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Doug Reed's Scottsdale City Council Report, November 17, 2016

unspecified.jpgNovember 17, 2016

ELECTION RESULTS-Scottsdale residents voted as if they were satisfied with the direction of the city. All four incumbents were reelected. Out of 100,000 votes cast, Mayor Jim Lane beat challenger Bob Littlefield by almost a 2:1 margin. For the City Council, Suzanne Klapp was the number 1 vote getter, followed by Virginia Korte and Guy Phillips. The three candidates were separated by only 2300 votes. Challenger Dan Schweiker placed fourth, and would have needed about 4,000 more votes to come in third.
Proposition 490, correcting outdated Charter language reflecting when elections are held and when Mayor and Councilmember terms begin passed easily.

Switching for a moment to the State elections, the Arizona Minimum Wage proposition passed 58% to 42%.  Arizona’s current minimum wage is $8.05. It will increase January 1, 2017 to

 $10, incrementally to $12 in 2020, and is indexed for inflation thereafter.  I did a little back of the envelope math. Assume for a minute that you own a small business where all employees (except you) are paid the minimum wage of $8. Assume that wages make up 30% of your total costs. The increase to $10 will increase your wage costs to 38%; an increase to $12, to 45%. Your business has four options to deal with this: Less money for the owner, fewer employees (or fewer hours), raise prices, or go out of business.

 Back to the City Council-Arizona Indian tribes share a portion of their gambling revenue with local school districts, state and local governments and other public entities. Scottsdale applies to the tribe with a list of programs and amounts, the tribe approves and gives the money to Scottsdale and Scottsdale is obligated to pass the money on the the approved programs. For 2016-2017, from Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, the total gaming grant is $1.5 million. Examples of programs benefitting include Arizona Humane Society-$73,000; Hospice of the Valley-$100,000: Desert Discovery Center-$25,000. The Gila River Indian Community has also included $25,000 for the DDC.

CITY MANAGER-The saga continues. Scottsdale has had a temporary manager for about 18 months since the prior City Manager became disabled. The city has hired a search firm, reviewed a total of 144 applicants, conducted interviews, and held two council sessions in an attempt to agree on someone to hire. So far, the Council has not been able to agree, so they have gone back to the search firm in an effort to attract more candidates and will continue the process. Perhaps Council feels that if they continue doing the same thing over and over, they will get a different result.

ZONING-There is a plot of land at 73rd St and Greenway-Hayden which is currently a call center. The owner wants to tear down the call center and build apartments. There is quite a list of approvals needed before the project can begin. The request has been unanimously approved by the Airport Advisory Board, the Development and Review Board and by Planning & Zoning. The final step is approval by the City Council. The matter was heard this week by the City Council. The property is 9 acres, and the request is to build 622 apartments in 4 story configuration. This is a very high density-69 dwellings per acre.  The Council has designated three areas of the city as high density development areas-the McDowell Road corridor, the downtown area, and the Airpark area. This property is in the Airpark area. After an hour of presentation by the developer and discussion by the Council, the vote was 4-3 in favor, so the project has been approved. Voting against:
Kathy Littlefield-Wrong location
Guy Phillips-Too dense
Dave Smith-Apartments attract lower income residents who don’t pay 
                      enough in taxes to offset the costs of City services
Voting in favor:
Jim Lane
Linda Millhaven-Apartment renters are not low income
Virginia Korte-This replaces call center with high end project
Suzanne Klapp-Supports free market and property owner’s right to
                            build

SHORT TERM RENTALS-Our state legislature, in May of this year, enacted a bill which states, in part “A city or town may not restrict the use of or regulate vacation or short term rentals…”. Essentially, cities cannot place zoning restrictions on short term rentals which are inconsistent with zoning on single family homes. We might think of this as the AirBnB law. Currently, Scottsdale limits short term rentals to zoning districts which permit hotels, motels and resorts, so we are not in compliance with the new state law. City Council discussed and passed, reluctantly but unanimously an amendment to the zoning ordinance so that we are now in compliance with state law. 
There was a fair amount of discussion related to how to protect the rights of individual property owners to use their property as they see fit while still protecting neighbor’s rights. The Council’s concerns seemed to center on how to avoid the abuses that disrupt a neighborhood such as one house in an area becoming “party central” every weekend. No solution offered, but Council will work on it. 

November 17, 2016

ELECTION RESULTS-Scottsdale residents voted as if they were satisfied with the direction of the city. All four incumbents were reelected. Out of 100,000 votes cast, Mayor Jim Lane beat challenger Bob Littlefield by almost a 2:1 margin. For the City Council, Suzanne Klapp was the number 1 vote getter, followed by Virginia Korte and Guy Phillips. The three candidates were separated by only 2300 votes. Challenger Dan Schweiker placed fourth, and would have needed about 4,000 more votes to come in third. 
Proposition 490, correcting outdated Charter language reflecting when elections are held and when Mayor and Councilmember terms begin passed easily.

Switching for a moment to the State elections, the Arizona Minimum Wage proposition passed 58% to 42%.  Arizona’s current minimum wage is $8.05. It will increase January 1, 2017 to $10, incrementally to $12 in 2020, and is indexed for inflation thereafter.  I did a little back of the envelope math. Assume for a minute that you own a small business where all employees (except you) are paid the minimum wage of $8. Assume that wages make up 30% of your total costs. The increase to $10 will increase your wage costs to 38%; an increase to $12, to 45%. Your business has four options to deal with this: Less money for the owner, fewer employees (or fewer hours), raise prices, or go out of business.

 Back to the City Council-Arizona Indian tribes share a portion of their gambling revenue with local school districts, state and local governments and other public entities. Scottsdale applies to the tribe with a list of programs and amounts, the tribe approves and gives the money to Scottsdale and Scottsdale is obligated to pass the money on the the approved programs. For 2016-2017, from Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, the total gaming grant is $1.5 million. Examples of programs benefitting include Arizona Humane Society-$73,000; Hospice of the Valley-$100,000: Desert Discovery Center-$25,000. The Gila River Indian Community has also included $25,000 for the DDC.

CITY MANAGER-The saga continues. Scottsdale has had a temporary manager for about 18 months since the prior City Manager became disabled. The city has hired a search firm, reviewed a total of 144 applicants, conducted interviews, and held two council sessions in an attempt to agree on someone to hire. So far, the Council has not been able to agree, so they have gone back to the search firm in an effort to attract more candidates and will continue the process. Perhaps Council feels that if they continue doing the same thing over and over, they will get a different result.

ZONING-There is a plot of land at 73rd St and Greenway-Hayden which is currently a call center. The owner wants to tear down the call center and build apartments. There is quite a list of approvals needed before the project can begin. The request has been unanimously approved by the Airport Advisory Board, the Development and Review Board and by Planning & Zoning. The final step is approval by the City Council. The matter was heard this week by the City Council. The property is 9 acres, and the request is to build 622 apartments in 4 story configuration. This is a very high density-69 dwellings per acre.  The Council has designated three areas of the city as high density development areas-the McDowell Road corridor, the downtown area, and the Airpark area. This property is in the Airpark area. After an hour of presentation by the developer and discussion by the Council, the vote was 4-3 in favor, so the project has been approved. Voting against:
Kathy Littlefield-Wrong location
Guy Phillips-Too dense
Dave Smith-Apartments attract lower income residents who don’t pay 
                      enough in taxes to offset the costs of City services
Voting in favor:
Jim Lane
Linda Millhaven-Apartment renters are not low income
Virginia Korte-This replaces call center with high end project
Suzanne Klapp-Supports free market and property owner’s right to
                            build

SHORT TERM RENTALS-Our state legislature, in May of this year, enacted a bill which states, in part “A city or town may not restrict the use of or regulate vacation or short term rentals…”. Essentially, cities cannot place zoning restrictions on short term rentals which are inconsistent with zoning on single family homes. We might think of this as the AirBnB law. Currently, Scottsdale limits short term rentals to zoning districts which permit hotels, motels and resorts, so we are not in compliance with the new state law. City Council discussed and passed, reluctantly but unanimously an amendment to the zoning ordinance so that we are now in compliance with state law. 
There was a fair amount of discussion related to how to protect the rights of individual property owners to use their property as they see fit while still protecting neighbor’s rights. The Council’s concerns seemed to center on how to avoid the abuses that disrupt a neighborhood such as one house in an area becoming “party central” every weekend. No solution offered, but Council will work on it. 

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posted about this on Facebook 2016-11-23 18:16:30 -0700
Doug Reed's Scottsdale City Council Report, November 17, 2016
@TPScottsdale tweeted link to this page. 2016-11-23 18:16:26 -0700
published this page in Scottsdale City Council & DDC 2016-11-23 18:16:19 -0700