Guest Editorial: The Strong Scent of Hypocrisy

By Scottsdale Watchman

In one lauded episode of the television series Seinfeld, George Costanza uttered a now-iconic phrase when referencing an alleged conspiracy. He said, “This thing is like an onion: the more layers you peel, the more it stinks!”

That’s how we’re feeling right about now as we dig deeper into Museum Square detractor Scott Jarson. We’ve devoted a lot of bandwidth to uncovering the reasons why Mr. Jarson likes to demean Museum Square. Take a look at some of them here and here.

His criticisms just don’t make sense. Furthermore, he’s in the minority on this one because this landmark project has extensive support from groups across the city, including notable Downtown Scottsdale art galleries, the Scottsdale Firefighter’s Association, the Museum of the West, GreasePaint Youth Theatre and HonorHealth.

At an open house for Museum Square held a few weeks ago, one of the things that Jarson latched on to was parking. He kept nodding his head whenever any speaker said that Museum Square didn’t offer enough parking spaces and would exert even more pressure on parking in downtown Scottsdale.  We keep peeling the layers on the onion that is Jarson’s hypocrisy, and we’re truly amazed by how much it really stinks.

Since 2003, Jarson has owned one of the units at Loloma 5, a 5-unit condominium development located next to the property that will become Museum Square.

Each unit in Loloma 5 has two bedrooms. Additionally, Loloma 5 has several ground-level offices. Per the Scottsdale Zoning Ordinance’s parking requirements in the Downtown District, Loloma 5 had to include 10 parking spaces. When the project went before the Development Review Board in March 2003, however, the developer received a parking reduction waiver allowing it to only offer eight spaces and it currently only has nine spaces. Loloma 5 offers no visitor or service vehicle parking on-site. This means that guest vehicles and service vehicles take up on-street parking spaces.

Museum Square, the supposed bane of Jarson’s existence, offers guest parking and service vehicle parking. The results of a recently-conducted parking study show specifically that Museum Square increases on-street parking in the Main Street area by 161% with 15 additional on-street angled parking stalls and 22 additional on street parallel parking stalls. It increases on-street parking and this makes up for a development like Loloma 5 which detracts from it.

We know what really stinks. It isn’t Museum Square. And without the tens of millions in new revenue for Scottsdale, courtesy of the sale of city land to Museum Square, there will be NO money to solve and address any of the parking issues identified in the area caused by Jarson and others.