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A. Purpose

A General Plan amendment is any change that occurs between General Plan updates. Amendments may involve a change to the Land Use Map for specific properties or a change to the text. Requests for amendments, if approved, can effect change to any section of the document including, but not limited to, the various elements, goals, policies, or actions.

B. Rezoning Conformance with the General Plan

Any zoning changes in land use must conform, in all respects, with the Town’s adopted General Plan and Land Use Map. See Section 22.3 for further information on rezoning compliance with the General Plan.

C. Types of Amendments to the General Plan

Every year, applications are typically made to the Town of Oro Valley for amendments to the General Plan. These amendments are designated as either Type 1 amendments or Type 2 amendments. Both amendment types have unique criteria and process as defined herein. Text and land use map changes will be classified as follows:

1. Type 1 Amendment

Type 1 amendments involve significant changes to the Town’s General Plan.

Type 1 amendments are defined as major General Plan amendments in State law and involve a substantial alteration of the Town’s land use mixture or balance. A Type 1 amendment shall be required for any of the following substantial alterations to the General Plan:

a. Any change to the Land Use Plan that affects forty (40) acres or more and is classified as a Type 1 amendment on the General Plan Amendment Matrix (Table 22-1).

b. Increasing the amount of High Density Residential, regardless of acreage.

c. Increasing the amount of Master Planned Community, regardless of acreage.

d. Decreasing Neighborhood Commercial Office, Community/Regional Commercial or Commerce Office Park land use designations, regardless of acreage.

e. Decreasing the amount of open space regardless of acreage.

f. Planning area boundary changes.

g. Amendments for properties outside the General Plan Urban Services Boundary (USB).

h. Any text changes to an element, goal, policy, or action that alters the intent or purpose of any element, goal, policy, or action of the General Plan.

2. Type 2 Amendment

Type 2 amendments involve changes with less impact to the General Plan and do not represent a substantial alteration of the Town’s land use mixture or balance. Type 2 amendments are not intended to be major General Plan amendments as provided by State law. A Type 2 amendment shall be required for any of the following changes to the General Plan:

a. Any amendment not meeting the criteria for a Type 1 amendment.

b. Amendments to the Urban Services Boundary.

c. Open space trades resulting in no net loss of open space and that meet the Town’s environmental objectives.

d. Any text changes to an element, goal, policy or action that do not alter the intent or purpose of any element, goal, policy, or action of the General Plan.

3. Planning and Zoning Administrator Amendment Reclassification

The Planning and Zoning Administrator may reclassify a Type 2 amendment to a Type 1 amendment based on the following findings:

a. High visibility of the property by a significant portion of the community, beyond visibility by adjacent property owners. Areas of high visibility include, but are not limited to, locations along major thoroughfares, at major gateways into the community such as Town limits and properties that are highly visible due to elevation.

b. The physical characteristics of a site such as environmental constraints, access or topography will likely result in significant environmental or grading impacts to the property.

c. The proposed density or type of development would create a significant and abrupt transition in land use in comparison with the adjacent area and development context. The change may impact the surrounding development character or signal an overall change to the future of the area.

4. Exceptions

The following shall not require a formal amendment to the General Plan and may be reviewed administratively:

a. All scrivener’s errors will be subject to administrative approval. Scrivener’s errors are unintentional clerical mistakes made during the drafting, publishing, and copying process.

b. Public schools are not subject to the amendment process.

c. The Planning and Zoning Administrator shall have the authority to administer and interpret the provisions of the General Plan. Requests for interpretations may be filed by an applicant or an aggrieved party owning property within the required notification area for General Plan amendments. Information on interpretations shall be identified in all related staff reports for the Planning and Zoning Commission and Town Council.

Table 22-1. General Plan Amendment Matrix 

Proposed Designation (Change to)

Existing

R-LDR

LDR1

LDR2

MDR

HDR

MPC

RGC

NCO

CRC

COP

PSP & SCH*

PARK

OS

R-LDR

none

2

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

2

2

LDR1

2

none

2

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

2

2

LDR2

2

2

none

2

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

2

2

MDR

2

2

2

none

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

2

2

HDR

2

2

2

2

none

1

1

1

1

1

2

2

2

MPC

1

1

1

1

1

none

1

1

1

1

2

2

2

RGC

1

1

1

1

1

1

none

2

1

2

2

2

2

NCO

1

1

1

1

1

1

2

none

1

2

2

2

2

CRC

1

1

1

1

1

1

2

2

none

2

1

2

2

COP

1

1

1

1

1

1

2

2

2

none

1

2

2

PSP & SCH*

2

2

2

2

1

1

2

2

2

2

none

2

2

PARK

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

none

2

OS

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

none

*Public schools are not subject to the amendment process.

Type 1 Amendment

1

Type 2 Amendment

2

None

none

DESIGNATION KEY

R-LDR

Rural Low Density Residential (0 – 0.3 homes per acre)

LDR1

Low Density Residential 1 (0.4 – 1.2 homes per acre)

LDR2

Low Density Residential 2 (1.3 – 2.0 homes per acre)

MDR

Medium Density Residential (2.1 – 5.0 homes per acre)

HDR

High Density Residential (5.1+ homes per acre)

MPC

Master Planned Community

RGC

Resort and Golf Course

NCO

Neighborhood Commercial and Office

CRC

Community/Regional Commercial

COP

Commerce/Office Park

PSP

Public/Semi Public

SCH

Schools

PARK

Parks

OS

Open Space

For a complete definition of the land use designations, please refer to the General Plan.

D. General Plan Amendment Procedures

All Type 1 and Type 2 amendments to the General Plan shall follow the procedures outlined below:

1. Application

a. Amendments to the Land Use Map may be initiated by the Town or by the landowner only.

b. Text amendments including, but not limited to, the General Plan elements, goals, policies, and actions may be requested by any individual, whether a land holder in the Town or not, or by a Town official or Town resident.

2. Administrative Review

At least sixty (60) days before the General Plan or an element or Type 1 amendment of a General Plan is noticed, the Planning Division shall:

a. Transmit the amendment to the Mayor, the Town Council and the Planning and Zoning Commission.

b. Submit a copy for review and further comment to:

i. Pima County Association of Governments.

ii. Pima County, the Town of Marana, the City of Tucson and Pinal County.

iii. The Arizona Commerce Authority.

iv. The Arizona Department of Water Resources for review and comment on the Water Resources Element.

v. Any person or entity that requests in writing to receive a review copy of the amendment.

3. Review Process

a. Type 1 Amendment

i. Submittal requirements are established by the Planning and Zoning Administrator. Additional studies or other materials may be required when warranted as determined by the Planning and Zoning Administrator.

ii. Applications are accepted from January 1st to April 30th.

iii. Type 1 General Plan amendment applications for property which has not been mapped for environmentally sensitive lands conservation categories shall include mapping for primary conservation categories (major wildlife linkage, critical resource area and core resource area) in accordance with Section 27.10.B.1.b.iv with the initial submittal of the amendment application.

iv. Neighborhood meetings shall be conducted in accordance with Section 22.15.

v. All applications must be reviewed concurrently at a minimum of two (2) public hearings by the Planning and Zoning Commission in different locations.

vi. All Type 1 amendments are to be presented to the Council at a single public hearing prior to the end of the calendar year that the proposal is made.

vii. Public Notification for All Public Hearings

Public notification shall be given at least fifteen (15) and no more than thirty (30) calendar days prior to the scheduled hearing date and will include at a minimum:

a) Notice of the proposed amendment will be advertised a minimum of three (3) times in two (2) widely distributed newspapers.

b) All property owners within one thousand (1,000) feet of the subject property will be directly notified of the amendment when the amendment involves a change in land use. The Planning and Zoning Administrator may expand the notification area in accordance with Section 22.15.B.2.b.

c) All homeowner’s associations registered in Oro Valley will be notified of the amendment.

d) Signs noticing the proposed amendment will be posted on or near the property on a sign or signs a minimum of three (3) feet by four (4) feet in size, with a header of letters no less than five (5) inches in height.

viii. Adoption of a Type 1 amendment requires a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Town Council.

b. Type 2 Amendment

i. Submittal requirements are established by the Planning and Zoning Administrator. Additional studies or other materials may be required when warranted as determined by the Planning and Zoning Administrator.

ii. Amendments may be submitted any time of the year.

iii. Type 2 General Plan amendment applications for property which has not been mapped for environmentally sensitive lands conservation categories shall include mapping for primary conservation categories (major wildlife linkage, critical resource area and core resource area) in accordance with Section 27.10.B.1.b.iv with the initial submittal of the amendment application.

iv. Neighborhood meetings shall be conducted in accordance with Section 22.15.

v. Public Notification for All Public Hearings

Public notification shall be given at least fifteen (15) and no more than thirty (30) calendar days prior to the scheduled hearing date and will include at a minimum:

a) Notice of the proposed amendment will be advertised a minimum of two (2) times in a widely distributed newspaper.

b) All property owners within six hundred (600) feet of the subject property will be directly notified of the amendment when the amendment involves a change in land use. The Planning and Zoning Administrator may expand the notification area in accordance with Section 22.15.B.2.b.

c) Signs noticing the proposed amendment will be posted on or near the property on a sign or signs a minimum of three (3) feet by four (4) feet in size, with a header of letters no less than five (5) inches in height.

vi. Adoption of a Type 2 amendment requires a majority vote of the Town Council.

c. Environmentally Sensitive Lands Evaluation

Information regarding the primary conservation categories (major wildlife linkage, critical resource area and core resource area) shall be considered as part of Type 1 and Type 2 General Plan amendment applications. The reasonableness of proposed land use intensity shall be determined by Town Council upon consideration of the environmental resources present on the property.

4. Adoption of Amendment

General Plan amendment evaluation criteria provide a tool for the Town to judge the merits of a specific amendment request. The criteria identify broad themes from the General Plan that an amendment should address, as well as specific development-related issues that will be evaluated by the Town in relation to the amendment request. The intent of this criteria is to gather information that forms the basis for Town decision-making on amendment requests. The criteria are purposely written using broad language to enable review of applications based on the full breadth of General Plan topics. The ultimate decision regarding compliance with the criteria will be made by Town Council. Mitigation as needed may be incorporated as special area policies by Town Council, or addressed in subsequent zoning development processes.

a. The review and analysis shall include the following criteria:

i. On balance, the request is consistent with the vision, guiding principles, goals, and policies of the General Plan as demonstrated by the following criteria. The request shall not:

a) Significantly alter existing development character and land use patterns without adequate and appropriate buffers and graduated transitions in density and land use.

b) Impact existing uses with increased infrastructure without appropriate improvements to accommodate planned growth.

c) Impact other public services including police, fire, parks, water and drainage unless careful analysis and explanation of anticipated impacts are provided to the Town for review.

d) Impact the natural beauty and environmental resources without suitable mitigation.

ii. The applicant has implemented effective public outreach efforts to identify neighborhood concerns and has responded by incorporating measures to avoid or minimize development impacts to the extent reasonably possible, as well as to mitigate unavoidable adverse impacts.

iii. All non-residential amendment requests will contribute positively to the long-term economic stability of the Town as demonstrated by consistency with goals and policies related to economic development and financial stability.

b. The applicant may develop special area policies, which typically address concerns such as setbacks, building heights, screening and traffic management, with the understanding that they may be refined during the rezoning process to address public safety concerns and new information.

c. It shall be the responsibility of an applicant to submit information, studies and analysis that will enable all participants to adequately assess the request in relation to the criteria.