A 345-home single-family residential development will move forward in Rancho Vistoso after a unanimous vote by Oro Valley Town Council on Wednesday.
Located on 129 acres near the northern terminus of La Cañada and Pebble Creek drives, and surrounded by an existing golf course (Golf Club At Vistoso), the project will consist of six gated neighborhoods, featuring three parks, various trails, and single and double-story homes with lot sizes ranging from 4,500 square feet to 11,000 square feet.
Council applauded the applicant, Maracay Homes, for demonstrating a willingness to work with residents whose homes neighbor the project, and whose primary concerns were that their views of the Catalina Mountains would be disrupted by the construction of two-story residences.
Maracay’s Vice President of Land Acquisitions and Development Tom Lemon and his team were able to accommodate many of those residents, particularly to the west end, by determining that only one-story homes would be constructed in particular areas of the development.
“They were very professional in dealing with the issue… and they were able to accommodate us, which we very much appreciate,” said one Rancho Vistoso resident.
One objection came during the meeting from a neighbor living on the southeast end of the project, who complained of view impedance. Lemon said in that particular area of the project, developers did not want to self-impose one-story homes only.
Lemon estimates that 1,107 homes could be built on the lot, but says Maracay chose to only develop about a third of that, arguing the market demands more lot space for the higher-end homes that are to be developed.
Homes are expected to run from about the low $300,000’s upward.
The project, which is surrounded by eight of the back nine holes of the golf course, cost $23 million in land acquisition, and will cost another $18 million to develop.
“In kind of the post-real estate recession market, you just can’t create real estate like this,” said Lemon. “You can’t assemble enough capital to do it and the time and opportunity to do it, so we want to do it right.”
Upon completion, the development is not expected to create traffic problems, according to Paul Keesler, the town’s director of development and infrastructure services.
The six neighborhoods will fall under the master Rancho Vistoso Homeowner’s Association as opposed to implementing six individual homeowner’s associations.
In other news, a 5-2 council vote will allow a Minor General Plan Amendment to develop a single-family residential subdivision on a 4.9-acre site located on the northeast corner of Moore and La Canada Drive.
The parcel was originally designated as neighborhood commercial/office.
Planning Division Manager David Williams said the majority of surrounding residents in the area supported residential development as opposed to commercial.
The meeting concluded with a 4-3 vote relating discussion and possible action to initiate a 60-day public notice process for a future discussion regarding revenue options. Councilman Mike Zinkin requested future conversation on potentially implementing a renter’s tax in the town. He found support from council members Bill Garner and Brendan Burns, but the measure ultimately failed when Mayor Satish Hiremath, Vice Mayor Lou Waters, and council members Mary Snider and Joe Hornat voted against it.