Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Guest View: “Good Deeds” are Irrelevant to OVCN’s Rezoning Request

The below speech was given by Oro Valley resident David Rishor during the September 20, 2023 Town Council meeting during the Call to Audience. He and his family are opposed to the Oro Valley Church of the Nazarene (OVCN) plan to build a huge sports complex in their rural and historic neighborhood. LOVE added the subheadings.

This rezoning request is unsuitable for the neighborhood
My name is David Rishor and my family and I have been homeowners living in the town of Oro Valley for the past 25 years. I am an Arizona state licensed commercial and residential contractor for many decades watching land go from zoning to construction to certificate of occupancy. Never in my career have I viewed a more inappropriate rezone request as what is being submitted by OVCN.

A church’s good deeds have nothing to do with a property rezoning
Some time back, I attended a town meeting with the Planning and Zoning Commission, and I watched the church’s executive pastor stand at this lectern preaching about all the good things his church does for the community. No one questions this as one knows virtually all churches attempt to do “good things” and hats off to them for it. What he does not understand is these good things have absolutely nothing to do with property rezoning. If a rezone is inappropriate, it’s simply that and one’s good gestures have nothing to do with it. It was clearly a spin to get the Commission’s eye off the ball.

As a former member of the Pusch Ridge Christian Church, one of the reasons they sold their property was due to the zoning. With a handful of folks from the immediate neighborhoods attending the church, we knew full well that attempting to rezone this land would not be an option and we certainly would not try to shove a bad rezone down the throats of our good neighbors -- as OVCN is trying to do now. We believed in the biblical rule -- Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.

OVCN’s behavior is not very Christian
Since 1961, my parents have been Charter members of a Tucson east side Christian church. When I graduated Sunday School kindergarten and was baptized, I was given a Holy Bible that lives on my nightstand to this day. With all my mind and soul, I believe in the trinity and words of this Bible and try my best to be as He would have me. As a Christian, I find it shocking that the leaders of OVCN choose to blatantly hurt their neighbors, and it’s also quite shocking that it appears no church member has stood up and cried out about this wrongdoing.

The negative impact is clear
This has gone on far, far too long now. Help put an end to the year-in and year-out suffering this church causes the surrounding neighborhoods. The facts of the matter are clear, the negative impact is clear, and most importantly the zoning commission agrees. Please deny this rezone and protect the citizens of these historic and unique southern Arizona residential neighborhoods!