The Valley’s business community has been paying close attention to the turn Scottsdale’s 2020 elections have meant for one of the state and country’s more outstanding cities. Would major investments still be rewarded or reviled by the new, slower-growth governing majority?
Last night, Scottsdale’s City Council, including Councilwoman Kathy Littlefield, showed a sagacious balance of the anti-everything inmates trying to run the asylum and the more mature and sober approach needed to lead a sophisticated city. That’s because on a 6-1 vote, the Council approved a solid plan by Toll Brothers to replace an old bar with 149 nicely designed apartments near Camelback and Miller, including a pioneering attainable housing element. Mayor David Ortega was the lone dissenter, offering a weird critique of the plan that sounded more jibberish than justified.
This was good news because while Scottsdale’s enviable environs are still attracting healthy investments, others are bypassing the community altogether because some businesses don’t want to deal with the current politics. Indeed, some of the city’s most notable legacy businesses are grumbling about how difficult city staff has become because they want to better ingratiate themselves with the slower growth sentiment.
The negative side of being anti-business will not be felt for years, but it will be felt. Just like the inanity over new “apartments” across from Honor Health’s North Scottsdale campus are doing. Anyone who has walked that site, seen what’s there and understands there is no opposition coming from anyone in the area, only support, understands the total insanity of such opposition. As a reminder, there haven’t been any apartments built within 5 miles of the site in decades. Decades. Whether one (more likely) or both of those projects move forward, they are of the type that would normally be on a consent agenda not the subject of any type of consternation. Business leaders are closely watching that ridiculous saga too.
But Tuesday night was an opportunity to applaud a sound decision for a sound plan, by sound policymakers that evening, inspiring hope that balance and not more political bile will be the rule and not the exception over the coming years in a most wonderful city.