The Oro Valley Town Council has approved a developer’s request to kill a general plan amendment.

Representatives for Vistoso Partners had sought the amendment for a section of property in Stone Canyon Country Club to build custom homes on the town’s extreme northwest corner.

Vistoso Partners later decided against the requested changes after town officials attached numerous conditions to the developer’s proposal.

One request was to rectify the outstanding issue of an inaccessible trailhead adjacent to the property.

Vistoso had given the 2-acre plot to the town as part of a previous general plan amendment. The trailhead was intended to connect with trails leading into the county’s Tortolita Mountain Park, but that hasn’t happened. Private property surrounds the trailhead, making it impossible to access the trail without trespassing.

The proposal was pulled from consideration.

Another request by Vistoso was postponed until February.

The company wants the council to approve land-used changes to a property near Rancho Vistoso Boulevard and Tangerine Road that encompasses 365 acres.

The requested change could have the potential to add 474 more houses in the area.

Zoning officials also attached numerous conditions to that amendment, including a requirement that the developer provide access to trails and provide acres for parks.

The conditions also spelled out a requirement to use reclaimed water for irrigation on any turf area larger than 2 acres.

A representative for Vistoso Partners asked for the delay to clarify the amendment and to better explain to the council how the change would benefit the town, according to the request sent to town officials.

GOVAC contract amended

The council also approved a change to the contract between the town and the Greater Oro Valley Arts Council.

The town provides financial support for the group. The contract stipulates that the town will reimburse GOVAC a portion of the costs to hold events. Support is provided for individual events as opposed to lump-sum funding as in previous years.

A change to the name of an event caused confusion over whether the town would provide the $7,500 as agreed upon in the contract.

Council members agreed that an event’s name change would not disqualify it from receiving town support.

In addition, the change to the contract to accommodate the name change will not alter the amount of funding the town has agreed to provide GOVAC this year.

That total remains unchanged at $120,000 for fiscal 2009.

Council K.C. Carter opposed the change.

Town seeks federal funding

Council members agreed to allow town staffers to pursue federal funds through grants, but made no decision about whether to hire a lobbyist to help direct money to the town.

Town Manager David Andrews brought the proposal before the council, noting that many local governments have lobbyists at their disposal.

Lobbyists help governments and other institutions by promoting projects their clients want funding for to lawmakers in Washington, D.C., in the hopes of having money allotted for those projects included in spending bills.

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