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08/23/15

 

Thank you for taking your time to be informed and to read the COGS E-Newsletter. August is ending so time for our city council to come back to the Kiva (city hall). The Town of Paradise Valley has proposed a boundary change. Special Events are the center of controversy—not for the usual noise but approved frequency, lack of definition and locations that compete with year-a-round owners.  If you love horses—especially the wild west scene on the Salt River—then it is time to send an e mail to the Forest Service.
 
Do you want to own land in the Town of Paradise Valley?  Can a town de-annex land without residents’ vote? The most recent Hot Topic in the upscale neighborhoods to our west is all about moving city boundaries in conjunction with the Ritz-Carlton project to avoid their own restrictive “no commercial within city limits”. If the Scottsdale city council cooperates, the commercial part of the Ritz-Carlton project could be added to the Scottsdale 17.59 acres of the full 130 acre parcel.  The location is the SW corner of Indian Bend Road & Scottsdale Road—just west of the Stillman-McCormick Rail Road Park.
 
Some history: In February 2009 the same Five Star developer proposed a 170 room Edition hotel, 80 adjacent condos and 300,000 square feet of retail shops and restaurants and underground parking on the Scottsdale side of 17.59 acres. The current Resort/Townhouse Residential zoning allows only 3 stories /35 feet,  but this project was requesting Planned Regional Center rezoning with 5 stories/60 feet possible. Solid resistance came from then PV Councilman Werner, Campbell and Hamway as they cited unwanted increased height, density, traffic, water, drainage, parking and loss of view corridors. Councilwoman Hamway charged Five Star with “bait and switch” and stated that she and other council members would never have approved the 2008 Ritz Carlton plan if they knew that Five Star was going to rezone their  acres [to higher intensity].  To add more drama to this 2009 story, our Zoning Administrator planned to “borrow” land from the Town of PV to provide the rezoning case with the required PRC number of total acres .  COGS presented our city council with an official Town of PV letter disapproving such action—it was dated one day prior to our Zoning Administrator’s interpretation as okay to include PV land.  Nothing was built.
 
Now in 2015 that SW corner is promoted for commercial use as a complement to the Ritz-Carlton updated project. Different PV councilmen and different attitude!  They are offering to de-annex the commercial part of the Ritz-Carlton Master Plan acreage and to share the revenue with Scottsdale.  COGS’s 2009 position was that it is inappropriate that our Scottsdale residents should be negatively impacted by increased commercial density and height when the Town of PV will not approve it within their own boundaries. Our 2015 position continues to support the existing zoning protection for the area residential investments regardless of the boundary tax revenue shuffling trick.  Watch for updates.
 
Special Events Ordinance is the center of controversy. This ordinance is administered by city staff and includes the fire and police department representatives on the committee that approves “Special Events”.  Earlier COGS E-Newsletters have challenged the definition—”when is it not a Special Event but a single business or pop-up tent vendor marketing plan”?  Why would a bar get approval for 48 “special events” in any one year?  Long-time businesses in the Downtown from Main Street north to Marshall Way and east and west on 5th Avenue/Stetson plus Old Town merchants are supporting a challenge to result in improvements in the ordinance update. It will be a discussion item on the city council work study session August 31st at 4 pm. Reader: What would be your definition of a Special Event in the city?    Their petition was attached to the August 17th COGS E-Newsletter.
 
Save the Salt River/Saguaro Lake area wild horses. Although federal law protects wild horses, the Forest Service here labels those in the Tonto National Forest as belonging to Native American tribes in the Salt River area. A roundup was thwarted by public outcry this month citing that they are seldom adopted but are sold at auction and will probably end life in the slaughterhouse.  The Forest Service roundup decision was delayed to September according to an AZ Republic report.  Readers can contact the Forest Service e mail comments-southwestern-tonto@fs.fed.us  The subject line should be “Public Notice of Unauthorized Livestock and Intent to Impound”  FAX is 602 225 5295. Neil Bosworth, Tonto National Forest Supervisor

The change.org petition can be found at: https://www.change.org/p/u-s-national-park-services-tonto-national-forest-stop-the-annihilation-of-the-salt-river-wild-horses-savewildhorses
For those of you into social media, a couple of facebook pages have been setup to support the horses at: https://www.facebook.com/SaltRiverWildHorses  or https://www.facebook.com/saltriverwildhorsemanagementgroup

Upcoming city meetings:  City Council meeting, Tuesday 25 August 5 pm    Planning Commission hearing Cancelled Wed. 26th meeting      City Council meeting 31 August  Work Study 4 pm followed 5 pm by Regular meeting
 
COGS MEMBERS:If you are interested in volunteering to serve on the COGS Political Committee as the 2016 Election year approaches, please go to their website at www.cogspc.com
Click on the PC Application (located in the large red box on the left).  Deadline is 15 September.  Chris Schaffner is the chairman. cschaffner@cogsaz.net.  REMINDER: COGS (The Coalition of Greater Scottsdale) is a 501 C (3) volunteer organization.  The COGS Political Committee conducts all its business separately and is registered with the city clerk to conduct political/campaign activities.
 
Confused on who is who? The Coalition of Greater Scottsdale (COGS) is a citywide “umbrella” advocacy group of volunteers focused on land issues such as zoning, proposed projects and their impact on your area, and bringing help to neighborhood issues. We attend council meetings and commission hearings and publish the COGS E-Newsletter to keep you informed.  We are feet-on-the-ground when called into a neighborhood.  Many of our members are also members of the following groups. The Community Council of Scottsdale is the oldest community group in our city.  They provide timely topic speakers the 3rd Thursday evening of each month at the Granite Reef Senior Center. Scottsdale Coalition focuses on southern Scottsdale schools, ageing in place and housing issues.   Friends of the Scenic Drive focus on northern Scottsdale and Pima Roads—keeping them clean and protecting the desert vegetation, signage and zoning. Coalition of Pinnacle Peak is now inactive. Scottsdale Gateway Alliance concentrates on the business vitality of the McDowell Road Corridor from 64th Street to Pima Road. They sponsored the successful 2014 Southern Home Tour.

Thank you for taking your time to be informed. 

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

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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