Local Projects and Proposals

Casitas Catalina, Catalina Highway and Tanque Verde Road

This project is located at Catalina Highway and Tanque Verde Road. The Planning Center is the developer and the project includes two phases: Phase I is comprised of 126 (revised from 133) rental units, located at 9062 East Eagle Feather Road and 9125 East Catalina Highway. Phase II would have about 60 more units, and is located at 9100 E. Morrill Way and 9020 E. Eagle Feather Road.

Phase I of this project was heard by the City Zoning Examiner on May 28, 2020, and the annexation for 14 acres was approved by the Mayor and Council on August 11th, 2020. Two parcels totaling approximately 6.48 acres for Phase II, were annexed into the City of Tucson in May 2021, and the current City of Tucson zoning is SR. 

The buildings will be one story units with a maximum height of 20 feet for the units and 25 feet for an undetermined common amenity. There are 1, 2, and 3 bedroom units. The development will have a 5 foot wall around it. The proposed density is about 10+ units per acre. There is one access from Catalina Highway with a deacceleration lane and a 30 foot ‘buffer’ zone. The access leads to two gated areas – one north and one west that each have about 65 units for Phase I.

Jacaranda Way Rezoning

JAS Engineering submitted a request for a rezoning at 8800 E. Jacaranda Way to change 11.3 acres from SR (1 home/3.3 acres) to RX-2 (8.7 homes/1 acre). They also requested an amendment to the Bear Canyon Neighborhood Plan to allow for this zoning change. There was a Neighbor Meeting on January 4, 2023, at the Ward 2 Office, 7575 E. Speedway (Councilman Cunningham's office). Related information can be found here. The Neighbor Notice can be found here.

The Zoning Examiner recommended against this zoning change. Here is the their conclusion:

The proposed rezoning is not consistent with the policy direction provided in Plan Tucson. The property is surrounded almost exclusively by neighborhoods with existing, low density residential, SR or RX-1 zoned homes. Under Plan Tucson, the policy goal for development within an existing neighborhood is to maintain the character of the existing neighborhood, and to promote environmentally sensitive design that protects the integrity of existing neighborhoods, complements adjacent land uses, and enhances the overall function and visual quality of the street, adjacent properties, and the community. The proposed development does not meet these policy goals. The requested R-2 zoning should not be approved.

There was a Public Hearing on Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2023, 5:30 pm, on application #C9-22-03 for rezoning of 11.6 acres at the Northeast corner of Tanque Verde and Houghton Roads to build 33 homes. As you may be aware, the Zoning Examiner rejected the applicant’s request in a final report developed in August 2022. Councilman Paul Cunningham has also pledged his rejection of the proposal and will do so at the Mayor & Council meeting.

As of November 28, 2022, the rezoning application for this proposal had been withdrawn by Jim Portner of Projects International, Inc., the developer's representative.

View the City of Tucson Zoning Examiner public hearing on August 4, 2022 for the development 37 one- and two-story houses here. View a recording of the Virtual Public Meeting on November 3, 2021, to introduce their current plan here. The March 29, 2022 virtual meeting can by viewed here. For more information, contact Mr. Portner at jportner@projectsintl.com.

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:

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.