“I voted for the densest project in the history of our community.”
That’s not a refrain you often see municipal elected officials put on re-election brochures.
Yet, that would be the truth were anyone on the Paradise Valley Town Council to actually vote for the density dog that has become the proposed redevelopment of the SmokeTree Resort near Scottsdale and Lincoln.
Recently, the Town of Paradise Valley Planning Commission had the foresight to reject the supersized SmokeTree. That’s because its proposed density far exceeds that deployed to redevelop the old Mountain Shadows and La Posada sites in Paradise Valley, or what the Ritz-Carlton project was able to muster for its large, vacant site.
And DensityTree’s plans dwarf what was done next door to revitalize the old Cottonwoods Resort into the beautiful Andaz property. Once upon a time, a former owner of Cottonwoods saw intensities like those now proposed for SmokeScreen. But councilmembers before said “no” and the benefits to all are now obvious.
Look, there is a time and place for density. It can be an important and necessary tool in development. But if proposed, there should be a greater good. We just can’t find it when it comes to this plan, especially when it would set a new Paradise Valley record for development per acre.
Paradise Valley has remained the “best small town in America” without a small property like SmokeTree at full potential. And it will remain so. That’s why this absurd plan should be defeated at all costs. No lipstick is available for swine looking for a developer bailout having overpaid for the land. And inertia ought never be a reason to approve a plan. Nor inanity.