The Sierra Vista City Council approved the expansion of the West Sierra Vista Redevelopment Area boundaries by 162 parcels, totaling about 111 acres west of N. 5th Street, as part of ongoing efforts to revitalize the West End through both public and private investment at its regular meeting on Thursday.
When the redevelopment area was established in 2017 it encompassed about 23 acres. It enabled the City to provide matching grant dollars to tenants and property owners in the area to improve their properties. With more property owners becoming interested as they saw improvements moving forward, the area was expanded by 29 acres in 2019.
Prior to Thursday’s vote, a Finding of Necessity study was conducted and found that the predominance of the properties in the proposed expansion area met the criteria needed to expand the redevelopment area. That study was funded by a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Brownfield Grant administered by Cochise County.
The findings of the study and the City’s redevelopment objectives were presented at a public meeting on Oct. 27, which was well attended by property owners in the proposed expansion area. All property owners in the area were notified of the meeting via a mailed advertisement three weeks prior. The City also received several letters of support from property owners seeking to be included in the area.
The expanded redevelopment area will enable the City to continue making public, private partnerships as part of multi-faceted efforts to revitalize the West End, which include improvements to Fry Boulevard that will make it function like a main street.
“The West End not only has historic significance but also greatly contributes to our civic identity as a gateway district to our community. It’s our downtown and we’re soon going to have walkable main street that’s accessible to everyone,” Community Development Director Matt McLachlan said Thursday. “Public, private partnerships are a proven effective tool and approach to community and economic development, and your approval today will help us expand our reach to form new partnerships on the West End.”
Following the expansion of the redevelopment area’s boundaries approved on Thursday, staff will next work on necessary amendments to the West Sierra Vista Redevelopment Area Plan to address the expansion area. The proposed amendments will be presented to the Planning and Zoning Commission, which will review it to ensure conformity with the City’s General Plan, Vista 2030. Then the amendments will move forward for the City Council’s consideration.
In other business:
- The City Council approved the issuance of charter school refunding and revenue bonds and education facility revenue bonds by the Industrial Development Authority for two different projects. This action has no impact on the City’s budget because the IDA is a separate entity, however the City Council’s approval is required to finalize the issuance of bonds by the IDA. Neither the City nor IDA has any fiscal liability associate with the issuance or repayment of the bonds.
- The City Council approved amendments to the City of Sierra Vista City Council Practice and Procedure Guidelines.
- The City Council approved amendments to Chapter 30 of City code and declared a 30-day public record.
- The City Council approved a General Plan Amendments to convert the land use designation of Cyr Center Park from Industrial to Public.
- The City Council approved rezoning of the five parcels that comprise Cyr Center Park to Open Space.
- The City Council approved acceptance of sewer easements for Veritas Christian Community School.
- The City Council approved dedicating public right-of-way at Seventh Street and Buffalo Soldier Trail.
Details on the council meeting items are available in the supporting documents for the Thursday, Nov. 18, City Council meeting. They can be accessed via the “City Council” folder on the City’s document server at docserve.sierravistaaz.gov/.
City Council meetings can be streamed live and past meetings can be viewed on YouTube. The meetings are also aired on Cox Channel 12. Learn more at www.sierravistaaz.gov/your-government/mayor-council/council-meetings/ or in the “Council HQ” page at engage.sierravistaaz.gov.