Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Guest View: Tim Bohen ~ Is The WLB Group padding their claims? Part 2.

Part 1 was published on Monday.

The process is broken
Our Oro Valley PAD amendment process is broken but it’s hard to see on the surface. For years, we have had a developer-driven process on developer timetables and a lack of healthy cross-examination of developer claims which should expose obvious errors in documents. The Town Council eliminated the Development Review Board some years ago in order to make the supposedly unfriendly Oro Valley easier for developers to navigate.

There is at least one council member liaison present at all P&Z meetings so nothing major should slip by. In addition, Staff researches the issue beforehand for their presentation, so they should catch errors or falsehoods at this point, right? So between P&Z, the town staff, and the Town Council, due diligence has been done, right?

Not always. See editor’s note at the end of the article.

But when developers request new entitlements at Rancho Vistoso or seek to enforce entitlements they won previously, who is actually verifying that these entitlements are properly recorded and followed for all to see? In my view, no one has been doing this for over 10 years. Don’t hold your breath waiting for the developers who have had their way for so long to bring this up. Our Town needs to insist upon a complete and verifiable application which clearly delineates the WAS and IS text of the PAD amendment before the public meeting is even scheduled.

Why single out WLB?
They are an engineering and planning firm, not a developer nor a public relations firm. First of all, the badly outdated Rancho Vistoso PAD has their name on it and has for a long time. Check “Prepared by…” on page one and “Revised by WLB July 10, 1996” in Tables H and J. [Click HERE to review the Rancho Vistoso PAD]

Despite the PAD issues mentioned above, we have on many occasions seen WLB advocating for their Rancho Vistoso developer applicants based on their “long experience” in Rancho Vistoso. But after their recent 2017 successes in these requests for General Plan and PAD amendments, have they bothered to follow through to confirm that the amendments they seek are properly recorded and available?

Also, we see WLB quite literally all over Town advocating for the interests of their developer partners, including the Arizona Bureau of Land Management in the current Tangerine Annexation process. But WLB, as mentioned, is an engineering and planning firm, not a legal or PR firm. Just who is minding the WLB store when it comes to ensuring they do their core work of maintaining current engineering and planning documentation for our Town?

Homework Assignment
Vintage documents should not be considered current in dealings between WLB and the Town of Oro Valley. WLB, if you do update the PAD for the Town website as you should, be sure to provide the Town one mylar and five colored exhibits of the entire PAD as required per Section 6A on sheet 41. Don’t forget the five bound copies and one unbound copy for future distribution per Section 6B.

Editor’s Note: The Saguaro Viejos development (another WLB project) is a perfect example of false information being presented as fact. During their presentation in April 2018, Paul Oland of WLB stated that their rezoning request for 6,500 sf lots was compatible with the existing land use east of the property which he claimed was 7,000 to 10,000 sf lots. The actual lot sizes for that neighborhood are 15,000 to 33,000 square feet. This was pointed out to P&Z and the Town Council by Oro Valley resident and frequent LOVE contributor, Diane Peters, who, like Tim Bohen, actually did some due diligence by reviewing town documents.