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After HB 2570 Veto, Other Housing Bills Are Moving

By March 22, 2024No Comments

By Jakob Thorington | Arizona Capitol Times (abridged)

While Gov. Katie Hobbs vetoed a bipartisan housing measure this week, several other housing bills that she said she supports are moving through the Legislature.

The House Government Committee unanimously passed a bill on March 20 that would require cities to allow accessory dwelling units, also known as casitas, to be built by property owners if they wish.

Senate Bill 1415 is sponsored by Sen. Anna Hernandez, D-Phoenix, and has already been implemented locally by Phoenix and Tucson.

The bill has bipartisan support and is also sponsored by Senate President Warren Petersen, R-Gilbert. But the League of Arizona Cities and Towns is listed as opposed to the bill on the Legislature’s website.

Hernandez said she’s close to finalizing an agreement with cities to bring them on board with the accessory dwelling unit measure.

The measure would require municipalities with populations of over 75,000 to allow property owners to build accessory dwelling units. Hernandez said she wants to make the bill more expansive and cover smaller cities, but she and Petersen compromised with cities on the population number.

Another proposal the governor said she supports in her veto letter of the Starter Homes Act is legislation that converts commercial space to residential uses.

Lawmakers are currently considering two commercial reuse bills.

The House Commerce Committee got Senate Bill 1506, sponsored by Sen. Janae Shamp, R-Surprise, on March 19. The bill passed 6-3 but has some opposition from Republicans and the league.

Shamp’s measure would require municipalities with a population of more than 150,000 to allow at least 75% of commercial use to be rezoned for residential or mixed uses.

(The league’s lobbyist Nick Ponder) encouraged lawmakers to instead focus on House Bill 2297 from House Majority Leader Leo Biasiucci, which passed the Senate Finance and Commerce Committee 4-0 on March 18.

HB2297 requires municipalities with populations exceeding 150,000 to allow adaptive reuse on not more than 10% of total existing commercial space.

Both measures await action from their respective chambers.

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