Hait: Sanctuary’s newest proposal ought to be reviewed, considered carefully

I am a long-time resident of Stone Canyon and many years ago was part of the team that approached the Town of Paradise Valley to allow the restaurant of the then-John Gardner’s Tennis Ranch to open to the public.

Pam Hait

The Tennis Ranch had always been a private club and never open to the public. Later, we also worked with the developers of the resort on the larger project to reconfigure the property to add the new casitas and spa, relocate parking, and remove several of the tennis courts.

At that time, our team worked very closely with the neighbors to assure them that the changes proposed would not in any way be a detriment to the residential quality of life they enjoyed, but would in fact enhance the neighborhood.

I believe that improvements made to the property, which was renamed Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain, did fulfill the promise we made to the neighbors.

The resort has prospered without impinging on the neighborhood and Elements, the superb restaurant at Sanctuary, is a recognized asset to the Town and to Stone Canyon.

Having reviewed the new proposal, I feel compelled to bring up this history because these proposed changes will move the resort action dangerously close to our neighborhood.

The parking and road are within five feet of Teresa Mao’s property and the plans for the Galleria house are overly ambitious for its location and lot size. It’s important to remember that the resort has already received the go-ahead for 41 new units, which will bring more density and noise to our neighborhood. I understand there are plans to renovate the house above the Galleria house, which will bring more activity to our neighborhood.

At the very least, the gate between the resort and our neighborhoods needs to be permanently closed and locked to protect the sanctity of our neighborhood.

Some of you may not realize that Sanctuary made a promise years ago to the neighbors — many of whom were living here when we were working on the initial improvements — that the changes we asked for at that time would not materially impact them in a negative way. I believe neighbors were also assured the resort had no plans to expand and that those improvements were the only ones they would be asked to support.

While I believe it is possible for residential neighborhoods to coexist with resorts, I caution you that this relationship must be carefully monitored and decisions weighted toward the residents.

Paradise Valley is a residential town with several fine resorts within our boundaries, but it is — at its heart — a town.

My non-professional recommendation (we worked on public relations and neighborhood outreach) is that this latest proposal be reviewed very carefully and adjusted so the promise that the developers of the resorts made to Stone Canyon residents continues to be honored.

Editor’s Note: Pam Hait is a resident of Paradise Valley.

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