Monday, March 6, 2023

Proposed OVCN Sports Complex Not In Character With The Historical Character Of The Neighborhood

Historic neighborhood in jeopardy
Tonight, the town's Historic Preservation Commission will discuss how the Commission and the Planning Department can work more closely on applicant requests regarding properties that have historic significance to our community. 

The town and the Commission are aware of these properties. The town's Historic Preservation Plan, which the Commission approved in October, identifies the five most significant ones. As it happens, four of these neighborhoods are impacted by the request of the Oro Valley Church of the Nazarene (OVCN) to build a major sports facility. Indeed, that sports facility would be right in the middle of these areas.

Joanne Michaelsen lives in one of these areas. She addressed the Oro Valley Town Council last Wednesday. Joanne expressed her concern that the nature of the OVCN project simply does not fit within the historical significance of the area.
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"Not too long ago, a study was conducted to implement a Heritage Preservation Program. One of the components of this program is historic neighborhoods and recognizing them. As we all know, the town incorporated in 1974. The first subdivision was platted in the 1930’s with the neighborhood construction starting in the late 50’s.

During the Preservation Plan study, it was stated that in the category of Rock Art, Ranch and residence neighborhoods we have reached the 50 year threshold and can be considered for historic recognition. Currently the Town of Oro Valley has preserved the Honeybee Village and Steam Pump Ranch. 

During the study it was determined there is a large gap in preserving our potentially historic architecture in Town and that its land base has a significant amount of residential architecture that is at least 50 years old. In the survey it indicated there are four subdivisions eligible for National registry recognition: Oro Valley Estate; Suffolk Hill; Campo Bello and Shadow Mountain Estates. 

Three out of the four are directly impacted by OVCN proposed planned facility and rezoning. In the Report the recommendation to the Town of Oro Valley it was stated on Appendix B Page 16

I quote [from the study] “Reason for nomination is the recognition puts the neighborhood as a place of importance in local, state and national history thus strengthening the communities awareness of, and pride in, its unique heritage.”
  • There are 92 homes in Oro Valley Estates predating 1974 32- pre date 1965 
  • 138 homes in Shadow Mountain Estates predating 1974;   77 predate 1965 and that is 51% of the homes
  • 12 in Campo Bello predate 1974 and 9 before 1965 that is 36%
  • 8 in Linda Vista #2 predate 1974 and 5 predate 1965 that is 11%

By OVCN acquiring the Tellez Ranch in the Linda Vista #2,  we have already lost a valued Historical aspect of our neighborhood by the Church demolishing the structures. Why this was allowed to happen without a Cease and Desist order for the scrapping of residential property without a permit is baffling to me.

I am asking the Town Council to stop this destruction of our valued history and suggest a viable solution that the Town work with the OVCN to find an alternative location for their proposed structure and fields."

Joanne Michaelsen 
March 1, 2023
You can view a 2010 report on "Rock Art, Ranch and Residence Neighborhoods" for a more detailed analysis of all historical sites in Oro Valley.