About four years ago I was involved with an effort to overturn a bad zoning decision on a project called “Hanover” on the northwest corner of Indian School and Goldwater. In that process, residents banded together to “refer” the City Council’s approval to a public vote. This involved getting thousands of petition signatures, and some highly distasteful “blocking” efforts by developer representative Technical Solutions, aka Susan Bitter-Smith.

The antics included circulating a sham petition in favor of the project, and having their petition carriers disrupt the efforts of ours. One of Bitter-Smith’s goons even called in a false report to the Scottsdale Police Department to the effect that a member of our group was “…a pedophile…” because he was shooting “…video of young children…” in and around the public library where we were getting signatures. And his partner-goon reached INSIDE the car to try to grab the camera!

Then-Mayor Mary Manross and the city council were fully aware of these appalling activities by the developer’s hired representatives. However, she and the majority never lifted a finger to stop them. The developer–with money from the Chamber of Commerce–challenged the referendum petitions in court and won on a technicality even though we got plenty of signatures. After every zoning defeat after this one we joked that we’d been “Hanover’ed.”

However, our efforts may have caused the project to be delayed to the point where the developer couldn’t get funding, and the project languished. But, as Bob Littlefield says, “In Scottsdale, no bad idea ever really dies.” So here it is again.

Sonnie Kirtley with the Coalition of Greater Scottsdale put out an email on the revival of this project. She did a far better job at capturing the technical details than I could have, so I’ve copied her entire note (including some good additional information) here:

Good evening, Coalition of Greater Scottsdale (COGS) readers:     Yes, it is back—Hanover with another name. The passage of the highly developer-friendly Incentive Infill District  by the current city council opened the flood gates so wide that a 2008 project site returns using it “to increase the allowable density…”

Remembering “Hanover” 2008   If you are new to Scottsdale or perhaps just want to forget,  the project name was “Hanover Mixed-Use Development”, it was Case 12-ZN 2007. This was a major Scottsdale residents’ Slap-Down as the current generation would call it.  On  19 February 2008 the City Council approved this massive project by adopting Ordinances 3767, 7474 and 7472. The location was the northeast corner of Indian School Road and Goldwater Blvd and northward to 5th Avenue.  On 28 February 2008, residents lodged a legal protest against a “too tall and too dense” project that would cover nearly a whole city block and change the inner city skyline forever.   Nearly 3,000 signatures were collected.  The developer took the protest to court.  The petitions were thrown out by a Superior Court judge on the grounds that the citizens had failed to fill out the organizational paperwork correctly.   Hanover was never built because of a lack of funds.

Today the Zaremba Residential Company announced that it is filing to rezone the 12-ZN-2007 Hanover case and to get approval for a new development plan for gated apartments.  YES, more apartments.  Please mark you calendar for their public open house on Thursday, February 2nd from 6 to 7 pm.  The meeting location is 4130 North Goldwater Blvd, suite 119 just north of Indian School Road. If you have questions contact them at 480 273 7990.

Tonight City Council approved new apartments and some retail on the northeast corner of Scottsdale Rd and Lincoln  Zoning case 13 ZN-2011 was approved on a 5 to 2 (Borowsky and Littlefield)  vote. The developer will use the Planned Unit Development (PUD)  guidelines that permit a taller and denser project than the current zoning.  One story retail/office buildings are currently on the land.

Avoiding major land use decisions prior to the election?   Councilman Littlefield tried to get a majority of city council members to agree to agendize (which would permit public discussion) the staff’s new Major General Plan Amendment calendar. The staff’s version would change the schedule for General Plan Major Amendment City Council hearings to the week AFTER the November General Election.  Who on Council asked for this change to be made by the city staff?

Public open houses COGS attended this month so far: (1) Spanish Fly wanting live music 5 to 8 pm (2) Water/Sewer 3% increase presentation (3) Bond Task Force meeting (4) Blue Sky project at Camelback Rd/Scottsdale Rd update presentation (5) Bauhaus new project presentation for Thomas Rd/Scottsdale Rd area  ( 6 ) Fire Dept. Strategic Plan presentation (7 ) Holiday Decorations for the Downtown  (8) Neighborhood Enhancement presentation  Yet to come:  (9 ) Block Grant presentation

Coming Events to enjoy:  Jan 28th to Feb 5th at WestWorld the FREE Sun Circuit Quarter Horse Show with reining, cutting cows, and roping 8 am to 7 pm….Jan 30th to Feb 5th Waste Management Open Golf Tournament in Scottsdale at the TPC…  Feb 10th , Friday,  Hashknife Gang rides to town with their Pony Express bags of mail….Feb 11th, Saturday, Parada del Sol 1,000 horse parade.

Keeping you informed…  For the Coalition of Greater Scottsdale (COGS) Board of Directors, Sonnie Kirtley, Chair

e-mail: cogsaz@cox.net         website: http://www.cogsaz.net


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