How can the Town consider approving this application when so many residents are against it?

Public opinion alone is not enough to deny a CUP. Objections by neighbors to zoning decisions based upon the character of the area are material and properly considered in reviewing the validity of a zoning decision. However, neighbor opposition cannot be the sole reason for denial of the CUP; otherwise, it could be deemed “arbitrary,” which is the standard a court would use to analyze the Town’s denial. Zoning decisions must be made based on facts rather than perceptions. (Aegis of Arizona, LLC v. Town of Marana, Coleman v. City of Mesa).

STC 18.01.030.A.4 states that individual property rights shall not be prejudiced by reason of being a minority, either in numbers or in land owned. If zoning regulations are ambiguous or uncertain, they will be strictly construed in favor of property owners requesting use of their land. Property rights entitled to protection are the applicant’s, not the neighbors’. It is the applicant’s property that is being directly regulated or affected by the Town Code. A denial results in a concrete effect–denial of a use—to the applicant’s property rights. Conversely, approval does not result in a change in the legal rights of neighboring property. Case law (Arcadia Osborn Neighborhood v. Clear Channel Outdoor, LLC) supports this approach. 

Anecdotal evidence is not sufficient to deny a land use application. Detrimental impacts of a proposed land use must be substantiated by factual evidence to be weighed in the balance. The Town’s denial must be on a rational basis relating to the Town’s land use goals. Facts and evidence must create the rational basis for a denial (Gamble v. City of Escondido, Kawaoka v. City of Arroyo Grande, Wait v. City of Scottsdale, City of Tempe v. Rasor).

Show All Answers

1. Why didn’t the town just dismiss the application outright?
2. Has the town already made up its mind to approve this?
3. Why is this taking so long? UPDATED 11/8/2023
4. Why is the Town allowing Vulcan to provide their own studies?
5. If the town decides to approve this, can extra requirements be placed on Vulcan?
6. What is a General Plan?
7. How does the General Plan work in conjunction with the zoning code?
8. How does the Town determine compliance with the General Plan?
9. How can the Town consider approving this application when so many residents are against it?
10. How can this use be allowed when the purpose statement of the RH zone is “to preserve the character and encourage the orderly growth of rural areas in the town."
11. What about the single access to the site crossing the railroad? Isn’t Union Pacific concerned? What about fire access? UPDATED 11/8/2023
12. Why is the town not requiring an EIS?
13. Why doesn’t the town require a Regenerative Thermal Oxidizer (RTO) be installed to control plant emissions? UPDATED 11/13/2023
14. Traffic volumes – how will this affect my daily drive? Won’t this cause undue wear and tear on Old Nogales Highway? UPDATED 11/20/2023
15. Are the emissions going to make me sick?
16. Why can’t the town regulate environmental permits?
17. I heard that the Vulcan property is classified as vacant for tax purposes. Doesn’t this negate their claim that the sand and gravel operation is a legal nonconforming use? UPDATED 11/8/2023