As our name implies, we are advocating for the current voter-approved General Plan. As such, we do not support any land use changes at this time.
One of these requests (Northwest Corner of LaCholla Blvd. and Naranja Drive / 8 acres) will allow the land to be used for commercial purposes. The other (LaCholla Blvd. and Naranja Southwest / 202 acres) request would build a master-planned community where lower density was approved by voters.
As reported previously, there have been four public hearings on this amendment request. Those attending expressed concerns on many factors, ranging from traffic issues to market need.
Some members of Citizen Advocates of the Oro Valley General Plan met with the applicant (Paul Oland) and the landowner (James Kai) for 4 hours on November 3rd. They spent two hours discussing some concerns and questions that the group still had and then spent the remaining two hours attempting to negotiate some conditions in the event that the Town Council passes these proposals with conditional approval.
We discussed a number of areas. We learned much more of the applicant's plans. They learned much more about our concerns.
- For example, we asked what was the urgency to push these GPA’s through now when the citizens are currently working on the 2015 General Plan? The applicant responded that they initially approached the town 2-3 years ago about this and were told to wait for the new General Plan. They waited a year and nothing happened with the General Plan. Waited another year and still nothing. They’re worried that the overhaul might not result in what they want for this property. They feel they’re running the risk of running out of Oro Valley home lots.
- Why, we asked, do you want to sandwich high density townhomes or senior care between low density and medium density? The applicant's response was that LaCholla will soon be a big road and will be well-travelled. High density fits with that location. That applicant did agree with us that apartments are not needed because "they are not in demand."
The final Planning and Zoning Commission Hearing is scheduled for tomorrow at 6PM town hall. We hope that you will attend. If Planning and Zoning Commission sends the application on to the Town Council, that public hearing will take place on December 10th.
We urge that the Planning and Zoning Commission and the Council consider, apply and publicly address each of the 5 requirements for proving a major general plan amendment. These are:
- The proposal must be consistent with the vision, goals, and policies of the General Plan.
- The burden is on the applicant to prove that conditions in the community have changed to warrant a change in the land use
- The applicant must prove that the plan will lead to the socio-economic betterment of the community
- The applicant must demonstrate that market demand exists for the proposed land uses.
- The proposal must also achieve general community acceptance and it must not adversely impact the community as a whole or in part.
Diane Peters is a resident of Oro Valley.