The Main Stream

May 16, 2012 8:10 PM

Construction set for controversial high-rise

TUCSON - Construction is set to begin on a controversial new high-rise near the University of Arizona Campus, but some Tucsonans are still fighting it.

After getting thousands of signatures on petitions for the city to reconsider an overlay ordinance that makes this building possible, the petitions were thrown out over certain legal disclaimers, but high-rise opponents won't give up the fight, even going to the Arizona Court of Appeals.

Meanwhile, the Chicago-based developer, Campus Acquisitions, already has a demolition permit and a permit to construct the foundation of the building.

The city confirms, the developer has not applied for the other necessary permits yet to finish the construction of the 14-story high-rise, and said some developers apply permit by permit, while others apply for one combination permit for the entire construction.

Campus Acquisitions tells us they plan to start construction sometime next week, and continue until they complete the building in time for students to move in by mid-August 2013.

Val Little with the West University Neighborhood Association said she and the petitioners believe these high rise buildings will be more of a barrier between the homes and campus.

"I feel good moving forward that so many people have supported this effort, so it would be really interesting if the Appeals Court decided in our favor and interesting to see how it played out and how many of our signatures were actually valid, but I think we've made a very powerful statement in Tucson," said Little.

For now, the developer is free to move forward with construction, but if the appeals court rules in favor of the petitioners, the city would have to re-check the petitions and possibly reconsider the overlay ordinance that allows 14-story buildings in the area.

This is a link to the developer:
http://www.campusacquisitions.com/ca/boards/boards-university-arizona.html

A link to the group opposing the overlay ordinance:
http://www.westuniversityneighborhood.org/

A link to the case:
http://www.appeals2.az.gov/ODSPlus/caseInfolast.cfm?caseID=33149&source=OA

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