Guest Editorial: Save The Dells

By Scottsdale Pinetop

Tuesday December 11 – the day the Desert Discovery Center was finally laid to rest once and for all. The Scottsdale City Council unanimously voted to put an end to the potential development of the infamous Desert EDGE within the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. A well-deserved victory for the supporters of Proposition 420 and a triumph in preserving the rights of Scottsdale residents. But the Protect Our Preserve advocates are not the only group fighting to protect one of its hidden gems.

For “Save the Dell”, an activist organization in Prescott, the battle rages on.

The Granite Dells, commonly referred to as The Dells, is Prescott’s most defining characteristic and one of Arizona’s most stunning landscapes. Just north of downtown Prescott, the Dells comprise of unique granite rock formations, small lakes and miles of hiking trails. But urban developments continue to come closer and closer to this natural wonder.

Arizona Eco Development (AED) is a major Arizona based land holding company. AED is proposing a 1,800 home development that would encroach on the northern part of the Granite Dells. The goal of Save the Dells is to permanently preserve the remaining undeveloped portions of The Dells for public use. Sound familiar?

Unlike Scottsdale’s zero-sum game approach, Prescott residents are looking for a win-win solution. Prescott’s Land Development Code requires developers to dedicate at least 25% of their land toward open space. Save the Dells is not looking to stop the development, but rather find a compromise that benefits all parties. They are requesting is that 500 acres of the open space to be dedicated to places where the public is welcome.

With such a public outcry to protect the Granite Dells, it’s no surprise that the City Council is anxious to find a suitable agreement that preserves the beloved Granite Dells without overstepping on property rights. This is a very complex and important development that needs to be done right. This is Prescott’s last change to protect the Dells. We hope this can be resolved sooner rather than later, so that Prescott can share in the victory. As Scottsdale just did.