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07/23/18 Newsletter

Say goodbye to equestrian and rural neighborhoods in Scottsdale AZ


What is the community benefit to the rapid increase in city council approvals to re-zone our Rural Neighborhoods to increased density?  What happens to the property values of existing owners on large acreage lots when these new projects are granted less than one home per acre? To protect the washes, outcroppings and environmentally sensitive areas developers convince decision makers to let them cluster homes close together. Why not require them to request FEWER homes because of the unique environmental features? Why is the existing unique character of the area allowed to be altered rather then have it require acceptable and appropriate site planning? Property owners who want the maximum selling price on their large acreage parcel are not "entitled" to re-zoning. If a multi- acre parcel is purchased in a zoned R 1-70 , R 1-90 or R1-130 area, why should the expectation be that in Scottsdale it is no problem splitting into many more building sites than appropriate? Who considers the impact on existing area homeowners who invested years ago with the reasonable predictability that their large lot investment would be honored, safe and protected by its current zoning?
From every part of our city comes a new land case request (1 ) to  remove existing homes and build twice as many on the same plot of land--or add height with tall apartment and condo buildings (2) to change from residential to commercial adjacent to residential neighborhoods and/or  (3) to negatively impact our Scottsdale Scenic Corridor.
Worse yet is the roar of the bulldozer as it grinds over desert vegetation, crushes rocks and boulders and blocks natural animal migrations. The bulldozer in the image above bladed the pristine desert in the Reata Pass area on the former Cavalliere family holdings. Drive northward from Pinnacle Peak Park on North Alma School Road and wonder how many more years will we let this happen? 

EVENTS for your calendar:

Now: The Old West meets the New West in a new Western Spirit: Museum of the West exhibit.
Do you have a sense of humor? Chuckle while enjoying a contemporary twist on Western icons.  The title is Western Edge: Humor and Playfulness in Contemporary Western Art.” Fanciful paintings and bronzes portray Frida Kahlo viewing an artwork by Picasso, a horse working out with an exercise ball, and the iconic road trip — with people and animals at the wheel. The exhibit is in the Derek Earle Emergence Gallery and was developed as a collaborative juried exhibition with the Scottsdale Gallery Association. Artists featured in this exhibition include both emerging and established artists submitted by local galleries, and artwork on display may be purchased by contacting the Scottsdale Arts District gallery associated with each artwork. 
Thursday, July 26th The Community Council of Scottsdale will host Scottsdale School District Interim Superintendent, Dr John Kreikard and some current administrative staff members to provide updates and to have a dialogue with the community. The meeting will begin earlier then usual—6 pm in the Granite Reef Senior Center cafeteria (room 1) to 8:30 pm. This is on the free trolley route.  If you are driving it is just north of McDowell Road at 1700 N. Granite Reef Road.

Saturday, July 28th National Day of the Cowboy with special live play reading performances of “The Rattlesnakes’ Kiss” is at 1 pm in the Museum of the West theater. There is a kids’ in-gallery Scavenger Hunt—yes all ages can play!  Remember the day with an Instagram/cell phone photo to send family and friends of you standing in the 3-D setting with the horse, waterfall and covered wagon.  Check our social media with #nationaldayofthecowboy.

By mid to late August officials will certify or not that the citizens' signature collection was sufficient to put the McDowell Sonoran Preserve charter amendment on the ballot. If the minimum of valid Scottsdale registered voter signatures are achieved a ballot number will be assigned for the November General Election. At this time a random sample method is being used to determine the approximate percentage of the 37,000 plus signatures that are acceptable--rather than evaluating each signature.



The trend this year are extra thick and bold Name-Only signage. The battle seems to be the size of lettering for the candidate’s name. With the 32 sq ft intersection size limit, shapes and colors are being used to attract your attention.  What these “billboards” lack is the message WHY we should vote for him/her.
Re-elect Scottsdale Councilman David Smith street signs are missing because his policy is to limit to smaller residential private homeowner’s yards and not to clutter the public thoroughfares. This might be a smart move because former Councilman Ron McCullagh won re-election with this policy.
   State law allows candidate and ballot measure signs to be street side from June 29th to November 21st
. even though  Scottsdale has no August 28th city council Primary Election. Other candidates who lose in their August Primary Election must remove signs within 15 days after the Primary—so temporarily reducing the clutter. (Do we hear a cheer?)

Scottsdale has declared two NO SIGN ZONES—our Old Town tourist area and one northern Scottsdale. The total area of those zones cannot be larger than three square miles, and each zone must be identified as a specific contiguous area where, by resolution of the municipal governing body, the municipality has determined that based on a predominance of commercial tourism, resort and hotel uses within the zone the placement of political signs within the rights-of-way in the zone will detract from the scenic and aesthetic appeal of the area within the zone and deter its appeal to tourists. Not more than two zones may be identified within a municipality.

An additional plea is from the Friends of the Scenic Corridor (northern Scottsdale Road) to NOT put political signs there.  Unfortunately most of the western side belongs to Phoenix.

Windstorms and rain damage maintenance is the responsibility of the candidate or political committee. According to our City Clerk, “Unless the sign constitutes an emergency, any political sign that does not comply with state law can be removed by the folks in code enforcement after giving proper notice as outlined in ARS 16-1019.  Non-conforming sign complaints may be referred to Scottsdale’s Code Enforcement Hotline:  480-312-2546.".

Old Town/Downtown has a new Marketing Professional

Jackie Contaldo is the newest member of Scottsdale’s Tourism & Events Department.. She is a seasoned marketing professional with more than 12 years’ experience serving tourism, state and local governments and community organizations. Most recently she led the marketing and advertising initiatives for the Arizona Office of Tourism as the account supervisor for Off Madison Avenue. As the city’s downtown specialist, Her focus will be merchant services, marketing and developing promotions and Old Town special events. The Tourism & Events Department is scheduling meetings with Old Town associations for July and August to introduce Jackie and discuss upcoming plans.

Scottsdale Public Art featured in Wall Street Journal article

The Wall Street Journal recently published a piece on temporary public art initiatives, prominently featuring Scottsdale’s Public Art program and Canal Convergence. Scottsdale Public Art Director Kim Curry-Evans was interviewed for the article and two photos featured Scottsdale temporary art. Scottsdale was in good company with other cities featured including New York and Santa Fe. To view the article, Google search Wall Street Journal "temporary public art".


Old Town Scottsdale parking management enhancement program 

Visitors to certain areas of Old Town will soon be able to find on-street parking spaces using Parker™ by Streetline, a mobile app for iPhone and Android smartphones. The Streetline system will allow merchants to publish available parking near their location on their websites and encourage more customers to visit their stores. The city will receive detailed analytics to help it learn more about parking behavior and needs in the area. The pilot program includes 834 sensors that will be installed in on-street parking spaces in the northeast quadrant of Old Town Scottsdale (Scottsdale Road east to 75th Street between Indian School Road and Camelback Road). Curious about this installation? Watch this three-minute YouTube video that demonstrates the installation process. A detailed installation plan map, along with install dates per block, can be viewed online by visiting and searching "Parking Management Installation."  


Old Town maintenance update

During July, the city will provide standard maintenance operations, including: installing new sod sections on the Waterfront; painting lids of trash cans in Historic Old Town; planter maintenance; tree and shrub trimming; turf fertilization; and weed abatement.



Is your business or organization an environmental leader? The City of Scottsdale wants to honor your exemplary achievements. The Environmental Quality Advisory Board is accepting nominations for its next Environmental Achievement Recognition Award. The award honors excellence in areas such as resource conservation, waste reduction and drought mitigation. Eligible candidates include businesses, associations and organizations located in Scottsdale. Learn more about the award program and nominate a worthy candidate here.


View a map with information on active and completed Old Town development projects and locations.

4419 N Scottsdale Road.  The new Galleria Office building now called Marquee on the SE corner of Scottsdale Road and Shoeman Lane was approved in 2017 for a bonus of 96 feet in height.  Because of the additional building height approved by the July city council vote for this area and others in the Old Town, 150 feet is allowed, so, of course this developer is now requesting an increase of two more floorsIf approved the building will be 120 feet tall. COGS attended the builder's open house in the W Hotel (which he also owns) and was told they have no additional requirements for parking with the additional floors requested.  Case 475-PA-201

Lone Mountain Storage Case 239-PA-2018 and 2-GP-2018 at the  NW corner Scottsdale Rd and Lone Mountain forges ahead through city channels. Public hearings are Thurs. Sept. 13, Oct. 3rd, Oct 24th, and the finale at city council either October 11th or 12th. The first two are in Copper Ridge School cafeteria and the last two are in city hall, all beginning at 5 pm. The first public meeting was boisterous with area neighbors opposing a commercial use next to their equestrian, rural character area. See the description in the previous COGS E Newsletter at our website

Camelot Homes has two residential projects on their want-to-do-list. (1) SW corner Bronco Trail and Pima Road where they want to plan 13 one story homes of 4200 to 6,000 sq ft valued above $1.8 million. If approved, they will use the same models as built at White Horse just south of Pinnacle Peak Road east of Pima Road. The problem for Camelot is they are seeking to rezone the existing 19 acres now zoned R 1-70 that only allows 12 homes. Attending neighbors strongly opposed rezoning to the higher density R 1-43 (one home per acre) and stated they would support the 13th lots if the project stops trying to rezone.  Case 951-PA-2017     Get further updates from city planner, Jeff Barnes 480 312 2376

(2) East of Scottsdale Road and south of Jenan  was the focus of several neighborhood meetings amid strong opposition. Camelot Homes wants to remove 3 homes and build a much higher density of 17 small-lot units in this established large lot neighborhood. The area homeowners cite that the proposed change will have a negative impact on their Character Area and home values.  According to one area homeowner, “Camelot has threatened to build all two-story homes with guest houses right on all the property lines (which zoning doesn’t allow) if the neighborhood does not go along with the switch from R-1-35 to R1-10.” 


NEW June and July LAND CASES--Do any impact you?

Northern Scottsdale

  • [Crossroads East] Mark--Taylor request for a zoning district map amendment to transfer 10 acres from Commercial Office zoning to R-5 (residential) for a 30 acre site on the NW corner of Hayden Rd and Princess Blvd alignment. Case 19-ZN-2002 #7
  • 10299 E White Feather Lane, Tract V, Troon North  the owner has requested approval of a stipulation modification to remove the Natural Area Open Space (NAOS) requirement on a 0.70 acre site with Resort/Townhouse Residential, Environmentally Sensitive Lands (R-4R/ESL) zoning. Case 10-PP-2015 #2
  • SE corner 92nd Street and E Union Hills Drive "Artisan Legacy/Union Hills 5  request to approve a preliminary plat for 5 residential lot subdivision on 3.13 acre site for single-family residential, Planned Community Development & Planned Neighborhood Center, (R1.7/PCD) Case 9-PP-2018
  • 8399 E. Hartford Drive NE Corner Bell Road and 82nd Street propose a "clean, modern aesthetic" overall design using metal panels and integral mechanical screen for a multi-tenant spec office building.. Case 284 PA 2018
  • 7000 E. Shea Blvd  "7000 Shea" new roofing and exterior materials plus paint colors and an updated courtyard landscaping are in plans for the 8.7 acre complex

Southern Scottsdale

  • 1516 N. Hayden Rd McDonald's request to remodel the existing building Case 28-DR--2018
  • 7107 E Main Street on corner with Marshall Way building remodel and the addition of a new 3 story mixed use 4880 sq ft commercial building with garage is planned  Case 24-DR-2018 and 65-PA-2017
  • 3107 N. 70th Street "Earl 6" request to approve the site and landscape plan and elevation of new medium density residential zoning Case 29-DR-2018
  • 2012 N Scottsdale Rd Dutch Bros Coffee  near Palm Lane...request to approve of a site and landscape plan and building elevations for a new coffee shop and drive-thru with Highway Commercial (C-3) Case 120-PA-2018

City Council returns from their summer break in August.

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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