Development near ASU focus of Tempe’s first ‘Let’s Talk’ discussion

Tempe Mayor Hugh Hallman and the Tempe City Council will host guests from Arizona State University and the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission for a lively discussion on the details of an unprecedented agreement between the city and the university that will guide future commercial developments around the Tempe campus.

Ray Jensen, associate vice president of administration and business services for Arizona State University, and Charles Huellmantel, chairman of the Tempe Planning and Zoning Commission, will be the mayor and council’s guests from 7 to 8 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 28, at Pyle Adult Recreation Center, 655 E. Southern Ave.

Tempe has re-invented the Early Riser Forum of the past into a new program: Let’s Talk Tempe. The new concept is expected to refresh a longtime talk show series that is taped monthly in the fall and spring. Each show is taped in front of an audience of residents and is replayed throughout the month on Tempe 11.

“It won’t matter if our guests are on the same or different sides of an issue,” Hallman said. “We’re not scared of respectful disagreement or controversy. Tempe residents can only benefit from full and public discussions of vitally important community issues.”

Tempe and ASU have entered into an intergovernmental agreement that will establish a framework for development of university-owned property on the edges of ASU’s Tempe campus.

Some points of the agreement are still being negotiated, but the mutually beneficial alliance represents an unprecedented commitment to cooperation between the two entities. 

Because ASU land is state-owned, its developments have never been subject to Tempe codes and rules. In the future, any proposed retail, office or residential developments on the portion of ASU land that bands the campus and along Tempe Town Lake will undergo a thorough review by a panel of city- and university-appointed residents.