Report to Pima County Planning and Zoning

Groundwater Awareness League
October 28, 2009

A picture is worth a thousand words:

The large map shows the area being considered for development is the recipient of a huge sheet flow. The arrow points to the area of development at Sahuarita Rd. and Kolb Rd.

On the Google map you can see the blue of the sheet flow water in the proposed development. By a quirk of fate, the current group of Google maps caught this region after a storm.

Site of proposed development at Kolb and Sahuarita Rd. showing inundation of stormwater:

Sahuarita Rd.                                                            Kolb Rd.

We have already reported on problems of putting developments in a sheet flow area. The prime example of the government betrayal of public trust is San Pedro Estates. There are now four foreclosures there, actually they abandoned the homes. Those homes had bought by blue collar workers who saved for their dream home. Now the $200,000 homes were sold for $75,000.

We did the same presentation for the Board of Supervisors that we gave here. In response, Suzanne Shields wrote a letter that said the flood control department would not, could not and did not want to do anything about flooding problems. That letter is posted publicly on the Groundwater Awareness League website. FC Letter

Again, the area of Avis Acres has a horrific sheet flow. Since the Flood Control Dept. refuses to do anything, if this area is developed, the developers have to get together and make a comprehensive plan for this region. This developer wants to put in ponds in each back yard. They will breed mosquitoes and eventually silt up. There are many good examples of storm water management in Green Valley. Dry wells have been tried effectively in Chandler, Gilbert, and Auwatukee. The facilities can be lined with river rocks, gravel and filter cloth.

The main excuse used by the Flood Control Dept. is that all these homes are wild cat, so they can’t do anything. However, every home and every structure has to have a permit. In any event, the worse offenses are in planned and approved developments. There is such a development right at the south-east corner of Sahuarita Rd. and Kolb. [Note: Sycamore Canyon Estates] There is a county ordinance that there should not be more flow out of the subdivision than comes into it. However, there is no monitoring and no compliance. You have heard the results from a previous speaker. All the residents will agree that flooding has increased noticeably.

Another point is the availability of water. Tucson Water and FICO or any other water provider do not get water out of the air. They have to drill a well in the vicinity to pump the water. The neighbors seem to be confused on this issue.

The staff mentioned the Lee Moore was study which was created only to document the flood zones, so that the home owners would have to sign a Covenant with the county that the county would be held harmless from any damages. There were a couple of flood control projects put in on the draft—but it was specified from the beginning that there was no money for the $20 to $50 million dollar projects.

We do not need plans or studies; we need infrastructure.

Additional notes:

Map of area from Lee Moore Wash study: Flood Control says "it's a draft, subject to change. "

[Note: What was accomplished? A consultant firm got over $1 million dollars, and the Flood Control has said for three years, "We can't do anything until the Lee Moore Wash Study is completed." It is now complete. See Lee Moore wash study. What is being done now?]

[Note: Letter sent to Development Services in regard to mis-information given at hearing on complaints on flooding.]