Scottsdale's new General Plan - what happens now?

Scottsdale voters approved an update to the General Plan at November's special election. The final step to put that plan in place occurred Tuesday, Nov. 16, when the Scottsdale City Council canvassed the election, officially accepting and publishing the results.

The updated plan - General Plan 2035 - replaces the 2001 Scottsdale General Plan that was approved by the voters in 2002. Scottsdale General Plan 2035 serves as the community’s new vision and guide for future physical, economic, and social development. 

"Many thanks to everyone who helped craft our vision to enhance our quality of life and support the economic vitality of Scottsdale," said Mayor David D. Ortega. "Our approved General Plan 2035 will serve as our guide for the next ten years.”

The General Plan's goals and policies are implemented by both the public and private sectors through actions like developing facilities and infrastructure, and by creating specific policies and plans to guide future efforts.

The plan contains 24 elements -- sections that address particular topic areas or aspects of the community. These include Character and Design, Land Use, Environmental Planning, Housing, Recreation, Public Services & Facilities, Safety, and Economic Vitality. Review or download Scottsdale General Plan 2035 at, search "general plan."

Many priority efforts underway in the City of Scottsdale will be shaped by the vision, guidance and goals set-forth in the voter-approved General Plan, including:



 Scottsdale is creating the Transportation Action Plan 2021 - a roadmap for the community's transportation future to improve how we get around (whether by foot, bus, bike, vehicle, motorcycle, scooter, horse, or something yet to emerge) over the next 10 years. This effort is guided by the General Plan's Circulation and Bicycling elements (pp. 151-164).


The city is developing its first Sustainability Plan to further the community's efforts to protect valuable resources for future generations. This work will be guided by multiple sections of General Plan 2035 including the Open Space, Environmental Planning, Conservation, Water Resources and Energy elements (pp. 73-107), and the Healthy Community (pp. 119-127) and Economic Vitality (pp. 205-209) elements.

Heat Mitigation

As part of efforts to better understand and address issues related to high temperatures and identify cooler city strategies, Scottsdale is developing a Heat Mitigation Plan, guided by the Character and Design (pp. 29-42), Environmental Planning (pp. 85-92) and Conservation (pp. 93-98) elements. 

Drought Management

With water level in Lake Mead continuing to decline, Scottsdale implemented Stage 1 of its Drought Management Plan in August. The city is also updating that plan to ensure it is as effective as possible, an effort guided by the General Plan's Conservation and Water Resources elements (pp. 93-102) and Safety Element (pp. 141-147).


The Tourism and Events department is updating Scottsdale's 5-year Tourism Strategic Plan, which sets forth goals and actions to strengthen this vital piece of the community's identity and economy -- work guided by the Economic Vitality and Tourism elements (pp. 211-215).


The City Council is discussing potential solutions to the city's growing housing affordability issues, these will be guided by the General Plan's Land Use (pp. 43-61), Healthy Community (pp. 119-127), Housing (pp. 129-132) and Conservation, Rehabilitation & Redevelopment (pp. 175-179) elements.

As this work continues across the city, in early 2022 the City Council will align budget objectives and performance measures with the new plan, as well as prioritize the Implementation Element with efforts that the Mayor and City Council want to focus on in the next 12-24 months.

Review or download Scottsdale General Plan 2035 at, search "general plan."


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