. Critics say the development would limit access to the park and bring low density to an area that needs more affordable housing, exacerbating Phoenix's unsustainable sprawl, while the developer argues the community fits with the city's vision of pedestrian-friendly design and transit accessibility.

Tuesday, March 1, 2022 in Phoenix New Times

stack of books

Planetizen’s Top Planning Books of 2023

The world is changing, and planning with it.

November 24, 2023 - Planetizen Team

Close-up of 'Red Line Subway Entry' sign with Braille below and train logo above text in Chicago, Illinois.

Chicago Red Line Extension Could Transform the South Side

The city’s transit agency is undertaking its biggest expansion ever to finally bring rail to the South Side.

November 24, 2023 - The Architect's Newspaper

Row of brick three-story townhomes in Britih Columbia.

More Affordable Housing for People, Less for Cars

Most jurisdictions have off-street parking requirements that increase motorists’ convenience but reduce housing affordability. It’s time to reform these policies for the sake of efficiency and fairness.

November 20, 2023 - Todd Litman

Red fire engine on street in Jersey City, New Jersey.

Getting Buy-in for Road Diets From Fire Departments

Proposals to narrow streets often meet resistance from emergency responders concerned about safety and access.

18 minutes ago - Strong Towns

Colorful brick apartment buildings with fire escapes in Chinatown, New York City.

A ‘Black Market’ for Short-Term Rentals Grows in NYC

While many owners are listing their rentals on other websites, others are moving them back to the long-term rental market.

1 hour ago - Curbed

Aerial view of intersection in Hoboken, New Jersey with crosswalks, bulb-outs, and blue home plate painted in middle of intersection, surrounded by mid-rise multistory apartment buildings.

Vision Zero at Work: Hoboken Celebrates Seven Years of Zero Traffic Deaths

The New Jersey city implemented simple yet impactful changes to eliminate traffic fatalities.

2 hours ago - Jalopnik

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.