Once upon a time people named Pettycrew, Carla, Korte, Decabooter, Rau, Drinkwater, Manross, Campana and others sat around a Scottsdale table. They had the audacity to not only dream of a McDowell Sonoran Preserve, but to make it happen.
Today, it stands as the community’s greatest accomplishment.
Paradise Valley is blessed to have similar landscapes. They, like Scottsdale’s, define its very essence. And as in Scottsdale the threat of too much development up high is causing certain Paradise Valley leaders to look more seriously at preserving more.
That’s why we applaud the action of Paradise Valley Town Councilwoman Julie Pace, cited for her leadership on the issue, among others, in this recent Paradise Valley Independent article. http://paradisevalleyindependent.com/news/town-council-has-eyes-for-hillside-preservation-in-paradise-valley/
But as noble as we think these steps we don’t think they go far enough. Reinvigoration of the Mummy Mountain Preserve Trust is a fine thing but it is an entity that relies on private donations to increase the community’s open space. Past is prologue and this, ultimately, would be more pissing in the wind.
What’s called for is a town survey of all properties that might be included in preserve efforts. There may be dozens and they may be pricey. But the total costs for maximum preservation should be understood. From there it can be determined how much of a sales tax increase is necessary, and for how long, to pay to acquire such lots.
No one should be scared of such a discussion because ultimately the question of if and how to fund such an endeavor would be left to voters, as occurred in Scottsdale. And Telluride. And Phoenix. And countless other communities around the state and country that said open space and views were worth the price.
It’s well past time for Arizona’s toniest town to engage this debate. After all, it does welcome all visitors to the community with impressive monument signage showcasing mountaintops, not roof tops.
Kudos to one of the new kids on the PV block for getting this important conversation underway. Now it’s time to quicken the pace.