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Glendale Envisions Loop 101 Corridor

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By Luci Scott for Arizona Builder’s Exchange

Glendale is making plans to create a Scenic Corridor along a 4.5-mile stretch of Loop 101 from 51st Avenue, the city’s boundary with Phoenix, to Bell Road, Glendale’s boundary with Peoria.

The city’s planning director, Jon Froke, gave a presentation April 2 at a Planning Commission workshop to ask members to initiate applications for the planning department to begin the work. The commission made no decision that night because the process is just beginning.

Froke asked the commission to initiate a General Plan amendment for the Arrowhead Ranch Specific Plan as well as a zoning text amendment to include in the city’s zoning ordinance a definition of what a scenic corridor would consist.

“We’d been asked by the city council to explore adding a scenic corridor to a portion of the Loop 101,” said Froke. “Now Glendale doesn’t have a scenic corridor anywhere in our city.”

Glendale is analyzing the plan approved recently by Phoenix for that city’s portion of Loop 101 east of 51st Avenue.

Formalizing a scenic corridor would mean prohibiting things that obstruct views, such as billboards and high-rises.

“We could be exploring … trying to preserve the views of the nearby mountains and open spaces,” Froke said. “The New River channel runs through a portion of that, and we would want to preserve the New River wash.”

The city is not hiring contractors but keeping the work in-house, which involves mainly administrative work.

“What we’re hoping to do is put something on paper; we’re not looking at restricting building per se,” Froke said. “There’s a pretty neat mixed-use project being built at 75th Avenue and the 101 called Aspera.”

“We’re not looking to restrict people’s ability to develop their commercial properties on 101; we’re just looking at aesthetics and trying to preserve any view corridors. … We’re getting something written on the books so we have a policy,” he said.

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