Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Kai Gets Fourth "Bite at the Apple" Tonight

It is deja-vu all over again
Tonight's hearing on the proposed Kai-Capri General Plan Amendment is the fourth time that the Oro Valley Town Council will consider it. This is definitely a record. 

The first time was in December. The amendment was presented by town staff and the applicant. Then, when was time for the public comment, the town manager reported that she had failed to publish the notice of public comment. There was not public hearing.

The amendment was deferred until January 6 for public hearing and council decision.

However, as LOVE reported at that time, the town was required by State Law to have the general plan hearing in the same calendar year as the year in which the amendment request was filed. So, the town, on very short notice, held a public hearing on December 30. Yes. Right in the middle of holiday week. Needless to say, there was sparse public comment.

The third time the matter came before council  was when it was heard and voted down, 4-3, by town council on January 6.  Finally, it was over.

...Because applicant feels they were "misunderstood"
But wait.

That was not the end however.  Council Member Jones-Ivey asked that the item be reconsidered because she had been told by the applicant that there had been a misunderstanding. What could possibly be misunderstood. The amendment had been vetted in two public hearings, by the town's Planning and Zoning Commission in two public hearings, and by council on two occasions.

Jones-Ivey had voted against it. She felt, however, that Kai Family, who have been around our town for a long time, deserved the chance to explain the "misunderstanding."  She failed mention or perhaps she does not know that the Kai's don't live in Oro Valley. They live in Marana. 

In late January, council voted 4-3 to rehear it.  The rehearing is tonight.

...So Kai got more time to work the system
This time delay has given Paul Oland, representative of the property owner Kai Family, and the family itself time to work the process.  This is clever on their part and on the part of town staff who are in favor of the amendment. 

Crafting a new request for approval of one, and not five concepts...
Bur wait. There is more. The applicant has reduced their original request for approval of five property use concepts. They are now proposing one: Rental Casitas.  This is actually not a rehearing of the amendment request, it is a hearing of a new request.  Thus, there should be a new application.

Council approval requires five"yes" votes
The amendment requires five votes. It is hard for us to imagine that Vice Mayor Barrett and council members Bohen and Nicolson will vote for it because there is no flaw in the logic they presented when they voted against it on January 6.  Thus, there can not be five affirmative votes.

We know that Council Members Solomon and Greene will vote for it as will Mayor Winfield.  They voted for it last time.

Which leaves Jones-Ivey. 

  • First, the existing land use provides a key alternative commercial site and should remain such. 
  • Second, the argument that the town needs more rooftops to support retail has not worked out over time
Near as we can tell, thing's haven't changed.

We wonder if Jones-Ivey will waste the equity she has with her constituents, the ones who voted her in. They clearly told her that they want to slow down the insane level of growth caused by approvals of general plan and zoning changes by the Hiremath council.