Just south of the University of Arizona, a pair of neighborhood associations are asking the City of Tucson for help.

Rincon Heights and Pie Allen are both already on the National Register of Historic Places. Now the neighborhoods are petitioning the city to help preserve what one representative calls the neighborhoods character.

“We have very weak zoning in the vicinity of the university, and that’s actually why we have the problems that we have, said Laura Tabili, secretary of the Rincon Heights Neighborhood Association. And so with the NPZ, the neighborhood protection zone, its intended to put some controls on inappropriate development.”

Tabili has lived in Rincon Heights, just south of the UAs main campus, for decades. First as a renter and currently as a homeowner.


In that time, it’s always been a haven for University of Arizona students, with student-apartment buildings dotting the area.

But in the last few years, Tabili and other long-time residents have noticed an uptick in properties catering to students; properties that don’t jive with the neighborhoods residential nature, according to Tabili.

“We have apartments across the street, we have apartments over there, so it’s not just single-family homes, she said.


Now, residents are asking the city to turn the area into a neighborhood protection zone, or NPZ, to better protect the unique architectural makeup of the neighborhood.

“It’s intended to put some controls on inappropriate development…what these landlords tend to do is they tend to buy up properties and either bulldoze them or deface them,” Tabili said.

The neighborhood associations dont want to totally prevent developers or landowners from building multi-family units or apartments.

“What we do object to is predatory landlords that think they’re going to cash in by buying up property and essentially creating nuisance properties, noisy properties,” Tabili said.

The next step in the rezoning process is an online city zoning examiner meeting, which is set for Thursday, March 14. Its open to all members of the Tucson community.


If youd like to attend, follow the link, here.

Even if the NPZ passes and is implemented in Rincon Heights and Pie Allen, Tabili said new development in the area would still be possible.

“They still can knock down the house, if they want to,” Tabili said. “But what they build in it’s place has to be in keeping in harmony with the surrounding neighborhoods.”