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10/16/15

Hot Issue update: The Downtown Merchants  VS the temporary tents occupying the public bridge over the Arizona Canal.

Good morning, COGS E-News Reader.  Congratulations to the Downtown Merchants for standing tall to protect their brick and mortar investment. This morning, Randy Grant, Planning Department Director, advised the Artisan Bridge business owner that their permit for Thursdays and Sundays using the public AZ Canal banks and Marshal Bridge was denied.

Public Information Coverage: Apparently the TV reporters are only that—“reporters”.  They fail to investigate for facts.  Such an interesting word as it implies ACCURACY in reporting. (1) They fail to tell their audience that hundreds more business owners and merchants than just gallery owners in the Downtown Scottsdale signed petitions for the past years and are opposed to the current city permit for the Artisan Market on the Marshall Bridge. (2) They  fail to tell their audience that the opposition is requesting an equal marketing opportunity without the city government gifting a public bridge and right-of-way by calling a business a Special Event. (3) They fail to accurately represent the difference between the value to Scottsdale of the permanent brick and mortar business investments and pop-up tents and wares (4) They imply it is an unfair local businessmen’s attack on  free market competition. (5) One TV station reported that the Scottsdale Gallery Association wants to “shut down” the Artisan Market.  The SGA has never made or printed that statement. They have offered to assist them to pay rent and occupy vacant stores in the Downtown.

What was the solution?  Unfortunately, once again residents/business people had to hire an attorney to get the attention of their own elected city officials.  The attached two letters are the two legal opinions of the hired attorney. (Note: you will need a PDF reader program to read the linked attachments)

What was requested? (1) Define Special Events as accurately “events” that exclude businesses and have limited frequency. (2) Reschedule the Artisan Market/ArtBridge and any other names they use to other than the 42 year Traditional ArtWalk Thursday night (3) Move the Artisan Market/ArtBridge off the Marshall Bridge and restore that as the Downtown trolley route for the enjoyment of our tourists and residents (4) Encourage the vendor to use clarity in advertisements that does not confuse their wares with the Fine Arts of the Art Galleries and other businesses in our downtown. (4) Do not issue  a “Special Events” permit for 2015-2016 for the Artisan Market/Southbridge business.

What  is next?  (1) Special Events Ordinance Update Public Sessions According to the city website, “roundtable community conversation” is scheduled Wednesday, October 21st  8 a.m. to 10 a.m. in the Design Center at 7506 E Indian School Road (looks like a church on the NE corner).  Additionally,.Thursday, October 22nd in two sessions—noon to 2 p.m. and again 5 to 7 p.m. Daytime is when merchants’ stores are open and the Thursday evening conflicts with the traditional ArtWalk so gallery owners probably won’t close up to attend the sessions—why this staff scheduling?

The “draft concepts” are being presented November 12th from 5 to 7 pm and again Friday the 13th from 8 am to 10 am. The DRAFT review is now scheduled for Tuesday, December 8th from 8 am to 10 am and 5 pm to 7 pm.  See details in this link: http://www.scottsdaleaz.gov/news/public-invited-to-comment-on-updates-to-special-events-ordinance_s4_p21655

(2) City Council Work Study Session On Tuesday, October 27th at 4 p.m.  the city council in a work study session will hear their council-appointed Tourism 5-Year Strategy Task Force presentation.  The Special Events Ordinance and other related issues will be discussed.   

 

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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