[Source: Rebecca I. Allen, Arizona Republic] -- A City Council-appointed panel has sided with property owners, recommending against a historic district expansion that council members initiated. On a 10-2 vote, the Encanto Village Planning Committee denied the expansion that would add 12 properties on the north side of McDowell Road between 11th and 15th avenues to the Encanto-Palmcroft Historic District.
The City Council's initiation of the expansion has come under fire. Although City Council does have the authority, normally the Historic Preservation Commission does the initiating with a two-thirds majority of owners on board. In this case, none of the 12 property owners was involved and when they were informed, after the City Council began the process, they opposed the historic overlay zoning.
The owners said the City Council is trying to take away their property rights and decrease property values. Historic preservation advocates say the intent is to align the city's boundary of the historic district with that of the National Register of Historic Places. They believe the zoning change would increase value of homes in the neighborhood. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]