Burns: Maintaining quality of life will be paramount as Scottsdale future unfolds

Scottsdale is presently experiencing an extraordinary level of development activity that is rapidly changing the character and housing mix of the community.

Tim Burns

This change is causing a divide between the citizenry who embrace the changing environment and those who regret the loss of our inherited western theme and character.

The changes are occurring because of a diverse set of economic factors effecting the society as a whole and regional changes that have and will continue to effect Scottsdale for decades to come.

Scottsdale’s established population is presently changing as the baby boom generation ages in place and subsequently has evolving housing needs and desires. Lifestyle decision making and changing economics are affecting our choices in housing and subsequently reflected in the products being offered by the development community.

The development community expends considerable time and effort to analyze demographic trends to deliver product that is marketable to the consumer. The newer influencer on the market is the millennial generation and their housing profile.

This group has been predominately enticed by lifestyle and a rental housing choice. The median age for this group is now 32 years of age and their housing choices and decisions are evolving also.

These two groups and their changing housing requirements are being reflected in the housing product being delivered to the market today and for the next decade.

The Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community is also driving the changing character of Scottsdale.

This economic powerhouse on our eastern boundary will be one of the largest influencers effecting Scottsdale future for years to come.

The community has positioned itself to patiently benefit from its strategic location contiguous to Scottsdale with freeway accessibility and the existing commercially zoned land planned from the community’s southern boundary to the northern boundary south of Shea Boulevard.

The Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community as reflected in their General Plan anticipates substantial employment, retail and recreational development to occur on the City of Scottsdale’s eastern boundary encompassing approximately 4,800 acres over the next 20 years.

As this land is developed it will place ever increasing demand for housing in Scottsdale along with strains on the city’s transportation and other infrastructure.

The present boom in apartment development in the southern areas of Scottsdale are being driven by the forward-looking development community’s anticipation of this demand along with the gentrification of the existing housing inventory.

The 85251 and 85257 ZIP codes are two of the most vibrant areas of housing demand and price appreciation and will continue for the foreseeable future.

Scottsdale’s leadership and long-range planning departments need to be proactive in both planning and policy to address the ever-changing dynamics of the housing market.

Quality of life has been the legacy of Scottsdale and must continue to be our passionate mission to maintain. Scottsdale is changing and will continue to change.

How me manage the complexities of housing supply and demand and the anticipated strains on the character and design of the community will be critical to the future of Scottsdale the place we call home.

Editor’s Note: Tim Burns is a longtime Scottsdale resident and alumni of Chaparral High School. He served the City of Scottsdale as Planning Commissioner, Historic Preservation Commission Chairman and General Plan Task Force Vice Chairman.

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