Friday, March 30, 2018

Important Public Hearing - LaCholla Rezoning

Planning & Zoning Commission
Tuesday, April 3, 2018
6:00 PM

Council Chambers
11,000 N. LaCanada Drive

CAPELLA PLANNED AREA DEVELOPMENT.  Discussion and possible action regarding a proposed rezoning on 207 acres from large lot residential (R1-144)* to Planned Area Development (PAD) for approximately 199 acres located on the west side of LaCholla Blvd. between Lambert Lane and Naranja Drive AND 8.2 acres located on the NW corner of LaCholla Blvd. and Naranja Drive. 

*R1-144 equals 144,000 square foot lots (3.3 acre lots). The rezoning request is for minimum lot sizes of 6600 square feet.

What to expect
If approved, this rezoning will allow the development of 500 residential lots on minimum lot sizes of just 6600 square feet. It will also allow commercial OR the addition of another 70 residential lots at the NW and SW corners of LaCholla/Naranja.

The applicant is Paul Oland of the WLB Group (the development/engineering firm representing the landowner). WLB also represents Jeff Grobstein, President of Meritage Homes, the likely builder.

Who is representing YOU?
Who is representing the residents who live along the LaCholla corridor, Lambert Lane, Naranja Drive, and the Canada Hills subdivision who will be adversely impacted by this development?

In 2014-2015, when this development proposal was being presented as a Major General Plan Amendment, you were being represented by a citizens’ group, Citizen Advocates of the Oro Valley General Plan. They negotiated with The WLB Group for 9 months.  They negotiated the number of homes from 778 down to 500.  They also fought for and were granted the following Special Area Policies.

Click HERE to view the Special Area Policies.

(NOTE: The 6600 square foot minimum lot sizes were agreed to reluctantly as The WLB Group would not budge on this issue. However, in exchange for 6600 square foot lot sizes in one area of the residential parcel, WLB agreed to increase the lot sizes to 10,000 square feet along Lambert Lane).

All of this can still be re-negotiated during the current rezoning process.

Citizen Advocates is no longer active as their goal was to negotiate the Major General Plan Amendments that pertained to this property. This was settled in May 2015.

So the answer is…YOU have to represent YOU!

Entitlements vs. Mandates
The applicant’s bottom line is getting all 500 homes that they are currently entitled to build. In order for them to fit all 500 homes, the lots need to be on the smaller side, thus the rezoning request.

However, although 500 homes is the maximum allowed per the 2016 General Plan, it is not a mandate. They can always go lower on the density without requiring Town Council approval. No one is forcing them to build 500 homes.

Campaigns funded by developers
We currently have a 7-member pro-development town council whose election campaigns were funded (and will likely be funded again this year) by the same people who are looking to develop this property. It stands to reason that the applicant wants to get approval before the upcoming 2018 Town Council election when the makeup of the council could change and may no longer be so developer-friendly.

What can YOU do?

(1) Send your objection letters to Oro Valley Principal Planner, Michael Spaeth (  Your letters will be included in the packet for the Planning & Zoning Commissioners. Should they vote to approve this rezoning despite citizen objections, your letters will then be included in the Town Council packet for the next Public Hearing.

(2) You can also plan to speak during the Public Hearing portion of the Planning & Zoning meeting.

You can view the agenda and all of the attachments HERE

View the entire proposal and the rezoning requests HERE (The rezoning requests are on pages 188-190 of the proposal)

If you are concerned about the small residential lot sizes, pay special attention to:

Items #12, #13 and #14. (Medium density residential, west side of LaCholla from Lambert Lane to Naranja).

If you are concerned about the commercial parcels, pay special attention to:

Item #4 (Neighborhood Commercial, NW corner of LaCholla/Naranja)
Item #15 (C-1 Commercial, NW corner Lambert/LaCholla)

Residents need to do more than just complain about the rampant development in town AFTER the bulldozers have arrived. You need to speak up now BEFORE the development is approved so that YOU can have a say in the future of YOUR town and YOUR neighborhood.