As the clock ticks down on the Oro Valley Town Council’s impending decision regarding the proposed rezoning of undeveloped land near Tangerine and Rancho Vistoso, nearby residents continue to voice their opposition.

Some neighbors, like Gregg James, said, “Safety is not their main concern. Profit is.”

When he moved into his home two years ago, he understood that the land, currently zoned for commercial use, could get developed.

“That was two years ago, and as we were driving to this property to look at the property, I looked at the real estate agent, and I saw that vacant lot,” he said. “And I said, ‘What’s going to go there’ and she looked at me and said, ‘Commercial, its zoned commercial. Its been zoned commercial since day one.”

However, the current zoning status may soon change.

The piece of land sits between the Horizons neighborhood and the Safeway Vistoso Plaza near Tangerine and Rancho Vistoso.

It is part of a broader project by developer Paradigm Land Design. The project aims to introduce 215 single-story rental homes to the area which they believe is needed as more people look to move to the area.

James said during various public meetings, he doesn’t believe the developer has been upfront when asked about certain logistics related to the project, such as how many cars will be allowed per unit.

James Duprey, one of the early residents who moved to the area in 1996, expressed disappointment, stating, “Its been tried before, and were really disappointed that they keep trying again and again and again.”

The proposed development would utilize a back alley in the heavily frequented shopping center as the entrance, with a traffic light added on Rancho Vistoso for exiting.

Concerns about the potential increase in traffic leading to risks for pedestrians, drivers, and first responders are the biggest concern for neighbors like Duprey and James.

“Its just an ill-conceived project, and what theyre trying to do is bend over backwards any way they can to make this happen,” James said, expressing a loss of trust in town leaders to make the right decision.

James emphasized that despite his concerns about the vacant lot nearest his neighborhood, he is also sympathetic with those who live near the west-most vacant lot who are opposed to the project as well.

He did state that he has lost trust in town leaders to make the right choice. While others like Eva Midobuche and her husband Alfredo Benavides, remain hopeful.

“I still have hope,” Midobuche said. “I cant think that I came into a community where people would be so callous, where people would think that they put money before safety.”

The next public meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, December 5, providing residents with one of the last opportunities to voice their frustrations with the project.

KGUN 9 reached out to the developer for clarification on resident’s concerns but has received no response.

The full-site analysis can be found here.