Wednesday, March 1, 2023

Guest View: Diane Peters - OVCN Failed to Produce even one Congregant Whose Home will be Directly Affected by the Proposed Rezoning

During the February 7 Planning and Zoning hearing for the Oro Valley Church of the Nazarene rezoning request, Paul Oland (the applicant) and Pastor Collins attempted to counter the argument that the only people who are in favor of this rezoning are congregants of OVCN who do not live in the immediate neighborhood and therefore will not be negatively impacted by it.

Pastor Collins stated, “We thought it would be helpful to this committee to hear from some homeowners who will be directly affected by this project but share a differing view than what you’ve heard from the neighbors.”

They then produced multiple speakers who live one mile away!
Living one mile away is a false equivalency since the field lights and the loud speakers won’t be intruding into their backyards and inside their homes -- and they won’t be subjected to hundreds of cars driving down their quiet rural street or parking in front of their homes.

Contrary to Pastor Collins’ assertion, those speakers/OVCN congregants will not be directly affected by the project.

None of the speakers offered a compelling argument
One speaker who lives a mile away stated, “I love seeing the lights and hearing the sounds because it’s life. It’s our community coming together for events that have a positive impact. Games, swim meets, graduations. These are families having special moments.”

It turns out that her house is on a rural road on a very large lot and her house is set very far back from the road, hidden behind numerous tall trees that shield her home from the road. In other words, she chose a home that is shielded from the lights and the noise that she claims to love.

Another speaker who lives one mile away stated, “I know there may be some inconvenience to my lifestyle but it is totally worth it to me to see the kids have a safe place to come, learn a sport, find out about Jesus, and make decisions that will have a positive impact on their lives.”

I suppose it’s easy to accept some inconvenience to your lifestyle when in reality, there will be no inconvenience to your lifestyle.

They did produce one speaker who lives, “probably 2/10 of a mile away” from the church. But it’s still a bit of a stretch to say that he will be “directly affected” by the rezoning since the associated traffic will not be driving down his street, a wall of huge trees in front of his house will block the view of the lights on the athletic field, and any sounds coming from the loud speakers will likely be muffled sounds. The decibel level will not be anywhere near what residents living adjacent to the church will endure.

It appears that the Calle Buena Vista neighborhood group was right all along
The applicant and Pastor Collins both failed to prove that there were some OVCN congregants who will be directly affected by the rezoning but who are in favor of it, nonetheless. In fact, they couldn’t produce even one congregant who would actually be directly affected by it.

For some comparison, I live one mile away from an athletic field and when there is an event on the field, although I can see the lights in the distance and I can hear muffled voices over the loud speakers, I am in no way directly affected by it. It has no impact on my daily life and it will have no impact on the resale value of my home.

Planning and Zoning recommended denial of this application. The rezoning was then scheduled to be heard by the Town Council on Wednesday, March 1st. However, OVCN has since requested a postponement of that hearing.
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.