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Welcome

We are committed to a productive discussion about the Bike Ranch. Our Online Neighborhood Meeting is a forum for comments, questions, and creative ideas. 

5 thoughts on “Welcome

  1. Don Hunt says:

    I hope the Bike Ranch becomes a reality.   Here is the text of the e-mail I sent to the clerk of the board:

    I have read with interest the pros and cons of the proposed Bike Ranch development on Old Spanish Trail across from Saguaro National Park.  I am writing this letter as a resident of east Tucson and frequent visitor to Saguaro National Park to encourage you to approve the Bike Ranch development.  I believe you will arrive at the same conclusion as I have once you realize that it is not realistic to expect anyone to own and pay taxes on 45 acres of land without developing it into an asset for that owner.  In light of that reality, the Bike Ranch appears to be a rare opportunity to minimize negative effects of development while allowing use of the property within the limits already established by the Buffer Overlay Zone Ordinance.

    The most remarkable unfavorable comment I have read is the one from the Saguaro National Park Superintendent, so I’ll address it first.  In his memorandum, he says he opposes the bike ranch for several reasons, among them, “the Bike Ranch would certainly infuse additional numbers of high speed bicyclists onto the Loop Drive, increasing the likelihood of visitor use conflicts and safety concerns.”  His statement implies that the park already has all the visitors he wants it to have or that he is of the opinion that motor traffic is somehow less damaging to the desert than bicycle traffic.  He points out that more visitors would increase the likelihood of conflicts and his plan for reducing conflicts is to avoid enticing more people to visit.  It seems to me that we all agree that the Bike Ranch will be a boon to Saguaro National Park visitation numbers and the commissioner should welcome the opportunity to address any issues that increased patronage might generate.

    His comment that the development is incompatible with the park’s goal of preserving “pristine stands of saguaro cacti and associated diverse Sonoran Desert vegetation and wildlife” would be germane if the development was proposed in the park, but it is not.  He expressed concern about the impact of the Bike Ranch on the vistas seen from within the park, and the traffic the Bike Ranch might create outside the park.  The impact of the Bike Ranch must be measured against the alternative of 13 single family homes, not against the current condition of undeveloped land.  I can’t see how 13 individual homes can be expected to be any better for the vistas than a coherent development under the influence of a single architect.   The wild life corridors have been identified and protected within the Bike Ranch plan, and will be much easier to defend with a single property owner than would be possible with 13 single family dwellings.

     

    The debate about the development of the Bike Ranch seems to be easily led off track by a resistance to any development at all.   Like many others, I’d really rather the land remain undeveloped and/or be annexed to Saguaro National Park, but that is not an option.  Once we accept the idea that the land will be developed in some manor, it is hard to imagine a development that will have less impact in terms of traffic, noise, pollution, or lifestyle on the east side of Tucson while increasing cash flow into the community.

    It is generally accepted that Tucson needs to bring in more tourist dollars and grow jobs in our area.  That means bringing people into our community and that typically means people who drive around to entertain themselves.  This is a unique opportunity to bring in revenue with the least imaginable addition of motor traffic on our roads here on the east side of Tucson.  In operation, the Bike Ranch will add almost no noise or air pollution to our area, and very little infrastructure needs to be built.  The trails and bike lanes are already in place. Bicycles already travel these routes in large numbers without adding to our noise or air pollution.

    Please keep in mind that you are not being asked if you think the Bike Ranch proposal is better than “pristine stands of saguaro cacti and associated diverse Sonoran Desert vegetation and wildlife.”  You are being asked if the development is responsibly planned within the limitations established in the Buffer Overlay Zone Ordinance, and is it in the best interest of the community.  Any other development scheme will surely have a more damaging impact on noise, traffic, air pollution and quality of life here on the east side of Tucson.  This is a development proposal that we should support.  It is the best way for us to address our economic imperatives while we defend our serene desert lifestyle.

    Reply
    • Barbara McCool says:

      Mr. Hunt did not attend the open hearing sponsored by the Pima County Development Services or he would have realized the Saguaro Park Superintendent is a woman, Darla Sidles.  She testified forcefully that the proposed bike ranch should not be placed across the street from Saguaro National Park.  She stated clearly that park officials believe a commercial project like the bike ranch would increase traffic in an already crowded area, jeopardize the wildlife that cross Old Spanish Trail, cause more light pollution and weaken the existing buffer zone.

      It was also apparent that the 100 plus people who attended the hearing opposed the proposed bike ranch because of the dense scale and its assault

      on the tranquility of this region.

      o

      Reply
      • admin says:

        The Superintendent’s letter is a matter of public record and the only testimony that she offered at the hearing was a reading out loud of her letter. Whether or not Mr. Hunt was present at the hearing is of no relevance to his having a valid opinion. Ms. McCool wants to interpret the Superintendent’s letter as “forceful”, when it uses modifiers like “does not appear to be in alignment with the Buffer Overlay Zone,” “could result in potential impacts to wildlife corridors, scenic viewsheds, etc.” Wording like that means a level of conjecture that requires additional clarification. The Conditional Use process is one of proposal, public response, and plan alteration. The fact that Ms. McCool is still siting comments made over six months ago when there was vastly less information about the project would indicate that she has made little investigation of the information provided on this website.

        Reply
      • Dana Powers says:

        increase traffic in an already crowded area, jeopardize the wildlife that cross Old Spanish Trail, cause more light pollution seem like very weak arguments… maybe Pima County should address the traffic problem that already exists and at the same time provide wildlife bridges or tunnels… as for light pollution… give me a break… the entire valley is one giant light bulb… you know… that town called Tucson! I say  a Bike Ranch be the better alternative than building homes and having to contend with the subsequent barking dogs, additional stray cats and smelly overflowing residential trash containers any day. I guess tomorrow.s hearing will be interesting.

        Reply
  2. Dana Powers says:

    Wouldn’t a Bike Ranch be the better alternative than building homes and having to contend with the subsequent barking dogs, additional stray cats and smelly overflowing residential trash containers?

    Reply

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