Lawsuit with Phoenix over proposed Coyotes arena deal ‘really unfortunate,’ says Tempe Mayor Woods

Apr 3, 2023, 10:00 AM

(Facebook Photo/Mayor Corey Woods, left, Arizona Coyotes courtesy, right)...

(Facebook Photo/Mayor Corey Woods, left, Arizona Coyotes courtesy, right)

(Facebook Photo/Mayor Corey Woods, left, Arizona Coyotes courtesy, right)

PHOENIX — Tempe Mayor Corey Woods didn’t anticipate seeing legal action from Phoenix over the planned residential development that is a part of the entertainment district that includes an arena for the Arizona Coyotes.

“I think it’s really unfortunate that we’re at this point,” Woods told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News on Monday.

“The fact of the matter is we felt that by the time the council voted on this back in November, we had worked out all of the major components of this issue. Sky Harbor said as much in that public meeting.”

Woods said he offered to meet with Phoenix after getting word that a lawsuit was coming four months after the capital city’s aviation department announced it was finalizing negotiations with Tempe and developers regarding that project.

Phoenix on Tuesday sued Tempe for a breach of contract, saying the 1.2 square-mile area that is exposed to noise levels of a high degree from the nearby airport breaks a 1994 intragovernmental agreement.

The cities are at odds over the understanding of that agreement, with Phoenix saying the development wouldn’t keep residents in all of the flight paths around it safe and away from noise.

Tempe, in a letter to Phoenix in October, said a 1999 updated Noise Compatibility Plan — one that was requested by the FAA when the Arizona Cardinals were pushing to build a stadium nearby — was not agreed upon.

“I’m confident in our attorneys and the city of Tempe’s position on this,” Woods said.

Tempe residents are scheduled to vote on three proposals to approve the $2.1 billion project on May 16.

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Lawsuit with Phoenix over proposed Coyotes arena deal ‘really unfortunate,’ says Tempe Mayor Woods