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New group urges progress on planned community in Benson

Their first fight is over a planned community in Benson, The Villages at Vigneto.
Posted at 6:37 PM, Sep 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-18 21:37:47-04

BENSON, Ariz. — The 'Southwestern Communities Coalition' says it's made up of residents from Arizona and New Mexico, they say they intend to protect land owners' rights.

Their first fight is over a planned community in Benson, The Villages at Vigneto.

On one side there are developers who say it'll bring progress and 16,000 jobs to Benson.

On the other are environmentalists groups, like the Center for Biological Diversity, who argue the community will disturb the natural habitat of wildlife as well as take water away from residents who are already living here.

"There is adequate water in the area to support multiple projects like vigneto," said Mika Reinbold, a partner with El Dorado Developers out of Scottsdale.

The 'Center' takes a different tagline on the issue a spokesperson told KGUN9 the San Pedro River doesn't have enough water to support new development.

Reinbold calls the project a chance to revitalize the stretch of Highway 90, specifically with hospitals and schools.

"So things that normally wouldn't be available in a small community will now become available," Reinbold said.

He told KGUN9 all permits are in place to start work, possibly in 2020, but The Center for Biological Diversity tagged developers with a new lawsuit keeping any project tagged out until that issue is settled.