Protection of Archaeological Resources Ordinance

What is it?

This ordinance establishes 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 City Archaeologist 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 the City Archaeologist 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, protect, and recover when necessary, significant archaeological resources on public and private land 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 are located in Chapter 46 of the City Code since the standards apply to all developments, not just zoning district map amendment 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. Exemptions from survey requirements are allowed for certain development projects.
  5. Establishes 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 McDowell Sonoran Preserve, must comply with the ordinance to be sure that City projects will not adversely impact significant archaeological sites.

Where is the full policy located?

References and related documents:

Contact Information

City of Scottsdale - Historic Preservation Office
P: 480-312-7767
Email: [email protected]