A proposal to open a bike ranch across the street from Saguaro National Park is premature, says a county hearing administrator who today recommended the denial of the conditional-use permit application that would allow the development to move forward.

The Pima County Board of Supervisors will consider the recommendation from hearing administrator Jim Portner in making a final decision. The second public hearing on the application, in front of the board, is tentatively scheduled for July 1.

Developers Kelley Matthews and Peter Lasher, both long-time east-side Tucson residents, are hoping to build a 49-room bike ranch on their 45-acre property. The property, in the buffer-overlay zone surrounding the national park, is located at East Escalante Road and South Old Spanish Trail.

The permit application seeks for “minor resort” status, which is a possible conditional use within a suburban ranch zone. Minor resort status allows for up to 50 units spread across at least 10 acres. The developers would use about 21 acres for the resort.

Read more in tomorrow's Star