A proposed north Scottsdale bank has sparked a debate over how much commercial activity should be allowed among the area’s low-density neighborhoods.
The City Council is scheduled to vote today whether to amend its general plan to allow the bank building at the southwest corner of Scottsdale and Lone Mountain roads.
If the council approves the general plan change, it will then vote whether to rezone the property and approve a use permit for the bank. If the general plan amendment request is denied, the land will remain zoned for single-family homes.
Land Development Services wants to build a 4,600-squarefoot bank on the 2 1/2-acre site. The developer gathered more than 100 signed statements of support for the project from area residents, noting that the site is not compatible for single-family homes and there is already a planned shopping center across the street. A company representative could not be reached for comment.
Phillip Waring, who lives just west of the site, said the corner would be undesirable for a house and the intersection has already started to change with the new shopping center on the southeast corner.
“I thought it was the best use for the property,” Waring said. “It will be an attractive building that’s not bustling on the weekends and a decent clientele during the week.”
But there is opposition from organized groups such as Coalition of Pinnacle Peak, neighborhood residents, as well as the city planning department that fear allowing the bank would set a dangerous precedent for future commercial requests in the area.
Scottsdale officials cite increased traffic and lighting, dangers of turning into the bank parking lot and a 24-hour ATM as incompatible with nearby residences.
Scottsdale officials also object to the developer’s proposed decrease in the setbacks to Scottsdale and Lone Mountain roads — from 100 feet to 80 feet along Scottsdale Road and from 40 feet to 30 feet along Lone Mountain Road. The changes would violate established scenic-corridor buffers.
Les Conklin, founder of Friends of Scenic Drive and Greater Pinnacle Peak Association, said this portion of Scottsdale Road has always been zoned residential and should remain so to keep the road special for tourists and allow residents to enjoy their low-density desert lifestyle.
“It’s a heritage that has always been protected and we think it’s important that it stays protected,” Conklin said. “There’s plenty of commercial to the south.”
The Planning Commission voted 4-1 last month to recommend denial of the general plan amendment request.
City Council meeting
When: 5 p.m. today
Where: City Hall, 3939 N. Drinkwater Blvd.
Information: (480) 312-2336 or www.scottsdaleaz.gov