National Planning Month
Ever wonder what goes on behind the scenes as Tempe’s buildings, developments and streetscapes come to life? Or maybe you’re thinking about adding a pool or a room to your property but don’t know what the city’s rules are. City planning divisions are crucial to getting all these question answered.
October is National Community Planning Month and the City of Tempe is celebrating by hosting several community workshops and tours to help educate residents and business owners about the importance of planning. This year’s theme – Healthy Communities, Healthy People – highlights the role planning plays in building healthier lifestyle amenities within a new development. Click here to see what projects are on the horizon in Tempe.
Tempe residents can explore the planning process by participating in several National Planning Month activities including:
National Planning Month in Tempe - Proclamation
Included in the photo (from right to left: Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell; Historic Preservation Commission Chair, Andrea Gregory; Deputy Planning Director, Ryan Levesque; Community Development Director, Dave Nakagawara, Development Review Commission Chair, Paul Kent; and Board of Adjustment Chair, Jan Sell.)
What do planners do?
Yes, planners do draw up those (sometimes) hard-to-follow maps and diagrams but there’s so much more on their to-do list:
- They analyze. They’re constantly looking at Tempe’s population growth, demographics and other factors to better understand the community’s needs.
- They think ahead. They anticipate life in 10, 20 or even 50 years from now to make sure a plan makes sense in the long term.
- They involve the community. The planning process involves public meetings and gathering community feedback, giving residents the opportunity to weigh in and make a difference.
- They tackle tough challenges. They look at things like housing affordability, the environmental implications of a development and even the health impacts of a project.
- They ensure an inclusive process. Planners make sure ADA requirements are met and that projects benefit residents of all nationalities and income levels.
- They help make the entitlement process as simple as possible for residents and developers. Plus, they are always available to answer questions when a project gets complicated or when there are questions about permits or city code.
Why does planning matter?
- It preserves quality of life for Tempeans by streamlining design principles, recognizing the city’s most important qualities and identifying its unique characteristics.
- Planning helps to protect Tempe’s rich history even as the city grows and transforms into an urban mecca in the heart of the Southwest.
- Planning protects Tempe residents by ensuring that projects are safe for the community. It helps reduce environmental impacts and minimizes the damage that can be caused by natural disasters.
- It helps protect city parks and open spaces and provides strategic insight on where developments should be located.
- Planning creates choices for residents. From the style of homes to live in to recreation to transportation – planning gives you valuable options to improve your quality of life.
Who needs the Planning Division’s help?
- Tempe residents or business owners that want to modify or make additions to their properties will need proper permits and information about city code requirements.
- Developers looking to build in Tempe need assistance with zoning and city code requirements. The Planning division also ensures the city’s General Plan guidelines are followed, which was approved by voters in May 2014.
Contact Us at 480-350-4311
Ryan Levesque, Deputy Director - Planning
City of Tempe
31 East Fifth Street
Tempe, Arizona 85281
Email: Contact Planning staff
Office Location / Parking Information
Community Development/Planning is located at City Hall, Garden (lower) Level, on the east side.
Parking is available throughout the area. Click here for office and parking locations.