Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Bill Adler Responds To Issues Concerning Miller Ranch Development Plan

Bill Adler needs no introduction to most of our readers. As a citizen of Oro Valley, Bill is probably the most knowledgeable person when it comes to our General Plan, town codes and ordinances.

Bill was good enough to send me the following email as it concerns the proposed Miller Ranch Development Plan.


Neighborhood meetings in the past have always been at the discretion of the they were conducted; the specifics of the meeting agenda. An ordinance was passed last year fixing the requirements for neighborhood meetings. The major change was that the Town is the sponsor; not the developer. A second major change is that prior to submittal of a General Plan Amendment, Rezoning, Development or Landscape Plan or Conditional Use Permit a meeting with the neighbors is to be conducted by the Town Planning staff to educate residents on the pertinent zoning code sections and applicable General Plan policies. A second neighborhood meeting with the developer follows the educational meeting.

The ordinance details how the meetings are to be conducted, and what matters are to be covered. Although some of the wording in the ordinance could be improved, if there is a deficiency it is within the compliance with the ordinance rather than in the ordinance itself.

The Miller Ranch property is now going through the development plan stage. Unfortunately, the ordinance requirements were overlooked and there were no neighborhood meetings prior to the development plan being submitted or heard by the Development Review Board. A Public Outreach Plan was never prepared.
Meetings were hastily arranged and held prior to the development plan being heard by Council. In the haste, the manner of facilitation; the specifics to be covered and the manner of coverage described in the ordinance and protocols were not incorporated.

Consequently, neither the educational meeting nor the applicant meeting was conducted consistent with the requirements. Disappointment by all involved is understandable. Before there is much debate about what may have been accomplished or not accomplished at the neighborhood meeting it is first necessary to comply with the ordinance. That would solve a great deal.

The ordinance will be reviewed by the Council July 7th as requested by Councilman Joe Hornat and Councilman Steve Solomon. The ordinance and the operational procedures are available on-line with the Council agenda.


Note: Link to item 8. DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION REGARDING ORDINANCE NO. (O)09-17 PUBLIC PARTICIPATION is listed on left column of blog.


The Zee Man said...

Why would the new Council want to review this ordinance?

artmarth said...

The answer as I understand it is this:

Nobody at Town Hall even recalled the fact that this relatively new ordinance required the town to hold public meetings with neighbors that may be impacted by a new development prior to any DRB, P & Z or Council meeting.

This was not done with the Miller Ranch development, and it appears that the ordinance was totally disregarded.

Subsequently, meetings were held with the neighbors, but obviously, according to many that attended, answers to many questions were not satisfactory addressed.

The point is this: Why have an ordinance if it is not adhered to?

Therefore, the council will discuss this issue on July 7.

(You can read the details of the ordinance on the town July 7 agenda, item #8---left side of blog)