Marana’s Land Development Code Update: Building quality of life

faq The rules we set for development in Marana — collectively known as the Land Development Code — are the DNA of our quality of life. We’ve been amending them since 1993 to assure their relevance and flexibility as we grow. Today, in that same spirit, we’re initiating a new update to meet the needs and expectations of the next generation. And we’ll do it all together. Here how:

Question: What’s happening?

Answer: The Town of Marana staff and officials, citizens and businesses are collaborating on a process that will lead to an updated development code to guide future development and redevelopment within our Town borders.

Q: Why do we need this?

A: Marana is experiencing one of the fastest growth rates in Arizona. In the 1990s, the Town grew in population by more than 500 percent, then another 150 percent increase since 2000. The number of single-family building permits issued annually exceeds the number issued by any of the other municipalities in the Tucson metro area. In responding to that rapid growth, we want to make sure our quality of life is preserved and that planning makes the most of new opportunities and anticipates new challenges. Since 1993, we’ve steadily amended the LDC to assure our rules enable our expectations. Now it’s time for an update that clarifies those expectations for a new era and simplifies processes that align future plans with community goals.

Q: What are the community goals at the heart of this effort?

A: We’ve set our community goals together and recorded them in two key documents — our 2015 Strategic Plan and our 2011 General Plan. Organized via five focus areas (commerce, community, innovation, heritage, and recreation), they make clear that we understand how both the natural and the built environments make Marana an appealing place to live, work and play. So we want to plan for the future in ways that protect what we value and enhance the lifestyle we consider a principal amenity.

Q: What’s the process?

A: Town staff outlined a set of expectations in a Request for Qualifications, inviting expert consultants to apply for the opportunity to help us with the update. A team led by PlaceMakers won the contract. The centerpiece of the process is a workshop scheduled for November 15-18, 2016. During those four days, there are opportunities for community members to participate in both information and discussion sessions and in meetings intended to drill down more specifically in topics related to commerce, neighborhood planning and our environment.

Q: Do I have to participate in every meeting?

A: Not at all. The schedule is designed to allow folks to check in on the process as often or as infrequently as they desire. The general meetings on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday are good times for getting the big picture as the process evolves. The focused topic sessions on Wednesday are for digging more deeply into specific issues and concerns. You can plan your own participation schedule here. And, of course, this website is designed to provide updates — including daily updates during the workshop — that allow for keeping track of the process and contributing to the conversation remotely.

Q: What will the workshop produce?

A: On Friday night, November 18, at the final general session, the team will present the results of the four days of collaboration. What emerges will be a framework for moving forward on the LDC update, with as much detail about proposed components of the code as possible. Since this is a true collaboration, levels of specificity depend upon the degree of consensus reached during the week’s discussions. But the path to an updated, goal-driven LDC will be clear.

Q: Is there a way to ask questions or make comments without attending meanings in person?

A: Sure. There’s an online comment form here. Submitted ideas and inquiries go directly to the project team.

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