Leslie Paige walked through the Pima Wash, looking out for movement in the trees or a tweet in the air. Shes an avid bird watcher in the wash and said its an area that helps animals and neighbors.
It provides water to recharge the water table, it provides shade, it helps to prevent some of the issues that are involved with urban heat sinks, Paige sad.
However, shes worried that after the Pima County Board of Supervisors approved a new development of 117 houses and over 200 apartments, the new residences could hurt the riparian area in the wash.
A lot of activity just in close proximity to this area, is going to scare away the animals, she said.
However, the Regional Flood Control district tells KGUN9, the development doesnt disturb any intact riperian habitat, except for a planned bridge to Oracle Road.
They said to make up for that, the developers, UIP Quail Canyon One, are being required to plant a certain amount of trees and shrubs. They said this new development is also going to let wildlife pass more freely than the golf course that used to be there.
However, Paige feels like the developer should still lower the number of apartments and houses theyre building.
To reduce the footprint and back away from the riparian area, not build so closely, she said.
The developer said the County initially recommended they lower their planned houses by 20, but after approving it only made them lower it by 3. They also said theyre not building in the wash.
However, Joan Scott, a board member of the Oracle Foothills Neighborhood Association said shes still worried about wildlife corridors.
So that wildlife can get from the Catalinas to the corridor in the Rillito river, she said.
UIP Quail Canyon One said theyre building a gabion bank protection to separate the washs wildlife corridor from their development.
Scott still feels like new neighbors would disturb the wildlife though.
It has more people, it has more light, it has more noise, she said.
The developers said theyre using warm outdoor lighting, low-level path lighting, and motion sensors.