Scottsdale voters approve a new general plan — what happens now?

Posted 11/29/21

Scottsdale voters have approved an update to the General Plan at a special election with final steps implemented  on Tuesday, Nov. 16.

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Scottsdale voters approve a new general plan — what happens now?

The Scottsdale City Council recently published results for the updated General Plan 2035 that can be reviewed and downloaded at, under “general plan.” Sections addressing community aspects, such as transportation, are among the document's chapters.
The Scottsdale City Council recently published results for the updated General Plan 2035 that can be reviewed and downloaded at, under “general plan.” Sections addressing community aspects, such as transportation, are among the document's chapters.
Independent Newsmedia/Arianna Grainey

The Scottsdale City Council has officially accepted and published the results from its Nov. 2 special election, thus completing the final step to updating the city's general plan. 

The City Council canvassed the election on Nov. 16, according to a press release from the city's communications department. 

The plan replaces the 2001 Scottsdale General Plan approved by the voters in 2002, the release, noting Scottsdale General Plan 2035 serves as the community’s new vision and guide for future physical, economic, and social development.

“Many thanks to everyone who helped craft our vision to enhance our quality of life and support the economic vitality of Scottsdale,” said Mayor David D. Ortega in the release. “Our approved General Plan 2035 will serve as our guide for the next ten years.”

The General Plan’s goals and policies are implemented by the public and private sectors through actions like developing facilities and infrastructure, and by creating specific policies and plans to guide future efforts, the release said.

The plan contains 24 elements -- sections that address particular topic areas or aspects of the community including Character and Design, Land Use, Environmental Planning, Housing, Recreation, Public Services & Facilities, Safety, and Economic Vitality, according to the release.

Priorities underway in the city of Scottsdale will be shaped by the vision, guidance and goals set-forth in the voter-approved General Plan, including:

Scottsdale is creating the Transportation Action Plan 2021 - a roadmap for the community’s transportation future to improve how to get around by foot, bus, bike, vehicle, motorcycle, scooter, horse, or something yet to emerge over the next 10 years. This effort is guided by the General Plan’s Circulation and Bicycling elements (pp. 151-164).

The city is developing its first Sustainability Plan to further the community’s efforts to protect valuable resources for future generations. This work will be guided by multiple sections of General Plan 2035 including the Open Space, Environmental Planning, Conservation, Water Resources and Energy elements (pp. 73-107), and the Healthy Community (pp. 119-127) and Economic Vitality (pp. 205-209) elements.

Heat Mitigation
As part of efforts to better understand and address issues related to high temperatures and identify cooler city strategies, Scottsdale is developing a Heat Mitigation Plan, guided by the Character and Design (pp. 29-42), Environmental Planning (pp. 85-92) and Conservation (pp. 93-98) elements.

Drought Management
With water level in Lake Mead continuing to decline, Scottsdale implemented Stage 1 of its Drought Management Plan in August. The city is also updating that plan to ensure its effectiveness, an effort guided by the General Plan’s Conservation and Water Resources elements (pp. 93-102) and Safety Element (pp. 141-147).

The Tourism and Events department is updating Scottsdale’s five-year Tourism Strategic Plan, which sets forth goals and actions to strengthen this vital piece of the community’s identity and economy -- work guided by the Economic Vitality and Tourism elements (pp. 211-215).

The city council is discussing potential solutions to the city’s growing housing affordability issues, these will be guided by the General Plan’s Land Use (pp. 43-61), Healthy Community (pp. 119-127), Housing (pp. 129-132) and Conservation, Rehabilitation & Redevelopment (pp. 175-179) elements.

As this work continues across the city, in early 2022 the city council will align budget objectives and performance measures with the new plan, as well as prioritize the Implementation Element with efforts that the mayor and city council want to focus on in the next 12-24 months.

Review or download Scottsdale General Plan 2035 at, search “general plan.”


2 comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here

  • jason.alexander

    I fear that we can expect the same from Littlefield, Whitehead and Ortega as they campaigned. They will disregard the General Plan and the discussions and advice they receive from City Staff, to continue projecting the narratives that fit their personal opinions. Facts were seen to be unimportant to all of them.

    Hopefully, a Council majority based on research, collaboration with developers and all residents, and respect for the expertise of our City Staff will emerge amongst Milhaven, Durham, Caputi and Janik.

    Monday, November 29, 2021 Report this

  • Groverindependent

    Contrary to Jason's implication, the Council 'majority' has been ignoring the General Plan for twenty years. They'll continue ignoring it, and continue to grant amended (reduced) development standards for the developers and zoning attorneys who contribute to their campaigns.

    And facts? Like the update was mandated by state law? That was a lie promoted by all the council members he supports.

    Monday, November 29, 2021 Report this