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8 May 16 - June 5, 2009
Community
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Growth from Page 1
This slowing poses many challenges for Chandler, current population perched at 251,894 of a predicted population build out by 2010, originally estimated
according to Vice Mayor Bob Caccamo. 299,500 when the city’s completed building. at 285,000 residents. Now, build out is estimated at
Before the market began to slip, the City thrived off 299,500 and isn’t predicted until 2019.
of revenue generated by impact fees. Now, as older Slowdown good ‘gut check’ David de la Torre, principal general plan coordinator
areas approach redevelopment, Caccamo believes the Caccamo moved to Chandler in 1976 when the for the City of Chandler, says the change in numbers
City needs to get creative to obtain fi nancing. He says population was around 20,000 and has witnessed the has to do with both the economic downturn and the
projects that need a lot of day-to-day maintenance, “bedroom community” develop into a “smart” and updated General Plan. Passed in November 2008, the
like parks and recreation areas, will be the fi rst to be “diversifi ed” city. He says this developmental dry- plan forecasts a higher density of homes and units in
postponed. The City will also limit new hires as much spell is a good thing for the City. redevelopment and older areas.
as possible. “The slowdown is a good gut check,” Caccamo says. “More homes and units mean more people,” de la
“People in Chandler have come to expect a high “We have had to really tighten our belt. We have spent Torre says. “That is why it will take longer to reach 95
level of service, so we need to fi nd new ways to fi nance a lot of time thinking about how we could do things percent. It’s not solely because of the slower growth
things,” Caccamo says. more effi ciently and effectively.” rate.”
Rebecca Howe, City of Chandler economic Mackay says her team “predicted a burst” after And, de la Torre admits that no one in long-range
development researcher, says Chandler will focus on witnessing nearly two decades of rapid, steady planning predicted such a large economic upset.
building vertical in redevelopment areas, while trying growth, and concurs with Caccamo that a breather “We thought we were being conservative with our
to stay affordable and desirable. was necessary. numbers.”
“There are a lot of indicators showing this is still “The Phoenix metropolitan area had become very
a very attractive place and we hope it remains that,” unaffordable. It was hard for new companies to get Permit requests drop signifi cantly
Howe says. into the market,” MacKay says. “The cooling off in Chandler’s home resale values took a big hit this
The reason for the slowdown is twofold, according the market is a healthy thing. The hyper drive we year, as did construction.
to Christine Mackay, City of Chandler economic were [experiencing] in the last fi ve years was not Residential and commercial permits have slowed
development director. She says growth is slowing sustainable.” during the past fi ve years and this fi rst quarter
naturally as less land is available, and the state of the In 2004, the city welcomed an average of nearly especially. Just three commercial permits and 22
national economy is faltering growth in the entire 1,000 residents each month. Population growth single-family home permits were issued in the fi rst
Phoenix metropolitan area. peaked in the second quarter of 2005, when 3,155 quarter of 2009, compared to the fi rst quarter of 2004,
“The city was reaching residential build out before people moved to Chandler. when 10 commercial and 710 single-family home
the economy started to slip,” Mackay says. Since then, growth has slowed. It wasn’t until permits were issued.
Howe says Chandler doesn’t expect to be listed as the national recession began in 2007 that city Year-over-year, resale values in many areas have
one of the top 10 fastest growing cities in 2008. offi cials started to change their residential build out decreased more than 25 percent. Chandler’s dropped
“Predicted growth in 2010, and 2020 especially, predictions. 19 percent, falling well below the national slope of
tapers off because we really don’t have the space for In 2004, city planners estimated Chandler’s 12.4 percent.
the growth we were seeing before,” Howe says. population would reach 267,000 within fi ve years. Caccamo says people are taking advantage of “great
Chandler has been trudging towards 85 percent Now, they predict it won’t get there until after 2012.
of residential build out for two years now, with the Chandler was expected to reach 95 percent of
See Growth Page 9
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