Desert Parks Design Guidelines

What Is It?DesertParks

Design guidelines for the creation of parks or places for public recreation, developed in harmony with the unique Sonoran Desert environment. The ultimate image that these guidelines should foster for these northern desert parks is that the park grew out of its site and has been there for generations. 

City Council presentation - October 1999

Where Does It Apply?

Parks in within the Environmentally Sensitive Lands Ordinance districts especially those north of Jomax Road.

Why Was It Developed?

Desert Parks Guidelines (PDF)

To create northern desert parks that should be immediately recognizable as “Sonoran Desert” parks as opposed to parks indistinct in character, and indistinguishable in local. The design of these parks should embody the belief that the refinement of more ecologically sensitive techniques of land development will minimize damage to local and regional habitats.

Key Points:

  1. Follow the Great Sonoran Desert Design Concepts in all aspect of development so that man-made improvements blend with the natural desert environment.
  2. Turf should be limited to athletic field area, special picnic/open play spaces, and in areas of high public use.
  3. Drought tolerant plant material is preferred in landscaped areas with native plants having the highest priority.
  4. Unique open spaces, archeological sites, historic elements and, natural features should be preserved and protected.
  5. Encourage the consideration for specialty parks that respond to the demand of the citizens, unique site conditions, and/or special community interests.
  6. State of the art lighting systems should be utilized for outdoor recreation that provides safety while minimizing trespass of light into adjacent neighborhoods and natural spaces.
  7. Site planning should be based on local context, topographic suitability, proposed program/activities, and appropriate access. 

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