Todd & Associates An artists rendering of the proposed Echo condominium project near Bell Road and Thompson Peak Parkway.
The Scottsdale City Council Tuesday cleared the way for a two-story condominium project that nearby homeowners say is too dense and intense, and will decrease their property values.
Deco Communities, formerly Starpointe Communities, plans to build Echo at Windgate, a 13-building complex with 104 condominiums on a nearly 11-acre site that wraps around the Windgate Crossing shopping center northwest of Bell Road and Thompson Peak Parkway. Residents of nearby Windgate Ranch remain opposed to the project.
After a lengthy hearing that included nearly 40 public comments, the council voted 5-2 to approve a non-major General Plan amendment, rezoning and the termination of a previous development agreement with the city for the site.
Windgate Ranch homeowners filed a legal protest over the requested rezoning from commercial-office uses to multifamily residential. The protest would have forced a 6-1 supermajority council vote for approval, but was deemed insufficient after one of the homeowners rescinded their support.
Keith Niederer, senior city planner, said the letter alerting the city that the property owner had rescinded arrived at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, but had been signed by the homeowner on Aug. 26. Councilman Bob Littlefield, who voted against approval along with Councilman Ron McCullagh, said the developer's attorney "sat on" the letter until Tuesday so nearby homeowners couldn't do anything about it.
Littlefield said Echo at Windgate is just the another example of "a developer comes down here, hires an expensive zoning attorney and tries to convince the council to change the zoning so they can make a ton of money."
"All the neighbors are opposed and who are we representing?" he said. "There's unanimous opposition by the residents. They hate it and ... they believe it will bring down property values."
McCullagh said the lineup of public speakers could be divided between "people who stand to make money off of the project and the residents at whose expense it would be." The neighbors have a right to rely on what the city said would be the zoning for the property, he said.
Councilwoman Linda Milhaven, who made the motion for approval, said the buildings won't be as tall and the complex will be "less intrusive" than what's currently allowed on the property.
John Berry, a zoning attorney representing Deco, said the proposal is a "down zoning" from what would be allowed under the current zoning. He also said the complex would be "high-end" condominiums that would be larger and less dense than apartments, and that an appraiser hired by Deco concluded that the development would have a positive impact on nearby property values.
Zach Forman, a Windgate Ranch resident, said Charley Byxbee, the seller of the property, failed to disclose a development agreement with the city that limits the density of the project. He also said Starpointe Communities abandoned numerous condominium projects before becoming Deco.
"How about Deco clean up the mess they made before moving on to another?" he said.
The 2005 agreement capped the allowable development on the parcel so the use of the property would be consistent with the developer's share of the cost for infrastructure, according to the city planning staff.
Residents argued the agreement clearly stipulates an 80,000-square-foot maximum for development, while the rezoning would allow 168,878 square feet. Berry said development agreements are not written for "the average citizen," which drew laughter from Windgate residents.
Byxbee said the residents are attempting to block a viable development and that economic recovery requires private investment, which will generate more taxes for the city and increase retail leasing activity.
Berry said a $250,000 fee for infrastructure has already been paid and all conditions have been met, so the agreement should be terminated. The council's vote terminated the agreement, which was set to expire in 2015.
Project supporters included the North Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce, McDowell Mountain Ranch Vendors,Bashas' Vice President Johnny Basha, Ice Den President Mike O'Hearn, real estate agents and business owners.
by Edward Gately - Sept. 5, 2012 The Republic | azcentral.com
Scottsdale council approves contentious Echo at Windgate condos
Reuters: Business News
National Commercial Real Estate News From CoStar Group
Latest stock market news from Wall Street - CNNMoney.com
- ► 2017 (81)
- ► 2016 (145)
- ► 2015 (146)
- ► 2014 (102)
- ► 2013 (395)
- Last days of the Borgata
- LifeLock reveals finances pre-IPO
- Home prices rose in July in 20 major US cities
- Radar Logic: Home Prices Hit Peak in July, Distres...
- 34,000 in Ariz. get mortgage aid
- Phoenix-based Vestar buys Calif. retail center for...
- Phoenix-area rental homes a red-hot commodity
- Home-related sales through the roof
- New US home sales edged down 0.3% in August
- Attorney General sets 3-year foreclosure plan for ...
- Top 10 things to know about Social Security
- Understanding Social Security benefits
- Maricopa County homeowners likely to see property-...
- Reagor: Building of homes slows a bit
- At 40, McCormick Ranch still desirable place to li...
- Fountain Hills mulls giving new life to avenue
- Peoria entertainment/hotel plan closer to reality
- Residential lot coverage debated in Arcadia
- Arizonans may not feel closure of local banks
- Proposed Scottsdale condo plan gains height, densi...
- Luxury retirement facility's sales rise
- Audit: Maricopa County housing-agency woes continu...
- Foreclosure starts fell on annual basis in August ...
- Housing prices up in most NE Valley communities
- Housing key part of SkySong's 'secret sauce'
- Valley in top 10 in US for foreign investors
- New tax on home sales is overblown rumor
- Home construction on uptick in Scottsdale
- Building set for approval - USATODAY.com
- Furnishings firm takes over ex-nightclub site
- The market: Views from the trenches
- City closer to Waterfront apartment-plan OK
- Scottsdale council approves permits for downtown b...
- Metro Phoenix a seller's (and landlord's) market
- Scottsdale home prices up 9.26 percent over a year...
- Valley bankruptcies keep plummeting
- IRS pays Swiss ex-banker, whistleblower $104 milli...
- Baby Boomers have many options for retirement plan...
- Proposed condo plan gains height, density
- Cottonwoods considers adding assisted living
- Scottsdale council approves contentious Echo at Wi...
- Phoenix-area home-price dip called a 'natural reac...
- City Planning Commission draws criticism
- US Home Prices Rise in July by Most in 6 Years - D...
- 2 large Phoenix warehouses being built
- City expands affordable housing - USATODAY.com
- Entertainment hub progresses - USATODAY.com
- City hopes Chandler site will be revitalized - USA...
- PV commission member resigns over resort redevelop...
- Top 5 lenders: $500M spent in Ariz. - USATODAY.com...
- 6,900 Scottsdale apartments in pipeline
- Home prices notch first 12-month gain since 2010 -...
- Advice for Arizonans on brink of foreclosure
- New-home sales rise to match 2-year high - CBS New...
- Beach-club complex votes on permits, licenses are ...
- US home sales rose 2.3 percent, sign of recovery
- Toll Brothers Posts Strong Growth - WSJ.com
- A challenge to finish preserve - USATODAY.com
- Valley agent did well by focusing on SHORT SALES -...
- New Mountain Shadows resort plan consolidates buil...
- ARMLS buys researcher
- Mesa senior-living complex will be based on Tempe ...
- Home prices up in 5 areas - USATODAY.com
- Newest numbers don't cast 'shadow'
- Run-up in home prices slows - USATODAY.com
- Fannie Mae posts $2.2B net gain for Q2 - Yahoo! Fi...
- Land purchase for theater expected to finalized so...
- ASU's SkySong will add residential space
- Reagor: New-home market projections promising
- 6 Phoenix-area apartment communities sold
- Fannie and Freddie principal cuts barred - USATODA...
- Phoenix expedites building process
- Plan for luxury homes at resort stirs controversy
- Mystery bidder gets 275 homes - USATODAY.com
- Meritage earnings rise - USATODAY.com
- Mesa minister gets maximum sentence in fraud
- Split up banks, says builder of Citigroup - USATOD...
- New home sales fall to 5-month low in June – USATO...
- GOP rips Geithner about LIBOR - USATODAY.com
- Historic homes at risk after they're foreclosed
- 100 more lots sold in project - USATODAY.com
- 4333 Building plan still viable, extension sought
- Census estimates: Phoenix remains sixth-largest ci...
- SIGNS OF HEALTH - USATODAY.com
- Subdivision is proposed - USATODAY.com
- Reagor: Home-listing group game for some fun
- After 6 years, Scottsdale is settling state-land c...
- Foreclosure Crisis Hits Older Americans Hard - US ...
- Government program to help avoid foreclosure
- Property-tax bills may rise in Paradise Valley sch...
- Construction, housing sectors face challenges
- ▼ September (91)
- ► 2011 (704)