Councilman Phillips is doing exactly what supporters expect
A recent Scottsdale Republic editorial criticizing Councilman Guy Phillips for not recognizing property rights was not only inappropriate, it was dead wrong. Contrary to the editorial, Phillips is doing exactly what the citizens who voted for him want him to do — protect their quality of life and keep their taxes low by making sure any development he approves is right for our city and our residents and also does not negatively impact them financially.
It has been proved that development does not pay for itself, especially high-density residential development, which creates far more expense for the city than any increase in income it may generate. Phillips knows that when this happens, either our taxes go up or our services go down — either way we lose. We are seeing some of that happen already.
Contrary to implications in the editorial, Phillips does recognize property rights. He knows that property owners have the right to develop their property in accordance with the zoning that was on that property when they bought it, but also that a property owner does not have the right to do anything he wants with that property. This is the case with all the apartments being approved by this City Council but being resisted by Councilmen Phillips and Bob Littlefield.
Granting property owners more intense uses on their property is not a right but a gift, and Phillips knows that that any gift to a property owner must not negatively impact our city and its residents financially, must not negatively impact tourism that sustains our city, must not negatively impact our residents’ quality of life and must fit a long-term vision for our city. Zoning, ordinances and our General Plan exist to ensure any development is orderly and does not negatively impact either neighbors or the city as a whole.
Property rights are not violated in any way by insisting a property be developed to the rules that were in place when that property was acquired by its current owner. To imply they are is just wrong and to further imply that Phillips is denying anyone his rights because he refuses to grant them a gift by changing the zoning or intensity allowed on their property is just as wrong.
As one citizen who did support Phillips during his campaign, I can say he is doing everything I had hoped he would do. He knows what all these apartments and increases in height and density currently being granted are going to do to our city and its residents. He knows the congestion they generate destroys the quality of life we all moved here to enjoy and will also negatively impact tourism because people do not come here to see just another congested, overcrowded city, but rather to escape from that.
He makes his decisions based on sound facts and realities that most other council members seem to ignore. Unlike most other council members, Phillips represents the citizens of this city, not outsiders who want to profit off of Scottsdale’s success. That is what we wanted, and that is what we got.
Howard Myers is chairman of Keep Scottsdale Special and president of the Desert Property Owners Association in north Scottsdale.