Desert Preservation Plan

What Is It?DesertPreserve

The strategic plan was a report to City Council from the Desert Preservation Task Force recommending that the planned McDowell Sonoran Preserve (MSP) boundary be expanded from 16,460 acres to 36,400 acres. The comprehensive program included: Definition of Meaningful Desert Open Space, Recommended Desert Open Space System Standards, Shared Trail Use Recommendations, Expanded Preserve Boundary, and Recommended Actions.

City Council presentation - April 1997

Where Does It Apply?

The main recommendation was to expand the planned Preserve boundary. Other recommendations deal with desert preservation and open space in the northern areas of the City. 

Why Was It Developed?

City Council, City Boards and Commissions, McDowell Sonoran Preserve Commission, developers, and citizens. City staff can use the recommendations to modify standards and policies in the Design Standards and Policies Manual (DSPM) and other documents to implement meaningful desert open space objectives.

Key Points:

  1. Council approved the recommended expanded boundary for the planned Preserve that more than doubled the boundary to 36,400 acres, an increase of 19,940 acres.
  2. The Task Force defined the functional and aesthetic attributes of meaningful desert open space.
  3. The Report stressed integrating the Preserve, trails, parks, open space, washes, Scenic Corridors and other components into a comprehensive system.
  4. The Task Force prepared a separate report called “Recommended Desert Open Space System Standards” to identify the plan, policy or regulation that required modification to implement meaningful desert open space throughout the city.
  5. City Council charged the McDowell Sonoran Preserve Commission with implementing the Task Force recommendations and vision for a desert open space system, and increased the membership on the commission from seven to eleven.
  6. Efforts by the Preservation Division, McDowell Sonoran Preserve Commission
    and City Council to acquire land within the expanded planned Preserve boundary are ongoing.
  7. The Task Force definition of meaningful open space and other recommendations were considered in preparing recent amendments to the Environmentally Sensitive Lands Ordinance.
  8. Since Council received the report in 1997 other incremental changes have been adopted that implement Task Force ideas including Native Plant program changes, adoption of the Trail System Master Plan, and Scenic Corridors Guidelines.
  9. Task Force recommended consolidating plans and programs for open space into a General Plan element. The adopted Scottsdale 2001 General Plan has an Open Space chapter including an Open Space & Recreation Element and a
    Preservation & Environmental Planning Element. 

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
Email: [email protected]

Taylor Reynolds
Principal Planner
P: 480-312-7924
Email: [email protected]

Ben Moriarity
Senior Planner
P: 480-312-2836
Email: [email protected]

Nick Carroll
P: 480-312-4205
Email: [email protected]