Singhal: Paradise Valley home owners will suffer if Sanctuary SUP is approved

To me, this is the classic slippery slope story of “no good deed goes unpunished.”

The Sanctuary has in effect, taken the rope given it by the Town, and weaved it into a web which may soon include ruining the lives of peaceful families who have made the town what it is.

Raag Singhal

My wife’s March 10, letter, sent to PV council members, does not note some of the history of the Town of Paradise Valley and her childhood there.

The home on East Solano Drive was purchased as a vacant home site in Paradise Valley in December 1970, and my mother-in-law Theresa and her late husband, Dr. Peter Mao raised their two daughters there.

The home was built in a Frank Lloyd Wright design with typical clean lines and clear views in order to take advantage of the pristine Arizona mountain setting. The area consists of single family residences built on a minimum of one acre. This allows residents to enjoy the majesty of Camelback Mountain, the quiet of a smaller population and the safety of a family atmosphere.

At the time, Paradise Valley had fewer than 7,000 residents and now half a century later, still has fewer than 15,000. It was well-known that the name Paradise Valley supported the saying “there is a reason we call this valley paradise.” Indeed, it was and is a wonderful place to live, raise children and retire; until now.

The Town of Paradise Valley posts on its’ website, a document authored by Catherine Kauffman, memorializing the town’s 40th anniversary. Ms. Kauffman writes, in pertinent part:

“In the late 1950’s, Phoenix and Scottsdale were looking to expand their respective boundaries. Residents who lived in Paradise Valley area feared that they would lose the rural lifestyle they had become accustomed to and would soon be swallowed up by Phoenix or Scottsdale, and eventually subdivisions, shopping centers, new zoning laws and property taxes would be a commonly (sic). These concerned residents formed a ‘Citizens Committee for the Incorporation of The Town of Paradise Valley, Arizona,’ who set out with petitions urging residents to join them in their attempt to incorporate Paradise Valley.

The residents’ main goals were to keep zoning to a one house per acre minimum; to keep the area entirely residential; and to keep government regulation to a minimum. In April 1961, the Citizens Committee for Incorporation presented their petition to the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors. On May 24, 1961, incorporation was granted and the Town of Paradise Valley was established.

Throughout the Town’s 40-year history, the residents have strived to preserve the Town’s original mission — to maintain a residential community in a quiet and country-like setting with little government intervention.”

Ms. Kauffman specifically mentioned the Sanctuary as well, and noted:

“Today, a Cincinnati group owns the property with the Westroc Group as the management company. Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain, as it is now called, is an intimate resort and spa. They will open on a limited basis in February 2001 and will be fully operational by October 2001.”

It is with that historical backdrop, and my wife’s family’s lifelong and continuing memories of Paradise Valley that we implored the Town Council to vote against the expansion of commercial development directly adjacent to the traditional, long-standing residential one acre plus homes.

The proposed SUP would quintuple the number of guests, allowing them visibility directly into the home and many others and certainly significantly increasing noise issues.

The noise issues are multi-layered. There is, for example, noise throughout the day attendant with a commercial property in a residential neighborhood. This includes service trucks going up and down the drive way just along the east side of the residential property line. There is noise, day and night, from the pool located approximately 18 feet from the residential property line.

And, of course, we could not have known that the very night of the council members’ vote against us, continuing on into early the next morning, Sanctuary “guests,” each of whom was likely paying the business thousands of dollars, would act in a manner consistent with Fort Lauderdale spring breakers, yelling, screaming and cursing without regard for the families and children that built Paradise Valley.

Clearly the intent of any mixed use zoning applying to the Sanctuary property was not to diminish the character and beauty of the beloved town.

Significantly, Paradise Valley property owners will suffer a substantial loss in the quality of life, peace and quiet and family values should this commercial venture be permitted.

My wife’s family has been active in Paradise Valley for nearly 50 years. My mother-in-law has run a successful business, her husband was a prominent pathologist and their two daughters, both of whom graduated from Saguaro High School, are leaders in the medical field.

Further, my mother-in-law has been involved in numerous charitable works such as the Maricopa County Medical Auxiliary, Catholic Charities, the Franciscan Renewal Center and PBS (Channel 8). Additionally, she spearheaded the Stone Canyon electrical underground project from start to finish. This design significantly contributed not only to the beautification and safety of our subdivision, but also to the enhancement of property values.

I bring these activities up only to illustrate that Paradise Valley residents love their community, contribute to keeping it beautiful and throughout, remember the reason it is such a wonderful place.

Editor’s Note: Raag Singhal is a resident of Florida with family in the Town of Paradise Valley.

You are encouraged to leave relevant comments but engaging in personal attacks, threats, online bullying or commercial spam will not be allowed. All comments should remain within the bounds of fair play and civility. (You can disagree with others courteously, without being disagreeable.) Feel free to express yourself but keep an open mind toward finding value in what others say. To report abuse or spam, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box.

Facebook Comment