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Good evening, COGS E News Reader: Mutilated horses in northern Scottsdale—how pathetic!....  City Council has several hot-seat issues this week (Downtown Business petition...Special Events Committee and Ordinance update...Cavalliere Flat Plat final approval....LBGT Ordinance directive...Desert Discovery Center expenditure)
ALERT to private barns: During the night a horse was stabbed deeply on the nose while on private property near Pinnacle Vista and Scottsdale Road.  The horse has been sewn up
by a vet and will recover.  The police state that there have been other reports of horse mutilations in this area and that owners need to take action. Equestrian areas are encouraged to form a Neighborhood Watch and to improve security systems to protect their horse(s ).  Call the city non-emergency 480 312 5000 to report any suspicious people or cars.  The police prefer to investigate your preventative report rather than to respond to another mutilation.
Special thanks to Councilwoman Kathy Littlefield, Scottsdale Trolley owner Margaret Dunn, and former Councilman Bob Littlefield.  Scottsdale trolley provided the ride from Phoenix for officials from the Veterans’ Benefit office, HUD and other support agencies and delivered them to the Wagon Wheel mobile park.  Elderly park residents were assisted in filling out paperwork to receive aid and unclaimed benefits. They are being displaced from their established community of over 50 years as the owner plans other uses for the in-town location. Both Littlefields are trying to find them affordable housing before the January deadline.  Contact Councilwoman Littlefield if you have any addresses.

City Council Monday 31 August 4 pm Work Study Session.   The Council will discuss the 264 signature Petition from retail, restaurants and art-related businesses in the 5th Avenue/Stetson District, Arts District and Old Town District that was submitted last week. Their requests focus on the procedures of the current Special Events Committee and recommend specific changes to the updated Special Events Ordinance.  Details are on this link:  The COGS Board of Directors strongly supports directives from the City Council to the City Manager to include recommendations from the petitioners in the drafting of the new Special Events Ordinance.  Currently “special events” is poorly defined and includes temporary vendors who compete with existing businesses and are neither festivals nor events..  The current ordinance allows 48 calendar days for an approved “special event” when most cities limit these to 3 to 7 days. On the current council, the only business owner operating from a permanent building is Councilwoman Klapp. Hopefully the others will understand the frustration the year-a-round merchants have expressed.
At City Council 5 pm  on the Consent Agenda is Cavalliere Flat Final Plat approval SE corner North Alma School Rd/E. Pinnacle Peak Rd. Regular Agenda items: Nominations for 13 city council appointed Board and Commission vacancies will be made. Board of Adjustment (one vacancy) Building Advisory Board of Appeals (one vacancy) Development Review Board (one vacancy)Environmental Quality Advisory Board (one vacancy) Human Relations Commission (two vacancies) Human Services Commission (two vacancies) Loss Trust Fund Board (one vacancy)McDowell Sonoran Preserve Commission (one vacancy) Parks and Recreation Commission (two vacancies) Transportation Commission(one vacancy) . LBGT Ordinance discussion and directive to the City Manager to investigate ordinance elements in other cities, to select appropriate elements for Scottsdale and to report to Council in 90 days.
Tuesday 8 September Are all of our readers aware that there is a plan to put a 72,972 sq.ft. complex, called the Desert Discovery Center (DDC) , in the Preserve at the Gateway Trail Head?   The DDC is Agenda Item 11 on this date and reads  “Selection of Vendor for the Desert Discovery Center.  Presentation, discussion and possible direction to  staff concerning negotiations on a scope of work with Desert Discovery Center and possible direction to the City Treasurer to evaluate sources of funding for Phase 1 consulting services.” ...This is a sleeper item and requires careful tracking by our COGS Readers. This facility has morphed from a 1999 proposed small, 15,800 square foot discovery facility ($4,330,000 est.) to the current 72,972 sq. ft. complex “destination tourist attraction”  ($74,041,936 est.).
Four serious concerns are being voiced by Scottsdale residents:
(1) LOCATION at the major Gateway Trailhead in the Scottsdale McDowell Sonoran Preserve and significantly into the Preserve has met opposition from the Preserve Commission. It requires modification of the Preserve Ordinance as this location could violate many rules.  Is the heavily used Gateway to the Preserve an appropriate location for a facility such as this?
(2) INITIAL COST is staggering in a city strapped to fund basic infrastructure if voters don’t approval this November Bond election. To be built, the DDC would require public funding along with private sources as endowments, grants, gifts and fund raising. If not the DDC larger complex, would taxpayers be accepting of a smaller, more environmentally friendly facility?     
(3)  OPERATING COSTS in the Phase II Feasibility Study estimated the loss in year one as $ 1,394,219 plus,  and in year three  $ 1,489,659.  How should the projected annual operating deficit be financed? 
(4) PUBLIC OUTREACH— Southern city voters support for more funds for the Preserve has decreased with each election.  What support can be expected for the DDC?   Should the City Council  continue to move forward with this without gaining Scottsdale voter approval ?   
Thursday September 10th Back for the 4th time is the Outpost commercial development with gas station proposed for the NW corner of Pima Road and Dynamite. The corner is currently zoned for five acre lot, single family residential so that would allow only two homes on the 10 acres. Strong residents’ opposition has defeated this proposal the last 3 times they have submitted it. Please attend the city-hosted open house on Thursday from 5 to 8 PM at the Copper Ridge School cafeteria.  The city’s website for this case originally had a September 9th date for an offsite Planning Commission hearing, but that was wrong.  
Projects in the public hearing process include 3-TA-2015 to add “support retail  to the list of permitted uses in the Commercial Office zoning district. will be heard at the Planning Commission on September 16th at 4 PM.  GET INFORMED  if you live near Miller/Pinnacle Peak Rd in Pinnacle Peak 1, Scottsdale Rd/Deer Valley Rd in North Scottsdale 2, Grayhawk, Sweetwater Ranch, Scottsdale Ranch, DC Ranch, 136th/Shea in North Scottsdale 6, Mountain View/92nd-96th St and Stonegate, Gainey Ranch and McCormick Ranch, Via de Ventura/Gainey Center Dr. or Via Ventura/Pima then you need to track this case.  If this is approved then ALL of your areas will be potential for the change.  CVS at Shea and 96th Street is requesting a list of other uses to be permitted in their Commercial-Office zoning. and effective citywide on other 15 acre parcels.  Those are more intense uses including retail that are currently C-1.   Impacted HOA Boards have been alerted and are expected to inform their residents. In the next COGS Newsletter we will provide you with more details.
 Preliminary-Application Case No 559-PA-2015 is a request to amend the Planned Block Development (PBD) zoning district to exclude rooftop appurtenances from building height and to allow “reasonable appurtenances (no more than 6 feet in height on no more than 20% of the roof area and setback a minimum of 15 feet from the face of the building)”  While the applicant states this is not a request to change the allowable building height in the PBD district, that building height is and will continue to be capped at 66 feet ( 90 feet with bonus provisions) and that the request only affects standard building appurtenances. What is the reality?  If approved, it will add 6 feet to building heights that have already been increased beyond what was in place for years AND there is no provision that the appurtenances be architecturally integrated into the building design. 
REMINDER: Register for Docent Training Classes by Friday, September 4th  if you are interested in volunteering for the Museum of the West.. The fall docent training courses will be held from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on six consecutive Wednesdays, September 9 through October 14. Attendance at all six sessions is required of prospective docents.Volunteers are also needed to welcome museum visitors, answer general questions and provide directions within the museum. Volunteers interested in staffing information tables at community events or providing administrative support are also encouraged to apply. A minimum of two, three-hour sessions per month are required of volunteers.Interested individuals should respond no later than Friday, September 4 online at or by contacting Education Manager Wade Weber at or 480-686-9539, ext. 212.

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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