History of the Catalina Foothills Association

Evolving from a “community get-acquainted club,” that met at the homes of the residents in 1952, the Catalina Foothills Association, Inc. (CFA) was officially born and was incorporated on February 18, 1959, as a “non-profit corporation under the laws of the State of Arizona.”

The Articles of Incorporation stated that the purpose of the Association was:

  • To improve, beautify and maintain the area described in the By-laws to be adopted, or any area to be included at any time hereafter as a desirable subdivision.
  • To arrange and/or provide for all services necessary to promote and advance the general welfare of the residents. 
  • To develop and beautify for the mutual benefit of all residents and the neighborhood generally all park or other areas dedicated for such purposes.
  • To establish, maintain and enforce reasonable and equitable rules and regulations concerning the use of any such parks, which may be dedicated, or any other areas used jointly by the residents of such areas.
  • To act, if deemed necessary, on behalf of all of the residents of said area and particularly on behalf of the members of this corporation in relation to any and all matters which might or may affect the interests of such residents and/or members.
  • To inculcate civic consciousness by means of active participation in constructive projects, which may improve the use and enjoyment of the area to do any and all things in connection therewith, which any person might or could do. 

The charter was signed by the following property owners, who became the first Board of Directors of the Association, with original terms varying from one to three years each:

Kathryn Boyd-Hunt, A.E. Butterfield, Walter Fathauer, John H. Haugh, Chester L. Kingsbury, Joseph N. Royal, Douglas J. McFarlane, Robert L. Hale, and Harold O. Reif.

The Articles of Incorporation were revised in 1979 to conform to new state regulations. Philip Hawley Smith and Clinton E. Ring, President and Secretary respectively of the Association signed the revision on February 15, 1978. By-laws were drawn up in 1959, consisting of ten separate items. The general format for the original by-laws has remained the same. Revisions of content were made in 1964, 1977, 1978, 1984, 1993, 1996 and 2004.

Board Concerns and Actions


  • Widening of Campbell Avenue south of River Road.
  • A bridge over the Rillito on Campbell.
  • The possible extension of the Covenants or Deed Restrictions after 1980 in areas already developed.
  • Rezoning: formation of a CFA zoning committee to monitor future development adjacent to areas 1-4.
  • Fire protection: Residents would contract directly with Rural Metro for services. 
  • Open range cattle grazing: CFA petitioned to have destructive cattle removed from neighborhoods. U.S. Forest Service then classified the neighborhood a “no fence” area and removed cattle.
  • The first organizational meeting of an “Allied Neighborhood Association (ALA)” was held. The CFA joined ten other neighborhood associations in the “sharing of research, legal representation, exchange of experience and information and support of common problems.” The ALA later helped control development with the Cobo Hills (1967) development and with the Tucson Mountain Association to head off Dow Chemical’s plans for a satellite city off of I-10 (1975).
  • Sewer Flow
  • Sewer flow into the Rillito River was “directly recharged by the Rillito stream flow.” At the time Catalina Foothills Estates, Inc., owned its own water company and wells, and provided water to Catalina Foothills Estates property owners. This water company was purchased by Tucson Water in 1972, placing property owners permanently within the city’s water district.
  • In the mid 60s, the major issue was the proposal of the Pima County Planning and Zoning Commission to rezone the Catalina Foothills to allow “Planned unit Development.” Because of vigorous action by the CFA and the appearance of a large number of property owners at the hearings, the proposal was defeated, as were repeated requests for rezoning from CR-1 to greater density.

1970s - 1980s:

At the 1971 Annual Meeting of the Membership the Board of Directors of the Catalina Foothills Association was enlarged from nine to fifteen members. It was in the 1960s when the matter of enforcement of the Deed Restrictions, a.k.a. Covenants, came before the Board. Catalina Foothills Estates, Inc., (CFE) were the owners or grantors of the Reversionary Rights of Enforcement and Re-entry and, therefore, responsible for their enforcement. 

By 1972, after several attempts by the Pima County to rezone sections of the foothills area and because violations of the Covenants were being reported to the CFA, the Board wrote John Murphey in April urging “that the value of these restrictions be protected through more vigorous enforcement.” In December, Catalina Foothills Estates, Inc., rejected a request for the transfer of Reversionary Rights to the CFA, but indicated that a CFA board representative would be permitted work with John Payson, the executive officer of CFE, on architectural approval.

However, discussion about a transfer continued with another request from the CFA Board to Catalina Foothills Estates on August 2, 1973. When these efforts appeared to be failing, the matter of possible incorporation came before the Board on December 13, 1973. 

Additional rezoning and the proposed Rancho Sin Vacas development intensified the concern with additional density and cluster housing surrounding sections of Catalina Foothills Estates. Another battle took place in 1973 concerning cluster zoning.The Board voted to oppose a proposal to allow cluster zoning and greater density for a proposed development north of Skyline Drive close to the bighorn sheep range, in which acreage was to be divided into eight or nine small areas. The County Board of Supervisors was asked at that time to more strictly enforce cluster zoning because developers were not adhering to existing rezoning. 


Incorporation was discussed by the CFA Board early in January, 1974, resulting in the formation of a CFA committee to studythe issue. The efforts concluded that incorporation would be impossible at that time for a few reasons: doubt that two-thirds of the qualified voters in the area could be obtained; the opposition by the City of Tucson news of a controversy over Oro Valley’s attempts to incorporate.

The Board’s inclination toward incorporation led to further negotiation with Catalina Foothills Estates, Inc.,and by September, 1974, it again was stipulated that transfer of enforcement to the CFA would be accepted for architectural approval, but not the transfer of reversionary rights. 

In 1978, it was noted that existing covenants in areas 1-4 would expire in 1980, as indicated in the original 1930 documents for those areas; however, there was a provision made in 1966 that indicated if 51% of the property owners in each of those subdivisions wished to continue their covenants indefinitely beyond 1980 they could do so.

Subsequently, the necessary approval was obtained and the documents were notarized and legally recorded. In the meantime, negotiations toward the transfer of Reversionary Rights continued, and on December, 1978 it was agreed that the CFA would enforce Covenants for areas 1-6.

Areas 7-9, developed later, were given their own associations by Catalina Foothills Estates, Inc., each with its own Covenants and the authority to enforce them.