SAVE SAGUARO NATIONAL PARK IS AN AD HOC, UNFUNDED GROUP OF LOCAL RESIDENTS
WE ARE PROUD OF TUCSON'S REPUTATION AS A BIKE-FRIENDLY CITY.
We understand the concept of a Bike Ranch,
But not across from the entrance to our Saguaro National Park.
One of only 62 National Parks,
It is the only one being encroached upon by a major metropolitan area.
VISIT – WRITE - CALL - EMAIL - MAIL ALL SUPERVIORS
ALWAYS INCLUDE CASE NUMBER: P19CU0005
PIMA COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS CONTACT INFORMATION:
EMAIL (Clerk of the Board) - firstname.lastname@example.org
• ADDRESS TO ALL FIVE SUPERVISOR IN ONE LETTER/EMAIL.
• SEND ONE EMAIL TO THE CLERK OF THE BOARD (ABOVE ADDRESS).
• CLERK AUTOMATICALLY SENDS TO ALL SUPERVISORS AND ALL OTHER INVOLVED COUNTY DEPARTMENTS.
ADDRESS for regular mail - 130 W. Congress Street, 11th Floor, Tucson, AZ 85701
Ally Miller, District 1 (520) 724-2738
Ramón Valadez, District 2 (520) 724-8126
Sharon Bronson, District 3 (520) 724-8051
Steve Christy, District 4 (520) 724-8094
Richard Elías, District 5 (520) 724-8126
The developer says this project will have a low impact.
We say the development's potential level of impact is unacceptable.
TIPS FOR LETTERS:
• Include the case no: P19CU0005
• Include your full address.
• If live in Buffer Zone or near development, state so.
• Stick to issues (not people) and the future (not the past).
• Keep it simple; stick to one or two points and get it onto one or two pages.
• Send more than one letter if you have more than one or two points to make.
• Pollution: dark skies, noise, viewscapes, air, runoff from pavement, etc.
• Increased bicycles, pedestrians, vehicles.
• Increased crime.
• Violation of buffer zone purpose.
• Effect if project fails.
• Precedent: all it takes for the next one is ten acres, that's it, ten acres.
• Wildlife, biodiversity.
• Urban encroachment.
• Diminished solitude, quiet and naturalness.
• Try to find corroboration/documented support for your point(s).
• Use attachments, as many as needed, to bolster your point(s).
• If you need help with a letter (research, resources, etc.), please email us.
• If you need a ride to the hearing, email us and we will see if we can help.
SAGUARO NATIONAL PARK CAN NOT BE MOVED. THE BIKE RANCH CAN BE BUILT ANYWHERE.y
On May 21, the Board of Supervisors will approve or deny a 19.26-acre “bike ranch” proposed within feet of the entrance to Saguaro National Park east. Though we value Tucson’s reputation as a bike friendly city, the 500-plus members of Save Saguaro National Park’s ad hoc group believe this is the wrong location for high-density, commercial development.
Will Supervisors support their constituents, or will they promote one developer? Will they set the precedent of high density, commercial development at the entrance of a National Park, or will they protect the only National Park being threatened by a major metropolitan area?
Nothing protects the low density in the ten square miles that “buffer” the western boundary of Saguaro National Park East – not the Buffer Overlay Zone Ordinance, the underlying Suburban Ranch zoning, nor Pima County’s Comprehensive Plan.
The Buffer Overlay Zone’s purpose is to: preserve and protect open space, establish ecologically sound transition, assure...adequate wildlife habitat and foster unimpeded movement, and provide for an aesthetic visual appearance from and to (the Park). These purposes cannot be met by a “minor resort” with 33 buildings (18 two-story) and a four-foot high, 1,100-foot long, solid wall.
A “minor resort’s” intent is to “meet the lodging, convention and recreational needs of short-term visitors.” Tourism.az.gov reports for first quarter 2019 that Pima County has 300,000 excess, short-term lodging rooms. We do not need 49 more rooms, particularly in a “bike ranch” that would cater to a diminishing road bike industry. Bicycle Retailer magazine, April 2, 2019, states, “Wholesale bike sales down sharply year-to-date for everything but e-bikes;” 2018 bicycle sales were down ten percent.
The developer stated they worked with residents for a year. However, they worked only with the County and Park until February 4, 2019 when they filed their application and the County sent out the required-by-law letters to parcel owners within 1,000 feet. The developer then held one public meeting and has made a few phone calls to and met with several of the 50-some parcel owners. The developer refused a recent request to discuss possible compromises.
The County states this “bike resort” is in the same category as Miraval Resort, Tanque Verde Guest Ranch, and Canyon Ranch. Miraval is surrounded by almost 300 acres. Canyon Ranch’s 100-plus acres is bordered by higher density zoning on three sides with Sabino Creek and open property on its east. Neither is near a National Park. Tanque Verde Guest Ranch lies inside hundreds of acres. A 49-room “bike ranch” for road bikers, on 19.26 acres, cannot compare to these internationally renowned, iconic destinations.
This “minor resort” would be a first in the Buffer Zone. It requires only ten acres. Anyone can purchase one or more parcels and combine them into ten or more acres by filling out a simple half-page form at the Assessor’s office. Our concern about precedence is based on the ease of applying for a conditional use and obtaining that required ten acres. If the Supervisors approve this “minor resort,” how will they deny the next one?
The road bike industry is dying. Tucson has a surplus of lodging. Building this 49-room “bike resort” 20 miles from downtown Tucson and three miles from “The Loop” is not in the best interest of Pima County citizens. It does not meet the intent of the “minor resort” and the “Buffer Overlay Zone” ordinances. It could set an irreversible precedent.
BULL-DOZING 19.26 ACRES OF DESERT IN LOW DENSITY SUBURBAN ZONING IS IRREVERSIBLE.
Nothing can reduce to an acceptable level the impact of this proposed high-density, commercial development.
THERE IS NO PLANNING THAT CAN MITIGATE THE CUMULATIVE NEGATIVE EFFECT FROM
260-PLUS PEOPLE AND THEIR VEHICLES
PLUS MAINTENANCE, SERVICE AND DELIVERY VEHICLES AND PEOPLE
ALONG WITH INCREASED:
traffic (vehicular, bicycle, and pedestrian),
the negative impact on wildlife habitat and corridors,
not to mention the unintended consequences we know result from any changes to the environment (particularly in the desert).
• the stress it would place on the Park,
• the threat to existing natural landscapes, and
• how it would diminish the qualities of solitude, quiet and naturalness.
33 buildings - 49 rooms - 106 beds - 196 occupancy
(beds and occupancy are estimated)
• 19.26 total acres.
25.5 ACRES LEFT FOR FURTHER DEVELOPMENT
• 5.85 acres open space (minimum allowed by code and includes 40-foot-wide buffer along east, west and northwest lot lines).
• 13.41 acre building footprint.
- 33 buildings (18 of them two-story) on 13.41 acres.
- Current use: 1 dwelling per 3.3 acres.
- Proposed: 8.6 buildings per 3.3 acres.
- Almost 9 times current density.
- Or, 2.46 buildings per acre.
(occupancy is estimated maximum; developer has not provided numbe
• SEVENTEEN, TWO-STORY, 32-FOOT-HIGH buildings.
• ELEVEN, one-story buildings.
• ONE, TWO-STORY, 34-FOOT-HIGH, open to public, multi-purpose building with cafe (possibly with bar), bike rentals/repair/sales, and meeting rooms.
• Guest-only building with restaurant, lounge, bar, meetings rooms, and resort’s laundry.
• Reception building.
• Management office.
• Maintenance building.
• 1100 foot long (approximate), four-foot high, contiguous wall running west from Old Spanish Trail.
• 817 foot long, 26-foot-wide fire lane.
• 3 septic fields.
• Parking lot (79 spaces).
• Handicapped parking spaces (3?).
• Registration parking spaces (7?).
• Loading zone.
• Maintenance yard.
• Outdoor eating area.
SAVE SAGUARO NATIONAL PARKS AD HOC ORGANIZATION SUPPORTS:
• the 90-some homeowners contiguous to the proposed development whose entire lives would be turned upside down by this resort,
• the hundreds of homeowners from the immediate area who invested their money here and treasure the open, low-density of the Buffer Zone and
• our National Park with its hundred of thousands of yearly visitors.
DENYING THE PROPOSED HIGH-DENSITY, COMMERCIAL DEVELOPMENT WILL:
• preserve the existing low-density development.
• protect the Park for the future,
• define the character of the land surrounding the Park and
• insure the land surrounding the Park continues to complement the Park’s natural state and primeval character.
DENYING THE DEVELOPMENT WILL UPHOLD
the intent and spirit of the zoning
which currently provides what was intended, a unique, rural-like and open experience when driving Old Spanish Trail to the Park entrance.
THIS DEVELOPMENT WOULD SET A PRECEDENT.
Any developer could buy up ten or more acres anywhere in the buffer zone and apply to build another high-density, commercial enterprise.
THE DEVELOPER WANTS A RESORT.
THE DEVELOPER DOES NOT NEED A RESORT.
WE NEED TO PROTECT AND MAINTAIN THE RURAL FEELING THAT CURRENTLY SURROUNDS THE PARK.
The wants of the developer and the few thousand people who might use their resort do not out weight
the needs of the pristine Saguaro National Park East and its hundreds of thousands of visitor every year.
PIMA COUNTY HAS THIS ONE CHANCE TO PROTECT SAGUARO NATIONAL PARK EAST AND TO ADHERE TO THE INTENT AND SPIRIT OF SR ZONING AND THE BUFFER OVERLAY ZONING ORDINANCE.