Let's look to the Downtown as a model. We supplied the framework for positive revitalization at any scale - large or small - by giving property owners more flexibility, and we added incentive programs and made investments and built new infrastructure to support revitalization. The market took it from there. We need to take the same approach, tailored specifically for the southern area. We can encourage more reinvestment, while building a stronger market for existing businesses.
But challenges also face us farther north, at the Scottsdale Airpark, where some buildings are nearing the end of their useful lifespan and owners are looking at the economics of replacing them under zoning rules as old as the structures. The case for more flexibility is just as compelling here, too.
In fact, our staff has prepared a draft proposal for a Planned Unit Development designation that would be designed to give property owners more opportunity for realistic and creative approaches to revitalization.
Tonight, I am asking the Acting City Manager to bring this proposal to the Council soon so we can have a serious dialogue and decide how best we might be able to use this planning tool to further our important revitalization efforts.
And let's add one more, very important element to our revitalization efforts. Let’s take a cue from the Granite Reef Senior Center and move our ultimate goals up a few notches from there.
I challenge all of us to make "green" revitalization the centerpiece of plans for the entire southern area, for the Airpark, and for any area where revitalization is emerging as a major issue.
New green buildings are becoming commonplace, as builders and their clients understand the long-range cost savings and the overall benefits of sustainable construction. But no community has seriously tackled the idea making sustainable revitalization a hallmark of entire neighborhoods or business districts. Let's do it here in Scottsdale!
We must ramp up our commitment to environmental sustainability, citywide.
As a municipality, we have consistently led our peers in our commitment to environmental preservation and green building. This past June I was honored to attend the U.S. Energy Association forum in Washington D.C. and was awarded "The Mayors Award for Energy Efficiency" in recognition of our city’s efforts in this area. We were the first city in the nation to require LEED certification for our municipal facilities. We were the first city in the nation to be recognized by the EPA in its rigorous Environmental Performance Track program.
Tonight I propose that the City Council support, through the budget process, the creation of a high-level Office of Environmental Initiatives to oversee Scottsdale’s commitment to green building, energy efficiency and environmental leadership.