In recent months, two specific (and I’m sure several fantasized-about) development proposals have hit home to NoPho-ites.
One is the grassroots effort to incorporate New River and Desert Hills, as well as a hunk of tax-revenue-rich Anthem commercial property, into one town. New Hills? Desert River? Newsert Rills?
The other was a proposed rezoning of 71 commercial acres between Anthem and New River to residential. The developer withdrew his proposal after neighbors raised concerns and a local advisory planning committee voted to deny the request. It’s anybody’s guess what might get built there now.
Other developments, residential and commercial, are springing up all over NoPho.
As some Greek bronze statue named Heraclitus (don’t hear that name much these days) once said: “The only thing that is constant is change.” We see it in our kids. We see it in the mirror. We see it every time we drive down I-17.
We can try and delay it, minimize it, deny it, or fight it, but just like Father Time, change is undefeated. The guy who said “some things never change” never met a developer.
But we can help direct change, as the opponents of the 71-acre residential development found. Of course, this track is messy and hard. It requires getting involved, getting educated, listening to opposing views and, heaven forbid, compromising. Unfortunately, many prefer to either let change steamroll them often (only to complain about it later) or let their emotions dictate their actions. (Why listen when you can scream into your echo chamber?)
I’d like to suggest doing “the work.”
There are always two sides to an argument, and unless one side is inherently evil (which in most cases it isn’t), there is some middle ground that both benefits and costs each side. When we focus on the facts, not the fears, the middle ground is easier to recognize.
I don’t have an answer to any specific proposal that’s in the works or coming down the interstate, but I do know that change will happen. The only thing I can control is how, or if, I choose to respond and take action. I’ve got my work cut out for me.