Rezoning locations

The development and rezoning locations for future homes in the areas of Honeybee and Big washes.

Courtesy Photo

The Oro Valley Town Council’s penultimate regular meeting of the year is shaping up to be a busy one with a discussion of several General Plan amendments and rezoning requests this Wednesday, Dec. 6, at the town hall.

The council will discuss the rezoning of 131 acres of undeveloped land north of East Tangerine Road to the east of North Rancho Vistoso Boulevard, within the Rancho Vistoso Boulevard loop. The tentative plan calls for two separate residential developments containing a total of 408 lots, minimum lot sizes of 6,000 square feet, and two-story homes. Both sites are located near to Honeybee and Big washes. The western site would contain 166 lots, the eastern site 242 lots. 

The parcel is the subject of two separate adjustments: a General Plan Amendment to alter the land use designation, and a change in the zoning designation. The property is designated as Open Space, Park, Resort/Golf Course and Medium Density Residential, and the request is to remove the Resort/Golf Course land use designation and reconfigure the remaining land use designations for the purpose of the proposed development.

In a separate matter, the council will potentially extend the town’s General Plan Planning Area to include an additional 302 acres of undeveloped State Trust Land at the northwest intersection of West Tangerine Road and North Coyote Crossing Trail. The parcel abuts Oro Valley to the east and Marana to the west. Council will also discuss applying a Master Planned Community designation. The action would put the town one step closer to potentially annexing the state land.

According to town documents attached to the Dec. 6 meeting, the extension of the planning boundary would allow town staff to be part “of the discussion regarding any future development.” The town’s planning boundary includes land within and out of Oro Valley’s official limits, as those parcels can still “have an impact on development within Oro Valley.” The parcel is zoned for large-lot development at a minimum of 3.3 acres per lot.

Residents living around the subject property have voiced their desire to see the land remain undeveloped at several public meetings since the summer. Oro Valley is also discussing possible annexation of a nearby, 550-acre parcel just south of Tangerine with the state.

Earlier this year, Tucson Local Media caught up with State Land Department Legal Counsel Carolyn Oberholtzer, who said that the Arizona Constitution requires that state trust land to be sold at auction for future development, with the proceeds primarily benefiting K-12 education. Oberholtzer added that preventing development would hinge on the desires of any future owners.

Council will discuss a General Plan amendment and rezoning request for a 76-acre property located just south of Ironwood Ridge High School. 

The vacant site, which is a FEMA floodplain containing critical washes, was first annexed into Oro Valley 15 years ago. The application requests for more units per acre. The parcel is zoned for 144,000 square feet per lot. The request is for a change to 36,000 square feet per lot. According to town documents, the tentative plan “depicts 80 lots, single story homes and a minimum lot size of 8,750 square feet.”

Wednesday will be the third attempt to change the land use designation of the parcel to a higher residential density. Similar applications in 2008 and 2014 were withdrawn, and the Your Voice, Our Future General Plan Development Committee declined a request for a designation change to be included in last year’s general plan update. 

Council will also discuss and possibly change the land use designation of a 15-acre parcel located at the northwest corner of Rancho Vistoso Boulevard and Vistoso Commerce Loop. Currently, the site is designated as Commerce/Office Park, and the application requests Medium Density Residential.

Outside of future land use and zoning designations, the council meeting will include the nomination of a vice mayor for the coming year, approval of next year’s regular meeting schedule and the assignment of council liaison positions. Council meets at 6 p.m. this Wednesday, Dec. 6 at the Oro Valley council chambers, 11000 N. La Cañada Drive.

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