A key component of Planning is how growth should be managed to preserve the character of the area. This concept was important to Town residents in 2003 and is just as important to residents today.

The previous General Plan, Focus 2020, was ratified with a focus on orderly growth, low density development and preservation of the Sonoran Desert. It remained in place until Your Voice, Our Future was ratified in November 2016.

Even though Focus 2020 called for low density development, Mayor Hiremath and Councilmembers Hornat, Snider and Waters approved numerous Plan Amendments and Rezonings for higher density residential and apartment projects throughout their first and second terms (2010 to 2018).

As of March 18, 2018, there are 18 active development projects proposing 1,893 homes and an unknown quantity of apartments and senior living units. A cursory review of their Campaign Finance Reports reveals major funding from Developers and Builders.

With this current Council, low density development is nearly non-existent. Approvals for 7,000 sq ft lots and blading the land have become commonplace. With the Mayor’s quest for rapid buildout of the town and the Marketing Study stating that 10,000 additional dwelling units are required for a successful Main Streets, Oro Valley is losing the vision of scenic beauty and small-town appeal detailed in Your Voice, Our Future.

Focus 2020 – The General Plan that focused on low-density development

In 2003, Oro Valley voters rejected a previous general plan revision 60% to 40%. The Plan was defeated because too many changes were made by the Planning and Zoning Commission and Town Council after the volunteer committees had completed their efforts. The Plan no longer reflected the work of the people.

A Committee was formed to revise the failed Plan and in 2005, Oro Valley voters ratified the Focus 2020 General Plan. You can find the complete Focus 2020 Plan here.

The Land Use element of Focus 2020 stated: “The Oro Valley Planning Area will continue to project a residential/resort character where the living environment for residents and visitors is emphasized. Orderly growth that focuses primarily on low-density development is especially important to the community, as is development that is sensitive to and compatible with the Sonoran Desert environment.”

The Plan further noted that zoning entitlements were already in place within the Town’s “planning area” but stated that “…only certain areas have potential for change through the Town’s development review and approval process.”

Click below to see what residents, developers and elected officials are saying at Neighborhood Meetings conducted by Town Staff, Planning and Zoning Commission meetings and Town Council meetings.


Click here to view OVProjects.com, a source for the Planning Projects within Oro Valley.