High Occupancy Housing Plan Archive

Note: Please visit the Completed Area Plans & Other Specific Plans page to view the final information regarding the High Occupancy Housing Specific Plan.

Project Basics

The basis for the work on High Occupancy Housing comes from the Student Housing Action Plan External Work Group. "Develop a specific plan for high occupancy housing that implements Policy NH.1.7. Develop appropriate programs and tools to ensure the appropriate placement, design, and operation of new student housing developments consistent with neighborhood character and scale." Their recommendations can be found here.

What is High Occupancy Housing?

High Occupancy Housing (HOH) is generally buildings that house more than 75 persons per acre or have more than 30 units per acre in dormitory or apartment-style units. Due to a combination of pent up demand, constrained supply and the 2011 changes to the Zoning Code to promote mixed use development, interest in large multi-family housing projects has grown. The Village at Aspen Place (601 E Piccadilly Dr) is the first example of high occupancy housing built in the City. 

Map of Proposed and Constructed High Occupancy Housing projects

Dive into Peer Cities Research

The City has launched an interactive map to guide the public through exploring peer cities that were investigated as part of the research that went in to the preparation for the open houses.

Have you subscribed to the Flagstaff Community Forum yet? Surveys will be posted on the Flagstaff Community Forum throughout the process. 

Public Involvement Process 

The infographic below illustrates some of the elements that came together for the project to precede. More details can be found in the projects Public Participation Plan. Like all complex projects, the content of these strategic documents was flexible and may be changed to meet the challenges that arise

HOH process diagram

Community Cafes- July to August 2016

Community Cafes take a different approach to exploring the questions we hope to resolve through this project. At the Cafés, community members sit together at small tables to discuss six strategic questions related to High Occupancy Housing. Ideally, everyone should have time to move to each table and provide their insight on all of the questions. This method encourages everyone’s contribution and helps connect the diverse perspectives on this topic. Staff had some information to share, but the real purpose of this meeting is to stop talking “at” each other, and open all the participants up to meaningful dialogue. Because of the importance of listening in a Community Café, staff took reservations for them and limit the attendance to 30 people, except at the Aquaplex. The Community Café dates were: 

  • Tuesday, July 12th, 8am to 10am at Firecreek Coffee on 22 E Route 66
  • Saturday, July 16th, 10am to noon at the Flagstaff Aquaplex (childcare will be provided)
  • Monday, July 18th, 5pm to 7pm at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, 224 South Kendrick St.
  • Thursday, July 21st, 5pm to 7pm at the Murdoch Center, 203 E Brannen Ave
  • Monday, August 1st, 5:30pm to 7:30pm at the Flagstaff Main Library, 300 W Aspen Ave.
Using this method, the project team got feedback from almost 80 participants, who developed over 800 comments. You can review the comments and feedback received in the Community Cafe Summary Document.

Online Cafe - August-September 2016

The Online Cafe on the Flagstaff Community Forum, gave another opportunity for the public to engage with the questions asked at the in-person Community Cafés. You can browse all the comments provided here. Only comments for registered site users appear public. The project team can see your comments and enter them into the public record offline. It was open from August 5 to September 7, 2016.

Community Cafe for NAU Students - November 2nd, 2016

NAU was not in session during the Cafe over summer meetings so student participation was low. On November 2, over 30 NAU students participated in discussions with the same questions from the previous Community Cafe meetings. This meeting was necessary to connect the diverse perspectives on this topic.

Open House Meetings - November, 2016

The Open Houses were the second step in the public outreach process. The purpose of the meetings was to share the findings harvested from the cafes, to share information about how other communities are tackling similar issues, and to discuss the breadth and form of the policy work.

Monday, November 14th, 6:00PM to 8:00PM at the Flagstaff Aquaplex
Presentations: Peer Cities, Land Use and Parking, Affordability, and Property Management

Thursday, November 17th, 6:00PM to 8:00PM at the DoubleTree Hotel
Presentations: NAU Housing, Water, Traffic, and Transit 
Presentations from the project team can be viewed online through the City's streaming service here.

There were many posters and handouts displayed at the Open House meetings. Digital Copies have been uploaded here:
Flagstaff Posters: Traffic, Transit, Water, Future Growth Illustration, Parking, Land Use, and Insights for Flagstaff
Potential for Growth Maps: Height, Floor Area Ratio (FAR), and Residential Density
Peer Cites: Peer Cities Map and Peer Cities Transportation

The City has launched an interactive map to guide the public through exploring peer cities that were investigated as part of the research that went in to the preparation for the open houses.

First Policy Workshop on May 22, 2017

The public workshop focused on developing policies for the draft plan. The goal of the workshops was to go in depth on specific elements and create a forum for staff and community members to discuss solutions and alternatives for consideration by the Commissions and Council. Topics discussed included:

• Location and design of High Occupancy Housing

• Ways to make High Occupancy Housing buildings more sustainable

• How to better integrated transportation objectives into HOH projects

• Property management and neighborhood issues
 You can review the Policy Workshop meeting notes here.

Office Hours

The project team held a drop-in time at the Flagstaff East and Main libraries on August 2nd and 3rd. The project team was available throughout the 60 day review to help everyone be able to participate in the process of setting these important policies. We still would welcome the opportunity to join you at your meeting, grab a cup of coffee or tea, or visit you in your neighborhood.

Public Workshops on August 30, and August 31, 2017

These workshops were held during the 60 day public review, in order to review the policies and implementation strategies in the draft HOH Plan and:

  • To achieve consensus on some proposed HOH policies and code updates
  • To understand the tolerance for trade-offs
  • To fully understand areas without consensus and create options that can be considered by the Planning and Zoning Commission and the City Council

Workshop Meeting Notes


After a year of public involvement, the City of Flagstaff produced a draft of the High Occupancy Housing Specific Plan. You can download the document here or you can review a copy in-person at the Community Development County in City Hall or at either of Flagstaff's public library. 

HOH Specific Plan Draft - Screen-friendly version
HOH Specific Plan Draft - Print-friendly version

There was almost weekly opportunities to learn more about the proposal and provide feedback to the City during the 60-day comment period. Comments were due to the City by September 27, 2017 at 5pm by mail or e-mail

Board and Commission Meetings

There was multiple focused presentations at Commission meetings throughout the 60 day comment period. You can also view or review any of these presentations on the City's live streaming system: www.flagstaff.az.gov/streaming or by clicking the "Watch the video" link below.

Board or Commission
Beautification and Public Art Commission  Monday, July 10 4pm - 6pm Watch the video
Heritage Preservation Commission Wednesday July 19 4pm - 6pm Watch the video
Transportation Commission
Wednesday, August 2
Watch the video
Bicycle Advisory Committee
Thursday, August 3
City Hall
Pedestrian Advisory Committee
Thursday, August 10
Watch the video
Flagstaff Housing Authority
Wednesday, August 16
Watch the video
Commission on Disability Awareness Wednesday, August 22 4pm-6pm Watch the video
Planning and Zoning Commission Work Session  Wednesday, September 13
Watch the video
Beautification and Public Art Commission Monday, September 11
Watch the video
Parks and Recreation Commission Wednesday, September 20
4pm-6pm Watch the video
City Council Work Session Tuesday September 26 6pm Watch the video
Sustainability Commission
Thursday, September 28
Watch the video
FMPO Executive Board Thursday, September 28 10:45am Watch the video
 Parks and Recreation Commission #2 Wednesday, October 18 4:00pm Watch the video


Online Public Involvement - August to October 2017

You can find closed topics related to this project posted on the Flagstaff Community Forum and review the comments we received first hand.  This tool allows you to filter and sort and download the public-facing responses.

Topic 1: Block and Street Connectivity for High Occupancy Housing 
Topic 2: HOH Historic Preservation, Adaptive Reuse, and Neighborhoods
Topic 3: Transportation and HOH 
Topic 4: Activity Centers and HOH

Citizen's Review Sessions - November 8 and 30, 2017
Staff Report
Citizen's Review Session Draft of the HOH Plan
All Public Comments received during 60 day public review


Event       Date  Time  Location
Joint City Council and Planning and Zoning
Citizens Review Session - Agenda - Staff Report - Watch video
Wed, November 8 4:00pm City Hall
Continued Citizens Review Session
Planning and Zoning Commission only -  Watch video
 Thurs, November 30 4:00pm  City Hall
Planning and Zoning Commission Hearing #1
Agenda - Staff Report and Attachments - Watch Video
Wed, December 13 4:00pm Flagstaff Aquaplex
Planning and Zoning Commission Hearing #2 - Watch Video Wed, January 10 4:00pm City Hall
Office Hours #1 Thurs, February 8 12:00pm-2:30pm Main Library
Office Hours #2 Fri, February 9 10:00am-12:00pm East Flagstaff Library
City Council Public Hearing - Watch Video Tues, February 20  6:00pm  City Hall

Contact Us

If you have questions or concerns, please call Sara Dechter, Comprehensive Planning Manager at (928)213-2631 or email her at sdechter@flagstaffaz.gov.