Posts Tagged ‘Sonor’

9th December
2008
written by madge

Pima County continues it’s power grab (or hold) by getting in the middle of area towns ability to manage their own destiny. What’s behind the meddling?  – The Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan (SDCP).

Currently there are two major projects that two local towns are trying to control. The first up near Oro Valley – the state owned Arroyo Grande property could potentially build up to 6000 homes in a master planned community leading up to the Pinal County the second is near Sahuarita and could potentially become a 15,000 home development. 

In both cases Pima County officials are stirring the pot and in the case of Sahurita actively competing with the town that wishes to annex the new development.  The county is allowing the developer to play one government entity off the next.  What the county wants is the developers agreement to purchase “offsetting” open space acreage well away from the current development.  By keeping a hand in the deal they are essentially forcing the developer and the town leadership to agree to the open space off sets in order to get the development off the ground. Now the county is offering discounted impact fees to push Sahurita into a corner to match the deal or loose the control.

 

 

Mission Peaks goes before county board Tuesday

By Philip Franchine, Sahuarita Sun

Published: Tuesday, December 2, 2008 10:31 PM MST – HERE

 

Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry has said that in general the county supports putting urban-scale development into towns and cities. That’s in part because it makes more planning sense and also because towns and cities can collect state shared revenues and local sales taxes that Pima County cannot collect, so the region would have more resources.

However, in this case, Huckelberry has negotiated extensively with ANC, and said in a Sept. 8, 2008 letter that he would support giving them a break on a future increase in transportation impact (growth) fees that county staff has recommended. If the county board raises impact fees as recommended by staff and does not give ANC a break, or rejects the plan amendment, that would wipe out the argument the developer has advanced so far for receiving a town incentive.

If the county board approves the plan amendment and gives ANC a break on impact fees, the developer would have more leverage in pressing the town for the incentive.

Meanwhile, the County Planning and Zoning Commission in October voted unanimously to recommend against the project. Chairman Bruce Gungle derided it as a plan to put 15,000 or more units between two active mines, in an area lacking water or infrastructure, and in an area with significant biological importance under the county’s much-touted Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan.

Other commissioners said the dual application was an effort to play off the county and the town and the county board should reject it. Gungle also said he was upset that county staff were supportive of the proposal and said he felt they were getting pressure from “upstairs,” presumably meaning Huckelberry.

Sahuarita Vice Mayor Phillip Conklin said he wishes the town had not allowed the developer to move ahead with two identical proposals at the same time, and hopes it will not permit future developers to do so.

If the town wants to approve the plan, it would next approve a pre-annexation agreement, a zoning change and an annexation agreement. The county would have to go through a rezoning process if the board approves the plan amendment on Tuesday.

A rezoning process would involve a public hearing before the planning and zoning commission and the town council and/or county board.

Huckelberry’s brief Sept. 8 letter to Dan Naef of ANC said, “I have reviewed your letter, and I concur with your summary of our conversations and your articulation of the terms of development which we have discussed.

“Based on these specific commitments, I support your project. Obviously, your development is subject to more detailed review and comment by County staff, and review, modification, and approval by both the Planning and Zoning Commission as well as the Board of Supervisors,” Huckelberry said.

The letter from ANC to Huckelberry said, in part “the Developer will not be subject to any increases in the transportation impact fee or to any other transportation related fees or charges.”

pfranchine@sahuaritasun.com | 547-9738

The Pima County Board of Supervisors could hand the Town of Sahuarita a pre-Christmas present worth up to $50 million next Tuesday if the board votes down the Mission Peaks application for a county Comprehensive Plan Amendment.

A rejection would mean the developer could only seek a rezoning from the town council, which already has approved a General Plan Amendment for Mission Peaks. The plan is for 15,000 housing units on nearly 5,000 acres west of town straddling Mission Road and Twin Buttes Road.

On the other hand, the county board could allow the project to move forward under county jurisdiction as well, which would force the town to compete with the county over terms of any development.

The developer, American Nevada Co. of suburban Las Vegas, already has said it would like a development incentive or subsidy because town fees are an estimated $50 million higher than county fees.

The board of supervisors meeting starts at 9 a.m. at the board meeting room on the first floor of the county administration building, 110 W. Congress Street, Tucson. The board will be considering all Comprehensive Plan Amendment requests for 2008 at this meeting, which promises to be a lengthy one. The agenda and back-up material will be posted online at http://www.pima.gov/cob/e-agenda/index.htm.

Town officials say they are going to wind up paying for much of the congestion costs of the project – roads, police and parks – in any case, and might be better off annexing the area so they have zoning control and receive sales tax and other revenue.

 

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