Scottsdale General Plan 2035

Overview

The General Plan is the primary tool for guiding the future of the city. It contains the community’s goals and policies on character and design, land use, open space and the natural environment, business and economics, neighborhood vitality, transportation and growth. It shapes the physical form of the city, yet it also addresses other aspects, such as community services, protection of desert and mountain lands, and the character of neighborhoods.

The General Plan provides a guide for day-to-day, short- and long-term decision making. Scottsdale’s General Plan has three interrelated roles:

  • It is an expression of the community vision, aspirations, values, and goals;
  • It is a decision-making guide; and
  • It fulfills State and City Charter legal requirements.

The General Plan (Scottsdale General Plan 2035) was adopted by City Council on June 8, 2021 and ratified by the Scottsdale voters in November 2021, per state statute requirements.

Scottsdale General Plan 2035

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Scottsdale General Plan 2035
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The General Plan varies from the structure outlined in state law. Some of the state mandated elements have been combined and some have been expanded beyond what is required by the state. The Scottsdale General Plan also includes seven community created elements: Character & Design, Arts, Culture & Creative Community,  Healthy Community, Tourism, Education, Economic Vitality, and Community Involvement. As such, City of Scottsdale General Plan 2035 is divided into twenty-four elements which contain the city's goals and policies on each of the various subjects covered within the plan.

General Plan goals and policies are implemented through ordinances, regulations, ongoing procedures, recommendations from City boards and commissions, and decisions made by the City Council. The General Plan is also carried out by private actions and initiatives in the community.

 

Scottsdale General Plan 2035

Download Character & Design Element

The goals and policies of the Character & Design Element focus on the important aspects, connections, transitions, and blending of character that ensure our community evolves as an integrated mosaic. Topics covered in this element include development appropriateness, character types, Character Area Planning, design, public spaces, landscaping, light and noise pollution, and western and equestrian lifestyle.

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Download Land Use Element

The goals and policies of the Land Use Element reflect careful consideration for the types and locations of defined land uses and delineate the criteria that are carefully considered when contemplating a change in Land Use Category (General Plan Amendment Criteria). Topics covered in this element include land use transitions, land use balance, resource conservation, land use and transportation, airport compatibility, the Future Land Use Map, and General Plan Amendment Criteria.

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Amendment Criteria:

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Download General Plan Amendment Criteria

Arizona Revised Statutes require each city to establish General Plan Amendment Criteria to determine if a proposed change to the General Plan Land Use Element qualifies as a ‘Major’ Amendment. Per State Statute, a ‘Major’ Amendment is defined as a “substantial alteration of the municipality’s land use mixture or balance, as established in the municipality’s existing General Plan Land Use Element.”

Download Arts, Culture & Creative Community Element

The goals and policies of the Arts, Culture & Creative Community Element speak to the important role that arts, culture and the creativity will continue to play in the city’s future. Scottsdale will build on its authentic cultural experiences, innovative programs, and competitive regional standing in arts and culture. Topics covered in this element include regional cultural standing, arts and culture programming, historic preservation, and the creative community.

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Download Open Space Element

As stewards of parks and open spaces, the city is dedicated to promoting healthy lifestyles and a higher-level of livability by providing safe, accessible, and attractive outdoor space. Scottsdale will respect and sustainably manage its open space resources. The Open Space Element covers topics such as open space types, the Scottsdale McDowell Sonoran Preserve, and open space management.

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Scenic Corridors & Streetscapes

Download Environmental Planning Element

The city’s natural environment includes both the ecological systems that sustain Sonoran Desert vegetation and wildlife, as well as other elements that provide clean air and water, protect the community from hazards, and create a beautiful and enjoyable setting. The Environmental Planning Element provides goals and policies for protecting and enhancing the quality of Scottsdale’s natural and human habitats for future generations. Topics covered in this element include Sonoran Desert habitat protection, air quality, recycling, green building, and water quality.

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Office of Environmental Initiatives

Download Conservation Element

Scottsdale is active in, and continually improves efforts to safeguard its natural and man-made resources—from wildlife habitat to watersheds. The Conservation Element guides Scottsdale’s resource conservation efforts to provide a healthy and diverse environment for current and future generations. Topics covered in this element include natural resource management, water conservation, stormwater management, and biodiversity.

Download Water Resources Element

Conservation of our most precious asset, water, occurs through decreasing use, reducing waste, and maximizing its efficient use on a daily basis. The Water Resources Element ensures that Scottsdale continues to provide safe, reliable, and quality drinking water to the community. Topics covered in this element include long-term water supply and drought preparation.

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Download Energy Element

The goals and policies of the Energy Element seek to balance the energy needs of consumers with the sustainability of the community’s renewable and non-renewable energy sources. Topics covered in this element include energy efficiency, city facilities, and renewable energy sources.

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Download Community Involvement Element

The Community Involvement Element underscores the importance of community involvement to capture new ways to promote citizen involvement and engage diverse perspectives in decision-making. This element serves as a building-block to strengthen ways to effectively inform and involve the community in discussions and decision-making processes. Topics covered in this element include seeking broad public input, collaborative solutions, and engagement techniques under the umbrella of civil dialogue.

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Historical Community Input:

Download Healthy Community Element

The Healthy Community Element seeks to maintain Scottsdale’s leadership role in health and human services, respond to the needs of families, take care of our neighbors and our elders, promote lifelong learning, and provide opportunities for youth to grow and become leaders in the future. Topics covered in this element include healthy food, health and wellness, life-long learning, supporting senior citizens, and diversity and inclusion.

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Download Housing Element

Scottsdale is committed to the provision and preservation of housing opportunities to meet the needs of current and future residents. The Housing Element will ensure that future housing options include a wide-range of opportunities for people living and working in Scottsdale, as well as people at different life stages, income levels, and social and physical abilities. Topics covered in this element include housing context and character, fair housing, and housing choices for a variety of needs.

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Download Recreation Element

Recreation is a part of Scottsdale’s image, provides social interaction, and promotes community well-being. Through the Recreation Element, the city’s recreational facilities and programs will provide for the leisure and fitness needs of Scottsdale’s current and future generations. Topics covered in this element include quality recreation facilities and programming.

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Scenic Corridors & Streetscapes

Download Safety Element

Scottsdale is committed to protecting citizens and visitors from conditions, circumstances, and influences that would threaten, disrupt or diminish the quality of their lifestyles. The goals and policies of the Safety Element will ensure that the community is prepared and resilient when faced with disaster, and that our community is safe and enjoyable for all. Topics covered in this element include emergency management, transportation safety, crime prevention, and hazardous materials.

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Download Circulation Element

The automobile historically has been the predominant mode of transportation in Scottsdale. However, to match the character and lifestyle of different areas and residents in the community, it is important to diversify the city’s transportation choices. The Circulation Element concentrates on accessibility, connectivity, mobility choices, and the interrelatedness of transportation and land use. Topics covered in this element include safety, multimodal choices, neighborhood needs, and school circulation.

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Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) Resources

Download Bicycling Element

Scottsdale is recognized as a bicycle-friendly community that actively supports bicycling and encourages residents to use bicycles as an alternative mode of transportation and as part of a healthy lifestyle. The goals and policies of the Bicycling Element provide a guide for safe, connected, and convenient on-street and off-street bicycle networks. Topics covered in this element include bicycle networks, use, and safety.

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Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) Resources

Download Neighborhood Preservation & Revitalization Element

As Scottsdale nears build-out, the city needs to preserve and enhance the qualities that make neighborhoods safe, special, and vibrant. The goals and policies of the Neighborhood Preservation & Revitalization Element recognize that the preservation and revitalization of Scottsdale’s mature neighborhoods is critical to maintaining and strengthening the health, safety, prosperity, and enjoyment of the community. Topics covered in this element include neighborhood identity, homeownership, neighborhood safety, and neighborhood planning.

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Download Conservation, Rehabilitation & Redevelopment Element

As a maturing city, it is increasingly important for Scottsdale to focus on the conservation and rehabilitation of mature properties, seek creative infill development strategies, and support context-sensitive redevelopment in areas showing signs of decline. The Conservation, Rehabilitation & Redevelopment Element addresses both “informal” and “formal” redevelopment, recognizing that any “formal” redevelopment must be approved by the City Council and conform to Arizona State Statute requirements. Topics covered in this element include context-appropriate redevelopment, economic well-being, and use of redevelopment authority.

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Download Growth Areas Element

The Growth Areas Element identifies specific locations that are most appropriate for development focus, can accommodate future growth, or need reinvestment. Scottsdale’s Growth and Activity Areas are intended to direct high-intensity growth and development in certain locations to preserve lower-intensity and open space areas throughout the community. Topics covered in this element include development intensity, multimodal connections, and growth and activity area character.

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Character Area Plans - Growth Area Related

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Download Cost of Development Element

The purpose of the Cost of Development Element is to establish goals and policies that guide the fiscal impacts created by new development or redevelopment with regard to infrastructure and public services, and determine how such impacts will be addressed. Topics covered in this element include development’s contributions to infrastructure and economic sustainability.

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Download Public Services & Facilities Element

Scottsdale provides high-quality community services to its residents, businesses, and visitors. The Public Services and Facilities Element provides guidance about the provision of programs, services and physical facilities that serve to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the community. Topics covered in this element include solid waste, utilities, libraries, and community services.

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Download Public Buildings Element

Scottsdale acknowledges the vital role that public buildings play in the shaping of community life and seeks to design facilities that represent the community’s special qualities. Libraries, community centers and cultural facilities are investments that contribute to a high quality of life for current and future generations. Topics covered in the Public Buildings Element include public building design and locations.

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Download Economic Vitality Element

The city is committed to supporting and expanding its existing economic strengths through continued enhancement and adaptation of Scottsdale’s tourism industry and diversification of the economic base to provide for the future fiscal health of the city, all while protecting the city’s unique southwestern character and quality of life. The goals and policies of the Economic Vitality Element emphasize compatibility, diversity, growth, and flexibility and acknowledge the economic factors that strongly influence Scottsdale’s future well-being. Topics covered in this element include economic resiliency and fiscal sustainability.

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Download Tourism Element

Tourism is an integral part of Scottsdale’s identity and economy, and it serves as one of the community’s leading economic engines. The Tourism Element provides goals and policies to further validate Scottsdale as the premier Southwest tourism and special events destination.

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Download Education Element

A healthy community and competitive economy are directly based on high quality education. The Education Element provides goals and policies that maintain and enhance lifelong learning opportunities, encourage partnerships between the city and traditional education providers, and further the city's role in supporting a safe, healthy, and positive educational environment that supports a strong workforce, vital vibrant economy, and enhanced quality of live.

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Download Implementation Chapter

Establishing the goals and policies of General Plan 2035 is just the first step. The second part of the General Plan is taking action. Initial steps within the Implementation Chapter will include a variety of initiatives, such as the creation of Character Area Plans, to achieve specific goals for particular areas of the community; updates to the Zoning Ordinance to oversee the physical development of the city; Capital Improvement projects for the delivery of public services; and a multitude of other short- mid- and long-term programs.

General Plan Amendments

The General Plan is designed to be a broad, flexible, living document that is legally amendable. There are many decisions and events that compel it to respond to the changing conditions, needs, and desires of the community. It can be revised through city-initiated amendments, through citizen/property owner requests, or through referenda (citizen petition and vote). Ultimately, the decision to amend the General Plan is in the hands of the City Council.

General Plan Amendments

General Plan Annual Reports

Contact Information

City of Scottsdale - General Plan
P: 480-312-3111
Email: generalplan@scottsdaleaz.gov

Adam Yaron
Principal Planner 
P: 480-312-2761
Email: ayaron@ScottsdaleAZ.gov

Taylor Reynolds
Project Coordination Liaison
P: 480-312-7924
Email: treynolds@ScottsdaleAZ.gov