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Character Area Planning

Character Area Plans are components of the General Plan that are used to guide future development and revitalization within specific areas of the city.  Character Area Plans focus on area-related goals and policies whereas the General Plan provides goals and policies applicable to the city as a whole.  To avoid repetition, the Character Area Plans supplement the city-wide goals provided by the General Plan.

Each Character Area Plan includes a long range vision, a description of the land use in the area, area-applicable policies and implementation programs, and may include special study areas.

Adopted Character Areas

*Note: The Shea Character Area Plan planning process is currently on hiatus until the completion of the Scottsdale General Plan 2001 update. To find out more information regarding the update process and how you can participate, please follow the link below:

The General Plan

Cactus Corridor
Cactus Corridor

Desert Foothills
Desert Foothills

Dynamite Foothills
Dynamite Foothills

Shea Area
Shea/East Shea Area

Downtown Plan

Greater Airpark
Greater Airpark

Southern Scottsdale
Southern Scottsdale




The City of Scottsdale has a long history of using area-based plans to provide policy and program direction for certain areas of the city.  The city's first comprehensive General Plan was completed in 1961, and several other policy plan processes followed in the 1980's.

The 2001 General Plan designated the twenty-four (24) areas within the city as Character Areas, which were areas intended to have plans that ensure the quality of development and consistency of character within the context of community-wide goals. As of today, seven (7) character areas have been adopted -- Cactus Corridor (1992), Shea Area (1993), Desert Foothills (1999), Dynamite Foothills (2000), Downtown (2009), Greater Airpark (2010), and Southern Scottsdale (2010).


Character Area Plan Processes- February 13, 2007 (pdf/1.5mb/31pp)

Staff Presentation- City Council, February 13, 2007 (pdf/281kb/18pp)


Long Range Planning

Planning and Development Services

Phone: 480-312-7800
Fax: 480-312-7088

7447 E. Indian School Rd
Scottsdale, AZ 85251