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Doug Reed's Update on the Scottsdale City Council July 21, 2016


There are two separate acquisition issues ongoing.                                               

The first is buying a little over 5 acres of land in the middle of the Preserve located on 126th Street just south of Pinnacle Peak Rd (about 6 miles NE of here). This is currently an owner occupied home and a separate undeveloped lot. The owner will have the right to live in the home until death at which time the property will pass to Preserve ownership. The agreed purchase price is $4mil. This item was included on the consent agenda and passed with a 7-0 vote.

The second involves a major rezoning issue. In 2002, Scottsdale and the State Land Trust made a deal: The Trust would rezone Trust owned land that Scottsdale wanted for the Preserve. This rezoning resulted in a reduction in the value of the land, making it possible for the Preserve to buy the land. In return, Scottsdale would, in the future, agree to rezone the remaining Trust land so that it’s value would increase to offset the Preserve’s losses. This rezoning has been approved by the City Council on a 6-1 vote with Guy Phillips dissenting. I believe Guy Phillips favors the rezoning, but voted no because he wanted a 90 day delay in the vote.  As a result of this approval, it is expected that 

the Trust will, in September of this year, auction one of the last parcels that the Preserve wants to purchase. This parcel is a little over 400 acres located Northeast of Pima and Dynamite. The expected cost is in the range of $30mil or more, and will be funded by Preserve bonds. 

These will likely be the final purchases for The Mountain Preserve. There will be a bit less than $90mil in bonding capacity left after these purchases. $20-30 million will likely be used for trailhead improvements, leaving perhaps $60 million in unused capacity. There has been talk of using this $60mil to fund the Desert Discovery Center. This would involve a legal opinion determining that the enabling statute for the Preserve  authorizes such use.

ONE SCOTTSDALE-This is a large development located NE of Loop 101 and Scottsdale Road-North of the Henkel building. It involves 2000 residential units and 1.8 million square feet of commercial space. It also includes

 a height limit of 60 feet on Scottsdale Road, and a limit of 90 feet for buildings closer to the middle of the property. The rezoning was approved by our City Council on a 5-2 vote. Dave Smith introduced and voted for the motion, Suzanne Klapp seconded and voted for,  Virginia Korte voted in favor (referring to it as a center of commerce), Linda Milhaven voted in favor,   and Guy Phillips voted in favor.  Mayor Jim Lane voted against, and Kathy Littlefield voted against (saying this was just another upzoning for the benefit of the developer). One final point-apparently, the street improvements needed to handle the increased traffic, which I believe will be paid by the developer, will be started toward the end of project construction.  


City Council has agreed unanimously to purchase 1.5 acres at 84th Street and Indian Bend for the relocation of the station currently located at Scottsdale Road and McDonald. The property appraised at $1.25mil and this is the amount offered by the city. This is within the amount budgeted by the city and within the bond parameters. The owner does not want to sell to the city, but has been negotiating to sell the subject lot and adjacent property to a private buyer to be used for senior housing. During an appearance at a City Council meeting, the owner threatened to take his case to the Supreme Court and make this the most expensive fire station in Scottsdale.


As many of you know, I am on the Citizens Bond Oversight Committee. At a recent meeting, I brought up two issues that you may be interested in:

1. Many of us, when we voted on the bond issue, were under the impression that, if passed, we would see 140 miles of streets repaved. In fact, in the “Proposed Bond Projects” booklet prepared in April, 2015, the headline for the street repavement section reads “Replace 140 Miles of Deteriorated Pavement”, and the project summary states “This project will repair and repave approximately 140 miles of various local, collector and major streets around Scottsdale..” Well, there is a term which was not mentioned called “lane miles.” A one mile section of road that has one lane in each direction equals two lane miles. The same road with two lanes in each direction equals four lane miles. What we are going to get is a little more than 140 (the actual figure is now 163) lane miles.

It appears that this will equal around 50-60 actual miles of streets repaved. 

2. Of the $12.5mil approved by the voters for street repavement, approximately $1.2mil (this is a very rough figure and could be lower) will be used to comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) items-specifically ramps. According to city staff, the ramps are required by federal law any time a street is repaved. And, most people surely agree that the ramps should be provided. There is an argument, however, that the voters did not approve ADA ramps, but approved pothole free streets. It would follow that, since the ramps are required, perhaps the funding for the ramps should come from general city funds, thus freeing up bond dollars to repave more “lane miles”.

If you are concerned about either of these issues, you might want to let our City Council and Mayor know.


City Council voted recently on the 2016 TMP. This is to supersede and update the 2008 TMP. By far, the item which drew the most debate was the issue of fixed rail. The original update showed fixed rail routes from Sky Harbor and Tempe into downtown Scottsdale using McDowell and Scottsdale Roads. There was major opposition to this from citizens who cited the cost to build, the subsidies to operate, and the disruption to traffic and business during construction. There were many comments and much debate. In the end, the vote was 5-2 against light rail.

Mayor Lane and Councilmembers Phillips, Klapp, Smith and Littlefield voted against including any mention of  light rail in the TMP. Councilmembers Korte and Milhaven voted in favor of including an option for light rail in the TMP. Korte and Milhaven felt that we should keep all options open. Lane, Phillips, Klapp, Smith and Littlefield were emphatic, citing major expense (both construction and subsidized operation) and lack of flexibility to respond to changing travel patterns.

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published this page in Scottsdale City Council & DDC 2016-07-21 17:21:13 -0600