Developer abandons plans in Oro Valley - The Explorer: Pima Pinal

Developer abandons plans in Oro Valley

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Posted: Wednesday, December 3, 2008 12:00 am | Updated: 8:04 am, Thu Mar 24, 2011.

Representatives for Stone Canyon developer Vistoso Partners have told Oro Valley officials that they no longer want to pursue a general plan amendment.

The change would have altered land-use details of the 127-acre area and increased the number of homes allowed there from 38 to 150. 

“At this time I would like to formally withdraw my request for a general plan amendment within Stone Canyon 9,” Vistoso Partners representative Paul Oland wrote in an e-mail.  

“I appreciate all the hard work that Town staff and the Planning & Zoning Commission have put into this case, but the cost associated with the proposed conditions of approval has risen to a point where the project is no longer viable as proposed,” Oland wrote.

One contentious issue had been a 2-acre town-owned trailhead to the south of the proposal area.

In 2002, Vistoso Partners gave the property to the town as a condition of a separate general plan amendment.

The trailhead was intended as a starting point for hikers and equestrians to venture into Pima County’s Tortolita Mountain Park.

The parcel, however, has never fulfilled its planned use because private property cuts off public access to the area.

The existing trailhead also was deemed unacceptable because of the rugged, rocky terrain and a wash cutting through it that limits the usable space.

Oro Valley planners attached a series of conditions to the amendment, including one that Vistoso Partners provide an alternative property to serve as a trailhead.

Oland also has asked that the town table until February a second general plan change for another area in Rancho Vistoso.

“The reason for my request is that at the last hearing it became clear that the proposal’s benefits to the Town are not understood by everyone on the Council,” Oland wrote.

With more time to explain the details of the proposal, Oland said the benefit to the town would become clear.

This area, near Rancho Vistoso Boulevard and Tangerine Road, encompasses 365 acres.

The requested change could have the potential to add 474 more houses in the area.

Zoning officials also attached a slew of conditions to that amendment, including that the developer provide access to trails and include acres for parks.

The conditions also spelled out a requirement to use reclaimed water for irrigation on any turf area larger than 2 acres.

Vistoso asked that the issue be discussed at the Feb. 4 council meeting.

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