Good morning COGS E-Newsletter Reader.
The City Council work-study session Tuesday night was more
animated then usual. It was a display of the personalities
and entrenched policy positions for this group of 7 assembled
after the last election year. The topic that took two hours plus
was about the General Plan 2035 and what “direction” the council
wants to send to the city staff on proceeding to a November 2016
document for voters. Quite misinformed were two of the
public microphone speakers who were members of the now
disassembled GP Task Force. They used their 3 minutes to
express exasperation that COGS (or anyone else?) dare to recommend
some changes to their submitted
Misinformed?—yes. The Public Outreach/Input period does not
end until September as verified by the timeline displayed the same
night by the lead staff member. Even the city website
encourages “robust public input”. Anyone who has served on a
city council-appointed task force and spent months and months in
deliberations knows that their final document is only a DRAFT.
History evidences that work either (1) lands on a city shelf to
collect dust (2) a second Task Force is appointed if the first
effort is not what was wanted or (3) the DRAFT gets edited until a
final document is accepted in a council vote and then used for
Mayor Lane was the first council speaker
out of the box. His misrepresented the COGS recommendations
as mandates and he postured as offended by the presumption that a
citizens’ group would develop such a list of changes to the
General Plan Draft. He got stalled on two recommendations.
He stated that they were prescriptive and not “aspirational”.
[Note: COGS had conferenced with the lead staff person last week
and she identified a couple of recommendations that she believes
are at the zoning level and not the General Plan level. We
asked for her to check with the city attorney. There was no
further feedback so we left those in our presented packet for the
city council. During the meeting Tuesday night the city attorney
was silent.] Mayor Lane probably impressed the audience with
his repeated use of the word “illegality” rather than a simple
statement that in his opinion the COGS recommended text was
probably a zoning level instead and too restricting on future
Some council members made unfounded statements about a “COGS
no-compromise position.....”, these are “minority
based recommendations”, and “4 COGS members resigned from
the Task Force and are... [suggested in control of the submitted
recommendations]. At no time did the Mayor call a member of
the COGS Board of Directors from the audience to the microphone to
respond to their statements. Misinformation abound
Tuesday night and any Channel 11 viewer was probably shaking their
head waiting for council leadership to step forward. The
video is available on the city website at
At the end of the agenda item, the council (2)
discussed the removal of the Preserve from the Land Use table.
The rationale was that it is protected by ordinance and any
changes will require a vote by the Scottsdale registered voters
(2) agreed to have city staff re-submit the COGS recommendations
in a chart for each council member to determine if that item would
checklist as “accept”, “negotiate”, “not accept”. (3)
directed staff to continue to receive public input for the October
Council work-study session and to put it into a matrix form.
Another interesting twist—The
Planning Administrator who was doing the presentation referred to
Attachment #2 in the council’s meeting packet as containing
community and commissioners’ input. Why wasn’t any of that content
part of the discussion?
Who is on the COGS Board? Go to our
website for bios on each of the ten
voted to 3 year staggered terms by the COGS members.
Who sits on city council? Click
Reminder: Council and mayoral elections are in November 2016 .
WHAT IS NEXT?
Are you happy with what the 2001 General Plan has brought to our
city? If so then some council members (NOT COGS) suggests
keeping it and adding the additional state-mandated chapters.
If you need to read the COGS recommendations please go our website
Home Page for the link. Why
recommendations? We hear
repeatedly from our readers and members that they are discouraged
by the approval of increased densities, taller buildings, and
rezoning of properties important to our residential community.
These are the results of city government interpretations of the
guidelines and policy of the 2001 General Plan. The next approved
General Plan 2035 should be a mirror of the residents’ vision for
their Scottsdale NOW and planning for the future. We have
heard some council members state that we need
to plan the city wanted by the future
generation. That would
be great if the future generation were living in the city NOW and
paying the taxes NOW and trying to drive the streets NOW and are
watching the skyline change our way of life NOW.
COGS strongly supports an updated General Plan—There are 3 more
months to get the Land Use and Character & Design Elements
Send your comments to
It is still YOUR city.
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
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