Kelley Matthews and her husband, Peter Lasher, stand on their property on the Old Spanish Trail.

The following article was submitted by developers of the proposed Bike Ranch, and attempts to answer common questions and concerns surrounding the project.

It’s a great idea but not in this location

This is a special location that demands a more innovative solution than just housing. Located in the heart of some of the best cycling terrain in the country, the Bike Ranch is a progressive plan that can be a model for sustainable development, be a supportive facility for Saguaro Park, add prestige to Tucson’s reputation as a cycling destination and enhance tourism.

Approval will cause a domino effect of commercial rezonings

The Bike Ranch is not a rezoning; it is an allowed use in the suburban ranch zone and complies with all the planning and zoning requirements for that category. Pima County considers applications on a case by case basis — there can be no “domino effect.”

It violates the intent of the Buffer Zone

Bob Johnson, the director of Pima County Planning from 1984-89, was responsible for the creation of the Buffer Zone, and explained in an April 2019 letter to the County Supervisors that the ordinance was adopted to “specifically prohibit new scraped earth subdivisions,” and he believes “the Bike Ranch’s development plan exceeds the intent and requirements of the Buffer Overlay Zone Ordinance.”

This will destroy Saguaro National Park!

Saguaro National Park’s management is responsible for protecting the park and they perceive the Bike Ranch as an enhancement, not a threat. In February, the Park wrote that the “Bike Ranch falls in line with many National Park Service strategic initiatives including Green Parks Plan, Climate Friendly Parks Program, A Call to Action, Urban Agenda, and Healthy Parks Healthy People. These strategies are all about building partnerships beyond park boundaries and promoting alternative transportation as a way to experience the park.”

It’s a motel

No, it’s a resort that caters to bicyclists — with a state-of-the-art facility that will be a model for environmentally sustainable design, construction and operations. We will be selling cycling adventures and training, not cheap overnight accommodations.

The Bike Ranch will destroy wildlife

The Bike Ranch will create far fewer opportunities for loss of wildlife than a housing development that might otherwise be built on the land. The majority of the Bike Ranch is accessible only on foot or on a bicycle, with cars restricted to the driveway and parking area.

It will destroy property values

Actually, it will do the opposite. There is no instance of property values anywhere in Tucson declining because an upscale resort moved into the neighborhood.

Save Saguaro National Park!

We’re trying! That’s why we are proposing a use that will increase revenues and park use by low impact visitors. The park already welcomes over 25,000 cyclists a year, and making the park relevant to more people is the best way to insure its future protection. Saguaro Park belongs to everyone, not just its immediate neighbors.

There are too many cyclists already on the road

Tucson becomes a better community by encouraging cycling. It’s been proven that communities that embrace cycling become more economically vital and more communally vibrant. The more people riding bicycles, the better and safer our bicycling infrastructure will become.

Just go away

Tucson has made a large investment in promoting cycling, and approval of the Bike Ranch would be in concert with that effort. When we go before the Supervisors on July 2, the vote will be about what guides our community leaders — the voice against change, or the voice for progress aligned with our community objectives.

Kelley Matthews and Peter Lasher have more than 30 years’ experience in real estate investment and are the developers behind the proposed Bike Ranch.