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Good evening, COGS E Newsletter Reader: If you refer to the 7 December (Sunday) newsletter, Mr. Howard Myers, northern Scottsdale resident provided an informational chart of the recent General Plan Major Amendment development projects approved by city council. As a former member of the General Plan city council-appointed Task Force, his comments were included below the chart. Susan Bitter-Smith of Technical Solutions, Inc. and John Berry, attorney of the Cavalliere Ranch project team took exception to his statements and requested an opportunity to respond. You will recall that Mr. Myers cited his opinions that (1) 3 of the approved projects will negatively impact in or near Troon with increased traffic (3) there will be triple the density in a sensitive area adjacent to the McDowell Sonoran Preserve (3) that the city council needs to evaluate the cost of development impact on our tourists and residents.

DEVELOPER'S TEAM RESPONSE: (Susan Bitter-Smith quote) "An earlier COGs newsletter correctly pointed out the result of several City Council votes on a number of General Plan Amendment proposals and one zoning proposal. In addition, however there were some editorial comments [by Howard Myers] about the impacts of the zoning proposal named Cavalliere Ranch which did not accurately provide the facts of that request. It is important to note that this project had community support because it was, in fact, consistent with current General Plan and is an opportunity to master plan 462 acres of our northern part of the City for 443 homes. ( This is actually slightly under the General Plan requirements) The master planning process insures that there will be a 100 foot buffer from any development next to the preserve, which results in 47 acres more of open space than required by ordinance that essentially extends the preserve area. Master planning also insures that infrastructure, including road ways, follow the natural grade of the land, not the artificial lot lines, which allows for the protection of existing wildlife corridors and trails, as well as protecting existing drainage paths. In addition, the property owner has agreed to do some significant roadway infrastructure improvements, some that have no connection to the property and are far beyond the normal requirements for zoning, that will greatly improve existing traffic concerns and alleviate many future issues. Those include spending approximately two million dollars to improve 128th street to its full extent, providing for the entire community's enhanced access to the Tom Thumb Trailhead and an additional 1.8 million dollars for intersection improvements and road way expansions along Happy Valley and Ranch Gate Roads that will help with traffic flow and congestion. The timing on the construction of the roadway improvements will be directed by City Staff. It is important to note, that contrary to the opinions expressed in the earlier COGS newsletter, two separate independent traffic engineers looked at the cumulative effects of all three General Plan amendments and the Cavalliere Ranch zoning case and determined that the down zonings that occurred by these proposals actually reduced future traffic counts by 11,000 trips per day. In addition, they point out that construction traffic? is a fact of life that has existed for residents while Troon and many other neighborhoods were built and will be aided by the improvements being paid for by the Cavalliere Ranch property owner."" (end of quote)

COGS note to Readers: The two reports were by the same consultant, Kimley-Horn and paid by developer Taylor Morrison. If you open the two attachments, in the first--the italicized responses are Kimley-Horn's answers to the staff's traffic report questions. The first report was "not approved, revised and resubmitted." For consistency and to aid the reader, italics were added by COGS editor in the 2nd attachment to the K-H responses.

IS IT A SCAM OR AN APPROPRIATE CHARITY? This is the time of year when your mailbox is filled with pleas for money donations. What percentage of your contribution will go to pay for the fund-raising business that hires the roomful of solicitors? Will you tolerate 50 cents or more of every dollar you donate or demand less than 20 cents? Check your charity rating at this link:  Locally the Scottsdale Police Officers' Association (POSA) was highlighted in a Channel 12 newscast.  NEVER provide your credit card number and backside security code over the telephone. If it is a charity that interests you, tell them to U.S. postal a form to your home. That gives you time to be sure it is legitimate and to check its charity rating.

HOLIDAY EVENTS FOR YOUR CALENDAR: (1) Saturday Dec 13th-14th from 10 am to 6 pm the Old Town Merchants' Association hosts Scottsdale Cowboy Christmas (2) McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park holiday lights (3) This Saturday also at 5 pm Tempe Town Lake Fantasy of Lights Boat Parade (5) Orpheus Male Chorus Sunday 14th 3 pm Camelback Bible Church 39th St/Stanford Phoenix and again Dec 16th 7 pm All Saints Lutheran Church on 7th Street, Phoenix.

FREE TROLLEY RIDES: Park your car in the Nordstrom or 3rd-5th Avenue garage and ride the free Downtown trolley to experience shopping and strolling in Old Town, The Arts District, 5th Avenue-Stetson, the Waterfront or Fashion Square areas. From the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess resort don't rent a car. Ride the "Day Tripper" (previously called the Hospitality Trolley) that leaves every 15 minutes and operates from 11 am to 9 pm. Stops include Fashion Square, Shops at Gainey Village, Kierland Commons, Scottsdale Quarter, and Scottsdale Promenade. From the Fashion Square stop you may transfer to the free Downtown trolley. Paradise Valley Resort Trolley stops at selected PV resorts and Chaparral Suites to Fashion Square. Talking Stick Trolley departs every 30 minutes from downtown to the spring training facility and Butterfly Wonderland and TopGolf at Riverwalk.

No city council meetings until January 2015. The Tourism Development Commission meets next Tuesday the 16th at 8:30 am and the Tourism Task Force meets the next day at 9 am in SkySong.

     For the Coalition of Greater Scottsdale (COGS) Board of Directors, 

     Sonnie Kirtley, Chair e-mail 

     Coalition of Greater Scottsdale

     8924 E. Pinnacle Peak Rd., Suite G5, PMB 518

     Scottsdale, AZ 85250

If you wish to support our all-volunteer group the "dues" are $10 per year. Click HERE to join or HERE to subscribe without joining.



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