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Quiet August?  Not possible even though the Scottsdale city council is on summer break to August 30th and our city has NO Primary Election candidates. Hot issues persist along with the high temperatures.  Residents in the 93rd St/Cactus area keep a watchful eye on the proposed Wolf Spring Ranch and northern Scottsdale Road residents may be seeing lights from new sign towers in a shopping center.  For details see below.

 Most Talked About Issue: The Desert Discovery Center location inside the Scottsdale Sonoran Desert Preserve (per a city council majority directive to the architectural firm contract) continues to gain growing opposition.  Two websites and are published by Scottsdale residents opposed to the location and prospects of size, commercialization and funding source.  The DDC contracted group website is . They have a Frequently Asked Question section. Later this site should provide updates on their feasibility study and architectural planning progress. Please take time to review all three websites and compare the information provided. All have contact information if you want to communicate with them directly.

A Citizen Petition was presented to city council on 3 May 2016 by Howard Myers with hundreds of signatures. It petitioned the City Council TO PASS A RESOLUTION or TO SUBMIT TO THE VOTERS A CHANGE TO THE CHARTER that would require either of the following to occur ONLY WITH THE APPROVAL OF A PUBLIC VOTE:  “(1) Construction of anything in the Preserve, other than trails, minimal facilities required for trail heads used for trail access, and the land bridge over Dynamite Blvd. (2) Use of Preserve Tax Funds for anything other than land acquisition, the building of trails, minimal facilities required for trail heads used for trail access, and the land bridge over Dynamite Blvd.”

When the petition was submitted, Councilman Phillips made the motion to act on it and Councilwoman Littlefield seconded the motion. There was no discussion.  In a 4/3 vote, the council agreed to agendize for discussion and/or action in a future council meeting.  Councilwomen Klapp, Korte and Milhaven voted “no”.

Mayor Lane apparently supports the petition because to amend the City Charter is now a major promotion in his re-election campaign statements at recent forums.  The petition will be heard at a city council Work Study Session (no action vote) Monday, September 19, probably starting 5 pm. Only a limited number of the public are allowed to speak—usually five. If a council consensus directs the city clerk/city manager to add a Charter Amendment as a future agenda action item, and if it passes then, public vote could not occur until 2017 at the earliest.

Large lot and many acreage neighborhoods are disappearing in Scottsdale.  These have been a signature of Scottsdale and the equestrian life but are becoming just a memory as rezoning and “clustering” continues to be approved in new projects. Homeowners in Sweetwater Ranch Estates near 93rd Street in the eastern Cactus Corridor have been meeting since early spring with council members, in neighborhood meetings and with COGS. A developer, Empire, purchased one of the horse ranches and began presentations in April with a verbal plan for 76 homes on 14 buildable acres.  That was verbally reduced to 56 homes in following months. It is reported that they also purchased the two private schools on Cactus Road south of their original purchase.  Some neighborhood negotiations are continuing regarding streets and traffic plans. The case has not appeared on any public hearing commission agenda at this time. Stay tuned.

Summit Plaza Shopping Center application for two 25 ft. tall lighted sign towers. Case 322-DR-2016. Why such a big deal? Currently there are two 5 ft. tall scenic corridor monument signs on the property near Scottsdale Road and highly visible from Asher Hills Road to draw in shoppers.  These must be removed for approval of the new lighted sign towers that are planned to comply with all the Scenic Corridor deep roadway setback and ordinances. Previous shopping center owners have agreed that sign towers would be less visible because of vegetation and greater distance from Scottsdale Road.  It is unclear if any group has organized to communicate with the new owners. Friends of the Scenic Drive? Greater Pinnacle Peak Association? City contact is Andrew Chi 480 312 7828

Developer Open Houses: 73rd St/Butherus Drive Scottsdale Quarter area is a request to change development standards to allow Lennar Multifamily Community to develop a mixed use project. August 11th 6 pm at 15210 N Scottsdale Rd, suite 300  (in Kierland Commons above the Anthropologie Store)

The Reserve at Black Mountain seeks approval for a 24 single family homes on 35 acres of currently vacant land reducing the large lots from R 1-190 to R 1-43 zoning. Single gate access from 84th Street is proposed. August 17th 6 to 7 pm in the Foothills Academy Multipurpose Room 7191 E Ashler Hills Drive.

New Cases: 4341 N 75th Street -- Boondocks Patio & Grill  request for live entertainment Case 42-UP-2011#3 and  3425 N. 70th Street/SEC of Scottsdale Rd Case 3 ZN 2016 request zoning change to Downtown MultiUse from Highway Commercial.

Near Scottsdale Road and McDowell Road. The owner is requesting approval of the site plan, landscape plan, and building elevations for a new six story commercial office/retail building and expansion of existing parking garage on a 2 acre portion of the SkySong project, with Planned Community District (PCD) zoning, located at 1465 N. Scottsdale Road. CASE#34-DR-2016

 Near Scottsdale Road and Silverstone Drive. The owner is requesting approval of the building elevations for a new residential town home and duplex development on a 23 acre site with Multiple-family Residential (R-5) zoning, located at 7350 E. Silverstone Drive.CASE#35-DR-2016

 Near 70th Street and Earll Drive. The owner is requesting approval of variances to the City of Scottsdale Zoning Ordinance, Section 5.704.B.2 pertaining to relief from a restriction in building height to one (1) story adjacent to a single-family residential district, and Section 5.704.D.1 pertaining to building setback abutting a R-1 district with Medium Density Residential (R-3) zoning, for a property located at 3106 N. 70th Street. CASE#10-BA-201

ARE YOU IN AN HOME OWNERS’ ASSOCIATION (HOA)?  Check out this website as an excellent resource to answer your HOA questions and to understand your ownership rights. [no longer active]   Jill Schweitzer is the author 480 227 3441  or

   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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