Help Oro Valley Protect Sensitive Land

After our big success on the proposed Desert Springs development last December, we haven’t had much to report … which is good news! The owners have not submitted a revised development plan to the Town of Oro Valley and their effort to build too many houses, too close to Catalina State Park is currently on hold, all because of your voice in support of protecting important open space. Thank you again!

However, due to some of the issues raised last fall, the Town of Oro Valley is currently updating their Environmental Sensitive Lands Ordinance (ESLO). The Coalition was involved in the process to create this ordinance and over the last few months we have been reviewing the Town’s revisions and working with Town staff to improve the ordinance.

This coming Tuesday, August 6th, the Town’s Planning and Zoning Commission is holding a public hearing about the revisions and will be making a recommendation on them to the Town Council. While we are supportive of many of the changes being proposed, two important Coalition recommendations have not yet been incorporated into the ordinance:

  • We support the direct adoption of Pima County’s Conservation Lands System categories for General Plan Amendments outside of the Town boundary limits. When the ESLO was developed, Pima County’s Important Riparian Areas and Biological Core Areas were directly translated to Oro Valley’s Critical Resource Areas and Core Resources Areas and we think this should remain consistent as the ESLO map is expanded.
  • In order to protect lands in the Town’s three most important conservation categories (Critical Resource Areas, Core Resource Areas, and Major Wildlife Linkages), the ordinance should clarify that the ESLO map for these lands cannot be amended.

You can read the Coalitions full comments here. You can also review the ordinance language changes here.

While this issue may seem complex, we know that your voice will help make a difference for open space protection in Oro Valley! You can help by doing one or both of these things:

  • Write a letter or an email to the Planning and Zoning Commission Members (ATTN Chad Daines – – 11000 N. La Cañada Dr, Oro Valley, AZ 85755) letting them know that you support the Coalition’s suggested revisions.
  • Attend and speak at the Planning and Zoning Commission’s public hearing meeting next Tuesday in support of the Coalition’s recommendations.

Finally, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call or email us!

Thank you for all that you do for the desert!

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