Recently we noticed this letter in the Scottsdale Republic. It reminded us of that irresistible curmudgeonly charm of some southern Scottsdale residents who sometimes seem like male virgins betrothed to Gisele Bundchen. You just can’t make some people happy.
From the Scottsdale Republic
South Scottsdale Can’t Grow Like This
By Maj. George Stafford, Scottsdale
I have lived in South Scottsdale for 48 years. It has been a nice community until now. The City Council seems determined to destroy south Scottsdale by approving any and all requests for construction of apartments and condos.
Between Miller Road and 64th Street on McDowell Road, there are three new areas of housing. The one at 7501 E. McDowell has 572 units! The one at around 6700 E. McDowell and the one at 64th and McDowell will add at least 300-400 more. The one on 6565 E. Thomas Toad has 147 units. The one at 71st Street and Osborn and the one just approved to build at the location of the old Red Lobster will add hundreds more, competing with the one now at Scottsdale Road and Osborn.
These are all within less than two mile from where I live and will add at least 2,500 new residents to a small area. Imagine what it will be if each resident has a vehicle?
Adding all that new traffic to such a small area will ruin the lifestyle for those who have lived here for many years. Why can’t we get some shopping places? We now go to a Tempe mall that is collecting taxes that could be Scottsdale’s. What is this obsession to cover every open piece of land to make living quarters?
If this isn’t enough lunacy, the Council has approved a 400-foot swimming pool for the new Ritz-Carlton Resort that will be the longest pool in North America. Just what we need when we are facing a water shortage.
All this new construction will also require lots of water. I’m glad I’m 92 and won’t have to face the congestion on our southern city streets that will most certainly follow all because of those who can’t see the future any further then end of their noses.
Isn’t it strange none of this construction is gong in north Scottsdale where, incidentally, most of the Council members live? The Council must learn to say no to all developers.
Notwithstanding the mistakes in the letter such as water use at the new Ritz-Carlton which will is to go in Paradise Valley not Scottsdale our favorite part was this:
“Adding all that new traffic to such a small area will ruin the lifestyle for those who have lived here for so many years. Why can’t we get some shopping places?”
Mr. Stafford was speaking about new apartment projects along McDowell Road, near Thomas Road and elsewhere.
Does he not realize that the reason retail started fleeing the area two decades ago beginning at Los Arcos Mall was because the area no longer had the population or wealth to sustain such stores? And retailers in Phoenix, Tempe, at Scottsdale Fashion Square and even the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community began poaching away brands big and small?
To reverse the trend two things are needed: more density as has happened in Phoenix and Tempe, or a migration of new families due to quality schools and good housing stock, as has occurred in north central Phoenix. Minus such dynamics more cool stuff in south Scottsdale will be a hope and a prayer not reality on the ground.
Fortunately, the surprising success of SkySong is serving as a modest engine of sorts for the area, and the promise of the new housing that Mr. Stafford loathes is getting other businesses and capital to consider the area anew.
We have written about it before but there is no more important small business experiment taking place in south Scottsdale right now than at Fate Brewing Company. What the owners have built along Scottsdale Road just south of McDowell is unquestionably the coolest new establishment in the area in years. There are a first mover, believing in the future of the year. If it succeeds look for more unique small businesses like it, kind of a Scottsdale version of Roosevelt Row in Phoenix. If it fails the notion of south Scottsdale on the rise will remain a mirage.
Contrary to Mr. Stafford’s assertions moves by the majority on the Scottsdale City Council are getting businesses of all kinds to look anew at the appeal and untapped potential in south Scottsdale. It’s a reason to hoist a beer at Fate, not wallow in one.