A landowner adjacent to the annexed property that would become a commercial landfill in West Marana has filed a protest against the zoning change, likely triggering the need for a three-fourths council majority to approve the Marana Regional Landfill specific plan.

Pak and Christina Chan of Cupertino, Calif., own 39.9 acres immediately northwest of the land up for rezoning at the Marana Town Council meeting next Tuesday, Aug. 17. Twice previously, they have addressed the council with their concerns.

In a July 23 letter to Town Clerk Jocelyn Bronson, the Chans write that "on a personal level, our property will be affected both environmentally and economically. From a broader, area-wide perspective, the environmental impact will be adverse for many people. We therefore oppose the rezoning …"

Frank Cassidy, attorney for the Town of Marana, said the Chan protest "would trigger the requirement for a three-fourths vote" of the council. According to the town's land development code, if the owners of 20 percent or more of the area adjacent to a rezoning protest in writing, it "shall not become effective except by the favorable vote of three-fourths of members present and voting, and not less than four favorable votes."

Vice Mayor Herb Kai, who owns the land upon which the Marana Regional Landfill would be built, has recused himself from consideration of the subject, and is not expected to vote Tuesday.

That leaves six council votes. To meet the three-fourths requirement, five would have to approve the zoning change; a 4-2 vote in favor would nevertheless defeat the proposal.

"This is huge," wrote Ron Asta, general manager of CPE Consultants, who has assisted opponents to the Marana Regional Landfill. "Town staff has agreed that it will take five out of six votes … to approve the rezoning, not just four out of six. So Carol (McGorray, the town councilwoman who voted against the annexation) and just one other councilperson can kill this atrocity."

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