With negotiations completed, the city of Tempe has released the draft Development and Disposition Agreement for the proposed Tempe Entertainment District as part of the official agenda for the Tempe City Council’s Nov. 22 first public hearing on the matter.
The City Council will hold Nov. 22 and Nov. 29 public hearings, including a Nov. 29 vote, on three aspects of the primarily privately funded Tempe Entertainment District proposal from Bluebird Development, the affiliate for the Meruelo Group and the Arizona Coyotes.
Those items include: a Zoning Map Amendment and a Planned Area Development Overlay; a General Plan Amendment; and the Development and Disposition Agreement. The DDA includes the specific elements of the proposed development, which are all commitments between the city and the developer, including the environmental remediation of the land and the developer’s purchase of the city land.
The agenda and all materials for the Nov. 22 meeting have been published online here. Attendance is possible virtually and in-person in Council Chambers, located at 31 E. Fifth St. Visit tempe.gov/clerk for details.
Recent votes and considerations
At its Nov. 15 meeting, the Development Review Commission unanimously approved the project-related Zoning Map Amendment and Planned Area Development Overlay, and the General Plan Amendment. The DRC is the recommending body to the Council for these requests.
The city council unanimously agreed at its Nov. 10 Special Meeting to reserve a spot on the county’s May 2023 Special Election ballot regarding a proposed hockey arena and entertainment district. The council’s action indicated the possibility of holding a Special Election on May 16, 2023; however, it does not mean the Council has placed this issue on the ballot. State law requires governing bodies to provide a Call of Election at least 180 days in advance of any election. Bluebird Development pledged at the Nov. 10 meeting to collect enough valid signatures to place the measures on the May 2023 ballot.
If the council approves these items on Nov. 29, inclusion of the ordinances on the May 2023 ballot would require Bluebird or any other interested party timely to get the required number of qualifying petition signatures. Tempe voters would then decide whether the project should move forward. According to the proposed DDA under consideration, if Bluebird does not successfully refer the ordinances to a ballot, the City Council may within 90 days thereafter rescind the DDA. If the Council rejects any of the items before it on Nov. 29, the proposed development would not move forward and there would not be a need for an election regarding these items.
For all information publicly available from the City of Tempe about the proposed development, visit tempe.gov/PriestRFP.