Kovach: why I can’t support Prop. 420 and its impacts on the Scottsdale McDowell Sonoran Preserve

As a long-time Preserve proponent I cannot support Proposition 420.

Christine Kovach

Prop. 420 is badly worded, lacks clarity, and is open to interpretation. It is bad for the Preserve, bad for land management practices, bad for the city of Scottsdale, and bad for the citizens.

Read the language carefully. If you are one of the citizens that signed a petition to “keep commercial out of the Preserve,” you were hoodwinked. There is no commercial zoning in the Preserve. We all oppose commercial in the Preserve, it’s not allowed now and never should be.

Despite what the opposition will tell you, if passed, the city will be required to interpret and implement the ballot language exactly as it is written. Prop. 420’s language does restrict the ability to responsively and effectively care for and management over 30,550 acres of Preserve land.

There is no language in Prop. 420 allowing for urgent situations that would alter the natural state of the land for firefighter routes, flood control, etc. as they claim. Nothing can be done to immediately respond to emergency needs of the Preserve without going to a vote.

Fires cannot be fought because firefighters will have to alter the natural state of the land to access a fire – no time to wait for the city to hold an election. During periods of severe drought water basins cannot be added to aid the animals because it will alter the natural state of the land.

Important research needed that involves the use of instruments or soil samples cannot occur because it would alter the natural state of the land.

There is more to taking care of a Preserve than just trails and trailheads. Think about your vote, this language does more harm than good. It is poor public policy, does not belong in the city charter, and is not how a city should govern.

Editor’s note: Ms. Kovach is a Scottsdale resident, community advocate and donor of the ADA Bajada Trail and the ADA Kovach Family Nature Trail in Scottsdale McDowell Sonoran Preserve

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