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Paradise Valley Town Council gets legislative update on heels of HB 2570 veto

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Paradise Valley Town Manager Andrew Ching looks on during a recent work session discussion held at Town Hall, 6401 E. Lincoln Drive. (Photo: Arianna Grainey/DigitalFreePress)
Paradise Valley Town Council hears from HighGround at Town Hall March 28
By Terrance Thornton | Digital Free Press

The pieces of the puzzle palace that sits atop the Arizona capitol continue to confound, intrigue and inspire local government to sharpen pencils, understand complex topics, rhetoric — and ready lobbying counterstrikes at the drop of a hat.

Doug Cole, chief operating officer at HighGround Public Affairs Consultants, came to Town Hall, 6401 E. Lincoln Drive, to update members of Paradise Valley Town Council of the happenings of interest at the Arizona Legislature.

Highground Public Affairs Consultants is the lobbyist outfit employed by the Town of Paradise Valley.

“I am your paid lobbyist and you pay me to spend my time at the puzzle palace,” Mr. Cole playfully pointed out to Town Council during his quarterly updated to local policymakers in the afternoon hours Thursday, March 28. “It has been a maze of legislation this session — it has been voluminous.”

For Paradise Valley Town Council, key components of the local governing board’s 2024 legislative agenda includes considerations like:

  • Short-term rental impact on neighborhoods
  • Sales Tax Extension (Prop 400)
  • Threats to state-shared revenues including the Highway User Revenue Fund
  • Transaction Privilege Tax (TPT) Construction Sales Tax
  • Maintain the usage of photo radar traffic technology

Mr. Cole outlined in broad strokes the state of affairs regarding the volume of new bills introduced, the fluid nature of myriad state law proposals involving local control around housing and the potential for a four-page, six-sided ballot at the upcoming general election this November.

As of his Thursday, March 28, report, Mr. Cole explained during the current session a total of 1,629 bills were introduced with 99 of those passing and 16 signed and two vetoed by Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs in recent weeks.

Of note: nearly 8% of the Arizona Legislature are serving appointed terms.

“It is just a revolving door, I have never seen anything like this,” he pointed out of almost 8% of sitting members of the Arizona Legislature serving out, for one reason or another, appointed terms.

Also, Mr. Cole pointed out three pieces of legislation came to pass over the first 120 days that threatened the use of photo radar within town limits, but none have materialized beyond committee level.

“I happy to sit here and say we have made it through another session,” he said of capitol efforts to kill attempts to pass state law that would outlaw photo radar use within municipal limits.

However, Mr. Cole did point out, as of the 81st day of current session, Senate Concurrent Resolution 1001 could again make it to the governor’s desk.

“This is the same bill the governor vetoed last year,” Mr. Cole said. “This is the bill sponsored by Wendy Rogers.”

Explaining the fluid state of legislative proposals focused on housing, Mr. Cole pointed out the recent political victory of the recent veto of HB 2570, which would have taken local control away from Arizona municipalities including:

  • Prohibition of a municipality from requiring an HOA, parks, screening, walls or fences or private roads.
  • Prohibition of a municipality from adopting or enforcing any code ordinance, regulation, or other requirement establishing minimum lot sizes that are greater than 1,500 square feet for new developments that are five acres or more.

One area of note in terms of housing regulation is what may or may not happen with rules around accessory dwelling units and potential proposals that limit the amount of public hearings that can take place prior to a governing body voting on a development housing matter.

“They are going to recess in the next few weeks,” Mr. Cole said. “Housing is the No. 1 issue, if not the No. 2 issue behind the budget. There is going to be come compromise in how we are going to be putting this puzzle together.”

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