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Neighborhoods Element

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Vision Statement

Scottsdale's vision is to preserve, reinforce, and where appropriate, revitalize the core characteristics and stability that define all of its neighborhoods, commercial and residential. By making sure that changes in neighborhoods harmonize with the existing character, by enhancing neighborhoods' defining features, and ensuring their long-term attractiveness and economic integrity, we can create and/or enhance the unique character and special qualities of each neighborhood. The city will welcome Scottsdale citizens as partners in making sure that their neighborhoods are the kind in which they want to live and do business in the future. In most cases, neighborhood preservation and enhancement considerations will take precedence over other competing considerations.


Scottsdale is a maturing city with diverse and unique neighborhoods that vary in age, size, character, and composition. Our community values its neighborhoods highly and desires to preserve and enhance them for all citizens who live, work, and visit here. Scottsdale has a long-standing commitment to providing a quality physical and social environment for its citizens. The city has created numerous proactive and innovative means of preserving and revitalizing neighborhoods, such as the Neighborhood Enhancement, Pride, Redevelopment, and Historic Preservation Commissions, the Citizen Service Centers, and a very active Neighborhood Services program. Citizens chose the motto "Enhance Neighborhoods" as one of the Six Guiding Principles for the CityShape 2020 process.

Many of Scottsdale's mature neighborhoods reflect the more traditional neighborhood model where most commercial, educational, and recreational services are either integrated into residential areas or located in convenient proximity. Some of Scottsdale's newer neighborhoods offer limited immediate access to such services, while others promote the distance between residential and commercial and other services as part of a rural lifestyle amenity.

As Scottsdale matures, the city must continue to look at preserving and enhancing its built environment. The preservation, revitalization, and redevelopment of, and reinvestment in Scottsdale's mature neighborhoods are critical to maintaining and strengthening the health, safety, prosperity and enjoyment of our community. The city will continue to offer advice, awards, incentives, and assistance to those citizens wanting to improve or preserve their neighborhoods. Such a commitment will continue to be of primary importance to the city in the future.

Scottdale Values ...

Maintaining and enhancing the community's cohesion through its neighborhoods.

  • The protection of the special physical characteristics that enhance neighborhoods, maintain a sense of place, and sustain community identity.
  • The preservation and rehabilitation of facilities and neighborhoods that are part of our community's diversity.
  • The preservation of the community's local historic, archeological and cultural heritage.
  • A commitment to community revitalization to prevent the decline of aging areas and to ensure that a variety of living, working, and leisure opportunities are provided in these areas.
  • The preservation, enhancement, and revitalization of Scottsdale's residential and commercial neighborhoods as the community continues to grow and mature.
  • The redevelopment and reinvestment in the community's mature areas, through urban revitalization, innovative programs, context-appropriate infill development, and redevelopment efforts.
  • Incentive programs that encourage context-appropriate infill development in more mature areas of the city.

    Goals and Approaches

    1.    Enhance and protect diverse neighborhoods so they are safe and well maintained.

    • Provide for neighborhood and social service needs for all citizens.
    • Provide neighborhood recreation facilities and parks.
    • Provide for a range of housing opportunities.
    • Maintain balance between neighborhoods regarding resources, public amenities, and burdens of community living.

    2.    Use redevelopment and revitalization efforts to provide for the long-term stability of Scottsdale's mature residential and commercial neighborhoods.

    • Use revitalization and redevelopment tools to help maintain the community's mature neighborhoods, thus sustaining Scottsdale's quality of life and the aesthetics of its built environment. Residential and commercial deterioration in mature neighborhoods reflects negatively on the community as a whole.
    • Preserve and enhance Downtown Scottsdale as the commercial, cultural, civic, and symbolic center of the community. This will provide Scottsdale with a link to its historic origins while at the same time allowing the community's downtown core to remain competitive in future local, regional, and international markets through urban revitalization.
    • Continue the city's proactive policy of strategic redevelopment intervention in areas that show signs of decline.
    • Provide, maintain and support the legal tools that allow redevelopment to occur in the community.

    3.    Sustain the long-term economic well being of the city and its citizens through redevelopment and neighborhood preservation and revitalization efforts.

    • Support and encourage appropriate public and private economic reinvestment in mature, physically and economically declining areas.
    • Use redevelopment and revitalization techniques to positively impact the visual and aesthetic impressions that tourists, citizens, and the businesses have of the overall city. Citizens, visitors and the businesses evaluate the quality of their Scottsdale experience through visual impressions of the community's built environment. Consequently, revitalization of mature and declining areas in Scottsdale will help to improve the overall impression of our city and encourage economic investment in our community.
    • Revitalize and redevelop aging retail areas in order to maintain Scottsdale's standing as one of the major retail, restaurant, and entertainment destinations within the metropolitan area.
    • Revitalize and redevelop Scottsdale's mature employment centers in order to maintain and enhance the health of Scottsdale's job market. As the community ages, it is necessary to consider the revitalization and redevelopment of employment areas in order to provide for new job opportunities in the Scottsdale market.
    • Maintain and create opportunities for quality housing for all citizens. This is a crucial component of Scottsdale's local economy.
    • Establish appropriate incentives for the development of aesthetically pleasing, infill housing that serves a variety of income levels.
    • Encourage "green building" techniques and alternatives that incorporate healthy, resource- and energy-efficient materials and methods in design, construction, and remodeling in conjunction with revitalization, neighborhood conservation and redevelopment efforts.
    • Encourage adaptive reuse of existing structures where feasible and context appropriate.

    4.    Preserve and enhance the unique sense of neighborhood found in diverse areas of Scottsdale through neighborhood conservation.

    • Maintain and expand the Character Area and Neighborhood Plans program developed by the city to recognize, preserve and enhance the unique and diverse neighborhoods found throughout Scottsdale.
    • Recognize and mediate the tension between older, traditional neighborhoods with many immediate services, and newer, primarily residential neighborhoods.
    • Guide revitalization, redevelopment, and infill (new development in established areas) development to ensure that such development efforts are context-appropriate to the surrounding neighborhoods.
    • Continue and expand the Citizen Service Center programs that act as city outreach posts for citizens in the most localized areas of all - their neighborhoods.
    • Foster long term housing and neighborhood sustainability through preservation, enhancement, rehabilitation, and revitalization of our mature neighborhoods.
    • Continue the city's active Code Enforcement Program (or future programs) to preserve, enhance and promote healthy neighborhoods throughout the city.
    • Create, preserve and enhance pedestrian, vehicular, and alternative transportation mode connections and links between the neighborhoods and other neighborhood-supporting land uses throughout the community.
    • Improve and maintain the current landscape, sign, and design standards throughout the community.

    5.    Promote and encourage context-appropriate new development in established areas of the community.

    • Encourage new development efforts toward existing developed areas in Scottsdale.
    • Promote the use of existing infrastructure as an incentive to encourage more infill development within the community.
    • Promote existing developed areas of the community as opportune economic development infill sites.
    • Encourage green building and sensitive design techniques and alternatives in conjunction with infill development.

    Related Plans and Policies:

    • The Downtown Plan (1984)
    • The Southeast Downtown Redevelopment Plan (1993)
    • The Waterfront Redevelopment Plan (1994)
    • The Los Arcos Redevelopment Plan (1996)
    • The Downtown Redevelopment Plan (1997)
    • CityShape 2020 Comprehensive Report (1992)
    • Historic and Archeological Resources Ordinance (1999)
    • Scottsdale Sensitive Design Guidelines (2000)
    • Scottsdale Green Buildings Program