Scottsdale Planning Commission draws criticism

Critics say members too tied to builders

By Edward Gately

The Arizona Republic

Scottsdale Planning Commission meeting

The improving economy has prompted an increase in large-scale commercial and residential projects coming before city officials and, with that, criticism of the way the proposals have been handled.

A growing area of criticism centers on the Scottsdale Planning Commission, an advisory board to the City Council on land use and zoning matters. Critics say its members, appointed by the council, are too cozy with the development community because most have close ties to the industry.

According to documents reviewed by The Scottsdale Republic, all commission members except Vice Chairman Ed Grant are involved in development, and many are involved in Scottsdale projects.

A commissioner who has a direct tie to a project that comes before the commission typically will abstain from a vote. That has not deflected critics, who say that the members are too close to a development community. Others, however, say the members’ experience is critical for a panel that is assessing proposed developments and making recommendations to the City Council, which has final say.

At least one council member believes membership standards need to change.



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Planning member will fill Carefree Council seat/ The Arizona Republic

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