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Fantasy Island Update October 2019

3 Oct 2019 8:11 PM | Anonymous

Fantasy Island Update 10/3/19

Representatives from SDMB, TORCA, and SAMBA continue to work to preserve the core of the Fantasy Island trail system, and we are reaching the home stretch.  On 9/26/19 we met with attorney Keri Sylvan (representing the Arizona State Land Department) and Teresa Olson from Council Member Shirley Scott's office.  In short, the Planned Community Development (PCD) is moving forward to preserve the majority of Lone Cactus, Bo's, Burro's and Christmas Tree Loop trails.  See our prior blog post for info on the PCD and other background.

On Monday, October 7 the PCD goes to the City of Tucson Zoning Examiner for review, and assuming no issues come up the PCD will then go to Mayor and Council for approval at the November City Council Meeting.  For those who want to attend the Zoning Examiner Public Hearing, it will be at 6:00 PM at the Mayor and Council chambers downtown (255 W. Alameda).  

If you can't attend the meeting but want to submit a letter of support (please!) you can find a draft letter here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/01qbkxv9va9rpu0/Draft%20Support%20Letters%20from%20Fantasy%20Island.docx?dl=0

Important take-home points are:

  1. Fantasy Island is not getting closed.
  2. Most of the Northern part of the trail system will be permanently preserved.
  3. Some trails will be lost (specifically Bunny and the rest of the trails on the Southern part of the trail system).  This is all following the 2006 Master Plan.
  4. The City of Tucson and AZSLD have worked consistently with representatives from the MTB community to preserve as much of the trail system as possible.
  5. Preserved trails will be designated MTB-specific, preserving the core character of the trail system.
  6. While the exact preservation designation is not known yet (sale, lease, SLUP permit) once the PCD is approved by Mayor and Council it will be final and enforceable, meaning the majority of the trail system will be permanently preserved as open space.
  7. SDMB, TORCA, and SAMBA are working with the City to develop agreements to allow maintenance of the preserved trails, along with improvements and potential additional mileage to replace what will be lost.  New trails will be beginner-friendly to compensate for loss of the Bunny Loop.  Moving forward, trail maintenance and development will likely fall under the SDMB umbrella (with support from TORCA and SAMBA) as SDMB has existing agreements with the City of Tucson.  Stay tuned for details about how to get involved in a steering committee if you want to help).

Here is some background from Keri Sylvan:

"The Arizona State Land Department (“State Land Department”) is working with the City of Tucson (“City”) to rezone approximately 2500 acres of State Trust Land (“Trust Land”) along Houghton Road to the Atterbury Trails Planned Community Development (“PCD”).  See attached map for boundary of the PCD.   The PCD is a zoning entitlement that allows flexibility in location of uses and overall master-planning of very large acreages within the Houghton Area Master Plan (“HAMP”) that will be developed over a 20-40-year time horizon. 

The State Land Department is Trustee of over 9 million acres of land throughout the State of Arizona that it manages for 13 specific beneficiaries, primarily the State education system.  State Land’s role is to ensure that all trust lands are held, leased, and/or sold to maximize the financial return for those beneficiaries.  This Trust Land is part of the 7800 acres of State Land within the HAMP boundary.

               As part of the PCD process, the State Land Department has reviewed the Fantasy Island Master Plan and, in working with City staff, the Ward IV office and Fantasy Island stakeholders, State Land is proposing to formalize the portion of Fantasy Island near Irvington Road as Open Space/City Park (over 200 acres of land) pursuant to the attached map.  The PCD would acknowledge this area as Open Space with the Fantasy Island park and mountain bike trails in a similar regulatory manner as the Saguaro Trails PAD.  The City and State Land will be working through a separate process for the City to either own, lease or otherwise obtain a permit to use this area of the PCD for Fantasy Island.  This treatment in the PCD brings forward the vision in the Fantasy Island Master Plan and solidifies the rights for Fantasy Island users in this area of the PCD for generations to come.  Fantasy Island stakeholders acknowledge that this means there will need to be some re-routing of trails on the western edge of the Open Space per the PCD map to permit a 300-foot buffer and option for a Harrison Road connection into the future.  In addition, the Fantasy Island Trails south of the Mattamy development and City Water site will be removed once those areas are ready to be auctioned by the State Land Department to an end-user.  Fantasy Island and the City will continue to work with the State Land Department and the end-users to provide appropriate connectivity from new homes/development to the bicycle trails balanced with protection of those trails into the future."

And more info about the PCD:

"The Arizona State Land Department (“State Land Department”) is working with the City of Tucson (“City”) to rezone approximately 2500 acres of State Trust Land (“Trust Land”) along Houghton Road to the Atterbury Trails Planned Community Development (“PCD”).  See attached map for boundary of the PCD.   The PCD is a zoning entitlement that allows flexibility in location of uses and overall master-planning of very large acreages within the Houghton Area Master Plan (“HAMP”) that will be developed over a 20-40-year time horizon. 

The State Land Department is Trustee of over 9 million acres of land throughout the State of Arizona that it manages for 13 specific beneficiaries, primarily the State education system.  State Land’s role is to ensure that all trust lands are held, leased, and/or sold to maximize the financial return for those beneficiaries.  This Trust Land is part of the 7800 acres of State Land within the HAMP boundary.

               As part of the PCD process, the State Land Department has reviewed the Fantasy Island Master Plan and, in working with City staff, the Ward IV office and Fantasy Island stakeholders, State Land is proposing to formalize the portion of Fantasy Island near Irvington Road as Open Space/City Park (over 200 acres of land) pursuant to the attached map.  The PCD would acknowledge this area as Open Space with the Fantasy Island park and mountain bike trails in a similar regulatory manner as the Saguaro Trails PAD.  The City and State Land will be working through a separate process for the City to either own, lease or otherwise obtain a permit to use this area of the PCD for Fantasy Island.  This treatment in the PCD brings forward the vision in the Fantasy Island Master Plan and solidifies the rights for Fantasy Island users in this area of the PCD for generations to come.  Fantasy Island stakeholders acknowledge that this means there will need to be some re-routing of trails on the western edge of the Open Space per the PCD map to permit a 300-foot buffer and option for a Harrison Road connection into the future.  In addition, the Fantasy Island Trails south of the Mattamy development and City Water site will be removed once those areas are ready to be auctioned by the State Land Department to an end-user.  Fantasy Island and the City will continue to work with the State Land Department and the end-users to provide appropriate connectivity from new homes/development to the bicycle trails balanced with protection of those trails into the future." 

GO HERE TO READ THE FULL ATTERBURY TRAILS PCD DOCUMENT



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