Richland Heights West Neighborhood Profile

Richland Heights West by CJ Boyd 

While every neighborhood in Ward 3 is special, Richland Heights West has one feature that makes it unlike any of its adjacent neighborhoods—dirt roads. 

The neighborhood spans the area from E. Prince Road to E. Fort Lowell Road and from N. Mountain Avenue to N. Campbell Avenue, and only the perimeter of the neighborhood has paved roads. The interior is entirely unpaved. Add to this the fact that there is only one through street in the neighborhood, and you can see why Richland Heights West has lots of visitors on foot and very little car traffic.


Lind Road, near the intersection of Martin, two of the many dirt roads in Richland Heights West.

The lots are spacious in Richland Heights West, with luscious desert flora filling the area between the roads and homes. The neighborhood’s population is just 701, compared to a population of 1,387 in Richland Heights East, which is the same size geographically. While there are a few apartment buildings on the outskirts of the neighborhood, the majority of the housing is large homes on large plots of land with abundant Palo Verde trees, mesquite trees, and cacti of all sorts lining the roads.

The neighborhood association has put effort into keeping the area quiet by minimizing traffic. Besides keeping the roads unpaved, two of the intersections have been intentionally gated to prevent through traffic. The corner of Kleindale and Cherry, as well as Martin and Lind both have a gate preventing traffic from passing through, each with trees and other plants placed to make it feel less like an intersection and more like a dead end.


The would-be intersection of Cherry and Kliendale, where through traffic is prevented by a chained gate.

Paula Aboud, who has lived in the neighborhood for over 30 years, said, “What I love about this neighborhood is the dirt roads & the wildlife that abounds. Owls, coyotes, raccoons, coatimundi, hawks, bobcats, javelina & even deer have visited us. It’s a wonderful place to live. I also love how much our surrounding neighborhood dogs enjoy walking here!”

From the perimeter of the neighborhood, you’d never know that so many critters are nearby. Like most neighborhoods in the area, the boundary streets are lined with business, some local and some not. Only one restaurant falls within the neighborhood’s bounds, which is Mira Mar, a Mexican seafood restaurant.

Richland Heights West is home to three schools. The one public school in the neighborhood is Holaway Elementary, which is part of the Amphi Unified School District. The other two are charter schools. Presidio School, on Fort Lowell between Cherry and Martin, offers kindergarten through 12th grade education. On the corner of Fort Lowell and Mountain, we find Montessori Schoolhouse Charter, the first Montessori school built in Tucson, back in 1974. They provide preschool, kindergarten, and elementary school education based on the philosophy of Maria Montessori.


Holaway Elementary School on Cherry Ave and Greenlee Rd.

The neighborhood also has two churches on this perimeter. On the corner of Campbell and Lind sits St. James United Methodist Church, and at the corner of Prince and Vine sits Desert View Church of God. 

While most of the businesses in Richland Heights West are along the outside of the neighborhood, there is one gem of an attraction hidden just inside. The Franklin Auto Museum displays classic cars to the public from the first part of the twentieth century. From the outside, the property just looks like one of many large homes on a large swath of land, but inside there are fascinating old cars.


The entrance of Frankin Auto Museum on Kleindale Road and Vine Ave.