- Your Voice
Despite some opposition to the plan, the Marana Town Council approved a rezoning of approximately 155 acres of land located on Linda Vista Boulevard. The land, a mile east of the Interstate 10/Twin Peaks Road interchange, was rezoned from low density residential to a master plan area. The council held an open hearing to hear both sides of the debate on the new Linda Vista Village at Cascada Specific Plan, which would require amendment to the town of Marana General Plan, as it applies to approximately 119 acres of the 155-acre site.Steve Cheslak from the town of Marana Planning Department gave a brief overview of the project. According to Cheslak, the applicant met with neighbors on two occasions before a Planning Commission hearing Dec. 16. The original plan shown at the time had 851 dwelling units, nine planning units and open space on 40 percent of the property. Since that meeting, the applicant has changed the plan, with the biggest change being a reduced number of units to 693. Stacey Weaks, of Norris Design, represented Red Point Development, owner of the property, and went over a few key points of the plan. His firm was looking at how the planning would complement the Marana Center and other development opportunities for commercial and tie those into Linda Vista Boulevard and Hartman Vistas.When asked about the timeframe of the project, Weaks said the goal of Red Point Development was to move as soon as possible, assuming housing market conditions were good.
A Marana family has been temporarily displaced after their mobile home caught fire on Sunday. Northwest Fire District units were dispatched to the 13,000 block of North Galleno Avenue in Northern Marana after the resident of the double wide mobile home called 9-1-1 when he smelled and then saw smoke in the home.When crews arrived, they found smoke coming from the front corner of the house. Crews searched for victims in the home and confirmed that all four occupants who were home at the time had escaped prior to the arrival of fire crews without injury. Six dogs and two turtles were also brought out by the occupants.Firefighters were able to locate and control the fire burning under the trailer area within 20 minutes. Crews used power saws and hand tools to remove the trailer’s skirting and floor area to reach the burning fire.Fire investigators were on the scene conducting an investigation into the cause of the fire. “At this time, the fire remains under investigation,” said Northwest Fire District Public Information Officer Adam Goldberg.
The Marana Police Department’s commitment to cracking down on drunk drivers continued with a warrant sweep. On Jan. 15. Marana police officers conducted the warrant sweep for subjects who had active DUI and traffic warrants issued by the Marana Municipal Court. Currently there are approximately 110 active DUI arrest warrants issued by the Marana Municipal Court.Marana Police Officers arrested five absconders and served five arrest warrants and booked them into the Pima County Jail. Those five warrants totaled $1,834 in bond money. Six other absconders were contacted via telephone and all of them appeared in Marana Court on Jan. 19th and cleared their warrants. Those six warrants totaled $4,319 in bond money.In total, the warrant sweep resulted in $6,153 in bond money being recovered. This was the fifth warrant sweep conducted this fiscal year by the Marana Police Department. Last year, the Marana Police Department conducted seven DUI warrant sweeps. Those warrant sweeps resulted in 69 arrests and over $150,000 in recovered bond money and fines.
The town of Marana has worked hard to try and get in front of damage caused to parts of the Pines neighborhood due to settling.The town, Pima County and current homebuilder Richmond American are combining their efforts to fix the problem caused by a previous builder who followed a flawed engineering study for homes built over the landfill that parts of the subdivision are built on top of. There has been a lot of misinformation about exactly which part of the subdivision is having issues. According to the Marana town engineer, it is just a few homes in the Pines I subdivision that were built on the fill. The bulk of the subdivision, as well as the entirety of the Pines II, appear to be unaffected, but the town will be conducting a number of studies to ensure that no other homes or streets are in danger of settling issues. “We want to assure people that this was an isolated area,” said Town Manager Gilbert Davidson. “This is not all of Pines 1 and all of Pines 2. This is a particular street with a limited number of homes.”Because of the misinformation, the town of Marana has created a webpage for the public to learn more about subsidence issues in the Pines neighborhood. According to a press release “the town is committed to transparency through open channels of communication” and though the issues date back to a prior developer, the town is working hard with the other two parties to rectify the issues.
Last year, the Marana Unified School District broke ground on two new school buildings but did so without names, colors or mascots. Last week, the school district remedied that.The new school currently under construction on the northeast corner of Tangerine Farms Road and Gladden Farms Drive was named “Gladden Farms Elementary School.” The MUSD school board unanimously approved the name, which was the favored name of the community. The process to name the school lasted several months as the district asked parents and students residing in the Gladden Farms community to submit suggestions for school names, colors and mascots through an electronic process. They received 32 suggestions through the process. Focus groups, PTO board members and the Estes Building Leadership Team narrowed the suggestions to the three most preferred choices. Students and parents then voted on their favorite.The community also chose school colors and a mascot, with blue and silver and the Bobcat being selected.
The Tucson chapter of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association, an auxiliary wing of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community will be holding a Holy Quran Exhibition on Saturday, Jan. 30 at the Wheeler Taft Abbett Sr. Library, 7800 N Schisler Drive, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.The exhibition will provide an introduction to Islam, and will focus on commonalities between Islam and the other major religions of the world — including dispelling myths about Islam.Those who attend will be able to ask any questions they may have about Muslim practices.For additional information on the Holy Quran Exhibition, contact Iftekhar Ahmad, National Assistant Director for Outreach, at email@example.com. Please also visit www.muslimyouth.org
Business owners in Marana were recently sent an e-mail for an advertising opportunity that was, at best vague, and at worst, a scam. The Marana Chamber of Commerce sent out an e-mail of its own to inform businesses that this venture was in no way related to the Marana Chamber.The e-mail from David White, representing a company called New Start Media, offered an opportunity to list a business in something called the Marana Information Guide. The e-mail promised “there will be up to 5,000 exclusive full color City of Marana Information Guides to be distributed this February 2016.”According to the e-mail, the guides would be direct mailed and in “high traffic areas for our local families and businesses to pick up.”The e-mail also stated, “The City of Information Guides are meant to keep the households safe by having all the emergency contacts and other important numbers like the local school districts, utilities. The Information Guides are a perfect fit all businesses looking to grow long term in the community on a product base right in the business and family homes. We are only looking for three to five ads from businesses whom understand and support the fight to keep our families safe.”“We wanted to clarify that the Marana Chamber of Commerce does not recognize Mr. White, New Start Media, or any of his agents as a partner of the chamber,” wrote Marana Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Ed Stolmaker.Stolmaker stressed that the chamber produces The Official Guide to Marana, which “is exclusive property of the chamber and is not to be confused with this offering.”
The Pima County Sheriff's Department, Oro Valley Police Deparment, Marana Police Department, US Postal Inspection Service and the IRS Criminal Investigations are teaming up to fight fraud.There are hosting three seminars to help members of the community learn about current frauds and how to protect themselves against fraud:Jan. 20 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. — Marana Council Chambers (hosted by Marana PD)Feb. 1 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. — Oro Valley Council Chambers (hosted by OVPD)Feb. 8 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. — 5900 W. Western Way Circle (hosted by Pima County Sheriff's Department)
The Marana Police Department continues to investigate an explosion at a mobile home park that left one man critically injured.On the evening of Jan. 14, Northwest Fire District crews along with officers from the Marana Police Department responded to the Valley of the Sun mobile home park located at 13377 N. Sandario just before 10 p.m. after receiving reports of an explosion with injuries.Northwest crews arrived and found a 30-year-old male patient who had suffered critical burns as a result of a flash type explosion.The explosion occurred in a 10-by-13-foot shed alongside the doublewide mobile home. No active fire was noted from the shed and the mobile home did not receive any damage as a result of the explosion. The patient’s mother, father and girlfriend were in the mobile home at the time of the incident but were uninjured.According to other residents in the mobile home park, the victim and his family moved in recently.
Things are progressing as planned for the construction of the new Marana Police Department police station. The Marana Town Council was briefed on things at last week’s meeting. The council was informed on procurement building site discussions, anticipated cash flow and schedule, and general status of the future Marana Police facility.ABACUS will serve as the project manager, with Rick Carr being the company’s point man with the town. According to Jennifer Christelman, the town’s assistant director of engineering, Marana is in the final stages of working the contract with ABACUS and both parties were set to meet this week. In addition, the town has drafted a request for qualifications for the architect and as soon as that goes out on the street, the town will be selecting a construction manager at risk.As previously approved by the council early in the planning process, the police station will be located on property at the municipal complex, specifically between the post office, the parks & recreation building and the administration building at the eastern end of the complex. The bulk of the project will be funded due to the dedicated half-cent sales tax that went into effect July 1. The tax has a sunset clause and once $18 million is raised, it will conclude. The $18 million is designated for design and construction of the facility.
One of the biggest fundraisers for the Marana Community Food Bank will take place this weekend as the Marana Winterfest will be held on Saturday, Jan. 23, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Marana Marketplace (Orange Grove and River).This year’s Winterfest is presented by CareMore and hosted by the Marana Host Lions Club with all proceeds benefiting the Marana Food Bank. The community festival will feature a vendor fair, car show, live entertainment, food trucks, petting zoo and fun for the whole family. “Winterfest is such a fun event,” said Linda Hampton, executive director of the Marana Community Food Bank. “We’re always so impressed with the community’s commitment to the food bank, and each year the event gets bigger and better.”A unique feature of Winterfest is the Running Man, where one man will run for the equivalent of two marathons, or 10 hours, to bring awareness to the needs of the hungry in our community. By making a donation online at CommunityFoodBank.org/Marana, people cannot only support his efforts, but help the food bank in a crucial time. “Donations made at Winterfest are very important to the food bank,” said Hampton. “It is heartwarming for us to know that our work is supported by such a broad range of Marana’s business community.
Residents in the Dove Mountain area will soon have a new healthcare option. The Marana Health Center is expanding and will open a health center to service the Dove Mountain community.The new Dove Mountain Health Center will be located at the intersection of Tangerine Road and Mountain Centre Road, just east of Tangerine Road and Dove Mountain Boulevard.“MHC Healthcare feels privileged to become part of the Dove Mountain community,” said Chief Executive Officer of MHC Healthcare Clint Kuntz. “We recognize the importance of access to quality medical, behavioral health and urgent care services to a community and look forward to offering these services, all under one roof, at our new Dove Mountain Health Center.”The new health center building will be a total of 15,915 square feet, with approximately, 12,915 square feet dedicated to housing integrated healthcare (medical and behavioral health) services, case management, general radiology and laboratory services. In the same location, the Marana Health Center will also include an urgent care with extended hours of service to meet the needs of the surrounding community. An additional 3,000 square feet will be set aside to relocate MHC’s Cotton Blossom Thrift Store, which is currently located at 11851 W. Marana Road. Construction is expected to be completed by the end of summer 2016, with the new facility scheduled to open for service in the fall .
Anyone who has driven by the new elementary school in the Gladden Farms area has seen the progress of the building. Even though it has been a wet winter, things are progressing. “Despite winter rains, our construction project of the new school remains on schedule with completion date of July 1, 2016,” said Marana Unified School District Director of Public Relations Tamara Crawley.The school will welcome their first students in the fall. The new school, which has not been named, will have two stories due to space constraints of the property. With only 10 acres to build on, the district knew it was going to have to deviate from the standard design that most of the other 11 elementary schools utilize. This is somewhat unique in the district, though the new addition at Desert Winds Elementary will also have a two-story design for the classroom areas. According to Crawley, the block work is complete for both stories of the south wing. Additionally all metal are in. The second floor concrete has been poured and the first floor is in the process of getting wall studs, electrical, plumbing and HVAC duct work installed.
The town of Marana, Pima County and a local developer have been hard at work to repair a Marana-area subdivision that is seeing damage from settling. Last week, the town hosted a community meeting to discuss the problems residents in the Palisades in the Pines have been having. Town officials heard the concerns of the residents and outlined what has already been done and what still needs to be done to fix the problem that stems from an early developer not using the proper products to fill in the landfill that the subdivision is built on top of. According to Marana Town Engineer Keith Brann, the original developer graded the subdivision and built the streets without removing and replacing the deep fill that geotechnical reports indicated. Instead, they relied on geotechnical recommendations for a slab design that predicted three to five-inch settlement. Brann told the town council that fill used in the area was not up to engineering standards. That developer abandoned the project and sold the property to another developer who had more geotechnical work done. “Based on their reports, they removed and replaced material at this location to a depth of around 15 feet,” said Brann. They eventually sold the lots to Richmond American, which built the homes in question. The problem seems to be that the 15 feet depth for replacement was not enough.
Tortolita Middle School embraced kindness through art as they unveiled their school’s “Be Kind” mosaic art mural as part of the Ben’s Bells Project.Students, parents, staff and community members gathered for a “Be Kind” mural celebration Jan. 7.“We are extremely proud of the climate and culture evident at Tortolita Middle School and the addition of our mural symbolizes our student’s commitment to kindness,” said Brian Paradise, Tortolita Middle School associate principal. “Our students take pride in showing our community the importance of kindness, respect and building positive relationships.”The celebration included hot cocoa and cookies, performances by the school’s TMS Jazz Band, and a variety of food selections from food trucks.Ben’s Bells murals serve as a visual reminder to “be kind.” They symbolize community connection and support through kindness while adding beauty to the community. Murals are located across southern Arizona and Connecticut at schools, businesses and community areas. Each mural includes handmade ceramic tile, recycled donated tile and mirror chunks so the viewer can look into the mural and feel empowered to be the one who can choose to “be kind.”