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1/29/18 Newsletter

January-February Issues and Discussions

Lime and green bikes throughout the Downtown area. The city has no ordinance to govern rental bikes. Three companies were issued business and tax licenses to place their dockless rental bikes throughout the downtown area. The city has no money in this adventure. In Phoenix and Tempe the bikes are returned to bike stands that lock. The Scottsdale trial bikes lock at the wheel when the rider is finished with it. Anyone can walk up, use their credit card and ride off with that unused bike and leave it at another location. Our Transportation Department reports that there have been 55,000 miles ridden since December 2017—the most usage anywhere in the USA.. The bike companies stated at a recent city meeting that they have all bikes on GPS and will re-locate errant bikes or reduce the numbers in a specific area. They have agreed not to cluster-park in Old Town Scottsdale thereby reducing the ability of pedestrians to walk those narrow sidewalks and to enter shops.  Call the number on the rental bike if it is a problem in your neighborhood. The company promised to remove it.
Downtown Scottsdale received a new marketing name: Old Town Scottsdale.  What, hasn’t it always been? For years some locals, valley shoppers and tourists have not understood that “Old Town” is really the original town near Brown Avenue and Main Street from Indian School Road south to 2nd Street and on the eastern side of Scottsdale Road.  Advertisements for the bar and nightclub district and some retails shops have claimed to be in “Old Town Scottsdale”.  The Tourism & Events Department research led to the decision to embrace the public perception of a larger area being Old Town hence the new logo and moniker for the entire Downtown overlay area.  Marketing will now target the uniqueness of all the districts (Arts, 5th Ave-Stetson, Entertainment and Original Old Town) under one budget focus.
       Sober homes VS Care Homes City council passed 6-1 (Smith) a group home text amendment to address various types of care and group homes in residential zoned areas.  The Fair Housing Act makes it unlawful to deny or discourage housing options.  Persons with disabilities have mental or physical impairment which substantially limit one or more life activities. Alcohol and drug addictions are federally defined as “disability”. Therefore the city cannot fully respond to Scottsdale residents’ complaints about the increased number of “sober homes” in their single-family, residential neighborhoods. A summary of the approved amendment: (1) greater separation and more oversight (2) maximum 10 disabled residents (3) 2 residential staff (4) increased separation to 1200 ft from other group homes (5) additional oversight with proof of state license (6) annual fire department safety inspection (7) provide “disability accommodation” that would allow for flexibility when warranted.  (8) homes with up to 10 adults and 2 residential staff with supervision or care are subject to Care Home criteria (9) homes with more than 6 adults without supervision or care are group homes and must be located in multi-family districts. Read details on the city website Case 2-TA-2017.
Protect Our Preserve Political Action Committee has volunteers throughout the city collecting Scottsdale registered voter signatures at city libraries and parks and door-to-door. The goal is 25,000 signatures to have a November ballot measure that requires a public vote on (1) construction in the Scottsdale McDowell Sonoran Preserve other than trail heads and trails and (2) any use of the Preserve Fund other than for trail heads, trails and land acquisition.

Desert Edge/previously the Desert Discovery Center, has been directed by the city council to investigate locations outside the Preserve boundaries for their tourist attraction until the residents’ signature drive results are officially recorded.

Experience Scottsdale/previously the Scottsdale Convention and Visitors’ Bureau, has been the focus of complaints to city council and in the local newspapers for paying salaries double the amount that Scottsdale pays the city manager (2700 employees) and city treasurer (billion dollar budget). ES reportedly has 41 employees and receives approximately $9 million per year through the city to market Scottsdale.

Traffic signal changes at some major intersections. The previous rule that Scottsdale left turn signals lag AFTER the forward traffic is no longer happening at some major intersections. The Intelligent Traffic System has obviously surprised many drivers at Thomas/Hayden….90th Street/Mountain View and other locations at different times of the day per reports from our COGS E-Newsletter readers.  Be cautious and count to 3 before entering any intersection.  It is also winter visitor season and they may expect different signal patterns.

Smart Parking Services will be tested in the NE quadrant of downtown according to the Economic Development Department. Sensors will be installed in 51 parking space locations. As you drive your Smartphone can alert you to an open parking space. The future may allow you to identify the store or art gallery you wish to visit/shop and you will be alerted on your cellular the closest available space.  Additionally, that store or gallery might send out “sale” or “special artist today” or other message to you to encourage you to stop in.

The Downtown free trolley will no longer use the Marshall Bridge over the Arizona Canal after April 1st. There was no explanation for this route change. We suspect that it will be blocked for more frequent special events.

"Old Town" is now all of downtown 2018


6801 E Camelback Rd Optima Sonoran Village has requested to abandon the 10 ft right of way easement along the southern property line. Hearing is Feb 20th 5 pm in city hall. Case 3-AB-2010 #2
8340 & 8350 E McDonald Drive  Hudson East new condominium project has requested approval of its site and landscape plan for the new 2-story. Case 8-DR-2018.
7300 E Camelback Rd  Edition Hotel Scottsdale request for approval of site and landscape plan and building elevations for new hotel on 6.5 acres. Case 6-DR-2018.
4140 N Miller Rd   Verizon request for new Type 3 wireless communication facility on a replacement parking lot light pole. Case 1-DR-2018
8225 E Indian Bend Rd Wolff Scottsdale Senior Living request to approve site and landscape plan plus building elevations for a new mixed use development on 6.17 acres.  This would be near to the new city fire station. Case 48-DR-2017
7225 E Dove Valley Rd   Scottsdale Heights request approval for preliminary plat for a 54 lot residential subdivision on 13.3 aces Case 1-PP-2018
SW corner North 91st Street and Happy Valley Rd  request to rezone from R1-190 ESL to R1-43 ESL for a 17 lot subdivision on approx. 20 acres. Case 24-ZN-2017
16001 N Scottsdale Rd La Via/Planned Shared Development condos  the applicant is requesting a text amendment related to condos and/or timeshares. Case 7-TA-2017. Planning Commission heard this case 1.24.2018.  Now it goes to city council hearing.
12440 E Mountain View Rd Windsor Estates request approval to divide one lot into two lots on a 3 acre single family site with R 1-43 zoning. Case 1-MD-2018
3703 N 69th St Lounge Grocery Café want a zoning change from Multi-family Residential (R-5 DO) to Type 2 Multi-use (D/DMY-2DO) on a .557 acre. Hearing is Feb 20 th 5pm in Kiva/City Hall  Case 19-ZN-2017
17300 N Perimeter Drive   17 Three Hundred requests site and landscape plan and building elevation approval for new office development on 2.386 acres with Industrial Park, Planned Community District zoning. Case 7-DR-2018
                                  LAND USE DECISIONS BY COUNCIL
8738 E Dynamite Blvd  The Outpost new gas station Conditional Use Permit was approved in a 5 to 2 (Littlefield and Phillips) city council vote. The exterior appearance shown at the hearing had changed from the original application.  Case 11-UP-2016
13400 E Rio Verde (Fraesfield Trailhead) and 31402 N 136th St (Granite Mountain Trailhead) site and landscape plans and building elevations in the Preserve were approved 7-0.  Cases 3-DR-2018 and 4-DR-2018
Help Needed--The Parada Committee needs volunteers for multiple tasks including the parade setup and crowd control as well as help with the Trails End in the Original Old Town area. Offer your skills to  for the February 10th, Saturday event.
 Special Performances to Enjoy
 Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts

  • Tuesday, 30 Jan 7 PM “Back to Burgundy”…Talk cinema No. 6
  • Wednesday, 31 Jan 7:30 pm “The Manhattan Transfer” …vocal group

Museum of the West Events

  • Thursday, Feb 1 at 7 pm Documentary film “Fire and Water: Restoring AZ Forests”
  • Saturday, Feb 3 at 11 am “American West in Film and TV—Wrecks and Effects—the Stuntman”

Western Week  February 3 to 11th 

  • Saturday, Feb 3rd 11 am to noon Early western film making and stunt man skills Museum of the West 3830 North Marshall Way (south of Main Street in Arts District)
  • Thursday, Feb 8thFREE  Spirit Gold Palette ArtWalk 6:30 pm to 9 pm Stroll the galleries along Main Street and Marshall Way. Watch live mariachi performances, rope trick artist and live western art demonstrations, line and square dancing, walking historical tours and take a carriage rides.
  • Friday, Feb 9th from 11 am to noon Watch the galloping Hashknife Pony Express Mail Delivery and join the Community Celebration in front of the Museum of the West 3830 N Marshall Way.
  • Friday February 9, the Museum of the West entry is FREE but a $5 donation would be welcome. Discover our rich western heritage featuring saddles, spurs, handcuffs, old movie clips, western movie theater posters, Hopi pottery masterworks, Western fine art and much more.
  • Saturday, Feb 10th 8 am to 1 pm Old Town Farmers’ Market at Brown Ave and 1st Street . Fresh produce, flowers, free-range beef, local cheeses, artisan breads, jams and more.
  • Saturday Feb 10th 10 am to noon. Parada del Sol (parade) If they repeat the 2017 route it will be southward on Scottsdale Road from Drinkwater Blvd then west on 1st Ave to the Museum of the West then east on 2nd Street to Brown Avenue. Theme: “Scottsdale—Past, Present and Future”
  • Saturday Feb 10th noon to 4 pm Trails End Festival Historic Old Town Brown Avenue and Main Street will be active with food booths, family activities, live western music,, Aztec and Folklorico dancers, 1959 Howdy Dudettes, street entertainment, wine garden and kids’ Cowboy Zone. Details at
  • Saturday, Feb 10th noon to 6 pm and Sunday noon to 4 pm in Civic Center.  Experience the Arizona Indian Festival Celebrate Native American culture and ancestral traditions. Historic dwellings, art demonstrations, storytelling, musical performances, artisan market, Tribal and Tourism Expo, fry bread stands, giveaways, raffles and kids’ activities. Details
    Sunday, February 11th 1 pm to 2 pm “The Last Buffalo”—a Smithsonian Channel film that describes the late 1800s bison population of nearly 30 million decimated to a few hundred in 100 years and why...Museum of the West 3830 N Marshall Way. FREE to members

Scottsdale’s 63rd year Arabian Horse Show-- 10 day event
Beginning February, Monday the 15th through Sunday the 25th. Do you remember when the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show was at Paradise Park on 150 acres behind white rail fences on the northern side of Bell Road? The amazing show is now held at Westworld in Scottsdale with the growth from 50 horses to nearly 2400 horses. It brings top owners, trainers and breeders from around the world competing for a chance to win.  A win at the Scottsdale show can mean big money in the breeding barns. The multiple indoor and outdoor arenas provide a variety of horsemanship for the spectator.  Don’t miss the fancy stable-barn stroll!  WestWorld is located at 16601 N Pima Road—Go east of the 101 freeway on Bell Road and turn south at the Parking signs. Details  Yes, some of those Arabians are flown to Arizona in their custom airplanes!

In March before our winter visitors leave as their home snow melts don't miss this:
48th Scottsdale Arts Festival  March 9 to 11th…performing and culinary arts in Civic Center

COGS -The Coalition of Greater Scottsdale announcements:
(1) Skip your expensive brew one morning and renew your 2018 COGS membership with the $10 annual dues. Go to our website and use the handy PayPal.
(2) This is a city council election year. If you are a COGS member, volunteer now for the COGS Political Committee. They will evaluate candidates and determine if-and-who the COGS PC will support. 
Thank you for taking your time to read the COGS E Newsletter. Previous newsletters and our COGS positions on city issues are found on our website



Thank you for taking your valuable time to read the COGS E-Newsletter and to be an informed resident. Feel free to forward to your HOA neighbors or friends. Our help and support are totally free--might charge you a smile and thank you though.   


Sonnie Kirtley, COGS Chair 



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