Tuesday, April 4, 2023

OVCN Revising Project...But Battle With Community Will Continue

Church to move facilities 150 feet from three opposing resident lot lines
The Oro Valley Church of the Nazarene (OVCN) is revising their rezoning proposal for their sports complex project. This will cause the project to be heard once again by the Oro Valley Planning and Zoning Commission. 

Change would result in requiring one less council vote for approval
We do not know the details of the revision, but we do know that it includes moving the western edge of the rezone area 150 feet to the east, away from neighbor lot lines. If this is the case, then the requirement for Town Council approval would be a 4-vote majority rather than a 5-vote supermajority. The timetable of the approval process for this project is unclear.  Regardless, the community, especially those who are most closely affected by the facility if approved, are united against it. 

Community is resolute in opposition
Regardless, the community, especially those who are most closely affected by the facility if approved, are united against it. Today, we present two "Guest Views:" One is from Tim Tarris, head of the Concordia/Buena-Vista Group. The other is from Don Cox, former Oro Valley Planning and Zoning Commissioner. Both Tim and Don oppose the project at that location because the sports facilities do not fit within that community. Both would like to see a compromise in which OVCN builds the facilities elsewhere. Simply redrawing the rezone request the facilities 150 feet to the east is not that compromise.
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Guest View: Tim Tarris
The simple redrawing of the rezone area, if that is what they plan to offer, is not a solution. It has the effect of negating four of the neighbors that signed the formal protest filed over a year ago. Fourteen of the adjoining neighbors (100%) signed that formal protest which requires the “super majority” of the Town Council to approve. (See Arizona Revised Statute 9-462.04H and Oro Valley Town Code ZC 23.3L.)

An action of this type is an attempt to “bend the rules” in the church’s favor. In all reality, nothing in a new submission of this nature has changed. All of the reasons (traffic, noise, lighting, etc.), that have caused the strong opposition by the neighbors, remain. It is effectively a “line in the sand” as the western section is a parking lot and will remain so. It is an intentional effort to dismiss and invalidate the wishes of the neighbors.

Many people have noticed the Concordia/Buena Vista Group (C/BV) informational (pink) signs. Sadly, some people have gone on private property and “free speech” zones (where signs are allowed) and vandalized or removed these signs. Additionally, one neighbor (displaying a sign) was verbally accosted in front of his own home by a passing motorist while tending to his sign. All of these events resulted in police reports being filed.

The C/BV group position has always remained the same. We support sports, youth and religion, but this sports complex would be devastating to this historic Oro Valley neighborhood. We actively hope that OVCN would find a much more appropriate location. The church, the neighbors and the community of Oro Valley will benefit from that solution.
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Guest View: Don Cox
First, I want everybody to understand that when I voice an opinion on this or any other matter, it is only my opinion. I am not speaking on behalf of any other party!! 

I believe OVCN requested the postponement to regroup after the Planning and Zoning Commission recommended denial the application. What’s puzzling to me, as a former member of the Planning and Zoning Commission, is why there was a second vote on other matters included in the application. It seems those subsequent issues became moot once the recommendation to deny was made. I believe the P&Z [ Planning and Zoning Commission] erred in this regard.

I have been told by reliable sources that OVCN has an alternate plan. I have also suggested that since there are more multi-purpose fields coming on line in the relatively near future, OVCN and the Town may be able to work out some deal with the Town of Oro Valley that is compatible to all parties (Town/Neighbors/OVCN). If not then I see this issue heading to litigation. That’s not beneficial to any party. The Town needs to get more involved. Once again their secrecy isn’t doing them and favors.

OVCN bought the property in question. That property comes with established zoning rights. The neighborhood is only asking that those zoning rights be complied with….nothing more or less. In this instance I support the neighbors completely. That’s what’s best, in my opinion, for the Town.

(Don's view first appeared in Nextdoor.com. We are reprinting it with his permission)  
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