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Less of this: illegal grading and saguaro cactus destruction, Tucson Mountains. Some of the undisturbed part of this property was added to Tucson Mountain Park through the efforts of GPANA. Photo courtesy of Laural Park.

Development grading, Tucson Mountains, AZ

Re-Zoning and Variance Battles

GPANA works to defeat proposals which would negatively impact the rural quiet of our Gates Pass neighborhood, including takeout liquor licenses, apartment complexes, and a resort. These are ongoing concerns. We anticipate more battles to come, especially along West Speedway and Gates Pass Road.

  • GPANA and TMA successfully opposed a take-out liquor license application in the 1980sfrom Quik Mart and later in 1999 for another convenience store at the commercially zoned corners of West Speedway/Gates Pass Road and (east) North Camino de Oeste. The stores were not built. GPANA also lobbied re traffic issues on Speedway at the southeast corner of this intersection. Any future development can only access this commercial property from Camino de Oeste.

  • Pima County created a number of Neighborhood Activity Centers (NAC) with commercial CB-1 zoning in residentially zoned areas in an attempt to contain urban sprawl. In 1963, an approximately 50 acre parcel on the south side of Speedway between West Anklam Road and Camino de Oeste Wash was zoned for a shopping mall. However, Colonial Plaza, with an appearance like St. Phillips Plaza, including a simulated Mexican Church, was never built.

  • In 1998, the Arizona State legislature passed a law that forbade any local government from "downzoning" a property (i.e. changing zoning to lower density and reducing its commercial value). The Supervisors were eager to challenge this law. In late 1999, GPANA filed an appeal to downzone this property to SR (1 house per 3.3 acres) low density residential. However, the Colonial Trails home builder had already filed plans for a "cluster" development of 35 homes on the 17 acres and agreed to downzone to CR-2 (2 houses per acre), the lowest permitted under NAC rules. So we were too late; the Supervisors agreed to the CR-2.

  • Also in 1999, GPANA learned of two proposals for the southwest corner of Gates Pass Road and Camino de Oeste. One was by Accelerated Learning Center, which required approval of a charter school conditional use permit. Conditional use permits allow flexibility, but require 1-3 hearings depending on existing zoning. The second, Rancho Del Monaco, a business resort with 160 units and a conference center, proposed for a 50-acre, L-shaped lot fronting on both the south side of Gates Pass Road and the west side of Camino de Oeste required rezoning. GPANA argued successfully against both before appropriate committees and the Supervisors in 1999 and 2000.

  • GPANA and TMA defeated a 2008 condominium proposal for 36 units in 4 buildings, one of which would be 3 stories high, on the 2-acre property occupied by Evangelo's until 2007 when the restaurant closed