An aerial view shows the disputed guesthouse at lower right. Most of the neighbors who attended Tuesday's Board of Supervisors meeting opposed the variance request.


A man who built his guesthouse too close to Gates Pass Road has filed a lawsuit in federal court to try to keep the structure from being torn down.

William Timmins is suing Pima County to hold on to his $135,000 guesthouse as well as for the legal fees he has incurred in his fight over the structure.

A legal challenged had been expected. An attorney representing Timmins said in May that the county’s decision requiring him to tear down the home would be appealed.

The fight to tear down the home started after an anonymous tip was filed with the county after the home was built, stating that the home was just 19 feet away from the edge of Gates Pass Road.

This violates a 1984 subdivision condition requiring all structures be at least 85 feet north of the scenic route.

According to county documents, a portion of Timmins’ guest home would have been in a flood plain had he complied with the 85-foot setback requirement.

County officials initially approved the construction three years ago, based on building plans that reflected the 85-foot setback and an on-site inspection.

Timmins never got the Pima County Board of Supervisors’ approval to encroach on the 85-foot scenic road buffer, since the structure was never issued a permit for that.

Arlan Colton, the county’s planning and zoning director, could not immediately be reached for comment.

Contact reporter Joe Ferguson at or 573-4346. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFerguson.