Knowing Your Friends

After the Scottsdale City Council meeting Tuesday night, we the citizens got a great lesson on knowing who our friends are. Mayor Jim Lane is not among them.

As is his custom, Lane allowed applicants and zoning attorneys to drone on far past their allotted presentation time, but when it was time for residents to voice objections he became an obsessive clock watcher.

I’ve had a number of people tell me I’d make my points better if I took the edge off my comments. They are probably right. However, I’m not going to refrain from calling this like I see it…and in fact Jim Lane called it that way himself.

During discussion of the Portales high-density apartment project on Chaparral Road west of Scottsdale Road, Lane said,

“The developer and the applicant are here to present their case for sure…I’m not hear to have a dialog with you about this…I think it’s a matter of decorum and respect for this body.”

It’s too bad he doesn’t have the same respect for the citizens. I hope you don’t mind that I stood my ground.

Several times during deliberations on Portales and on other cases, Lane referenced “private property rights” of developers as a guiding principle for him.. I suppose that the private property rights of the citizens are not part of his consideration.

Developers and commercial property owners seek to profit from changing the nature of their properties. As real estate professionals always say, “Location, location, location.” If this property was not in Scottsdale, they wouldn’t be able to make nearly as much on it.

So, to profit from these changes–which ALWAYS has an effect on surrounding property owners and the citizens at-large–is a PRIVILEGE, not a “right.” That’s why businesses, for example, have to have a “transaction privilege license” to do business in Scottsdale.

You can watch the meeting video via the link below. My comments on three of the agenda items are at these time indexes:

0:56:00. Downside Risk live music conditional use permit.

3:06.30. Portales apartments zoning stipulations changes.

4:28.00. Issuing bonds (with new taxes) for various city projects.

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