By Larry Kush
On February 10th Councilwoman Whitehead submitted a guest editorial to this paper citing her
outrage over a proposed state senate bill known as SB1117.
This proposed bill is in response to the likes of councilwoman Whitehead who, along with other
council members throughout the valley, have done everything in their power to deny the rights
of private property owners to improve their property as well as take away affordable housing
opportunities from Arizona’s working classes. In fact, through her rabid anti housing actions,
Councilwoman Solange along with Councilwoman Littlefield and Mayor Ortega are more
responsible than any single public officials in the entire state for this pro housing bills origin .
The State Legislature has not been deaf or blind to the continuing outcry form landowners and
citizens complaints about city councils though out the valley opposing nearly every multi-family
project brought to a vote before them.
As we grow, Arizona needs more housing and it is our elected officials responsibility to insure
that there is a place to house our growing population. This responsibility somehow passes by
Solange. Instead, she only responds to or supports the vitriol of the NIMBY (not in my
backyard) of organized residents who don’t want apartments in their neighborhood, usually
citing traffic; lower property values and increased crime as their reasoning for their opposition.
When the truth is, they just don’t want “those people” in their neighborhood.
To add insult to injury, in her editorial, Solange does not even get her facts straight! She says
the bill pre-empts cities on all housing matters which is totally false. She also says projects
could be approved without council votes. This is also false.
I suggest she actually read the bill (as I did) and she will see that there is no council vote
required if the project adheres to the city’s general plan (a plan which was passed by the
voters). Also, the “By Right” language which she is so frightened off only applies if the case in
question is within 2 miles of Light rail (Last time I looked Scottsdale lacks light rail).
There are many excellent provisions to this bill to include allowing for ‘Granny” flats in your rear
yard or setting time limits on City approval and allowing “at risk” permits.
Bottom line is, Solange should actually take the time to read and analyze the bill’s language and
rethink her position on housing. (I have a copy from the bill’s author that I can share) I know
that I plan to do all that I can to support this bill
45 year Scottsdale resident
Former 6 year Scottsdale Planning commissioner