Scottsdale, Arizona


Desert Highlands is a master planned residential community in north Scottsdale.  The 850 acres of property lies on the south slope of Pinnacle Peak, one of the area’s most prominent natural landmarks.


The original master plan included an 18 hole Jack Nicklaus signature golf course, 460 single family home sites, 240 cluster home sites and recreational amenities.  This plan was subsequently revised to eliminate 60 high density residential units near the clubhouse and a proposed 150 unit patio home product was replaced with a 3.3 acre, 18 hole Putting Course as the center piece for 32 large residential sites.


Desert Highlands was a precedent for golf course community master planning and design in the south west and for establishing programs such as: a Hillside No Development Zone and Ordinance, an Environmentally Sensitive Lands Ordinance,  prohibition of non-Sonoran landscape plant materials, stringent architectural and landscape design guidelines, reduction in irrigated turf areas in the golf course that became a standard in Arizona to name a few.


The project has been the recipient of several environmental, architectural, and landscape architecture awards and exemplifies the firm’s approach to reconciling the client’s development objectives with the context of sensitive landscapes.