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Tucson Advances $30M Grocery Store

This view looks northeast at 22nd and Houghton on the east side, toward the development site where neighbors are concerned about the height of a new Fry’s grocery store. Photo credit: Mike Christy/Arizona Daily Star

By Curt Prendergast for Arizona Daily Star

The Tucson City Council voted Tuesday to allow the zoning process to move forward on a controversial grocery store.

By a 6-1 vote, the council allowed Brentwood Development to continue with the zoning process for a Fry’s grocery store, despite the fact it would exceed height requirements in a 30-year-old agreement between residents of the area near South Houghton Road and East 22nd Street.

Councilman Steve Kozachik cast the lone “nay” vote.

The proposed development exceeds the 20-foot height limit included in the Houghton East Neighborhood Plan, approved when the city annexed the area. The developer of the 124KSF store wants the rules changed to allow a 26-foot height, with four-foot parapets.

The building needs the extra six feet to accommodate the mezzanine office and training area, which are “very important to the internal working of that site,” said Keri Silvyn, a land-use lawyer speaking on behalf of Brentwood Development.

Linda Morales of The Planning Center, which is working with the developer, said the lot is the only suitable lot in the area.

David Porzio has lived about 400 yards from the proposed development for 20 years. He said the property owners, developers and the city will benefit from the development, but he had his house appraised twice last year and the value dropped by $20,000. “The appraiser said it was the result of the big box development coming in,” he said.

Read more at Arizona Daily Star

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