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Paradise Valley Town Council dissects curious configuration of Andaz Scottsdale SUP application

Photo of Paradise Valley site of Andaz Scottsdale
A graphic illustration providing a general scope of the proposed development pending at Paradise Valley Town Hall, 6401 E. Lincoln Drive. (Graphic: Town of Paradise Valley/

Paradise Valley Town Council to see new direction language Sept. 22

By Terrance Thornton | Digital Free Press

Paradise Valley Town Council Thursday, Sept. 8, held a public hearing on the proposed development at 6041 N. Quail Run Road, which is property part of the Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Bungalows.

What is pursued by the owner of the property — Gary Stougaard, principal of PV Hotel Venture SPE LLC — is an intermediate special use permit allowing for 10 luxury single-story guest units approximately 2,853 square feet to 5,410 square feet with private pools on a 5-acre plot of land found along Quail Run Road.

The zoning in the Town of Paradise Valley is relatively simple as the majority of the dirt is zoned residential meanwhile a handful of commercial properties exist — resorts, houses of worship and educational entities — and are regulated through what locals call “The Special Use Permit.”

Town officials report the 5-acre plot of land in question carries a residential zoning component and found a part of the Andaz Resort campus, which is 22 acres and accessible from Scottsdale Road.

The technical request? A zoning change from “low-density residential” to “resort country club,” according to Paradise Valley Senior Planner George Burton.

“The scope of the development requires an intermediate amendment,” Mr. Burton told Town Council at the onset of the public hearing. “The architecture is going to meet what they have on the property”

Mr. Burton reported to Town Council the proposed project does deviate from established SUP guidelines in two ways:

• The contemplated retaining wall only has a 40-foot setback on the west property line; and
• Five of the proposed guest units are not meeting setback requirements.

Moving forward, Mr. Burton says, Town Council will receive a second draft of the proposed statement of direction — an internal document that helps the Planning Commission, a recommending body, frame its scope of scrutiny — at the local governing board’s Sept. 22 meeting with potential formal adoption of the SOD at its Oct. 13 meeting.

Photo of Paradise Valley site of Andaz Scottsdale

A small cluster subdivision in Paradise Valley?

Paradise Valley Councilman Scott Moore expressed concern about how the guest units don’t appear to be guest units.

“This development seems to be more a cluster, small lot subdivision — they have a street and a driveway to each one,” he said. “Although you say this is underlying zoning of R43, I didn’t see anything on the lot sizes proposed.”

The 5-acre plot of land, Mr. Burton explained to Councilman Moore, is coming into the SUP property as a one-resort piece with 10 guest units varying in sizes.

“This is backed up to owner occupied that already has noise complaints on file,” Mr. Moore explained. “I just can’t get behind something like this. I am sure this is not what the applicant intended.”

Councilman Moore says the project appears to be a subdivision with 10 homes rather than a resort property.

“It is one step away from being 10 homes for something that doesn’t meet our code,” he said.

Both Councilman Paul Dembow and Mark Stanton asked further into the dynamic of the parking plan.

“It seems like it really does give it a neighborhood feel,” Councilman Stanton said of the driveways with carports along with walk-in closets throughout each housing configuration. “I agree with Mr Moore’s points. How does this fit into their overall parking plans?”

Mr. Dembow, however, spoke to the point that industry professionals know what’s best to do with their property.

“They know what their client wants best, much better than we do,” he quipped. “Is this an issue of aesthetics?”

An opportunity for compromise

Paradise Valley Vice Mayor Anna Thomasson walked the neighborhood this past Labor Day weekend talking with residents.

“Based on resident comments, they are open to this,” she said to her surprise, allowing for her to change her hardline stance on the conversion request. “I’m off my position of loathing the conversion itself.”

But Vice Mayor Thomasson points out the concerns surrounding noise abatement are critical for residents, she says.

Paradise Valley Vice Mayor Ann Thomasson out for an afternoon stroll. (Photo: Arianna Grainey/

“Our noise concerns cannot be understated, but I am not opposed to the SOD,” she said. “I want to really be respectful of the residents because they are our town.”

Mr. Stougaard, who attended the work session discussion at Town Hall, 6401 E. Lincoln Drive, spoke with Town Council on each concern.

“This was never an inkling of thought to be ‘for sale’; this is to be something to meet the demand of our clientele,” he said of the rumblings around these 10 units emerging as short-term rental properties. “The overriding goal is to accommodate our guest requests. They are happy to spend $100,000 to rent a house for a month and not deal with the toil and trouble of second-home ownership.”

Mr. Stougaard says he aims to find the right compromise to make his project the right fit for the Town of Paradise Valley.

“Our goal is to come up with a plan that is the least impactful to our neighbors,” he said. “We need a different, more wide-ranging product and this is our first pass at it, particularly for our entertainment clientele. The more people pay, the less noise they make.”

The 10 units will not become short-term rental properties, Mr. Stougaard said.

“We have security on site — this is not an Airbnb party street,” he said. “It really has been an outgrowth of what our customers want. We are sensitive to everyone’s concerns. They will not be ‘for-sale’ … I am not for this, and my partners are not for that.”

A view of the Paradise Valley municipal complex. (Photo: Arianna Grainey/
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