Thursday, April 6, 2017

Guest View-Diane Bristow: A Storage Facility at Steam Pump Village is not Consistent with the Vision, Goals, and Policies of the Voter-Approved General Plan

At the March 15, 2017 Town Council meeting, there was an agenda item to amend the Steam Pump Village Planned Area Development (PAD) to permit an indoor self-storage facility. Ms. Bristow presented the following arguments before Council during the Public Hearing portion of this agenda item.
On balance, this proposed 3-story storage facility is not consistent with the vision, guiding principles, goals and policies of the General Plan ~ Your Voice, Our Future.[YVOF]

In the Community portion of Your Voice, Our Future, there are 10 Goals. Staff found only one of these goals, Goal D, which mentions a “wide range of services” for its General Plan Analysis. This proposed facility certainly does not support the other General Plan Community Goals. It does not support:

General Plan Community Goals
A. Long-term financial & economic stability...
B. Robust local economy or job market opportunities and employment...
C. Targeted industries…to provide opportunities for synergy & growth...
D. Selected by staff. E. High-quality parks, recreation, and open space…
F. Diverse, enriching, quality education opportunities, arts and culture experiences…
G. High-quality Town assets…
H. Increased opportunities for residents to provide meaningful input on Town decisions and planning. (Ms. Bristow discusses this goal later in her presentation.)
I. Safety during emergencies…
J. Safe community…

Economy, Environmental, and Long-term Development Goals
In addition, this facility does not support the 50 General Plan Community Policies which focus on the economy, complete community, and town services.

It does not support the 6 General Plan Environment Goals and 21 Policies which focus on Sonoran Desert, water, cultural resources, or a clean environment.

This storage facility does not support the 9 General Plan Long-Term Development Goals. Nor does it support the 9 Development Policies which focus on land use, design, development, growth areas and special planning areas. Staff used only two land use policies in their General Plan Analysis.
Land Use #5: Does this multi-story storage facility really provide diverse land uses that meet the Town’s overall needs and effectively transition in scale and density adjacent to neighborhoods?
Land Use #9: Does this storage facility really enhance and promote the pedestrian experience?
Survey says “Gathering Spaces” not “Storage Spaces”
In the March 15th edition of a local newspaper, there was an article about the Town’s Main Streets Project. Planning Manager, Bayer Vella stated that he saw this as a continuation of the community-focused ideas which came to light as part of the YVOF surveying process. He further stated that the younger Oro Valley demographic is looking for more gathering spaces.

Remember that First Avenue and Oracle Road all the way to Steam Pump Ranch is one of the two identified Main Streets where people will dine or sip coffee along the CDO wash. Does this storage facility fit with the Main Streets Project?

In closing let me return to Community Goal H: “Increased opportunities for residents to provide meaningful input on Town decisions and planning.”

Many people voiced their “meaningful input” during the P & Z meeting. Tonight, you have heard many residents provide “meaningful input” into your decision and planning. Have you listened? Tonight, I ask you to pay heed to the residents of Oro Valley. Uphold the General Plan. Support the Main Streets Project. Vote to deny this PAD amendment and storage facility request.

Editor’s Note: Diane’s husband, Don Bristow, also spoke during the Public Hearing. A synopsis of his comments is below:

• Just because a 3-story storage structure is being requested does not mean that you should approve it. • This type of use, including a building with fake windows, is not compatible with the Steam Pump Ranch historical site. • There are other nearby indoor storage facilities that have available space.

Much to Councilmember Hornat’s chagrin, Mr. Bristow also suggested that all seven council members would approve the request as a thank you to Diamond Ventures for their campaign contributions. [Campaign Finance Reports reveal that Diamond Ventures donated $13,760.] You can watch the video of Don Bristow’s speech and Hornat’s response here.
Diane Bristow and her husband Don retired and moved to Oro Valley in 1999. They chose Oro Valley because of its beautiful mountain scenery. Diane has a Masters of Education degree and worked as an educator in Michigan, Colorado, and Missouri. While in Missouri, she developed and wrote computer lessons for K-6 elementary teachers to use with their students. She also trained teachers in word processing, data base, spreadsheets, and BASIC and LOGO programming. Diane completed the Oro Valley Community Academy in 2014 and served on the Your Voice, Our Future General Plan Development Committee and also participated in many of the Oro Valley Main Streets Workshops.