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Re: “Back in Gear: The Bike Ranch

Saguaro National Park (East) is 67,000 acres of protected habitat for wildlife. The Bike Ranch location is totally outside of the preserve and on the opposite side of Old Spanish Trail from it. If approved, the Bike Ranch will be on a 20 acre lot and leave half of the lot as open space for wildlife corridors. That's way more than the 30% open space required by the Buffer Zone Ordinance. The suggestion that Bike Ranch is a threat to the park or the wildlife in it is simply inflammatory propaganda.
The proposal meets or exceeds the requirements and the intent of the Buffer Zone Ordinance according to the guy who was Director of Pima County Planning and Development Services when it was created. The Superintendent of Saguaro National Park submitted a letter saying the Bike Ranch supports National Park Service initiatives and they look forward to working with Bike Ranch going forward. US Game and Fish commission has blessed the plan. Department of Transportation has approved the plan to proceed. The bottom line: Every agency that has experience and responsibility to evaluate plans like these has given their approval. I really don't see how the Board of Supervisors can deny the proposal unless they are willing to say they think all these agencies are incompetent.
Lets remember that the land in question is private land, not some kind of wilderness preserve. The owner is paying taxes on it every year and is not obligated to leave it vacant. Something is going to be built there. The Bike Ranch is the most eco-friendly proposal we are ever likely to see. Their commitment to strive for Platinum LEED certification is testament to that. There is no reason to expect less impact on the park, the environment, or traffic if the property is cut up and sold to a new cluster of single family homes or used for some other business.
Lets talk about the good Bike Ranch will do for our community. It will be a new jewel in Tucson's crown as a bike friendly destination city. It will bring bicycle tourists to Pima County and generate more interest in our bike paths and bike lanes. If we want that network to grow, then we want to promote events and businesses that make use of it. We could have a network of safe bicycle transit from Vail to Marana and Green Valley to Oro Valley someday. That network would enable alternative transit and healthy lifestyle choices for residents while bringing in tourist dollars year round. Bike Ranch would be a great asset in Tucson's effort to grow as a bicycling destination. I would hate to see this opportunity slip through our hands.

5 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by DHH on 05/21/2019 at 5:54 PM

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