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  Item # 1.       
Town Council Regular Session
Meeting Date: 01/09/2019  
Requested by: Bayer Vella
Submitted By: Hannah Oden, Community and Economic Development
Case Number:    OV1801670

By a vote of 4 to 3, the Planning and Zoning Commission recommended approval of this request. Staff's professional opinion, however, is respectfully a recommendation of denial. Meeting minutes and the Commission staff report are included in Attachments 5 and 6.
The purpose of this request is to consider a rezoning application to change from Campus Park Industrial (CPI) to Medium High Density Residential (MHDR) within the Rancho Vistoso Planned Area Development (PAD) (Attachment 2). 

The proposed development site is approximately 15 acres and located at the northwest corner of Rancho Vistoso Boulevard and Vistoso Commerce Loop. The approval of this request would ultimately allow a residential subdivision with a similar density and design to adjacent neighborhoods.

The applicant's revised proposal (Attachment 4) depicts one Tentative Development Plan (TDP) (Attachment 3), which includes 72 detached single-family homes. The proposed minimum lot size is 4,400 square feet. As a whole, the proposed density of 4.7 dwelling units per acre is consistent with the adjacent Medium Density Residential zoned neighborhoods, which have densities of 5.4 and 2.9 dwelling units per acre.

Town Council approved a Type 1 General Plan Amendment for this parcel at their regularly scheduled meeting on September 19, 2018. The land use designation was changed from Commerce/Office Park to Medium Density Residential (MDR). Prior to this action, the Planning and Zoning Commission and Community & Economic Development Department staff recommended denial of the General Plan Amendment request based on General Plan policy direction.

One neighborhood meeting was held on October 15, 2018 for the rezoning, which was the third meeting for the site. Issues of concern raised by neighbors included the following:
  1. Concern over the preservation of existing views 
  2. Building height
  3. Buffer yards between the proposed project and neighbors to the north
  4. Density and compatibility of surrounding homes
  5. Traffic and circulation
  6. Uses that would be permitted under existing CPI zoning and if design standards would be compatible with surrounding land uses
  7. Neighbor ability to have input for a Campus Park Industrial development proposal
  8. Concern regarding the loss of employment land
This report addresses concerns raised at the most recent neighborhood meeting. 

This rezoning request was considered by the Planning and Zoning Commission at a special session on November 8, 2018. At this public hearing, the Commission voted 4-3 to recommend approval of this application, while staff recommended denial. Draft minutes and the associated staff report are provided in Attachments 5 and 6. 

All rezoning requests are reviewed for conformance with the General Plan land use designation, goals and policies. While the proposal for residential zoning is in conformance with the newly designated land use and is compatible with adjacent residential properties, staff's concerns raised during the General Plan Amendment process have remain unchanged. On balance, it is staff's professional opinion that this proposal is not in conformance with the policies of the Your Voice, Our Future General Plan.

The proposal, if approved, will significantly reduce an already limited supply of CPI land in Oro Valley, which is needed to attract employers. Increasing employment opportunities and supporting the local economy is a major emphasis of the General Plan. Furthermore, enabling more residential units closer to existing and future CPI and commercial development creates land use compatibility concerns.

Zoning Context 
The existing zoning for the property and the surrounding areas are provided in Attachment 2. The subject property is currently designated as Campus Park Industrial. Nearby zoning designations include Campus Park Industrial, Medium Density Residential, and Community Commercial. 

Site Conditions
  • 15.23 acres
  • Property is vacant
Property History
  • June 1987: Rancho Vistoso Planned Area Development, Office / Research Park (CPI) Zoning
  • March 2008: Development plan / preliminary plat for "Innovation Commerce Campus" approved by the Town Council
  • April 2009: Final plat for "Innovation Commerce Campus" approved by the Town Council
  • December 2009: One year extension for the development plan / preliminary plat
  • March 2010: Development plan / preliminary plat approvals for "Innovation Commerce Campus" expired. Town Council voted to decline a requested time extension.
  • December 2011: General Plan amendment request for High Density Residential denied by the Town Council
  • September 2018: General Plan amendment request for Medium Density Residential approved by Town Council 
  • November 2018: Planning and Zoning Commission recommended approval of a rezoning request from Campus Park Industrial to Medium High Density Residential  
Existing Zoning
The property is currently zoned as Planned Area Development (PAD), Campus Park Industrial (CPI), described below:

Rancho Vistoso PAD Campus Park Industrial (CPI): The office park at Rancho Vistoso is intended to be a well-designed industrial and office development set respectively into the desert. It will provide a truly mixed use community by providing jobs for residents of Rancho Vistoso. The office park will include a variety of office and research and development uses along with ancillary uses to serve the population of the office park. These ancillary uses may include a restaurant, a bank, a child care facility, a health club/recreation facility and others, as long as they are not more obnoxious than the permitted uses.


Proposed Zoning
The applicant's request is to change the current zoning designation to Planned Area Development (PAD), Medium High Density Residential (MHDR), depicted below: 

Rancho Vistoso PAD Medium High Density Residential (6-8 homes per acre): Medium high density is located in areas with minimal natural constraints. It is intended to provide individual single family ownership through patio homes and townhouses.

The applicant is proposing a lower density than what is allowed per MHDR zoning (6-8 homes per acre) because the potential builder (KB Homes) wishes to use the smaller lot sizes enabled in MHDR versus MDR. MHDR allows uses of a minimum lot size of 4,000 square feet. In comparison, the minimum lot sizes in the adjacent subdivisions are 5,000 square feet with an MDR designation.

The applicant is proposing an average lot size of 4,868 square feet. Adjacent subdivisions have average lot sizes of 6,500 square feet and 6,700 square feet. 

As a Condition of Approval included in Attachment 11, the density of this proposed development and all potential future development on this parcel may not exceed five (5) homes per acre, the allowed density under the MDR General Plan land use designation. 


Rezoning applications are reviewed for conformance with the Your Voice, Our Future General Plan Land Use Map, Vision, Guiding Principles, Goals and Policies. Although the proposal complies with the General Plan land use designation, staff finds that the proposed rezoning does not conform, on balance, to the General Plan Vision, Guiding Principles, Goals and Polices due to the following:
  • Loss of high quality employment area when the amount of CPI land in Oro Valley is already very limited
  • Enabling more residential units closer to existing and future CPI and commercial development creates land use compatibility concerns
Below is a more detailed General Plan analysis:

Land Use Map
With a condition that no residential development may exceed five (5) homes per acre, the proposed rezoning conforms with the Medium High Density General Plan land use designation. 

The General Plan Vision
"Oro Valley strives to be a well-managed community that provides all residents with opportunities for quality living. Oro Valley will keep its friendly, small-town, neighborly character, while increasing services, employment and recreation. The Town's lifestyle continues to be defined by a strong sense of community, a high regard for public safety and an extraordinary natural environment and scenic views"

Staff finds that the proposed rezoning does not conform with the Your Voice Vision because it decreases potential employment opportunities. This issue is compounded by Oro Valley's relatively low supply of CPI/Tech Park zoned lands.

Guiding Principles, Goals, and Policies
a) Employment opportunities and economic growth:
The Your Voice, Our Future General Plan places a significant emphasis on increasing and not just maintaining employment land. As stated in previous General Plan Amendment staff reports (Attachment 10), the proposed rezoning does not support General Plan goals and policies of growing high quality employment opportunities and supporting a strong and diverse economy. Specific goals and policies include: 
  • Goal A: Long-term financial and economic stability and sustainability.
  • Goal B: A robust local economy and job market that provide opportunities for quality employment,build on Oro Valley’s assets and encourage high-quality growth.
  • Goal C: A strong sector of targeted industries, including bioscience and aerospace, that provide opportunities for synergy and growth.
  • Policy E.1: Develop a diversified and robust economic base to support long-term economic stability.
  • Policy E.3. Promote Oro Valley as an ideal destination for economic activity, tourism, shopping, cultural attractions, research and development.
Oro Valley has significantly lower CPI acreage (2% of total area/400 acres) relative to other communities, and the proposed rezoning would further diminish the approximate 200 remaining buildable acres of CPI/Tech Park land available to attract high quality employers to the community.

Retaining the current use on this property would benefit the long-term economic viability of the community more than a single family home residential development. Unless a residential subdivision is of substantial size, it will not significantly contribute to the overall viability of existing commercial and employment uses.

Economic considerations:
  • A mid-size tech oriented employer will create long-term job opportunities with an above average wage, which has a multiplier effect into all sectors of the community. 
  • Currently, a conservative estimate of 3,647 residential units (including apartments) are currently entitled for development. The proposed 72-home subdivision is a mere 2% of this total, which will have no meaningful economic impact when taken in the context of the larger number of residential units anticipated. 
  • Office workers and residents exercise similar spending on retail services and goods. According to the International Council of Shopping Centers, $102 to $195 per office worker is spent each week. This is comparable to an estimated $134 per resident weekly retail spend. The amount of weekly retail revenue generated by residents of a 72-home subdivision will be comparable to an employer the size of Securaplane. 
  • 410 new homes in areas near Innovation Park will be provided in the next two (2) to seven (7) years.
  • Approximately 13,000 OV residents already commute out of town to work, which is a quality of life (complete community), traffic and loss of revenue issue. 
While the request is consistent with the General Plan land use designation, staff wants to reiterate previous concerns related to the loss of CPI related employment area and finds that the proposed zoning does not support the aforementioned goals and policies of the General Plan. 

b) Transition between land uses and compatibility: Goal X of the General Plan emphasizes an effective transition between differing land uses and intensities in the community. The subject property is located adjacent to Campus Park Industrial, Medium Density Residential, and Neighborhood Commercial zoning as shown in Attachment 2. The parcel is located on a street corner with abutting properties being single-family residential to the north, and warehouse and distribution center and dermatology office to the northeast. To the south and east, there are Commerce / Office Park and Neighborhood Commercial / Office properties separated by Rancho Vistoso Boulevard and Vistoso Commerce Loop.

The proposed development is compatible with the abutting residential subdivisions. The applicant is proposing buffer yards along roadways and between adjacent residences and businesses to the extent required by the zoning code. It should be noted that the subdivision to the north has a density of 5.4 homes per acre, and the subdivision to the northwest across Vistoso Village Dr. has a density of 2.9 homes per acre. 4.7 homes per acre is proposed.

A new residential development on this site, however, will position more homes closer to existing and future commercial and Commerce / Office Park development. The proposed subdivision will place residents directly across from Vistoso Funeral Home and future CPI development across Rancho Vistoso Blvd. Currently, 20 homes would be adjacent to CPI use on the parcel. If the parcel is zoned for residential purposes, this would cause up to 30 homes to be potentially impacted by surrounding non-residential land uses. More residences will increase pressure on existing and future businesses. Residential use on this parcel could place more homes next to dissimilar land uses, which in this sense, would not be an appropriate transition or buffer between land uses. 

The applicant is proposing a 15-foot landscaped buffer yard along the northern edge of the parcel. Retaining CPI uses on the parcel would require a 15-30 foot landscaped buffer yard with a likely 28 foot access drive and an additional 2-17 foot drive depending on site design. A CPI use would likely include a minimum 60-foot separation between residences and buildings. This anticipated separation is greater than afforded by MHDR residential development.

The Design Standards found in Addendum A of the Zoning Code state, "manufacturing uses shall be placed in a location furthest from residentially-zoned property. When possible, office uses shall be placed adjacent to residentially-zoned property" (Section 2.1.A.5). This standard minimizes impacts to adjacent homes and would be applicable if this parcel developed under CPI standards. Based on the Town's experience, this will likely result in smaller buildings with lower building heights adjacent to existing residential areas.  

Concern over the impact of loading zones to adjacent residences have been voiced by neighbors during the public participation process. CPI zoning would allow for uses that may require loading zones. The Town Zoning Code outlines specific restrictions for loading zones to limit impacts to adjacent land uses. Loading zones must be placed a minimum of 30 feet from residential areas and must be fully screened with an opaque wall and landscaping to minimize impacts. Some uses allowed under CPI zoning on this parcel will not require loading zones, such as office oriented development. So, it is possible that a future employment use on this parcel would not have a need for a loading zone(s). However, if needed, loading zones must comply with the specific standards within the Zoning Code that ensure appropriate transitions and buffers. 

Moreover, the Design Standards of the Zoning Code (Addendum A) specifically states, "where applicable and feasible, buildings shall be oriented to internalize service and loading areas between buildings to reduce visibility of these areas" (Section 2.4.6). As such, any development allowed under CPI zoning would be subject to these standards to limit impacts to adjacent residences. Section 2.1.J.1.b of the Design Standards also states that "refuse enclosures and service areas shall be located away from residential areas in a manner to reduce visibility of these areas from adjoining streets and property", while Section 2.2.F states, "mechanical equipment shall be screened from public view and ground mounted equipment is encouraged." These Design Standards ensure uses allowed under CPI zoning are sensitive to surrounding land uses. 


Site Design: The request and tentative development plans were found to be in conformance with the requirements specified in the Town Zoning Code and Rancho Vistoso PAD. 

Drainage: There are two minor drainage ways that exist on the site with a southern flow direction. The subject parcel lies outside of any 100-year floodplains with onsite discharges equal to or greater than 50 cfs. The subdivision must be designed so post-developed drainage conditions are consistent with pre-developed conditions in accordance with Town drainage requirements.

General Traffic: The proposed subdivision will have two ingress/egress points at Vistoso Commerce Loop. A traffic impact analysis was provided with the revised Site Analysis to evaluate the effect of additional traffic on surrounding roadways. Internal streets and access drives within the development will be constructed to Town Code standards. Off-site improvements will include re-striping Vistoso Commerce Loop as described in Attachment 11. Public roadway improvements to be completed by the developer shall be at their expense and will require approval and a permit issued from the Town Engineer’s office.


The following notice has been provided:
  • Notification to all property owners within 600 feet
  • Notification to all interested parties who signed in at neighborhood meetings
  • Homeowners association mailing
  • Advertisement in The Daily Territorial 
  • Posting on property
  • Posting at Town Hall and on Town Website
One neighborhood meeting for the rezoning was held on October 15, 2018, with approximately 13 residents in attendance. The main topics discussed at this meeting included:
  • Concerns over the preservation of existing views 
    • The applicant explained that homes would be limited to single story homes at 18 feet to mitigate view impacts.
  • Building height
    • The applicant explained that homes would be limited to one story and 18 feet. This is a condition of approval in Attachment 11.
  • Buffer yards between the proposed project and neighbors to the north
    • The applicant explained that they are proposing a 15 foot landscape buffer yard between the proposed homes and the existing subdivision to the north and abutting CPI uses. 
    • As previously stated in this report, a CPI use would provide a greater required buffer yard and setback between adjacent property lines and a building.
  • Density and compatibility with surrounding homes
    • The applicant explained that the proposed density would be similar to adjacent neighborhoods.
    • As previously stated in this report, surrounding residential densities are 2.9 and 5.4 homes per acre. The proposed density would be compatible with surrounding neighborhoods at up to 4.8 homes per acre. 
  • Traffic and circulation
    • Engineering staff addressed traffic concerns and circulation, which did not warrant substantial changes to the TDP.
  • Uses that would be permitted under existing CPI zoning and if design standards would be compatible with surrounding land uses
    • The applicant explained potential uses under the CPI zoning as well as required buffer yards and height associated with a CPI development. 
    • As stated previously, CPI development standards would require greater setbacks and buffer yards compared to residential uses. Loading zones, if needed, are required to be fully screened. While the allowed height would be up to 36 feet, specific design standards would help mitigate potential impacts.
  • Neighbor ability to have input for a Campus Park Industrial development proposal
    • Currently, the site is located within the Economic Expansion Zone (EEZ), which is meant to streamline the development review process for employers by providing a path for administrative approval. However, this does not mean that there is not an opportunity for public input. As defined in the Town Zoning Code (Section 22.15.B.1.f), the Planning and Zoning Administrator may use discretion to require a neighborhood meeting and subject a project within the EEZ to the public review process depending on the anticipated impact of the project. For this site, a neighborhood meeting would be required.
    • Within the EEZ zone, the administrative decision by the Planning and Zoning Administrator may be appealed by either the applicant or by Town Council at a public meeting. This provides further opportunity for potential public involvement.
  • Concern regarding the loss of employment land
    • As previously stated in this report, a rezoning approval of this parcel to MHDR would diminish the limited supply of CPI employment land.
A copy of the neighborhood meeting summary is provided as Attachment 7. Two letters of concern are included in Attachment 8 and twelve letters of support are included in Attachment 9.

In summary, there are a number of key factors regarding the proposed rezoning. Those factors include: 
  1. The proposed rezoning conforms with the General Plan land use designation; however, it conflicts with key policies in the Your Voice, Our Future General Plan as presented in this report. 
  2. The proposal would significantly reduce an already limited supply of Commerce / Office Park land in Oro Valley. This type of land is needed to attract employers, businesses, and residents to Oro Valley and help maintain the community's long-term economic viability.
  3. Although the proposal would be compatible with the adjacent residential properties, it has received mixed support from nearby residents.
By a vote of 4 to 3, the Planning and Zoning Commission recommends approval of this request. Staff's professional opinion, however, is respectfully a recommendation of denial.
No immediate fiscal impact is anticipated from this rezoning request.
Town Council may wish to consider the following suggested motions for the proposed rezoning:

I MOVE to ADOPT Ordinance No. (O)19-01, a rezoning from Campus Park Industrial to Medium High Density Residential, subject to the conditions in Attachment 11, finding that the request is consistent with the Your Voice, Our Future General Plan.


I MOVE to DENY Ordinance No. (O)19-01, a rezoning from Campus Park Industrial to Medium High Density Residential, finding that the request is not consistent with the Your Voice, Our Future General Plan.
Attachment 1 (O)19-01
Attachment 2: Zoning Map
Attachment 3: Tentative Development Plan
Attachment 4: Applicant Submittal
Attachment 5: Planning and Zoning Commission Minutes 11-8-18
Attachment 6: Staff Report to Planning and Zoning Commission
Attachment 7: October 15 Neighborhood Meeting Summary
Attachment 8: Letters of Concern
Attachment 9: Letters of Support
Attachment 10: General Plan Amendment Staff Report 9-19-18
Attachment 11: Conditions of Approval

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