Rural Pima County residents fight against new neighborhood development

KOLD News 5-5:30 p.m. recurring
Published: Jul. 8, 2022 at 3:37 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Tanque Verde residents are fighting against new development near their homes.

The proposed rezoning would bring a neighborhood of nearly 40 homes to a rural area of Pima County and current residents have a lot of concerns.

This is a project residents here have been fighting the last three years.

“You’re going to see changes in traffic, you’re going to see changes in crime rate. You’ll see, maybe the residents don’t keep their homes up as well as they should have. We just want to make sure we don’t have cookie-cutter homes one right after another on that gorgeous corner,” JoAnn Trego said.

She has lived in the neighborhood for five years. She as well as other neighbors in the Tanque Verde community have been working together to fight against the development of a neighborhood she says just doesn’t fit the rest of their rural community.

“That proposal is so extremely different from what we have here. It’s more of what they’re calling cluster developments and we would really like to maintain the pristine, established nature that we have here in Tanque Verde,” she said.

And they’ve made a lot of progress over the last few years. The original plan for the neighborhood was 86 houses. They negotiated that down to just 37 single-family homes on about 11 acres, but she says they still want the developers, New Era LLC, to come down. One of her main concerns is the flooding issues the new neighborhood could present.

“The developer is trying to plan in a regional flood plain and that area does flood regularly during the monsoon seasons. So even though, they’re hoping to build their homes three feet of infill, there’s still a great possibility of flooding to the neighbors that live north of that property,” Trego said.

She and her neighbors were ready to share their concerns at the Zoning Examiner’s meeting Thursday night, but that changed in the 11th hour. She says she was told they are just planning for a continuance Thursday to allow more time for compromise between residents and the developer. We were not able to connect with the developer, but we’re told they’re working with residents as much as they can.

“Obviously from the people, the concerns we’ve heard are traffic and density. Those are the typical things we hear when thing come in for development and that’s what we’ve been hearing,” City of Tucson Entitlements Section Manger John Beall said.

Beall says it’s not uncommon for something like this to happen last minute. It gives everyone more time to find common ground. Even if the concerns of the neighbors aren’t addressed before it goes to a vote, Beall says the developer will have to look into concerns like flooding.

“The main thing is that any new development coming in will have to address any of those concerns. So, any concerns the neighbors have, those will be addressed in that because there are certain codes and regulations that developers are going to have to follow,” he said.

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