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The Village at Sam Hughes facing rezoning proposal

Neighborhood Association concerned about neighborhood character, safety
Notice for Rezoning hearing
Posted at 2:33 AM, May 24, 2024

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — At the corner of North Tucson Boulevard and East Sixth Street, smack middle of the Sam Hughes neighborhood in Midtown, large yellow signs warn of a possible change.

They advertise a rezoning hearing that's open to the public; and while the proposal plans to bring new business to the area, some neighbors are concerned the extra traffic— both vehicle and foot— could be negative.

The Village at Sam Hughes is classified as a local commercial zone (C-1) which means that it's intended for retail and restaurants. Local developer Ross Rulney and development firm The Planning Center are proposing a rezoning to a Planned Area Development (PAD) which gives the developer more flexibility in designating the uses of the property.

But it also means there's more government scrutiny over the proposal.

The PAD application for The Village at Sam Hughes asks for regulations similar to C-1 zoning with a few changes to allow for three new businesses to come to the area: a craftwork space, a bar and a microbrewery.

"The benefit of creating this PAD is that we are able to create a custom zoning designation that not only allows us to ask for only the uses demanded by the market but also restricts other uses that are currently permitted on the site and that are not compatible with the neighborhood,” said a representative from The Planning Center.

The Sam Hughes Neighborhood Association doesn't agree. President Gayle Hartmann pointed out how there were already three places serving alcohol in The Village: Bob Dobbs, Borderlands and Flora's. She said neighbors are also concerned about parking and pedestrian safety.

“Right now because there’s not enough space on the south side [of 6th] to go to places like Tumerico people are parking on the north side in the bigger parking lot," Hartmann told KGUN9. "We have lots of photos of Jaywalking crossing sixth street which is a very busy street, so adding more businesses to this just doesn’t seem like a very safe thing to do.”

The next step in the rezoning process is a public hearing with the zoning examiner. After the hearing, the examiner has two weeks to recommend Tucson's Mayor and Council approve or deny the PAD.

Hartmann and the Sam Hughes Neighborhood Association is looking to slow down that timeline so any construction wouldn't start until September.

“There’s a lot going on here," Hartmann said. "It’s going to be summer—a lot of people are coming and going in the summer. We have a new city councilperson who hasn’t had time to even hear about this issue, so we’re going to see if we can at least get a postponement for a month or two.”

Alex Dowd is a multimedia journalist at KGUN 9, where her work combines her two favorite hobbies: talking to new people and learning about the community around her. Her goal is to eventually meet every single person in Tucson. Share your story ideas with Alex via email,, or connecting on Instagram or X.