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For the purpose of this code, certain terms and words are hereby defined. Words used in the present tense shall include the future; the singular number shall include the plural and the plural shall include the singular; the word “building” shall include the word “structure,” the word “lot” shall include the word “plot”; the word “may” is permissive and the word “shall” is mandatory, further, the word “or” shall mean “either” and the word “and” shall mean “in conjunction with.” “Zone” shall mean “district.”

Abandoned Sign

A sign which advertises, identifies or gives notice of a business which is no longer in operation or an activity which has already occurred.


The condition of two (2) adjoining properties having a common property line or boundary including cases where two (2) or more lots adjoining only a corner or corners, but not including cases where adjoining lots are separated by a street or alley.

Access or Access Way

The place, means, or way by which pedestrians and vehicles shall have safe, adequate, and usable ingress and egress to a property or use as required by this code.

Access Drive

The drive that allows vehicles ingress and egress from a site.

Access Road

A road within one (1) mile of the grading site, designated on the approved grading plan, and used during grading, for the transport of grading equipment, hauling of fill and other equivalent traffic to and from the grading site.

Accessory Building

A building, the use of which is customarily incidental to that of a dominant use by the occupants of the main building or by their non-paying guests and employees.

Accessory Use

A use customarily subordinate to the main use of the lot or building.


A land area measuring forty-three thousand five hundred sixty (43,560) square feet.

Active Restoration

The process of taking specific and intentional actions to re-establish natural processes, vegetation, and habitat of an ecosystem.

((O)11-01, 02/16/11)


The condition of being near to or close to, but not necessarily having a common dividing line (e.g., two (2) properties that are separated only by a street or alley shall be considered as adjacent to one another).

Adjusted Gross Acreage

The total acreage contained within a development, less acreage in required arterial streets, drainageways, and existing permanent land uses.

Advertising Sign

A sign primarily listing products sold or services offered, or products manufactured on the premises.


An abbreviation for the Airport Environs Zone as established by the Compatible Use Zone Map.

A-Frame Sign

A hinged or self-supporting upright sign constructed of durable materials and connected so as to maintain an “A” shape or similar structure.

Agricultural Building

A structure designed and constructed to only house farm implements, hay, grain, poultry, live-stock, or other horticultural products. This structure shall not be a place of human habitation or a place of employment where agricultural products are processed, treated, or packaged; nor shall it be a place used by the public.


An airborne vehicle capable of carrying at least one (1) person and shall include, but not be limited to, airplanes, helicopters, rotorcraft, gliders, hang-gliders, motorized or non-motorized balloons, dirigibles, and blimps.


An area which is used, or is intended to be used, primarily for the takeoff and landing of aircraft and any appurtenant areas which are used, or intended to be used, for airport buildings or facilities, including open spaces, taxiways and tie-down areas, hangars and other accessory buildings.


A change, addition, or modification in construction, structure, or occupancy.

Amateur Radio Operator

A Federally licensed member of the amateur radio service, which is a voluntary, noncommercial communication service, particularly with respect to providing emergency communications.

Ambient Sound

Sound from all normal existing sources near and far at a given location, including the noise source being evaluated.

((O)20-07, 09/16/20)


A change in the wording, context, or substance of this code, an addition or deletion or a change in the district boundaries or classification upon the district map which imposes any regulation not heretofore imposed or removed or modifies any such regulations heretofore imposed.

Analogous Use

A use which is substantially similar to the permitted uses.


Uses, whether permitted or conditional, subordinate or secondary to primary, permitted land uses.

Animal Services

A service providing for the care and well-being of animals or pets, which may include veterinary services (including ancillary short-term boarding and lodging), pet grooming, and the sale of pets and pet-related products.


The movement or the optical illusion of movement of a design, or pictorial segment, including the movement of any illumination or the flashing or varying of light intensity. The automatic changing of all or part of the facing of the sign. The movement of a sign set in motion by the atmosphere.


A system of poles, panels, rods, reflecting discs or similar devices used for the transmission or reception of radio frequency signals. Any device, including DBS satellite dishes, used to receive signals from direct broadcast satellites (DBS); multi-channel multi-point distribution providers (MMDS); and television broadcast stations (TVBS).

Antenna, Ground-Mounted

An antenna with its supports placed directly on the ground.


A dwelling designed for the occupancy by three (3) or more families living independently of each other in units stacked on top of one another.

((O)23-04, 10/18/23)


Written notice by the Town accepting the design, progress or completion of work.

Approved Plan

The most current plan which bears the authorized signature of review and acceptance by the Town.

Approved Testing Agency

A testing lab equipped to perform and certify the tests required by this code and whose testing operations are controlled and monitored by a civil engineer.

Area Lighting

Lighting designed primarily to illuminate an area of a development and may coincidentally illuminate one (1) or more sign faces.

Art Gallery

An establishment for the display and/or sale of fine art, crafts, photography, or other art-related work.

Art Plan

The art plan prepared in accordance with Section 27.3.G and an element of the development review process.

((O)22-09, 10/05/22; (O)11-15, 05/18/11)


An object which is a product of human modification, or objects which have been transported to a site by people. In this Town, artifacts over fifty (50) years are protected by Section 27.10.


An individual generally recognized by critics and peers as a professional, full-time practitioner of the visual arts, as judged by the quality of that professional practitioner’s body of work, education, experience, past commissions, exhibition record, publications, and production of artwork.

((O)14-02, 01/15/14; (O)08-23, 12/03/08)

Arts and Culture Use

A use providing display or collection of historical, artistic, literary, and/or scientific, or other similar objects for public appreciation, including museums or art galleries. Cultural uses may include an ancillary restaurant or gift shop.


Privately or publicly funded artwork that is accessible to the community for public benefit.

((O)22-09, 10/05/22)

Assisted Living Home

A dwelling unit used as a primary residence for ten (10) or fewer residents who receive supervisory care services, personal care services or directed care services on a continual basis.

((O)15-16, 11/08/15)


Monies or third party agreement with an agency authorized to do business in the State of Arizona guaranteeing the performance on the installation of all required improvements.


Structural roof components, of the same type and color of roofing material, that joins, ties or connects one structure to another.

((O)18-15, 10/03/18)

Average Cross Slope

The calculated average of slopes across a lot or parcel, not including slopes in excess of fifteen percent (15%).

Awning Sign

A sign which is placed on, or integrated into, fabric or other material canopies, which is mounted on the exterior wall of a building. Sign copy affixed to an awning may only display the name of the business and/or address.

Background Sound

Sound from all existing sources near and far that may interfere with a sound pressure level measurement, not to include the noise source being evaluated.

((O)20-07, 09/16/20)


A portion of a building projecting into the required yard with a floor height of not less than four (4) feet above grade.


An airtight bag made of thin rubber or other lightweight material inflated with air or lighter-than-air gas that is anchored to the ground, a building or structure with ropes, a post, wires and/or string to attract attention of the public.


See “Financial Services.”


Any sign of light-weight fabric or similar material that is temporarily mounted to a building or is freestanding.


An establishment possessing a series 6 or series 7 liquor license and primarily serving alcoholic beverages to the public for consumption on the premises.


A building used for the storage of farm products, feed and farm equipment and the housing of farm animals.

Base Zoning Dwelling Count

The maximum number of minimum lot size dwellings permitted on a parcel of land.

((O)11-01, 02/16/11)


The portion of a building underground and having at least one-half (1/2) of its height measured from its floor to its ceiling below grade. A basement shall be counted as a story if the vertical distance from grade to its ceiling is more than two (2) feet.

Bicycle Parking Facility

A structure that provides temporary placement for bicycles.

Class 1:

A facility designed for temporary storage of an entire bicycle and its components and accessories and to provide protection against inclement weather, the extreme heat of the desert climate, and theft. The facility may include bicycle lockers, check-in facilities, monitored parking, restricted access parking, or other means which provide the above level of security as approved by the Planning and Zoning Administrator.

Class 2:

The facility provides a stationary object enabling the operator to lock the bicycle frame and both wheels with a user-provided U-shaped lock or a cable and lock.

Bicycle Parking Space

An area designated within a facility for the use of an individual bicycle.


An off-site sign that is pasted, painted, or fastened on in a manner to allow for periodic replacement of messages that is not located on the property where the billboard is located.


A piece or parcel of land or group of lots entirely surrounded by public streets, streams, railroads or parks or a combination thereof.

Boardinghouse or Lodging House

A structure(s) used for multiple human occupancy where individuals do not have common access to all living, eating, kitchen, and storage areas within said structure(s).


Earth material acquired from an off-site location for use in grading a site.


The selective removal of vegetation.

Buffer Area

Open spaces, landscaped areas, fences, walls, beams or any combination thereof used to physically separate or screen one (1) use or property from another.

Buffer Yard

A yard containing only native desert or landscaping, including organic and inorganic materials, for the purpose of providing separation between adjacent land or along roadways.

Buildable Area

The area where a building can be placed after the designation of natural open space.


A structure for the shelter, housing, or enclosure of persons, animals, chattels, or property of any kind with the exception of doghouses, play houses and similar structures. Each portion of a building separated by dividing wall or walls without openings may be deemed as a separate building for the purpose of issuing building permits.

Building Frontage

The maximum dimension of the building front projected to a straight line parallel to the street.

Building Height

The vertical distance of a structure.

Slopes Less Than Six Percent (6%)

The vertical distance measured from the grade found along the outside walls of a building to the highest point of the building, excluding any chimney.

Slopes Greater Than Six Percent (6%)

The maximum vertical distance measured from natural grade to the highest point of the building directly above, excluding any chimney.

Building Height Contour Line

The area located at the building height permitted by Oro Valley zoning above the existing pre-development grade and parallel to the contour of the existing pre-development grade.

Building Line

A line where no building or structure, or portion thereof, shall be erected, constructed, or otherwise established any closer to the street right-of-way line.

Building-Mounted Antenna

An antenna that is attached to the walls of, or integrated into, buildings, religious institution steeples, cooling towers, elevator bulkheads, parapets, penthouses, fire towers, tanks, and water towers, or other structures.

((O)07-33, 09/19/07)

Building Segment

A portion of a building which has a single finish floor elevation.

Building Site

The area of a building together with associated parking areas and open space required by this code. A building site may encompass more than one (1) lot.

Business Frontage

The lineal distance of the building space occupied by the particular business projected to a straight line parallel to the face of the building in which the main entrance into that particular business is located.

Cabinet Sign

A three (3) dimensional structure which includes a frame, borders and sign panel face and may include internal illumination upon which the sign logos are placed or etched, and is architecturally integrated with the building.

Car Wash

See “Vehicle Wash.”


An accessory building or portion of a main building with one (1) side totally open and one (1) or more partially open sides designated or used for the parking of motor vehicles. Enclosed storage facilities may be provided as part of a carport.


The portion of a building between floor and ceiling which is seventy-five percent (75%) or more below grade and is not habitable space.


A parcel of land or structure dedicated to, and at least a portion of which is being used for, the interment of human or animal remains. A cemetery may include crematories, mausoleums, and columbaria.

Change of Copy

A replacement face(s) or material to an existing sign without changing any structural members, sizes, and/or heights.


A letter, number, logo (as defined in this chapter) or symbol.


The substantial removal of vegetation by manual or mechanical means.


The use of a single mount and/or site by more than one (1) wireless communications service provider.

Color Temperature

The warmth or coolness of white light source along the black body curve. The higher the color temperature (kelvin (k)) the cooler appearing (brighter) the white light appears.


A service area for mobile food units, where food, containers, or supplies are stored; food is prepared or prepackaged; utensils are cleaned and sanitized; or liquid wastes are disposed and potable water is obtained.

((O)24-03, 01/10/24)


The Planning and Zoning Commission of the Town of Oro Valley unless the context indicates otherwise.

Communication Studios

An establishment used for the creation, development and/or broadcast of radio or television programs or products, not including towers or communication facilities.

Communications Nuisance

A use which creates interference with radio communications and electronic navigational aids or devices, including instrument landing systems, for aircraft using the airport.

Conditional Approval

An affirmative action by the Board of Adjustments, Planning and Zoning Commission or Town Council indicating that approval will be forthcoming upon satisfaction of certain specified stipulations.

((O)17-05, 06/07/17; (O)11-15, 05/18/11)

Conditional Use Permit

See “Use Permit.”


An estate in real property consisting of an undivided interest in common in a portion of said real property together with the right of exclusive occupancy of a unit located thereon.


The use and management of land to eliminate waste and maximize efficiency of use while yielding the highest sustainable benefit to present generations and maintaining the natural resources in such a state that they remain biologically viable and they can provide for the benefit of future generations.

((O)11-01, 02/16/11)

Conservation Easement

An easement delineating an area that will be kept in its natural state.

Construction Drawings

All documents required for construction that depict all elements of the final layout and design at construction-level detail. The construction drawings include the final site plan final plat based on the approved preliminary plat, development plan, as well as the native plant preservation, salvage and mitigation plan and landscape, irrigation, and buffer yard plans, art plans, architecture plans, building plans and improvement plans.

((O)22-09, 10/05/22; (O)11-15, 05/18/11)

Construction Sign

A construction sign may only contain the names of the architects, engineers, contractors, or similar artisans, as well as the owners, financial supporters and similar individuals or firms associated with the project.

Convenience Markets

A convenience use store less than seven thousand five hundred (7,500) square feet where food and drink, which may include packaged alcoholic beverages, are sold primarily for consumption off premises.

Convenience Use

A use by which the method of operation produces a moderate or high level of traffic and impacts on surrounding uses. The following are considered convenience uses:

1.Gas stations

2.Drive-through uses, not including banks

3.Convenience markets

4.Vehicle (car) washes

Corral Fence

A fence-type structure consisting of vertical posts and horizontal members and so constructed that seventy-five percent (75%) or more of the vertical surface is open. Chain link or other similar types of wire fences are not intended to be included in this definition and shall be classified as a fence or wall.


The common Town Council of the Town of Oro Valley.

Covered Porch

An exterior covered structure attached to a building, including associated roof eaves or overhangs, that is supported by posts or columns and is open on three (3) sides.

((O)18-15, 10/03/18)

Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED)

A multidisciplinary approach to deterring criminal behavior through environmental design. The environmental design should encourage desirable behavior and functionality. CPTED emphasizes surveillance, access control, and definition of ownership.

((O)11-05, 04/20/11)


A street with no outlet which terminates in a circular right-of-way. Cul-de-sacs shall be developed in accordance with the Oro Valley’s Subdivision Street Standards.

Cultural Resource

A prehistoric or historic site or object having historical, architectural, archaeological, or community importance, including artifacts, records, and material remains related to such property or resource.

((O)11-01, 02/16/11)

Cultural Resource Professional

An archaeologist, architect, architectural historian or historian who meets the minimum professional qualifications established by the Secretary of the Interior’s Professional Qualification Standards.

((O)11-01, 02/16/11)

Cultural Resources Survey

An activity with the purpose of locating and identifying cultural resources without causing any disturbance of the ground.

((O)11-01, 02/16/11)

Custom Home Subdivision

A subdivision in which all homes are designed individually and no model homes are constructed.


Vertical removal of earthen material.

Dangerous Activity, Hazard or Obstruction

An activity, structure, vegetation or other use which is dangerous to persons or aircraft using the airport or which is an obstruction or hazard to air navigation.

Day Care

A public or private establishment providing care and supervision for five (5) or more children not related to the proprietor.

Decibel (dB)

A unit of level which denotes the ratio of two (2) quantities that are proportional to power as defined in the noise abatement technical bulletin.

((O)20-07, 09/16/20)


Is a conveyance of fee simple or property rights to Oro Valley or another public agency.


A ratio of the number of dwelling units to the gross land area unless otherwise stated.

Density-Based Land Uses

Those land uses of a residential nature.

Desert Varnish

A black or brown shiny crust on rocks, which consists mainly of iron and manganese oxides.

Development Plan

The plan of a development other than single-family detached homes including, but not limited to, the general layout of all buildings, drives, carports, recreation facilities, patios, walls, and finish floor elevations.

((O)22-09, 10/05/22)

Development Review

All elements, requirements, reviews, approvals and processes related to the review of preliminary plats, final plats, development plans, master development plans and minor land divisions.

((O)22-09, 10/05/22)


An individual, firm, corporation, partnership, association, syndication, trust or other legal entity, or representative thereof, that files the application and initiates proceedings for the development of land in accordance with the provisions of Sections 22.5 and 22.9 and the developer need not be the owner of the property.

Development Committee

The personnel designated to meet with a developer during the development plan, subdivision, and platting process.

Development Complex

A site having common vehicular access points, which is subject to a development plan.

Direct Lighting

A source of external illumination located a distance away from the sign which lights the sign, but which itself is not visible from any normal position or view.

Directional Sign

A permanent on-site sign that is placed solely to define location and streamline the flow of vehicular and/or pedestrian traffic so as to minimize congestion and promote safety. A directional sign may only display written or graphic directions for traffic, name of the business and/or logo, and address and/or suite number.

Directory Sign

An on-site sign interior to a development that lists only names and locations of the businesses or activities within a building or multi-tenant complex. A directory sign shall help to direct vehicular and/or pedestrian traffic.


A physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one (1) or more of a person’s major life activities, impairs their ability to live independently or a record of having such an impairment, or being regarded as having such an impairment, but such term does not include current use of, nor addiction to, a controlled substance.

Display Area

An area for the purpose of displaying miscellaneous items such as posters, menus, promotional items or the like which pertain to the business itself, in a defined location and may include illumination. Window displays such as mannequins, three (3) dimensional figures, clothing and the like, which do not contain advertisement, shall not be considered a window type sign as described below.


A building or use that has a Series 18 liquor license and produces no more than twenty thousand (20,000) gallons of distilled spirits annually.

((O)20-06, 07/15/20)


A zone as shown on the Zoning Map of the Town of Oro Valley for which there are uniform regulations governing the use of buildings and premises or the height and area of buildings.

District Map

The official zoning map of the Town of Oro Valley, which is a part of the zoning ordinance of the Town of Oro Valley.

Double-Faced Sign

A sign having two (2) display surfaces, one (1) (or more) support(s) of which is (are) shared by both surfaces. Hence, double-faced signs include back-to-back signs as well as V-shaped signs.

Drainage Swale

A designed invert that collects site drainage and directs it to a point of discharge.

Drive-Through Use

A use which has a drive-through lane as a functional component of the business.


The principal access route from a roadway to the lot’s primary off-street parking area.


A building, or portion thereof, designed exclusively for residential purposes.


A building, or portion thereof, designed for occupancy by three (3) or more families.


A building designed for occupancy by one (1) family.

Two-Family (Duplex)

A building designed for occupancy by two (2) families.

Dwelling Unit

A building, or portion of a building, arranged, designed or used as living quarters, including bathroom and kitchen facilities, sleeping and living areas, for a family.


A grant by the owner of the use of a strip of land by the public, a corporation, or persons for specific uses and purposes and is so designated.

Electronic Message Board

A sign that permits the changing of messages by means of electronically controlled sign copy.


An unforeseen event requiring prompt action.


To go into or over a specified line such as a setback.

((O)18-15, 10/03/18)

Engineering Plan

Plans, profiles, cross sections, and other required details for the construction of public improvements prepared by a registered engineer in accordance with the approved preliminary plat and in compliance with standards of design and construction approved by the Town Council.

Entertainment at Bars, Restaurants or Private Clubs

An activity intended for entertainment, including live musicians, disc jockeys, musical or artistic performances, etc.

Entryway Sign

A permanent sign identifying the entrance to a subdivision, complex, facility, or commercial development.

Envelope, Development

The sum of the areas of the permit holder’s land to be graded, including the building envelope, accessory buildings, and areas of related parking, driveways, swimming pools, walls and other accessory structures, but excluding individual sewage disposal systems.

Commercial Building

The main building and all attached roofed structures.

Residential Building

A dwelling unit and all attached roofed structures, including carports or patio ramadas.

Environmentally Sensitive Lands

Lands that contribute to the aesthetic character of the immediate area, such as unique or heavy plant, tree or cacti growth or species, including, but not limited to, those lands restricted by additional overlay districts.

Environmentally Sensitive Open Space (ESOS)

Lands designated as permanent, natural open space in accordance with the requirements of Section 27.10.

((O)11-01, 02/16/11)

Equipment Building or Structure

An accessory building or structure used to house necessary equipment used by communication providers at a facility.


The wearing away of the ground surface as a result of the movement of wind, water or ice.


A condition placed on land development requiring dedication of infrastructure and/or real property that is necessary to serve a proposed development and is imposed on a parcel of land for the purpose of mitigating the anticipated negative impacts and infrastructure needs created by the development.


The mechanical, manual, blasting, or other such means for removal of earth material.


A parcel of land that is within the boundaries of the subdivision but is not owned by the subdivider.


The result of causing something to be open to view.


A portion of a building that may or may not have a location on the ground that projects out from a building.

((O)18-15, 10/03/18)

Fall Zone

The surface under or around a play structure onto which a child accidentally falling from or exiting from the equipment would be expected to land. Also referred to as a use zone.

((O)23-04, 10/18/23)


A person living alone, up to but no more than ten (10) persons unrelated to each other by blood, marriage or legal adoption, living together in a dwelling unit existing solely as a single housekeeping unit, with common access to all living, eating, kitchen and storage areas within the dwelling unit.


An area used for the production of farm products.


A parapet-type wall used as part of the facade of a flat-roofed building and projecting from the building face immediately adjacent thereto.


The vertical addition of earthen material.

Filter Fabric

A woven or non-woven water-permeable material generally made of synthetic products, such as polypropylene, used in stormwater management and erosion and sediment control applications to trap sediment or prevent the clogging of aggregates by fine soil particles.

Final Inspection

Field inspection conducted by the Town prior to project acceptance of release of assurances.

Final Plat Approval

An unconditional approval of the final plat by the Town Council, as evidenced by certification on the plat by the Mayor and constitutes authorization to record a plat.

Financial Services

An establishment providing management or exchange of money, assets or other fiduciary services, including banks, credit unions, savings and loans, mortgage and/or title companies.

Fitness Center

A place or building where exercises and related activities are performed for the purpose of weight control and/or physical fitness.


A fabric, banner, or bunting containing distinctive colors, patterns, or symbols, used as a symbol of a government, political subdivision, or other entity.


The relatively flat areas or low lands adjoining the channel of a watercourse, or areas where drainage is or may be restricted by manmade structures which have been or may be covered partially or wholly by floodwater.

Floor Area Ratio

The ratio of gross building floor area to the net lot area of the building site.

Food Processing

A use engaged in the production of food products.


A use engaged in the production of food products intended for consumption off premises for sale directly to individual consumers.

Large Scale

A use engaged in the production of food products intended for wholesale distribution to licensed retailers.

Food Truck

See “Mobile Food Unit.”

((O)18-14, 10/03/18)


A structure which is not attached to any other structure or portion of a structure. Structures, which are linked by pedestrian walkways, are deemed to be freestanding. Freestanding shall also apply to sole uses on an individual parcel.


All property on one (1) side of a street between two (2) intersecting streets (crossing or terminating) measured along the line of the street, or, if the street is a dead end, then all of the property abutting on one (1) side between an intersecting street and the dead end of the street, including property fronting on a cul-de-sac.

Full Cutoff (FCO) Light Fixture

A light fixture which is installed or designed to emit no direct uplight above the horizontal.

Funeral Services

An establishment engaged in the preparation and/or burial of the dead, including funeral chapels, crematoriums, and mortuaries.

Garage, Parking

See “Vehicle Storage Facility.”

Garage/Yard/Estate Sale Sign

An on-site or off-site temporary sign made from paper, poster board, cardboard, or like material.

Gas Station

A convenience use engaged in the sale and distribution of fuel for motor vehicles.

General Aviation

The operation of non-commercial aircraft, including storage (hangars), maintenance and airstrips.

General Plan

The General Plan of the Town of Oro Valley, or any part thereof, as adopted by the Town Council and as hereinafter amended.

Golf Course

A facility other than a miniature golf course for the playing of golf at which there may be a clubhouse including restrooms and locker rooms. A golf course may provide additional services customarily furnished, such as swimming, outdoor recreation and related retail sales that may include a restaurant and cocktail lounge if approved as a part of the required use permit.

Golf Safety Net

A structure made of netting material supported by vertical poles, which is erected for the purposes of protecting life and property from errant golf balls.

Government Services

A use engaged in providing services to the general public and recognized as a political subdivision of the State, including City or Town agencies, emergency services, fire services, school districts, etc.

Government Sign

A sign installed or required by a public agency such as traffic, public transit, public information, or similar government entity.


The elevation of the ground surface, paving, or sidewalk.


The actual, current ground surface before the issuance of a grading permit.


The final grade conforming to the approved plan.


The topographic configuration of land, prior to any grading or disturbance of the site.


The stage at which grading substantially conforms to the approved grading plan.


The initial clearing, brushing or grubbing, and subsequent excavating or filling of a site.

Grading Permit

An official document issued by the Town authorizing the grading activity specified by the grading permit conditions.

Grading Permit Conditions

The specifications and requirements of the approved grading plan, soils report, or other documents necessary for grading permit approval.

Grand Opening

The introduction, promotion or announcement of a new business, store, shopping center, or office, or the announcement, introduction or promotion of an established business changing ownership.

Grand Opening Sign

An on-site sign advertising the opening of an establishment, expansion, or change of ownership of a commercial enterprise, new business, store, or office.

Grocery Store

An establishment primarily engaged in the sale of food products including packaged goods, produce and meat products, which may include on-site food preparation such as bakeries, delis and other related services.

Gross Floor Area

Is the sum of the gross areas of the several floors of a building or buildings, measured from the exterior faces of exterior walls or from the centerlines of walls separating two (2) buildings. Gross floor area shall not include:

a.Underground parking space

b.Uncovered steps

c.Exterior balconies

Gross Land Area

The area of a parcel of land excluding all streets and alleyways in existence at the time the preliminary plat/development plan is submitted. Those portions of such parcels which subsequently may be designated as streets or alleyways, whether dedicated or not, shall be included in the determination of gross land area.

((O)22-09, 10/05/22)


The removal of trees and other large plants including their roots.

Guest House

An attached or detached accessory building used to house guests of the occupants of the principal building. A guest house providing kitchen facilities shall be considered a dwelling unit.

Guest Ranch

A ranch that provides lodging and activities to guests.


The place or type of site where a plant or animal naturally or normally grows and lives.

Halo Illumination

Illumination produced by recessing a light source inside a hollow sign character with an open back or within the mounting surface. An outline glow around the characters is created by this light reflecting off the background to which the characters are attached.

Health Studio or Health Spa

See “Personal Services.”

((O)06-06, 04/19/06)


An area that is used or intended to be used for the landing and takeoff of helicopters and may include any or all of the areas of buildings which are appropriate to accomplish these functions.

High-Rise Building

A building that exceeds thirty (30) feet in height as defined herein.

Hillside Conservation Area

Land area designated for conservation of natural slopes greater than fifteen percent (15%).

((O)11-01, 02/16/11)

Hillside Development Zone

An area providing additional regulations for hillside development.

Hillside Development Zone Subdivision

A subdivision or that portion of a subdivision located within the Town’s Hillside Development Zone.

Hillside View Conservation Area

The visually significant slopes and ridges of the site designated as environmentally sensitive open space. Visually significant slopes and ridges are identified by the scenic resources category of the ESL regulations.

((O)11-01, 02/16/11)

Historical Marker

A sign marker locating and identifying a historical interest or site.

Home Occupation

Business or commercial activity that is conducted from property zoned for residential use.

((O)16-11, 09/07/16)

Home Occupation Sign

A sign that identifies a business or commercial activity that is conducted from the property zoned for residential use.


A facility for the general and emergency treatment of human ailments with bed care including a sanitarium or clinic.

((O)15-16, 11/08/15)


An establishment that offers temporary lodging in rooms, for less than one (1) month (thirty (30) days), that has interior common corridor access to rooms, may include a restaurant and accessory uses and services, including, without limitation, newsstands, gift shops, and similar incidental uses conducted entirely within the principal building.

Household Services

An establishment providing repair or maintenance of residential goods or properties including appliance repair shop, pest prevention services, etc.

Human Burials

Human remains, including human skeletal remains, cremations, and/or ceremonial objects and funerary objects.

Human Signs

Any portable commercial advertisement that is held or worn by a person or persons to draw attention to or direct the public to a business or event.

Hydrological Study

A report designed to show the effects of surface water on a specific area.

Identification Sign

An on-site permanent sign which identifies the premises where the sign is located.

Illumination Nuisance

A use which creates difficulty for pilots to distinguish between navigational lights or markers and other lights.

Illuminated Sign

A sign whose surface is lit internally or externally or has the potential or ability to be illuminated either by battery or electricity shall be considered an illuminated sign whether the sign is lit or unlit.


A street, sewer, electric, gas and water utilities, drainage and flood control facilities or any other improvement or structure including all necessary engineering, construction, and inspection costs for the same for which the Town of Oro Valley may ultimately assume responsibility for maintenance and operation.

Impulsive Sound

Sound that is characterized by brief disturbances of sound pressure, typically less than one (1) second, when peak sound pressure exceeds the background sound pressure.


Impulsive sound having very rapid onset rate (greater than one hundred fifty (150) dB per second) typically resulting from impact processes including, but not limited to: metal hammering, wood hammering, drop hammering, pile driving, drop forging, pneumatic hammering, pickleball paddle and ball impacts, pavement breaking, metal impacts and riveting.


Impulsive sound that is not highly impulsive sound. This includes speech and music.

((O)20-07, 09/16/20)

Incidental Retail Item

An item customarily subordinate or directly related to the operation of a mobile food unit.

((O)18-14, 10/03/18)

Indirect Lighting

A source of external illumination located a distance away from the sign, but which is itself not visible from any normal position.

Inflatable Sign

An object, device or structure capable of or designed to be inflated with air or lighter-than-air gas that is used for the purpose of attracting attention or to make something known to the public.


A person authorized by the Town to perform inspection on grading work.


A building or buildings occupied by a nonprofit corporation or a nonprofit establishment for public use.


An organizational facility used for social, educational, or religious purposes such as a school, religious institution, hospital, or reformatory.

((O)07-33, 09/19/07)


An element of a project that is an aesthetic or functional part of a structure or design. The integrated element is not intended to appear as an added or attached feature of the overall project.

((O)18-08, 05/16/18)

Internal Illumination

A source of illumination entirely within the sign wherein the source of the illumination is not visible.

Irrigation Facility

Canals, laterals, ditches, conduits, gates, pumps, and allied equipment necessary for the supply, delivery, and drainage of irrigation water and the construction, operation and maintenance thereof.

Irrigation System

An underground watering system, which consists of heads, valves, pipes, etc., used for the sole purpose of sustaining and promoting plant life.


A use where six (6) or more dogs or cats are bred, boarded, and/or trained, not including ancillary pet boarding.

Kiosk Sign

A freestanding sign that contains directional placards. The kiosk is installed per a contract with an independent contractor who is responsible for the manufacture and maintenance of the signs.


A combination of trees, shrubs, flowers, or other horticultural elements, decorative stonework, paving, screening or other architectural elements designed to enhance the visual amenity of a property and/or to provide a screen to mitigate any objectionable aspects that may detrimentally affect adjacent land.

Landscape Island

A landscaped area defined by a header and/or curb commonly found in a parking lot or cul-de-sac.

Landscape Screen

An area of landscaping intended to provide a visual screen between adjacent areas.

Light Trespass

The portion of the measurable light distribution that extends beyond the property line.

Linear Park

See “Park, Linear.”

((O)11-05, 04/20/11)

Loading Space

A permanently maintained space on the same lot as the main building accessible to a street or alley, which provides an area for delivery trucks and other similar activities to serve the building.


A graphic symbol representing a business. Logos shall be state or federally registered trademarks.

Long Term

A period of time exceeding seven (7) days.


A parcel of land created by a legal subdivision bounded on all sides by property lines of sufficient size to meet minimum zoning requirements for use, coverage, area, setbacks, and other areas as required by this code, with legal access to a public street.


A lot adjoining two (2) or more streets at their intersection.


A lot other than a corner lot or key lot.


A lot adjacent to a corner lot that shares its side lot line with the rear lot line of the corner lot and fronts on the street which forms the side boundary of the corner lot.

Reverse Frontage

A lot having frontage on two (2) non-intersecting streets. The front of the lot shall be considered facing the interior street.

Lot Area

See “Net Lot Area.”

Lot Coverage

The area of land that is covered by a building on a particular site.

Lot, Depth of

The horizontal distance between the front and rear lot lines.

Lot Lines

The lines which form the boundary of a lot.


The line along the street on which the lot is addressed for residential lots, or the major street as determined by the Town Engineer for commercial lots.


The line that is opposite and most distant from the front lot line.


All lot lines not front or rear are side lot lines.

Lot of Record

A lot that is a part of a subdivision, the plat of which has been recorded in the office of the Pima County Recorder; or parcel of land, the deed of which is recorded in the office of the County Recorder.

Lot Width

The width of the lot determined as follows:

1.If the side property lines are parallel, the shortest distance between these side lines;

2.If the side property lines are not parallel, the width of the lot shall be the length of a line at right angles to the axis of the lot at a distance equal to the required front or rear building setback line, whichever is the lesser. The axis of a lot shall be a line generally perpendicular to the fronting street, which divides the lot into two (2) equal parts.


A unit of light output from a source; used to measure the amount of light emitted by lamps.


The complete lighting assembly, not including the support assembly.


The replacing or repairing of a part of a sign made unusable, unsafe or unattractive by ordinary wear, tear or damage beyond the control of the owner or the repainting of an existing sign without changing the wording, location, composition or color of said sign.

Manufactured Home

A structure, transportable in one (1) or more sections, which, in the traveling mode, is eight (8) feet or more wide or forty (40) feet or more in length, or when erected on site, is three hundred twenty (320) or more square feet, and which is built on a permanent foundation and contains plumbing, heating, air cooling, and electrical systems.

Manufacturing Services

An establishment whose primary business is the compounding, processing, fabricating or assembling, packaging or testing of goods or equipment.


A manufacturing service which may have a negative impact on adjacent properties and that does not comply with Section 25.1.B.17.


A manufacturing service which does not have a negative impact on adjacent properties in accordance with Section 25.1.B.17.

((O)20-06, 07/15/20)

Marijuana Establishment

An entity licensed by the State of Arizona Department of Health Services or its successor agency to acquire, possess, cultivate, manufacture, supply, sell or dispense marijuana and marijuana products.

Types of establishments include:

Designated Caregiver Cultivation Location

An enclosed facility, that does not exceed two hundred fifty (250) square feet of cultivation space, where a designated caregiver, as defined by A.R.S. Section 36-2801(5), cultivates marijuana if the designated caregiver’s registry identification card provides that the designated caregiver is authorized to cultivate marijuana.

Nonprofit Medical Marijuana Dispensary

A nonprofit entity that acquires, possesses, cultivates, manufactures, supplies, sells or dispenses marijuana or related supplies and educational materials to cardholders.

Recreational Marijuana Dispensary

A single retail location, in cooperation with a medical marijuana dispensary, that acquires, possesses, cultivates, manufactures and sells marijuana and marijuana products to consumers.

Dispensary Off-Site Cultivation Location

A single off-site location where marijuana or marijuana products are cultivated, processed, packaged, stored or manufactured by a marijuana dispensary, but from which marijuana and marijuana products may not be transferred or sold to consumers.

Qualifying Patient Cultivation Location

An enclosed facility that does not exceed fifty (50) square feet of cultivation space for each location, where a qualifying patient, as defined by A.R.S. Section 36-2801(13), cultivates marijuana if the qualifying patient’s registry identification card states that the qualifying patient is authorized to cultivate marijuana.

((O)20-10, 11/04/20; (O)10-13, 10/27/10)

Marijuana Use

Marijuana is all parts of the plant of the genus Cannabis, as defined in A.R.S. Section 13-3401, whether growing or not, as well as the seeds from the plant, the resin extracted from any part of the plant, and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture or preparation of the plant or its seeds or resin.

Marijuana does not include industrial hemp, the fiber produced from the stalks of the plant of the genus Cannabis, oil or cake made from the seeds of the plant, sterilized seeds of the plant that are incapable of germination, or the weight of any other ingredient combined with marijuana to prepare topical or oral administrations, food, drink or other products.

Types of marijuana uses include:

Medical Marijuana

Marijuana used for a medical use as those terms are defined in A.R.S. Section 36-2081(11).

Recreational Marijuana

Marijuana used for enjoyment rather than as a medical treatment.

((O)20-10, 11/04/20; (O)10-13, 10/27/10)

Marquee Sign

Any sign affixed to or constructed in a roof-like structure or awning projecting over an entrance to a building, such as a theater.

Mass Grading

Grading of the subdivision building site, in its entirety, during the initial development process, as authorized by the approved plans. Mass grading shall only be permitted for new residential subdivisions, with an average lot size of fifteen thousand (15,000) square feet or less.

((O)20-05, 09/16/20)

Master Development Plan

A cohesive plan for parcels or lots that are part of a larger tract which may be developed in phases, but due to proximity require an integrated and comprehensive design.

((O)22-09, 10/05/22)

Master Planned Development

A large, multi-use development planned and developed in a comprehensive manner.

((O)20-06, 07/15/20)

Mature Trees

Healthy, full-bodied trees with a shape characteristic of the species and of the following minimum sizes:

Ten (10) to twelve (12) foot height by six (6) to eight (8) inch wide; or two (2) inch single trunk caliper; or one (1) inch average trunk caliper for multiple trunk trees; or eight (8) foot trunk height for palms.

Mechanical Equipment

All devices, appliances, and apparatus involved in the maintenance of environmental conditions within a building or recreational structure, such as a swimming pool or spa. Mechanical equipment shall include HVAC units, air conditioners, pool heaters, pool filters, and pool circulation pumps, amongst others.

Medical Services

An establishment providing inpatient or outpatient medical care and/or treatment to patients, including hospitals, surgery centers or urgent care facilities.

((O)20-06, 07/15/20)

Memorial Sign

A permanent sign, table, or plaque memorializing a person, event, structure, or site.

Mezzanine or Mezzanine Floor

An intermediate floor placed in any room.

Menu Board

A monument style or wall-mounted sign providing a bill of fare for the purpose of placing orders at a drive-through, drive-in restaurant, or walk-up window.


A building or use that has a series 3 liquor license and which produces beer in the amount between ten thousand (10,000) and three hundred thousand (300,000) gallons annually.

Minor Land Division

A division of improved or unimproved land for the purpose of financing sale or lease, whether immediate or future, into one (1) or more lots. A minor land division shall not include any division of land defined as a “subdivision.”

((O)22-09, 10/05/22)

Mixed-Use Development

A development with a combination of residential and nonresidential uses.

((O)23-04, 10/18/23)

Mobile Food Unit

A food establishment that is licensed by this State, that is readily movable and that dispenses food or beverages for immediate service and consumption and other incidental retail items as defined in this section.

((O)18-14, 10/03/18)

Mobile Food Unit Court

A site specifically designed to accommodate multiple mobile food units serving customers as the principal use of the land.

((O)24-03, 01/10/24)

Mobile Home

A structure, transportable in one (1) or more sections, which, in the traveling mode, is eight (8) feet or more in width or forty (40) feet or more in length, or when erected on site is three hundred twenty (320) or more square feet and which is built on a permanent chassis and designed to be used as a dwelling.

Mobile Home Park

A lot, tract, or parcel of land used or offered for use, in whole or in part, with or without charge, for parking of mobile homes or trailer coaches used for sleeping or household purposes.

Mobile Home Space

A plot of ground within a mobile home park designed for the accommodation of one (1) mobile home or trailer coach.

Model Home

An unoccupied home intended for use as a representation for homebuyers of a particular home product.

Model Home Banners

Banners for a model home may be utilized for the sole purpose of a sales event or to identify a new model home.

Model Home Flags

Individual flags, attached to freestanding poles, that may be multicolored and/or contain the corporate logo for a model home complex sales office.

Model Home Off-Site Signs

Signs within a subdivision which direct traffic to the model home complex or custom home lot sales office.


A word describing uses and activities other than the business name.

Monitoring, Archaeological

The observation after commencement of a disturbance to determine if archaeological resources exist in an area or, when such resources are known to exist, the observation, recording, and incidental recovery of site features and materials to preserve a record of the affected portion of the site. Monitoring is applicable in locations where sites or features may occur but are generally not expected to be of such importance, size or complexity as to require lengthy work or project delays for archaeological investigations.


A facility used exclusively for wireless communication facility mounts and is self-supporting with a single shaft of steel, concrete or wood. This does not include flagpoles.

Monument Sign

A permanent sign supported by structures, columns, uprights, and/or braces that are placed on, or anchored in, the ground independent of the building or business structure.


A building or group of buildings containing guest rooms or dwelling units, some or all of which have a separate entrance leading directly from the outside of the building, with the garage or parking space located on the lot and designed, used or intended wholly, or in part, for the accommodation of automobile transients. Motel includes motor court, motor lodge and tourist court, but not a mobile home park.

Moving or Animated Signs

Any sign or part of a sign which changes physical position, flashes, blinks lights, rotates or conveys the illusion of movement by mechanical means, illumination, and/or air movement.

Moving Services

A use where trucks, trailers or other similar equipment intended for use in moving households or businesses is available for hire, purchase or rent.

Multiple Tenant Commercial Building

A structure that houses or is intended to house a variety of separate commercial activities.

Native Vegetation

Vegetation which is indigenous to the specific site or to areas contiguous to a parcel being developed.

Natural Cross-Slope

The slope of the topographic configuration of land, graphically represented by contour lines, prior to any grading or other disturbance of the site.

Natural Grade

The topographic configuration of land prior to any grading or other human disturbance of the site.

Neon Sign

An illuminated commercial display made up of glass tubes, shaped to form letters and designs.

Net Floor Area

The total floor area of a building measured from the interior faces of load-bearing walls excluding air shafts, stairwells, elevator shafts, restrooms, and mechanical equipment rooms.

Net Lighting Acre

An acre of the remaining ground area after deleting all portions for proposed and existing public and private street rights-of-way within a development, parcel, or subdivision. If there are any E1 lighting zones on the property, then they shall also be excluded from the calculations of net lighting acre.

Net Lot Area

The area included within lot lines after all right-of-way dedications have been made as required by the Town of Oro Valley.

New Business Banner

A banner may be utilized for the purpose of a new business opening or change of ownership to promote a new business.


A unit of visible-light intensity, commonly used to specify the brightness of an LED, cathode ray tube or liquid crystal display computer display. One (1) nit is equivalent to one (1) candela per square meter.


Any sound which annoys or disturbs humans or which causes or tends to cause an adverse effect on humans, domesticated animals or livestock.

((O)20-07, 09/16/20)

Noise Abatement Plan

A detailed plan demonstrating the mitigation measures to be taken in order to meet the noise requirements of this code.

((O)20-07, 09/16/20)

Noise Impact Study

An analysis performed by a qualified acoustical engineer which determines the potential noise impacts of a proposed use.

((O)20-07, 09/16/20)

Nonconforming Building

A building or portion of which was lawful when established but does not conform to a subsequently established district or district regulations.

Nonconforming Lot

A parcel of land having less area, frontage, or dimensions than required in the district in which it is located.

Nonconforming Sign

Any sign which does not conform to the provisions of this code but which, when first constructed, was legally allowed by the Town of Oro Valley or political subdivision then having control over signs.

Nonconforming Use

A building or land, lawfully occupied by a use at the time of passage of this code or code amendment, that does not conform after passage of this code or code amendment with the use regulations of the district in which it is located.

Non-Density-Based Land Uses

Those land uses of a nonresidential nature.

Nonilluminated Sign

A sign that does not have the ability to be electrified or powered in any way. The components that enable the sign to be lit must be permanently disabled in order to be considered a nonilluminated sign.

Non-Ionizing Electromagnetic Radiation (NIER)

Is electromagnetic radiation primarily in the visible, infrared, and radio frequency portions of the electromagnetic spectrum.


The purpose for which a building, or part thereof, is used or intended to be used.

Off-Site Sign

Any sign not located on the premises or site of the use identified or advertised by the sign.


A building or part thereof, designed, intended or used for the practice of a profession, including medical, the carrying on of a business, the conduct of public administration, or, where not conducted on the site thereof, the administration of an industry, but shall not include a retail commercial use, any industrial use, financial institution, place of amusement, or place of assembly.

Office Park

A group of offices planned and designed for the site on which it is built, functioning as a unit, with off-street parking and landscaping provided on the property as an integral part of the unit.

On-Site Sign

Any sign which is located on the premises or site of the use identified or advertised by the sign.

On-Site Subdivision Sign

An on-site temporary sign located at the entrance to a subdivision.

Open House

A dwelling or office space that is for sale or for lease to which the public is invited for walk-in inspection.

Open Space

An area meant to provide a natural or garden environment.


A landscape or natural open space, other than frontage open space, intended for use by all occupants of a development.


The landscaped or natural open space between the right-of-way line of a dedicated street and any perimeter structure(s) within the development except that this space may extend between structures or between a structure and a side property line to a depth of not more than one-half (1/2) the width of the opening.


An area improved through the harmonious combination of natural desert growth with the introduction of trees, shrubs, and groundcover the purpose of which is to enhance the visual and aesthetic quality of any structure or development.


A natural, completely undisturbed, desert area.

Outdoor Display

An arrangement of merchandise sold on the property in such a way to give special prominence and designed to attract buyers.

((O)16-10, 09/07/16)

Outdoor Light Fixture

An outdoor illuminating device, outdoor lighting or reflective surface, lamp or similar device, permanently installed or portable, used for illumination. Such devices include, but are not limited to:

1.Parking lot lighting.

2.On-site circulation lighting.

3.Building and structural lighting.

4.Landscape lighting.

5.Recreational lighting.

6.Product display area lighting.

7.Building overhangs and open canopies.

8.Security lighting.

Outdoor Storage

The supply, stock of merchandise, materials or similar items accumulated in an area outside of the business.

((O)16-10, 09/07/16)

Outdoor Type Business

A business, all or most of whose activities are conducted, or items displayed, in an open area.

Overlay District

A zoning district that provides supplemental regulations to be applied in addition to those of the original zone, or provides for density transfers, or for coordinated development of several uses and shall include the Hillside Development Zone, Planned Residential Development District, and Planned Area Development District. Any applicable regulations superimposed by the Floodplain Management Code shall be in addition to the requirements of this zoning code.


The person or persons holding title by deed to land or holding title as vendees under land contract or holding any other title of record.

Pan-Channel Letter

A dimensional character fabricated to form a pan (i.e., a back and sides). The pan is formed in the shape of a character. The sides are strips of the same material fastened to the back. The open end of the pan is usually capped by a character cut from translucent acrylic, and is known as the face. Lighting may be installed inside the pan to illuminate the face.

Parapet Wall

A wall extending above the plate line of a building.


An area within legally described boundaries under common ownership and capable of being separately conveyed. A lot within a subdivision is a parcel.


An area of land designated and used for recreation purposes.


A park that has a much greater length than width.


An area of land designated and used for active and/or passive recreation intended for use by residents of the subdivision or complex in which the park is located.


An area of land designated and used by the public for active and/or passive recreation.

Parking Aisle

The aisle on which vehicles are allowed access to the individual parking stalls and are characterized by slow speeds and high turning movements.

Parking Area

A public or private land area designed and used for off-street parking.


A parking area for the private use of the owners or occupants of the lot on which the parking area is located; this does not include parking on sidewalks or streets; this does include “reserved” designations.


A parking area available to the public, with or without compensation, used to accommodate clients, customers, employees, guests, or visitors.

Parking Bay

A parking module consisting of one (1) or two (2) rows of parking spaces and the aisle from which vehicles enter and leave the spaces.

Parking Lot

A parcel of land devoted to parking spaces as set forth by the parking standards of the Town of Oro Valley.


A lot available to the general public, who may be required to pay a charge or fee for said usage to the owner of the lot or his agent.

Parking Space

The space for the parking of a vehicle within a public or private parking area.

Parking Structure

A building designed for temporary storage of motor vehicles.

Party Wall

A single common wall between two (2) adjacent units.

Patio Home

An attached or detached single-family dwelling constructed with no side yard on one (1) side of the lot.

Pedestrian Tenant Directory

An exterior, wall-mounted, or freestanding sign that lists only the names and locations of tenants of a complex or development for the sole purpose of directing pedestrians. The sign shall have a uniform background color and letter style.

Pedestrian Way

A public walk dedicated entirely through a block, from street to street, or providing access to a school, park, recreation area, or shopping center.


A lightweight fabric or other material, whether or not containing a message of any kind, suspended from a rope, wire, or string, designed to attract attention.

Perimeter Roads

The roads along the perimeter of buildings and at the ends of parking aisles where they abut property lines and provide customer drop-off and pickup as well as emergency access to the building.

Permanent Sign

Letters, numerals, symbols, and/or insignia that is intended to be displayed for an indefinite or long-lasting period and the lettering or message of which is intended to remain essentially unchanged, except for the maintenance against normal effects of exposure to weather.

Permitted Use

A use specifically permitted or a use analogous to those specifically permitted.

Personal Services

An establishment where individual services are provided, including, but not limited to, barber shops, salons, health/day spas including massage, dry cleaners and laundromats (not including industrial cleaners), and teaching studios.


A non-hooved animal generally recognized as a domestic household animal.

Planning and Zoning Commission

The Planning and Zoning Commission of the Town of Oro Valley.

Plant Nursery

A place where young trees and/or other plants are raised for transplanting or for sale.


A map of a subdivision:

Final Plat

A map of all or part of a subdivision providing substantial conformance to an approved preliminary plat prepared by a registered civil engineer or a registered land surveyor in accordance with Section 22.9.E.5.

Preliminary Plat

A preliminary map including supporting data indicating a proposed subdivision development prepared in accordance with with Section 22.9.E.4.

Recorded Plat

A final plat bearing all of the certificates of approval required in Section 22.9.E.5 and duly recorded in the Pima County Recorder’s Office.

((O)22-09, 10/05/22)

Plate Line

The point at which the bottom of the main roof structure first touches or bears upon an external wall.

Pole Cover

Covers made from various materials which enclose or conceal a pole or other structural supports or members to the sign.

Political Subdivision

A separate legal entity of the State, including counties, cities, school districts or public fire or emergency services, etc.

Portable Sign

Any sign not permanently attached to the ground or other permanent structure, or a sign designed to be transported, including, but not limited to, signs designed to be moved by means of wheels; signs converted into A-frames; menu and sandwich board signs; balloons used as signs; and signs attached to or painted on vehicles parked and visible from the public right-of-way, unless the vehicles are used in normal day-to-day operations of the business.


A large printed display or picture often posted in a public place as a notice or advertisement.

Pre-Application Conference

An investigatory period that precedes actual preparation of development review plans by the developer.

((O)22-09, 10/05/22)


All contiguous land used and occupied by an establishment, whether owned or leased from another. Included are all buildings, storage and service areas, and private roads or driveways which are an integral part of the establishment.


See “Day Care.”


In the context of the environmentally sensitive lands conservation system, the attempt to maintain land in its current condition to protect the area from negative human influence.

((O)11-01, 02/16/11)

Private Club

An establishment, which may possess a Series 14 liquor license, primarily organized for some common social purpose, including veterans of foreign wars, American Legion and other similar social organizations.

Prohibited Use

A use not specifically permitted or a use analogous to those not specifically permitted.

Projecting Sign

An on-site sign attached to and extending more than twelve (12) inches from a structure not designed exclusively for the support of the sign and/or a sign which projects from the wall of a building or structure perpendicular to the wall surface.


To jut out or hang over without supporting structural elements.

((O)18-15, 10/03/18)

Public Service Sign

A sign which provides directions to a public or quasi-public location such as community centers, schools, Town facilities, and religious institutions.

Qualified Habitat Restoration Specialist

A person with a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree in a natural resources-related field, and five (5) years of experience in the field of habitat biology.

((O)11-01, 02/16/11)

Quasi-Public Signs

Announcement signs, along with special event type signs, shall be allowed for religious institutions, schools, community centers and any other public or institutional buildings within a commercial or residential district.

Rainwater Harvesting

The intercepting, catching, storing, diverting, or directing storm water runoff from roofs, parking areas, etc., during rain events and putting it to beneficial use.

((O)22-01, 01/05/22)

Rainwater Harvesting Active System

A system that employs a reservoir or other water storing apparatus to catch and store rainwater for later use with conventional landscape irrigation systems. It typically involves electric pumps, valves and will be cross-connected to the site irrigation system.

((O)22-01, 01/05/22)

Rainwater Harvesting Infiltration Area

Pervious areas of a site where harvested water collects and soaks into the subsurface to support landscape plants.

((O)22-01, 01/05/22)

Rainwater Harvesting Passive System

A system that diverts or directs rainwater runoff to appropriate locations where it is collected and allowed to infiltrate the soil naturally. This system contains no long-term storage capabilities.

((O)22-01, 01/05/22)


An area of ten (10) or more contiguous acres that is used for the raising of livestock on a commercial basis.

Real Estate Sign

A sign pertaining to the sale, rent, or lease of the premises or portion of the premises on which the sign is located.

Reasonable Repairs

To restore an existing structure to a good or sound condition resulting from decay or damage.

Recreation Area

A land area that is designated for recreation or contains specific facilities such as community centers, pedestrian ways, swimming pools, picnic facilities, basketball and sport courts, playground equipment and exercise equipment.


An area delineated for activities that involve relatively high impact or more energy. Active recreation areas include, but are not limited to, tennis, volleyball, and other court games, baseball, soccer and other field sports, swimming pools, track and improved playground activity areas.


An area delineated for activities that involve relatively low impact or less energy. Passive recreation areas include, but are not limited to, walking paths, dog parks, or picnic areas. Passive recreation areas also include natural open space which contains nature walks and observation areas.

((O)23-04, 10/18/23)

Recreational Building

A building of which the primary use and function is for recreational activities.

Recreational Facilities

A place designed and equipped for the conduct of sports, exercise, and/or leisure-time activities.

Religious Institution

A place of gathering or assembly with the primary purpose of religious worship. Typical religious uses include, but are not limited to, churches, synagogues, mosques and temples.

((O)07-33, 09/19/07)

Research and Development

The conducting of research of a commercial, industrial, or scientific nature, including analytic, diagnostic, processing, testing or experimentation and other types of laboratory services but not for the manufacture or sale of products except as incidental to the main purpose of the laboratory.

((O)20-06, 07/15/20)

Residential Sign

A sign on which is displayed the name and address of the occupant.


A group or groups of buildings containing more than five (5) dwelling units and/or guest rooms and providing outdoor recreational activities, which may include golf, horseback riding, swimming, shuffleboard, tennis, and other similar activities, including associated lighting. A resort may furnish services customarily furnished by a hotel including a restaurant, bar, specialty retail shops, and convention facilities.


An establishment primarily engaged in the serving of food to the public.


A building or structure where food and drink are served for consumption on the premises by order from the service to a vehicular passenger outside the structure.


A building or structure where food and drink are served for consumption within the building or off the premises by order from vehicular passengers outside the structure including, but not limited to, services from an outdoor service window.


A sale for any purpose in the form of tangible personal property.


An establishment primarily engaged in the sale of goods or products to the end consumer, not including wholesale, manufacturing or other similar types of sales.

Retaining Wall

A wall designed to withstand lateral and hydrostatic pressures and built to keep earth from sliding.


Placement of living plant materials including, but not limited to, seed on sites or cut-and-fill slopes where the natural vegetation has been removed.

Reverse Pan Channel

A sign with dimensional character(s) fabricated from opaque material to form a pan, i.e., a front and sides. The pan is formed in the shape of a character. The sides are strips of material fastened to the front. The back remains open. Lighting may be installed inside the pan which creates a halo illumination.


A topographic feature above sloped areas fifteen percent (15%) and greater that forms a crest or hilltop of at least eighty (80) feet in width. Ridges may include sloped areas as illustrated below.

((O)11-01, 02/16/11)

Ring Road

A road that typically provides unimpeded access to the parking aisles from the access drives and performs a collector function. A ring road is not primarily adjacent to the buildings except in service areas.


A bed or wall consisting of stones placed in an irregular fashion.


Rip-rap that is held together with or placed in cementatious material.

Riparian Habitats

Biological communities occurring in association with any spring, cienega, lake, watercourse, river, stream, creek, wash, arroyo, or other body of water, either surface or subsurface, or any channel having banks and beds through which water flows, at least periodically. Riparian habitats may be generally characterized or distinguished into three (3) classes, hydroriparian, mesoriparian, and xeroriparian, by a difference in plant species composition, or an increase in the size and/or density of vegetation, as compared to upland areas, as follows:

1. Hydroriparian Habitats

Riparian habitats generally associated with perennial watercourses, with plant communities dominated by obligate or preferential wetland plant species, such as willow and cottonwood.

2. Mesoriparian Habitats

Riparian habitats generally associated with perennial or intermittent flows, or shallow ground water, with plant communities dominated by species that may also be found in drier habitats, but contain some preferential riparian plant species, such as ash or netleaf hackberry. The mesquite bosque and sycamore/ash association are examples of this community type.

3. Xeroriparian Habitats

Xeroriparian habitats are supported by intermittent or ephemeral stream flows. Typical species associated with this habitat type include mesquite, blue palo verde, desert willow, catclaw acacia, whitehorn acacia, desert hackberry, and ironwood. Actual species composition is typically a function of the extent and frequency of stream flow. Xeroriparian habitats are present along washes throughout the Town of Oro Valley.

For the purposes of this classification system, xeroriparian habitats are further divided into the following subcategories:

a. High Xeroriparian A Habitats

Generally associated with well-developed watercourses. The trees present are generally sixteen (16) feet to twenty (20) feet tall or taller. The vegetative volume per unit area within this habitat type is approximately 0.850 M3/M2 with much of the volume present within the dense overstory.

The diversity of species is relatively greater than that associated with intermediate xeroriparian B and low riparian C habitat types. Mesquite, desert willow, blue palo verde, and desert hackberry are representative tree species within high xeroriparian A habitat areas.

b. Intermediate Xeroriparian B Habitats

Typically occur along well-developed watercourses. The principal distinction between xeroriparian A and xeroriparian B habitats is that of plant size (height, trunk size, and total vegetative volume). Trees in this habitat type generally range from six (6) feet to fifteen (15) feet tall. The under-story is often more extensive than xeroriparian A habitats due to a more open overstory canopy.

Within intermediate xeroriparian B habitats, the vegetative volume per unit area is typically 0.675 M3/M2. Mesquite, ironwood, blue palo verde, catclaw acacia, desert broom, and desert hackberry are representative of this habitat type.

c. Low Xeroriparian C Habitats

Typically occur along minor watercourses and along the peripheral edges of major watercourses. The typical vegetative volume per unit area in this habitat type is between 0.500 and 0.675 M3/M2. Whitethorn acacia, catclaw acacia, desert creosote bush, bunchgrasses, and bursage are typically found within low xeroriparian C habitats.

d. Regional Drainageway

Not a single habitat type, but rather an aggregation of the habitat types described above distributed continuously along a regional drainageway. The regional drainageway is significant in that it typically extends for lengths of several miles and may extend from the urbanized portions of the Town into large tracts of undeveloped public lands. Within the current boundaries of Oro Valley, this habitat feature occurs along the Canada del Oro Wash and Big Wash.

The regional drainageway typically consists of patches of xeroriparian A, B, and C.

Habitats separated by areas of sparsely vegetated or nonvegetated wash bottom all of which is within the undeveloped floodplain.

The high habitat value associated with regional drainageways stems from their length (which can be uninterrupted for lengths of several miles), their width (which provides habitat areas that are relatively isolated from adjacent urban developments), and their configuration (which provides connections between various tributary channels and, in some instances, connections to tracts of preserved natural open space).

Road Construction Sign

Temporary business identification signage to enhance visibility of properties with commercial, multifamily or religious institutions during road construction projects.

Roof Sign

A sign that is mounted on, above, or over the roof of a building, so that it projects above the highest point of the roofline, parapet, or fascia of the building.


The top edge of the roof or the top of the parapet, whichever forms the top line of the building silhouette.

Scenic Resource Conservation Area

Lands adjacent to designated scenic corridors where the land use and design requirements of the ESL scenic resources category apply.

((O)11-01, 02/16/11)


A place of general instruction.


A place of general instruction, such as private academies, business schools or colleges that are not a charter school or part of a public school system.


A place of general instruction which are recognized by the Arizona Department of Education as a charter school or as part of a public school system.


An opaque barrier designed and installed to conceal areas used for storage, refuse, mechanical equipment, parking or delivery service loading bays from street and public view, or to buffer adjacent uses.

Screen Wall

An opaque wall at least six (6) feet in height located along the perimeter of a said use that abuts a residential use, the purpose of which is to minimize any impacts associated with contiguous or adjacent land uses.

((O)11-15, 05/18/11)

Sculptured Rock

A soil stabilization treatment using a material, such as concrete or gunite, which is sculpted to resemble natural stone.

Seasonal or Event Banner

A seasonal or event banner may be used to advertise a seasonal or special event in any commercial/industrial zoning district.

Seasonal Sign

Seasonal signs may include decorations, holiday lights, garlands, or similar treatment oriented toward a holiday event. Seasonal signs and decorations shall be temporarily displayed for traditionally accepted civic, patriotic, or religious holidays.

Self Storage

An establishment providing temporary storage facilities to one (1) or more individuals as a primary use.

Senior Care Facility

A health care facility providing single or multiple types of senior care, including independent living facilities or facilities defined and licensed by the State of Arizona as an assisted living facility, hospice in-patient facility, nursing care institution or similarly licensed facilities.

((O)15-16, 11/08/15)

Service Station/Fuel Sign

A permanent, two (2) component, monument style sign displaying fuel prices, fuel types, name of station, and/or logos.


The shortest straight line distance in feet from the nearest property or lot boundary to a main or accessory building, structure, sign or the like located on the same property or lot.

Sexually Oriented Business

Classified as the following:

1.Adult arcades;

2.Adult bookstores, adult novelty shops or adult video stores;

3.Adult cabarets;

4.Adult motels;

5.Adult motion picture theaters;

6.Adult theaters;

7.Adult vending machines;

8.Escort agencies;

9.Nude model studios; and

10.Sexual encounter centers.

Refer to the Oro Valley Town Code Section 8-4-1 for further definition of the above listed classifications.

((O)06-06, 04/19/06)

Shared Access

Shared ingress/egress points for vehicular circulation purposes.

Shopping Center

A group of stores planned and designed for the site on which it is built, functioning as a unit, with common points of ingress and egress.

Short Term

A time period no more than seven (7) days.

Short-Term Rental Property

A building(s) of a residential character other than a hotel or motel compatible with the neighborhood offering temporary lodging for less than one (1) month (30 days).


Every message, announcement, declaration, display, illustration, insignia, character, surface, or space erected, maintained or attached to any structure, surface, or thing and made visible for the purpose of attracting attention or to making something known to the public.

Sign Area Allotment

The permitted amount of identification sign area based on ratio to the linear footage of building frontage.

Sign Modification

Any change to an existing sign’s copy, color, and/or supporting structures.

Sign Structure

A freestanding wall, pole, pedestal, or object erected for the purpose of supporting the sign.

Significant Vegetation (SV)

Specific plant communities, and/or unique plant occurrences, and/or unique individual specimens that demonstrate, through the presence of certain criteria areas, special value to the Sonoran desert ecosystem:

1.Plant community is an area of vegetation dominated by one (1) or more species. Climate, elevation, soil types and other factors ultimately determine the limits and boundaries of particular plant communities. Examples of a plant community dominated by one (1) species are desert grassland and creosote bush association, or a grove of trees, for example mesquite bosque. These communities can form almost pure stands of single species. Examples of co-dominant plant communities are cottonwood-willow and palo verde-saguaro association. Plant communities create an environment that is beneficial, unique, and/or valuable to the desert ecosystem.

2.Unique plant occurrences are areas of vegetation that exist in contrast to the majority of the surrounding vegetative community due to either microclimates or availability of water sources. Examples are stands of ironwood trees or riparian areas.

3.Unique plant refers to any native tree, shrub, or cacti with extraordinary characteristics such as, but not limited to, age, size, shape, form, canopy cover, or aesthetic value. An example may be crested saguaros, a rare, massive ancient tree, or tree with unusual shape.


A land area designated for development as a single entity, exclusive of any public right-of-way or property, which consists of one (1) parcel or any number of contiguous parcels.

Site-Delivered Dwelling

A dwelling that is not constructed on the site on which it is located. Site-delivered homes include prefabricated housing, manufactured housing, and mobile homes. Site-delivered homes do not include recreation vehicles.

Site Perimeter Setback

Measured from the property line of the outer edge of a development envelope containing all of the buildings.

((O)20-06, 07/15/20)

Site Plan

A plan drawing of an individual site (see definition, “Site”) including the layout of buildings, circulation system, parking, walls, landscaping, open space, and any other appropriate information as required by the Town of Oro Valley to provide adequate public review.

Site Resource Inventory

A primary evaluative design tool upon which site design and salvage plans are based. The information contained in the site resource inventory shall be utilized for purposes of site planning and design, and shall describe and identify natural characteristics of the site, including areas of significant vegetation. Preservation of protected natural area and significant vegetation shall be a primary consideration.

Sleeping Unit

A room or space arranged, designed or used as living quarters, with sleeping and living areas and bathroom facilities, without full kitchen facilities.

((O)09-05, 06/17/09)


Degree of deviation of a surface from the horizontal; measured as a numerical ratio, percent, or in degrees. Expressed as a ratio, the first number is the horizontal distance (run) and the second is the vertical distance (rise), as 2:1. A 2:1 slope is a fifty percent (50%) slope. Expressed in degrees, the slope is the angle from the horizontal plane, with a ninety (90) degree slope being vertical (maximum) and forty-five (45) degrees being a 1:1 or one hundred percent (100%) slope.

Slope, Exposed, Height of

Vertical dimension of the exposed slope, measured from the top of the adjacent finished grade to the point where the cut or fill slope intercepts the natural grade.

Slope Interceptor Drain

A drainage swale designed to collect and divert the flow of water.

Small Cell Wireless Facility

A wireless facility that meets both of the following:

1.All antennas are located inside an enclosure of not more than six (6) cubic feet in volume or, in the case of an antenna that has exposed elements, the antenna and all of the antenna’s exposed elements could fit within an imaginary enclosure of not more than six (6) cubic feet in volume.

2.All other wireless equipment associated with the facility is cumulatively not more than twenty-eight (28) cubic feet in volume, or fifty (50) cubic feet in volume if the equipment was ground-mounted before August 9, 2017. The following types of associated ancillary equipment are not included in the calculation of equipment volume pursuant to this subdivision:

a.An electric meter;

b.Concealment elements;

c.A telecommunications demarcation box;

d.Grounding equipment;

e.A power transfer switch;

f.A cutoff switch;

g.Vertical cable runs for the connection of power and other services.

((O)18-02, 01/17/18)


Naturally occurring deposits overlying bedrock.

Soils Engineer of Record

A person whose discipline is soils engineering, who has prepared and sealed a geotechnical report for a specific property.

Sound Exposure Level

A descriptor for characterizing the sound from individual acoustical events.

A-Weighted Sound Exposure Level

A sound exposure level obtained from an A-weighted sound pressure level.

((O)20-07, 09/16/20)

Sound Pressure

A disturbance of the atmospheric pressure with respect to the mean barometric pressure producing the sensation of hearing or vibration measured in units of pascal (Pa).

Peak Sound Pressure

The largest absolute value of the instantaneous sound pressure in pascals (Pa) in a stated frequency band during a specified time interval.

Sound Pressure Level

The sound pressure expressed as a decibel.

A-Weighted Sound Pressure Level

Sound pressure level obtained using an “A” frequency weighting filter as defined in the Town of Oro Valley noise abatement technical bulletin.

Equivalent Continuous Sound Pressure Level

The sound pressure level of a steady, continuous sound having the same sound energy as the time varying sound measured.

((O)20-07, 09/16/20)

Sound Level Meter (SLM), Type 1

An instrument used to measure sound pressure levels meeting the standards for accuracy established in the Town of Oro Valley noise abatement techinical bulletin.

((O)20-07, 09/16/20)


A condition where no noise, to a reasonable person, would be discernible at the nearest property line.

Special Use

A temporary use of a property for a special event, which may or may not be in compliance with the standards of the zoning district in which it is to be located. Said uses, which may be public or private, may include, but are not limited to, civic, philanthropic, educational, religious, sporting, and/or social events, fundraisers, or holiday sales, or any other special temporary use, as may be deemed analogous to these examples by the Planning and Zoning Administrator.

Sport Court

A surface prepared for the purpose of playing sporting activities including tennis, basketball, volleyball, croquet, shuffleboard, bocce, pickle ball and/or other similar activities.


Treatment with mitigation measures in accordance with the erosion or siltation resistance, or the structural strength, of a graded area.


An area used for the storage and keeping of horses, mules or ponies.


An area of ten (10) or more contiguous acres containing a stable for horses, mules, or ponies that are hired, bred, shown, or boarded on a commercial basis. Commercial stables must meet the conditions of Section 25.1.B.4.


A detached accessory building for the keeping of horses, mules, or ponies owned by the occupants of the premises and not kept for remuneration, hire, or sale.


The storage of uncompacted earth material.


That portion of a building included between the upper surface of any floor and the upper surface of the floor next above, except that the topmost story shall be that portion of a building included between the upper surface of the topmost floor and the ceiling or roof above.


A street, avenue, boulevard, road, lane, parkway, place, alley easement for access, viaduct or bridge and approaches thereto. A street includes the land between the right-of-way lines whether improved or unimproved and may comprise pavements, shoulders, curbs, gutters, sidewalks, parking areas and lawns.

1. Arterial Route (Principal Arterial)

Those Interstate, State, or County highways, freeways, expressways, and major thoroughfares having regional continuity.

2. Collector Street

Those streets providing the traffic movement within neighborhoods of the Town and between major streets and local streets and for direct access to abutting property.

3. Local Street

Those streets providing direct access to residential, commercial, or other abutting land or for local traffic movements and connects to collector or major streets.

4. Frontage Street

A local street parallel and adjacent to an arterial route which intercepts local streets and controls access to an arterial route.

5. Cul-de-Sac

A short local street permanently terminated in a vehicular turnaround.

6. Alley

A public service way used to provide secondary vehicular access to properties otherwise abutting upon a street.

Street Centerline

The centerline of a street right-of-way as determined by the Town Engineer.

Street Line

A dividing line between a lot, tract or parcel of land and a contiguous street (right-of-way).

Structural Alterations

A change in the supporting members of a building such as bearing walls or partitions, columns, beams or girders or any complete rebuilding of a roof.


A piece of work constructed or erected, the use of which requires a location on the ground or attached to something having a location on the ground, but not including a tent, vehicle, trailer coach, or mobile homes.

Structure, Temporary

A piece of work that is readily movable and used or intended to be used for a period not to exceed ninety (90) consecutive days. Such structure shall be subject to all applicable property development standards for the district in which it is located.

Studio, Commercial or Fine Arts

A studio used for professional work or the teaching of any form of commercial or fine arts.

Subcontractor Sign

A temporary sign which identifies the firm, business, persons, or entity responsible for work or activity in progress at the location of the sign.


An individual, firm, corporation, partnership, association, syndication, trust or other legal entity that files the application and initiates proceedings for the subdivision of land in accordance with the provisions of this code; and the subdivider need not be the owner of the property.


Improved or unimproved land or lands divided for the purpose of financing sale or lease, whether immediate or future, into four (4) or more lots, tracts or parcels of land or, if a new street is involved, any such property which is divided into two (2) or more lots, tracts or parcels of land or any such property, the boundaries of which have been fixed by recorded plat which is divided into more than two (2) parts.

Subdivision” shall also include any condominium, cooperative, community apartment, townhouse or similar project containing four (4) or more parcels in which an undivided interest in the land is coupled with the right of exclusive occupancy of any unit located thereon, but plats of such projects need not show the buildings or the manner in which the buildings or air space above the property shown on the plat are to be divided.

Subdivision” shall not include the following:

1.The sale or exchange of parcels of land to or between adjoining property owners if such sale or exchange does not create additional lots.

2.The partitioning of land in accordance with other statutes regulating the partitioning of land held in common ownership.

3.The leasing of apartments, offices, stores, or similar space within a building or trailer park, nor to mineral, oil, or gas leases.


An activity with the purpose of locating, identifying, and evaluating cultural or archaeological sites without causing any disturbance of the ground.

Swimming Pool

A contained body of water used for swimming or bathing purposes either above ground level or below ground level with the depth of the container being more than eighteen (18) inches in depth or the area being more than thirty-eight (38) square feet.


A pool established or maintained on any premises by an individual for his own or his family’s use or for guests of the household.


A municipal, county, or commercial pool, admission to which may be gained by the general public with or without payment of a fee.


A membership pool or cooperative pool or a pool at an establishment such as a resort, motel, apartment building or other places where the primary business of the establishment is not the operation of swimming facilities and where admission to use the pool is included in consideration given for the primary use of the premises.


A letter, figure, or other conventional mark designating an object, quantity, operation, function, or the like.


An accessory wall sign containing a grouping of letters or characters built into a single pan channel or reverse pan channel platform that contains modifiers or is used to convey information relating to the business such as goods, services, products or business associates.

Technical and Professional Standards and Guidelines

All aspects of the archaeological mitigation and data recovery efforts shall be conducted by a professional archaeologist using accepted professional standards and practices consistent with guidelines included in the Advisory Town Council on Historic Preservation 1980 Handbook; Guidelines for Recovery of Scientific, Prehistoric, Historic, and Archaeological Data: Methods, Standards, and Reporting Requirements (36 CFR 66, dated January 28, 1977); the Standards of Research Performance of the Society of Professional Archaeologists; and the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards and Guidelines for Archaeological Documentation (Federal Register, dated September 29, 1983).

Technical Services

An establishment providing services to businesses or individuals of a technical nature, including mail service, printing, photocopying, data and computer access centers.

((O)20-06, 07/15/20)

Temporary Fencing

A light, temporary barrier, as approved by the Town, that clearly and conspicuously delineates areas designated to remain undisturbed or that are to be protected during construction.

Temporary Lighting

Lighting used for a limited duration; for example, holiday decorations, civic events, or construction projects.

Temporary Sign

Any display in public view to advertise or convey information or direction which is intended to be displayed for a limited or finite period of time only. The type, quality, and materials of construction of which, although visually attractive and structurally sound, are not intended to be long lasting.


A relatively level step construction in the face of a graded slope surface for drainage and maintenance purposes.

Testing, Archaeological

The limited subsurface excavation or remote sensing of a proposed disturbance (or portion thereof) to determine the potential, type, or extent of the archaeological site. Testing may include trenching and establishing archaeological excavation units and will include the screening of excavated material for artifact recovery.


An establishment where primarily movies, shows or performances are shown or conducted, including movie theaters, playhouses and other performing arts centers.

Theater Sign

A monument style or wall sign with changeable copy panels used to display the current movies and times they are playing within the theater.

Three (3) Day Special Event Banner

A banner may be permitted on the day(s) of a special event, but shall not be used to advertise any event that exceeds three (3) days in duration.

Time and Temperature Sign

An electronically controlled sign that provides the current time and/or temperature.

Timeshare Plan

A plan or program in which the use, occupancy, or possession of one (1) or more time-share units circulates among various persons for less than a sixty (60)-day period in any year, for any occupant. The timeshare plan includes both timeshare ownership plans and timeshare use plans, as follows:

1. Ownership Plan

Any arrangement whether by tenancy in common, sale, deed, or other means whereby the purchaser receives any ownership interest and the right to use the property for a specific or discernible period by temporal division; and

2. Use Plan

Any arrangement, excluding normal hotel operations, whether by membership agreement, lease rental agreement, license, use agreement, security or other means, whereby the purchaser receives a right to use accommodations or facilities, or both, in a timeshare unit for a specific or discernible period by temporal division, but does not receive an ownership interest.

Timeshare Unit

The accommodations and related facilities which are the subject of a timeshare plan.

Tonal Sound

Sound having one (1) or more single frequency oscillations (pure tones) or that is confined to a narrow band of frequencies meeting the criteria for tonal prominence.

((O)20-07, 09/16/20)

Tot Lot

A small (typically less than one-half (1/2) acre) recreational area primarily intended for young children (ages eight (8) and under), with a primary emphasis on playground equipment and supporting amenities and infrastructure.

((O)11-05, 04/20/11)


A facility used for wireless communication facility mounts and consists of more than a single shaft of steel or concrete.


The Town of Oro Valley.

Town Council

The Town Council of the Town of Oro Valley.


A dwelling designed for occupancy by two (2) or more families living independently of each other in units joined side by side or front to back by party walls, structural roof components or similar elements.

((O)23-04, 10/18/23; (O)18-12, 07/18/18)

Traffic Sign

An on-site or off-site sign for which the sole purpose and placement are solely to define and streamline the flow of vehicular traffic so as to minimize congestion and promote safety.

Transportation Plan

A plan that provides for the development of a system of streets and highways including the location and alignment of existing and proposed thoroughfares, bicycle paths, frontage roads, and limited access to Oracle Road.

Treatment Plan

A plan prepared by a qualified cultural resource professional for the preservation, data recovery, excavation, archiving, monitoring, adaptive reuse, curation, and/or documentation of one (1) or more significant archaeological resources, buildings, structures, sites, landscapes, or artifacts.

((O)11-01, 02/16/11)


The number of different vehicles that park in a given space during an average day.

Under-Canopy Sign

A wall-mounted or hanging sign which identifies the business name and/or logo. Under-canopy signs shall be consistent in color, shape, design, and materials, if the development has an approved Sign Criteria or Master Sign Program. An under-canopy sign shall be located entirely under a covered porch, walkway, extended roof or similar structure and is solely for directing pedestrian traffic.


A premises or structure which is not occupied or being put to those uses as authorized by the last business privilege license issued by the Town for that address and business or a premises or structure where the public utilities are not in service.

Unshielded Light Fixture

A luminary without all of the shielding necessary to be defined as a full cutoff light fixture.

Usable Lot Area

That portion of a lot usable for or adaptable to the normal uses made of residential property excluding any areas which may be covered by water, excessively steep or included in certain types of easements.


The purpose for which land or a building is occupied or maintained, arranged, designed or intended.

Use Permit

A permit granted to a property owner by the Town Council to conduct a use allowed as a use in a zoning district subject to a use permit. A use permit may be granted in accordance with the provisions of Section 22.5.


Installations or facilities, underground or overhead, furnishing for the use of the public electricity, gas, steam, cable TV communication, water, drainage, sewage disposal or flood control owned and operated by any person, firm, corporation, municipal department or board duly authorized by State or municipal regulations. Utility or utilities may also refer to such persons, firms, corporations, departments, or boards as sense requires.

Utility Poles and Wires

Poles, towers, structures, wire, cable, conduit, transformers and related facilities used in or as a part of the transportation or distribution of electric power or in the transmission of telephone, telegraph, or television communication.


A modification of the literal provisions of this zoning code granted by the Board of Adjustment upon a finding that strict enforcement of the provisions would cause undue hardship owing to circumstances unique to the individual property for which the variance is granted.

((O)20-08, 10/07/20)


A device in, upon, or by which a person or property is or may be transported or drawn/pulled including self-propelled autonomous vehicles.

((O)22-01, 01/05/22)

Vehicle, Abandoned or Junk

A vehicle or any major portion thereof that is incapable of movement under its own power and will remain so without major repair or reconstruction. “Major portion” means, but is not limited to, the removal of the differential, transmission, head, engine block or oil pan.

((O)22-01, 01/05/22)

Vehicle Dealer

An agency selling new or used motor vehicles and providing services commonly associated with motor vehicle sales.

((O)22-01, 01/05/22)

Vehicle, Gross Vehicle Weight Rating

The value specified by the manufacturer as the loaded weight of the vehicle.

((O)22-01, 01/05/22)

Vehicle, Major Repairs

The removal from any vehicle of a major portion thereof including, but not limited to, the differential, transmission, head, engine block or oil pan.

((O)22-01, 01/05/22)

Vehicle, Recreational

A vehicle or vehicle combination that is more than twenty-six thousand (26,000) pounds gross vehicle weight rating and that is designed and exclusively used for private pleasure, including, but not limited to, vehicles commonly referred to as motor homes, pick-up trucks with campers, travel trailers, toy haulers, boat trailers and horse trailers used exclusively to transport personal possessions or persons for noncommercial purposes.

((O)22-01, 01/05/22)

Vehicle Repair

All aspects of motor vehicle repair including, but not limited to, lubrication, tune-up, and preventive maintenance.

((O)22-01, 01/05/22)

Vehicle Repair Facility

A facility that provides for the repair or maintenance of motor vehicles.

((O)22-01, 01/05/22)

Vehicle Storage Facility

A facility whose primary purpose is the temporary storage of motor vehicles, including parking garages.

((O)22-01, 01/05/22)

Vehicle Sign

A sign that is mounted, painted, or erected upon trucks, cars, boats, trailers, or other motorized vehicles or equipment that is parked for the primary purpose of functioning as a sign.

Vehicle Wash

A convenience use for the cleaning and washing of motor vehicles including interior cleaning and vacuuming and waxing.

((O)22-01, 01/05/22)

Veterinary Services

An establishment where animals or pets are given medical or surgical treatment and are cared for during the time of such treatment.

((O)22-01, 01/05/22)

Visibility Nuisance

A use that creates a hazard to air navigation by reducing visibility.

Visually Significant Slopes

Sloped areas of fifteen percent (15%) and greater visible from scenic corridors, public rights-of-way, public parks and all trails identified in the Oro Valley Trails Master Plan.

((O)11-01, 02/16/11)


The degree of sound intensity or audibility.

Volume, Building

The volume of a building that occupies a particular site. Volume of a building shall be determined by multiplying the gross floor area of the individual floors by the height of that story.

Volume Ratio

The ratio of building volume to the net lot area of the building site.


A structure or device required or allowed by this code forming a physical barrier, constructed such that fifty percent (50%) or more of the vertical surface is closed and prevents the passage of light, air, and vision through said surface in a horizontal plane. Where a masonry wall is specified, said wall shall be concrete block, brick, stone or other similar material and one hundred percent (100%) of the vertical surface shall be closed except for approved gates or other access ways.


A wall constructed of concrete block, brick, stone or other similar material, forming a physical barrier, constructed such that one hundred percent (100%) of the vertical surface is closed and prevents the passage of light, air, and vision through said surface in a horizontal plane, except for approved gates or other access ways.


A wall forming a physical barrier, constructed such that one hundred percent (100%) of the vertical surface is closed and prevents the passage of light, air, and vision through said surface in a horizontal plane, except for approved gates or other access ways.

Wall Sign

Any sign which is fastened, attached, connected, or supported in whole or in part by a building or structure other than a sign structure which is supported wholly by the ground with the exposed face of the sign in a plane parallel to the plane of the wall.


An establishment where the primary service is for the storage and distribution of goods of any type and where a showroom is permitted as an ancillary use.


A warehousing establishment which may have a negative impact on adjacent properties and that does not comply with Section 25.1.B.34.


A warehousing establishment which does not have a negative impact on adjacent properties in accordance with Section 25.1.B.34.

((O)20-06, 07/15/20)


The sale of tangible personal property for resale by a licensed retailer and not the sale of tangible personal property for consumption by the purchaser.

Wildlife Permeable Development

Residential development with a developed density of one (1) home per acre or less and fences and walls that are wildlife-friendly and do not impede the movement of wildlife between adjacent lots or between the development and adjacent open space areas.

((O)11-01, 02/16/11)

Window Sign

Any form of advertisement and/or identification associated with the business that is affixed to the interior or exterior of a window, or placed immediately behind a window so as to inform or attract attention to the public outside of the building and/or tenant space.

Wireless Communications Facility

A facility for the transmission and/or reception of radio frequency signals. Any device, including DBS satellite dishes, used to receive signals from direct broadcast satellites (DBS); multi-channel multi-point distribution providers (MMDS); and television broadcast stations (TVBS).


Those required areas established by setbacks to provide an open space at grade level between a building and the adjoining lot lines unoccupied and unobstructed by any portion of a structure from the ground upward except as otherwise provided herein.


An open, unoccupied space on the same lot with the main building extending the full width of the lot and situated between the street line and the front line of the main building, projected to the side lines of the lot. The front yard of a commercial corner lot is the yard adjacent to the major street as determined by the Town Engineer.


The side yard adjacent to a common lot line.


An open space on the same lot with a main building between the rear line of the main building and the rear line of the lot, as defined herein, extending the full width of the lot.


An open, unoccupied space on the same lot with a main building situated between the building and the side line of the lot and extending from the front yard to the rear yard. The side yard adjacent to a common lot line.

((O)16-16, 12/07/16)