We have opined before that one of Scottsdale’s great strengths over the years has been an enduring, mature governing majority. While Scottsdale’s political schizophrenia often yields a Littlefield or Zraket it doesn’t usually flush sanity or common sense when decisions come to the dais.
This can be difficult when neighborhood unrest is significant. But it’s in those times having a council consisting of accomplished individuals makes all the difference. Scottsdale isn’t Glendale. They know having succeeded in business and life what it takes to move an organization forward. And despite political turbulence from time to time keeping the ship steady and prosperous is more important to the community’s quality of life than being a lurch for a loud, micro-minority.
The upcoming decision on Rancho Paraiso is a case in point. West of Scottsdale Road and along Cactus a new ranch is being proposed on six acres. Keep in mind this is an area of horse properties. Keep in mind it would hardly be Scottsdale’s largest ranch. Keep in mind the neighbors closest to the site including Arizona Diamondbacks’ legend Luis Gonzales support Rancho Paraiso. At a time of Scottsdale recently losing Greasewood Flat, Pinnacle Peak Patio and other “western” elements the case on its surface has all the making of an easy, unanimous council vote. Indeed, it SHOULD be a unanimous vote.
Yet, a separate contingent of neighbors despite living amongst horses don’t want more of them. The whole thing is odd.
But in the governing tradition mentioned above Scottsdale City Councilwoman Linda Milhaven has been attempting to mediate a compromise. She’s tough, she’s independent and she has a particular view of what drives Scottsdale forward. Voters must like her approach. She was rewarded as the top vote getter in the 2014 city council elections despite being targeted with negative advertisements.
Backers of the ranch proposal are well known Phoenicians. And when it comes to superb equestrian facilities this isn’t their first rodeo. They can be seen at the couple’s Promontory community in Park City.
At the suggestion of a neighbor who used to be an opponent but who is now a supporter the applicant has significantly reduced the number of horse stalls for the ranch to 48 with an additional requirement that it only be allowed to gain that number if it is fulfilling all promises, and is in compliance after one year. Until then the number of stalls is 38. Sounds pretty reasonable since there are much larger ranches east of the 101 on the Cactus Corridor. New stipulations have also been agreed to at the request of other neighbors.
But in a middle finger flip to Milhaven and the spirit of compromise some neighbors have responded with requests that look something like it was proffered by the Castros in Cuba not common sense near Cactus.
We don’t know if Liberty Wildlife which operates nearby the proposed ranch (and supports Rancho Paraiso) has any chickens. If not, it’s the irrational, remaining neighbors who may be hiding some for the game of chicken they are playing could be a fateful one indeed – all over 10 horse stalls.
Because if our prediction of Scottsdale’s mature majority doesn’t hold again – and equestrian emigration continues its stampede – the noisy neighbors are likely to get a rumored charter school as the alternative, having shot a much better alternative at their not so OK Corral.
That would be a very unfortunate new meaning for Crazy Horse. For Scottsdale. And for the area. Fortunately, we have a hard time believing at least four on the City Council won’t see through the remaining inanity. For if Scottsdale isn’t for impressive investments that celebrate its heritage what does it stand for?