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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 draft.  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 some purpose.

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 developers.

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 this link.  

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 HERE.  

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 written. 

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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