With the back and forth debate surrounding SouthBridge II and the pushback of heightened density in Old Town, I wanted to weigh in and add some balance to the conversation. There is no doubt, part of what makes Scottsdale a great place to live is that we have taken the aesthetic of our city seriously. By banning the use of billboards, restricting and enforcing strict building codes, and maintaining green and desert open space throughout the city, Scottsdale is a beautiful place to live. I understand why people have such a strong reaction to the growth of heightened density development in some regions of our city. As mayor, I would never want to place short sighted gain before the long-term excellence of Scottsdale. However, as Scottsdale has grown, as more and more families raise children here, we are met with another challenge regarding how to develop the kind of spaces that can accommodate the kind of companies and population to make Scottsdale a great place to live and work long into the future. This is why I reject the “one way or the other” argument surrounding heightened density in Scottsdale. We don’t have to make the choice between saying no to all new developments or allowing heightened density developments anywhere developers please. The Old Town Character Area Plan, approved by a 7-0 vote of the city council in 2018, identifies the strategic areas of development for our Old Town. This is a policy document that guides growth and development decisions for Scottsdale’s downtown. Additionally, it acknowledges that market conditions, building technologies and our community make-up have changed since the early days, and will continue to grow, adapt and transform. (Check out the Plan through the link above.) With leadership and community collaboration, I believe we can maintain the beauty and aesthetic of Scottsdale while still identifying strategic areas of development to continue to grow our work force. Scottsdale is the way it is because of the vision of those who came before. If we want to keep Scottsdale thriving long into the future, it’s going to take visionary leadership now. LEADERSHIP MATTERS.