Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Vistoso Partners Get Council Approval On Rancho Vistoso Neighborhood 5

As reported in The Explorer, after many delays, Vistoso Partners finally got the approval they have been seeking for Neighborhood 5 in Rancho Vistoso. The Explorer article is below.

Vistoso gets long-awaited plan changes

Golf course, school to remain in any development in RV

After nearly two years of considerations, changes and postponements, a general plan amendment affecting a wide swath of Rancho Vistoso has gained the approval of the Oro Valley Town Council.

The council on Dec. 2 granted the land-use changes to Vistoso Partners, owners of the property in Rancho Vistoso Neighborhood 5. The changes affect about 126 acres.

Councilman Barry Gillaspie cast the one dissenting vote.

"I favor that the golf course area be left to natural open space," Gillaspie said in explanation of his no vote.

The golf course designation, in the northern section of Rancho Vistoso, would lie too close to the open spaces of Honey Bee Canyon Park and existing trail systems, Gillaspie said.

Oro Valley resident Doug McKee took issue with golf course designation on a different front. McKee, a former planning commission member, explained that future population growth would increase the demand for golf courses. He said the area allotted for golf was too small for a viable course.

"It is so restrictive that it would probably never get built," McKee said.

Any new golf course built in the town would be required to use reclaimed water and not groundwater. The costs of tapping into the reclaimed water lines and associated infrastructure would fall to the developer.

The changes Vistoso Partners sought would transfer the location of a future school. Amphitheater Unified School District has an agreement with Vistoso Partners to use the area for a middle school, depending on population demands.

In addition to the general plan amendment approval, the council also granted Vistoso Partners an amendment to the planned area development that governs the same area. The changes to the development plan mirrored those approved under the general plan amendment.

The council approved the changes unanimously.

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