Thursday, October 19, 2023

Bits and Pieces

Oro Valley Village Center: Years of planning... nothing done
Last year, the Oro Valley Town Council granted approval for the Oro Valley Village Center. However, there has been no progress in terms of construction. Perhaps that is because the Council declined to commit the town to building a pivotal element of the project: The construction and ongoing maintenance of the Oasis Park Entertainment Center

The Developer, Town West, is now requesting a change in the zoning for the center. They are seeking the following changes: An increase in permitted hotel building heights; a "reclassification" of the central wash area initially designed for the entertainment center; and a revised site and landscape design. The Planning and Zoning Commission will review these  plans this coming Monday. Then, council will hear it on November 1.

Meanwhile, the success of any project on the site of the Oro Valley Market Place is threatened by Uptown, which is being built on the site of the former Foothills Mall.  That project is similar in concept to the Oro Valley Village Center. The land has been cleared. Now, Uptown is ready for construction.  It is our guess that it will be online sooner than anything built at the Oro Valley Village Center. The Uptown concept is super exciting and notably beyond the reach of Oro Valley's 2.5% sales tax.

Did you know? Town sells 4,718 memberships
The Town of Oro Valley has 4,718 members in total in its facilities: The aquatic center; the three municipal golf courses; the community center and the archery range. That number is up by 2% from last month. In addition, there were 283 reservations for town fields and ramadas. The town added 30 water smart users in the past month. (Source: Town Manager October Report)

Number of single family residential permits low... mirrors national picture
In September, the town granted six single-family residential permits. According to the Town Manager's October Report, there have been a total of 91 single-family residential permits issued year-to-date, a decrease compared to the 166 permits issued during the same period in 2022. 

This week, The Wall Street Journal reported that home sales are currently on track for the slowest year since the housing market crisis in 2008, with fewer than 3 million homes sold nationwide. [see panel at right] The decline is attributed to increasing borrowing costs, record-high home prices, and a limited inventory of homes available for sale. In addition, many people are locked into low interest mortgages on homes they currently occupy.People are choosing to stay in their current homes due to high inflation and significant economic uncertainty.

Short-term rental registrations at 53% of estimated total listings... town acts to increase compliance
On September 22, we reported that the town had officially registered 185 short term rentals (STRs), according to information provided by the town.  The town has identified a total of 348 short term rentals listed in Oro Valley, as per the Host Compliance STR Tracking system. That implies that the about 47% of listing have not yet complied.

"Staff have begun reviewing STR registrations at the beginning of each month to identify any that have not registered and send a notice of violation. Staff have been successful at determining noncompliant STRs and achieving voluntary compliance, understanding that some notices of viola- tion sent to rental properties were not received because the compliance software provides the STR address but not the owner address if it’s not the same. Currently, staff are assessing the number of noncompliant STRs that remain to initiate enforcement action, which includes citing into Oro Valley Municipal Court."  (Source: Town Manager October Report)