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About 300 Green Valley residents at a Thursday public hearing who wanted to discuss Pima County's proposed development plan for Canoa Ranch were prepared to review and critique a substantial development plan for the historic property. But Pima County planners were not prepared to discuss specifics.
Ben Changkakoti, the principal planner with the Planning Division of Pima County's Development Services Department, said they came to inform attendees of proposed land use changes, to solicit comments and to answer questions. The specific plan will come later at the property's rezoning stages, he said.
The proposed development plan is a request by Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckleberry to amend the Pima County Comprehensive Plan.
Canoa Ranch is a 6,300-acre property located at the southern tip of the San Ignacio de La Canoa Land Grant, on both sides of Interstate 19. Proposed changes would allow construction of up to 2,000 homes on about 1,300 acres west of I-19.
More than 153 acres would be devoted to commercial zoning on three parcels of land - one on the west and two on the east side of I-19 - as well as an 800-space recreational vehicle park immediately adjacent to the southernmost commercial parcel on the east side of I-19, and west of the Santa Cruz river.
Changkakoti said the comprehensive plan does not change the zoning on any property but provides a guide for future rezonings by listing permitted zoning districts and residential densities within each land-use intensity designation. If approved, the amendment would allow Fairfield to apply for rezoning permitted under the designated plan category.
Joseph C. Olles, president of Montaņa Vista Property Owners Association Inc., said he sent a letter to the Board of Supervisors voicing his association's opposition to the proposed amendment. The reasons include depletion of the water table, septic tank pollution, light pollution and destruction of terrain.
Another Green Valley resident, Ken Benson, said he was especially concerned about the proposed park for 800 recreational vehicles east of the interstate and increased frontage road traffic this addition would create on already congested roadways in the area.
Dick Portman, a supporter of the plan, suggested that a frontage road on the east side of I-19 should be punched through to Canoa Road to provide easy access to "that major intersection."
"We came here to retire," Portman said. "But now that we are here, we shouldn't try to keep others out."
Fairfield Planning consultant Frank Thomson said in response to Hodges that the aquifer beneath Green Valley is huge - that the state Department of Water Resources has said the water table would support 7,000 residential units and seven golf courses, as had been proposed in previous development plans submitted by Fairfield.
Paul Sanders is a free-lance writer based in Green Valley.
Assembled by ovk. Last updated 6/21/2001.