Guest Editorial: Arlene Chin and Tempe’s Path on Growth, Traffic and Development

Staff Report — Arlene Chin has been picked to replace Kolby Granville on the Tempe City Council.

Chin will finish out Granville’s term that ends in 2020. Chin has indicated she’s not intending on running for reelection in 2020.

It is important to get to know Chin, her background and what dynamic she will add to the Tempe City Council as it grapples with growth, traffic and development especially at Tempe Town Lake and near Arizona State University.

Chin is director of scholarship advancement at the ASU Foundation. That is ASU’s fundraising arm and has been part of real estate deals involving the school.

Tempe Vice Mayor Lauren Kuby also works at ASU. Kuby — a top progressive voice in Arizona — is manager of events and community engagement at ASU’s Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability.

Chin has identified growth and how to manage new developments, traffic and affordable housing in Tempe as her priorities. Tempe continues to see significant development both in its ASU and Mill Avenue core as well as other areas including a JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM) campus being built at Elliot Road and the Loop 101. That project will bring 4,000 Chase Bank jobs to Tempe.

Chin is no stranger to the Tempe community serving on the city’s Human Relations Commission, Neighborhood Advisory Commission and Mayor’s Youth Advisory Commission.

Tempe has been trying to find a balance between its growth — both jobs and development — and its more progressive leanings and concerns about traffic. Tempe has effectively leveraged Metro light rail and ASU to attract jobs and development to its downtown core

But it will face local pressures on traffic and how much more development it needs and what kind to welcome.

Chin might not be on the Tempe council for long but where she lines up and who she lines up with could be key to how and where the city continues to grow.