Horizon, Host: Ted Simons

November 21, 2005


Host: Michael Grant

Arizona Stories: Governor Hunt


  • Don’t miss this fascinating look at the life and times of Arizona's first Governor, George W.P. Hunt.
Guests:
  • Grady Gammage Jr. - attorney and author
  • Scott Peterson - Chairman, Homebuilder's Association


View Transcript
Tonight we begin a series of growth in the valley outward, inward, and upward, and Arizona's first governor was considered a man of the people. Good evening and welcome to Horizon. I'm Michael Grant. Tonight we start a three part series on the valley's growing pains. Two recent studies placed the Phoenix metro area high on the list for sprawl. The Valley ranked 12TH among the nation's most sprawling areas, but, but also had the highest price increase of homes in the country. That occurred here. Producer Larry Lemmons and videographer, Scot Olson, take us on a sprawling tour.

>> Larry Lemmons:
The sprawl continues to grow at a blistering pace. With help from Google earth you can see how much area metropolitan Phoenix is assimilating. To give you an idea of the front lines of growth, I devised a way to illustrate the distance, which I communicated with photographer Scot Olson in the loading dock behind the station.

>> Larry Lemmons:
Here's what we want to do. Find out how much the valley has grown, so we're going to head down first of all east, down to 10, all the way to Casa Grande, come back, hit the 101, and then go up north, and then head west, go over to lake pleasant road, take, take that up north. We're going to find out how long it will take. We want to find out, out how many miles it's going to take, come back down south to buckeye to the western edges, and then head on home.

>> Larry Lemmons:
It was 10:00. We set the odometer at zero and hit the highway. I'm a newcomer to the valley but Scot grew up here during the explosive growth. We head to Pinal county, the site of the latest land rush.

>> Larry Lemmons:
We are about 20 miles outside of Casa Grande, you know. You can see that, that there's really not that much development out here, but you can imagine people living in Casa Grande and commuting every day to the city to work.

>> Scot Olson:
You have got, you have got developers buying up property to build more subdivisions. We all joked about how eventually Tucson and Phoenix would just meet up, and I guess they are building a community in Eloy, it's not so far from coming true.

>> Larry Lemmons:
Coming into Casa Grande, Scot noticed changes.

>> Scot Olson:
There is construction on the right here probably construction everywhere.

>> Larry Lemmons:
In the city, we spoke to planning and development director Rick Miller.

>> Rick Miller:
It is building out. Forest boulevard is state route 287, and we're seeing a lot of the development to the east towards the interstate, and it is there's a lot of home building going on, and probably as many as 20 new home builders in this area.

>> Larry Lemmons:
Do you consider yourself part of the valley?

>> Rick Miller:
The Casa Grande valley is part of the Phoenix metro area. There's no question about that.

>> Larry Lemmons:
From Casa Grande we decided to change our plans to head west in favor of traveling to the eastern edge of the valley near Apache Junction, but rather than heading as the crow flies, we were forced to retrace our steps returning to the 202 north on the 101 and east on the 60. We hit Apache Junction a little past 1:00 and looked for the chamber of commerce.

>> Rayna Palmer:
We came down here years ago when it was like forever into my grandmother's house in Mesa, and it doesn't occur any more. The freeway has made it tremendously accessible, and, and six lanes of roadway going down the Apache Trail has made it accessible. I think people are more used to the commutes.

>> Larry Lemmons:
We would love to go to Cave Creek and Carefree, obviously. They are up on the northern edge, but there's no way that we can do that. We would like to go back to the west now, either Buckeye or Surprise, one or the other, we can go on the 10 or, or the 101. Where did you get that map?

>> Scot Olson:
Just in my glove box.

>> Larry Lemmons:
You need a new map.

>> Larry Lemmons:
We set off for Buckeye. We thought we would take the 60 to Power Road, head north to the 202, and then west.

>> Larry Lemmons:
It said in the Republic today that Phoenix was the number one housing market in the country, that is the prices spiked higher than any place else in the country. You can see all of these people, every day people moving into the valley. I don't know how long can that keep going?

>> Scot Olson:
At this point, you just think it's going to keep going.

>> Larry Lemmons:
Elliott Pollack says growth will go on.

>> Elliott Pollack:
Arizona has been in the top five growth every decade except the 1920's since the 1880's so it's nothing new. I don't know what happened in the 1920's, I'm not that old, but people like it here. The underlying dynamics haven't changed very much, and, and as a result, I think that, that growth will continue.

>> Larry Lemmons:
The west side of the valley is experiencing unprecedented growth. Development extends to the west of Buckeye. Last april, we ran into some folks who were building a house near Buckeye. At the time, they were living in Litchfield Park. The husband was commuting to Mesa.

>> Tricia Varala:
Well, it's not so bad. It's about a 45 minute drive right now, and then when we lived in California, he was driving into San Diego, so that was about a two hour commute to and from.

>> Larry Lemmons:
From Buckeye, we took the 303 north to Surprise, which has seen an extraordinary population boom in the last few years.

>> Joan Shafer:
Seven years ago this city had 7,000 people in one grocery store. With the census, it looks like I have about 98,000 people, and I can't visit all the grocery stores.

>> Joan Shafer:
Phoenix is the mother city. We're the offspring over the years. You take 20 years to go, you lived on the west side, and it was like oh, you live there? And today, it's oh, you have got a nice place to live.

>> Larry Lemmons:
Surprise now is extending into the White Tank Mountains on the west. It's clear that despite efforts to develop within the boundaries, the boundaries will still expand. Elliot Pollack says…

>> Elliott Pollack:
Most construction is at the periphery, and that simply there's no available land on the inside. Yeah, it's nice they are building stuff downtown, but that's maybe 2\% or 3\% of the total housing units. The bulk of the housing units, Phoenix tends to grow like a balloon and pulses out like a balloon, and that isn't going to change.

>> Larry Lemmons:
It's after 4:00 in the afternoon, and we decide to call it a day. That means, of course, that we still need to get back to Tempe. We take the 101 to hit the 17 south. Ok. We're coming up on the I 17. Wanna go to Anthem?

>> scot olson:
No.

>> Scot Olson:
Well, I think it's appropriate that we finish our trip in a traffic jam in the oldest place in Phoenix to be in a traffic jam, along the I 10/17 connection past the Durango curve. This has been a bottleneck for 30 years and probably will be for the next 30 years.

>> Larry Lemmons:
We finished our trip in a continuous traffic jam on the university and into A.S.U. On arrival, we checked the odometer.

>> Larry Lemmons:
Eight hours, 248 miles, whose bright idea was it to drive all over the valley anyway?

>> Michael Grant:
Here now to talk about the effects of sprawl here in the Valley is attorney general and author Grady Gammage Jr., the chairman of the homebuilder's association, Scott Peterson, and associate professor of the Del Webb school of construction, Sam Ariaratnam. Gentlemen, I understand that everybody wants to argue with the premise that we are, we are sprawling. Sam, what why don't we start with you. We are not sprawling?

>> Sam Ariaratnam:
I don't think that sprawl is the appropriate word. I think we are growing, and growth is an appropriate thing. We are getting more people into the Valley and, and creating more economic stimulation in this environment.

>> Michael Grant:
What you always hear, though, Sam, particularly when you moved to areas like Maricopa, where you start building houses at 312TH Avenue and, and the, the Interstate 10 is, is, you know, we're, we're sprawling. Why don't we force that, that, that development downtown or, or inside more reasonable boundaries.

>> Sam Ariaratnam:
I think that people want to look and live in areas which, which they choose to live in, and we find more and more people are having, having home based businesses or, or telecommunicating so they don't need to be as close to a particular office as they once did, maybe 10, 20 years ago, so people tend to, to be in a situation where, where they can, they can live outside in other areas.

>> Michael Grant:
Scot, how much of this is attributable to home builders wanting to get really cheap land on, on the perimeters, things like, you know, $80,000 an acre for the grounds out near Wickenburg?

>> Scott Peterson:
Not very cheap

>> Michael Grant:
That's pretty cheap stuff.

>> Scott Peterson:
Cost is portion of it, but it's also lifestyle. The changes of lifestyle. They need more bedroom count, or if they are looking for job positions in that area. Price isn't the only factor that drives it because you need to get the infrastructure to it, so that gets the cost to the point you need to pull everybody on the inside. It's a lifestyle question. Everybody likes their own yard, likes their, their space to live, a place to, to raise the children or, or walk in the desert.

>> Michael Grant:
But slightly less facetiously. It does have a tendency to, to move you out, does it not, in terms being able to pick upland for, for slightly less price on the fringe?

>> Scott Peterson:
Generally, yes because the infrastructure is not there. You, you keep land on the outside because you need to pull the infrastructure to get to it. Therefore, your cost will come up generally to equal what may be an infill piece of property in the city of Phoenix. There may be, when you get apples to apples, the cost of the property in the center of Phoenix may be less than, than what it is out on the perimeter and in the circles.

>> Michael Grant:
Grady, we saved you for last because you are the one that most violently disagrees with the fact that we are sprawling, and as always, you have facts and statistics to back that up.

>> Grady Gammage Jr.:
What I disagree with is the equating of, of a geographically large area with a pejorative term, sprawl. This is a geographically large city. Whether we get into the classic mode of sprawl, though, I disagree. I think mostly when you, when you hear sprawl written about or, or you listen to N.P.R. and they are declining sprawl, they are talking about city that's hollowing out of the core, that's becoming less dense over time and spreading out over the edge, and Atlanta is the poster child for that.

>> Michael Grant:
You were telling me that, that, actually, Phoenix is becoming more, more

>> Grady Gammage Jr.:
Phoenix is one of the few big cities in America that becomes more dense every year. There was a study by Brookings done about four years ago. Recognize Phoenix and Las Vegas as the two big cities in America to become more dense. Part of the reason is they were historically relatively low dense. Their automobile they are an automobile town. Part of the reason is we are doing lots of infill, even without creating incentives, we're building more, more things inside and, and closer into the city, and Phoenix doesn't build big lot subdivisions on the edge the way that places like Atlanta do. We live in the same kind of range of densities, and so Phoenix is about, about 28, 2900 people a square mile on a developed density basis. That's right in the middle of American cities.

>> Michael Grant:
Ok. Um, everyone always talks about infrastructure associated with sprawl, Sam.

>> Sam Ariaratnam:
Yes.

>> Michael Grant:
Do we have do we have a good feel for that or not?

>> Sam Ariaratnam:
I don't think we can put a value to it right now, but as Scot mentioned, bring in the infrastructure out there to the new areas is going to be costly. We have to bring new, particularly the, the water and sewer infrastructure and, and other, other underground utilities that have to get to those areas. It's not only the cost of those particular utilities getting there, but also maintaining them and rehabilitating them over the life cycle of those facilities, and that's really what we are going to, to need to look at.

>> Michael Grant:
Interestingly enough, Scot, one of the stories this year was, was about a very, very established area of, of Phoenix, which is having infrastructure problems.

>> Scott Peterson:
Right, which is basically occurring in some parts of the north Phoenix area, and Phoenix, Phoenix area where it's older infrastructure, densities are being increased. Infill going vertical, condominiums, apartments, and that's putting pressure on the system downstream. It hasn't been increased in seismic capacity, so those changes need to be happening to upgrade the system so that they can service those areas interior to the community.

>> Michael Grant:
But if you get, Grady, into the issues of infrastructure associated with what, for lack of a better term, what we'll call "sprawl." [laughter]

>> Michael Grant:
How much of those are socialized and how much of them are paid by the developers that are sprawl?

>> Grady Gammage Jr.:
One of the myths that I think exists in people who do these anti sprawl studies is they look at all the new infrastructure that has to be built in order to open up a new part of town, and they assume that somehow, that is all carried on the backs of the existing residents of the, of the urban area that exists. The truth is in Phoenix, very little of what's built on the edge is built by cities. It's virtually all built by developers, and it's built into the price of the house, so if you look at that 80,000 acre piece of land you buy on the edge, you probably will spend at least that much or more pulling the infrastructure to that piece of land in order to develop it. All of that gets built into the price of the house. That's not to say, however, that there isn't some cost to a city of new development on the edge. There is some. There's ongoing maintenance costs some, roads that don't get widened by developers but are stilt in the city capital improvement programs and that kind of thing. If you live in Arcadia, your taxes are paid to build some of the new subdivisions that are, that are in the Paradise Valley part of Phoenix. If you live in that part of Phoenix, your taxes will go in some measure to subsidize growth that occurs north of the C.I.P. Canal in the Desert Ridge subdivision of Phoenix. That's the way cities work. You can't get all the money up front from new development until the new development is in place. Then you recoup that as development occurs and sales tax and property taxes are paid. It pays back the investment that went to put infrastructure in a given area. So, I really quarrel with the notion that, that somehow development doesn't pay for itself. If development didn't pay for itself, Phoenix would have been bankrupt a long time ago.

>> Michael Grant:
So, impact fees unfair, Scot?

>> Scott Peterson:
Um, no, I don't think so, not in this state. The unfair part is what impact fee what is an impact fee, what does new development pay for is it is it right for new development to pay for a new city a new symphony hall? Or is that really a general public service that ought to be carried by everybody versus one, one specific population?

>> Michael Grant:
The school.

>> Scott Peterson:
A school.

>> Michael Grant:
Should that, so that be, be socialized or, or should that be impacted? For lack of a better term.

>> Scott Peterson:
I would say it should be socialized, but it's also as I'm thinking through that question, should be socialized, I think. Back fee, no, I think because we need to pay our fair share along the way, and that's, that is, that has proven good in Arizona and in a Phoenix metropolitan area that we paid our way along, and we have helped improve the community and improved the lifestyle to those areas that are out there.

>> Michael Grant:
Let me go to the more broad subject, Sam, of planning. Let's just assume, we can talk about, about, you know, growth or, or sprawl all we want, but I think it's inevitable it's going to occur. Do we plan well for it?

>> Sam Ariaratnam:
Well, I think that we have done a pretty good job of planning for what we are at. Adot has done a good job with the freeway systems and, and you just look at, at the 101 going north towards Scottsdale, I mean, that opened up a lot of areas for people to come in with that, and, and the roads that we have around the city are well done to, to promote people being able to get anywhere in the city, wherever you are.

>> Michael Grant:
Should we do more, Scot, to, to direct it or, or I think that the feel now is, is no, you let the market make most of those calls.

>> Scott Peterson:
You may punish the market with the impact fees or whatever, but you let, you let the market adjust to the impact fees. It's a market driven the economy, in my opinion, is market driven. To manage that, you, you stop growth. You stop economic development. If you try to constrain it, development will go, go to where the market will allow it, and that occurs over the time.

>> Scott Peterson:
He's going to say something.

>> Grady Gammage Jr.:
Yes. [laughter]

>> Grady Gammage Jr.:
I largely agree with Scot. I don't think in a pluralistic, capitalist democracy that believes in the institution of private property, we can't just sit around the table and decide where growth should go. All we can do is, is use the institutions of government to, to kind of nudge, to shave the edges, to push things in certain directions to, try to aim toward a particular density or a particular style, but, but all you're doing is kind of regulating at the margins. What is, essentially, a giant market function that's going on. I agree with Scot.

>> Michael Grant:
Here would be a good illustration. I think that's number of people who would say no, there's no way in the world we should already be at Maricopa. There's something we could have done. To get that 15 miles closer, what do you say?

>> Grady Gammage Jr.:
It's an Indian reservation. You can't build houses on that. In the other direction, we jumped down to Florence now because there's an intervening piece of trust land. There are things that we could do. Coming up with a better mechanism to plan state trust land on a large scale and release state trust land, that's a good thing, and there are proposals to do that floating around out there right now. We could do a better job of thinking about the issues regionally. The Valley is very bulkanized, and most of our growth is taking place in small communities playing catch-up, that are having a hard time dealing with the growth pressures. We could try to regionalize things a bit better in that decision making process. We could make fewer zoning decisions as sort of political free for alls late at night. We have structured a process that, that really, really values the kind of, of, you know, combatant in the ring and zoning, and I make a lot of money off that but it's probably not the best way to do it.

>> Michael Grant:
All right. Well, on that positive and upbeat note, we're happy you make a lot of money at that. Grady Gammage, thank you, Scott Peterson, good to see you, Sam Ariaratnam, good to see you, as well. In the second part of our series, growing pains, tomorrow night we'll take a look at the vertical movement in our cities. New high rises. He called himself the "old walrus," and he's considered Arizona's most colorful person in politics, George Hunt was looking to make a name for himself when he arrive in Globe as a young man in 1881. By the time he died in Phoenix, more than 50 years later, hunt established himself as one of the state's most important citizens ever elected to office. And tonight's Arizona story, Paul Atkinson introduces to us Arizona's first governor.

>> Paul Atkinson:
Arizona's first governor may be the state's most memorable, if not the most recognizable.

>> Melanie Sturgeon, Ph.D.:
He's, you know, got the big mustache, big physique, wears the white suits. He really knows how to portray himself politically to get the most mileage out of himself.

>> Paul Atkinson:
George Wiley Paul Hunt was born in 1859 in Huntsville, Missouri, a town named after his grandfather.

>>> Paul Atkinson:
Still in his teens, he left home seeking work and adventure in Colorado and New Mexico. He made his way to Arizona a few years later in 1881.

>> Jim McBride:
When we arrived in Globe, wearing overalls, got a job as a waiter in Basco's restaurant there.

>> Paul Atkinson:
Hunt later went to work for a local mercantile called the Old Dominion Commercial Company. Within 10 years, he was its president. It was in Globe that hunt found his calling in politics.

>> Melanie Sturgeon, Ph.D.:
He's a very friendly person, a very outgoing person, a perfect politician, I think, and so he, he decides to run for county office, and that's how he launches his political career.

>> Paul Atkinson:
Hunt lost, but in 1892 was elected as a democrat to the territorial House of Representatives. He served seven terms in both the House and Council, what is now the Senate. He was elected to preside over the Constitutional Convention in 1910. At Hunt's request, the Constitution did not give women the right to vote.

>> Melanie Sturgeon, Ph.D.:
It was political. He felt there was so much controversy in the state at that time over women suffrage that if he championed that in the Constitutional Convention, it would side track a number of other issues that were, that were not more important, but that could have brought the Constitution down, and he wanted to make sure that we became a state.

>> Paul Atkinson:
Women got the right to vote, but Arizona became a sort, and George Wiley Paul Hunt was the first governor.

>> Jim McBride:
He lived in the Fort Hotel. Arizona became a state. He walked from downtown Phoenix out to the capitol for the inauguration. He immediately then, then authorized the purchase of a car to the state, and critics said that was the last time that Hunt walked. The rest of the time he used the car and was chauffeured.

>> Paul Atkinson:
Hunt used the car to travel the state, always bringing a camera, pen, and paper. He took thousands of pictures and wrote more personal letters than any other governor.

>> Jim McBride:
Driving about the state, he became governor, drove constantly. He would pick up hitchhikers. It was not unusual to invite people into lunch. He identified with the working people, I think.

>> Paul Atkinson:
The poor treatment of prison inmates became a priority with Hunt.

>> Jim McBride:
He was interested in prison reform right down to, to how they lived. When he would go down, he would go down frequently, sometimes monthly, spend the night. Slept in the cell. He would eat in the prison dining hall. He started the honor system there at the prison.

>> Paul Atkinson:
Hunt used prison work crews to build some of Arizona's first highways. Executions were even outlawed for a brief period thanks to Hunt's sheer will and determination. His pension for the common man helped him get elected governor a total of seven times, but his demanding style wore thin on some.

>> Jim McBride:
There were those who felt that he was becoming virtually a dictator as he ran his later elections. Hunt V, Hunt VI.

>> Paul Atkinson:
While in Thailand, he continued his writing, a fashion that proved its work 20 years early. His letters to the daughter of a caisson rancher helped to rekindle a relationship that had broken off because of the woman's duty to her family's ranch.

>> Melanie Sturgeon, Ph.D.:
He really did have a very relationship. I read the letters. You can just feel the incredible closeness that they had.

>> Paul Atkinson:
The legacy of George Hunt can still be seen today. When hunt died in 1934, he was laid to rest next to duwette in a white pyramid at Phoenix Papago Park.

>> Melanie Sturgeon, Ph.D.:
I think there he is clear out in the middle of Papago Park. You can't miss it. Just like you can't miss him. He had an effect on Arizona throughout the years with his statehood. Very, very, I think, probably the most important speaker as far as Arizona goes and what ended up happening in our government.

>> Announcer:
Exclusive growth and skyrocketing housing prices forced residents to buy homes farther and farther out from the city center. Buckeye, queen creek, Maricopa, horizon explores the affects of this in a special three day series, "growing pains."

>> Michael Grant:
Thank you very much for joining us on a Monday evening. I'm Michael Grant. Have a great one. Good night.

Growing Pains


  • Part one of three HORIZON begins a three-part series that focuses on the effects of rapid growth in the Valley. Tonight, we take a look at sprawl and the vast distances between Valley metropolitan areas. Grady Gammage Jr., attorney and author, Sam Ariaratnam, Associate Professor from ASU’s Del E. Webb School of Construction, and Scott Peterson, Chairman of the Home Builders Association of Central Arizona, join the discussion.
Guests:
  • Grady Gammage Jr. - attorney and author
  • Scott Peterson - Chairman, Homebuilder's Association


View Transcript
Tonight we begin a series of growth in the valley outward, inward, and upward, and Arizona's first governor was considered a man of the people. Good evening and welcome to Horizon. I'm Michael Grant. Tonight we start a three part series on the valley's growing pains. Two recent studies placed the Phoenix metro area high on the list for sprawl. The Valley ranked 12TH among the nation's most sprawling areas, but, but also had the highest price increase of homes in the country. That occurred here. Producer Larry Lemmons and videographer, Scot Olson, take us on a sprawling tour.

>> Larry Lemmons:
The sprawl continues to grow at a blistering pace. With help from Google earth you can see how much area metropolitan Phoenix is assimilating. To give you an idea of the front lines of growth, I devised a way to illustrate the distance, which I communicated with photographer Scot Olson in the loading dock behind the station.

>> Larry Lemmons:
Here's what we want to do. Find out how much the valley has grown, so we're going to head down first of all east, down to 10, all the way to Casa Grande, come back, hit the 101, and then go up north, and then head west, go over to lake pleasant road, take, take that up north. We're going to find out how long it will take. We want to find out, out how many miles it's going to take, come back down south to buckeye to the western edges, and then head on home.

>> Larry Lemmons:
It was 10:00. We set the odometer at zero and hit the highway. I'm a newcomer to the valley but Scot grew up here during the explosive growth. We head to Pinal county, the site of the latest land rush.

>> Larry Lemmons:
We are about 20 miles outside of Casa Grande, you know. You can see that, that there's really not that much development out here, but you can imagine people living in Casa Grande and commuting every day to the city to work.

>> Scot Olson:
You have got, you have got developers buying up property to build more subdivisions. We all joked about how eventually Tucson and Phoenix would just meet up, and I guess they are building a community in Eloy, it's not so far from coming true.

>> Larry Lemmons:
Coming into Casa Grande, Scot noticed changes.

>> Scot Olson:
There is construction on the right here probably construction everywhere.

>> Larry Lemmons:
In the city, we spoke to planning and development director Rick Miller.

>> Rick Miller:
It is building out. Forest boulevard is state route 287, and we're seeing a lot of the development to the east towards the interstate, and it is there's a lot of home building going on, and probably as many as 20 new home builders in this area.

>> Larry Lemmons:
Do you consider yourself part of the valley?

>> Rick Miller:
The Casa Grande valley is part of the Phoenix metro area. There's no question about that.

>> Larry Lemmons:
From Casa Grande we decided to change our plans to head west in favor of traveling to the eastern edge of the valley near Apache Junction, but rather than heading as the crow flies, we were forced to retrace our steps returning to the 202 north on the 101 and east on the 60. We hit Apache Junction a little past 1:00 and looked for the chamber of commerce.

>> Rayna Palmer:
We came down here years ago when it was like forever into my grandmother's house in Mesa, and it doesn't occur any more. The freeway has made it tremendously accessible, and, and six lanes of roadway going down the Apache Trail has made it accessible. I think people are more used to the commutes.

>> Larry Lemmons:
We would love to go to Cave Creek and Carefree, obviously. They are up on the northern edge, but there's no way that we can do that. We would like to go back to the west now, either Buckeye or Surprise, one or the other, we can go on the 10 or, or the 101. Where did you get that map?

>> Scot Olson:
Just in my glove box.

>> Larry Lemmons:
You need a new map.

>> Larry Lemmons:
We set off for Buckeye. We thought we would take the 60 to Power Road, head north to the 202, and then west.

>> Larry Lemmons:
It said in the Republic today that Phoenix was the number one housing market in the country, that is the prices spiked higher than any place else in the country. You can see all of these people, every day people moving into the valley. I don't know how long can that keep going?

>> Scot Olson:
At this point, you just think it's going to keep going.

>> Larry Lemmons:
Elliott Pollack says growth will go on.

>> Elliott Pollack:
Arizona has been in the top five growth every decade except the 1920's since the 1880's so it's nothing new. I don't know what happened in the 1920's, I'm not that old, but people like it here. The underlying dynamics haven't changed very much, and, and as a result, I think that, that growth will continue.

>> Larry Lemmons:
The west side of the valley is experiencing unprecedented growth. Development extends to the west of Buckeye. Last april, we ran into some folks who were building a house near Buckeye. At the time, they were living in Litchfield Park. The husband was commuting to Mesa.

>> Tricia Varala:
Well, it's not so bad. It's about a 45 minute drive right now, and then when we lived in California, he was driving into San Diego, so that was about a two hour commute to and from.

>> Larry Lemmons:
From Buckeye, we took the 303 north to Surprise, which has seen an extraordinary population boom in the last few years.

>> Joan Shafer:
Seven years ago this city had 7,000 people in one grocery store. With the census, it looks like I have about 98,000 people, and I can't visit all the grocery stores.

>> Joan Shafer:
Phoenix is the mother city. We're the offspring over the years. You take 20 years to go, you lived on the west side, and it was like oh, you live there? And today, it's oh, you have got a nice place to live.

>> Larry Lemmons:
Surprise now is extending into the White Tank Mountains on the west. It's clear that despite efforts to develop within the boundaries, the boundaries will still expand. Elliot Pollack says…

>> Elliott Pollack:
Most construction is at the periphery, and that simply there's no available land on the inside. Yeah, it's nice they are building stuff downtown, but that's maybe 2\% or 3\% of the total housing units. The bulk of the housing units, Phoenix tends to grow like a balloon and pulses out like a balloon, and that isn't going to change.

>> Larry Lemmons:
It's after 4:00 in the afternoon, and we decide to call it a day. That means, of course, that we still need to get back to Tempe. We take the 101 to hit the 17 south. Ok. We're coming up on the I 17. Wanna go to Anthem?

>> scot olson:
No.

>> Scot Olson:
Well, I think it's appropriate that we finish our trip in a traffic jam in the oldest place in Phoenix to be in a traffic jam, along the I 10/17 connection past the Durango curve. This has been a bottleneck for 30 years and probably will be for the next 30 years.

>> Larry Lemmons:
We finished our trip in a continuous traffic jam on the university and into A.S.U. On arrival, we checked the odometer.

>> Larry Lemmons:
Eight hours, 248 miles, whose bright idea was it to drive all over the valley anyway?

>> Michael Grant:
Here now to talk about the effects of sprawl here in the Valley is attorney general and author Grady Gammage Jr., the chairman of the homebuilder's association, Scott Peterson, and associate professor of the Del Webb school of construction, Sam Ariaratnam. Gentlemen, I understand that everybody wants to argue with the premise that we are, we are sprawling. Sam, what why don't we start with you. We are not sprawling?

>> Sam Ariaratnam:
I don't think that sprawl is the appropriate word. I think we are growing, and growth is an appropriate thing. We are getting more people into the Valley and, and creating more economic stimulation in this environment.

>> Michael Grant:
What you always hear, though, Sam, particularly when you moved to areas like Maricopa, where you start building houses at 312TH Avenue and, and the, the Interstate 10 is, is, you know, we're, we're sprawling. Why don't we force that, that, that development downtown or, or inside more reasonable boundaries.

>> Sam Ariaratnam:
I think that people want to look and live in areas which, which they choose to live in, and we find more and more people are having, having home based businesses or, or telecommunicating so they don't need to be as close to a particular office as they once did, maybe 10, 20 years ago, so people tend to, to be in a situation where, where they can, they can live outside in other areas.

>> Michael Grant:
Scot, how much of this is attributable to home builders wanting to get really cheap land on, on the perimeters, things like, you know, $80,000 an acre for the grounds out near Wickenburg?

>> Scott Peterson:
Not very cheap

>> Michael Grant:
That's pretty cheap stuff.

>> Scott Peterson:
Cost is portion of it, but it's also lifestyle. The changes of lifestyle. They need more bedroom count, or if they are looking for job positions in that area. Price isn't the only factor that drives it because you need to get the infrastructure to it, so that gets the cost to the point you need to pull everybody on the inside. It's a lifestyle question. Everybody likes their own yard, likes their, their space to live, a place to, to raise the children or, or walk in the desert.

>> Michael Grant:
But slightly less facetiously. It does have a tendency to, to move you out, does it not, in terms being able to pick upland for, for slightly less price on the fringe?

>> Scott Peterson:
Generally, yes because the infrastructure is not there. You, you keep land on the outside because you need to pull the infrastructure to get to it. Therefore, your cost will come up generally to equal what may be an infill piece of property in the city of Phoenix. There may be, when you get apples to apples, the cost of the property in the center of Phoenix may be less than, than what it is out on the perimeter and in the circles.

>> Michael Grant:
Grady, we saved you for last because you are the one that most violently disagrees with the fact that we are sprawling, and as always, you have facts and statistics to back that up.

>> Grady Gammage Jr.:
What I disagree with is the equating of, of a geographically large area with a pejorative term, sprawl. This is a geographically large city. Whether we get into the classic mode of sprawl, though, I disagree. I think mostly when you, when you hear sprawl written about or, or you listen to N.P.R. and they are declining sprawl, they are talking about city that's hollowing out of the core, that's becoming less dense over time and spreading out over the edge, and Atlanta is the poster child for that.

>> Michael Grant:
You were telling me that, that, actually, Phoenix is becoming more, more

>> Grady Gammage Jr.:
Phoenix is one of the few big cities in America that becomes more dense every year. There was a study by Brookings done about four years ago. Recognize Phoenix and Las Vegas as the two big cities in America to become more dense. Part of the reason is they were historically relatively low dense. Their automobile they are an automobile town. Part of the reason is we are doing lots of infill, even without creating incentives, we're building more, more things inside and, and closer into the city, and Phoenix doesn't build big lot subdivisions on the edge the way that places like Atlanta do. We live in the same kind of range of densities, and so Phoenix is about, about 28, 2900 people a square mile on a developed density basis. That's right in the middle of American cities.

>> Michael Grant:
Ok. Um, everyone always talks about infrastructure associated with sprawl, Sam.

>> Sam Ariaratnam:
Yes.

>> Michael Grant:
Do we have do we have a good feel for that or not?

>> Sam Ariaratnam:
I don't think we can put a value to it right now, but as Scot mentioned, bring in the infrastructure out there to the new areas is going to be costly. We have to bring new, particularly the, the water and sewer infrastructure and, and other, other underground utilities that have to get to those areas. It's not only the cost of those particular utilities getting there, but also maintaining them and rehabilitating them over the life cycle of those facilities, and that's really what we are going to, to need to look at.

>> Michael Grant:
Interestingly enough, Scot, one of the stories this year was, was about a very, very established area of, of Phoenix, which is having infrastructure problems.

>> Scott Peterson:
Right, which is basically occurring in some parts of the north Phoenix area, and Phoenix, Phoenix area where it's older infrastructure, densities are being increased. Infill going vertical, condominiums, apartments, and that's putting pressure on the system downstream. It hasn't been increased in seismic capacity, so those changes need to be happening to upgrade the system so that they can service those areas interior to the community.

>> Michael Grant:
But if you get, Grady, into the issues of infrastructure associated with what, for lack of a better term, what we'll call "sprawl." [laughter]

>> Michael Grant:
How much of those are socialized and how much of them are paid by the developers that are sprawl?

>> Grady Gammage Jr.:
One of the myths that I think exists in people who do these anti sprawl studies is they look at all the new infrastructure that has to be built in order to open up a new part of town, and they assume that somehow, that is all carried on the backs of the existing residents of the, of the urban area that exists. The truth is in Phoenix, very little of what's built on the edge is built by cities. It's virtually all built by developers, and it's built into the price of the house, so if you look at that 80,000 acre piece of land you buy on the edge, you probably will spend at least that much or more pulling the infrastructure to that piece of land in order to develop it. All of that gets built into the price of the house. That's not to say, however, that there isn't some cost to a city of new development on the edge. There is some. There's ongoing maintenance costs some, roads that don't get widened by developers but are stilt in the city capital improvement programs and that kind of thing. If you live in Arcadia, your taxes are paid to build some of the new subdivisions that are, that are in the Paradise Valley part of Phoenix. If you live in that part of Phoenix, your taxes will go in some measure to subsidize growth that occurs north of the C.I.P. Canal in the Desert Ridge subdivision of Phoenix. That's the way cities work. You can't get all the money up front from new development until the new development is in place. Then you recoup that as development occurs and sales tax and property taxes are paid. It pays back the investment that went to put infrastructure in a given area. So, I really quarrel with the notion that, that somehow development doesn't pay for itself. If development didn't pay for itself, Phoenix would have been bankrupt a long time ago.

>> Michael Grant:
So, impact fees unfair, Scot?

>> Scott Peterson:
Um, no, I don't think so, not in this state. The unfair part is what impact fee what is an impact fee, what does new development pay for is it is it right for new development to pay for a new city a new symphony hall? Or is that really a general public service that ought to be carried by everybody versus one, one specific population?

>> Michael Grant:
The school.

>> Scott Peterson:
A school.

>> Michael Grant:
Should that, so that be, be socialized or, or should that be impacted? For lack of a better term.

>> Scott Peterson:
I would say it should be socialized, but it's also as I'm thinking through that question, should be socialized, I think. Back fee, no, I think because we need to pay our fair share along the way, and that's, that is, that has proven good in Arizona and in a Phoenix metropolitan area that we paid our way along, and we have helped improve the community and improved the lifestyle to those areas that are out there.

>> Michael Grant:
Let me go to the more broad subject, Sam, of planning. Let's just assume, we can talk about, about, you know, growth or, or sprawl all we want, but I think it's inevitable it's going to occur. Do we plan well for it?

>> Sam Ariaratnam:
Well, I think that we have done a pretty good job of planning for what we are at. Adot has done a good job with the freeway systems and, and you just look at, at the 101 going north towards Scottsdale, I mean, that opened up a lot of areas for people to come in with that, and, and the roads that we have around the city are well done to, to promote people being able to get anywhere in the city, wherever you are.

>> Michael Grant:
Should we do more, Scot, to, to direct it or, or I think that the feel now is, is no, you let the market make most of those calls.

>> Scott Peterson:
You may punish the market with the impact fees or whatever, but you let, you let the market adjust to the impact fees. It's a market driven the economy, in my opinion, is market driven. To manage that, you, you stop growth. You stop economic development. If you try to constrain it, development will go, go to where the market will allow it, and that occurs over the time.

>> Scott Peterson:
He's going to say something.

>> Grady Gammage Jr.:
Yes. [laughter]

>> Grady Gammage Jr.:
I largely agree with Scot. I don't think in a pluralistic, capitalist democracy that believes in the institution of private property, we can't just sit around the table and decide where growth should go. All we can do is, is use the institutions of government to, to kind of nudge, to shave the edges, to push things in certain directions to, try to aim toward a particular density or a particular style, but, but all you're doing is kind of regulating at the margins. What is, essentially, a giant market function that's going on. I agree with Scot.

>> Michael Grant:
Here would be a good illustration. I think that's number of people who would say no, there's no way in the world we should already be at Maricopa. There's something we could have done. To get that 15 miles closer, what do you say?

>> Grady Gammage Jr.:
It's an Indian reservation. You can't build houses on that. In the other direction, we jumped down to Florence now because there's an intervening piece of trust land. There are things that we could do. Coming up with a better mechanism to plan state trust land on a large scale and release state trust land, that's a good thing, and there are proposals to do that floating around out there right now. We could do a better job of thinking about the issues regionally. The Valley is very bulkanized, and most of our growth is taking place in small communities playing catch-up, that are having a hard time dealing with the growth pressures. We could try to regionalize things a bit better in that decision making process. We could make fewer zoning decisions as sort of political free for alls late at night. We have structured a process that, that really, really values the kind of, of, you know, combatant in the ring and zoning, and I make a lot of money off that but it's probably not the best way to do it.

>> Michael Grant:
All right. Well, on that positive and upbeat note, we're happy you make a lot of money at that. Grady Gammage, thank you, Scott Peterson, good to see you, Sam Ariaratnam, good to see you, as well. In the second part of our series, growing pains, tomorrow night we'll take a look at the vertical movement in our cities. New high rises. He called himself the "old walrus," and he's considered Arizona's most colorful person in politics, George Hunt was looking to make a name for himself when he arrive in Globe as a young man in 1881. By the time he died in Phoenix, more than 50 years later, hunt established himself as one of the state's most important citizens ever elected to office. And tonight's Arizona story, Paul Atkinson introduces to us Arizona's first governor.

>> Paul Atkinson:
Arizona's first governor may be the state's most memorable, if not the most recognizable.

>> Melanie Sturgeon, Ph.D.:
He's, you know, got the big mustache, big physique, wears the white suits. He really knows how to portray himself politically to get the most mileage out of himself.

>> Paul Atkinson:
George Wiley Paul Hunt was born in 1859 in Huntsville, Missouri, a town named after his grandfather.

>>> Paul Atkinson:
Still in his teens, he left home seeking work and adventure in Colorado and New Mexico. He made his way to Arizona a few years later in 1881.

>> Jim McBride:
When we arrived in Globe, wearing overalls, got a job as a waiter in Basco's restaurant there.

>> Paul Atkinson:
Hunt later went to work for a local mercantile called the Old Dominion Commercial Company. Within 10 years, he was its president. It was in Globe that hunt found his calling in politics.

>> Melanie Sturgeon, Ph.D.:
He's a very friendly person, a very outgoing person, a perfect politician, I think, and so he, he decides to run for county office, and that's how he launches his political career.

>> Paul Atkinson:
Hunt lost, but in 1892 was elected as a democrat to the territorial House of Representatives. He served seven terms in both the House and Council, what is now the Senate. He was elected to preside over the Constitutional Convention in 1910. At Hunt's request, the Constitution did not give women the right to vote.

>> Melanie Sturgeon, Ph.D.:
It was political. He felt there was so much controversy in the state at that time over women suffrage that if he championed that in the Constitutional Convention, it would side track a number of other issues that were, that were not more important, but that could have brought the Constitution down, and he wanted to make sure that we became a state.

>> Paul Atkinson:
Women got the right to vote, but Arizona became a sort, and George Wiley Paul Hunt was the first governor.

>> Jim McBride:
He lived in the Fort Hotel. Arizona became a state. He walked from downtown Phoenix out to the capitol for the inauguration. He immediately then, then authorized the purchase of a car to the state, and critics said that was the last time that Hunt walked. The rest of the time he used the car and was chauffeured.

>> Paul Atkinson:
Hunt used the car to travel the state, always bringing a camera, pen, and paper. He took thousands of pictures and wrote more personal letters than any other governor.

>> Jim McBride:
Driving about the state, he became governor, drove constantly. He would pick up hitchhikers. It was not unusual to invite people into lunch. He identified with the working people, I think.

>> Paul Atkinson:
The poor treatment of prison inmates became a priority with Hunt.

>> Jim McBride:
He was interested in prison reform right down to, to how they lived. When he would go down, he would go down frequently, sometimes monthly, spend the night. Slept in the cell. He would eat in the prison dining hall. He started the honor system there at the prison.

>> Paul Atkinson:
Hunt used prison work crews to build some of Arizona's first highways. Executions were even outlawed for a brief period thanks to Hunt's sheer will and determination. His pension for the common man helped him get elected governor a total of seven times, but his demanding style wore thin on some.

>> Jim McBride:
There were those who felt that he was becoming virtually a dictator as he ran his later elections. Hunt V, Hunt VI.

>> Paul Atkinson:
While in Thailand, he continued his writing, a fashion that proved its work 20 years early. His letters to the daughter of a caisson rancher helped to rekindle a relationship that had broken off because of the woman's duty to her family's ranch.

>> Melanie Sturgeon, Ph.D.:
He really did have a very relationship. I read the letters. You can just feel the incredible closeness that they had.

>> Paul Atkinson:
The legacy of George Hunt can still be seen today. When hunt died in 1934, he was laid to rest next to duwette in a white pyramid at Phoenix Papago Park.

>> Melanie Sturgeon, Ph.D.:
I think there he is clear out in the middle of Papago Park. You can't miss it. Just like you can't miss him. He had an effect on Arizona throughout the years with his statehood. Very, very, I think, probably the most important speaker as far as Arizona goes and what ended up happening in our government.

>> Announcer:
Exclusive growth and skyrocketing housing prices forced residents to buy homes farther and farther out from the city center. Buckeye, queen creek, Maricopa, horizon explores the affects of this in a special three day series, "growing pains."

>> Michael Grant:
Thank you very much for joining us on a Monday evening. I'm Michael Grant. Have a great one. Good night.

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