Honesty Missing in Las Aguas Debate?

Scottsdale Republic editorial wunderkind Grant Martin is actually improving…a little. I was heartened to read the headline of his editorial today regarding last week’s Las Aguas zoning case in which the Scottsdale City Council voted to plop a housing project down next to a historic neighborhood.

A little honesty missing in City Council’s Las Aguas vote

Unfortunately, once I started reading Martin’s column I realized that he completely missed the mark. He did call out Mayor Jim Lane and Vice Mayor Suzanne Klapp on their disingenuous (if not outright dishonest) statements about having tried to reach out to residents. Of course, what Martin doesn’t say (or know) is that even if the residents HAD responded to Lane and Klapp, those two would have voted against the historic neighborhood anyway.

Martin goes on to proclaim that,

Literally anything would be more visually appealing along that stretch than the abandoned carcass of Pitre Buick, a squat pile of concrete the color of a tombstone and just as dreary.

In doing so, Martin has fallen for and embraced as his own one of the oldest zoning attorney tricks in the book. Martin also doesn’t realize (due to his naivete and lack of experience in Scottsdale) that what the council approved is a change of ZONING, not a specific project. The renderings (shoddy as they were) were mere window dressing on the used car Mayor Lane bought from zoning attorney John Berry.

What will eventually be built on this site is much more likely to be closer to the maximum unit count and height allowed by the new zoning, than what John Berry sold to the council. It takes a lot less effort to convince the Development Review Board to approve a site plan than it does to get a change of zoning by the city council.

I’d say there’s a lot more than a “little” honesty missing from our city government.

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