|The Town was originally incorporated in 1974 with a small 2.4 square mile area, and through a series of annexations since then, has resulted in the community that exists today. All but three of the 20 subsequent annexations since incorporation have been less than three square miles, 12 of which were less than one square mile. The largest annexation incorporated nearly 13 square miles, an area that includes most of the Rancho Vistoso planned area development. A copy of the Annexation History can be found on page 5 of the Proposed Annexation Strategy (Attachment 2).
Future annexations will continue to be carried out in accordance with state law, which includes:
Determining priority areas for annexation is necessary in order to identify for the community which areas are most beneficial for Oro Valley. In order to evaluate those areas and determine priorities, the following criteria were developed by which opportunities would be assessed:
- The annexed area must be contiguous to (directly bordering on) a current Town limit for at least 300 feet.
- The annexed area must be at least 200 feet in width in all places.
- The annexed area's length (extending out from the Town limit) may be no more than twice the distance of its width (adjacent to the Town limit). For example, if the area is contiguous for 300 feet, the annexation can extend outward for up to 600 feet from the current Town limit.
- More than 50% of property owners in a proposed annexation area, representing more than 50% of the assessed valuation of that area, must sign a petition in favor of annexation in order for it to be successful.
Using the above criteria, the priority areas that Oro Valley will focus include both developed and undeveloped (vacant) land. Annexation of developed residential areas allows the Town to capture some state-shared revenue that those residents pay to the state that are returned only to incorporated cities and towns based on population. In some cases, these areas serve as connectors to potential future annexations. Additionally, annexing commercial areas allows the Town to collect sales taxes and, in some areas, bed taxes. Annexing land that is primarily undeveloped enables the Town to properly plan for future development, including the phasing of infrastructure. Staff has proposed four priority areas for future annexation, which can be found on pages 9 - 13 in the proposed Annexation Strategy.
- The Town’s ability to provide the full range of Town services and facilities, and the ability for the area to financially support those services.
- The potential of the area to accommodate job growth.
- The opportunity to incorporate existing commercial enterprises that would generate revenues for the Town.
- The opportunity to control urban growth using Town development standards in areas where future development is likely.
- The importance of the area in terms of key multi-modal transportation or open space corridor.
- Creation of logical Town boundaries and service areas.
- The perceived level of support for annexation by affected property owners/residents.
- The area’s importance in terms of it being a gateway to the Town.
- Consistency with the Town’s Your Voice Our Future General Plan goals and policies.
Annexation has been an important tool for the Town of Oro Valley since it was incorporated in 1974. The Town has increased its corporate boundaries by 32.52 square miles through 48 annexations and has gained a diversified and robust economic base. Continuing to annex developed and vacant land will provide Oro Valley with a wide range of services, amenities, housing, shopping and dining opportunities that meet the needs of current and future residents, thereby maintaining the financial and economic stability of the community.
Based on Council's feedback, the Annexation Strategy will be considered as a resolution for adoption at a future regular Town Council meeting.