Dropping Appeal Will Kill Southbridge Referendum

Credit: Scottsdale Progress

By Wayne Schutsky for Scottsdale Progress 
Southbridge Two developer Carter Unger has dropped plans to appeal a Maricopa County judge’s decision upholding the referendum to put the downtown Scottsdale development before voters. 
But it is still unlikely the issue will actually make it to the ballot in November as Unger has asked the City Council to repeal its initial approval of the project, rendering a referendum moot. 
“We have made the decision to not pursue further legal actions. Please feel free to (schedule) us for the next available date that works for you,” Unger wrote to the City Council and staff. 
The 10-acre project was approved by the City Council and included a redevelopment of retail sites along the downtown 5th Avenue shopping district and a 150-foot hotel and 128-foot office building at Scottsdale Road and 6th Avenue and condos as high as 139 feet along the canal. 
The referendum was sought by the Committee for the Preservation of Old Town Scottsdale, a PAC started by two neighboring property owners to upend Council’s approval. 
Unger challenged the validity of a substantial portion of those signatures in court, but Judge Timothy Thomason decided in favor of the Old Town PAC. 
City Clerk Carolyn Jagger confirmed if the City Council repealed the decision, it would negate the referendum, because there would be nothing to vote on. 
Old Town PAC Chair Janet Wilson said she thinks this decision would elicit a backlash from Scottsdale residents. 
Unger previously told the Progress if the lawsuit failed, he would likely still move forward with a project on the land under its original zoning, which includes substantially lower height allowances than those approved by the Council. 
Read more at Scottsdale Progress. 

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