Phoenix Neighbors Rally Behind Proposed St. Joseph's Senior Living Development Compromise

Councilwoman Debra Stark supports compromise from neighbors opposing R3 rezoning bid by St. Joseph's Church and Shea Connelly Development to build a large-scale senior center adjacent to a long-established residential neighborhood. Smaller Scale, Less Negative Impact is the message of a new compromise informational video at


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Northeast Phoenix neighbors rally behind newly proposed St. Joseph's Senior Living Development Compromise; City Councilwoman Debra Stark makes statement of support.

Smaller Scale, Less Negative Impact and a WIN- WIN is the message of the new compromise informational video launched by opposition neighbors at

PHOENIX, August 30, 2023 –Residents opposing a rezone bid by St. Joseph's Catholic Church to build a large-scale senior care facility near 41st Street and Desert Cove have put forth a compromise with a statement of support from Phoenix District 3 Councilwoman Debra Stark.

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"Councilwoman Stark supports a St. Joseph's senior living facility compromise that could accommodate a one-story with fewer beds and potentially a PUD [Planned Urban Development] rezoning. She mentions that stakeholders may wish to view the newer senior facility, Shadow Mountain Memory Care, in Council District 3, which is a single story, 72 beds and PUD zoned for possible insights," Councilwoman's Stark's office stated.

"What the Church originally wanted with the R3 rezone means a 500 percent increase in housing density in our residential neighborhood of modest homes," voiced long-time resident Susan Weinhold. "This new compromise can benefit all without diminishing our home values and quality of life."

Echoed neighbor Hiam Yani, "A year ago we told the Church and developer Shea Connelly Development that neighbors would support a smaller build, but not the two-story, 130 bed they wanted.  The developer stated decreasing the size was not economically feasible.  Today we know this smaller, for-profit senior facility model is thriving in our neighborhood and financially viable."

"We mobilized quickly to find alternative solutions that were rejected by the Church and developer," stated Jason Hamlin.  "This compromise represents hundreds of hours of research and meetings by our steering committee made up of talented architects, urban planners, finance and business development professionals, faith leaders, builders, attorneys and first responders in our own back yard.  Smaller, single-story senior care centers exist throughout the state and have been operating successfully for decades.

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"The neighbors never had an issue with a senior center, just not the huge size they wanted," reminded Brittney Kraeer. "We'd welcome a single story, 60 bed facility with wide, tree-lined setbacks like Shea Mountain Memory Care down the road.  That appears thoughtfully planned out with neighborhood integration as a goal, not an afterthought."

"Some people say that the heart of democracy is empathy," summarized Janet Baghdasarian.  "In this case, empathy and listening with an open heart and mind can go a long way in illuminating a path toward a peaceful middle ground that benefits many and not a few.  I pray we agree on that path going forward as the unified community we once were."

St. Joesph's Church and the Phoenix Catholic Diocese have not returned requests for comment.

More information at

Greg Krahn


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