Major General Plan amendment sought to make way for new Scottsdale golf course, development

Tucked away in the northernmost part of Scottsdale is a 92-acre plot of land the city is considering rezoning and developing through a proposed ordinance and resolutions.

The city council will discuss the future of this land during a General Plan Amendment meeting Thursday, Dec. 1. The lot in question sits between Pima and Cave Creek roads and borders the Town of Carefree to the south and west.

According to a city proposal, staff is proposing a major General Plan amendment to the 2001 General Plan to change land use on the site to about 55.5 acres of suburban neighborhoods and about 36.2 acres for developed open space or a golf course.

Secondly, staff has offered an ordinance that rezones the area to include about 36 acres of open space, environmentally sensitive lands and about 56 acres of townhouse residential, environmentally sensitive lands, the proposal states.

The final proposed resolution is requesting a conditional use permit for a golf course on about 36 acres of the site that would be zoned as open space, environmentally sensitive lands if the proposed ordinance passes.

Additionally, the proposal states staff is proposing a 100-foot scenic corridor along the Cave Creek Road frontage and a 25-foot scenic corridor along the Pima Road frontage.

According to the proposal, the General Plan land use element marks the property as a mixture of employment, commercial, office, developed open space and rural neighborhoods. Almost 30 acres were dedicated to each commercial and office land use.

However, the site is primarily vacant with a water pump facility, an interim fire station and a municipal well site close to the site. The site is also close to Carefree’s airport.

Town of Carefree mayor Les Peterson said in a Sept. 20 letter to Scottsdale mayor Jim Lane he is supportive of the proposed change in land use.

“To amend the existing mix of employment, commercial, office, residential and open space uses to a less intense, rural residential and open space development is consistent with the rural/suburban character of the area,” Mayor Peterson wrote.

According to the proposal, 87 percent of residents who live in the vicinity of the site and responded to the city’s inquiries were in favor of the project.

Additionally, at a city-sponsored open house, some attendees expressed concerns that there was not a need for another golf course but were in support of stormwater requirements.

Mr. Peterson outlined his concerns for the proposed development in a Sept. 20 letter to Mayor Lane. Some of those concerns, Mr. Peterson wrote, surrounded drainage, traffic and roadway maintenance, specifically on Cave Creek Road.

“We are supportive of the proposal for less intense uses on this property,” Mr. Peterson said.

“However, now is the time to request and negotiate through the entitlement process to ensure that both the city of Scottsdale and the Town of Carefree are not unfairly burdened by this development and that our future residents are not adversely impacted by a lack of foresight or cooperation between our communities.”

Additionally, Mr. Peterson requested seven conditions were met as part of the entitlement approval.

Those conditions centered on:

  • Adopting the 100-year, 2-hour retention/detention measure for the site;
  • Reinforced crossings of two major washes;
  • A left-turn lane on Cave Creek Road;
  • Secondary access to the development on Pima Road;
  • Traffic measures required to maintain current level of traffics on both streets;
  • Construction traffic to enter and exit at Cave Creek Road; and
  • The milling and paving of Cave Creek Road from Pima Road to the entrance of the development.

On Oct. 26, Scottsdale received a memo from Carefree saying M3 Companies/DM19 LLC and the town had reached an agreement on all the conditions outlined in the earlier letter.

News Services Reporter Josh Martinez can be contacted at or at 623-445-2738

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