colin

General Tucson Thread

137 posts in this topic

you've been here longer - so you probably know a good deal more about public opinion - but i just don't think there's anything close to sufficient consensus among tucsonans on this.

Pima County Board of Supervisors is not anti-development, but certainly not overly encouraging of it, and I think that that's representative of the majority of the population. I don't know that I've run into someone who said "Yeah! We need more houses in Tucson!"

I posted that article about the proposed development in Amado, just over the line in Santa Cruz, and that reflects that the powers-that-be here are not complacent to let irresponsible development run rampant in the name of "economic growth." And less I forget the drama that's been playing out in the papers here about the proposed big box on Kino. Plus, now that we have PAG, we should see much better things sprouting up around town. I see Sahuarita's new master plan and the Houghton Area Master Plan both as very encouraging.

i really think the desert is not a place that needs development, period. but it's going to continue, and the water is going to become scarcer (which needs to happen sooner than later, for the sake of the region), so someone needs to help guide the inevitable growth in the least damaging way - that's my rationale for being out here. but i really wish there weren't bazillions of people in southern arizona. period.

People want to live here. I hope that it doesn't get to the point like in California where it just grew and grew until it got overcrowded and people actually began moving back east or north. Not to push politics, but this is exactly the focus of Prop 106: setting aside land for conservation that would otherwise be sold off to the highest bidder and turned into cardboard houses. If we can keep that open space, Arizona may keep growing, but at least we'll still have our reclusive sanctuaries.

Edited by colin

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County wants massive I-10 sports complex

This story has less to do with a new sports complex and more to do with the closing of the Sweetwater Treatment Plant (the Star refers to it in this article as "Roger Road" maybe to soften irony), IMHO. That plant has been the source of controversy for years as Tucson has grown around it.

Not that expanding the Ina Road facility would help in eliminating the smell from the drive on I-10, but it would at least allow some more development around the Silverbell/El Camino del Cerro area, which is probably not being done now because, when the wind changes in that area, you really notice it.

There's a plan to stick a public housing complex right across the river from the current plant site, and now that may be less contentious (although there's still the issue of raising the site up from a flood plain).

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Strange twist of fate: I was randomly selected to attend a focus group put on by Tucson Water.

The purpose was to test the water (oh, I'm so funny!) of public opinion regarding increasing the mineral content in the water.

It's been mentioned many times over the past few months in the media that, by 2012, Tucson Water plans to use more of its CAP (Colorado River) allotment. Right now, the mineral content is at 450 ppm, which is with, I believe, about a 60%:40% ratio of CAP:groundwater, all made possible by the Avra Valley recharge ponds (which are visible in my sunset picture in the photos thread).

To maintain 450 ppm, they would actually need to invest in reverse osmosis, which would effectively clean the water. Without this, the content would go up to 650 ppm, which is the natural content of the river.

I have to admit that I really could not tell the difference between the two, nor could anyone in my group, and, according to the leader of the focus group (a consultant working for Tucson Water), nor could anyone involved in previous groups.

But the big downside of the 450 is that it would (according to Tucson Water's graph and pretty shape propaganda, which also indicated that I live in the area with the highest mineral content in their service area) effectively double water rates.

The good news in this whole situation is that they've abandoned the effluent program (so-called "Toilet to Tap"). The problem is that not many people really realize that the increase in mineral content is pretty inconsequential and hate it just because of the number. For instance, PHOENIX (yes! your favorite major city) has much higher average mineral contents. I was told that Chandler hit close to 1200 ppm in some areas.

I took the "give us some feedback" portion to write a paragraph about what I think they should do: push conservation, add regulations, and stop waste. Will they do it? Of course not! Every other tree hugger with a sense of water issues feels the same way, and they've only responded thus far half-heartedly (IMHO, that is).

You just have to wonder what the future holds for the desert and its water.

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Sabino Canyon's new scars

Although the damage was done in one day, this year's monsoon as a whole is really to blame. I guess that's the price of good rainfall.

I was out in Finger Rock Canyon last weekend and, although the trail is fairly in tact, the canyon looked somehow different and the vegetation was absolutely out of control, and not just in the canyon but on the walls as well.

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Planned canyon community giving nature plenty of room

Normally I would be very cynnical of the whole "harmony with nature" concept coming from a developer (certainly heard it before), but the fact that the Sonoran Institute is that involved seems to make it quite a bit more palatable, at least for me.

This is a gorgeous area though, and it's a little upsetting that they'll be developing it at all.

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Above you'll read about me getting randomly selected for a Tucson Water study. They've apparently expanded this to the general public, but now are telling them beforehand which is which, with similar results (people actually prefer the water with higher mineral content).

Tucson Water tests the waters at tastings

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Above you'll read about me getting randomly selected for a Tucson Water study. They've apparently expanded this to the general public, but now are telling them beforehand which is which, with similar results (people actually prefer the water with higher mineral content).

Tucson Water tests the waters at tastings

was that you on the NPR affiliate this morning giving a comment about the water samples? they apparently interviewed attendees for their story. i heard the announcer say 'colin' but didn't catch the last name. then a short sound byte featuring colin.

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Welcome back, Ben!

A sound byte? No, that wouldn't have been me. Unless I was secretly recorded. Tucson Water is pretty dang sneaky.

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thanks, man. still lurking for the time being, with bursts of posts whenever i have long sessions with high-speed. infrequent, they are.

is the beer thingy next weekend worth going to? looks like i'm going to be a club crawl lemming tomorrow.

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I knew the beer festival was coming up soon. I've actually never been because $35 always seemed a little high to just go and drink, especially if I had to drive home since I could get pretty tanked off of that much normally.

Tucson Meet Yourself is this weekend at Presidio Park (behind the courthouse) as well, and that is certainly worth going to. Lots of cool performances, but the food is amazing. Free admission.

Also next weekend is the Big Arizona Music Festival, which is basically the same thing as Club Crawl but is not as old and extends up to Fourth Avenue.

Unfortunately, it's apparently my travel season and I'm off to SD next weekend.

Hope you had an excellent time at Club Crawl! It's cool that Tucson has something like that and it's great to support it.

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Unfortunately, it's apparently my travel season and I'm off to SD next weekend.

Hope you had an excellent time at Club Crawl! It's cool that Tucson has something like that and it's great to support it.

thanks. i had heard about tucson meet yourself, but didn't have any specifics.

$35? wtf? i missed that part. not for me - standing in a field with a bunch of family types who are trying to have fun with alcohol. $35 goes a long way when it comes to liquor out here, i've discovered. wines that are $15 back home are $5 at trader joe's, and the hard liquor is waaaay cheaper here than in the state-run stores of 'bama. a definite tucson perk.

have fun in SD.

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Tiffany's officially opens this morning at its new Tucson/La Encantada location. There was a grand opening "Breakfast at Tiffany's" ceremony held yesterday morning, but was only open to the less public elite.

Some comments on the new store were published in the Daily Star today from locals:

How will the arrival of Tiffany & Co. change retailing in Tucson?

All of the comments are positive, but the Star is particularly bad about filtering out negative comments when it wants to spin something, as evidenced when it did this Q/A thing with the Rainbow Bridge several months ago. I'd imagine some people see this as an attempt to turn the Foothills into Scottsdale, which no one wants, most likely including those few who are actually planning to shop there.

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City seeks input on Grant widening

Normally a street widening would not be a big deal, but this one has been extremely contentious and was one of the reasons why a lot of people opposed the Regional Transportation Plan this past May (which, of course, was able to pass). As it stands, Grant Road has a bottleneck between Oracle and Swan Roads, a distance of 5 miles, where it goes from six lanes and a median to four lanes and a left-turn lane (which served as a reversable/"suicide" lane until about 2 years ago).

No one can doubt that traffic is bad on that stretch. It's a major thoroughfare, and each comparable thoroughfare (Speedway, Broadway, 22nd Street and Golf Links) has already been widened to six lanes with a median, with some gaps (most of which are also part of the RTA plan). Grant has resisted though, probably because of existing development that pushes right up against the street.

It'll be interesting to see what happens with this. I always told opponents that they should just vote for the plan as a whole to get it through and then deal with individual projects when they come up in public meetings, which is exactly what is happening now.

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Cochise to vote on planned community

It just goes to show that the Tucson area has enough conservation-minded people to give the developers trouble even if they do get out of Pima County.

SAHBA's "a well-thought-out, well-designed community plan" is pretty misleading as well. You slap a "master planned community" label on any tract garbage that a developer puts out and they would say the same thing. The community wasn't designed responsibly, has inadequate service infrastructure (especially in the initial phases), and offers no potential resolution to the commuter problem: people will still all drive in to and out of Tucson at least once a day. It is interesting though that this development is about half way between Tucson and Sierra Vista, yet I doubt any of these people would go to SV to shop.

Plus, the article makes no mention of the school district issue: for whatever reason, this piece of land is zoned not to the Benson but to the Saint David school district. I'm not sure if they resolved this already, but I know that Saint David residents were extremely upset about the prospect of thousands of new suburbanites in their rural, farming-based district.

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There's not now, but it was proposed. They were going to build a tall tower (at least 15 or 20 stories) as part of their redevelopment project.

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Ok Tucson question, does anyone know what the urban population of Tucson is? I'm looking but I can't find anything concrete on it. Acording to a news article I just read, Pima county has passed the 1million people mark. Tucsons MSA is all of Pima county. Which in terms of land area is the size of a small state. When you're in Tucson, does it feel like your in a Metropolitan area of 1million people? I'd imagine that once you're outside of Tucson that the Pima County population is pretty sparse, but i've still never been there myself to know. I use my home town of Grand Rapids, It has a metro area of 1.3million people but thats including metro areas that are a good 30miles or more away. The urban size of Grand Rapids is more like 700,000.

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Ok Tucson question, does anyone know what the urban population of Tucson is? I'm looking but I can't find anything concrete on it. Acording to a news article I just read, Pima county has passed the 1million people mark. Tucsons MSA is all of Pima county. Which in terms of land area is the size of a small state. When you're in Tucson, does it feel like your in a Metropolitan area of 1million people? I'd imagine that once you're outside of Tucson that the Pima County population is pretty sparse, but i've still never been there myself to know. I use my home town of Grand Rapids, It has a metro area of 1.3million people but thats including metro areas that are a good 30miles or more away. The urban size of Grand Rapids is more like 700,000.
Edited by ErinJ

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I'm not just talking about the city proper, Tucsons proper population is around 530k. Urban population is when you enter a metro area say on I-10 and the city starts, it includes suburbs and all that until you start leaving developed areas and are back in the desert. An urban area of 1million people comes with backed up traffic and, it is also when you start getting into high end national retailers. (ie not just sears and jcpenney at the mall.) And I think Pinal county is in Phoenix Metro, if I'm not mistaken, because of AJ. To be considered part of a metro area, a county has to have atleast 15% of it's population commuting to the central county. Which makes me wonder which percent of the county has a greater commute. What I dont like about it is that having Pinal county in the Phoenix MSA Makes it somewhere in the range of 15,000sq mi, Larger than almost all of the states in new England with about half the population. Thats rediculous.

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New water policy may curb homes on fringes

Article talks about a water policy which would make new housing developments responsible for recharging the water table. Mainly concentrates on Southern and Southeastern Pima County and far western Tucson.

Stop sprawl? Seems impossible.

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You can't stop it completely, well maybe you could. But I think being that antigrowth would be potentially hazardous for the eoconomy. I really like how responsible Tucson and Pima county leaders, and residents seem to be about it's ecosystem, and resources.. Am I wrong in that assumption?

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Not anti-growth, just pro smart growth.

I think this is the beginning of a push toward density and somewhat of an articulation of the general anti-sprawl sentiment in town. When housing prices level out and the cost of living Downtown vs. the exurbs becomes close to equal (which will be accomplished through impact fees like this), more people will move into town.

Another issue here is the whole "I want to live in the desert thing" (but then those same people complain about javelinas killing their little dogs and rummaging through their garbage), and they're also pushing the limit out. It's a matter of just drawing lines and saying "No" I think, but that may be overly optimistic and our surrounding county neighbors seem to be less open to that idea, although recent events have eluded to the tides changing somewhat.

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