Coalition Positively Impacts Northwest Side Developments with Gains for Conservation

The Coalition had some notable accomplishments at the February 18th Pima County Board of Supervisors meeting! Since four Comprehensive Plan Amendments in the Tortolita Fan were brought to the Planning and Zoning Commission in September, the Coalition has been working tirelessly to ensure that these parcels on the northwest side, totaling approximately 120 acres, are responsibly developed and the integrity of environmentally sensitive land preserved. These parcels qualified as comprehensive plan amendments with requests by Red Point Development to allow more density and homes per acre. These parcels lie in the vicinity of Thornydale Road between Linda Vista Blvd. and Magee Road, in the heart of the Sonoran Desert’s old-growth ironwood forest.  The largest of these parcels abuts a preserve owned by the Tucson Audubon Society. All properties lie within the Conservation Lands System (CLS), and have an abundance of important upland desert species.

Since September, the Coalition has been actively involved with Red Point Development and Pima County to reach an agreement for development that complies with Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan guidelines. At a November Board of Supervisors meeting, the Board continued the discussion of the applicant’s rezoning requests, directing the developers to work with and seek advice from the Coalition to achieve conservation goals. After months of conversation, an agreement was reached on February 18th! The Board approved the amendments with the changes worked out and agreed upon by the developers, the County, and the Coalition.

Each parcel is unique, and the Coalition advocated for treating each on an individual basis to formulate appropriate mitigation measures. This consists of natural open space that will be set-aside both on-site and off-site, as the guidelines allow. This included the set aside and permanent protection of a large parcel owned by Red Point that is part of an important regional wildlife corridor between the Tortolita and Tucson mountain ranges. In the end, a positive resolution was reached for each parcel that allows the property owner flexibility and fully complies with the CLS.

You can read more about the process and the latest meeting from this article in the Daily Star.

Here you can find a map of the parcels.

Read the Coalition comment letter submitted to the Board of Supervisors.