Oro Valley church, neighbors ready to square off again at second rezoning meeting

Battle over proposed sports ministry complex
Published: Feb. 2, 2023 at 8:08 AM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - People in Oro Valley are ready to see what’s next for a proposed sports ministry complex on the campus of the Oro Valley Church of the Nazarene. The church is working to get permission from Oro Valley to rezone so things can move forward.

If the church gets its way, there will be a new building and a sports field. While the church says this is revision No. 5 and they’re working on a compromise with neighbors, some neighbors say this complex doesn’t belong here.

A conceptual rendering shows what the sports ministry complex at the Oro Valley Church of the...
A conceptual rendering shows what the sports ministry complex at the Oro Valley Church of the Nazarene would look like.(Oro Valley Church of the Nazarene)

Church leaders say they’ve heard concerns from neighbors and have worked to address them by proposing a turn lane on Calle Concordia to help with traffic, an 8-foot wall to reduce noise and advanced lighting won’t shine into neighbors’ yards.

Neighbors say the complex should be built somewhere else, but the church doesn’t agree.

“There has not been a discussion about buying property elsewhere, selling this and then doing the entire project somewhere else,” Executive Pastor Chris Collins said. “That’s just not feasible nor does it speak to the things we feel God has blessed us with here at this property, in this neighborhood, in this community.”

Neighbors say they’re on board with the complex and like the idea, but say it just doesn’t fit in the neighborhood and could add congestion to an already busy area.

Along Calle Concordia, which is only two lanes, there is the church, a high school, a park and an aquatic center.

Neighbors fear the complex and congestion they say it could bring could drive down property values.

“A lot of us happen to be churchgoers but that is an irrelevant subject because this is not about religion. This is about the kids and the services that can be provided to them and the sports,” neighbor Tim Tarris said. “Every single one of our neighbors believes in that. We had kids ourselves that went to CDO (Canyon del Oro High School). We believe in that, we believe this facility should be located somewhere else.”

This fight has been going on for over two years and the group against the rezoning project has posted pink signs across Oro Valley.

More than 80 of the signs have been given out and the people who make them are being asked to make more.

Tthe second zoning board meeting is on Feb. 7 and is open to the public. After that, the zoning board will make a recommendation to the town council and a final decision comes next month.