Planning panel narrowly favors 338-unit complex | City News

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The Scottsdale Planning Commission voted 4-3 on Wednesday to recommend that city council approve the zoning request for a controversial 338-unit apartment complex near the intersection of 92nd Street and Shea Boulevard.

Commission Chair Renee Higgs, Vice Chair Joe Young, and Commissioners George Ertel and William Scarborough voted in favor of recommending the zoning exemption for 92 Ironwood.

“I think the reason we need more apartments is because real estate is exploding,” Young said. “I know my own house has tripled in value since I bought it. Those options for living in Scottsdale are no longer there.

“I think people always come,” Young added. “There are more and more jobs in Scottsdale and I have to believe the city council, the mayor are happy to bring in taxpayer money. We need a place to put these people and multi-family seems to be the answer.

Meanwhile, Commissioners Christian Serena, Barney Gonzalez and Barry Graham voted against the proposal.

Gonzalez was troubled by the density of the project.

“I appreciate everything the developer did with it, trust me, and I love everything he did, he brought the pitch down, you know – I’m sure it’s not entirely voluntary, but it was a reasonable decision to reduce it to the confines of the region.

“That’s the hard part of zoning – trying to make a solid application that fits the general public,” he continued. “So my only problem with that is still the density part. “

The application was to rezone 3.92 acres from commercial to mixed use to accommodate construction of the apartment complex on the side.

If ultimately approved by Council, the apartment complex would be adjacent to the 9400 Shea project which provides for 310 apartments. He would come up against the Mercado Del Rancho shopping center.

Resident Gary Naquin spoke out against the project, noting that permanent residents would create different traffic patterns than people using offices, for which the land is currently zoned.

Moreover, he added, the appearance of the proposed building does not match the character of the neighborhood.

“We’re interested in the culture and character of the neighborhood and, frankly, this rendering seems to belong to the Scottsdale Quarter, the Scottsdale Fashion Mall,” Naquin said. “It doesn’t fit, it doesn’t belong to this neighborhood.”

Not all who spoke were against the project.

Kaitlyn Whittaker spoke on behalf of the Arizona Nurses Association, saying 92 Ironwood “offers a convenient solution” to housing nurses working in the area, as the complex is across from Honor Health in North Scottsdale.

“Currently there is little or no accessible housing in the area around the hospital,” she said. “Indeed, we understand that there has not been a new multi-family project within five miles of the site for 20 years.

“It certainly underscores the need. That’s why the 92 Ironwood is a game-changer. This project would be a great attraction for nurses wishing to work in Scottsdale, which would greatly benefit the community.

She noted that the developer was offering discounts to hospital workers.

“We see this as an important precedent that will encourage even more like-minded developers to continue raising the bar for vital workforce,” added Whittaker.

City Council will consider the rezoning request at its October 5 meeting.


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