Vail (Tucson, AZ)
Vail (Tucson, AZ) Real Estate News
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Rosemont Copper Mine Debate Heats Up
Robin Siddle, CDPE, SRES, Designated Broker (Tucson Expert Agents LLC)

Within 2 weeks the scoping period for the Rosemont Copper Mine ends.  At that point, the environmental studies will begin and we won't hear anything from officials until spring of 2009.  There has been a lot of conversation and excitement (not always in a good way) about the proposed mine from local citizens and even from our elected officials.

On May 22, 2008, Representatives Raul Grijalva and Gabrielle Giffords sent a letter to the Coronado Forest Service regarding what they believe to be the flawed scoping period that is currently in progress.  As many in the public have not been aware of the process and facts were not all presented at the beginning, they requested that a complete Cine Plan of Operations be created and that the scoping process should be restarted at that point.

Additionally, our representatives pointed out that one of the Forest Service's objectives was "to grant permission to the Company to use NFS for certain activities related to the operation of the Rosemont Mine."  With an objective like that, it is highly unlikely that the option of denying permission to use our public lands is even being considered.  Why then are they even allowing public comment?

Here's an interesting article regarding whether or not the review is fixed:  http://www.tucsonweekly.com/gbase/Currents/Content?oid=oid:108889

And from a more optimistic viewpoint, an article talking about Save the Scenic Santa Ritas and their involvement in the opposition to the mine.  http://www.vailsun.com/articles/2008/06/27/news/news01.txt

If you're still interested in reading more, check out these articles published in the Tucson Citizen.

Opinion from tucson Citizen: http://www.tucsoncitizen.com/daily/frontpage/89304.ph

Security risk of the mine:  http://www.tucsoncitizen.com/daily/frontpage/89565.php 

Don't forget to send in your comments to comments-southern-coronado@fs.fed.us.

Robin Siddle

www.TucsonExpertAgents.com

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Proposed Rosemont Copper Mine - Scoping Period
Robin Siddle, CDPE, SRES, Designated Broker (Tucson Expert Agents LLC)

There are several more hearings and open houses coming up regarding the proposed Rosemont Copper Mine in Vail, Arizona.  Here are the dates and locations:

Open Houses

April 22, 2008 6-8 PM at Sahuarita High Schol Cafeteria, 350 W Sahuarita Rd, Sahuarita, AZ

April 23, 2008 6-8 PM at Elgin Elementary School Cafeteria, 293 Upper Elgin Rd, Elgin, AZ

Hearings

May 12, 2008 6-9 PM at Elgin Elementary School Cafeteria, 293 Upper Elgin Rd, Elgin, AZ

June 7, 2008 9 AM - 12 Noon at Sahuarita High School Auditorium, 350 W Sahuarita Rd, Sahuarita, AZ

June 30, 2008 6-9 PM at Rincon High School, 421 N Arcadia, Tucson, AZ

Comments

To submit comments by mail, the attress is ATTN: Rosemeont Copper Project EIS, Coronado National Forest, 300 W Congress St, Tucson, AZ  85701.  By Fax, send your comments to (520) 388-8305.  You can also email your comments or concerns to comments-southwestern-coronado@fs.fed.us.

The Formal Comment Period will end on July 14, 2008.

Robin Siddle

www.TucsonExpertAgents.com

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Rosemont Copper Mine: Pros & Cons
Robin Siddle, CDPE, SRES, Designated Broker (Tucson Expert Agents LLC)

Last Saturday I attended the open house regarding the proposed Rosemont Copper Mine.  I came away with a lot of information and a greater understanding of what is proposed and some of the concerns and questions that local residents have.  My goal here is to present information without choosing sides.  My readers are intelligent - you can decide for yourselves what your opinion is.

What is the Time-line?

Currently, the plan is in the Scoping Process.  This is the time for the public to analyze the proposal and to make comments or raise concerns.  The next step will be the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).  Since community concerns will be considered and addressed in this statement it is important to get your comments in prior to the end of the scoping process.  The good news is that the scoping process has been extended to July 14, 2008 (previously scheduled to end on 4/18/08).  Here is where you can send your comments or concerns:  Team Leader/Rosemont Copper Project, Coronado National Forest Service, 300 W Congress St., Tucson, AZ  85701, fax to (520) 388-8305 or email comments-southwestern-coronado@fsfed.us.

After the scoping process is completed, the EIS will be drafted.  That is expected to take place in March of 2009.  At that time, there will be a period of 45 days during which the public will be able to comment.

Next the Final EIS will be released to the public.  This is anticipated to occur in November of 2009.  After the Final EIS is released, there will be a Record of Decision published in the Federal Register.

Why a Copper Mine?

Well, we use copper all the time.  It is found in our homes, cars, coins, airplanes, etc.  Since it is in high demand, it is likely that mining copper will remain a profitable venture.  However, if you remember a few years ago, ASARCO had some serious financial issues after the price of copper dipped. 

Economic Impact

According to Rosemont Copper, Pima County will receive $256 Million in revenue each year that the mine is in operation.  That is in addition to the $29 Million in annual salaries to Arizonans employed at the mine.  Since the mine is scheduled to be in operation for about 20 years, that could add up.  However, the Sonoran Institute has raised concerns that the profit could be somewhat offset by a reduction in revenue due to decreased tourism.

Environmental Impact - Water

A major concern in Arizona is the availability of water.  Augusta Resource Corporation, developer of Rosemont Copper, has created a plan to utilize water carefully, to do recycling on-site and even claims that they will leave the area with 5% more water available than it started with.  You can read about their plans here: http://www.rosemontcopper.com/communitycommitments.asp.  They did not, however, address the issue of water pollution, which frequently occurs at mining sites.

Environmental Impact - Light

Rosemont Copper Mine is slated to be a project that is operated 24 hours a day, 7 days per week and 365 days per year.  With that in mind, some concerns have been raised that the amount of light may disrupt the observatory at Mt. Hopkins.  This mining operation is not required to observe the Outdoor Lighting Code.  However, they are voluntarily electing to comply with this code, according to their website.

Environmental Impact - Noise and Air Pollution

There is going to be some air pollution from the emissions produced by this mine.  They are required to obtain a permit for the amount of pollution they will be producing.  The issue of noise pollution has not been addressed so that may be a concern that could be raised during the Scoping Process.  For more information on the environmental concerns which Rosemont Copper is addressing, see the following:  http://www.rosemontcopper.com/advanced.asp.

Local Impact - Traffic

Rosemont Copper Mine will be using Hwy 83, which has been designated a scenic highway.  There will also be a secondary access route along the west side of the property.  Since there is no rail access to the site, all transporting of materials in and out of the mine will be done by truck.  Augusta Resource Corporation has promised to modify Highway 83 to provide safe ingress and egress from the site.  However, there was nothing mentioned about the affect on the roadway and local traffic due to the increased truck traffic along this stretch of highway. 

For More Information

Coronado National Forest Supervisor's Office:  Bev Everson, 300 W Congress St, Tucson, AZ  85701.  Phone (520) 388-8300.  Email:  comments-southern-coronado@fs.fed.us.

Rosemont Copper Mine:  www.rosemontcopper.com

Mining Regulations:  www.fs.fed.us/geology/36cfr228a_regs.pdf

Information on the Coronado National Forest:  www.fs.fed.us/r3/coronado/rosemont

 

Robin Siddle

www.TucsonExpertAgents.com

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Ready for Action?
Robin Siddle, CDPE, SRES, Designated Broker (Tucson Expert Agents LLC)

On Your Mark

The holidays are behind us and now is the time of year when we all resolve to do more things or at least more of the right things.  Truth be told most of us have probably already broken our New Year's resolutions since it is already January 16th.  I have discovered a very easy trick that has kept me from breaking any resolutions this year.  I didn't make any.  :-)  I can hear your voices chorusing, "That's not fair!  That's cheating."  Perhaps, but truthfully, I make changes and improve things throughout the year.  So I could claim that I am actually ahead of everyone else.  For example, I started running for the first time in October of 2007.  I am still doing that and increasing my distance.  I also started studying real estate investing (beyond the classes I've taken) so that I can better represent my clients who want to invest in this very opportune market.  I will continue to sharpen my skills so that I can always provide my clients an even better experience the next time around.

Get Set

The market stats aren't out for this month, of course, but we are seeing a lot of activity in the real estate market locally.  Since the first of the year, all of our Coldwell Banker offices are reporting many new listings as well as a lot of new buying activity.  I expected the listing action since people like to wait until after the holidays to deal with putting their home on the market.  However, I am very encouraged that so many buyers are out because it will take up the slack in the market.  In fact, if the activity continues, we could easily be cruising along with prices rising around mid-year.

Go!

If you are considering buying or making an investment, I would recommend doing it as soon as possible, but definitely during the first half of the year.  Not only is there still a lot of inventory, but mortgage rates are incredibly low right now as well.  By the way, even though things are picking up I am definitely NOT too busy to work with new clients.  Any takers?...  ;-)

Robin Siddle

www.TucsonExpertAgents.com

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Empire High School - A Unique Opportunity for Vail and Tucson Students
Robin Siddle, CDPE, SRES, Designated Broker (Tucson Expert Agents LLC)

Empire High School - Serving Vail, AZ and Tucson, AZEmpire High School is a recent addition to the Vail School District.  Located on Mary Ann Cleveland Way just East of Houghton Road, this school serves the Vail,Rita Ranch and Corona de Tucson areas.

Empire opened its doors in July of 2005 and the first graduating class celebrated their commencement on May 24, 2007.  There were 347 graduates.

The Unique feature of Empire High School is the fact that they do not use textbooks.  All learning is done on laptops and is a way for students to learn technological skills necessary in today's business world.

 Who Can Attend?

Empire High School

Conveniently, strudents are not limited by attendance boundaries within the school district.  Basically, if you live in the Vail school district, you are not required to attend this school nor are you prohibited from doing so.  Parents and students truly have a choice about which high school would best suit their needs.

The Vail School District serves both Vail, AZ and the far southeast portion of Tucson.  The Vail School District has recently received an award for being tech-savvy.  Empire High School is certainly an asset to this school district in that regard.

 What do They Teach?

Empire High SchoolWhen I went to school, we learned the basics of reading, writing, science, math, etc., but it was up to our parents to teach us budgeting and life skills.  Our training then depended on how well our parents knew these things and whether or not they were equipped or willing to teach them.  Empire High School has chosen to provide life skills training that includes budgeting, job interviewing, resume skills, stress reduction, along with emphasis on creating plans and carrying them out.  Not only does this help provide a sense of purpose while in high school, but it prepares students to participate in their community once they graduate.

 

What Else is Unique about Empire High School?

Being a very forward thinking school, Empire High School participates in the Greenwatts program with Tucson Electric Power.  They utilize solar panels to harness electricity and use this as an opportunity to teach students about solar energy.

Solar Panels at Empire High School           Solar Energy at Empire High School in Vail, AZ - Tucson, AZ            Solar Panels at Empire High School - Vail, AZ - Tucson, AZ

This information is provided courtesy of Robin Willis, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage.  If you or someone you know is looking to Buy or sell a home in Vail, AZ or in Tucson, AZ, please feel free to contact me.  I can be emailed at Robin.Willis@azmoves.com or called at (520) 481-3695 or (800) 315-9752. 

Robin Siddle

www.TucsonExpertAgents.com

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Mall of America in Tucson, Arizona?
Robin Siddle, CDPE, SRES, Designated Broker (Tucson Expert Agents LLC)

For a couple of years now there has been a lot of talk about a new mall coming to Southeast Tucson near the Vail, AZ area.  Since the rumors have persisted, many have come to the logical conclusion that there may be something to this. 

There is something to this rumor, but there will NOT be another Mall of America here in Tucson, AZ.  Actually, our new shopping and activites attraction will be called Passages of Tucson.  It is going to be arranged in Villages which are groupings of buildings devoted to one kind of product or idea.  For example, there will be a village that is devoted to Health and Wellness.  They will have some traditional doctors as well as holistic medicine available.  There will also be a village devoted to residential living and one for office space. 

The location of Passages of Tucson is going to be the north side of I-10 just west of the exit to Highway 83.  Plans are moving forward, but as with any large project, this is taking some time.  My sources indicate that we should start seeing some building within the next year or two.

This is going to be exciting for the Tucson area because it is planned in such a way as to be a tourist attraction.  There will be a Taste of Mexico village that will have regional restaurants as well as gift shops and a cultural center.  I dare say many of us locals will be visiting for this reason as well.

The Great Outdoors village will not only have shops with sporting equipment, but is scheduled to include a skateboard park as well as a rock climbing wall AND a pond for fishing! 

Follow the link to the official website for Passages of Tucson.

This information is brought to you courtesy of Robin Willis, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage.  Please call me at (520) 481-3695 if you or someone you know is looking to buy or sell Tucson, AZ Real Estate.

Robin Siddle

www.TucsonExpertAgents.com

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