Kiburz: Good fences make good neighbors

I am responding to Mr. Anton’s Point of View column on April 17.

I truly appreciate the difficult path he traveled in recovering from a horrible traffic accident.

Sarah Kiburz

The YouTube video referenced in his column should be seen by anyone ever tempted to check their phone while driving.

I’m also a trauma survivor and I know the value of nearby expert medical services. However, these personal medical experiences are unrelated to the proposed expansion of the Paradise Valley Medical Plaza that is currently under review by the town.

I have been a resident of Paradise Valley for 25 years.

More importantly, the Paradise Valley Medical Plaza is my neighbor over my backyard fence.

In 2003, the medical plaza submitted its first major SUP request and subsequent expansion. During this time, I met with town staff, property owners (the doctors at that time), attended their open houses and spoke up at town council meetings.

There were accommodations made within the 2003 plan in order to mitigate mine and my neighbors’ concerns.

In the years that followed, the medical plaza’s attention to the agreed-to accommodations lapsed.

Since the expansion, our neighborhood has endured excessive noise from their surgery center generator, garbage pick-up at 4 a.m., landscape blowers at 2 a.m., office parties, emergency vehicles, dirty linen and biohazard storage area within open view, operating room lights glaring into our backyards 24/7 and frequent delivery truck traffic (i.e. linens, biohazard material, medical gas, pharmaceuticals, office supplies, etc.).

Despite these conditions, we’ve been responsible neighbors by reporting water leaks, weekend garbage dumpers, trespassers and vagrants.

Many of my neighbors joined me in expressing these concerns by e-mail, neighborhood meetings, attending town council meetings, and various meetings since with town staff, and the medical plaza’s representatives.

Our neighborhood is continuing to work with the medical plaza property management and its legal counsel to address the fundamentals of what we believe should be good neighborhood conduct.

Recently, progress has been made in addressing these many issues — including some changes in design and expanding existing block wall fencing. However, the core of our concerns remains — namely, that this expansion even closer to our homes will further erode the quality of life that compelled me and my neighbors to live in this wonderful community.

I remain hopeful for a positive outcome in which our town weighs the quality-of-life concerns of its residents over the commercial interests of the medical plaza’s investors.

Because sometimes, it takes far more than good fences to make good neighbors.

Editor’s Note: Sarah Kiburz is a resident of Paradise Valley.

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