Majority of Paradise Valley council buckles under the allure of development

Council members Maria Syms, Mark Stanton, Mary Hamway and Mayor Michael Collins all voted against one-home/one-acre zoning and against non-commercial development when they voted for the uber-dense Ritz redevelopment.

I can understand Hamway and Stanton voting this way because their own homes are on, respectively, one-half and one-quarter acre lots and they may have little in common with residents who wish to reside on one acre or more.

Mayor Michael Collins is another and more interesting case. His own full-page AD in which he profusely thanks himself (“Thank you Mayor Collins For Volunteering Again to Keep Paradise Valley…”) claims that P.V. can pay for all resident services with monies from “resort redevelopment projects”…”never needing a local property tax.”

This reminds me of the character Mattie in “True Grit” who states, “You must pay for everything in this world one way or the other. There is nothing free except the grace of God.”

We will pay for the super-dense commercial Ritz with more traffic, crime, noise, pollution, police and fire services and required utility infrastructures. We will pay with more walls, less green areas, more transients and more stress. Is this the Paradise Valley that you want more of, because this is what we are going to have if Mayor Collins and Stanton, Hamway and Syms are left unchecked?

Mayor Collins has misled P.V. residents by claiming that we are going to get something for nothing.

We will pay for all this in the end, and we will wish we had paid property taxes instead. It would be nice if we had council members who could stand up to wealthy commercial interests, who could honor their pledge to protect one-home/one acre and who would not claim that we are going to get something for nothing.

Editor’s note: Mr. Shoen is a resident of the Town of Paradise Valley

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