As the Town of Oro Valley’s General Plan update draws closer, a preliminary phone survey shows public safety is the element considered most enjoyed by town residents.
Of the 306 town residents randomly interviewed by the Gordley Group and FMR Associates, 28 percent pointed to safety as a top priority, compared to a 2002 survey – the last one conducted before a 2005 General Plan update – when residents said the most enjoyable thing about living in Oro Valley was its beautiful scenery.
Now, scenery is considered the second most enjoyable element, preferred by 20 percent of those interviewed, followed by 16 percent of survey takers who say the upscale community is the driving factor in calling Oro Valley home.
The survey is the first of several to come with regards to the community-driven General Plan update, also known for its title of “Your Voice, Our Future.”
In order to randomize the process, survey conductors called homes and asked to speak with the person in the household, 18 years or older, who most recently celebrated a birthday. A test prior to the survey ensured participants understood the process in order to get the best results.
“A lot of attitudes and opinions have changed over these last 11 years,” said Bruce Fohr, president of FMR Associates.
In 2002, the element least enjoyed by Oro Valley residents was traffic and stoplights, mentioned by 20 percent of survey takers. That too has changed in the most recent survey, in which 19 percent of participants said distance to places and lack of services are the least enjoyable part of living in Oro Valley. Thirty percent of those surveyed said they had no complaints about living in the town.
The most challenging thing facing Oro Valley in the next 10 years, according to the survey, is traffic congestion along Oracle Road. The revised General Plan is to be adopted in 2016.
In other business, council approved the rezoning of 26.7 acres of land on the northeast corner of La Cholla Boulevard and Tangerine Road from single-family residential to neighborhood commercial and commercial. The applicant requesting the change came to an agreement with area residents who might have been impacted by commercial development, by promising street setbacks, reduction in building heights to 20 feet when within 100 feet of the roadway, and desert buffers.
An independent senior living facility is among the buildings to be constructed on the property. No skilled nursing or assisted living facilities will be allowed on the property. While drive-thru conveniences may be allowed with a future conditional use permit, the applicant agreed that a fuel station would not be constructed on the land, as requested by area residents and council.
Council also unanimously approved a resolution providing a notice of intent to increase water rates, fees, and charges for the Oro Valley Water Utility.