TUCSON, Ariz. — As the 60's song intro says: "Sign, sign everywhere a sign." Different countries, islands and people have been immortalized on them. The history of our area, in 16 words or less, placed above ground on most every block in Pima County. The origin of the naming of many Tucson streets is fascinating to research.
A section of Tucson Boulevard, north of Prince is a great example: it's currently undergoing redevelopment since the beginning of 2019. Writer and street name researcher David Leighton was asked by AF Sterling, the property owner and developer to come up with street names for the "Las Cabanas" development that would create a memory to family of the former owners, "Fred" and Lupe Ronstadt.
Leighton researched the ownership chain and spoke to several Ronstadt family members over a series of weeks to develop the names that will be used in the development. He found the property was a regular gathering place for many Ronstadt family members who spent time growing up there, alongside Grandpa and Grandma Ronstadt.
Leighton then proposed Corte de Federico and Calle de Lupe as the two names to grace the new home development. Pima County Addressing Official Robin Freiman was given the names and has approved their use in the development.
Freiman says if someone is naming a street in Pima County, there are two ways to do it: Submit a plat of the area that's being developed, along with the proposed names, which most developers do.
Another way can be done by anyone who can gather up the petition signatures of the majority of the land owners along the street to be named and submit a payment of around $550. The names are then checked for correct usage, spelling and to insure that they're not being used on another Pima County street. Rejection of a street name doesn't happen often, but when it is, it's often because the name is longer than 16 characters and spaces, the maximum number that can fit on a street sign.
Both Jim and Jeff Ronstadt have great memories of growing up and helping their grandparents with the property, located on Tucson Boulevard north of Prince. Jim recalls helping water all the vegetation on the property for years; Jeff remembers the great Christmases held there. Both recalled hearing from non-family members about how far out of Tucson the property was at the time the original homes were being built. Today, the area of Prince and Tucson Boulevard is considered central Tucson.
For those who buy a new home in Las Cabanas, the naming of the streets in the development and the history behind it will live on with those who have given over their family homestead to the infill and growth of Tucson.