The Pima County Board of Supervisors approved a 15-acre infill project near Sabino Canyon Road and Cloud Road, despite neighbor opposition Tuesday.
The proposed development would drastically increase the density of housing in that area, neighbors said, as well as increase traffic and diverge from the nature of the lower-density residential area.
The supervisors' approval came in a split 4-1 vote, with Supervisor Ally Miller, who represents the area, opposed to it.
"There has been overwhelmingly negative response from neighbors," she said, citing their concerns about traffic and the impact of the development on property values.
During a hearing about the project Tuesday, neighbors repeatedly voiced opposition to the proposed development of rental homes in a largely owner-occupied area. Their comments followed letters and petitions to board members in opposition to the project.
Supervisor Sharon Bronson, who voted for the project, said she didn't understand why the developer is seeking single-story, casita-style housing, as opposed to apartments.
One resident who lives near the proposed development, Mike Varney, said the style of higher-density development isn't for everybody, but people in the Tucson metropolitan area have said they want this type of development.
“They’re looking for a lot of things that people decades ago weren’t looking for, and in order to stay competitive as a city, we need to offer choice in our housing developments and our housing options, not only in terms of type of option but also affordability,” he said.
He cited the local planning effort called Imagine Greater Tucson, which surveyed metro-area residents in an effort to create a long-term development plan.
"It’s exactly what Imagine Greater Tucson called for, which is a higher density, lower urban sprawl type of development," he said.
Supervisor Ray Carroll voted for the project, but indicated he did so because he may ask for the development plan to be reconsidered at a future meeting.