Update on Our Neighborhood Roads

As everyone knows, the roads in our neighborhood are in bad shape.  And, their condition has worsened since the Southwest Gas project had heavy trucks riding through our neighborhood.  The question is – what can we do about it?   To address the problem, the Coronado Foothills Neighborhood Association will be facilitating the process of establishing a “road improvement district.”

What is a Road Improvement District?

A road improvement district is a program in which property owners in a designated neighborhood area agree to bear the cost of paving their neighborhood roads.  If they agree, the roads actually get paved. 

We’ve been in touch with county officials who told us that while the exact cost would be determined as part of the process of establishing the road improvement district, they estimate that each property owner would be assessed something in the range of $230-$300 per year for 10 years, plus a small annual interest fee.  Alternatively, a property owner could pay the total assessment as a one-time payment of $2,300-$3,000 when the road improvement district is established and avoid the interest fee. 

What is the Procedure for Establishing a Road Improvement District?

For the road improvement district to go forward, a majority of property owners must approve the plan in a petition process.  If that majority threshold is met, all property owners within the improvement district’s borders are then obligated to pay the assessment.

All property owners within the borders described below – regardless of whether they are part of the Coronado Foothills Neighborhood Association - would be included in the proposed road improvement district and asked to sign the petition.  If the petition is approved, the road improvement district is established, all property owners would be required to pay the assessment.

To begin the process, there is an initial “pre-petition” phase in which the county approves the proposed plan, determines the exact cost, and provides the necessary petitions.  We then must seek the petition approval signatures from property owners, a process that would likely begin near the end of this year.

The Coronado Foothills Neighborhood Association’s only role in the process is to facilitate establishing the road improvement district by securing petition signatures. The county, not the association, would be responsible for collecting the assessments and directing the process of repaving roads.

What Roads Would Be Paved?

Road improvement district programs are for residential neighborhood roads.  The road to be included in our neighborhood would be the residential roads within the area bounded by Skyline on the south, Alvernon on the west, and Swan on the east.  The road improvement district would not include properties on those border roads as they are considered “main” roads – unless the property has driveway access on one of the “internal” neighborhood roads.

So, owners of properties with addresses on the border roads of Alvernon, Swan, and Skyline that have no driveway access on an internal neighborhood road will not be asked to sign the petition, nor would they be asked to pay the county assessment if the road improvement district is established. If they do have driveway access, however, they would be included in the road improvement district.

East Ina, which is considered a residential road, forms the northern border of our neighborhood.  The portion of East Ina that comes off to the west near the top of Swan would be included in the improvement district. The portion of East Ina that comes off of Alvernon was paved several years ago and is in good condition; it will not be included.

How Do We Get the Border Roads Paved?

Main roads (like Alvernon, Swan, and Skyline) are handled through a different county process. Many of you know that the county has approved a new tax, the proceeds of which are designated for road improvements.  Which roads will be paved and when they will be paved are to be determined by recently formed committees that include representatives from the public.  Each member of the Board of Supervisors appointed individuals to those committees.

Two individuals from our neighborhood volunteered to serve on the committees (thank you Allan Cameron and Mike Elkins for stepping forward!), both of whom have significant experience with road maintenance and paving issues.  We made our recommendations for committee membership, as instructed, through Supervisor Ally Miller’s office.  Supervisor Miller, however, appointed other individuals to the committees: Reggie Drout and Chris DeSimone (Wake-Up Tucson radio show host).

At this point, we do not know if or when our main roads will be paved.  Neighborhood property owners are urged to contact Supervisor Miller’s office (724-2738) and the Pima County Transportation Department (724-6410) and encourage them to consider repaving the main roads that border our neighborhood.  If you know Mr Drout or Mr DeSimone, you might consider contacting them, too.

What Else Can You Do?

If our request to start a petition to establish a road improvement district is approved by the county, we will need volunteers to go door to door to collect signatures.  If you are interested in helping in this process – likely to begin near the end of the year - please contact me (Barry Weiss at bdweiss@u.arizona.edu) or any member of the Coronado Foothills Neighborhood Association Board of Directors (see contact information in this issue of Periodico).