Today Scottsdale is poised on the northeast quadrant of the bustling Phoenix metropolitan area. Scottsdale’s relatively low scale, low density, and physical connection to the beauty and peace of the desert have made it a highly desirable place to live and an internationally-renowned vacation destination.
Our visitors have in-turn created a symbiosis of tourism-related businesses that provide employment, amenities, and recreation opportunities for our residents. Scottsdale’s beauty, amenities, and connections to the metro area, the nation, and the rest of the world are also attractive to other businesses which have chosen to locate or relocate regional and national corporate offices and headquarters here.
Here’s a snapshot of Scottsdale today: “City-Data” demographic and geographic information.
These same features and the folks who are drawn to them have also attracted developers. That in and of itself isn’t necessarily bad. However, it’s kind of like the old saying about guns and people: Developers don’t ruin communities, bad city government, poor planning, and uncontrolled development ruin communities.
I don’t know anyone who thinks that Scottsdale shouldn’t change, grow, and improve. To demand good city planning and high quality development is NOT opposing growth or business.
Most of the problems and disharmony Scottsdale is experiencing today relate in some way to not following our General Plan for community development and growth, AND in not following proper processes for taking resident concerns and desires into consideration when deviating from the General Plan.
We need to ask and answer some important questions today in order to plan for tomorrow:
- What is the real value of tourism and the real cost of its erosion?
- How do we maintain fiscal sustainability in order to keep a great quality of life AND a low cost of living?
- What is the purpose of our General Plan and our zoning ordinances?