AZDA: Downed saguaros approved at Dove Mountain site

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The sight of fallen saguaros and flattened cactus may upset some folks in southern Arizona, but a builder followed the rules when preparing land for development in Dove Mountain.

The plants, and what's left of them, are part of phase seven for the community, according to paperwork filed with the Arizona Department of Agriculture.

A neighbor said what can be seen from North Webb Trail is just a small patch of what appeared to be hundreds of saguaros bulldozed in recent weeks.

Patrick Homa lives on the corner of North Webb Trail. He's not bothered by the downed saguaros. Looking across the street, he said he sees progress.

"It's just gorgeous out here," he said. "I mean the way they do the southwest decor, and the way they do the cactus. I mean, there's no shortage of cactus."

Homa has lived in his current home for three years. A retiree from Chicago, he looks forward to the addition of new neighbors.

"There's going to be homes there, and there's homes here, and I'm proud of what it looks like," said Homa.

Developers submitted a Notice of Intent to clear land with the state, according to a AZDA customer service rep. She said it was filed in April and the developers wait the required amount of time before taking any action.

An NOI can be for one of three things, according to the rep.

A transport notice lets the state know that the owners intended to relocate any or all of the cactus.

A salvage notice opens said property up for anyone to move a cactus out of there, as long as the saguaro has been licensed and approved for relocation.

The third option is simply destroying the saguaros.

In this case, the developer was approved for a transport with the intention of starting a community on the property. Any saguaros not moved are then allowed to be destroyed.

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