Smith: I’d like to explain my Bell storage zoning case position

Thanks to each of you for taking the time to write and express your concerns; as you might imagine, councilmembers heard similar concerns from several residents in Montana Ranch.

David Smith

After studying the Bell Storage project and hearing testimony from dozens of individuals last night, council voted to allow the applicant’s request.

I feel I owe my constituents an explanation:

The current zoning on this parcel — service/residential or S/R — already allows a wide variety of commercial establishments, without any approval from council or neighbors. Of course, it also permits residential, although residential development would be highly unlikely, considering the proximity of the site to the high-voltage power lines.

The storage business project appeared to be more compatible to the interests of surrounding neighbors than any of the other possible “service” projects that might evolve.

Indeed, the project’s height is limited to what is already approved for S/R; set-backs from neighbors and Shea will be greater than S/R requirements; expected traffic will be a fraction of what might be expected with other S/R projects; hours will be limited and security will be greater.

Many speakers last night argued the Shea corridor already has enough storage businesses; they may be right, but council is precluded from considering that question when making a decision.

Rezoning decisions are never treated lightly by council, because they can change the understandings that neighbors had when they bought their properties. In this case, the rezoning seemed to permit a less intrusive development than otherwise might have occurred.

Thank you for your interest in protecting the livability of Scottsdale and your neighborhood.

Editor’s note: Mr. Smith is a member of Scottsdale City Council

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