The public got a chance to express concerns over Oro Valley’s plan to annex 107 acres into Town limits during the April 18 public hearing.
Assistant to the Town Manager Kevin Burke said Oro Valley is looking to annex 11 commercial and 11 residential properties located within the boundaries of Ina Road to the south, Paseo del Norte to the west, Chapala Drive to the north, and Oracle Road to the east.
Prior to the April 18 meeting, Town staff delivered notice by first-class mail to all property owners in the proposed area, as well as to the Pima County Board of Supervisors.
Beginning April 21, the Town will begin collecting signatures from property owners in the annexation area. For the annexation to be successful, the Town must collect signatures from more than 50 percent of the property owners representing more than 50 percent of the total assessed valuation of real and personal property in the area. The annexation team, headed by Burke and Economic Development Manager Amanda Jacobs, will meet individually with property owners to obtain consent.
The Town has one year to collect the required signatures.
During the April 18 public hearing, the annexation plan met some resistance from some of the Pima County business owners in the proposed area. Business owner Rich Kurkyian has been running Arizona Auto Savings in Pima County for 25 years. He said he is happy being a part of the county, primarily because of the sales-tax rate, which is two percent lower in Pima County than in Oro Valley.
“We have 7.1 percent sales tax, and it makes a big difference on some of our large purchases,” he said. “That’s what drives our business. It has been driving our business for 25 years. If Oro Valley comes on board, we lose our advantage, so we’re going to move.”
Kurkyian continued by saying he has spoken with several other business owners in the area who agree with him.
“We are existing businesses that have been there for a long time,” he said. “We don’t need you. We don’t need extra government.”
Councilman Steve Solomon asked Burke to clarify whether the annexation was a decision to be made by council or the property owners of the proposed annexation area.
“The council will have final approval of the annexation, but in order to do so, we have to obtain signatures of property owners in the area,” Burke said.
Dave Perry, President and CEO of the Greater Oro Valley Chamber of Commerce, said he respects the rights and opinions of business owners in the annexation area, while noting that the chamber would support the annexation as long as Oro Valley continues its contractual commitment to MTCVB to market the attractions of Greater Oro Valley, that the Town use lodging tax dollars earned from the to-be-annexed Quality Inn Hotel to attract more visitors through MTCVB, that the Town accelerate its plans to improve the conditions of Northern Avenue Road and attend to any drainage issues in the area, and that the Town address any signage and permitting needs of businesses.
Perry urged the Town to take action sooner than later.
“Please, council and staff, figure out ways to say yes instead of no,” said Perry. “Government’s challenge is to convince a majority of property owners and, as you just heard, tenants, that this annexation is in their best interest.”
Caton said the Town is involved in ongoing discussions with property owners in the annexation area.
“We look forward to having more discussions with tenants, property owners, and commercial to see how this truly can be a win-win,” he said.
The annexation discussion in the April 18 meeting was purely informational with no action requested from council.