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Hauling Wheelbarrows Of Money In Mesa, AZ

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Last month, an Arizona State University doctoral student's research detailed the tale of two cities and the impact of Phoenix's new light rail line on property values. One city profited and the other did not.

The city that did not profit from the opportunity for transit-oriented development near the new line was Mesa. The reason: Mesa’s outdated zoning codes, which prohibit mixed-use developments, researcher Katherine Kittrell said.

Now Mesa has decided to do something about its zoning before the extension of light rail reaches dowtown Mesa in 2015.

"This time, city officials say they'll have guidelines in place years before construction begins in 2013," the East Valley Tribune reported Oct. 23. "That should give landowners plenty of time to design projects in time to open with the transit system, said Jeff McVay, the project manager for the Central Main Street Neighborhood Area Plan."

The area plan will guide more intense, urban development that's expected to appear on Main Street when the Metro line stretches to Mesa Drive.

"We want developers to come to Mesa and make wheelbarrows full of money," Councilman Dave Richins told the East Valley Tribune.