Ask the Editor: Is an HOA powerless in the ride-share device placement?

Bird, Jump, Lime, Lyft, Razor — ride-share scooter companies operating within Scottsdale have more in common than their frequency for cute, one-word names.

The modern rendition of a 2000s children’s play toy — in fact, Razor’s original scooter was named 2001’s Toy of the Year — has become one of Scottsdale residents’ biggest consternations in the past year or so.

Melissa Rosequist

While children used to scoot up and down the sidewalk in front of their home 18 years ago with just the power of their foot, those children have grown up to enjoy the now-motorized electric version of the device to get from point A to point B.

Turns out, Millennials aren’t the only population purchasing scooter rides for a few cents per minute to enjoy on a Saturday afternoon.

The issue lays within how they are regulated by the municipality, safety concerns and overall city aesthetics with many people wondering what the need for handfuls of scooters to be stationed at every street corner, parking lot and storefront is.

In November 2018 Scottsdale City Council, after much municipal planning and deliberation, approved an ordinance for bicycles, skateboards, motorized skateboards and multi-use paths, which included a number of regulations for the scooter companies to follow.

The ordinance took effect Dec. 13, 2018. However, many residents still vocalize their disdain with the scooters.

Regulations approved by the city include where scooters can be parked, how many are allowed in one area by an individual company, rules for riding, and a notice to respect private property. It appears, however, the regulations are being called too lax by some Independent readers.

In a February commentary to the newspaper, resident Emily Austin compared Scottsdale’s regulations vs City of Tempe’s newly announced rules.

“I have repeatedly expressed my concern that the City of Scottsdale put the cart before the horse, which is a disaster. Tempe dug in their heels and Lime is getting the “hell out of Dodge” because they realized Tempe’s newly-adopted regulations and fees are too costly and put too much liability on their company! Think about that for a minute,” Ms. Austin wrote.

“Meanwhile, Scottsdale City officials are afraid of getting sued by scooter companies by not allowing them to ‘stage’ their products all over Scottsdale every 200 feet ending up in trash cans, the middle of sidewalks, the bottom of canals, etc. In the city’s defense, they have worked tirelessly to come up with an ordinance which is much appreciated, but it’s not working. It’s a fool’s errand trying to monitor this mayhem. It’s also a waste of time and taxpayer dollars.”

While many readers have written in to express their frustration with the scooters, resident Dennis Paternoster raised a good question: is a home owners association powerless to prevent scooters in their private neighborhoods?

Scottsdale Public Affairs Director Kelly Corsette says there are different regulations for an entirely “private property” and a non-residential or multifamily residential area.

“I actually did learn that if the association is entirely private property (private streets, private common areas and private sidewalks), yes they can ‘ban’ within their community (S.R.C. 17-85(d)). Otherwise, they could only prohibit (or more accurately, not give consent) for their private property,” Mr. Corsette explained.

“Within non-residential or multifamily residential, there are additional rules (S.R.C. 17-85(e-f)), they are deemed to be OK in designated parking areas or racks, unless they develop their own rules and regulations.”

To find all the ins-and-outs of Scottsdale’s scooter regulations go to ScottsdaleAZ.gov and search “scooters,” the ordinance is titled: Bicycles, Skateboards, Motorized Skateboards and Multiuse Paths.

Northeast Valley News Editor Melissa Rosequist can be e-mailed at mrosequist@newszap.com or can be followed on Twitter at twitter.com/mrosequist_.

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