Jim Portner of Projects International, Inc., is resuming their project on 11.6 acres at the northeast corner of Houghton Road and Tanque Verde Road, owned by New Era Tucson, LLC. They have revised their project to 37 single-family residences. There was a Virtual Public Meeting on November 3, 2021, to introduce their current plans. View that meeting here. The March 29, 2022 virtual meeting can by viewed here. On April 28, 2022, there will be an in-person meeting from 6:15 to 7:45 pm, at Hope Church Tucson (Main Worship Center), 3353 N. Houghton Road. This meeting will present the same information as the March 29 meeting.
The TVVA has been working with the Rancheros, an independent coalition of neighbors, to oppose these proposed zoning changes. The TVVA stands with the Rancheros in their opposition to this project. Our position statement is shown below.
TVVA opposes the request to rezone property at the Northeast corner of Tanque Verde Road and Houghton Road, owned by New Era Tucson, LLC, and represented by Jim Portner, Projects International, Inc.; Permit # C9-22-03
The TVVA stands with the “Rancheros” (neighbors of the proposed development) in opposing the rezoning request by New Era that will include 37 homes on 11.6 acres located on the NE corner of Tanque Verde and Houghton Roads. The developer’s request specifically asks the City of Tucson to approve rezoning from SR (1 home on 3 acres) to R-1 (~6 homes on 1 acre) in order to build 37 one- and two-story single-family houses.
TVVA’s opposition is based on 3 important positions:
- Density: At the time of the annexation, the developer indicated it was planning a future rezoning at a similar density to the Desert Willow subdivision (across the Agua Caliente Wash from the proposed development) and is zoned RX-1. It is important to note that as an RX-1, Desert Willow has a minimum lot area of 36,000 square feet. However, in the R-1 zoning sought by New Era, the prescribed City of Tucson Unified Development Code sets minimum lot size as 7,000 square feet. New Era is publicly stating an average lot area of 4,800 square feet, far below the R-1 zoning limit! An RX-1 development on the NE corner of Tanque Verde and Houghton would be acceptable.
- Spot Zoning: New Era’s proposed project of 37 houses on 11.6 acres indicates improper spot zoning because it would create a “small zone of inconsistent use within a larger zone.” The density is contrary to the County’s comprehensive plan that governs much of the surrounding areas, is inconsistent with the other nearby neighborhoods that have been annexed by the City of Tucson, and is not specifically called for by Plan Tucson.
- Flooding. We acknowledge that the property at issue is not a FEMA floodplain. Regardless, it is a regulatory floodplain and in an area that experiences significant flooding. We are concerned about development in the mapped Pima County floodplain and the potential impact of floodwaters on existing adjacent properties given that the new development proposed 3 feet (3’) of infill.
The TVVA is encouraging all of its members to unite with the “Rancheros” in opposition to this rezoning application by signing the petition found at www.change.org (https://chng.it/Htz4Bp6whN) or by writing/emailing the Mayor and Councilmembers asking that they deny the rezoning recommendation.