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Letter: Mesa Road 'snob" responds to column's criticism

       As one of the "snobs'" you refer to in your Editor's Desk column ("The snobs win again (but not their 'church friends')," posted June 25, 2014), I would like to present another perspective. Our request that the site be zoned for religious institution only reflects the reality that any other use will have a Monday-Friday impact on our traffic issues during the school year. There are 2,200 students between Coronado and Holmes, many of whom use that corner with car-driving parents, high school students and buses that make the start of school and the end of school a safety problem. We have experienced times when emergency vehicles could not access Friendship Lane and Crescent Lane.
       I am also the person who spoke of our 69 property owners as being in full support of a church on that corner. I asked the question to every neighbor I met, phoned, or e-mailed to ask if they supported the idea. It had been approved for 88 single family homes in a gated “snob'” neighborhood with prices ranging from $450- $950K. The recession caused that project to go away.
       When we heard about the church plans we were very supportive and met very nice folks who represent “…the next 65 years” of church growth. Don Wilkin, a church leader, indicated at the Planning Commission and City Council meetings that they are under contract for the property and had unanimous support from church membership to build on that site. He indicated that he had never experienced unanimous support from church membership previously.
       Our request has only one purpose. If the church decides to sell the property we, as neighbors, would like to be included in the discussion. If the property is zoned for 25-30 Monday-Friday uses, we are not included and must live with the consequences as the developer and the church walk away.
       We want the church to be successful in their building fund-raising efforts. They have the money to buy the property and now tell us that it could take 8, 10, or 12 years to raise the money for the building because they do not want to go in debt. If that changes we will be glad to work with the church for a positive result and zoning we can live with. We have no intention of trying to block other acceptable uses if it becomes necessary. And, I believe it is important for a neighborhood to work together in the best interests of every property owner regardless of where the neighborhood is located. I know that the Organization of Westside Neighbors (OWN) would do the same.
       I think it is also important to be reminded that the vote on the church-site zoning was 8-1 at Planning and 7-2 at City Council. Are they all “snobs'”?

       Richard Serby

(Posted 7/1/14; Opinion: Letters)

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