Developer pulls apartment/hotel plan - The Explorer: Pima Pinal

Developer pulls apartment/hotel plan

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Posted: Wednesday, February 3, 2010 12:00 am | Updated: 8:13 am, Thu Mar 24, 2011.

A developer has withdrawn a proposal to build a 100-room, three-story, 45-foot tall hotel along with two- and three-story apartment buildings on a piece of undeveloped ground northwest of the Tangerine and Thornydale intersection in north Marana.

Given "the present circumstances" – among them, "the sheer volume of concerns expressed, misinformation disseminated and questions asked about our client's vision for this property" – HSL Properties LLC wants "to take a step back to work with our neighbors so that we may bring forth a new plan for this property in the future," wrote Robin M. Large of The Planning Center, the company representing HSL.

The company wants to meet anew with area property owners, "listen to their concerns and find ways to work through these roadblocks together," Large wrote. HSL Properties "is committed to being a good neighbor and making this project an asset to the town of Marana."

HSL Properties withdrew its request to amend the Tangerine / Thornydale Specific Plan late Monday, Jan. 25, before the scheduled Tuesday meeting of the Marana Planning Commission. The commission was due to reopen a public hearing, continued from Dec. 16, on the amendment request.

The amendment would have allowed multi-family residential and hotel uses on 58.8 acres of land now intended for single-family residential use. Reconfiguration of open space boundaries was also requested on the parcel, which is on the northwest corner of Tangerine and Thornydale roads, across a north-south wash immediately west of a development that includes a Circle K store and gas station, and a Chase Bank branch. It is immediately south of the Tortolita Vistas residential development, and across Tangerine Road from the Sky Ranch residential development.

Neighbors distributed information and rallied people against the amendment.

"The structure will sit directly on Tangerine with little green space between it and the roadway," reads a flyer from an organization calling itself the Tangerine Corridor Alliance. "The developer … has stated that there is no guarantee of quality once built. Once approved, who knows what we will be getting, a Motel 6?"

Lisa Shafer, assistant planning director for the Town of Marana, said "none of the buildings were going to be 50 feet." Towers, referred to as "architectural embellishments," could have reached 45 feet.

In December, neighbors at the planning commission public hearing expressed opinions against the project.

"The land along Tangerine Road is something very special and is a huge asset to the Town," said John Kennedy. "Ten years from now when the Town looks back at this, I think they would be proud to say that they kept the zoning the way it is."

"Certainly this proposal does nothing to neither enhance the livability of the area nor make Marana a leader in developing the kind of community recognized for development and preservation leadership," said neighbor Cynthia Pruett.

Sarah Kennedy told the commission of project impacts from traffic, noise and light.

After the public hearing was continued into January, The Planning Center held a second neighborhood meeting with some 50 area residents on Jan. 12. It withdrew its application less than 24 hours before Tuesday's resumed hearing.

"If they want to continue" with a project, HSL would have to bring forward "a new submittal, a new project," Shafer said. "What they submit is up to them, and it would start all over."

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