Scottsdale-based developer George Johnson was issued two environmental violation notices Monday by a state agency and ordered to halt construction of a proposed Pinal County development.
Johnson was cited for failing to notify officials before clearing the land for his proposed La Osa Ranch masterplanned community north of Tucson and for discharging pollutants from its groundclearing activities into the Santa Cruz River, Arizona Department of Environmental Quality director Steve Owens said.
Johnson, president of Johnson International and founder of Johnson Ranch south of Queen Creek, could face fines of up to $25,000 per day per violation.
A fine amount has not been determined, Owens said.
Owens said the department received a resident complaint Dec. 1 that land was being cleared at the site west of Interstate 10 near Marana.
A notice of intent was never filed with the state, and inspectors confirmed the action Dec. 5.
Additional inspections are planned, Owens said.
"This is not a small, unsophisticated company, but an operation that ought to know better," Owens said.
A Johnson International representative could not be reached for comment.
Johnson was cited for similar violations last year in Apache County, but no fines have yet been issued, Owens said.
Johnson, whose company also has water interests, paid an $80,000 fine in April for transporting water without proper record keeping and digging a new well without state approval. The developer also has been cited for violating state drinking water laws. Johnson paid an $11,000 fine in 2000.
Earlier this month, the Pinal County Board of Supervisors voted to amend the county’s comprehensive landuse plan to allow for the La Osa Ranch development. On Thursday, the Pinal County Planning and Zoning Commission is scheduled to vote on its rezoning.