Coalition of




Home Who We Are COGS E-News- letters What We Do Issues Join / Renew Calendar / Events Links Contact Privacy
You are here: HOME > NEWSLETTERS > 03/14/2021

03/14/2021 Newsletter

March 2021--Is Scottsdale where the OLD west meets the NEW west?
The new city council is in our neighborhoods and listening to us on
our VISION for Scottsdale in 2035

WHAT guides the decisions of City Council?
… the Planning Commission who advise on new building project’s zoning, height, density and more ?
...or the Development Review Board who advise on the site and landscape plans and architectural features?- 
...currently it is our outdated, 20 year old General Plan.

COGS encourages you and your family to participate in an official city survey to share YOUR thoughts on what is the community’s goals and policies for the NEW General Plan called 2035 including:  

  • Character and design  
  • Land use  
  • Open space and the natural environment  
  • Business and economics  
  • Neighborhood vitality  
  • Transportation and growth  

  The plan shapes the physical form of the city, and also addresses community services, protection of desert and mountain lands, arts and culture, community health and well-being, and the character of our neighborhoods.  

  Get informed at this link to review the city’s current draft plan

Here’s how you can participate in the city’s survey:  

  • Attend a Virtual ZOOM Open House:        Register here.   OR    Submit your feedback online.
  • Monday, March 15: 8:30-10 a.m., 11:30 p.m.-1 pm., or 5:30-7 p.m.   The same information will be presented, so please choose one. Topic is the Vision Statement options

       Next Topic will be announced. Please RSVP for that ZOOM also.

  • March 29th, third public survey details to come

        Another way to be informed is to listen on city livestream to these public hearings: 

  • Tuesday, 4 pm March 23: Cily Council Work Study Session - limited public participation 
  • Wednesday, 5 pm March 24: Planning Commission—remote hearing
  • Tuesday, 4 pm April 13th City Council work study session
  • Wednesday, 5pm May 12th Planning Commission makes recommendations

Please PARTICIPATE IN THE COGS-Coalition of Greater Scottsdale—QUICK SURVEY: (share this link with friends and neighbors so they can also respond).

  • Your computer can respond once. Family will need to use another IP (or phone).
  • All responses are anonymous—absolutely no tracking by COGS.
  • Survey time takes about 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Simple “star” response = 5 stars is high and 1 star is low rating
  • Results will be posted on the COGS website on Sunday, 23 March 11 pm.
  • COGS will use the directions from your collective responses in our General Plan discussions at Board, Commission and City Council hearings.

Some of the current COGS RECOMMENDATIONS
to improve the General Plan draft 2035:

Land Use:

(1) Protect existing large acreage equestrian and rural home desert open-space lifestyles.
(2) If a request is to subdivide 2 acres or more, it should be a Major General Plan Amendment.  This requires greater city council scrutiny to determine if the change requested is appropriate.  An approved change should result in considerable Public Benefit and be compatible with the character of the existing neighborhoods.  A super-majority—5 of 7 approval council vote is required. A Major GP is only heard once a year. No owner is entitled to a zoning change such as up-zoning to greater density or change in land use category, but they have a right to request it. A good project will have no problem being approved and without neighborhood opposition.
(3) Separate the current Land Use category of Rural into Desert Rural (3 acres and more) and Rural (2 acres and less). To approve an increased density request from Desert Rural to the denser/more intense Rural Neighborhood becomes a Major GP Amendment and requires the super-majority city council vote.  This will affect the current practice of “clustering” new desert subdivision homes to 1/3 and one-quarter sites in previously large acre lot neighborhoods/character areas.


Side Note: COGS’ reader feedback is increasingly about concerns over multiple approvals of higher density apartments/condo and their reported negative concentration in southern Scottsdale. We are also receiving residents’ concerns about increased traffic congestion, street parking caused by under-parked projects, increased commercial-short term rental use in residential neighborhoods and questions whether increased density is a financial burden on the city’s infrastructure (water, sewer, police, fire department, and roads).


Arts & Culture (1) Write statements with a stronger commitment to arts and culture.
 (2) Include all forms of arts (photography, graphics, digital, paint, ceramic, sculpture, etc.)
 (3) Add three new goals:
Maximize the potential of the existing Downtown Arts District consisting of the privately owned Art Galleries, related businesses, the Artist School, the city museums, Museum of the West, and Scottsdale Arts, for generating economic activity’.

‘Approve developments and/or redevelopments that do not cause a negative economic impact on the Art District’s existing owners and merchants.

Develop and enhance partnerships with groups, such as the Scottsdale Historical Society, Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, Cosanti Foundation, Cattletrack/Ellis Compound, The Smithsonian, and other local, regional, and national historic and archaeological organizations to identify, evaluate, and preserve significant historic, architectural, cultural, and archaeological resources with the aim of listing the most significant resources in the Scottsdale Historic Register.

Character Areas: (1) At the end of 2020 the city council approved all of the Downtown to be called Old Town. COGS strongly supports a separately designated area called Historic Old Town. It would be able to establish specific preservation ordinances and architectural building standards to continue this major western tourist attraction on Brown Avenue, Main Street, 1st Avenue and 1st Street--east of Scottsdale Road.

(2) The currently posted General Plan Draft map of the Character Areas is inaccurate. It should specifically identify the residents’ generated and adopted seven Character Areas -- Cactus Corridor (1992), Shea Area (1993), Desert Foothills (1999), Dynamite Foothills (2000), Greater Airpark (2010), Southern Scottsdale (2010), and Old Town (2018).

AGENDA ITEMS that might interest you.

City Council hearing this Tuesday, March 16th:

Agenda #27 The Kimsey on Indian School just west of Scottsdale Rd. Rezoning project to hotel, residential and retail will request a Continuance to April 6th, Tuesday, to allow the public more time to review the changes (1) hotel reduced from 90 ft to 70ft (2) Stipulations on rezoning reversion if not built in 5 yrs and no short-term rentals allowed in the 230 residential units. (3) keeps the Historic Designation for the building and parking lot of the first city hall.  Case 10-ZN-2020

Review at

Agenda #28. Sherwood Heights Planned Residential Development Amendment: Multiple owners have requested to amend the Single Family Residential, Planned Residential Development (R1-10 PRD) district minimum lot area requirement from 10,000 square feet to 15,325 square feet to be applied to 89 of the 118 properties in the Sherwood Heights subdivision.This will correct an error when Sherwood Heights was annexed in their lot size identification.  Location: N. 56th Street to N. 60th Street and E. Wilshire Drive south to E. Oak Street   Case 16-ZN-2003#2

Agenda #30 “ Council will consider the continuing membership and potential removal of Prescott Smith on the Planning Commission in light of Mr. Smith’s number of case recusals.”


Side Note: A couple of years ago COGS researched the Conflict of Interest/recusal record of all the Planning Commissioners.  We sat through multiple hearings while commissioners had to leave the room because their business connections with the agenda developer/project created a conflict. Some meetings had only 4 commissioners in the hearing to make a final decision (of the 7 appointed) on a very major project. Our COGS position for bringing this to the attention of the city council was to recommend that they APPOINT at least some citizens who are not connected to the Growth/development/real estate profession. Only the Development Review Board requires specific professions. There are now two on the Planning Commission who are not of related professions. As far as we know, at this time there is no written city policy on what percentage of recusals a commissioner must have to require a recall.  This will be an interesting discussion on the 16th.


Development Review Board hearing on Thursday March 18th at 1 pm

Agenda #4. Greenbelt 88, The location is the SW corner of Osborn and Hayden Rd (Office Max, MailStop, Big 5, Uncle Sal’s). At this hearing on a mixed use center including 300 multi-family dwelling units and approximately 21,000 square feet of commercial floor area on a 7-acre parcel, the DRB will provide a recommendation to the Planning Commission and City Council regarding the Development Plan elements related to design compatibility, environmental responsiveness, solar shading, connectivity and open spaces, and amended development standards to the building setback requirements, for a zoning district map amendment to Planned Unit Development (PUD). Addresses are 3308-3370, 3388 N. Hayden Road. Not included are the Starbucks, Arby’s or the bank—other owners.

A very active Neighborhood team has been meeting to capture and respond to the project plans. You can reach them at

Contact the developer’s team with your questions at  The website with updates is Case 15-ZN-2020


Indian School Park Tennis Court Bond Project is complete.  See the U tube video :

 New car north-south route for northern Scottsdale connects Miller Road between Pinnacle Peak Road and Happy Valley Road, including a bridge over the Rawhide Wash. Completing this connection will create a new option for north to south travel beyond Scottsdale and Pima roads and provide a direct connection to the Hayden Road/Loop 101 interchange. The new segment of roadway will include two lanes of travel in each direction, bike lanes, and detached sidewalks with landscaped buffers on either side of the street. Community outreach and input is anticipated to take place during spring and summer of 2021 and will focus on the aesthetics of the roadway and bridge design. 
Review the details at 
 One Civic Center Pocket Art Park project is to be located at the SE corner of Drinkwater Boulevard and Indian School Road. The project is slated to be completed by February 2022. Artist Michael Beitz will  design and fabricate a Pocket Art Park prototype funded through the Downtown Cultural Trust. This pilot project will demonstrate how a pocket park can be designed and integrated into an urban environment that may lead to the development of 10 to 12 additional pocket art parks in Old Town to enhance the pedestrian experience.
...So you know---The Downtown Cultural Trust receives contributions generated by the valuation of private development projects in the downtown area that elect not to commission and install original artwork in its projects. These funds are then strictly used for the cost of artwork on property in the Old Town area.

EVENTS AND HAPPENING…Open? Closed? Canceled?
Scottsdale Old Town Trolley route remains indefinitely suspended. Old Town can still be accessed via the 68th/Camelback (68CM) route with stops along Goldwater Boulevard between Indian School and Camelback roads and on Indian School Road between 68th Street and Goldwater Boulevard.
Other Scottsdale Trolley service continues with abbreviated schedules on all routes.
The Fiesta Bowl Museum on Marshall Way north of the bridge re-opened Monday, March 1st.
The Old Town Scottsdale Rodeo Museum on Brown Ave. south of Main Street is open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursdays-Sundays.
The Little Red Schoolhouse remains closed until further notice.
Club SAR is Open—the city’s Scottsdale Athletic facility is located on Camelback Road east of Hayden Road…in the Giant’s training fields area. If you are looking to get a great and safe workout in, Club SAR is the place to be. New guidelines have been implemented due to COVID-19.

  • Capacity is limited to 25 percent, so it is recommended to call ahead at 480-312-2669 to reserve a spot for your workout.
  • Masks must be worn at all times while in the facility, and temperatures will be taken as you enter the building.
  • The new hours of operations can be viewed here.
  • Basketball is not available, as cardio equipment has been moved to the court to ensure proper social distancing protocols are in place.
Club SAR is also offering outdoor Spin & Barre classes on Monday and Wednesdays. Spin begins at 5 p.m. and Barre begins at 5:30 p.m., weather permitting. They will be holding an outdoor rowing class, from 5:30 – 6 p.m. began March 2 on Tuesday and Thursdays.
If you would like to participate in either of these classes, please contact the front desk staff to reserve your spot at 480-312-2669. For more information on Club SAR, please visit and search 'Club SAR'

Scottsdale Art Festival March 12-14 was cancelled.

NOW: Giants spring training is scheduled--safety plan limits attendance The city of Scottsdale has approved the COVID-19 safety plan for San Francisco Giants spring training baseball at Scottsdale Stadium. The plan limits ticket sales to less than 10 percent of stadium capacity and includes a host of other COVID-19 safety precautions. All seats will be sold in pods of 2 to 6 tickets, all pods will be positioned a minimum of six feet apart. Suites will not be used for the 2021 season. A maximum of 1,000 stadium seats and 170 tickets to the Charro Lodge will be sold per game. The stadium normally seats 11,730 fans, and the lodge usually seats 661. Prior to entering the stadium, all staff, vendors, media and fans 13 and older will be required to complete an app-based health screening. All attendees ages two and older and will be required to wear a face covering which covers their nose and mouth at all times other than when actively eating or drinking in their ticketed seat (half-face shields will not be permitted).  Additional buffers will be set between ticketed seats and player areas. Read the San Francisco Giants/Scottsdale Stadium COVID-19 safety plan here.

AUTO & BIKE EVENTS: Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction at Westworld March 20-27 and later
Goodguys at Westworld April 16-18.  Bike Week begins April 7th.

MUSIC EVENTS- Sunday A-Fair (free) from noon to 4 pm on the Civic Center lawn. This features concerts in the park with top Arizona musicians, a diverse selection of arts and crafts available for sale, and hands‑on activities for children.
Scottsdale Musical Theater Company hosts Roger & Hammerstein’s musicals. Starts 8 pm at Scottsdale Plaza Resort.   Details call 602 909 4215

In Westworld: Wednesday, March 17th Cactus Reining Classic..Thursday 18th and 24th Scottsdale Spring Festival…April 1st Miniature Horse Association of AZ Show….April 2nd Appaloosa Western States Desert Classic and AZ Dressage Association Spring Celebration…April 19th Region 7 Horse Show

Western Week is galloping into town April 10-18 This year’s Western Week festivities were postponed from February to April with public health and safety in mind. Visit

The Arizona Indian Festival April 10-18th.

Parada del Sol Parade has been cancelled for 2021.

The 63rd Annual Hashknife Pony Express arrival will be Saturday, April 17th, noon at Scottsdale Stadium The galloping route through town is to be announced. Your letter must be received in Holbrook by 5 pm on April 13th to be specially stamped and delivered by horseback in a pouch to Scottsdale April 17th.  Special Hashknife mail barrels will also be outside post offices along the route now. If traveling, look for them at the Holbrook, Heber, Overgaard, Pine, Creekside, Payson, and Fountain Hills post offices.

WHO are we?  WHAT have we accomplished for our neighborhoods and city in our 14 years?  WHERE can you read previous newsletters?   HOW can you support and join?  Go to our website at  Dues for individuals and family are $35 per year.  We are a 501 c 4 nonprofit organization of all one is paid for the research, conferences and aid we provide to fellow Scottsdale residents, merchants and business owners. We are not only a reliable resource for you,  but an advocate for HOA Boards and other advocacy groups.  


 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



 If you experience issues or problems with this page, please contact the COGS Webmaster by clicking HERE