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Terry Goddard Issues Opinion Affirming Buffer Zones for Military Bases

(Phoenix, Ariz. – March 20, 2008) Attorney General Terry Goddard today released a legal opinion affirming the Legislature’s intent to protect Arizona military bases from development encroachment.

In 2004, the Arizona State Legislature adopted and the Governor signed into law development requirements to ensure a buffer zone around military bases. Under the statute, to be exempt from these requirements, a county must have had a development plan in place before 2005. According to the Attorney General’s opinion, zoning that existed before the adoption of the 2004 law does not satisfy the requirement of having a development plan. The statute states that only development plans adopted before 2005, not zoning designations, are exempt from further restrictions.

Phoenix Representative John Nelson requested the opinion, expressing concerns that decisions being made were defeating “the clear purpose of the statute which was to prevent the construction of residential homes in high noise or accident potential zones.”

Today, Goddard met with representatives from Luke Air Force Base, Maricopa County and West Valley leaders to discuss this opinion.

A copy of the opinion can be found here.