On March 14, the Marana Town Council voted to begin the process of providing animal care and enforcement. As part of this new program, we will contract with the Humane Society of Southern Arizona to provide sheltering service, while the town itself will hire two new animal control officers who will respond to resident calls. By adopting this new framework, we hope to ensure the highest quality of support for all Marana residents. The Town has decided to pursue this strategy after nearly a year of staff research, including site visits to nearby jurisdictions, interviews with support agencies like the Humane Society, and budget analyses of projected costs.This approach will allow us to provide a direct customer response to residents who request animal services. By adopting this model, the town will be better able to achieve our community-wide vision of excellence. In the long term, Marana’s enforcement efforts will result in more animals returned quickly to their homes, and fewer stray animals in need of rescue.Our top priority is to be responsive to resident requests. By managing our own animal control officers, the town will be able to tailor animal care to the needs of our community. We will be able to respond promptly to all calls and meet the high expectations our residents have for their government.In addition to hiring two animal control officers and providing shelter services through the Humane Society of Southern Arizona, the town also plans to partner with local veterinarians to provide emergency care for animals picked up by town officers. Lisa Shafer, Marana’s director of community development and neighborhood services, will oversee the implementation and operation of this new program.One thing we want to emphasize is that from the public perspective, the list of services which residents currently enjoy will not change. They will still be able to adopt pets, drop off strays, license their dogs and so forth. The only difference is that now the Town will be able to enhance those offerings for everyone involved.
After a lengthy discussion, both across the dais and from within the community, the Oro Valley town council unanimously gave the green light for a storage facility at Steam Pump Village on Wednesday, March 15.The council removed a prohibition against indoor mini-storage facilities at Steam Pump Village, following the lead of the town’s Planning and Zoning Commission and Conceptual Design Review Board, and approved an architectural concept and parking standards for the proposed facility.The current PAD for the site was adopted in 1996, at which time self storage facilities were not permitted. According to town documents, the commercial center has undergone multiple amendments and changes over the years, though the most relevant to the ordinance discussed by council was in 2011, when mini-storage was specifically prohibited. Other developments within Steam Pump Village include a QuickTrip gas station and convenience store, Pima Federal Credit Union, The Children’s Museum Oro Valley, a Holiday Inn Express and the BASIS school complex. The town’s general plan designates the property as “Community/Regional Commercial.”The proposed 107,000 square foot, three-story building would include 80,000 square feet for a storage facility, as well as 3,800 square feet on the bottom floor designated for separate mixed retail and office use. Because of the different types of spaces, town planning manager and planning and zoning administrator Bayer Vella called the proposed building a “unique project” if approved by council.“When the applicant came in and asked if, on this site which is tucked behind the [QuickTrip] and not the best location for the original intended use, to see if self storage would be possible, our first reaction as staff was, ‘no, it’s prohibited use,’” Vella said. “We focused on the words. The intent of the (plan) was to make sure and reflect the common perception of self storage as being not fitting of a high quality development; the rollup doors, the long linear expansive spaces, big rectangles, very basic barebones architecture. So we challenged ourselves and we challenged the applicant: are there design solutions to make this work?”After more than a year of work between town staff, developer 1784 Capital Holdings and RKAA Architects, Inc., Vella said that the site—owned by Diamond Ventures in partnership with Evergreen Devco Inc.—has found a suitable design. That design includes architectural elements which create an appearance of an office building, Vella said, including colors and materials similar to those already in use within Steam Pump Village, metal awnings, lighting standards, faux windows and modified building articulation.