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 > 07/30/2021


/2021 Newsletter

Bonus building heights? Greater densities? Approve zoning changes?
What will this "new" council decide?


Greenbelt-88 proposed project at the SW corner of Hayden Road and Osborn Road. A neighborhood group has determined after many months of distributing informational flyers, collecting three survey residents’ responses, attending developer hosted 2020 and 2021 Open Houses, attending a private conference with the developer’s team last week, that they will not support the rezoning requested of case 15-ZN-2020. See details in narrative deeper in this newsletter.

Short Term Rental city level policies and enforcement. City Council appointed a volunteer working group to study what enforcement and potential ordinances are available under the Arizona State prohibition for cities to regulate Short Term Rentals. Their report to city council resulted in directions to city staff to write some potential ordinances and policies that could be allowed by AZ state law for Scottsdale to enact. We can expect the staff report in September or October for public review.

Southern Scottsdale resident’s increased complaints about approval and construction of apartment complexes predominantly in zip codes 85251 and 85257. Read the COGS report further in this newsletter of the unit numbers since 2019 built, under construction, approved and not yet built and submitted and pending. Northern residents are also becoming increasingly alarmed at the increased building heights, allowed increased density per acre and impending traffic impacts in their zip codes.

Increased catalytic converter and other car theft are happening in apartment complex carports. Is there enough lighting? Security cameras? Please alert others through Next Door and your HOA bulletin boards.

Request: Open city hall hearings to the public. Response: The Kiva/city hall hearings are now open with distance seating/limited seating. The city manager makes decisions for all Scottsdale official office spaces and facilities. Because of the new Covid-19 Delta strain surge, watch for announcements regarding mask requirements.

Request: No further project approvals in the Shea-Cactus Corridor. Action: Was presented to the City Council and Planning Commissioners. Details here:                                                                                                                                                       


McDowell Road from 64th Street to Pima Road construction? The existing medians are being narrowed to provide extra width in the existing roadway to accommodate bicycle lanes. The project includes narrowing the medians, improvements to landscape medians, irrigation for the plants, updating traffic signage and pavement markings, and application of fiberized micro surfacing seal through most of the corridor.

Where is Old Town?   The previous city council majority approved renaming ALL of the area south of Chaparral Road-north of Osborn Road and east of 68th Street and west of Miller Road as OLD TOWN. Previously only the historic area of the city where the southwestern shops are located—the original downtown—was marketed as “Old Town”.  The bar district captured “Old Town” in their advertisements many years ago. The more distinct title of Historic Old Town is being sought for the special western area.

Construction causes changes in hours and parking at the Pima Dynamite Trailhead  Started at sunrise Monday, July 26, the trailhead entrance on Dynamite Boulevard was temporarily closed. Visitors are redirected to the new trailhead entrance on Pima Road just north of Dynamite. The gate opens at 6:15 a.m. and closes at 4 p.m. daily. Hikers must exit the parking lot by 4 p.m. or they will be locked in. The new trailhead building and restrooms will not be open until construction is complete – which is expected in late August.

Are there too many apartment/condo complexes concentrated in southern Scottsdale? Here is the data since 2019 in zip codes 85251 and 85257 (south of Chaparral Road to the Tempe limits) for the multi-family complexes larger than 40 units as of July 30th, 2021. We will publish Central and Northern Scottsdale in later COGS Newsletter editions.

Completed: 1,955 units....Under Construction now: 1,766 units....Approved/not built yet 4,019 units....Submitted/not approved yet 517 units and the Totals…. 8,257 units (not including those below 40 units)
Question for our Scottsdale Long-Range Planning Department—What is the city’s “build out” number? Has it ever been determined at what density our quality of life deteriorates?

Vacation worries? Did you know that Scottsdale Police have a vacation watch? This long-standing service allows residents to request police officers to drive by their home to check when they are on vacation. Phone: 480-312-3111; TTY: 1-800-367-8939 for details.

What is FACT and what is MYTH? There’s a new way to get facts about Maricopa County elections. Visit JustTheFacts.Vote. Subscribe to the “Just the Facts” newsletter that will keep adding updates. The Maricopa County Elections Department launched JustTheFacts.Vote today to address questions and misconceptions about the 2020 General Election. The website takes the often-complex world of elections and makes it understandable for residents who may have honest questions about why things are done a certain way. The site is divided into two main sections:

  • The Facts section explains laws and guidelines that inform how the County conducts elections, and the checks and balances in place to ensure accuracy.
  • The Myth Busters section addresses inaccurate claims that have spread about mail-in ballots, voter registration, the security of county’s election system, and more.

What are they doing to our Civic Center in Historic Old Town area?

A picturesque botanical garden, sculptural play elements and a new interactive water and fog plaza are just a handful of the new elements proposed for Scottsdale Civic Center’s enhancement. In November 2019 Scottsdale voters approved two bond questions, which included funding to replace aging infrastructure and create public and event spaces in the Civic Center area. The updated, attractive, and safe environment is expected to attract residents, visitors and events to the Civic Center and Old Town Scottsdale area. Among improvements, elevations will be lowered and re-graded throughout Civic Center to enhance accessibility and visibility. Restrooms will be remodeled and include family changing rooms. Several techniques throughout the project will save water and enhance water collection to existing trees. And from sculptural plantings to mosaic tile, each aspect of the redesign also incorporates influence from the arts. Proposed improvements are based on community outreach and the Civic Center Municipal Use Master Plan the City Council approved in 2018. Upon its completion, the updated public space will place Scottsdale in a competitive position to attract large-scale events, such as Super Bowl Live, a multi-day event leading up to Super Bowl 2023. 



Consent Approvals of community interest: (no discussion –one vote for all Consent agenda items)

  • Authorized road constructions for Miller Road—Pinnacle Peak Rd to Happy Valley Rd and Dynamite Blvd from Pima Road to 136 Street (turn bays and bike lanes)
  • McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park user licenses for Paradise and Pacific Railroad, Scottsdale Live Steamers, Sun N Sand Model RR Club, Scottsdale Model RR Historical Society and Z Guys Model RR Club.
  • Wild West Storage 11420 E Shea Blvd Conditional Use Permit
  • Greystar Independent Living Rezoning and Abandonment—approx.. 1,000ft NW of Raintree Dr/90th St
  • Ina Levine Jewish Community Campus Text Amendment and Rezoning 12701 N. Scottsdale Rd
  • Sereno Canyon Phase 4D Replat-between Alameda/Pinnacle Pk Rd along N.  expect123rd and N. 124th ST
  • Scottsdale Aquatic Club, Clavadistas del Sol and Scottsdale Synchronized Arizona License Agreements to use city aquatic facilities

Regular Agenda votes:

  • Approved Winfield’s  remodel south of Camelback Rd adding rooftop bar and music 4440-50 N. Saddlebag Trail Case 12-UP-220 & 1-IP-2020
  • Accepted the Short Term Rental Working Group Report. Council directed staff to write some potential ordinances and policies allowed by AZ state law for cities to enact to contol STRs.   

City Council Work Study Session actions (no formal vote…just discussion and consensus)
Subject: Old Town (Historic) Character Area Plan
The majority of city council members approved of the following:

• Improve compliance with the Urban Design and Architectural Guidelines• Loss of easements in this area needs to be addressed. • Need to maintain flexibility in the Old Town Character Area Plan. • The Old Town Character Area Plan should be more cohesive. • Reduce confusion caused by interchanging terms “Downtown Area” and “Old Town Area”; possibly rebrand this term for better clarification. thoughtfully. Promote quality redevelopment. • Ensure bonus provisions provide greater and better-defined public benefitsprovisions. Restrict, reduce, or remove bonus suggestions: • Additional modeling for this area is needed. • Focus on the areas of transportation, infrastructure, sustainability, and tourism. • Focus on the area of economic development.


  • COGS strongly supports the proposed General Plan 2035 that will appear on our Scottsdale November ballot. The “new” city council became the final Task Force as they listened to the community and strengthened the wording, definitions, and direction of our city while preserving our unique and important past. We thank all of the COGS members and volunteers who since 2001, 2011, 2014 and 2020 served the city council appointed GP Task Forces. We urge all voters to approve with a resounding YES in November.
  •  COGS will agree with the Neighborhood Group decision to not support the Greenbelt 88 project request to rezone the SW corner of Hayden Rd/Osborn Road for construction of a 4-story apartment building and parking garage and retail space. We find that the “mixed use” of the Planned Unit Development (PUD) rezoning request is extremely weak on the retail at 7% of the planned complex. The Nelsen Partners, architect Jeff Brand, have presented their usual outstanding architectural work, but the 4-story height is incompatible adjacent to the unique Scottsdale Greenbelt and the density at 42 units/acre far exceeds the normal 24 units per acre adjacent to the parks and golf course. The current tenants—Uncle Sal’s restaurant, Mail Stop, Office Max, Big Five and smaller service shops—service the neighborhoods. COGS always questions: What is the Public Benefit?   It doesn’t reach that standard yet.
  • COGS position is that Short Term Rentals are unfair competition for our important hotel industry who have incredibly higher expenses—let’s have a fair “playing field”. On July 1st the city council agenda included a report from their Short Term Rental Working Group. COGS requested on 19 May for them to evaluate the American Disabilities Act, Title III that some legal opinions believe requires STRs (unless the owner is living on the premises) to comply with ADA accommodation requirements such as wider doorways, ramps, bathroom access, fire and other safety features, and city/state health inspections---basically what any other commercial “public accommodation” like hotels are required to provide. The STR committee did not address this according to Councilwoman Milhaven’s oral report.
  • COGS questions why there is not an Arts  member position on the Tourism Commission?


NOW-- Sign up for Fall 2021 Parks n Recreation classes. Browse classes on the online registration system or view our activity brochure online. Tennis? Water aerobics? Dance?
NOW--Thinking of hiking in the Scottsdale McDowell Sonoran Preserve?  Rattlesnake season is here. No dogs on trails with temperatures over 100 F. No electric or motorized bikes permitted. Get information at this link to get a trails map and announcements.

Vaccines are free. There is not a cost to get a COVID-19 vaccine, regardless of your insurance status. Gov. Doug Ducey issued an executive order in December that ensures Arizonans can receive the COVID-19 vaccine for free as long as the state's public health emergency declaration is in effect. If you do have insurance, you may be asked for it so the provider can bill the insurer for an administrative fee. But you will not be charged. Find a vaccine


Vista Del Camino closes out a record-breaking year in response to COVID-19. The center's social services team managed more than 20 funding sources to provide nearly $4.7 million in emergency rent, mortgage and utility assistance, serving more than 700 Scottsdale households. This unprecedented expansion was a more than 600 percent increase over the previous fiscal year, made possible by numerous process improvements and staffing support from across the Community Services division. As Scottsdale's designated Community Action Program office, the center also received nearly $400,000 in reimbursements from Maricopa County for staffing costs.

Who hasn’t eaten in the Sugar Bowl? Citizen Advisor and storyteller-extraordinaire Bruce Wall joins host Holly Walter to provide the inside scoop on one of Scottsdale's most-iconic restaurants. Listen now to Podsdale Episode 8 –The cartoonist and ice cream shop


Saturday, 31 July from 8 am to 1 pm Scottsdale Police partner with nonprofits on Prescription Drug Take Back event. Safely dispose of unneeded or expired prescription drugs at this free event at the Police District 2 Station, 3700 N. 75th St. (Justice Court area west of Miller Road on 2nd Steet). The event also includes a food drive – please bring non-perishable canned and dry foods. They will also provide educational resources for mental health and Naloxone, a medication that rapidly reverses an opioid overdose. 

Saturday, July 31st  or Sunday August 1st  Got an interested 7 to 18 year old actor in the family? The Holland Center
34250 N. 60th Street, Scottsdale, AZ 85266 will hold auditions for an upcoming stage performance. Get details at this link.

Closed until 1 August 2021 Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Arts Reminder, they are FREE on Thursday Art Walk nights.
Current exhibits on view are listed below...


Saturday, August 7th from 8 am to 1 pm Slide the Rails at McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park. Join the fun for this wet and wild event – the perfect way to end the summer and slide into the new school year. There will be a variety of inflatable water slides and obstacle courses suitable for all ages. New to the event this year will be a bubble foam pit. Cold drinks and tasty treats will be available for purchase. A $10 wristband includes unlimited access to the water attractions, and train and carousel rides. Wristbands are required for everyone 3 and older. Wristbands will be sold onsite on the day of the event. 

Deadline August 31st for this Instagram Contest  Consider your living room as a self-portrait and enter to win a Shop@SMoCA gift certificate valued at $50 by posting a photo of your living room with the hashtag #SMoCALivingRoom on Instagram. Official rules

Learn more about the inner workings of city government. Sign up today for Scottsdale 360, a virtual learning series about the people, policies and programs that shape our community. The summer series includes a new Zoom webinar every two weeks through Aug. 19. The two final classes:  

  • 11 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 5: Tourism - Scottsdale welcomes millions of visitors each year and is home to a number of events of global renown. Learn from those who work behind the scenes how the city attracts visitors, makes their trip to Scottsdale memorable and how the revenue they bring benefits the community. 
  • 11 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 19: Community Services - Human Services, Libraries and Parks and Recreation Leadership will share how their programs demonstrate commitment to those they serve through creating a vibrant, connected and active community. 

Saturday, October 16th  Western Spirit: Museum of the West first fall event is “Saddle Up!” to honor Native Americans through the lens of 20th century photographer, Edward Curtis.  The evening of fun includes outdoor western entertainment and great food. Members get another preview Sunday and Monday Oct 17th and 18th from 5 pm to 7 pm. Become a member today


4417 Saddlebag Trail new 3 story commercial and townhouses 7-DR-2021
7570 E 6th Ave NWC Miller  new 76ft with 148 units 1-ZN-2021 called The Miller
7000 E McDowell Road  new 4 story, 267 unit mixed use Southdale project 17-DR-2021 and 5-ZN-2021
4445 N Buckboard Trail 2 story PEEPS restaurant with rooftop dining  22-DR-2021
7033 E Indian School Rd  rezone for 83 new living units called The Artisan 3-ZN-2021
NWcorner Oak and Hayden Rd 26 new R-4 and R-5 homes 5-ZN-2021 called 26 Oaks
9375 E Shea Blvd rezone to PUD with 219 units. Denied by Planning Commission and Continued 6.22.2021 at City Council hearing 16-ZN-2019 & 6-GP-2019
NW corner Raintree & 90th St 3 and 4 story with 155 units 4-DR-2021 16-ZN-2021  approved at city council
10345 N Scottsdale Rd in Windmill Plaza--revisions to site plan The Ivy 7-DR-2019#2
7301 & 7317 E Helm Drive vehicle storage 3 bldgs called Toy Barn 9-Dr-2021
9880 N Scottsdale Rd Sc& Mtn View 3 story from hotel to R-5 multifamily  16-ZN-2021
9259 E Verde Grove View  new 2 story office/warehouse called Juggernaut 28-DR-2021
128th & Ranch Gate Rd 32 lots on 40 acres called McDowell Mountain Manor 136-PA-2018
12481 E Shea Blvd 4 lots on 4.5 acres--want reduction Hanelle Estates 3-PP-2018 revised 2021
SW corner 132St and Alameda 4 lots single family on 4 acres 4-ZN-2021
SW corner 114th ST and Shea...Hawkins-CSOK retail/office continued at Planning Commission hearing 6.23.2021 8-ZN-2020 and
11355 E Shea Blvd amend commercial office rezone Hawkins.8-ZN-2020
10299 N 92nd and 10301 N 92nd St rezone PUD and PCD on 8.5 acres continued at city coiuncil July 1st hearing 6-ZN-2021

8849 E Cholla St rezone 4.7 acres for senior living 873-PA-2021 called Megerdichian Senior Center


 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