Planning Commission and What’s Next for the General Plan

Coalition of Greater Scottsdale

From Sonnie Kirtley:

Good afternoon, Coalition of Greater Scottsdale (COGS) E-Newsletter Readers: Is today a great day to get inside-the-home projects started? Or to read a great book that has been waiting? Or to see a movie? Or to take a stroll in the rain as a special desert treat?

WHY ARE SOME OF THE CITY COUNCIL AND CITY PLANNING STAFF SURPRISED THIS WEEK? The proposed General Plan update was defeated by a vote of 13,998 to 12,924 or 52% to 48%. Any US Presidential candidate would be thrilled to win by that spread against any opponent. However both the city website and the Arizona Republic newspapers describe the result as, “narrowly rejected.”

Was no one listening? For the past year, community leaders speaking for thousands of residents repeatedly cautioned the Planning Department, Planning Commission and City Council that the staff draft and subsequent modifications did not meet the standards that Scottsdale voters would approve.

These same community leaders were subjected to an inappropriate, disrespectful and unprofessional 15 minute diatribe from the chairman of the Planning Commission during a public hearing on the proposed General Plan. He ranted that he was tired of hearing opposition from community leaders and that their solidarity position opposed to the General Plan update was unacceptable (to him).

Our community members deserve RESPECT from not only our elected officials but from citizens appointed to city commissions and boards. When you realize that Scottsdale was the only community that rejected its proposed General Plan, then you know there is a disconnect between the draft update and the residents’ vision for our city.

Speaking of vision, a real vision is similar to the Star Trek TV series “ go where no man has gone before”. Simple…describes the future….something to achieve. The Vision Statement in the proposed General Plan was 84 words long……a “vision” by committee.

So what happens now? The current General Plan remains as the broad policy for our city decisions. We have until 2015 to prepare a General Plan Update that Scottsdale residents will support.

Who decides what needs to be done to prepare a General Plan Update that results in a voter acceptance? On their own, community leaders will meet soon to specify (yet once again) their concerns and those of their constituents for protecting the unique qualities of our city.

No one is lobbying for “no change.” The leaders from your HOA boards, advocacy groups, business owners and merchants, and informed residents want appropriate change that is compatible with the existing land uses and that does not devalue neighborhoods or our city’s unique character.

Taller and denser development is not the vision supported by a majority of Scottsdale residents. The General Plan should represent the Community’s collective vision for the future of our city, not be a roadmap for inappropriate development.

So what specific parts of the proposed General Plan need to be improved? COGS will begin an E-Newsletter series of bullet points on each section of the GP 2012 for your review and evaluation. We will encourage you to send your opinions and comments for sharing.

For the Coalition of Greater Scottsdale (COGS) Board of Directors, Sonnie Kirtley, Chair e-mail: website:

…thought you’d never ask….Dues are $10 per year Please mail to:

3370 North Hayden Rd
Suite 123 PMB 766
Scottsdale Az 85251

(thank you!)

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