After residents questioned parking at a nearby park, the Glendale Planning Commission approved a zoning amendment, which would allow a housing project near Raymond S. Kellis High School.

Commissioners approved the housing plan Aug. 2 for an infill housing project near 89th Avenue and Emil Rovey Parkway. The approval called for rezoning of the 15.4 acre property from its current agricultural use to R1-7, single residential development.

The project, dubbed The Enclave at Rovey Farms, would be for approximately 43 single-family homes at approximately 2.8 homes per acre of land. The R1-7 designation is similar to existing homes in the nearby area that have been there for years.

“The current land is vacant and was owned by Peoria Unified School District for a future elementary school location,” Glendale Planner Jeremy Underwood said. “PUSD said they don’t need the land for a future school and a land swap was made with the applicant.”

The applicant, the law firm of Whithey Morris PLC, said it held numerous public meetings with the main questions being about parking along 89th Avenue and nearby Sycamore Grove Park.

“We would look at restricting parking on the streets from Monday through Friday during school hours,” Benjamin Tate of Whithey Morris said. “That way, people could still park on the streets on the weekend while enjoying the park.”

Sycamore Grove Park, which has two lighted basketball courts, is used heavily and has no parking.

“I think it’s a minimal expense to add that in there if it can be done safely,” Planning Administrator David Williams said.

Residents were quick to argue the parking point along 89th Avenue.

“Along that park, there are medians and ‘no parking’ signs, but they are not being enforced,” local resident Robin Meredith said. “Most of the parking on the streets is from students from Kellis.”

Students who drive to Kellis High School either have to pay for a parking permit to park in the school lots or they park along the street, which fills up all along 89th and Emil Rovey Parkway.

“There are basketball leagues who use the park as a facility, so in summer time, you have people parked along Rovey Parkway for tournaments,” Meredith said. “They are coming from outside our neighborhood and they use the basketball courts and they are lighted, but students normally park along 89th avenue and it is packed all during school day.”

One way to try to alleviate parking would be for the city to allow parking in the city-owned lot south of Kellis High School, a lot that is used during Arizona Cardinals games with a shuttle transporting fans from the school to University of Phoenix Stadium.

“As far as the student parking, I believe the city of Glendale could completely solve that on their own, because what you didn’t talk about is down here in this region is the Arizona Cardinals parking lot that the city of Glendale owns that is maintained, locked and no access to,” Meredith said. “So, the city of Glendale could solve that immediately for the student parking.”

Planning Commission Vice Chairman Gary Hirsch agreed with the sentiment.

“I’m sure you’ve taken that in and maybe pass that on to the appropriate places, because it sounds like this is something that needs to get solved and the city has a role to play,” Hirsch said.

Tate said while his clients have worked closely with city and police staff, they will continue to research the issue and improve the plan before being taken to council for a final approval.

“We will work with the city as to options for residents who may live in the nearby developments,” Tate said.