Council wants more details, a plan to reform its development review - Tucson Local Media: Pima Pinal

Council wants more details, a plan to reform its development review

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Posted: Tuesday, April 13, 2010 11:00 pm

The Oro Valley Town Council voted unanimously on April 7 to ask town staffers for more details and a plan to implement changes to the town's development review process.

"I think this is something we should move forward with," said Councilwoman Mary Snider.

The proposed changes hold the potential to cut weeks off the plan review process for developers in Oro Valley. Reforms vary from limiting the Development Review Board to reviews of architectural designs, to disbanding the body and putting its duties on town planning and zoning employees.

If the board were disbanded, town staff would be tasked with making recommendations on development plans for final approval by the council.

Oro Valley resident Bill Adler spoke in favor of the council disbanding the DRB, saying many town board decisions get made based on emotion and not consistency with town code and the general plan.

"Citizen oversight of development review is a potentially powerful service," Adler said.

He said that if the board is retained, the town could consider devoting more time in training and education of citizen volunteers to ensure their decisions are based on discernable criteria and not their feelings about a proposed development.

Reforms could trim as much as 11 weeks from the development process, according to town documents. Previous reforms have cut more than eight months from the town's development review process, town documents say.

The council plans to revisit the issue at a meeting in August.

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