I get a bit perturbed at those who sit in judgement when residents question the rapid rate of infill development. They don’t address the questions that keep arising.
Their response is to label all who question as members of “the culture of no,” also known as “no growthers.”
If one is “of an age,” past 55 years of age, so I am told, the belief is that we are too old to understand development, the housing market, growth, climatological discussions and impacts, and G-d forbid, don’t speak of all of the elements and ramifications of sustainability!
For the last six or seven years, Scottsdale has seen developer driven growth. That is not what “we the People envisioned.”
No matter what your age, or whether you live in the northern part of the city or the southern part of the city, you are allowed to have a vision for what you would like your hometown to be as it continues to grow up. And it is important to elect individuals to leadership who know the realities, pluses and minuses, of development.
Now some would call me out for being anti-growth or anti-developer. Nope. Not me. I have met and talked to some developers, not their PR people or their legal representatives; those people are not the creative minds behind these projects.
They don’t have the education or training to understand new concepts and methods for responsible sustainable design and construction. No offense, but I am tired of lawyers and public relations folk interpreting the design and construction of infill projects in mature neighborhoods.
Furthermore a lot of my friends and neighbors are tired of developers’ representatives “telling us” what we want and what we like.
Recently, I have had a chance to visit new multifamily developments in other cities in the metropolitan Phoenix area. Many have incorporated the innovative elements for sustainable design and construction.
Other loud voices refuse to even learn or incorporate the word “sustainability” into their vocabularies. One vice president for a development company even brought a dictionary to the podium to discuss the design of the project his company desired to build. He read the first definition the Oxford Dictionary listed. For many of us that just didn’t cut it.
Scottsdale has so many high rise, high density multifamily housing projects/units in the pipeline, to add to those already built, if we don’t ask for those elements of sustainability to be used it does not bode well for the everyday quality of life that Scottsdale holds dear.
It is up to elected leadership to promote the elements of sustainability and it is up to the Planning Commission and Development Review Board to educate council as to the elements of sustainability projects incorporate or should incorporate for the good of all the community.
Editor’s Note: Nancy Cantor is a long-time resident of Scottsdale and community advocate.