Citywide Design Guidelines Overview

What is it?

designThe guidelines outline the City's expectations regarding design and the planning of developments - underlying the premise that every project should achieve its full potential in design, response to site conditions, contextual setting, and design influences associated with the region.

Where does it apply?

The design guidelines are applied to new development, redevelopment, and major renovation projects citywide.

Who needs to use it?

All participants in the development review process: residents and neighborhoods, Development Review Board (DRB), City staff, and developers and property owners.

Why was it developed?

In response to increasing concerns about the quality of corporate projects and the perception of a growing threat to the distinct character of the community, the City Council, Planning Commission, and Development Review Board (DRB) held a series of dialogue sessions to identify community values with respect to planning through this process. The City reaffirmed its commitment to protecting Scottsdale's visual aesthetic and to maintaining and strengthening areas within the community with desirable character.

Key Points:

  1. Embody the spirit and intent of the Sensitive Design Principles, acknowledge regional design influences, build upon the established/planned development character, and respond to the characteristics inherent to the site.
  2. Protect and enhance the character and quality of development while maintaining and strengthening a recognizable identity and character unique to Scottsdale.
  3. Enhance the human scale of development where people interact with the architecture and outdoor pedestrian areas.
  4. Respect the scale and development character of adjoining sites and work to mitigate the negative visual and functional impacts that arise from the scale, bulk, and mass inherent to larger development.
  5. Strengthen the usability and connectivity of the pedestrian environment by enhancing access to transit, adjoining development, the public realm of the street, and/or open space features.
  6. Respond to the unique characteristics and constraints inherent to different users, specific sites, and associated contexts.
  7. Promote building designs, systems, and practices that are sustainable and adaptable to multiple uses in the interest of extending the building life cycle.
  8. Work to minimize and mitigate a development's negative impact(s) on adjoining areas.
  9. Work to balance the financial requirements of the development project with the aesthetic concerns of the community.

Related Resources:

Contact Information

City of Scottsdale – Long Range Planning
7447 E. Indian School Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85251  

Adam Yaron
Planning & Development Area Manager 
P: 480-312-2761

Taylor Reynolds
Principal Planner
P: 480-312-7924

Ben Moriarity
Senior Planner
P: 480-312-2836

Nick Carroll
P: 480-312-4205