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AHWATUKEE FOOTHILLS NEWS www.ahwatukee.com

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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

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Freeway land acquisitions far from done; design getting there

AHWATUKEE FOOTHILLS NEWS T BY PAUL MARYNIAK AFN Executive Editor

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he Arizona Department of Transportation still must acquire 43 percent of the properties it needs for the South Mountain Freeway and has yet to finish about a quarter of the highway’s design, the developer’s spokeswoman told the Chandler Chamber of Commerce last week. But a November 2019 opening of the entire 22-mile stretch is still anticipated, Theresa Gunn, spokeswoman for Connect 202 Partners, told the Chamber’s public policy committee during a panel discussion

on Valley freeways last week. Meanwhile, a representative of the Ahwatukee organization trying to stop the freeway urged the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at a hearing earlier last week to withhold a permit needed for its construction until a court fight is concluded “to avoid unnecessary liability and permanent damage to the nation’s aquatic resources.” The Corps of Engineers hearing and Gunn’s presentation came amid a virtual standstill in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on an appeal from a federal judge’s ruling that allowed construction to begin. That appeal is being pursued primarily

by the Ahwatukee-based Protect Arizona’s Resources and Children and the Gila River Indian Community, which say the $1.77-billion project poses health and other environmental threats. No action is expected in the next stage of the appeal – the setting of a hearing date before a three-judge panel – until next month because the Gila Community obtained an extension to May 30 of a deadline for its final brief in the case. In her progress report, Gunn noted that the freeway is a “design-build” project that allows

AHWATUKEE FOOTHILLS NEWS UNSTOPPABLE

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BY PAUL MARYNIAK AFN Executive Editor

FASHION SHOW

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IT’S GREEK TO HER

(Kimberly Carrillo/AFN Photographer)

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FREEWAY on page 6

Kyrene may sell or lease district HQ site, tract in Ahwatukee

A doggone problem

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See

Dolly Dentz, 90, of Ahwatukee Lakes, faces a fine and even possible jail time because a neighbor complained that her dogs, Fluffy, left, and Boots, bark too much. Her case is in Phoenix Municipal Court. See page 9.

yrene Schools’ governing board is studying the possible sale or other profitable use of two large tracts of land that include the Tempe site of the district headquarters and a much larger tract in Ahwatukee along the I-10 corridor. Former longtime Kyrene board member Ross Robb, who owns a real estate investment firm, gave a presentation last week on options the district could consider for disposing of the land. “I am not here for any compensation. This is pure volunteerism and whether it goes anywhere is up to you,” said Robb, who as a board member had suggested that the district seriously consider doing something with the land in an effort to address its precarious long-range financial

picture. The tracts in question are the 19-acre district headquarters site at Kyrene and Warner roads in Tempe and an empty 28-acre parcel on the west side of I-10 in the vicinity of 50th Street and Chandler Boulevard in Ahwatukee. The board seven years ago won permission from voters to dispose of the land and has three years left to do something or else it would have to hold another referendum. Kyrene’s study means that both public school districts serving Ahwatukee are now exploring options to make millions off land they have owned for years. Tempe Union High School District is exploring the sale of a 63-acre site in Ahwatukee at Desert Foothills Parkway and Frye Road and some disposition of a See

LAND on page 14

CALL NOW: 480-252-0059 $100 will be DONTED MON-SUN, 8AM-7PM FOR EVERY WINDSHIELD REPLACEMENT

www.mrglassworks.com

Ahwatukee Foothills News - May 17, 2017  
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