Scottsdale North: Connecting Forgotten Territory
By Scott Gaertner
Scottsdale North is one of the most beautiful areas of the valley, in my opinion, and yet the neighborhood seems to be “forgotten territory” and disconnected from the rest of the valley and even according to Google Maps! The app actually shows the area of Scottsdale North ending 17 miles south of its actual border. I love the Scottsdale North area and have always felt that the neighborhood has been a bit neglected by the rest of the Valley. To this end, I am championing a campaign to bring awareness to Scottsdale North and help residents in the Valley of the Sun appreciate its uniqueness. By learning more about the facts of the area and coming together to connect as a community to build awareness, we can put Scottsdale North on the map… literally.
Before I explain my case though let me be clear – this is not about bringing more people or more development. I don’t think anyone wants that. This is about recognition, appreciation, and definition. It is about people understanding where you live and why you live there. Consider, if you will, Arcadia.
Arcadia isn’t a city or even a town, it is just the name of a very popular area to live in Phoenix that is close to the borders of Scottsdale and Paradise Valley. When someone tells me they live in Arcadia, I have a very good idea of where they live, and possibly something about what is important to them (in city feel, with historic homes, large lots, and green grass.) As a resident of Scottsdale North, if you tell someone you live in North Scottsdale, there is a very good chance they will assume you mean somewhere between Frank Lloyd Wright and Shea Boulevards, and they will know nothing about what you like (a less congested, more rural feel, high desert vegetation, dark sky nights, mountain views.) The definition by itself makes the area more valuable and easier to understand.
Back to My Point
When you do a search on Google Maps for North Scottsdale, it currently brings up an area that stops right at Dynamite Road – but the northern border of the Scottsdale North area actually is 17.5 miles further north!
It’s not just Google Maps that is to blame – other mapping applications aren’t much better. Zillow and Trulia, popular real estate apps, both show North Scottsdale ending at Dynamite. Now Realtor.com actually goes all the way north to Dixileta, so it is only forgetting 16.5 miles of the city. But none of these get the northern boundary of our beloved Scottsdale North. Right inside this forgotten territory is easily some of the most beautiful vegetation and scenery in our state, and some of the best lifestyle communities anywhere in the country. With so many other small communities that are recognized, it sometimes feels as though Scottsdale North really is a forgotten piece of the valley — and that rings true in the media as well.
Forgotten in the Media
It isn’t just technology that’s overlooking Scottsdale North. Many media outlets are inadvertently shrinking the size of the community. Take, for instance, an article by Mansion Global called North Scottsdale Appeals for Its Climate, Low Taxes, and Golf. Written a couple of months ago, it gives glowing reviews and talks about how great North Scottsdale is. This is a good article by a good magazine, and it would help refugees from higher-tax states find their new great lifestyle. Unfortunately, the area the author is describing doesn’t include the actual Scottsdale North area. The author actually defines North Scottsdale boundaries in the article:
The McDowell Mountain Regional Park is to the east, while Pinnacle Peak Park lies to the north, with East Rio Verde Drive and East Dynamite Boulevard running along the northern border.
Scottsdale North offers some of the best lifestyle communities with some of the most affluent residents in the Valley of the Sun, but the information in the article doesn’t define the geographic area correctly. And this is just one article of many.
Likewise, publications like the Arizona Republic don’t even include the 85266 zip code the very heart of Scottsdale North – in their real estate section! Seriously? This is the Scottsdale section of the newspaper! The list of missing pieces in the media goes on and on. This lack of correct information is time and again excluding Scottsdale North from the bigger picture. And it’s up to us who understand and appreciate it to start the conversation and advocate for education and change to put Scottsdale North on the map.
City Representatives Don’t Even Get It!
Despite having some of the highest home prices and property values in the Valley, and therefore some of the highest taxes, there are no city parks in Scottsdale North. None. Last year, many of us began lobbying the city to create a much-needed pickleball court area and dog park on a site the city set aside 20 years ago but had long forgotten. When the city representatives arrived at an open meeting discussing a bond issue to pay for the park in Scottsdale North, they made numerous jokes about not realizing how far north the meeting was and how much longer their drive was than they thought. This is not only disappointing to the community as a whole, but it also showed us all that if we wanted importance placed on things to help define and enhance Scottsdale North, we couldn’t count on the city to do it for us. Scottsdale North residents pushed hard to get the park into the bond issue and now apparently that bond has passed, but the work is not done.
What does that mean? It means that it’s up to us to educate the surrounding communities and advocate for the neighborhood ourselves! We need to take this task into our own hands if we want the change we seek to come about. The good news is, there are several ways we can start to take action to have Scottsdale North properly defined and connected to the rest of the valley.
How Can We Connect Scottsdale North?
Request Google Maps amendment: If the corporation receives enough requests, it will be forced to further investigate and define the true borders of Scottsdale North on the “app.” Aside from Google maps, multiple reports of incorrect boundaries will have to make real estate and other mapping apps take notice to properly define the region.
Write to media outlets to correct their information: When coming across misprinted information about the Scottsdale North area, be proactive about reaching out to the media outlets to request they publish a correction. This is also an opportunity to educate!
Attend city meetings and write to your representatives: The more involved we are as a community in the meetings, the more we can start to create a voice for the neighborhood.
Share information on social media: There is no doubt that social media is a powerful resource when it comes to getting information out there.
Patronize and promote local businesses both in and out of the neighborhood: Small Business Saturday is November 30 and is a great place to start.
Join the Connecting Scottsdale North Facebook Group: Here you can see spotlight videos on local people and businesses and hear about events and ways to connect the community.
The Scottsdale North lifestyle is more active and unique for its lack of congestion, gorgeous high desert scenery, dark sky nights, and cleaner cooler air. We can help other folks to understand and discover this and attract the right folks to the community.
Let’s do this!