2023 Preview

Paradise Valley preps for three ‘Rs’ in 2023

Recession, resorts, rentals top the town’s list

Posted 12/22/22

As the new year approaches, Paradise Valley Mayor Jerry Bien-Willner and Vice Mayor Anna Thomasson shared their thoughts and expectations of what council will face starting in January. …

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2023 Preview

Paradise Valley preps for three ‘Rs’ in 2023

Recession, resorts, rentals top the town’s list

Posted

As the new year approaches, Paradise Valley Mayor Jerry Bien-Willner and Vice Mayor Anna Thomasson shared their thoughts and expectations of what council will face starting in January.

Bien-Willner and Thomasson said the council is keeping an eye on the town’s finances, but it’s prepared for any recession or downturn that may arise with its current capital and cash reserves. Paradise Valley has a policy to keep at least 90% of a year’s operating revenue in reserve, according to Bien-Willner.

A recession would have to affect multiple levels of income before Paradise Valley would see a strain on its reserves.

Thomasson said the council would be able to sufficiently respond to a recession after weathering COVID by holding off on capital spending for a year and tightly managing staff costs.

“We always need to be careful. About 40% of our revenue comes from our resorts,” Thomasson said.

In the new year, resorts will continue to look at improving and renovating. Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Bungalows is the furthest along in the process with the Planning Commission to make a recommendation on its application at the first meeting in January.

SmokeTree Resort is in the pre-application phase and has not yet come to council, and Sanctuary Resort is under new ownership that’s discussing renovation, according to Thomasson.

Short-term rentals also will continue to be an important issue in 2023 with properties now required to register, as council aims to enhance the safety of guests and neighbors. Before, Paradise Valley had between 200 and 300 short-term rentals, and so far 30 have registered. Bien-Willner expects most existing rentals to register, but some properties have  shuttered for rentals because of the increased regulation.

“Hopefully, this discourages people who would turn a blind eye or who were bad actors,” Bien-Willner said.

During the past year, Paradise Valley worked to coordinate between the police department, code enforcement and town staff to manage short-term rentals and reduce complaints, which was successful.

“The whole problem really got managed before registration, so I think in 2023, it’s really about making it even better and getting those processes seamless and efficient,” Thomasson said.

There are still some undeveloped parcels of land in town, so one thing coming up is more lot splits and subdivisions, which will follow current zoning regulations of one home per acre, meaning upcoming lot splits would be more than one acre.

One parcel for sale is off Tatum Boulevard near Roadrunner Place.

There are always unexpected issues that arise during the year, Bien-Willner said.

“But I think we have a really good track record on this council of looking out for the town’s standards and values as reflected in our ordinances and the general plan,” he said. “We’ve gotten through tough ones in the past through teamwork, collaboration, transparency and openness. My experience with our residents is that when they see that transparency, they feel good about the result.”

“I’m just really excited for the new year. I think we have a great council. I think we’re very much unified on shared town values, and when you have a unified council, you can address the business as it comes up,” Thomasson said.
According to the mayor and vice mayor, town council’s ongoing mission is to keep Paradise Valley safe, stable and an excellent place to live.

Paradise Valley Town Council, Paradise Valley resorts, Paradise Valley short term rentals