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12/02/16

Last night’s city council study session was like watching a Woody Allen movie….disoriented, irrational concluding decision by the players and a long, incoherent lecture to the cameras by a lead actor.

City Council Dec 1:  Yes, difficult to believe; this city council threw the General Plan Task Force and 3 years of community work into the “waste basket” and directed staff to prepare the outdated 2001 General Plan plus two state mandated elements for voter ratification by 2018. At least they accepted the inclusion of  two elements the current community requested, “Arts, Culture & Creative Community” and “Healthy Community”.  

Comment: For residents to be appointed by a city council member to serve/volunteer on a Task Force has been an honor. Unfortunately, the majority of this city council made it clear in a vote last night (the usual 4-3) that a Task Force final product is NOT honored nor community input from the hundreds of residents and business owners.

Background: The General Plan 2035 Task Force members spent nearly two full years and a 1000 plus hours updating the 15 year old General Plan 2001 that sets Scottsdale policies and guidelines—supposedly for all city planning and operating decisions.  The state mandates that every 10 years Scottsdale must update and voters must approve the updated GP to meet the state law. To achieve this the Long Range Planning Department professionals held 2013 through 2016 youth and adult community visioning town halls, multiple public hearings and open houses, website and social media outreach plus recent postal cards to selected Rural Neighborhood property owners. Additionally, staff accepted any invitation to speak to small and large community groups. There is NO question that the citywide community had ample opportunity to comment, recommend and inquire and that the final draft presented to city council does represent the majority vision for our city’s future policies and guidelines.

Food for your Thought: As you compare our city of 2001 to today, are you supportive of the decisions that the current 2001 General Plan allowed such as changes to our cityscape and what your neighborhoods are experiencing?

Are you willing to lose these General Plan 2035 proposed updates:

  • Enhanced focus on community character issues, such as building height, land use transitions, buffers, scenic views, noise and light pollution, and contextual compatibility?

  • Enhanced emphasis on tourism, fiscal sustainability, open space, community health, arts and culture, and public safety?

  • Removal of ambiguous designations from the Land Use Map such as the northern Scottsdale’s floating, place-it-anywhere “resort star”, golf course, and open space circle designations?

  • Continued demise of our Rural Neighborhoods--equestrian lifestyle and large-lot luxury home sites?

  • New 20-year vision statement, current community values, and organization of the overall plan?

We invite you to view the video of the December 1st city council work study session and to listen carefully to the individual council member’s commentary. Check this weekend at the city website http://www.scottsdaleaz.gov/Assets/ScottsdaleAZ/Council/current-agendas-minutes/2016-agendas/120116WorkStudyAgenda.pdf  Interestingly Mayor Jim Lane stated that this a democracy but that the majority can’t overrun the minority and that more “stakeholders” need to be heard from.  Councilwoman Korte countered while gesturing to the Kiva audience, “These people are ALL stakeholders”.  Councilmen Smith and Phillips apologized to all the residents and Task Force members who contributed so many years and serious contributions to improve the existing 2001 General Plan.

Appropriate and timely question: If you have served on a previous council-appointed task force or special issue committee, how many of your group’s recommendations were implemented?

ALERT TO OUR NORTHERN SCOTTSDALE NEIGHBORS: The Outpost Conditional Use Permit (CUP) for the gas station is back. There is an open house on December 8th at 6 PM at the Copper Ridge 10101 Thompson Peak Road in the cafeteria.

Thank you for supporting our COGS E Newsletter. We are an all-volunteer 501 C (3) organization that celebrated its 10th year serving neighborhoods and small businesses. Our focus is on land use issues that impact your neighborhood and your city.  Contact us at any time if you need research or help in contacting city department.

   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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