TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Plans are moving ahead for the construction of a large grocery store on Tucson's east side near Saguaro National Park.
On Tuesday night, Nov. 21, Tucson council members passed the rezoning by a 6-to-1 vote. The Fry's will be 96,000 square feet on roughly 16 acres at the intersection of South Houghton Road and East 22nd Street.
The Houghton East neighborhood group spoke out strongly against the store. Thirty years ago, residents agreed to be annexed into city limits in exchange for a promise by the city to protect the natural amenities of the area. They said the grocery store violates that promise.
However, over the past few months the developers made changes to increase open space on the property. Those in support said the grocery store will bring more than 100 jobs to the area and will help Tucson be a thriving city.
Tucson News Now talked to folks both for and against the decision.
"It's disappointing. The light pollution; the noise pollution. We've been there for 40 years and looked at the sunsets and the desert and now they're going to look at a big wall – and it's not needed. Within one mile you've got three grocery stores," Dana Robison said.
"I'm very in favor of the decision. I'm glad it's done. It's been a 3-year long process and I'm a member of the church who owns the property. We need this in the area," Gary Florian said.
Next, developers will start the design-phase of the grocery store.