The Town of Oro Valley is in the beginning stages of annexing 107 acres of land northwest of Ina and Oracle roads.
The annexation, should it receive the number of votes required to pass, would include 22 parcels, 11 residential and 11 commercial. The annexation would encompass Ina Road to the south, Paseo del Norte on the west, Chapala Drive on the north, and Oracle Road to the east.
The Town of Oro Valley has submitted a map and blank petition to Pima County for the proposed area, and is currently in the 30-day waiting period required by law. In the last 10 days of that waiting period, the Town is required by state law to hold a public hearing regarding the annexation. That hearing is scheduled for April 18, with no action required.
Despite the addition of commercial properties, Assistant Town Manager Kevin Burke said he does not expect sales tax revenues to much outweigh the expenses, which will come with the services provided to the area, such as police and public works.
“There will be some sales tax surplus, but there really aren’t a lot of retail businesses in the area,” Burke said. “The gains will be almost entirely offset by the services.”
According to Burke, a couple of the specific projects to be taken on by the Town include fixing the roads along Northern Avenue and fixing storm water issues in the same area.
Burke said the annexation complies with the council’s commitment to expand the town as a form of economic development and building partnerships in the region.
Mayor Satish Hiremath was a bit more optimistic about the potential of the annexation’s sales tax revenues, pointing out the acquisition of some big name commercial properties such as Gold’s Gym, Magpies, and Quality Inn.
Hiremath added that the acquisition of Tohono Chul Park, located near Ina Road and Paseo del Norte, could potentially bring in a lot of tourism dollars for Oro Valley.
“Two percent of the sales tax in Oro Valley equates to $12 million dollars,” said Hiremath. “The addition of these commercial properties could certainly equate to big dollars. It’s difficult in times like this to acquire commercial properties. We want people to come into Oro Valley. Tohono Chul is globally renowned. It’s a world-class facility, and it would be a huge plus to the town.”
Hiremath emphasized that Oro Valley is not the only one to gain from the annexation.
“We’re not looking to hold anybody hostage,” he said. “We are hoping that residents and businesses see the benefits of this. With our infrastructures, with things like our roads, and even more importantly, our public safety, where people are not having to rely on the sheriff’s office to respond to calls anymore.”
Additionally, if annexed, area residents would also acquire the right to vote in Town elections, the right to serve on the town’s boards and commissions, and the right to voice opinions in Town affairs.
Hiremath said initial discussions between council have been unanimously in favor of the annexation.
Following a formal council vote on the annexation, the town will have one year to acquire 50 percent plus one of the votes from the property owners in the proposed area, to also include 50 percent of the total assessed valuation of property.
Interim Town Manager Greg Caton said they have already met one-on-one with many of the businesses in the area in preparation of the annexation process.