Emotions run high as Scottsdale City Council begins to pick apart Old Town guidelines

By Melissa Rosequist | Your Valley

Members of Scottsdale City Council are steadfast that they don’t want Old Town to be defined as a “metropolis,” but opinions differ on what should be found in the historic downtown area.

While changes to Old Town Scottsdale’s development guidelines may be afoot, Mayor David Ortega and Councilwoman Linda Milhaven exchanged heated comments, and officials from the Arizona Multihousing Association reportedly were not happy with the tone emanating from City Hall on Aug. 24 regarding development and apartment buildings.

“Mayor Ortega’s condescending treatment of citizens showing up to speak at a council meeting was as appalling as his anti-housing stance,” Arizona Multihousing Association President and CEO Courtney Gilstrap LeVinus said.

“He continues to talk out of both sides of his mouth about housing. He claims he wants Scottsdale to be home to people at all income levels. Yet he has also indicated he does not want any new housing development projects. The mayor’s aggressive opposition to building new homes flies in the face of the law of supply and demand and the fact that Scottsdale needs to build thousands of homes to keep up with new residents moving to the city.”

Although he was called out for his manner at the dais, the mayor ultimately pointed out inconsistencies between the established 2018 Old Town Scottsdale Character Area Plan and visions of the city.

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