Stop Scottsdale City Council from bulldozing our Preserve and handing taxpayers the $75M construction bill without voter approval.
Mayor Lane & Council members Korte, Klapp, Millhaven, and Smith have voted to exploit our Preserve for private interests and build a fee-based Desert “Discovery” Center (DDC). The DDC will develop up to 30 acres* of our Preserve replacing Sonoran Desert habitat and public trails with air conditioned buildings, tour bus staging areas, and traffic & parking lots. The DDC advocates state that the center will educate the public about the Sonoran Desert – the very desert the DDC would destroy at taxpayer expense. Land that taxpayers voted for and paid $80M to protect!
It gets worse. Multiple studies project the DDC will lose money. Year after year, taxpayers may be on the hook to keep the DDC afloat while jeopardizing funding for many of the City’s well-loved or needed services. The Mayor and City Council also plan to divert preserve dollars for the DDC depleting funds needed to preserve additional lands.
The City should instead focus on non-Preserve sites for the DDC with direct freeway access, extensive existing parking, and the ability to absorb increased traffic & tour buses without negatively impacting one of our City's premier scenic & recreational corridors.
This petition tells the Mayor & City Council: Your constituents DEMAND voter approval prior to developing our Preserve for the Desert Discovery Center AND a public commitment prior to early ballots for the upcoming November election.
Warm THANK YOU to Councilmembers Guy Phillips & Kathy Littlefield for their support to Protect Our Preserve from development.
*In comparison, the MIM (Musical Instrument Museum) is on 20 acres.
How You Can Do More:
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3. Email Mayor & City Council:citycouncil@ScottsdaleAz.gov and vote! Up for Re-Election: Mayor Jim Lane, Virginia Korte, and Suzane Klapp as is preserve advocate Councilman Guy Phillips
Need More Information?
Short Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJk_tsttCKM
AZ Republic: http://www.azcentral.com/story/opinion/op-ed/2016/06/17/my-turn-public-kept-dark-desert-discovery-center/84787938/
The Scottsdale McDowell Sonoran Preserve was purchased for preservation using tax dollars after Scottsdale voters repeatedly voted to raise taxes to enable this land to be protected forever.
The DDC a the Gateway Trailhead is in clear violation of the Scottsdale Preserve Ordinance. The Preserve – in its natural state – is already a top reason tourists return to Scottsdale according to a CVB survey and attracts thousands of visitors annually. Less is more, overuse of the Preserve lands will degrade the land and the experience for everyone possibly detracting repeat tourists in the future.
The city should consider numerous other sites, if they insist on building a DDC, that have freeway access, extensive existing parking, and will not impact residential or scenic corridors.
The City should also ensure that any approved DDC will not negatively impact he City budget and evaluate the size/need/purpose taking into consideration the Valley's existing desert & wildlife centers including: the Desert Botanical Garden, Liberty Wildlife, Southwest Wildlife, Wild at Heart, Scottsdale Community College's Center for Native and Urban Wildilfe, Audubon Arizona, and a proposed desert center along the 101 a few miles south of the Preserve.