Apaches, Greek Orthodox clash over Arizona monastery plan

Posted: Friday, July 12, 2002

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) -- Plans for a Greek Orthodox monastery have met with resistance from Apache Indians who say it will mar the gateway to a sacred area where the Chiricahua Apaches once found refuge.

Greek Orthodox monks, who own 481 acres about 70 miles southeast of Tucson, have proposed a building that could exceed the three-story limit in local zoning rules.

The Apache Indians say anything higher than 30 feet or three stories will be a blight on a spiritual area whose granite mountains once served as a natural fortress for Chiricahua Apache leader Cochise and his people.

Cochise is buried somewhere inside the area known as the Cochise Stronghold, which was the hide-out of the Chiricahua Apaches when they were pursued by the U.S. Cavalry.

The case is scheduled to go before the Cochise County Board of Supervisors, which will hold a public hearing Aug. 6.

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