The word of the night at this week’s City Council Meeting was “overzealous.”
Mayor Jim Lane used it to describe me and other Scottsdale Airport advocates who spoke out against three proposed high-rise apartment projects in the Scottsdale Airpark seeking approval from the City Council.
But when it comes to protecting airports—and the taxpayers’ investment in them—from residential encroachment, I don’t believe we can ever be overzealous.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the purpose of zoning is to separate incompatible land uses. You won’t find many pairings of land uses that are more incompatible than residential and airports.
Personally, I found that Mayor Lane was a bit overzealous in pretending some credibility in this matter by referring to himself as “a pilot.” My understanding is that he has had some flight lessons but that’s a long way from having a license.
But, for the sake of argument, let’s presume that he is actually a licensed pilot.
I don’t understand how a pilot—someone who would value the economic benefit of a first-class facility such as Scottsdale Airport—would not understand the dangers posed by residential encroachment.
In voting to approve the first of the projects (the remaining two were continued due to the length of the meeting), Mayor Lane was considerably overzealous in promoting his misconstrued interpretation of Libertarian ideals. He believes a property owner ought to be able to do whatever they want with their property regardless of whatever problems they may cause for future occupants of that property or for owners of adjacent properties.
Of course, the owners of the largest parcel in the vicinity—the Scottsdale Airport—are the residents and taxpayers of Scottsdale. They will now see their investment diminished by increasing noise complaints. Noise complaints are the result of poor land use planning. Poor land use planning is counter to grant assurances that are required by the Federal Aviation Administration. Failure to receive FAA grants means a greater tax burden on the residents.
I feel that the remaining Council members—Robbins, Milhaven, Klapp, McCullagh & Borowsky—all voted in favor of pandering to developers for short-term gain at the expense of long-term sustainability.
At least three votes in favor of this project were not surprising. However, this was one issue where I felt that Mayor Lane should “get it,” especially since he is (or thinks of himself as) a pilot.
Scenes such as last night’s disjointed City Council meeting have unfortunately become all-too-common in Mayor Lane’s pitiful and overzealous attempts to vindicate himself as the leader he continually proves not to be.
I am feeling a bit overzealous about the upcoming election.