The San Marino City Council page states: “San Marino was formed to protect your personal rights and to control the growth and activities of the City in such a way that each individual resident will be guaranteed a pleasant place in which to live with a minimum of nuisance, with assurance that his property values will be protected by stringent zoning regulations. It is your City Council’s desire to acquaint the old and new residents with the history and background of San Marino, its many advantages and some and some of your responsibilities as a citizen.”
I ran across this excellent municipal mission statement in the Wikipedia entry for San Marino while helping my mother-in-law with a post-Christmas crossword puzzle this morning.
Until recently, Scottsdale’s neighboring town of Paradise Valley embraced many of these values with great success. And indeed Scottsdale’s zoning standards used to be very high, until recent erosion by Scottsdale mayor Jim Lane and his collaborators on the Scottsdale City Council. They are now much less concerned with protecting your property values and “pleasant place to live” (i.e., our much-missed “quality of life”) than with helping ensure the profitability of their campaign contributors in the liquor industry and in high-rise housing project development.