Bloch: No to Scottsdale’s proposed high-rise sign ordinance

Residents don’t want Loop 101 littered with signs


I attended the meeting last night, Feb. 12, at Grayhawk Community Center where Mr. Chi from the Planning Department presented the city’s proposed ordinance change regarding signage.

Specifically for this group, the 1-mile distance between Scottsdale Road and Hayden Road along the 101 Freeway Loop was the subject area.

The meeting was very well attended, present were at least two individuals who are planning to run for mayor, two existing City Council members, and at least two who are planning to run for council. Conspicuously missing were the two pro-growth City Council ladies running for mayor, Ms. Klapp and Ms. Korte.

No surprise there, as these two councilwomen have voted for every or almost every zoning variance that would favor bigger, larger, denser, and the developers behind these projects over the past several years.

Mr. Chi gave a thorough presentation, hats off to him for that.

What the Planning Commission is recommending is that up to eight signs on one side of the 101 and up to six signs on the other side between Scottsdale Road and Hayden Road be allowed in this one mile stretch of freeway.

Illuminated pylon signs up to 60-feet-high above grade of the freeway would be allowed.

Now this is a one mile stretch, most of us have GPS in our cars, we are driving at 60-70 MPH through this stretch, and just imagine the lane changes required for exit, imagine the potential accidents with drivers looking up at this many signs in a short stretch of freeway.

Mr. Chi was very defensive, why not, as he stated the city has been looking at changes in the sign ordinance for five years.

After a great deal of discussion, one person stood up and asked that all those against changing the ordinance, please raise your hand, 90% of the local’s hands were in the air.

She then proceeded to tell Mr. Chi, to report back to his committee this response, unlike three years ago when the citizens weighed in at such a meeting about building on the Preserve and he did not report the temperature of the locals.

The folks in this area just flat out do not want this signage change. They are already more than upset, or should I say angry, about the Nationwide development, and we all know Nationwide is behind this, despite denials of that from the city.

Who is to benefit from signage, Nationwide development and its tenants, or the locals who pay taxes? Answer is Nationwide, nothing in it for the locals.

The City Council already committed to pay 67% of infrastructure cost of the project, where total benefit accrues to the owner/developer. Then to add insult to injury, the council buried the cost of a new fire station in the area in the bond issue, only needed because of this development.

Where does this go next, allow 60-foot-high signs here, then onto the 101 south to Princess, then Cactus, then Shea and onward. Soon we will look like the 202 on the way to the airport, or the 10 in Avondale, or heaven forbid, LA.

The time has come for our City Council to listen to and adhere to what the citizens want, because after all it is our city, it is our future, and we moved here to escape that which is elsewhere. But unfortunately a majority of this City Council does not give a you-know-what about what we want for our city.

Hopefully this will not be just another 4-3 vote in the City Council, where the pro-growth-at-any-cost council members prevail. We negated that result with the build on the Preserve issue where the build-build-build council majority of four were turned away with citizen activism (Prop 420), we saw that majority of four prevail with the Marquee, we saw that result with Southbridge 2, and most recently in N/E Scottsdale with the rezoning of residential property, where the locals were vehemently against such action.

We will hold the City Council responsible for its decisions, council person by council person. Voting records and positions on issues will be made public come November. Our future is on the line! We need to do better, we must do better.

Editor’s Note: Jim Bloch 28 year Scottsdale resident.