Scottsdale City Council OKs new housing development downtown

A grpahic rendering of the The 1.2-acre site is at 3126 N. 71st Street in downtown Scottsdale. (Submitted graphic)

A graphic rendering of the The 1.2-acre site at 3126 N. 71st Street in downtown Scottsdale. (Submitted graphic)

Scottsdale City Council Tuesday Dec. 2 unanimously approved a minor General Plan amendment making way for an 18-home subdivision coined “The Gallery” in downtown Scottsdale.

The 1.2-acre site is at 3126 N. 71st Street and within the Southern Scottsdale Character Plan, which encourages redevelopment and revitalization of areas with the southern region of the municipality, a Dec. 2 staff report states.

The owner of the property, Mockingbird Group LLC, has gained approval to change the mixed-use neighborhood land use designation to an urban neighborhoods designation allowing for the housing development to be built.

Subsequent to the zoning change, two nearby commercial operations saw the zoning of their parcels require a new 25-foot setback buffer. The zoning imposition prompted two legal challenges filed by adjacent property owners to be filed on the zoning request, the staff report states.

In addition to the zoning changes, Scottsdale City Council approved two new development agreements between adjoining property owners allowing for previous setback requirements to stand despite the zoning change at the 1.2-acre site.

“The city has received two legal protests–one from each of the automobile repair centers as any future development on those properties would have to abide by that 25-foot setback,” said Scottsdale Senior Planner Brad Carr at the Dec. 2 public hearing.

“The proposed solution would be to create a development agreement for these properties. Those may present some citywide implications that has issues to administration of zoning requirements and are not limited in terms but are perpetual.”

Mr. Carr alluded to the idea the development agreement use in this instance may spur other parcel owners to pursue the same zoning remedy as issues arise.

“In the future, issues that need to be resolved could be more substantial than a 25-foot setback,” he pointed out. “The implications of something like this are much broader than these two development agreements. There is potential for other property owner to pursue a development agreement to gain special zoning rights.”

Jordan Rose of the Rose Law Group represents the applicant in this matter.

“We feel like we have found a win-win-win solution,” she told city council at the public hearing. “Our neighbors are not here tonight because we made a deal. These auto repair shops are not precedent setting … they are asking for you to preserve their property rights and you are the only ones who can do that.”

Members of Scottsdale City Council agreed.

“I think this is exactly what legal protest is supposed to do. It is supposed to bring the parties together to find a resolution,” said Scottsdale Councilwoman Kathy Littlefield. “I am happy to be approving this item tonight.”

Independent Newsmedia Arizona Managing Editor Terrance Thornton can be contacted at

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