McDowell Sonoran Preserve Ordinance

What Is It?DesertPreserve

The McDowell Sonoran Preserve ordinance formally established the Preserve and the McDowell Sonoran Preserve Commission, and added rules to the code that the City needs to regulate the users of the Preserve and protect the resources in the Preserve. The McDowell Sonoran Preserve Commission and its Planning Committee prepared the rules in consultation with user groups and other open space management agencies.

City Council adopted - May 2000 

Where Does It Apply?

The provisions in Chapter 21 apply exclusively to the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. 

Why Was It Developed?

The ordinance adds to the code many of the rules that the McDowell Sonoran Preserve Commission and its Planning Committee took years to prepare. It also consolidates City policies, standards, and procedures for the Preserve in one location, Scottsdale Revised Code - Chapter 21links to external site

Key Points:

  1. Chapter 21 establishes the Preserve, describes the purposes of the Preserve, and identifies ten management objectives.
  2. Chapter 21 establishes the McDowell Sonoran Preserve Commission, defines its purpose, powers and duties, and makes it an eleven-member commission.
  3. Thirty-two general rules for users are defined and all users must comply with these rules.
  4. Preserve users are required to stay on the trails and no motorized vehicles are permitted in the Preserve beyond the access areas.
  5. Chapter 21 authorizes the Preserve Director to issue permits and set up procedures for permits for special activities in the Preserve, such as educational classes or scientific research.
  6. Ongoing coordination with adjacent regional open space destinations is required for the rules to work effectively. Adjacent jurisdictions include Maricopa County’s McDowell Mountain Regional Park, the National Forest Service’s Tonto National Forest, and Fountain Hills McDowell Mountain Preserve.
  7. Penalties are prescribed for violators.

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]