The four managers of the towns in Pima County spoke Thursday to the Tucson Association of Realtors® (TAR) with a prognosis of what growth is anticipated in each of the areas.
“Sahuarita is contending with today’s reality and planning for the future” said Jim Stahle, City Manager of Sahuarita, a town which experienced a growth of 9000 houses, with one half of this building in Rancho Sahuarita.
A total of 1700 housing permits were issued in 2006 and in 2010, only 311 permits issued, the same as 2001, he said. Quail Creek, a Robson active adult community, has seen 18% of those building permits.
Sahuarita has cut budgets, cut staff and is making tough decisions in order to maintain the service levels. As a result, the town has become more efficient.
Challenges facing the new town include a commercial Community Facilities District (CFD), the cost of which would be shared with developers.
Development is projected in the Rancho Sahuarita Town District which is ideally located between I-19 and Sahuarita Road, Stahle said.
The town conducted a psychographics analysis trying to determine what people would buy in such an area.
Determining if Sahuarita will “get into the water business” or if water will remain under the purview of private business is another issue facing the town. If the town decides to purchase the water company, the issue is how to structure the purchase, the fact it will then be subjected to state regulation, and how the town will pay for the water company, now in private hands.
Farmers Investment Company (FIC), the largest pecan grower in the nation, located in Sahuarita, has 6,000 to 7,000 acres it is eyeing for development in the future, possibly 15 to 50 years. Much of the land is located in a flood plain zone. Projected growth will impact the river management plan and the master plan. The town and FIC are working together for planned growth and development.
Sahuarita is looking for opportunities to attract well paying jobs, and is identifying areas which are capable of landing employment. It also, like the other three towns, is considering annexation of adjacent areas.