Thanks to our over 100 members who responded to our Call for Action regarding the Desert Discovery Center, the Scottsdale City Council voted 6-1 on January 11th to approve Resolution No 10261 as amended.
The meeting on the evening of January 11th, was long, heavily debated and host to a packed house. Speakers ranged from all sectors of the community: the Chamber of Commerce, hoteliers, the Tourism Commission, the Scottsdale Charros, the McDowell Sonoran Preserve Conservancy, the Coalition of Greater Scottsdale, the Desert Discovery Center Scottsdale, concerned Scottsdale residents, and our own Scottsdale Area Association of REALTORS® (SAAR). Speaking on behalf of SAAR, 2016 Chairman of the board, Debbie Shields, delivered a succinct message of support. Also speaking in support, from personal stances as Scottsdale residents, were SAAR CEO, Rebecca Grossman, and Brenda Hall, REALTOR®.
All of the debates and discussion can be summarized by saying there was an acknowledgement that there was a vast amount of rumor, misinformation, and misunderstanding being circulated amongst the residents of Scottsdale; not only in regards to what the January 11th vote on the Resolution No. 10261 was truly about, but also as to what the facts were in regards to the proposed Desert Discovery Center.
MISCONCEPTIONS & MISINFORMATION:
- This vote by city council was to approve the building of the DDC.
- This vote would solidify the placement of the DDC in the preserve at the Gateway.
- This vote would approve the funding for building and operating the DDC from the General Fund, the Preserve’s tax dollars, or some other tax of the citizens.
- This vote was to ultimately approve funding for the DDC upwards of $70-$100 million dollars or more.
- The full scale and footprint of the DDC had already been decided.
- There would not be any community outreach or comment period held prior to the final decision for approval of the DDC and its possible funding sources.
Scottsdale Citizen’s biggest concern however, was the last mentioned: that they would not have an opportunity to comment and provide input on a final Desert Discovery Center project proposal. Thanks to clarification from the Mayor, City Councilmembers, the City Attorney, and the operating agreement recipient (Desert Discovery Center Scottsdale, Inc) this issue was fully addressed. Over the course of the next 18 months, as part of the process and procedures of conducting the feasibility study, community input will be gathered through a variety of means. Even after the study is concluded and a final project proposal and business plan are drafted, Scottsdale residents will still have additional open houses and comment periods available to them for letting the City Council know what they think before any vote for final approval of building a Desert Discovery Center and its possible funding sources is made.
Again, thank you to our over 100 members who responded to our Call for Action and made the next steps for the Desert Discovery Center a reality for Scottsdale.
For more information:
Desert Discovery Center: http://www.scottsdaledesertcenter.com
History Timeline: http://www.scottsdaledesertcenter.com/history/
Project Overview (Phases, Studies): http://www.scottsdaledesertcenter.com/city-overview/