Pioneer Trust Co. v. Pima County
In Pioneer Trust Co. v. Pima County, 168 Ariz. 61, 66-69, 811 P.2d 22, 27-30 (1991), the Arizona Supreme Court addressed a nearly identical dispute.
There, it held that the initial approval of a condition-laden ordinance triggered the time governing the filing of referendum petitions. Id.
The court reasoned that "the logical and practical time for a referendum is when the rezoning is conditionally approved, . . . shortly after the contested proceedings and public hearings." Id. at 66, 811 P.2d at 27.
The court further noted:
Adopting the time of conditional rezoning as the triggering time for a referendum also provides a bright-line rule easily ascertainable by all interested parties. If enactment of the final zoning ordinance were the triggering mechanism, parties would be required to make repeated checks to determine whether the legislative body has enacted the final zoning ordinance. Thus, practical as well as legal considerations lead us to conclude that conditional approval of rezoning is a referable legislative act. Id.