On Tuesday, June 25th, The Town of Oro Valley held an informational meeting at the Town Council meeting room. You may have received a postcard from the Town of Oro Valley, announcing this meeting. The topic was a proposed commercial development on the NW corner of La Canada and Naranja Drives. Approximately fifty individuals attended this meeting. This meeting was the first, in a multi-step process, for any development within the Town of Oro Valley. An official transcript of the meeting will be posted by the Town. This is a summary of the meeting.
Official information on this proposed project can be found at the Town of Oro Valley’s website:
Enter the Case #: OV1602760
Town staff contact:
Senior Planner Milini Simms at (520) 229-4836 or email@example.com
Neighborhood Meeting Documents:
- The property has been, and still is, zoned as C-2 Commercial.
- A 15,000 sq. ft. office complex of approximately three, one or two-story buildings is being proposed; all within existing zoning restrictions.
- Initial plans are for offices only, not retail space, in this development.
- A café or coffee house with a drive-thru, will act as the “anchor” for this development.
- The Developer considers the drive-thru a “must have” for the project to proceed.
- Current zoning restrictions require that no residences can be within a 250-foot perimeter of a drive-thru. A zoning variance will be needed, since 13 houses are within this 250-foot perimeter.
- The drive-thru establishment cannot be built until 40% of the development is built.
- A traffic study must be performed to assess the impact of this (or any) development, once plans are submitted by the developer. The Town cannot address homeowners’ concerns or develop a mitigation plan, until the developer submits their plans.
The Concerns the Attendees
- Naranja is already congested from high school traffic during morning and afternoon hours. A drive-thru will add to that congestion.
- Illegal turns are already occurring on the south side of Naranja, at the “pork chop” entrance to the existing SW development. Adding another “pork chop” entrance across Naranja, on the north side, poses an additional traffic hazard.
- Drivers are already using Scioto Avenue, a private street, as an illegal intersection by-pass during high congestion. The Oro Valley Police, as a matter of policy, will not enforce vehicular trespassing on private streets. Additional congestion will make matters worse for the homeowners on Scioto Avenue.
- La Canada and Naranja Drives are popular cycling and walking routes; major multi-use paths and cycle lanes run parallel to these roads. Pedestrians and cyclists, already at risk from inattentive drivers, will be place at greater risk from the drive-thru traffic at this intersection.
- Light pollution from security and parking lot lamps.
- Noise pollution stemming from the activities inherent with drive-thru activities, during operating hours.
- Odors and smoke emanating from a café or coffee house.