Monday, June 16, 2014

Painted Hills to Become Park of Tucson Mountain Park

Pima County plans to buy 286 acres near the intersection of West Speedway and Anklam Road known as Painted Hills for $7.5 million from the Dallas Police and Fire Pension System, which paid $27 million for it in 2006, one year after the parcels involved sold for $3.3 million.

After the Dallas pension fund wildly over paid for the property, the City of Tucson refused to provide water service to the property. The Dallas pension fund sued, and lost.

Without water service, it seems to me this property is worth exactly $0 to a developer. It is in the Tucson Mountains, far west of the Tucson Valley aquifer, and it is unlikely that any significant groundwater can be found in these rocky hills.

This is very beautiful desert land, and I am glad it will be preserved, but I am concerned that the County doesn't really know how they are going to pay for this. Either they will get the funds in a November 2015 bond election (not likely) or hope they get enough revenue from an iffy agreement with Starr Pass Resort. I see foreclosure in Painted Hills' future. But as long as the City of Tucson continues to refuse to provide water that we don't have, the property should remain safe from development.

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