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11/22/19 Newsletter

WOW ! This is one long newsletter, BUT IT IS LOADED WITH INFORMATION on city government decisions, upcoming events to enjoy and

Skip to the end of this newsletter  if you want to know WHY COGS formed? WHAT do the volunteers do? WHY the change to a 501 c (4) nonprofit status?  and importantly

HOW can you volunteer, too?

Will the new ordinance protect your home from this?
Is this the scene in your neighborhood?..minus the audio of Party Time noise?  Scottsdale now requires owners of short-term or vacation rentals to provide the city with emergency and complaint contact information including names, email addresses and phone numbers. Those not submitting the information may be cited for noncompliance and fined. These rentals may not be used for non-residential purposes such as restaurants, event centers, commercial business, etc. Owners of these properties can provide information here. Additionally, the state requires all short term vacation rentals to have a transaction privilege tax license and to list the license number in advertising. Get more information on how to get a license.
Scottsdale has the limit of 6 adults per rental and 2 adults per bedroom. Code Enforcement officers are searching online advertisements for STRs that are advertising for more occupants than allowed in city ordinance.

What are your AZ legislators doing to repeal SB 1350 that removed the authority of our city to control short term rentals? Consequences were not anticipated and some called the law a mistake. Two House Democrats are leading the effort to repeal a 2016 measure that stripped cities and towns of their ability to regulate short-term and vacation rentals. Governor Ducey states he will veto efforts. EMAIL your legislator to support the repeal

Arizona Legislature will host second of three meetings on short-term rentals. The public is invited to the Tuesday, Dec. 3, Joint Ad Hoc Committee to address impacts of these rentals. The meeting begins at 5 p.m. at 1700 W. Washington St. in the Senate Hearing Room 1. This meeting will focus on the clustering or abundance of short-term rentals in Arizona and the impacts they have on quality of life, housing availability and affordability, and employment--they don't mention a full night of sleep!


What happened about the Medical Marijuana Dispensary request to rezone and locate in Old Town
As reported in the last COGS E-Newsletter, local businessmen formed Old Town Alliance to oppose rezoning in their area south of the Galleria (Scottsdale Rd and Winfield Scott Plaza area) .  Sunday Goods, marijuana dispensary, wanted to locate in a couple of their buildings. Incredible drama followed. (1) legal threats from SG attorney delivered to our city attorney (2) Another threat from an AZ Representative, Cesar Chavez that he would withhold Scottsdale city revenues if it wasn't approved and (3) Legal Protest signed by surrounding property owners that forced a Super Majority council vote to approve the rezoning and not just a simple majority of 4 to 3.  Rose Law firm for SG requested a Continuance of the city council hearing "to work with city staff to identify any other locations...".  Council denied the Continuance.  Attorney, Jordan Rose was given the option for council to vote on the rezoning and conditional use permit--which they obviously were going to lose or to withdraw.  They chose to withdraw their application.  Result: no rezoning.  SG needs to find another location before their AZ license expires.

Bishop Lane and Second Street Proposed Project challenged by DRB commissioners

Strangely zoning case 9-ZN-2019 began seeking approvals at the Development Review Board (DRB) hearing this week and not the Planning Commission where projects may get stipulations (directed tweaks) THEN go to DRB for site, landscape, massing, setbacks and other architectural scrutiny. Commissioners challenged "why is this Land Case here when your project will forgo changes in the interim?" They determined that they could not make a decision so on a 3-3 vote it was "denied". The next vote was to Continue to another hearing date. The Bishop Lane project is meeting vigorous opposition from area property owners and some community groups. The request is for an 8 story building on 1.14 net acres. The building is consider massive for the small site. In this location near the Goldwater Blvd southern curve and east of the approved Museum Square and its156 ft hotel, street parking is at a premium. This project wants 199 one bedroom and studio units rather than the 77 units allowed with current zoning. A COGS Board member spoke at the DRB hearing and challenged, "What are the Public Benefits equal to or greater in value than the bonuses this project is requesting?"  Stay tuned for updates.

Dec 4th-- Major 5th Ave & Stetson project goes to city council.

The Southbridge II proposed project sailed through the Planning Commission on a 7 to 0 approval vote and is sent on to the city council for the December 4th, Wednesday 5 pm hearing in the Kiva (city hall). Multiple community supporters and individuals praised the complex project and the availability of the developer, Carter Unger of Spring Creek Development, to address community groups and individuals. Since that time nearby business groups have formed in opposition to the parking (meets current city requirements) and some of the requested building heights and setbacks near the AZ Canal. Portions of the project are allowed 84 ft height using the new Type 3 zoning category. Proposed height varies from 48 ft on 5th Avenue with a maximum of 150 feet requested with bonuses nearer to Scottsdale Road and Stetson. The project will include residential, hotel, office, retail and restaurants plus a public plaza for events and a year-a-round Farmers' Market. Go to  and search for Active Land Case 22-ZN-2018 for details.

Landscape Ordinance Amendment 3-TA-2019 includes new rules for Artificial Turf

If you have water-saving artificial turf in your residential yard, it is not affected by this proposed city restriction. If city council approves, commercial properties will have to get the okay through the Development Review Board to be allowed to have artificial turf visible from the street. Some small businesses would benefit from installing artificial turf on the land strips between the public sidewalk and their building---low maintenance, green all year (so no winter rye grass over-seeding ) and reduced water bills. Not every Scottsdale location looks "great" with desert landscape, particularly in Old Town where the green standard is set by all of our public grounds. Provide your comments to Greg Bloemberg at particularly your experience with artificial turf.


Help low-income seniors this holiday season by participating in the Via Linda Senior Center's grocery gift card drive. Donations of $35 grocery gift cards from Fry's Food Stores will be accepted throughout the month of November to provide Thanksgiving meals to seniors in need.
Donations can be dropped off or mailed to the Via Linda Senior Center, located at
10440 E. Via Linda, Scottsdale, AZ 85258. For more information, please call 480-312-5810.


Now to Jan 19th  Counter-Landscapes  SMoCA/Civic Center event featuring artist groups working in 20th century with inventive methods. While visiting checkout the of historical moments. Learn more
Saturday, Nov 23rd   Multiple family events

  • Day of the Dog 10 am to 4 pm and Sunday 11 am to 4 pm with 65 exhibitors, yoga with puppies, Running of the Bulls (French and English bulldogs), Puppy Stampede, Chihuahua races, Corgi races. It will use all of 2nd Street between Goldwater and Marshall Way near 3720 N Marshall Way. More Info

  • Annual ArtFest 10 am Contemporary Art and music on two stages in Civic Center and is pet friendly. More..

  • Old Town Farmers’ Market 3806 N Brown Ave 8 am to 1 pm More Info  
    Books 2 Boogie for children up to 5 yrs. old and their caregivers. Music, movement and song 10:30 to 11 am in Mustang Library 10101 N 90th St. 

  • Family Storytime for children to age 5 with caregivers for simple craft and Thanksgiving stories.  10:30 to 11 am. In Appaloosa Library 7377 E Silverstone Dr. 

Sunday, Nov 24th          

  • Story Stop for children to age 5 yrs. to build literacy with a free picture book program. 2 to 2:15 pm Civic Center Library 3839 N Drinkwater Blvd. 

  • Philharmonic free concert Haydn, Rossini and Sibelius performed by Scottsdale Philharmonic from 4 to 6 pm at La Casa de Cristo Lutheran Church 6300 E Bell Rd. $15 donation for VIP seating.

Monday, Nov 25th         

  • Twos and Threes Together Learn social and literacy skills for 2 and 3 yrs. old with short stories, finger-plays,  action rhymes in Appaloosa Library 7377 E Silverstone Dr.  11 to 11:30  am  

  • Spider Man movie 5 to 7 pm in auditorium of Civic Center Library 3839 N Drinkwater Blvd.

  • Need help with your E Reader?From 11 am to noon be in Arabian Library 10215 E McDowell Mtn Ranch Rd for help.

Tuesday, Nov 26th

  • City hosted Thanksgiving Luncheon $ 7 fee. Noon to 2 pm Via Linda Senior Center, 10440 E. Vía Linda, Scottsdale, AZ 85258

Friday, Nov 30th

  •    Scottsdazzle-HOLIDAY Sing-Along & Tree Lighting on the waterfront/AZ Canal  More Info

  • Artists 6TH annual Small Business Saturday 1 PM TO 8 PM in SMoCA (free admission) and Photos with Santa. First 50 children receive a free Santa gift.  Enjoy children’s art, reading, puppets, crafts, dancing and a tea party.

  • McCormick-Stillman RR Park Holiday Lights Tickets required for carousel ride, holiday train ride and Santa photos. , More..

  • New Scottsdale SkyFest & Balloon Glow weekend event with hot air balloon mass ascensions read more...

Sunday, Dec 1st 

  • Meet Carolyn Goldwater for tasting event 11 am to 3 pm in Museum of  the West. Holiday shop with 20% off on museum store purchases. Marshall Way south off  Main St     

Wednesday, Dec 4th       

  • 7th Annual Cure Corridor. Learn about the latest in Scottsdale's vigorous healthcare and bio-life science community. The event is from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. in the Embassy Suites by Hilton Scottsdale Resort, 5001 N. Scottsdale Road. This year's keynote speaker is Dr. Paul Laikind, Viactyte's chief executive officer. Cost is $50 per person. Learn more and register.  

Thursday, Dec 5th

  •  Documentary Video Art Festival in SMoCA/Civic Center free with RSVP

Saturday, Dec 7th            

  • Scottsdazzle-Canal Concerts 7PM Soleri Bridge & Plaza More Info
    Electronic Recyling…details in next COGS Newsletter
    Ultimate Play Date for kids to 8 yrs old. Interactive art, science, sports and building activities in Civic Center Library  Details to come.

 Thursday, Dec 12th         

  • Gold Palette Art Walk-Scottsdazzle 6:30 – 9 pm More Info

Friday, Dec 13th               

  • Coach House Toy Drive noon to 11:30 pm 7011 E Indian School Rd  More


The Story of COGS:

The beginning: In 2006, more than 80 active citizens, business owners, and merchants met on the second floor of Chaparral Suites. Our driving force was the need to have the voices of the residents and business owners heard at Scottsdale City Council meetings.  At that time (as now) City Council was rapidly changing this residential/tourist city into one of greater density and increased height - ignoring residents' vision of Scottsdale and negatively impacting the quality of life of our citizens.
Our first Board of Directors was elected in 2006-07. The mission statement reads: "Consistent land use policy and preservation of our unique quality of life."

To carry out this mission, COGS members have undertaken the following actions:

* Regular public speaker participation in City Council, Boards and Commission meetings.
* Membership on multiple city council-appointed Task Forces, Boards and Commissions
* Quarterly City Manager meetings which promote citizen supported positions.
* Consultations with developers on behalf of neighboring communities.
* Hosting and facilitating developer-neighborhood meetings for specific, proposed projects
* Guidance to HOAs on legal challenges to up-zoning, CCR and Bylaws updates
* Publishing the COGS E-Newsletter to alert on proposed zoning changes, to update on active land cases and to list city events and to encourage attendance with family and friends
* Survey of members on city issues and council candidate positions and support accordingly.
* Attend and participate with other citizen organizations such as the Community Council of Scottsdale
Our recent successes include:

  • Achieved reduced density in proposed new subdivisions in central and northern Scottsdale

  • Improved traffic flow site plans for new subdivisions through negotiations.
     Notified Code Enforcement of violations in multiple parts of the city with successful action.

  • Provided procedural guidance and support for a large residential area impacted by excessively loud outdoor concerts
    Successfully coordinated petition efforts on Prop 420 with the Protect Our Preserve group.

  • Assisted Old Town business owners with their Legal Protest of a proposed rezoning in their area

  • Attended city board and commission hearings in the Kiva (city hall)—spoke at the microphone advocating for residents’ positions on proposed projects and/or voicing the COGS position on city council decisions

  • Met with individual city council members on important city issues

  • Served as guest speakers in HOA and neighborhood meetings to explain the recent bond issues and to update on any city or private projects that will impact their area

  • Promoted the city’s bond election as volunteer speakers, distributors of materials and yard sign installers.Several members served on the Steering Committee.—all passed.

  • Scottsdale as a residential/tourist city is losing its uniqueness to be like Anytown USA.

  • Rural, large lot desert areas, are disappearing as a lifestyle option.

  • High-rise buildings in Old Town/Downtown and elsewhere are increasingly approved

  • Bonuses are granted to developers that allow greater density and greater height

  • Public Benefit must be of equal or higher value than any bonuses requested.

  • Established, citizen written Character Areas are being ignored as guidelines to protect unique areas of the city.

  • Support to appoint only Scottsdale residents to the newest General Plan 2001 update committee

  • Updates are needed (1) General Plan 2001 (2) Lower the decibel Noise Ordinance violation level to 45 dBa from the current 68 dBa (3) Increase required parking for new construction (4) Eliminate the phantom/in lieu parking credits earned by paying the city cash instead of providing the required physical parking spaces

How has the re-organization to a 501 c (4) nonprofit changed COGS?
With the recent COGS tax classification change from a 501 c (3) nonprofit, to 501 c (4) nonprofit, COGS can legally address Hot Issues with more vigor. We can publish, advertise and post our opinions on a wider variety of city government issues as well as city candidates. In 2020 COGS members will aggressively work toward electing more resident-friendly city council members for the three vacant seats. (Korte, Klapp and Phillips).
Our current General Plan is not controlling development as it is supposed to do because it is regularly being modified by City Council approvals.  For this to change, the new General Plan, currently being re-written, must not only define desired development, but must make it very difficult to change that citizens’ vision.   Look to COGS for more information on the General Plan and other topics at  With your support, we can control our destiny.

Become a member—go to our website.  Volunteer and share your expertise, energy and opinions. Dues are $35/year or become a Charter Member of the new 501 c (4) with a $500 one time dues.

­for The Coalition of Greater Scottsdale Board of Directors
Betty Janik, President

We sincerely thank you for taking your valuable time to read this lengthy COGS E Newsletter---particular the last section where we share information on our respected and active all-volunteer organization.



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