Development - History


The General Plan is a community-driven, 10-year plan that includes goals, policies and measurable actions for public safety, environment, parks, water, development, housing, employment and more. 

Your Voice, Our Future is the current General Plan.  It was ratified by voters in November 2016. 

In terms of Development, the following Vision & Guiding Principles apply:

Preserve the scenic beauty and environment

• Desert and mountain views

• Desert climate and environment

• Wildlife and vegetation

• Open space

Keep the unique community identity as a special place

• Small-town, neighborly feel

• Nice place to live

• Quiet, delightful, laid back and peaceful

• Friendly and neighborly people

• Clean and well kept

• Forward-thinking

• Built environment sets OV apart   

Manage how we grow and maintain high design standards

• Keep small-town, neighborly feel

• Concern about rapid growth

• Current rate of growth is “about right”

• Increase commercial services and employment opportunities

• Grow by adding new areas to Town limits

• Quality of built environment sets OV apart


Promote conservation of natural resources


• Energy-efficient building and construction practices

• Green building

• Renewable energy

• Water conservation

You can find the complete Your Voice, Our Future Plan here.

Focus 2020 

The previous General Plan, Focus 2020, was ratified with a focus on orderly growth, low density development and preservation of the Sonoran Desert. It remained in effect until Your Voice, Our Future (YVOF) was ratified in November 2016.  This new plan offered greater flexibility for development.

Even though Focus 2020 called for low density development, the Hiremath Council approved numerous Plan Amendments and Rezonings for higher density residential and apartment projects throughout their first and second terms (2010 to 2018).  When Councilmembers Solomon, Rodman and Pina were elected in 2016, unanimous votes for development became commonplace. Within 18 months, the developer friendly council voted unanimously for a Rezoning, three concurrent General Plan Amendments/ Rezonings and an extension of the Town boundaries for future annexation of State Land.  By March 18, 2018, there were 18 active development projects proposing 1,893 homes and an unknown quantity of apartments and senior living units. Campaign Finance Reports revealed major funding from Developers and Builders to all members of this Hiremath Council.

In 2003, Oro Valley voters rejected a previous general plan revision 60% to 40%. The Plan was defeated because too many changes were made by the Planning and Zoning Commission and Town Council AFTER the volunteer committees had completed their efforts. The Plan no longer reflected the work of the people.

A Committee was formed to revise the failed Plan and in 2005, Oro Valley voters ratified the Focus 2020 General Plan.  You can read about that here.

You can find the complete Focus 2020 Plan here.

The Land Use element of Focus 2020 stated: “The Oro Valley Planning Area will continue to project a residential/resort character where the living environment for residents and visitors is emphasized. Orderly growth that focuses primarily on low-density development is especially important to the community, as is development that is sensitive to and compatible with the Sonoran Desert environment.”

The Plan further noted that zoning entitlements were already in place within the Town’s “planning area” but stated that “…only certain areas have potential for change through the Town’s development review and approval process.”

IMPORTANT NOTE – The projects under construction in 2020 (Alterra and Tranquilo communities in Big Wash, the Shannon 80 development, the Rancho Vistoso & Vistoso Highlands project and Saguaros Viejos) were all unanimously approved by the Hiremath Council between November 2016 and April 2018.


The Town requires all General Plan Amendment and Rezoning applicants to engage in community outreach at the front end of the process to hear public comments and questions.

Typically, an in-person neighborhood meeting is held prior to formal submittal of a General Plan Amendment and/or rezoning application. However, the Zoning Code enables the unelected Planning and Zoning Administrator to approve alternative methods of public outreach when warranted. In May 2020, the Town modified the standard Neighborhood meeting format and crafted alternative methods (such as videos and Zoom meetings) during the COVID-19 pandemic to address the timing requirements. 

In-person Neighborhood & other Town Meetings were reinstated in September 2021. 

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