Assisted Living Care Rezone Hits Snag in Planning Committee – Another Example of Anti-Growth Policies?

Photo Credit:

We have spoken frequently about the lack of affordable housing and Scottsdale leadership’s refusal to rectify the problem. However, it seems as though this issue is manifesting itself in ways other than NIMBYism and no movement on potential developments. In a recent case, even an assisted living center is finding the pathway difficult.

A recent application near the intersection of Cholla and 88th St got a half-hearted approval from the city Planning Commission, as a rezone narrowly passed but a conditional use permit came down to a tie vote (with Planning Commission member Christian Serena not voting in either way for both votes, thus allowing for a tie on the second vote), which automatically results in a rejected recommendation.

With the vast majority of public comment being in support of the project, we cannot even blame NIMBYism. Based on the comments of the commissioners, it seems as though aesthetics and appearance were primary reasons for No votes. A pursuit of form over function. Perhaps a new low in the anti-growth mindset of Scottsdale leadership.

As per normal, the old development trope about increased traffic came into the discussion, but that alone demonstrates the inanity of the conversation. It’s safe to say that people living in an assisted living care facility are not driving in and out frequently, nor are family members and friends likely to visit extremely frequently. The estimated 25-30 first shift employees hardly makes for a traffic nightmare.

To take a direct quote from a stakeholder, “For them it’s their life. It’s their community … most of these members have lost their ability to drive. They want to be in a facility where they can go to church, they can participate in community activities”. Imagine wanting to deny senior citizens the right to dignity and a decent life because you have minor quibbles about zoning and appearance.

It’s one thing to want to not rectify the rent crisis that we have by not approving large apartment complexes. But to not do so for a small center where the elderly can live out their final days is beyond the pale. This isn’t good policy, this borders on cruelty. We wonder what other bridges of indecency that city leadership is willing to cross in the name of “high standards”.