City planners weigh in on property battle over gate in Phoenix neighborhood

PHOENIX - Three weeks after a property battle began in a Phoenix neighborhood over a gate, city planners say it needs to go. 

“Just having to deal with something like this has been stressful,” said David Zumstein, who lives near 32nd Street and Union Hills Drive. 

Zumstein said on February 16, his neighbor constructed a gate that blocks access to the back part of his property where he stores trailers and equipment used for work. 

Without the ability to use them, he said he’s lost thousands of dollars of income. He went to the city and reached out to ABC15 for answers. 

“It’s frustrating getting the runaround,” Zumstein said. 

Zumstein’s family has owned the property since the 1950s. He showed us an easement from 1969 appearing to show the road where the gate was constructed being designated for public access. 

Despite issuing a building permit for the gate, weeks later, the city agrees. 

Amitai Garcia, who put up the gate, said he “didn’t know” until ABC15 brought the issue to his attention. He said he put it up to stop people from dumping trash and going “back and forth.” 

Zumstein said he and Garcia have had disagreements in the past. 

Angie Holdsworth, Public Information Officer for the Phoenix Planning and Development Department, said it was a “complex” situation requiring extensive research. Planners had to look at the use of the properties and roads in that area before it was incorporated. 

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