Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Guest View: Diane Peters – The OVCN Rezoning Request is Not About Religion

Oro Valley Church of the Nazarene (OVCN) is requesting a rezoning of their property in order to accommodate a “Sports Ministry” including a 100,000 square foot lighted outdoor athletic field, a concession building, an amphitheater, and a 75,000 square foot multi-purpose building. They want to build this in a quiet rural neighborhood consisting of homes on 3.3+ acre lots sizes with horse properties. Read more of LOVE’s exclusive coverage here.
Although I don’t live near the rezoning in question, I do feel that I have something to offer to the conversation.

Bright lights and booming voices
My husband and I live exactly one mile from Ironwood Ridge High School and whenever there’s a nighttime event on their athletic field, the lights are so bright that we can see them from our backyard, despite those lights being shielded and despite us living one mile away.

We can also hear the announcers voices booming over the speakers during these events. The first time that happened, we were sitting in our living room watching TV with the windows closed when we heard loud voices that sounded like they were right in our backyard. We went on the patio to investigate and that’s when we discovered that the voices were coming from the high school, one mile away.

If the lights and the loud speakers are noticeable to us even though we live one mile from the high school, imagine the impact that this athletic field is going to have on the people living in the homes directly adjacent to this property.

Tens of thousands of people descending on the Calle Concordia/Buena Vista neighborhood
An article in the October Oro Valley Style Magazine was another eye-opener. Pastor Collins stated that these facilities will allow the Gospel to “be delivered to tens of thousands of people every year.”

Tens of thousands of people driving through a rural residential neighborhood??!!

The pastors’ hypocrisy is written in the moon and the stars

It turns out that the OVCN pastors have admitted just how important it is to live in a quiet neighborhood with unobstructed mountain views. They each recently purchased new homes in a gated neighborhood where the only traffic they will endure will be from the residents and their guests -- and the only nighttime lights will be from the moon and the stars. There will be no athletic field lights shining into their yards and no voices booming over loud speakers ruining the serenity of their homes.

This discussion is not about religion
The pastors and the congregation want to persuade our town leaders into approving this rezoning by regaling us with stories about how sports ministries have transformed people’s lives, but that’s irrelevant. This discussion is not about religion or promoting religion. The discussion is about whether or not to allow this huge enterprise to be operated in a rural neighborhood, thereby ruining the peaceful and charming character of that neighborhood where some of these residents have made their homes for 30 years.

Diane Peters has lived in Oro Valley since 2003, moving here to escape the humidity of the East Coast. She’s been involved in OV politics and development issues since 2006, including organizing a citizens group in 2014 that spent 9 months negotiating a controversial 200-acre development project. In her past life, she worked in medical research at various University Hospitals in New England. Her interests include reading, writing, nature photography, travel, art galleries, museums, and politics.