Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Latest Installment in the Painted Hills Follies

Let's see if we can figure out what's wrong with this article.  In paragraph 4 it says:
The county approved development plans for the 284 acres of scenic Painted Hills property just west of the city limits, but the supervisors didn't want the site developed, so they asked the city to deny water service to the property.
So the county asks the city to save them from a bad decision - see the county voters approved bond funds that would enable the county to buy this parcel of land and preserve it as open space.  But when the owners wouldn't sell to the county, the county decided they could wait them out.  But somebody else came in and offered more money for the parcel, expecting to develop it.

The city instituted a new policy that was used to deny water for the development, but ran into other problems when the developer sought a different remedy.  They are currently in negotiations with the property owner to do a swap that will provide them with a develop-able parcel of land elsewhere and permit preservation of the Painted Hills parcel.  You can find info on the city's water policy referenced here and here.

But back to the current article.  At the end of the article are a couple of really nice comments from the County Administrator, Chuck Huckleberry:
Huckelberry wants the board to ask the city to change its water service policy to provide service to properties like Marrs'.
"The presently adopted Tucson Water policy does not support rational regional planning for water service," Huckelberry said in the memo.
Guess it really pays to stay on the good side of our county administrator.  If I can paraphrase something a former president said recently - it takes some real brass to encourage the city to use their new policy to prevent development in one location then come back and say that said policy prevents rational regional planning when it stands in the way of a particular development you do want to see go forward.  Is it any wonder people in this town have so little respect for our local governments?

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