The city of Scottsdale stands by helplessly as an environmentally insensitive HOA methodically begins destroying a small forest of 970 fifty-foot shade trees in the north Scottsdale community of Arcadia at Silverleaf, where surface temperatures in the summer are some 35 degrees cooler than surrounding communities.
Although last August the Scottsdale DRB unanimously denied the DC Ranch HOA’s application to remove 670 trees, the HOA found a work-around by incentivizing homeowners to do their dirty work for them.
Under the heading of “Injury to Insult,” although city planners said any replacement tree should be 48-inch box trees, a zoning administrator unilaterally overrode them and approved the HOA’s request to reduce the size to 36-inch boxes and then promptly left the city’s employ! That smells funny.
The city claims that since the trees are being removed from private property by the owner, there is nothing they can do. Although the Scottsdale design principals call for the planting of shade canopies to reduce heat buildup, water usage and energy consumption, the city turns a blind eye to the environmental carnage going on in this tranquil neighborhood.
So although the city talks a good game about environmentally responsible developments, one of the most powerful HOAs in Arizona is destroying a mature shade canopy and micro-climate, dramatically increasing water usage and creating a much larger carbon footprint. Why does city government not just once do what they say?
Editor’s Note: Thomas LaPorte is a resident of Scottsdale.
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