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09/14/15

COGS Readers:This is probably the most important COGS E-Newsletter you have received in our 8years as an organization. You are being encouraged to be involved in ourcity’sguidelines for the future. Please take the time to read all of thisnewsletter.Thank you!The COGS Board ofDirectors.

            HOW IMPORTANT IS YOUR CITY TO YOU?

  • What qualities helped you to choose Scottsdale as your home and not Gilbert, Carefree, Cave Creek, Town of Paradise Valley or other residential option?
  • Are you proud to show your city to visitors? 
  • Are there areas and qualities of the city that you consider valuable assets to be protected? …areas that need revitalization and/or improved maintenance attention?  …areas that need better planning to contribute to a positive tourist experience?  
  • Are you concerned or supportive of city government decisions that have changed the physical appearance from a small town to an urban center?

Decisions made by the city council and council-appointed commissioners are changing the look and feel of our city causing us to ask the above questions.  So, what guidelines are they supposed to follow to support the residents’ VISION for Scottsdale?  It is called the General Plan.

THE GENERAL PLAN Is a written document that provides guidance for future development in the city, ordinances, regulations, initiatives and city capital projects to ensure that the residents’ vision is achieved.  . But HOW it is interpreted by city officials and staff can be supportive or detrimental to that vision and the future appearance and reputation  of Scottsdale.  The importance of the final language in the proposed General Plan 2035, cannot be understated—it must be clear and not subject to “creative interpretation”.

NOW is the Scottsdale Public Input Period to hear your recommendations and to make final changes on the DRAFT General Plan 2035 before it goes to the City Council for approval to place it on the November 2016 ballot. It must be approved by 5 of the 7 council members. In the meantime, the current 2001 General Plan is active and the city decisions represent those 14 year old guidelines.  By state statute, all Arizona voters are asked to approve an updated version of their city’s General Plan every 10 years.

Please mark your calendar and attend a Public Session of the DRAFT General Plan 2035 this coming  Thursday, September 17th, 11 am to 1 pm  or  5 pm to 7 pm. 

Attend one or both identical sessions in Sky Song at the SE corner of McDowell Road and Scottsdale Road in the Synergy Room. 

Why go? Look at the COGS’s original question “How important is your city to you?  It is your city and your opinions are extremely valuable to direct its future.

 

 You can prepare yourself with some “homework”.  There are 8 chapters beginning with an Executive Summary.  That is a lot of reading!   COGS encourages you to focus on Chapter 1: Character & Design and Land Use Elements as they directly affect the development, character, density, use intensity and other changes that impact your quality of life. This is where COGS recommendations are focused.  Use the following link to review only Chapter 1. http://www.scottsdaleaz.gov/Assets/ScottsdaleAZ/General+Plan/2035/Chapter1.pdf  We suggest you write down your specific recommendations and comments and bring them with you. Each room table will be a different General Plan chapter awaiting your valuable and constructive comments.

A full review the entire proposed General Plan 2035 is at this link: http://www.scottsdaleaz.gov/general-plan/general-plan-2035/recommended-draft  

What are COGS’s recommendations to improve the DRAFT General Plan 2035?

·         Protect Rural Neighborhoods and large lot residential and equestrian uses.

 

·         Protect Open Space (pristine desert and mountains) and Developed Open Space (golf courses, public parks)

 

·         Establish the importance of Resorts and Tourism as economic drivers that provide our residents with high-quality amenities and promote us as a Tourist Destination.

 

·         Protect residential neighborhoods from requested change in zoning that does not clearly meet the goals and policies and strategies embodied within an adopted Character Area Plan or that changes an existing Character Area Plan or boundary.  It should be a Major General Plan Amendment and require more than a 4-3 (majority) vote of City Council to be approved.

 

·         For Scottsdale an amendment to the General Plan should be defined as a Major Amendment (requires 5 of 7 council members’ approval) if it meets any one of the “trigger” criteria.

 

The trigger criteria in the Draft General Plan 2035 are:

1.       Major change in land use as shown in the table shown on page 76 of the 2035 General Plan

2.       A land use change involving 10 or more acres

3.       A change in a Character Area that does not meet the criteria of that Character Area.

4.       A change that generates a pre-mature increase in water or wastewater infrastructure.

5.       A change to this Major Amendment criteria or a change to any of the General Plan land use designations

6.       A change to the boundaries or creation of a new “growth area”.

7.       A change in boundary or creation of a new land use overlay.

8.       Exceptions to the above criteria are listed here. A land use change involving 10 or more acres

The following is a Link to city website and current procedures, as stated in the 2001 General Plan:  http://www.scottsdaleaz.gov/Assets/Public+Website/generalplan/MajorAmendmentCriteria.pdf

It is your city and its future is in your hands.

If you cannot attend, you can register your comments on the city website.

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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