Cindy Hill: More apartments in Scottsdale is not way to go

A mailer recently went out from those “dark money” bastions of propaganda, Scottsdale Strong (the same group that wants you to believe that the bar district is the greatest economic driver since the discovery of oil,) spreading misinformation about increased height and density. This recent propaganda tool touts the benefits of increased height and density, while trying to drive an “us vs.them” wedge between those who choose to live in apartments and those that are speaking out on the proliferation of increased height and density, like me.

I certainly have nothing against living in an apartment. In fact, there have been periods in my life when my husband and I lived in an apartment. That is a wonderful option. However, I do believe that the drive to create higher and more-dense apartment complexes in Scottsdale has less to do with meeting a free-market demand, like Dennis Robbins was quoted as saying, and more to do with the manipulation of the free market to benefit the developers and the incumbents’ election funds.

We have approximately 15,000 apartments currently in the building phase or waiting to be built. That’s an extraordinary amount to be built based on the Field of Dreams business model, “if you build it they will come.” I recently spoke with a local contractor, who was very candid about why so many apartments were being built. He told me that Scottsdale has reached build-out and the only place left for developers to make money is to build up. When I asked him if he felt bad for the mature neighborhoods he was destroying, leaving older residents nowhere to go in Scottsdale, he told me that he had a nice house and that where other people ended up was not his concern. South Scottsdale is up for sale. North Scottsdale is next. I needed to accept that if I wanted to get elected. Well, I won’t accept that. Neither should the residents.

Regardless of the laughable Republic’s Fact Check, here are the real common-sense facts of increased height and density. If you build a high-rise apartment, within or next to a current neighborhood, there is no way there won’t be increased demands on our infrastructure. It only stands to reason if you add 15,000 apartments with at least 15,000 occupants there will be more crime of every variety. Talk to any police officer that’s had to work in an area with high-rise apartment buildings. There will be increased calls for police, fire and ambulance crews. There will be increased traffic; take a look at every existing apartment complex and you’ll see a full or overflowing parking lot. Residents are already complaining it takes longer to get across town. Imagine future traffic congestion. The ultimate hope of our incumbents is if we build more apartments, light rail will have to come.

The shills for the developers will tell you that the “millennial” generation wants to live in apartments and don’t want a house. This fact is disputed by a study done by the Demand Institute and reported on azcentral.com that 80percent of millennials want to own a house.

If the developers really want to get on board with what Scottsdale needs then they should build transitional housing for our senior residents, those that want to downsize from their house. This will help in two ways. First, it will allow those seniors to stay in the neighborhoods they helped build and nurture. Second, it will create a market for young families to move into their dream house, bringing an influx of kids helping to strengthen our schools, which, in turn, increases housing values. However, I would caution the developers to be innovative, stay within the Scottsdale area character plans and be sensitive to our established neighborhoods and the magnificent views that are our cornerstone.

Scottsdale’s future is in your hands.

Cindy Hill is a candidate for Scottsdale City Council.

Article source: http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/scottsdale/2014/10/28/hill-apartments-scottsdale-way-go/18073025/