Q: What is a Minor Resort?
A: Minor Resort is an allowed use under SR-zoning that is defined as a resort of less than 50 guest rooms on a minimum of ten acres. The category replaced the old Guest Ranch category in the 1952 zoning code when the new zoning rules were adopted in 1985.
Q: Is this a rezoning?
A: No, it is not. Because a Minor Resort is an allowed use within SR-zoning, this is a Type II conditional use permit process.
Q: Doesn’t the Bike Ranch violate the Buffer Overlay Zone Ordinance (BOZO)?
A: The Bike Ranch plan fully meets and exceeds the letter and the intent of the BOZO. If you want to understand this further, you can read what Robert Johnson, the Director of Pima County Planning when the BOZO was created, says about the Bike Ranch plan.
Q: How large is the property?
A: 45 acres.
Q: Is the property currently protected by any deeds, covenants, or restrictions like most of the surrounding neighborhoods?
Q: What is the current zoning?
A: Suburban Ranch with eight existing, Grandfathered rental houses built in the late 1950s.
Q: If the rental houses did not exist, what is the maximum number of houses that could be built on the property?
A: 13 single family homes.
Q: If the Bike Ranch application is not approved, what will happen to the property?
A: Development of the property is inevitable. Most of the land will be developed as single family homes, but the far eastern portion of the property will be developed into rental houses. Under the property’s Grandfathered rights the existing rental houses can be doubled from 8,750 square feet of total building area to 17,500 square feet.
Q: Why isn’t that enough to do the Bike Ranch plan?
A: The Bike Ranch concept needs all its parts to function effectively—it’s the synergy between lodging, amenities and training that makes the Bike Ranch such a compelling destination. A scaled down version just doesn’t work–and doesn’t offer the same economic benefits to the community.
Q: How are wildlife and wildlife habitats protected by this project?
A: Given that future development is a certainty, the Bike Ranch proposal would protect the area from the negatives that come from a residences including legally grading up to 70% of each home site. The Bike Ranch plan will protect more than 82% of the property as open space—more than 37 acres of the entire 45 acre site.
Q: How does this amount of protected habitat compare with what would be required if the property were divided into single family home sites and rental houses?
A: Because the property is more than 25 acres it falls under the requirements of the Buffer Overlay Zone Ordinance (BOZO) which requires only 30% of the property be left as natural open space..
Q: Wouldn’t it be ecologically better to distribute 13 home sites across the property as occurs elsewhere within the Buffer Overlay Zoning Area?
A: Maybe if everyone lived in a small footprint and didn’t grade their property for multiple buildings, driveways, corrals and anything else they may want to have. The Bike Ranch proposal would eliminate this uncertainty and create a permanent interconnected system of protected, natural open space.
Q: What assurance is there that sometime in the future, the land owner will request permission to use some of the dedicated natural open space?
A: As a condition of approval for this project, a minimum of 52% of the total open space will be dedicated by plat and recorded with county property records excluding it forever from development. (The rest of the open space will include areas in and around the Bike Ranch buildings for a total of 82% of the total site.)
Q: How are adjacent landowners protected from construction close to their homes?
A: With home lots, adjacent landowners to the west could have buildings built within 50’ of the property line. With Bike Ranch the adjacent landowners to the west will have dedicated open space ranging from 200’- 300’ from property line. Also, the Bike Ranch buildings are set back a minimum of 300 feet from the Park boundary and mostly won’t be visible from the Park. The same won’t be true for houses which only require a 150’ setback.
Q: What is the “Proposed Residential Cluster” on the Bike Ranch Site Plan?
This is an answer to the concerns of neighbors regarding the “excess” land not incorporated into the Bike Ranch. It imposes a limitation on any future expansion to a cluster of not more than seven single story single-family homes which would be designed in the same manner and standard as the guest ranch. Cluster development is widely considered the most ecologically sound method of maximizing open space and minimizing environmental impact of single-family housing.
Q: How will the Bike Ranch affect the nighttime light levels?
The Bike Ranch wants to promote stargazing as a nighttime activity for guests, so the project will meet or exceed all requirements of the Dark Sky Ordinance. This includes using a low level color temperature limitation for all general lighting, not allowing up lighting, using shaded wall sconces, and installing low level parking bollards not greater than 42 inches in height.
Q: Exactly what parts of the Bike Ranch will be open to the public?
A: The only parts of the Bike Ranch that will be open to the public are The Kickstand, a juice/coffee bar, and a bike/bike repair shop. We want these amenities to be available to the cycling (and other) visitors of Saguaro Park. Every time we bike or walk the the Cactus Forest Loop Road, we wish there was a place to stop afterwards for a coffee–we bet a lot of people feel the same way.
Q: How much additional traffic will the Bike Ranch create?
A: One of the big differences between the Bike Ranch use for the property instead of single family and rental homes has to do with traffic. Resorts add much less road traffic than residences where each house can have multiple car users making multiple daily trips, often at peak travel times. CLA Traffic Engineering estimates that the Bike Ranch will add about 21 daily trips to the existing road traffic. Most guests at the Bike Ranch will be flying into Tucson and will be shuttled to the resort. The whole purpose of the Bike Ranch is to get people on bicycles and not driving around in cars!
Q: How can the Bike Ranch ensure the cycling safety of its guests and everyone on the road?
A: All guests will receive safe cycling instruction from certified trainers including local road laws, road etiquette, and good cycling behavior in specialized places like Saguaro Park, the Urban Loop, and around horses they may encounter on the roads or on trails. Also, most of the rides from the Bike Ranch will be guided, so the behavior of cyclists will be monitored by a member of the Bike Ranch staff. Promoting safe cycling is important all the way around, but our business will also depend on it.
One of the things the Bike Ranch is doing to make the road safer for everyone is to have a pedestrian and cycling path through the property connecting Escalante Road and Old Spanish Trail. This will allow cyclists to avoid the intersection and enter and exit Old Spanish Trail from a safer point.
Q: How many jobs will the Bike Ranch create and what kind of jobs will they be?
A: The Bike Ranch will provide more than 50 jobs including salaried employment opportunities for many cycling and fitness professionals, hospitality and culinary professionals, as well as hourly positions for service, maintenance, and cleaning. Salaries will be based on national pay scale rates.
Sometime in the near future, approval of the Bike Ranch will come before the Pima County Board of Supervisors. We would so appreciate your letters of support and your voice at that meeting. Click here for more information…