Friday, June 4, 2010

Painted Hills Annexation?

Posted By on Fri, Jun 4, 2010 at 5:57 PM

Two years ago, Painted Hills neighbors were fighting a subdivision proposal with the potential to destroy about half of the saguaros that dot those beautiful hills you drive past on your way to Gates Pass.

On Tuesday, June 8, those same neighbors are asking for lots of bodies to show up at a Tucson City Council meeting to help prevent the council from approving an annexation request made by the developers that would help the development get the water it needs through Tucson Water. The city council meeting takes place at 255 W. Alameda, at 1 p.m.

Here's the announcement:

Please share the news of this pivotal meeting with your friends and family who care about preserving the balance between the Sonoran Desert and human impact on it. Urge anyone you know who hikes, bikes, or sustainably lives in the Tucson Mountains to attend this meeting on Tuesday, June 8 at 1pm at City Hall.

Painted Hills is a beautiful part of the west side. It is almost 300 acres and is located between Anklam Road and Speedway Boulevard as you drive into town. These roads have been designated scenic routes by Pima County. Residents twice voted for bonds to purchase this property, and although the County tried to buy the land, the owner sold it to a developer. The developer has asked for annexation to assure water service. The City Council is considering annexing the land due to a Notice of Claim by the developer. The County Board of Supervisors voted 4 to 0 to oppose the annexation.

Unfortunately, the proposed site plan with 250 houses impacts: 1) 50% of the 10,000 saguaros, 2) important riparian areas, 3) wildlife corridors, 4) our community view shed, and 5) some peaks and ridges. The City Council has voted twice after holding executive sessions to move forward with annexation proceedings (first with a 5 to 2 vote and then with a 4 to 3 vote). Paul Cunningham, the new member on the Council, has asked for reconsideration at the June 8th Council meeting. Painted Hills is listed as the first topic on the agenda, which starts at 1:00 p.m. Regina Romero, Ward 1 representative for the west side, has been a strong advocate for preserving Painted Hills, but we need to pack the hall for that meeting on June 8 so we can get the votes against annexation. We can get the "no" vote on annexation with your help.

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