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COGS AND THE POLITICAL SEASON: The Coalition of Greater Scottsdale is a 501 c (3) nonprofit all-volunteer organization. We sponsor a totally separate entity,  COGS Political Committee who interview candidates, attend available public forums, and make candidate endorsements.  All of the Scottsdale candidates have responded to the COGS PC questionnaire and it is available for your review on their website

As public service, COGS and the Community Council of Scottsdale co-host nonpartisan PUBLIC FORUMS for you to meet the six city council candidates. These are scheduled in September and October.  Details are available on our website.   

New state laws that affect Scottsdale. Short term rentals SB 1350 limited the ability of cities and towns to regulate private home vacation rentals such as a guest house, the entire home or a bedroom. The next Scottsdale city council agenda has a text amendment for our existing ordinance to become compatible with the new state law and to allow home rentals of less than one year. Some Scottsdale residents have guest houses that are rented for the winter season—previously a violation of Scottsdale ordinance (and many CC and Rs in home associations). It is now legal. The state law allows the residential zoned property to be short-term rented for single family use. Scottsdale could limit the use for non-residential purposes similar to the Town of Paradise Valley's zoning ordinance that does not allow commercial venue for weddings, luncheons, dinners, auctions, sales and similar events.  Some northern homeowners have complained to COGS that weekend parties have occurred too frequently in a vacant/short-term rented home in their desert subdivision creating excessive noise and litter.  We are told that owners of short-term rentals need a business sales tax license from the city and state and must collect the sales tax and Scottsdale’s bed tax.  Commercial is not allowed in most home association subdivisions and it needs to be clarified if their CC & Regulations preempt the state law.  Drone Law effective August 2016. Governor Ducey signed away any municipal ordinance that regulates the use of drones and  also removes any commercial regulations. The new law fails to protect privacy and to prohibit air trespassing above your home.   Drones may not take-off or land in public parks or preserves. For a nominal fee, all drones must be registered with the FAA.

Do you buy on the internet and meet the seller? Imagine being able to meet them in a Safe Zone/Police Department parking lot with multiple cameras recording for your protection. If you are still uncomfortable you can meet in the police lobby. The area can also be used as a safe location for families with visitation rights to make the custodial exchanges. This is in two clearly marked parking spaces at 6433 E. Lincoln Drive, Paradise Valley Police Department.

Los Arcos shopping mall morphs once again.  The planned 90% research and office and 10% retail and support with focus on “creativity, technology and innovation” called SkySong at the SE corner of Scottsdale Road and McDowell is adding a commercial hotel and restaurant near the SW corner of the 37.5 acre complex. Councilman Smith challenged the new land use as unfair property tax free competition with established Scottsdale hotels and nearby restaurants in southern Scottsdale. Of the entire 37.5 acres, Scottsdale residents are to receive 1.5 acres-- the location of which was not determined until the evening council vote.  Councilman Smith lobbied over the past year to claim the SE intersection corner of Scottsdale Rd/McDowell Rd for a park. The ASU Foundation plans 90 ft tall office buildings on that corner. Decision: The council majority approved to accept the 1.5 acres fronting McDowell Road that is burdened by a sublease, parking easement, SRP test well site and access easement in place since 1990. Councilwoman Milhaven stated, “…we can decide later what we‘re going to do with our acre and a half.”  

Downtown building height now approved for 96 ft. Many remember when downtown Scottsdale had a building height limit of 28 and 36 feet to maintain the unique community scale of Santa Fe, Taos, Carmel and other tourist destinations.  Recently the city council majority approved a text amendment to allow an additional 6 feet on a 90 ft. office building north of the Galleria and south of Camelback Road. That is the first of many to follow.  Fashion Square is requesting 150 feet for their future expansion plan. Pigeons will have to learn to fly higher to land on a roof in Scottsdale.

General Plan 2035 –A very important document that determines guidelines for future government policies that result in ordinances, zoning and other regulations as well as long-range planning to maintain our quality of life to 2035.  The first draft was voted down.  Another year of community input has honed important protections for Rural Neighborhoods and more carefully defined other policies that establish the special Character of Scottsdale.  Please become informed on the current draft by attending the public Open Houses on these dates and locations: August 30th 4 pm Work Study Session in city hall. No council vote but discussion on the draft. Public Open Houses—walk in between the hours of 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm Sept 6th ASU SkySong …Sept 7th Foothills Community Foundation Quail Room…Sept. 8th Copper Ridge School cafeteria.  Planning Commission starts 5 pm: Oct 5th Copper Ridge School cafeteria….October 26th city hall…..  City Council hearing starts 5 pm… December TBD.   The public vote has not been determined by council.  Details at  

Council agenda Tuesday, 30 August: 4 pm Work Study discussion on General Plan 2035 Consent Agenda (one vote on all) 16 liquor licenses, architectural design contract for fire station #616, $150K from bed tax to 2017 NCAA Final Four Championship held in Phoenix, $41,442 annual dues to Maricopa Association of Governments and authorization to bid for the acquisition of approx. 121 acres of State Trust Lands for the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. The auction is September 21st.

Council agenda Wednesday, 31 August:  5 pm Consent Agenda (one vote) AT&T tower permit for 55 ft. tall artificial palm tree at 15695 N 83rd Way inside Industrial Park District, new fire station #613 at 26380 N Hayden Road for master use plan, McIntosh easement abandonment request 20300 N. 124th St,  Paseo de las Flores to change single-family PCD zoning to Neighborhood Commercial PCD at 7300 N via Paseo del Sur, Christian Bros Automotive is requesting to eliminate ALL zoning stipulations from earlier case 44-Z-88 and request a Conditional Use Permit for vehicle repair on 1.33 acres at 11416 E Desert Cove Ave., for the Scottsdale Museum of the West a funds transfer of $119,372 bed tax funds to Capital Projects account for the newly arrived Hopi Ceramic collection and $380,628 for curation services, exhibition delivery, marketing and promotion. Regular Agenda (discuss each and vote separately) Medical marijuana text amendment to increase the separation from residential and school districts (and added protection for churches, day care and public parks)  from 500 ft to 2,640 ft. and between medical marijuana facilities from 1,320 ft to 2,640 ft.   The evening will end with nominations for vacancies on commissions.

   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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