Oro Valley commission hears arguments for, against proposed sports ministry complex

The Oro Valley Planning and Zoning Commission heard both concerns and benefits from the public on a project that has caused controversy with some neighbors.
Published: Feb. 8, 2023 at 6:34 AM MST
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ORO VALLEY, Ariz. (13 News) - A fight over two years strong will head to another round of battle.

The Oro Valley Planning and Zoning Commission heard concerns and benefits from the public on a project that has caused controversy.

The commissioners discussed and took action on two items regarding the proposed development by the Oro Valley Church of the Nazarene.

The church is asking for permission to rezone 27 acres at the intersection of Calle Concordia and Calle Buena Vista to build a sports ministry complex.

The new facility would consist of a 100,000-square-foot lighted outdoor field and a 75,000-square-foot multi-purpose building which will have classrooms and meeting space. Other structures include a building for concessions, an outdoor amphitheater, an administration building and parking.

People both for and against the church’s plans voiced their opinion during Tuesday’s meeting attended by more than 100 people. During that meeting, the commissioners heard from a number of people for and against the new sports complex.

The commission discussed two items specific to the proposal.

The first, rezoning the land where the sports complex is proposed to be built. The second, the conceptual architecture for a new multipurpose building and concession building.

The commission ultimately denied one of the motions, 3-2, and passed another one, giving the final decision to the Oro Valley Town Council.

Many residents shared their outrage and frustration over the possibility of having this complex built in their backyard.

“I would think that the church members would at least be aware and not just push it through no matter what,” said Linda Polito, who has lived in Oro Valley for over 50 years.

While a handful of others mentioned the benefits the facility would bring to the community.

“Progress is inevitable and we can all relate to the days when there were dirt roads and it was so peaceful, quiet,” said Gary Reinke, who moved to Oro Valley 10 years ago. “As people descend on Tucson and Oro Valley it’s bound to change.”

The church says it will open the complex to the community for non-church sporting events.

Despite the efforts, people who live close by believe the complex needs to be built elsewhere. Many fearing if the proposal is pushed through it would add more traffic to an already busy road, bring down property values in the neighborhood and be an eyesore.

“What the people said about the lighting and the congestion,” Polito said. “It’s all true.”

Church representatives say they have addressed all of these concerns and even have plans to add a turning lane on Calle Concordia to help with the increased traffic and to build an 8-foot wall to help reduce noise and light.

”You got to think of the purpose,” Reinke said. “The positive results that will occur as a result of it.”

As for what’s to come next, the Oro Valley Planning and Zoning Commission will make its final recommendation on this project to the Oro Valley Town Council on Feb. 15, with a final decision expected to come next month.