The Marana Town Council unanimously approved rezoning a portion of land near Cortaro Farms and Hartman roads, paving the way for an expansion of the Qwest Communications facility there.

When the area was annexed into the town in 1990, the Qwest property was mistakenly zoned for residential uses.

The council’s decision last week rezoned three parcels of land, two for commercial uses for Qwest and one nearby for residential uses.

The new Qwest building will serve as a base of operations for 60 or so technicians as they are sent to jobs throughout the area.

The rezoning plan drew fire from some residents of the 275-house Cortaro Ranch subdivision across the street.

Some residents worried that the expansion would diminish their property values as well as increase traffic along Hartman Road.

Further inspection by a third-party appraiser determined that six houses across from the new facility would see about a 2 percent decline in value, said Mark Sprouls, one of the residents opposed to the telecommunications company expansion.

Officials from Qwest have said they will build a wall around the property, bordering the road, and landscape the area to blend in with the nearby neighborhood.

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