Businesses near the intersection of La Canada Drive and Lambert Road will see some relief from the effects of the ongoing road construction in the area.

The Oro Valley council recently voted to offer businesses affected by the construction a temporary sign relief program, meaning they will now be allowed to advertise using private signs.

“We have received some comments, and this is specifically at this point on the western end of the La Canada intersection, from business owners who expressed concern about visibility, and that business was off because of the construction,” said Town Manager Greg Caton. “We have to have construction, and construction is ultimately a good thing for the community, but we don’t want unintended negative impacts on adjacent businesses.”

Caton added that it is common practice to make such adjustments in times of construction.

“The idea is that we will be working with them – there are only about eight or so businesses – work with them to pick one of the signs that are available, for example, A-frames, or wall-mounted banners.

They need to pick one (style) as a group, and then each business gets its private sign.”

Business owners will need to have a permit for the signs, but the fee is waived. The businesses will be allowed to keep the signs up until the end of construction, which is expected to come to an end in June of 2013.

“The good news is that I don’t know that we will have any construction in the near future that will impact businesses as this is potentially impacting those folks down there,” said Caton. “But, it is kind of a template for what we can do in the future. It’s a really good policy.”

In other news, council voted to approve the site plan and architecture for the San Dorado Apartments, to be located on the east side of Oracle Road and First Ave. The phase one design will include nine commercial buildings and 274 apartment units on the 27.8-acre site. 

Though some Town residents spoke out about the apartments existing in the designated lot, the item was one that was approved in a previous meeting by council. Council action was thus only carried out in relationship to the site plan and architecture.

The recently finished archery range at Naranja Park could see some changes in the target layout, as the Town is hoping to implement an educational area where inexperienced or young archers can learn to shoot before taking the course. The 18 targets will be placed closer together to make additional room for the educational area.

In unrelated business, there will be no increase in the Town’s water rates for the second year in a row, largely the result of Oro Valley’s participation in the Central Arizona Project.

The upcoming Dec. 5 meeting will likely attract a number of Town residents, as council will hear a controversial item relating to a major General Plan Amendment at Desert Springs, formerly known as Kelly Ranch. Several residents already spoke out about the proposed increase in units and other lot changes in the Nov. 5 Planning and Zoning meeting, where the amendment was approved 4-3. 

Council must only hear the item before the end of the year, but is not required to take action on it in the same meeting. 

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