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Desert Foothills Scenic Drive

Study Areamap

The Desert Foothills Scenic Drive is located in Scottsdale, Arizona on the northern six miles of Scottsdale Road. Situated between Happy Valley Road and Carefree Highway, the Scenic Drive consists of approximately 11.5 miles of roadside frontage.  Seen as a community landmark, preservation efforts have been made for over 50 years to maintain its natural desert character.  Neighboring communities, volunteers, non-profit organizations, and the City of Scottsdale have made substantial contributions to preserve and restore the natural desert environment and enhance its character as a distinctive tourist destination.

The Desert Foothills Scenic Drive of Scottsdale Road is designated by Scottsdale’s General Plan as a scenic corridor.  Scenic corridors are major thoroughfares that require expanded scenic desert landscape setbacks to preserve a sense of openness for the community. The principle goal of scenic corridors is to achieve minimal visual impact of the built environment on the natural desert setting.

In September of 2000, Scottsdale voters approved the authorization to issue bonds in the amount of $27,100,000 for “scenic corridor preservation, restoration and enhancement.” This bond issue also provided for the development of a streetscape enhancement program for the entire 24.5 miles of Scottsdale Road. The planned bond funding for the Desert Foothills Scenic Drive is estimated at approximately $9.5 million, with $2 million allocated for acquisition and construction improvements for and interpretive roadside pull-out.

For additional information please see the Desert Foothills Scenic Drive Scenic Corridor & Trails Analysis Executive Summary.

 

Priorities

Understanding the needs of the Scenic Drive and the community, the following alternatives have been identified and prioritized through a public participation process. Options are ranked in order of importance and available funding.

Priority 1

Undergrounding the remaining 12kV overhead power lines from Pinnacle Peak Road to Ashler Hills Drive with any remaining funds, continue with priorities two and three.

Priority 2

Provide native plant revegetation and install intersection improvements reflecting the rural desert/equestrian character of the area.

Priority 3

Improve the trail system as allowed by any remaining project funds.

Priority 4

Provide an interpretive roadside pull-out.