An Update after the City Council Meeting
Like many of you I was at the city council meeting tonight to hear from our neighbors and to represent the community in the conversations regarding annexation and development. I wanted to share a short update with you.
The council voted six to one to reject the annexation this evening.
This happened after the developers withdrew their application and committed to further dialogue with us and our neighbors. In my remarks I thanked them for this step and for the opportunity to continue dialogue with them without the looming deadlines and confusion of the recent process.
Many of you made your voice heard and your participation and contributions showed the active and vibrant presence we continue to be — just as we have been from generation to generation. Wherever the conversations take us in the coming months I hope that our dedication to support the vision of Saint Philip’s in the Hills will be just as robust as our love of its view.
Thank you for the many ways you all care for and love this place and for making that love felt and heard.
Yours in Christ,
The city of Tucson is proposing annexing the church’s property as well as property to the north and west of us.
One proposal for how to take advantage of such a change would be to allow the building of a four story hotel and single story restaurant complex on the land north of the church (the land we see out of the great window behind the Altar) and the development of up to ten townhomes across Campbell to the west.
We have been told that the view from the main window will not be obstructed and that there will be attention to the particular architectural heritage of the area. We have been encouraged by the thought shown for the view and the existing architecture by the developer so far. Naturally the reputation, vision, past performance, and overall direction of respective parties and decision makers is crucial when developments such as these are proposed.
Of course any development will mean additional traffic and a change to the overall environment around the church that comes with construction like this. The annexation is the first step in this process and rezoning is the next. In order to build to a height of four stories rezoning would be necessary as the current county zoning (and the commensurate city zoning that would initially be granted in the annexation) would not allow such a height.
There are always costs and benefits to such changes and the founding visions of places often shift with contemporary needs. Saint Philip’s in the Hills was a keystone partner in the establishment of the foothills and is at the heart of the founding vision for this community. Many will remember that the Murphey and Joesler family names are some of the first in our church membership rolls when Fr Ferguson wrote them in. Their story is very much part of ours today.
We intend to remain an active voice both in preserving that history and in helping to shape the area for future generations.
Your voice too, as one part of the largest Episcopal congregation in Arizona, is vital for various decision makers to hear as choices about the future of the vision and history of this area are made. We continue to meet with representatives from the potential developers, neighbors, legal counsel, and city officials and would like to hear your thoughts, concerns, and questions as we continue these conversations.
Below are listed opportunities for you to make your voice heard via surveys, letters, and more.
Yours in Christ,
Fr Robert Hendrickson
Take the survey
One way to make your voice heard is to take our parish survey which asks questions about how you feel about the possible annexation and development. We will share these results with decision makers and law makers and use them to help parish leadership determine where our folks stand and how to represent them.
Attend a meeting
There are a number of opportunities to share your opinion at public meetings in the coming weeks.
September 4th Council Meeting at City Hall - 5:30pm
If anyone would like to speak at the meeting Wednesday, you will need to fill out a card at the meeting. You can ask any of the City Clerk staff in attendance to help you with this.
The Public Hearing on Wednesday is for the annexation, not the Original City Zoning or proposed rezoning. However, since those impact the annexation, you may certainly reference them in comments. You can also email the Clerk’s office at email@example.com . If someone not within the proposed annexation district wants to speak, this meeting would be the opportunity. There people can share concerns about traffic impacts, noise, scenic issues, or anything else that could be a result of new development. This will give the Mayor and Council something early to consider on how the developer would propose mitigating these impacts. If the developer were to ignore these, it could result in no approval of the rezoning.
Please present cases of fact. Opinions such as “I don’t like the City” will not help. Concerns such as traffic, pedestrian safety, landscaping, viewshed of the church, etc, will be extremely helpful.
Parking downtown is limited so it may be desirable to use Lyft or the like to come to this meeting.
September 19th Presentation by Developers at Saint Philip’s in the Hills - 6:00pm
October 3rd Public Hearing with the Zoning Examiner at City Hall - 5:30pm
The rezoning cases will first be heard as a Public Hearing with the Zoning Examiner scheduled for October 3 in the Mayor and Council chambers. Full agenda may be found here.
Mike Czechowski, Economic Initiatives
City Manager's Office
City Hall-5th Floor West
255 W. Alameda
P.O. Box 27210
Tucson, AZ 85726-7210
John Iurino, Zoning Examiner
255 W. Alameda
Tucson, AZ 85701
Michael Ortega, City Manager
255 W Alameda, 1st Floor
Tucson, AZ 85701
Mayor and City Council:
Ward 1 Regina Romero firstname.lastname@example.org 520.791.4040
Ward 2 Paul Cunningham email@example.com 520.791.4687
*Ward 3 Paul Durham firstname.lastname@example.org 520.791.4711
Ward 4 Shirley Scott email@example.com 520.791.3199
Ward 5 Richard Fimbres firstname.lastname@example.org 520.791.4231
Ward 6 Steve Kozachik email@example.com 520.791.4601
Mayor Jonathan Rothschild firstname.lastname@example.org 520.791.4201
Catch up on the news
Developers want to erect hotel at River/Campbell base of Catalina Foothills
Arizona Daily Star - August 17th
Neighbors wish foothills height restrictions would limit River-Campbell proposal
Arizona Daily Star - August 31st