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09/14/20 Newsletter

What has happened in Scottsdale while you've been sheltered?

Countdown to the November 3 General Election
ALL the questions you have about how to, where to and many other answers are available
at this website:
  • Monday, October 5th is the last day to register to vote
  • Wednesday, Oct 7th Early ballots are mailed out and walk-in voting is available at designated locations
  • Friday, Oct. 23 Last day to request a ballot in the mail
  • Saturday, Oct 24 Weekend voting is available
  • Oct 28th LAST DAY SUGGESTED TO MAIL IN YOUR BALLOT. The county must receive it BY Tuesday the 3rd before polls close regardless of the postmark.
  • Go to Maricopa County website for ballot drop-off locations at


COGS-Coalition of Greater Scottsdale—has endorsed two candidates for city council and strongly encourages you to vote for Betty Janik and Tom Durham.  We need 2021 council members who not only LISTEN to our residents and business owners but who VOTE to support them.    We have no recommendation for the remaining two mayoral candidates.


Every 10 years the USA counts ALL people living within its borders. Because Pres. Trump has cut the census timeline one month shorter, everyone needs to hurry and fill out the form. Do not hide!  Arizona’s population growth entitles us to more US Congressional seats IF YOU GET COUNTED.  It is quick, easy, and not invasive of your private information.  By law, the Census Bureau cannot release any identifiable information about you, your home, or your business, even to law enforcement agencies.  That is protected under Title 13 of the U.S. Code.
 Click on this link and take the quick minutes to complete in the privacy of your home. Census 2020  Thanks for caring about Arizona and Scottsdale---we receive federal funds based on our census population! Do it NOW.


#1 Greenbelt 88 project at the SW corner of Hayden Rd and Osborn (Uncle Sal’s, Office Max, Mail Stop, dance studio, salon, etc.)  The application has not been submitted to the city yet—perhaps next week. JOIN the ZOOM Open House hosted by the developer’s team this evening, Monday 14 September 5:30 pm. Enter the ZOOM waiting room by 5:20 pm latest.

#2 Seventh Day Adventist Re-zoning to be heard at Planning Commission Sept 23rd 5 pm. Case 14-ZN-2019 and 5-TA-2019 and 4-GP-2019
The approx. 75 acres at Sutton Drive & Scottsdale Road (just south of Thunderbird) has a long history including WWII pilot training, furniture manufacturing, airport businesses and their own runway access to the city’s AirPark which was once the church’s land. Today they request a rezoning from the current Single Family Residential (R-1-35) and Industrial Park (I-1) to a multiple zoning to accommodate Airpark businesses and employment and added residential units while rebuilding and keeping the church school and dormitories. Their request includes a non-major General Plan Amendment.

#3 Why can’t the public attend and speak at our city council meetings when other cities are open meetings?
Councilwoman Kathy Littlefield has explained that because of the limited and circular size of our Kiva (city hall), the required distancing is not possible. Currently the city council occupies the main floor seated at separated desks to achieve their distancing.  Only city staff and the project applicant’s team are allowed into the room and to speak at the microphone. Options considered is to place the public in another city building nearby and have him/her escorted into the Kiva to speak on that agenda item. Frustrating?  YES!  The public can send e mail or telephone messages prior to the meeting to be included in the council packet. That is certainly not as effective as being face-to-face with our city council and to be commensurate with the applicant’s time at the microphone.

#4 The established and designated city equestrian trails in northern Scottsdale are often easements that cross private land.  If this applies to your property, check with your Home Association to find out if they or YOU are supposed to do the maintenance. If there is no HOA in your area, then you are responsible to clear the brush and debris to keep the trail open. You cannot block these trails. Additionally, can you be held legally liable for accidents on your easement trail?

#5 Scottsdale Candidates are supposed to run as NONpartisan candidates and not represent any established national political party. This past week Guy Phillips signs have attached a yellow and black banner declaring to VOTE XXXXXX.  Lamar Whitmar has sent out a negative political party postcard on mayoral candidate Ortega as a ploy to boost the mayoral candidate he works for.

What decisions has your government made recently?

Approved 7-0     City Council decision     Civic Center Project $1.18 million contract was awatrded Phoenix-based Ritoch-Powell and Associates Inc. The 2019 voter-approved bond project includes work for an area of city-owned property between Brown Avenue and 75th Street in the Old Town Scottsdale area where the Kiva (city hall), Civic Center Library,  Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts; Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, AZ/88 restaurant  and several other properties, open space and parking are west to Brown Avenue. The agreement will produce preliminary design documents for this project, dovetailing with the 2018 City Council-approved municipal-use master site plan. Public open house displays will occur in 2021-22.

Approved 4-3 City Council decision (recommended approval by both the Planning Commissioners and Development Review Board)-- A new 54-unit multifamily residential proposed at the intersection of Indian School Road and 68th street next to the SRP corner property is called Canalside. Councilmember and public opposition centered on the potential of guests and residents parking on public streets and the high density on the small 1.17 acre. The building height is 54 feet on the AZ Canal.

Approved 7-0 City Council decision (recommended approval by the Development Review Board) Sereno Canyon four replats will maintain the original 33 resort units, while adding 36 additional units to the 127.62-acre portion of the 350-acre site. The increase brings the subdivision to 187 resort lots with 112 unidentified lots still in the planning. Overall, the development can have up to 397 units across the 350 acres with a breakdown of 44 original estate lots, 54 resort villas and 299 undetermined housing units. The overall site is located at the NW corner of Pinnacle Peak Road and 124th Street. The approved case is just north of our Scottsdale McDowell Sonoran Preserve.

Approved 7-0 City Council decision Imposition of Curfew Assistance Grant in the amount of up to $1,500,000 from the Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs for civil unrest assistance. A budget transfer equal to the actual FY 2019/20 eligible expenses in the amount of $994,958 from the FY 2019/20 Future Grants Budget and/or Grant Contingency Budget to the cost center created to record the related grant activity. A budget transfer equal to the remaining amount of the grant award for FY 2020/21 expenses in the amount of $505,042 from the FY 2020/21.

Approved 7-0 City Council decision An extension has been provided to ARC Scottsdale Holdings — the entity behind the approved Museum Square development in Old Town Scottsdale — to accommodate delays in financing commitments. The extension is the fifth amendment to a Loloma Lands purchase and sale agreement between the City of Scottsdale and ARC. The extension of the purchase and sale agreement moves the closing date to Nov. 12, 2021, because of national and global financial market uncertainties caused from the COVID-19 pandemic. The close date was last Friday, Sept. 11.

Approved 7-0 City Council decision (recommended by the Tourism Development Commission) Authorized a two-year event funding agreement with Grayhawk Golf Club up to $150,000 for the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Division 1 golf national championship. In addition to the event agreement, the City Council authorized a $75,000 transfer to the tourism and events department operating budget. The NCAA golf championships originally were scheduled for three years at Grayhawk Golf Club, but because of COVID-19, this year’s tournament was canceled. The 2021 NCAA golf tournament will take place May 21 through June 2, 2021 The two-week tournament will feature 30 men's teams and 24 women's teams from around the country and tournament attendance is estimated 5,000 to 6,000 people plus Golf Channel TV coverage.

Did you notice this remodel?  Yes, it is a Starbucks replacing the old Shushi J’s in the Miller/Camelback shopping center.


Our city is composed of housing options, a variety of lots/acreage sizes, different amounts of open space, and a variety of purpose and amenities within those boundaries.  Many years ago, hundreds of residents volunteered to vision their neighborhood area and to set guidelines for future city planning. The Development Review Board and Planning Commissioners and City Council members are SUPPOSED to support and activate those guidelines in their decisions.  Check out this link to see if you live in one of the completed and approved Character Areas.

Character Area Plans

CITY PUBLIC OPENINGS   COVID-19 restrictions will be applied--masks and social distancing/seating.

Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts .  First performance will be Saturday, September 26th. Check their website at  performance details and hours in the lobby, store and box office. .
Scottsdale Arts will be implementing new facility hours starting Tuesday, Sept. 29.

Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA) Need homeschool help?

It is called Alt+Shift and is a new virtual school program for students. It includes a virtual field trip to enable students to “travel” beyond familiar spaces to the visually-enriching learning environment of the museum. It will include close observation of artworks, interactive discussion, and a lesson plan for teachers along with drawing, writing, and reflecting activities for students to complete in the classroom or at home. Visit Scottsdale Arts Learning & Innovation's blog post on Spark to learn more about upcoming Alt+Shift programs
ZOOM Virtual Talk  The Art of Mindfulness, Creating Peace Within is  Saturday, September 14th at 4 pm.  Buddhist monk, Gen Kelsang Tabkay, joins us for another Art of Mindfulness event—virtually. Through a talk and guided mediation, Tabkay will explain how we can use meditation to deepen our wisdom and inner peace. Learn more

               WOOF    WOOF

Scottsdale has been ranked #21 in the top dog-friendly cities nationwide by Incredibly, Tuscon is #1. A couple of factors helped us such as our 111 dog-friendly restaurants and 17 dog-friendly shopping centers.  See all the USA city rankings at this link


Check out the 125 career and technical education programs at your local Scottsdale Community College. or call 480 423 6700 for more information.


Our Scottsdale marketing firm has some great resources to occupy all ages. This website has a child activity book, adult activity book, city walking or driving “trails” specifically for wine, beer, camera buffs, different types of food, and different types of experiences.  Details at 


Your COGS volunteer team has not slowed down from being your watchdog on current land cases and city issues. We are currently working with neighborhood leaders and residents on cases in southern, central, and northern Scottsdale. The number of ZOOM conferences is astounding but manageable. The disappointment is not attending the commission, board, and council hearings in person to speak at the microphone on behalf of our residents and small business owners/merchants. We submit COGS Position documents and make private phone calls to the staff, commissioners, and some city council members. We also continue to contribute to our favorite charity, Scottsdale Neighborhood Arts Place (SNAP)—an amazing program of art, music and dance for all ages.  Check them out at

COGS Volunteer Standing Committees will organize and kick into action no later than January 2021

If you are interested in any of the topics/standing committees listed on our membership form, send us an e mail with your preferences. Zoning issues? Traffic issues? Neighborhood projects? Noise ordinances?  Code Enforcement issues? Public Art? City Government? Parks & Recreation?  Equestrian issues? and others....

Become a part of the dynamic, all-volunteer non-profit Coalition of Greater Scottsdale (COGS). Our website at has Who we are, What we do, Previous newsletters, COGS Positions on city issues and Hot Issues. JOIN ON LINE………..Membership is $35/year for a single member or a family. (Families have one vote on membership surveys).


 Marilynn Atkinson (Sherwood Heights), Jim Davis (Estancia), Susan Kauffman (Troon Villages), Sonnie Kirtley (Caballo Ranchos), Stan Morganstern (Rural 85266 zip), Howard Myers (Carriage Trails), Copper Phillips (Rural 85266 zip), Chris Schaffner (Los Sombros)
Read bios on our website under
Who We Are and info on other Board Members



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