Guest Editorial: New Beginnings 2023

By Councilwoman Betty Janik

The new year brings with it a sense of renewal and a belief that we will continue to improve as individuals and as members of a community. The City of Scottsdale is no exception. Building on regulations passed in 2022, we will strive to implement these new rules in 2023.

Near the end of last year, we saw the passage of two significant pieces of legislation: mandatory licensing of ShortTerm Rentals and adoption of mandatory “Green Building Codes.”

-With the support of the State, Scottsdale now requires licensing of all Short Term Rentals. This will provide valuable emergency contact information for quick responses to nuisance parties, emergencies, and provide additional needed funding for police, especially the STR response team. Deadline for licensing is Jan 8, 2023 and we encourage operators to comply or face stiff fines. The response has been muted, but we will continue to press forward thru 2023.

-COS adopted the 2021 edition of the International Energy Conservation Code (IeCC) and the International Green Construction Code (IgCC) effective 2023. These codes will reduce water use and energy consumption in new builds. They provide the pathway to a sustainable Scottsdale. Scottsdale is the first municipality in the State to adopt these codes as mandatory. It is anticipated that other cities will soon follow our lead.
Membership in the Protect and Preserve Task Force has been established (Dec 6, 2022). The nine-member team, under the expert direction of our City Treasurer Sonia Andrews, “shall develop a recommendation to Council on a financial strategy to Protect and Preserve Scottsdale open space and quality of life through identifying and quantifying the unfunded needs for the protection, preservation, and perpetual maintenance of the City’s open spaces, public safety, and other needs.”

Old Town Scottsdale Character Plan (OTSCAP) has been gathering input from citizens and businesses for months. You are invited to attend one of six 6 in-person open house events on Jan 10 and 12 and add your voice to the discussion. Direction is to initiate a non- major General Plan Amendment to update the OTSCAP and a text amendment to the zoning ordinance for Downtown. This promises to be a robust debate.

Water will be a major topic of discussion in 2023. Conservation is the key to sustainability and resilience. COS WaterSmart website offers a variety of tips on how to save water. New ideas that reach into the next decade include a desalination project and raising Bartlett Dam. Be confident that our water supply is in good hands with Scottsdale Water at the helm.

Super Season is upon us. Welcome our visitors and enjoy the celebration.
I wish you good health and much happiness in 2023.