A media popular mixed-use project called Hanover in Old Town Scottsdale has seriously stirred up neighborhood opposition, and as a result has been delayed in its city approval process until September. A petition with 1961 signatures was required to delay the project, but the public surpassed that number and got 3000 opposers. The project has been deemed too dense for the northwest corner of Indian School Road and Goldwater Boulevard and is believed to hinder the local community because of its mixed, high-volume uses.
Faced with an extremely negative response by some of the public, the developer will now reform the plan to fulfill more visions than was originally anticipated. Old Town Scottsdale is considered as one of the main urban areas in the valley and to continue building up the core would require the public to accommodate this development. However, since neighborhood opposition weighs a lot in municipalities, the public has decided to fight this “too dense” project.
I personally think it is ridiculous that there is so much negative response to this idea that is extremely vital for the city to expand its core vertically. While I do believe the public should have a say in the matter of what they would like to see, the majority does not understand how important density in this situation is.
The Phoenix Metro area has a projected population increase of over 100,000 people each year over at least the next 20 to 30 years. Where are they going to live??? Pushing the fringes out like Los Angeles did is obviously not the answer and I am actually surprised as to why there is still so much opposition to vertical growth. Over the last 50 years, Phoenix has experienced an abundance of unsustainable horizontal growth. Recently, precious time has been spent talking about change, preaching the necessity to conserve and preserve, smart growth, infill and redevelopment. It is time to realize that dense is the trend from here on out. New York City, San Francisco and Chicago to name a few, are highly desirable cities to live, work and play, at the same spot of course. Here in the valley, many native Phoenicians love the quality of single-family residence life far from the cores.
Lets make Phoenix the best of both worlds. It already has some of the best master-planned golf course communities in the world, now just add the most innovative, hip pedestrian friendly villages. Phoenix has the potential to become a world-class city if smart decisions are made throughout all levels of the public and government.
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