Monday, January 14, 2019

Guest View: Tim Bohen ~ Is The WLB Group padding their claims? Part 1.

Rodger Ford of Anthem Equity
When Rodger Ford of Anthem Equity said, “I was very careful to make sure that I had CPI against CPI privileges” at about the 54:50 mark of the November 8, 2018 Planning and Zoning Special Session, his words have a specific meaning. Campus Park Industrial (CPI) is a land use designation within the Oro Valley Rancho Vistoso PAD. Our Town zoning code does not use this designation. Tech Park (T-P) is the closest match you will find in the Oro Valley Zoning Code.

When Rancho Vistoso parcel 2E owner, Mr. Ford, did his due diligence in 2006, it is clear he researched the Rancho Vistoso PAD to determine what he might be allowed to build on 2E. We know this from the words he chose. As a savvy investor (just ask him), Mr. Ford no doubt clearly intended to fully understand his rights before he decided what a fair offering price would be in 2007.

Planned Area Development (PAD) documents establish landowner entitlements above and beyond the Town Zoning code
These are legal records. Current and accurate legal records are necessary for true public participation in matters such as the current Rancho Vistoso PAD amendment request for parcel 2E. And where might the residents of Oro Valley first go to seek out town records to help them find out what is going on? Yes, the Town website. I reviewed the document on the Town website and this is what I discovered.

The Rancho Vistoso PAD document was last updated in 2008. The Rancho Vistoso PAD was created in 1987 and has been updated periodically ever since. WLB is one of five authors listed on the Title Page. Not all tables contain the date of the last update, but Tables H and J were updated by WLB in July 1996. The last amendment incorporated into the text is from February 2008.

Residential projections of over 20,000 people. This PAD documents landowner entitlements (above and beyond the Zoning Code) for over 7,600 acres (about 12 square miles) and for an area once projected by the PAD authors themselves to house over 20,000 people.

Employment projections of over 31,000 employees. Neighborhoods 2&3 were once projected to have over 31,000 employees. Neighborhood 2 was to provide significant commercial along the west side of Oracle all the way up to Big Wash Overlook.

Development predicted to be completed in 15-20 years (from 1987). Thirty years have passed and based upon the level of Rancho Vistoso PAD amendment activity since the 2016 General Plan was approved, Rancho Vistoso development is clearly not done by any means.

So again, considering the importance of the document and all of the recent activity, why is a more current PAD not posted for the public?

That’s the way they like it
Can we believe at this point that anyone at the Town or in the developer community have even noticed? I maintain that the pace at which the Town Planning Staff has been asked to work since 2010 to meet applicant timetables does not allow for proper review of new applications and their supporting data. And this is just the way applicants and their advocates, such as The WLB Group, seem to like it.

A document of this scope needs to be periodically reviewed to keep it current. PAD’s are a privilege granted to developers and I find it insulting that this document is currently so far behind.

You can view the Rancho Vistoso PAD documents HERE

Part 2 will be published on Wednesday

Tim Bohen grew up in Southern California and moved to Oro Valley in 2015. He has a Bachelors degree in Physics from UCI and an MBA from Loyola Marymount. He is employed as a Systems Engineer. He graduated from the Community Academy in 2016 and the Citizens Academy in 2017. He has been a member of the Oro Valley Historic Preservation Commission since January 2018 and is a volunteer mediator with the Arizona Attorney General’s office. His interests include aviation and history, with his greatest interest currently being frontier life and how the West was settled.