Southern Scottsdale Character Area Plan (CAP)

You can give your input on June 17th!

By MICHAEL SEIDEN
Scottsdale Leadership Class 24

Sixteen years ago, when we were moving from Denver to the Phoenix area for a job that I just couldn’t refuse, we looked at several areas in the Valley.  We had been Colorado residents for 24 years and raised our family there.  It was hard to leave.  However, each year, for several years, we had vacationed in Scottsdale during our kids’ Spring Break, usually staying at the Embassy Suites, now the Chapparal Suites, on Scottsdale Road.  As a result, we knew something about the area before we moved.  The one thing that we wondered about was whether or not Scottsdale was a “real place”.  It seemed so beautiful and well cared for that we questioned its reality.  Even the McDonalds didn’t have its normally ostentatious golden arches sticking into the air.

Having decided that Scottsdale was the only place in the Valley that we wanted to live, we purchased a home and settled in.  It’s now been 16 years and we’ve never regretted our decision.  We’ve determined that this will be our home for the rest of our lives.  That’s why we’ve taken an interest in Scottsdale and want it to be the best that it can be.  To some, it may seem that Scottsdale consists of several separate enclaves, from the south to the north.  Still, we’re one city and the character of the city is determined by its whole.  Scottsdale needs a vision for its future.  For those who view the word “vision” as being too amorphous and “touchy/feely”, it’s simply addressing the question of what we want Scottsdale to reflect as its image to the world.  Do we want to have others see us as “The West’s Most Western Town”, the “Beverly Hills of the Southwest” or an “All American City” that attracts great jobs and families?

As part of the process to determine what Scottsdale will look like in the future, a Scottsdale Character Area Plan is being drafted.  This plan will document policy that will determine the vision for Southern Scottsdale and guide policy decisions for private and public projects in that part of the city.  On Thursday, June 17, there will be two Open Houses at the Convergence Room at SkySong.  The Open Houses will be held from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. and 5 to 7 p.m.

For those who think that Southern Scottsdale is just a small enclave of rundown strip malls and older homes, you should know that the area consists of about 15 square miles, running from McKellips Road on the south to Indian Bend Road on the north, from the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community on the east to the City of Phoenix and Paradise Valley on the west.  Approximately 30% of Scottsdale’s population lives in this area.  The future character of this area will have a major impact on the future of Scottsdale and all those interested in that future should try to attend one of these sessions.

As an aside, since the South Scottsdale area is adjacent to Tempe and Phoenix, the character of that area will probably be impacted by the plans developed for the Discovery Triangle, from which Scottsdale recently withdrew.  One may question whether isolation will improve the character of Scottsdale or diminish it.

For more information on the Scottsdale Character Area Plan please visit the City of Scottsdale website by clicking here.

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