Petition to Protect St. Anthony Monastery, AZ

Petition to Protect St. Anthony Monastery, AZ

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According to an article in the Florence Reminder Blade-Tribune, “Residents and pilgrims are opposing a new upscale subdivision on 236 one-acre lots, currently seeking approvals to develop next to St. Anthony’s Greek Orthodox Monastery…” in Florence, AZ.

The Orthodox Faithful who live in and/or visit the monastery are concerned that the new subdivision will prove to be just the opposite for the monastery. “New residents will play on the adjacent state land with their ATVs, music, and guns, destroying the peace and tranquility that drew the monastery to this part of the desert more than 20 years ago.”

Their concerns have led to an online petition on CHANGE.ORG signed by nearly 7,000 people opposing the rezoning.

The petition, started by Seraphim Larsen of Florence hopes to protect the more than 50 monks who live there and have dedicated their lives to prayer and service. “They regularly pray on the monastery grounds, often all through the night, and require the solitude and peace that the current zoning affords them.”

How much noise can a new development make? They anticipate that “…people would be making use of state land for horse riding, ATVs, shooting, and general recreation. The CC&Rs would obviously have no impact on the use of state land. This would be very disruptive to the life of the monastery.”

Although the owner-developer believes they have a large enough buffer, those who signed the petition believe it will not be enough.

The Pinal County Planning and Zoning Commission will consider a request from owners and developers Elmore/Brimhall LLC and Benjamin and Orna Avrahami to rezone nearly 333 acres from “GR” General Rural to “R-43” residential at 9 a.m. Dec. 15 in Pinal County building “F” on N. Pinal St. in Florence.

If you are not able to attend the hearing, please consider signing the petition and remembering them in your prayers.

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Presvytera Vassi Haros

Presvytera Vassi Makris Haros is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati's College of Design, Art, Architecture & Planning and Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology. She is the owner, designer and photographer of V’s Cardbox, In Service and Love. a greeting card company featuring cards with an Orthodox voice. She strongly feels that experiencing the Orthodox Faith through the church’s cyclical calendar of feasts and fasts is a gift that is too often overlooked.