Sensitive Design Program


Scottsdale has many desirable aesthetic qualities as well as areas with unique character. Much of the character and aesthetic qualities can be attributed to the Sonoran Desert location which is essential to the community's quality of life. These attributes have been closely guarded and nurtured by programs and initiatives intended to protect them and ensure design excellence.

The Scottsdale Sensitive Design Program is a comprehensive compilation of policies and guidelines related to the City's built environment. The basic framework for these policies and guidelines are the Sensitive Design Principles, approved in August 2000 and amended in March 2001. The Principles, derived from existing city policies and from concepts developed by citizen groups, such as Great Sonoran, articulate Scottsdale's design vision and outline design expectations and values.

To assist applicants, decision-makers, and staff with consistent development review, Citywide Design Guidelines have been developed. These Guidelines are to be applied throughout the community and are structured respond to the varying conditions and constraints inherent to individual site and contextual settings.

The Scottsdale Sensitive Design Principles and Citywide Design Guidelines are successful due to the involvement of the community. Planning and Development Services staff are dedicated to involving citizens, design professionals and the business community in the implementation of these guidelines.

Contact Information

City of Scottsdale – Long Range Planning
7447 E. Indian School Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85251 
P: 480-312-7000

Office Hours
Monday - Friday
8 a.m. - 5 p.m. 

Tim Curtis
Current Planning Director
P: 480-312-4210

Brad Carr, AICP
Planning & Development Area Manager
P: 480-312-7713