Here are some more voices weighing in on the Proposition 430 ballot item for next month’s Scottsdale city election. You won’t see these in the Arizona Republic, which has already endorsed changing the Scottsdale General Plan through Prop 430. Nor will you hear these points of view from the Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce which has once again violated the law (not to mention just being dishonest) in trying to buy an election.
From the Coalition of Pinnacle Peak
New Threats to North Scottsdale Residential Neighborhoods
The newest threats to North Scottsdale residential neighborhoods come in the form of two high density residential developments that are disguised as resorts.
The first is Reata Ranch, a 220-acre parcel located south of Dynamite between 128th and 136th Streets. Its current General Plan land use designation is “Rural Neighborhood”, it is zoned R1-70 (approximately 1.6-acre lots) and currently has approval for a 102-unit residential development.
The request is for a minor General Plan amendment to Resorts/Tourism and a re-zoning to R-4-R to allow a 330-unit development, only about 1/3 of which are purported to be resort units.
Reata Ranch was heard by the Planning Commission on January 26 and was approved by a vote of 6-0. The vote would have been 7-0 except one of the Commissioners had to recuse himself because he is working for the applicant. This case is scheduled to be heard by the City Council on February 28. The case numbers are 9-GP-2011 and 15-ZN-2011,
The second case is Sereno Canyon a 350-acre parcel located near the northeast corner of Pinnacle Peak Road and North 128th Street. Its General Plan land use designation is also “Rural Neighborhood”, it is zoned R1-130 (approximately 3-acre lots) and currently has approval for a 128-unit residential development.
This request is also for a minor General Plan amendment to Resorts/Tourism and a re-zoning to R-4-R to allow a 350-unit development, except in this case the application doesn’t specify the number of resort rooms. The area designated on the “conceptual” site plan for the resort and spa is less than 10% of the total area of the parcel.
There are some striking similarities between the two projects:
Both are using the “resort” label to avoid having to go through the more stringent Major General Plan Amendment process, although it appears both applications, by virtue of their size and the significance of the requested change in use, meet the criteria for needing a Major Plan Amendment.
Neither applicant is has provided any market analysis to demonstrate there is a need for additional resort units beyond what are currently being provided by the Four Seasons and what will be provided when the recently-approved The Reserve eco-resort is built.
Both lack detailed site plans to demonstrate how such a large number of units will be located on the property, or how they can build so many units given the topographical and drainage constraints on the properties.
Both applications are asking for very high density zoning on the entire property, not just for those units that could actually be considered resort units. One good test of which units can be considered “resort” use is to determine which units would be subject to transient occupancy tax (bed tax) and which would not.
Both parcels abut Scottsdale’s Preserve Boundary on at least one side, and both are surrounded by residential zoning that is significantly lower in density than the requested use, making both requests inconsistent and incompatible with the surrounding neighborhoods.
As this issue of the COPP News was prepared for distribution we were advised that the applicant on Sereno Canyon has asked for a continuance to allow them more time to work on some of the issues raised by COPP and neighbors in the area, so it is appropriate to withhold public comment on this case until we have a chance to review whatever changes may be forthcoming.
However, if you share our concerns and those of the residents of the area about the inappropriate density of proposed at Reata Ranch, its incompatibility with the surrounding low-density residential neighborhoods and the inappropriateness of treating this application as minor General Plan Amendments, then please contact the City Council with your concerns. You can reach all Council members with one email at: email@example.com. Again, the City Council hearing date on Reata Ranch is February 28, 2012, and the case numbers are 9-GP-2011 and 15-ZN-2011.
Early Voting Begins in Scottsdale’s March 13 Special Election
Early voting will begin on February 16 in Scottsdale’s Special Election which will submit to Scottsdale voters the proposed Southwest Gas Corporation franchise agreement, Scottsdale’s proposed General Plan Update and 7 proposed amendments to the City Charter.
COPP recommends Vote No on the proposed General Plan Update. We believe the 2011 language provides a clear blueprint of a fundamental change in the city’s attitude toward development and the past two decades of the citizen visioning process that led to the first General Plan. Under the proposed 2011 General Plan, what makes Scottsdale different and attractive to residents and tourists is subordinated to an almost unbridled development focus. It could easily be mistaken as a plan for Phoenix.
The city has until July, 2015 to update its current General Plan. If Scottsdale voters fail to ratify the proposed 2011 General Plan, the current General Plan will remain in place until the City of Scottsdale presents to Scottsdale voters a revised General Plan that truly represents our residents’ vision for the future of our city, and that protects all of Scottsdale from the negative impacts of inappropriate development. VOTE NO ON PROPOSITION 430.
Other key dates for this election are as follows:
- February 13, 2012 Last day to register to vote in this election
- March 2, 2012 Last day to request an early ballot for this election
- March 13, 2012 Election Day – polls are open from 6:00 am to 7:00 pm
From “Concerned Neighbors”:
OUR DESERT IS ABOUT TO BE PAVED – AND THAT IS FOREVER!
COMPLETE WITH MORE TRAFFIC, MORE NOISE, UNSIGHTLY MASS CONSTRUCTION OF HOMES, IMPACT ON WILDLIFE, CONSUMPTION OF
WHOOOOO IS RESPONSIBLE?
OUR CITY GOVERNMENT REPRESENTATIVES –
PEOPLE WHO WILL NOT HAVE TO LIVE WITH THIS
DEVASTATING DENSITY DESTRUCTION
PLEASE GET INVOLVED
- THIS IS A MAJOR CHANGE TO OUR DESERT, NOT NON-MAJOR!
- A RURAL NEIGHBORHOOD LAND BECOMES MAJOR HIGH DENSITY RESORT TOURISM COMMERCIAL LAND – NOT NON-MAJOR!
- NO OBLIGATION TO ACTUALLY BUILD THE RESORT, GOT THAT? NO OBLIGATION TO BUILD RESORT!
(THE USE OF THE ‘RESORT’ LABEL IS A BLATANT WAY TO AVOID THE STRINGENT MAJOR GENERAL PLAN AMENDMENT PROCESS)
DON’T LET THE PROMISED CLOSING OF THE ALAMEDA GATE FOOL YOU – THAT CAN BE CHANGED TOO – NOT NON-MAJOR!
- REATA RANCH: 102 HOMES ON ~1.6 ACRE LOTS IS NOW330 UNITS
- HEARING DATE: FEB 28TH AT 5PM – CITY HALL: KIVA FORUM –3939 NORTH DRINKWATER BLVD.
- SERENO CANYON: 128 HOMES ON 3 ACRE LOTS IS NOW350 RESIDENCES WITH UNDEFINED SPECS
- HEARING DATE: TBA – PLEASE KEEP YOUR EYES OPEN FOR THE DATE!
- THE RESERVE – TOO LATE! ALREADY PASSED: 335 UNITS WAS SUPPOSED TO BE 40 UNITS
Tell your council members that they are supposed to be protecting the desert, not destroying our beautiful way of life – or we are going to VOTE YOU OUT.
Up for re-election: Mayor Lane and council members Klapp and McCullagh.
You can reach all council members at:
From Guy Phillips:
Scottsdale Healthcare (Chamber) has already mailed postcards favoring the General Plan!
We need everybody!
Please contact Guy at firstname.lastname@example.org and get a yard sign!
I also have doorhangers you can place in your neighborhood!
We need $ for mailers opposing Prop 430!
Send your help to:
7131 E. Cholla St.
Scottsdale AZ 85254
We CAN win this if EVERYONE participates!