This draft map transforms the Fry’s Shopping Center parking lot at Lambert & La Canada into a “city block” with interior streets. Note the shift to on-street parking and reduced parking on the lot.
WHAT IS “MAIN STREETS”?
The Oro Valley Main Streets Project is a multi-year planning effort by unelected town staff to create a town center that focuses on areas for gathering, dining and shopping. The intersections of Lambert and La Canada and First and Oracle are under consideration for the project. The Town believes these “walkable and unique areas will enhance the lifestyle and economy of Oro Valley.” Funding has not been identified. What will this latest foray cost OV residents financially in addition to the loss of our small-town community resulting from the massive increase in housing required to support it?
THE NEED FOR GROWTH AND MILLENNIALS
According to the Study commissioned by Town Planning Staff, the key to the long-term sustainability of Main Streets and the town’s commercial areas is housing. Despite residents’ desire for low density and a small-town feel, the Study indicates that Oro Valley needs thousands of additional homes/condos/apartments to support Main Streets. Council backs this project as it supports their agenda to grow Oro Valley and increase revenues to support their budget increases. Click here to view the January 17, 2018 Town Council Study Session Presentation or Click here to view the video presentation.
IS THE HIREMATH “COMMUNITY BY DESIGN” WHAT RESIDENTS WANT?
This Mayor and Council have already changed Oro Valley’s identity by adding 750 apartments and approving an untold number of houses during their two terms. They seem intent on destroying the small town feel and quiet beauty of the mountains and desert – the very reasons many of us moved here. Borrowing the words from a Joni Mitchell song “Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone? They paved Paradise and put in a parking lot.”
WHAT IS FORM-BASED CODE?
Staff is currently considering Form-Based Codes for the project. Form-Based Codes regulate the shape and relation of buildings rather than their use. This differs from traditional zoning where uses are restricted to certain areas. Is a city look, congestion and on-street parking what town residents envision for Oro Valley or is this another concept driven by our local government’s need for revenue?
MORE FAILED VENTURES?
The Town has learned nothing from the millions of dollars in losses caused by its golf and restaurant deal with shrewd businessman Humberto Lopez (HSL). Or from another poor decision with the the Oro Valley Marketplace. With that deal, Vestar convinced a former Town Council to agree to a sales tax “incentive” known as an Economic Development Agreement (EDA). Under this agreement, Oro Valley is required to share 45% of our sales tax revenue with Vestar – up to $23.2 million dollars – through 2029. For this deal, we were promised a “unique” mall with “signature shops.” Instead we got chain stores and restaurants, including Wal-Mart, Big Lots, Red Lobster and In and Out Burgers. Empty storefronts remain and the property is up for sale. Will Main Streets be more of the same?
Oro Valley government, including unelected town planning staff, doesn’t have the business acumen and expertise in real estate development to risk another costly venture at the expense of Town residents. The rampant and contentious over development in Oro Valley is all tied to the need for rooftops to support Main Streets and other commercial areas in the town.