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Protection of Archaeological Resources Ordinance

(Ordinance 3243, adopted July 13, 1999, effective date August 12, 1999, amended April 16, 2002 by Ordinance 3432)           

To help identify, preserve, and protect archaeological sites, an archaeological survey and report by a qualified archaeologist is required to be submitted for all public or private development project applications within the City of Scottsdale. A qualified archaeologist is an individual or firm meeting the Arizona State Museum’s standards and professional qualifications for an archaeologist. The qualifications for archaeologists and a list of qualified archaeological consultants are attached.

Applicable Development Projects Requiring an Archaeology Survey and Report:

A development project is anything leading to potential ground disturbance, including:

  • Rezoning, use permits, master plans, and general plan amendments
  • Development Review Board cases, preliminary and final plats
  • Lot splits and infrastructure improvements
  • Building and grading permits, and native plant removal

Development Projects Exempt from Requiring an Archaeology Survey and Report:

  • Pending Applications:
    Applications for building permits, single family lot splits, development review board, and final plats that are submitted or approved prior to effective date of the Ordinance (August 12, 1999).
      
  • Single Family Homes:
    A private single family residence on a single family lot. Less than 1 Acre Disturbed: Non-residential development with 1 acre or less ground disturbance.
     
  • Previously Developed Sites:
    Projects on previously disturbed land where 50% or more of the land was already built. Approved Master Plan: Master planned development with a previously completed Archeological Survey and Report within the last five (5) years (depending on what is being disturbed). A mitigation plan may necessary.
      
  • Development/Redevelopment Agreements:
    Projects subject to a development or redevelopment agreement that already contain specific provisions on archaeological resources.
      
  • Mapped Exempt Area:
    Projects within a land area that has been mapped by the Historic Preservation Commission to be exempt based upon prior surveys and research. As of 8/99 there are no areas mapped as exempt from surveys and reports.

Note: Requirements on discoveries during construction are applicable to all developments (no exemptions).

Review of Archaeology Survey and Report

The archaeology survey and report is submitted along with the development project application. The City Historic Preservation Officer and/or City Archaeologist review the archaeological survey and report for completeness, significant sites identified within the project, and the impacts of the project on identified sites prior to the application acceptance date.

Archaeological Impact Assessment

  • No Impacts: If it is determined that the archaeology survey and report are complete, and the project has no significant resources, or it is documented that the project will not impact significant archaeological resources, then the Preservation Division will sign and issue a Certificate of No Effect. With a Certificate of No Effect, the application may be accepted and the project may proceed.
      
  • Mitigation Plan:
    If it is determined that the project has archaeological impacts, the applicant must submit a mitigation plan. The Historic Preservation Officer and/or City Archaeologist may approve the mitigation plan. More complicated mitigation plans require approval by the Historic Preservation Commission before the application can be accepted. Upon approval of the mitigation plan, the application may be accepted and the project may proceed. Land disturbance can not proceed until the Certificate of Approval is signed. When the approved mitigation plan is satisfactorily completed, a Certificate of Approval can be signed.
     
  • Economic Hardship:
    The Historic Preservation Commission may issue a Certificate of Economic Hardship following a hearing that grants an exemption from the requirement to implement a mitigation plan for reasons of economic hardship. Upon issuance of a Certificate of Economic Hardship, the application may be accepted and the project may proceed.
      

Please contact the Preservation Division at 312-7013 or your Project Coordinator for more information on archaeology requirements. The attached list of questions includes the answers to commonly asked questions about the ordinance. For complete information regarding the Preservation of Archaeological Resources Ordinance, please refer to Ordinance 3243 or the Scottsdale Revised Code.