Scottsdale proudly claims the title of “The West’s Most Western Town.”
The Equestrian community plays a prominent role in that reputation. Those of us in the equestrian community appreciate the commitment and hard work of Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane.
Ranch use permits, which are not unique to Scottsdale, are considered a legal use if you meet the criteria. It is a provisional use that has been on the books for years that allows horse properties of five or more acres to be able to board and train horses, and give riding lessons in a private facility that is not open to the public.
The permit provides protection to the surrounding neighborhoods by controlling dust, odors and noise. It is a blessing for horsemen providing them with income to maintain their properties and a Godsend to people needing to board their horses. It also protects the horse property neighborhoods.
Mayor Lane supports the ranch use permit.
Without ranch use permits, eventually the horse properties will be sold to churches, schools, and developers that will drive out the horses.
We are indeed fortunate to have horse properties, ranches, and training facilities in the central city inside areas known as the Cactus Acres and Cactus Corridor. Mayor Lane has helped preserve the equestrian integrity and rural charm of these areas.
Mayor Lane’s opponent, Bob Littlefield is opposed to ranch use permits; he considers them to be a commercial use and should not be allowed in equestrian neighborhoods. He has unilaterally decided to ignore the legal use without any due process or any attempt to modify the use.
This is a dangerous precedent because he could choose to ignore other laws and that makes him unfit to hold a public office. Ranches are no more commercial than a school or church which are legal in neighborhoods.
Bob feels that by using a ranch use permit you are by-passing the zoning ordinance. If he becomes mayor and changes the ranch use permit to a commercial zoning, that would do more damage to the neighborhood as the property could then be sold to Circle K or any other commercial enterprise.
This would undermine the equestrian community and drive horses out of Scottsdale and that would have a negative financial impact on WestWorld which Bob Littlefield claims to support.
We support Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane to be reelected and we are calling on the equestrian community to do the same.
Editor’s note: Susan Wheeler & Dawn Brokaw are Scottsdale residents