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05/27/15

Congratulations to the Diamond Mountain area neighbors!  Tonight was a victory to save your rural area. (see details below).  Third time? When is an “energy station” really a gas station?  Have you eaten Mesquite pancakes? Thank you for taking the time to read our brief evening COGS E-Newsletter. 

Great work  by a well-organized northern Scottsdale group of homeowners! The threat to their rural area was thwarted with their factual and passionate opposition speeches at the Planning Commission hearing this evening. During the past month, COGS met with the area homeowners, viewed the site from various perimeter homes and worked closely with them. The team clapped after the commissioners voted 4 to 1 to send a  “denial recommendation to city council”on the housing project. The Diamond Mountain Estates proposal for the northern side of Jomax Road with entry streets at 110th and 112th requested a zoning change from one dwelling per 5 acres to multiple smaller acreage per dwelling.  This Sonoran Desert 50 acres has high-priority NAOS (nature area open space) environmental features including large boulders, natural washes and a tall rocky mountain. The project first requested 30 lots on 50 acres clustered but still carving into slopes and removing boulders and mature vegetation. The applicant/owner received two continuances at prior hearings with the directive from the commission to “meet with the neighbors and work out a compromise”.  No public/neighborhood meeting was scheduled by the developer.  With the threat of a Legal Protest by the eastern boundary neighbors, the applicant withdrew that side of the project site from the hearing and continued with the western side lesser acreage. Although the project (1) was entitled to 8 to 9 lots on 37 acres the request was for 2.5 times greater density (2)  These requested densities are inconsistent with the community written and approved Dynamite Foothills Character Plan that recommends that existing allowable densities under current zoning are appropriate   (3) Their graphic illustrating the proposed cluster areas were on locations that had 15% to 25% slopes—unbuildable and inconsistent with the 15% maximum slope allowed. (4) To protect the unique environmental Diamond Mountain features, all 50 acres should be one project/plan.   Despite all those existing “guidelines” the planning staff recommended approval.  Fortunately the Planning Commissioners disagreed and supported the rural character and the investment of existing area homeowners.  Next Hearing is City Council in June.      Every homeowner on the perimeter of this project attended this hearing—and that is a long drive to city hall...Thank you!

Alert again on Pima and Dynamite—Case 390-PA-2015 rezone request from Rural Neighborhood to Neighborhood Commercial. The owner of a +/- 10 acre property on the NW corner of Pima and Dynamite is back with his third attempt to gain approval for a gas station and retail on that parcel.  Earlier attempts were overwhelmingly opposed by residents of the area.  The closest commercial facilities to the site (Scottsdale and Lone Mountain Road and 1 ½ mile east of Pima on Dynamite) have very high vacancy rates, and recently several commercially zoned parcels in far north Scottsdale have been down-zoned to residential,--all indicative of the lack of need or demand for additional commercial space in the area.The site is currently zoned R1-190 (approximately 5-acre lots) and is across the street from what is planned to be a major access area to Scottsdale’s Preserve.     Attend the public meeting Monday, June 1st at 6 pm in the Dream Center Scottsdale First Assembly 28700 N. Pima Road—just north of the 10 acres for more details.

Happier Note--Ever tasted mesquite pancakes? Join the lineup of hungry eaters at the Salt River-Pima Community annual Mesquite Pancake Breakfast held on Saturday, June 13th @ 7 am    It is in the Two Waters Building located north of McDowell Road on the intersection of Longmore and Osborn Road.  Our COGS members report that tasting mesquite pancakes will never make you happy with the plain ole ones again.

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

     Sonnie Kirtley, Chair e-mail sonniek@cogsaz.net 

     Coalition of Greater Scottsdale

     7904 E. Chaparral Rd., Suite 110, PMB 127

     Scottsdale, AZ 85250

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