Mailers sent to Tempe residents claim neighborhoods at-risk of flight path changes

Tempe Mayor Corey Woods claims flyers about a change in flight paths due to a proposed entertainment district aren’t true.
Published: Oct. 6, 2022 at 7:20 PM MST
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TEMPE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- Phoenix and Tempe city officials are still at odds over the proposal to build residential housing in an entertainment district. Mailers were sent out to Tempe residents this week, saying their neighborhood was at-risk of the project. The news caught many caught off guard. Nick Bastian is among the Tempe residents who received a mailer. He’s lived in the area on and off for 50 years. “It said ‘take action now to keep planes from flying over your home,’” he said. “That seems a little disingenous to me. Nobody’s asking anybody to change flight patterns.”

At the center of the issue are 1,600 residential units planned for the development of the entertainment district. The City of Phoenix is pointing out an intergovernmental agreement signed by the two cities in 1994. In the agreement, the City of Tempe promised not to introduce incompatible land uses, including residential areas, under the airport flight path.

The City of Phoenix Aviation Department released a statement regarding the dispute.

Tempe Mayor Corey Woods says there are specific standards the builder has to meet before any construction begins. In addition, anyone who would live in the units would be notified before signing a lease. “We think that is factually incorrect. It talks about you’re not allowed to have single-family housing in that corridor, you can’t put up individual houses in single-family neighborhoods,” he explained. “If the buildings are built with the proper sound standards and at appropriate height, there should be no issue why a flight path would have to be changed or diverted to go over neighborhoods.”

Meanwhile, Tempe residents like Bastian say the city desperately needs more housing. “I just think with proper disclosure, a lot of this can go away, and if this deal is done right, it can bring a lot of economic activity to our city,” he said. The application for rezoning the area will be heard next month. Mayor Woods says he’s meeting with the City of Phoenix next week to discuss the next steps.