Homeowners upset over Squaw Peak street name change proposal

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Squaw Peak Drive is a street name that is nostranger to controversy but now homeowners are fighting the mayor's push to change the name. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Squaw Peak Drive is a street name that is nostranger to controversy but now homeowners are fighting the mayor's push to change the name. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Squaw Peak has already been changed to Piestewa Peak. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Squaw Peak has already been changed to Piestewa Peak. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV) -

Squaw Peak Drive is a street name that is no stranger to controversy but now homeowners are fighting the mayor's push to change the name.

For some, "squaw" is a racially insensitive term. It's why state leaders changed the name of the mountain of Squaw Peak to Piestewa Peak. It was named in honor of Army Spc. Lori Ann Piestewa, the first known Native American woman to die in combat in the U.S. military.

Phoenix Mayor said last fall he wants to rename Squaw Peak Drive, which leads to the mountain.

But homeowners who leave on the street aren't sold.

"None of us think of it as negative or racial. We think of it as historic. No different as the historic neighborhoods in Phoenix," Ambrose Rojas, a homeowner, said.

There are about 20 homes on Squaw Peak Drive.

For her and most of the homeowners along the stretch of road, the issue comes down to dollars and cents, no politics.

"It's going to cost the neighbors each of us around she said $3,000 to change all of our documents to say the new name," Christine Docherty, a homeowner, said.

Despite the opposition, Stanton said he plans to move ahead. He issued the following statement:

"The current street name is derogatory and offensive to many, especially Native Americans. Per my request, staff is looking to change it in a manner that's least inconvenient to people living near Piestewa Peak."

"If he really feels bad about it, then he should pay for all the residents' financial hardship," Rojas said.

Nearly all of the property owners have signed a petition to stop the city from changing the name. 

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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