Designed to ease and encourage development on parcels of land already within city limits but perhaps needing additional expense to bring up to current codes, the City of Yuma has posted its Infill Incentive Plan online. Property owners and prospective developers are encouraged to examine it to see which tools apply to their situation.
Approved by the Yuma City Council in June, these incentives allow some flexibility in city regulations to help reduce the cost of infill development.
The plan expands on the City’s initiatives to encourage business development and investment within the city – something for which the City is receiving positive feedback from new businesses in Yuma, according to City Administrator Greg Wilkinson.
“One of the big-name stores who recently opened here, they have a lot of locations across the state. They told us Yuma was among the top two most business-friendly cities they’ve dealt with in Arizona to date,” Wilkinson said.
The Infill Incentive Plan includes 13 tools City staff can use to help developers assemble their best combination of options for fitting their unique projects.
Some incentives focus on allowing flexibility and deviations from the typical development standards identified in the City of Yuma zoning code, while others focus on reducing the cost of fees associated with development. Flexible standards are allowed, but carefully calibrated to ensure that the scale and character of new construction and redevelopment is in accordance with (and further enhances) the surrounding area.
Incentives would be offered on a case-by-case basis in accordance with adopted redevelopment or revitalization plans for those neighborhoods.
Possible available incentives include the following topics:
- Reduced setbacks
- Increased lot coverage.
- Accessory dwelling units.
- Reduced landscaping.
- Reduced parking.
- Alternative alley paving.
- No-build easements.
- International existing building code.
- Fire code flexibility.
- Utility fee waivers.
- Development fee credits.
- Reduced permit and review fees.
- Lease excise tax.
To inquire about infill incentives for a project, contact the Department of Community Development at 928-373-5175.
Benefits to developing infill areas include taking advantage of existing connections to city infrastructure such as streets, sewers and water service lines and receive police and fire services. This contrasts with building in open, “greenfield” areas, which may require additional infrastructure construction.
Infill eases urban sprawl, and reduces building on agricultural lands and encroachment on military bases. It enhances the property values of surrounding properties and revitalizes neighborhoods.
Gateway Park, the Hilton Garden Inn and Conference Center, and the John M. Roll United States Courthouse are the most visible pieces of infill construction. The restoration and subsequent sale of three historic adobe buildings in the Brinley Avenue Historic District is another important example of the benefits of infill.
To view the Infill Incentive Plan, go to the Community Development page of the City’s website, then click on “Community Planning” from the left-hand column, then “Infill Yuma.”