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Protection of Archaeological Resources Ordinance

Where is the full policy located?Pyramid_SonoranDesertDGs

What is it?

This ordinance sets up procedures for identifying and preserving significant archaeological resources in the City.

City Council approved - July 1999

Where does it apply?


Who needs to use it?

Applicants for all land development projects on public or private land must comply with the ordinance standards. The Preservation Division manages compliance with the standards. Typically applicants hire a qualified archaeologist to survey their vacant land for their project and on-call archaeologists working with Preservation review the survey report submitted. The Historic Preservation Commission oversees the historic preservation program, including implementing the archaeology ordinance.

Why was it developed?

The Protection of Archaeological Resources Ordinance formalizes the City’s commitment to identify and protect, and recover when necessary, significant archaeological resources on public and private projects in Scottsdale. Once a significant archaeological site is disturbed by land development, the potential information that could have been gathered from the site is gone forever. Some archaeological sites should not be disturbed and should be avoided where possible.

Key Points:

  1. Archaeology standards were added to Chapter 46 of the City Code since the standards apply to all developments, not just zoning cases.
  2. The Ordinance defines criteria to determine which sites are significant and focuses on protecting significant sites in place and/or mitigating development impacts on significant sites.
  3. On-call archaeologists review survey reports submitted to the City for both public and private projects. Applicants receive a Certificate of No Effect if their project will not impact any significant archaeological resources.
  4. Provides several exemptions for small projects from survey requirements.
  5. Sets up procedures for the preparation and implementation of a mitigation plan by the applicant when the development will impact a significant archaeological site.
  6. When mitigation is required, the project receives a Certificate of Approval after all fieldwork and data collection has been obtained by archaeologists from a site, and a report on the findings has been approved.
  7. City capital projects, including trails or other projects in the Preserve, must comply with the ordinance to be sure that City projects will not adversely impact significant archaeological sites.

References and related documents:

Download printable Archaeology Ordinance policy card