Scottsdale Growth Report

From the Scottsdale Republic this morning; this article makes no mention whatsoever of Scottsdale’s General Plan, the second update of which is underway right now. I don’t understand how city staff can make such assessments of Scottsdale’s growth and infrastructure needs when the master land-use document for the city is under revision…Unless they, Mayor Lane, and the City Council intend to ignore the work of the citizens’ General Plan Update Task Force. That very real possibility puts the lie to the notion that the GPUTF is anything more than an exercise in square-filling that will be meaningless for planning Scottsdale’s future.

I believe there is a fundamental disconnect between the statement that, “The city is no longer expansion-minded,” and projections for 15,000 more dwelling units and an additional 18 million square feet of non-residential structures.

Mike Kelly asked the question months ago about whether citizen ratification of the General Plan Update would constitute a binding agreement between the citizens and the council/staff about the meaningfulness of the General Plan. I do not believe he ever received an answer.

Mike also pointed out that the statement that, “the city is ready for any potential growth. Capacity in the water and sewer system currently is ‘double what we need,’ seems to fly in the face of the “need” that has been expressed by the proponents of the upcoming bond election…as well as the recent increase in water and sewer fees!

City reports outline Scottsdale’s growth needs

By Michael Clancy, The Republic |

Scottsdale officials say the city is well-positioned to handle projected growth over the next 20 years.

Most of the growth will be concentrated in the central and northern parts of the city. The central section of Scottsdale is between Indian Bend and Deer Valley roads, with the less-heavily-developed northern section extending to the northern city limits.

City officials are in the midst of a process, required under a state law passed in 2011, of assessing its infrastructure and the cost of development impact fees. Developers pay those fees to hook up to Scottsdale’s water and sewer systems.

The majority of fees will go down, says Gina Kirklin, finance manager for the city’s enterprise funds, specifically the water system. That is based on the five-year planning period under the state law, which will have the effect of minimizing the number of improvements that need to be done in that time frame, and the fact that the city already is mostly built.

The city is no longer expansion­-minded,” she said. Published thus far are the first two parts of the process — a land-use assumptions report and the infrastructure-improvement plan. Both were written by water planner Chris Hassert using data from two consultants’ reports.

Urban residential units, the most densely populated areas, will dominate southern and central Scottsdale, while rural units, the least dense, will dominate in the northern end of the city, the land-use report says.

The forecast sees more than 15,000 new housing units over the next 15-20 years.

Central Scottsdale can expect to see 9,263 new housing units by 2030, more than southern and northern parts of the city combined. The north and south each will have close to 3,300 units.

The land report also says the city could add as much as 18 million square feet of non-residential space, ranging from retail space to warehouses.

In terms of land use, central Scottsdale will lead in the categories of suburban and urban residential, retail, resorts, cultural and institutional uses, manufacturing and standard and medical office. The only other category, rural residential, will be concentrated in north Scottsdale.

The warehouse category is so small, it will take up only 14 more acres by 2030, the report said.

The land report sees seven key areas of growth:

  • North Scottsdale, northeast of Pima and Lone Mountain roads. The land surrounds the master-planned Legend Trails community, which when complete could hold more than 6,200 homes.
  • State trust land in north Scottsdale in the Pinnacle Peak area. At one unit per acre, it could hold 1,280 units.
  • The Scottsdale Airpark area in central Scottsdale. This includes the Crossroads East area with 1,000 acres of empty land.
  • Airpark land along Scottsdale Road, including the Scottsdale Quarter area. Higher densities are expected here, including redevelopment at the Cracker­Jax property.
  • The Scottsdale Healthcare Shea Medical Center area along Shea Boulevard east of Loop 101. The hospital is planning an expansion, and retail in the area has been rezoned for higher intensity, including some areas that will mix residential, office and retail.
  • Downtown Scottsdale. Major development is likely north of the canal and in the area of Scottsdale Healthcare’s Osborn Campus.
  • South Scottsdale, notably the McDowell Road area.

The infrastructure report breaks down water and sewer demand.

“There is excess production/treatment capacity of 53.36 million gallons a day to serve new demand,” that report says. New projects are expected to use 15.1 million gallons, “Therefore, no projects to expand production or treatment capacity are required during the 10-year planning period.”

In addition, the report says, infrastructure will have to be extended only to a limited number of developments. Most new apartments, for example, are built in areas where the general infrastructure is in place. As a result, prices will not need to be increased except in limited cases.

Hassert, planning and engineering director for the water department, says the city is ready for any potential growth. Capacity in the water and sewer system currently is “double what we need,” he said, and growth is not expected to double.

“We built ahead of ourselves for years to come,” he said.

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1 Comment

  1. Due to the lack of leadership and lack of communication from department to department with in the city government structure, no one should find any of this surprising. Hopefully the new city manager will kick open the doors and let the sun shine in.

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