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  • Glossary

    E.1 Introduction

    Land use planning, like most fields, has its own language. The language of planning makes it easier for planners to present complex ideas and concepts in a concise manner. However, for readers unfamiliar with the language of planning, the terminology can be confusing. As an aid to readers, listed below are definitions of a number of the key terms used in this Comprehensive Plan Update, Pima Prospers. [Note: There are many different definitions used for some terms below throughout the world (e.g. sustainability) but for the purposes of this plan, the following definitions apply].

    E.2 Policy Terms and Definitions

    Acre: A measure of land containing 43,560 square feet.

    Active Design: An approach to the development of buildings, streets, and neighborhoods that uses architecture and urban planning to make daily physical activity and healthy foods more accessible and inviting.

    Activity Centers: A concentration of commercial and other land uses. Activity centers can vary greatly in size from the central districts of large cities to regional commercial areas to neighborhood shopping centers.

    Adaptive Reuse: Conversion of a building into a use other than that for which it was originally designed, such as changing a warehouse into an art gallery space or housing, or a single family residence into a small business. [This definition is more expansive than one currently found in the zoning code and is meant to depict a future set of circumstances. The one in the zoning code correctly defines how the term is presently used in the code]

    Affordable Housing: Dwelling units for sale or rent that are deemed affordable for lower  or middle income households. It is also housing that does not create an economic burden for a household and allows residents to meet other basic needs on a sustainable basis.

    Age-limited: Housing options that are restricted to a population of a certain age group, for example 55+.

    Aggregate: Sand, gravel, crushed stone and quarried rock used for construction purposes.

    Aging in Place: The ability to live in one's own home and community safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age, income, or ability level.

    Agricultural In-Holdings with the Conservation Land System: Those designated lands utilized for agricultural purposes and lands where agricultural uses have been abandoned.  Agricultural land uses, in general, are more conducive to the movement of native fauna and functional pollination processes than other lands supporting higher intensity uses.  Intensifying the land uses on these areas could compromise landscape integrity, promote the spread of exotic species, and otherwise compromise the biodiversity of adjacent or nearby Conservation Lands System lands.

    Ambient (outdoor) Air Pollutants: The Clean Air Act requires the EPA to set National Ambient Air Quality Standards for six common air pollutants. They are particle pollution (often referred to as particulate matter), ground- level ozone, carbon monoxide, sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides, and lead.

    Approach/Departure Corridors:

    Approach Departure Corridor One (ADC-1). A specifically designated area 12,000 feet from the northwest end of the runways at Davis Monthan Air Force Base where land use is susceptible to a degree of risk of aircraft accident potential.

    Approach Departure Corridor Two (ADC-2). A specifically designated area 30,000 feet from the southeastern end of runways at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base where land use is susceptible to a degree of risk of aircraft accident potential.

    Approach Departure Corridor Three (ADC-3). A specifically designated area located 30,000 to 50,200 feet at the southeastern end of runways at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base where land use is susceptible to a degree of risk of aircraft accident potential, less than in the ADC-1or ADC-2 zones.

    Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.):
    The statutory laws of the State of Arizona, as amended. Title 11 of the Statutes directs counties to prepare a comprehensive plan and provides mandates and guidance for that preparation.

    Arts District:
    A demarcated area, intended to create a 'critical mass' of places of cultural consumption - such as art galleries, dance clubs, theatres, art cinemas, music venues, and public squares for performances.

    Bike Routes: Routes designated for bicycle travel that may include shared streets, bike lanes, or multiuse paths, in any combination.

    Biogas: A mixture of methane and carbon dioxide produced by the bacterial decomposition of organic wastes and used as a fuel.

    Biological Core Management Areas: Those lands that fulfill the five tenets used to construct the Conservation Lands System (CLS), but which provide greater biological diversity than Multiple Use Management Areas.  They are primarily distinguished from other lands within the CLS by their potential to support high value habitat for five or more priority vulnerable species as identified by the Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan.

    Blight: The process whereby a previously functioning city, or part of a city, falls into disrepair and decrepitude.

    Board of Supervisors: The Pima County Board of Supervisors is the elected policy- setting body for Pima County. The Comprehensive Plan is ultimately approved by the Board on consideration of input from the residents, Planning and Zoning Commission, and staff.

    Brownfields: Land previously used for industrial purposes or some commercial uses. The land may be contaminated by low concentrations of hazardous waste or pollution, and has the potential to be reused once it is cleaned up.

    Buffelgrass: Buffelgrass, an invasive plant species introduced for cattle forage that grows rapidly and poses a serious fire risk to the Sonoran Desert, an ecosystem that is not fire adapted.

    Built Environment: The human-made surroundings that provide the setting for human activity, ranging in scale from personal shelter to neighborhoods to large- scale urban surroundings.

    CANAMEX Corridor: The CANAMEX corridor is a corridor linking Canada to Mexico through the United States. The corridor was established under the North American Free Trade Agreement. Currently the corridor is defined by a series of highways.

    Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Sequestration: Capture and secure storage of carbon that would otherwise be emitted to or remain in the atmosphere. It is a way to show accumulation of greenhouse gases.

    Carbon Footprint: Carbon footprint is a measure of the impact our activities have on the environment and particularly on climate change. Carbon footprint is measured by the total amount of greenhouse gases produced to directly and indirectly support human activities. It is usually expressed in equivalent tons or pounds of carbon dioxide.

    Central Arizona Project (CAP): Central Arizona Project is designed to bring about 1.5 million acre-feet of Colorado River water per year to Pima, Pinal and Maricopa counties. CAP carries water from Lake Havasu near Parker to the southern boundary of the San Xavier Indian Reservation southwest of Tucson. It is a 336- mile long system of aqueducts, tunnels, pumping plants and pipelines and is the largest single resource of renewable water supplies in the state of Arizona.

    Character: The image and perception of a community as defined by its built environment, landscaping, natural features and open space,and types and style of housing, that contribute to its individuality.

    Character Areas: Character areas cover geographical areas of different size and each has a common setting, land use pattern, density and intensity, or unique type or scale of development. "Character" can generally be thought of as the look or feel of a place-- that which sets it apart from other areas. Based on this definition, three major

    Character areas have been identified in Pima County:


      Commercial Façade Program: Program activities are designed to bring commercial structures up to code or improve their facades. If the commercial structure is owned by a private, for profit entity the rehabilitation activity is limited to the exterior of the building and the correction of code violations. Any other improvements will be carried out under the special economic development category.

      Community Development Target Areas: Locales where the majority of the population is low income therefore automatically qualifying the area for Community Development, Block Grant (CDBG) funds.

      Community Node and Gateways: A concentration of uses that provide vibrancy, convenience, and variety to a community. Gateways may also define the entrance to a specific area within a community.

      Compact Development: Refers to the act of constructing buildings vertically or horizontally, often in a mixed-use area, and configuring them on a block or neighborhood scale that makes efficient use of land and resources, and is consistent with neighborhood character and scale. Compact building design reduces the footprint of new construction, thus preserving greenspace to absorb and filter rain water, reduce flooding and stormwater drainage needs, and lower the amount of pollution washing into our streams, rivers and lakes. Compact building design is necessary to sustain transit ridership at levels necessary to make public transit a viable transportation option.

    Compatibility: The design, arrangement, and location of buildings and structures or other created or natural elements of the urban environment which are sufficiently consistent in scale, character, siting, coloring, or materials with other buildings or elements in the area so as to avoid abrupt or severe differences.

    Complete Streets: As defined by the National Complete Streets Coalition, Complete Streets are designed and operated to enable safe access for all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders of all ages and abilities. Complete Streets make it easy to cross the street, walk to shops, and bicycle to work. They allow buses to run on time and make it safe for people to walk to and from transit stations. In a desert environment, shade plays an important role in encouraging walkability.

    Comprehensive Plan: The road map of the county including the vision, goals, policies, and implementation strategies that guide decisions regarding the growth and redevelopment of the county. It is a comprehensive, coordinated set of intents and directions for the county including, but not limited to, land use, transportation, economic development, environment, water resources, infrastructure, public facilities and services, parks, recreation, trails, conservation, food production, health services and the physical environment.

    Concept Ready: Sites that are ready for development. The site has proper entitlement to zoning, height and size to accommodate a wide range of industrial uses. Sewer improvements, water infrastructure, biological resources, and roadways are planned but not built like many shovel-ready sites.

    Concurrency: A governmental policy requiring the availability of public services (water, sewer, roads, schools, etc.) prior to or about the same time a new development comes on line.

    Connectivity: Refers to the directness of links and the density of connections in a transport network. As connectivity increases, travel distances decrease and route options increase, allowing more direct travel between destinations, creating a more accessible and resilient transportation system.

    Conservation: The controlled use and systematic protection of a resource including, but not limited to, environmental or cultural resources, with the purpose of keeping such resources from harm.

    Conservation Lands System: The Conservation Lands System (CLS) is the ultimate expression of those lands where conservation is fundamental and necessary to achieve the Plan’s biological goals, while delineating areas suitable for development. The CLS was renamed the Maeveen Marie Behan Conservation Lands System in November 2009 in memory of Dr. Behan’s work on the Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan (SDCP) and the development of the CLS.

    Corridors: Linear connections between neighborhoods created by road, rail, rivers and washes, and greenway connections.

    Creative Economy: At the heart of the creative economy are the cultural and creative industries that lie at the crossroads of arts, culture, business and technology.

    Critical Landscape Connections: Six broadly-defined areas that provide connectivity for movement of native biological resources but which also contain potential or existing barriers that tend to isolate major conservation areas.  These regional-scale connections are:
    1. Across the I-10/Santa Cruz River corridors in the northwest;
    2. Between the Catalina and Tortolita Mountains;
    3. Across the I-10 corridor along Cienega  Creek in the east;
    4. Across the I-10 and Santa Cruz River corridors in southern Pima County
    5. Across the Garcia strip extension of the Tohono O'odham Nation; and
    6. Across the Central Arizona Project canal in Avra Valley.
    Cultural Resources: Physical evidence or place of past human activity: site, object, landscape, structure; or a site, structure, landscape, object or natural feature of significance to a group of people traditionally associated with it.

    Dark Sky/Skies: Preservation of the natural light/dark cycle through minimizing light pollution. Reducing unneeded light is essential to maintaining the viability of the numerous major astronomical assets in the region covered by the Plan and comes with proven economic, ecological and human health benefits.

    Davis-Monthan AFB Environs Zone: a boundary around Davis-Monthan Air Force Base within which only compatible land uses are allowed. Within the Zone, acoustical treatment of buildings is required to reduce exposure to high levels of airport noise.

    Density: Density is used to describe the number of dwelling units per acre in residential districts.

    Designated Area Agency on Aging: An agency designated by the State Unit on Aging in a designated area to develop and administer a plan for a comprehensive and coordinated system of aging services.

    Development: The physical extension and/or construction of the built environment. Development-related activities include: subdivision of land; construction or alteration of structures, roads, utilities, and other facilities; grading; and clearing of natural vegetative cover (with the exception of agricultural activities); as well as, the creation of parks and recreation facilities.

    Development Target Areas: Target Areas (neighborhoods) are specific areas in Pima County that have been identified for community development assistance based on household income. To be eligible, the target area must have more than 51 percent of the households below 80 percent of the median income as determined by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

    Distressed Area: A generic term referring to site specific blighted properties. There may be distressed areas within Community Development Target Areas (CDTA).

    Drought: A sustained, natural reduction in precipitation that results in negative impacts to the environment and human activities. Short-term drought is measured by the departure of precipitation from average conditions on a time-scale from one to several months. Long-term drought is measured when sustained precipitation deficits -over time periods of one to several years- affect surface and subsurface water supplies.

    Dwelling Unit: A building or portion of a building designed or used by a family or group of people for residential purposes as a single housekeeping unit, but not including convalescent homes, hospices, assisted living facilities, hospitals, hotels, motels, and other group living arrangements or accommodations for the transient public.

    Easement: The right to use property owned by another for specific purposes or to gain access to another property. Common examples of easements include the right of a property owner who has no street front to use a particular segment of a neighbor's land to gain access to the road, as well as the right to run a sewer line across a strip of an owner's land, which is frequently called a right of way.

    Economic Development: A set of policies that create and guide actions and strategies that promote the standard of living and economic health of the area such as workforce training, critical infrastructure, regional competitiveness, environmental sustainability, social inclusion, health, safety, literacy, and other initiatives.

    Economic Development Corridor: Developed to stimulate and support reinvestment along major transportation corridors such as the proposed Sonoran Corridor linking I-19 to I-10 and others. These corridors are often the primary resource for transportation, shopping, commercial services and public services. In the economic development context, these corridors include major routes that connect a variety of industries, including aerospace and defense.

    Ecosystem: An ecosystem includes all of the living things in a given area, interacting with each other, and also with their non-living environments.

    Effluent: Treated municipal wastewater. Similarly, reclaimed water is former wastewater (sewage) that is treated to remove solids and impurities, and used in sustainable landscaping irrigation, to recharge groundwater aquifers, to meet commercial and industrial water needs, and for drinking.

    El Corazon: The Heart of Tres Ríos del Norte at the Confluence of the Santa Cruz, Rillito and Cañada del Oro Rivers. This County project includes ecosystem restoration along both banks of the Santa Cruz River, flood control protection for the surrounding community, and additional regional recreation elements.

    Equity Building: Increasing the net value of an asset such as the portion of a home’s value or mortgage that has been paid off. As a mortgage loan is paid off, equity is gained.

    Elements: A component of the Comprehensive Plan dealing with specific topics that are either required (e.g. water) or optional (e.g. health and economic development) as defined in the A.R.S. Title 11, Chapter 6, Article 1, including, economic development, open space and land use, etc.

    Employment Centers or Districts: Primarily single use areas like shopping or campuses where development patterns were created specifically for that use such as educational districts like the University of Arizona or medical districts based around hospitals like Northwest Hospital or Tucson Medical Center.

    Energy Efficient Mortgage Program: Energy Efficient Mortgage program (EEM) is a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) program that helps homebuyers or homeowners save money on utility bills by enabling them to finance the cost of adding energy efficiency features to new or existing housing as part of their FHA insured home purchase or refinancing mortgage.

    Exurbs: The region that lies beyond a city and its suburbs.

    Fair Housing Act: A law enacted as part of civil rights legislation that prohibits discrimination of home sales, rentals and financing based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status or those with disabilities.

    Final Integrated Water Management Plan: A plan detailing proposed water resources, reuse, replenishment, conservation and use of renewable water supplies for the tentative plat or development plan stage of a proposed project.

    Focused Development Investment Area: State statutes require planning for growth areas, specifically identifying those areas that are particularly suitable for multi-modal transportation and infrastructure expansion and improvements designed to support a concentration of a variety of uses, such as residential, office, commercial, tourism and industrial uses. In unincorporated Pima County, Focused Development Investment Areas fulfill these functions.

    Fossil Fuels: Fuels formed by natural processes such as anaerobic decomposition of buried dead organisms. The age of the organisms and their resulting fossil fuels is typically millions of years, and sometimes exceeds 650 million years. The fossil fuels, which contain high percentages of carbon, include coal, petroleum, and natural gas.

    Fugitive Dust: Particles lifted into the air caused by man-made and natural activities such as the movement of soil, vehicles, equipment, blasting, and wind.

    Gigawatts: Unit of electric power equal to one billion (10^9) watts, one thousand megawatts, or 1.34 million horsepower enough to supply a medium size city.

    Goals: The ultimate purpose of an effort stated in a way that is general in nature and immeasurable. Goals are not quantifiable, time-dependent, or suggestive of specific actions for achievement. There is at least one general plan goal per element, with more than one goal per element where appropriate or necessary. Goals often refer to one or more aspects of the vision and incorporate specific values.

    Gray Water: The relatively clean waste water from baths, sinks, washing machines, and other kitchen appliances.

    Green Building: The practice of creating structures and using processes that are environmentally responsible and resource- efficient throughout a building's life-cycle from siting to design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation and deconstruction.

    Greenhouse Gases: Any of various gaseous compounds (such as carbon dioxide) that absorb infrared radiation, trap heat in the atmosphere, and contribute to the greenhouse effect.

    Green Improvements (Housing): Green home improvements offer a variety of benefits to homeowners and the environment, including installation of solar panels, low water features, water harvesting, anjd energy efficient appliances and construction. The federal government has initiated a variety of tax incentives and grants for green home improvements, as have state organizations and local energy companies.

    Green Infrastructure: Practices that use or mimic natural systems and processes to promote infiltration, evapotranspiration, and harvesting of stormwater for retention and use in the landscape, generally by using vegetation and soil to manage stormwater where it falls.

    Green Purchasing: Refers to the procurement of products and services that have a reduced effect on human health and the environment when compared with competing products or services that serve the same purpose.

    Green Streets: An integrated system of stormwater management within a street’s right-of-way that reduces the amount of water that is piped directly to streams and rivers. Green streets make the best use of the street tree canopy for stormwater interception (water harvesting) as well as temperature mitigation (shade) and air quality improvement.

    Greenways: A corridor of undeveloped land preserved for recreational use or environmental protection.

    Greyfields: Older, economically obsolete development. The term is commonly applied to malls that are past their prime and are experiencing declining levels of occupancy.

    Groundwater: All water below the surface of the land. It is water found in the pore spaces of bedrock or soil, and it reaches the land surface through springs or it can be pumped using wells.

    Groundwater Adverse Impact: The lowering of a piezometric surface (the imaginary surface to which groundwater rises under hydrostatic pressure) in the area occupied by a groundwater-dependent ecosystem, or diversion of regional groundwater flows or sources of recharge away from a groundwater-dependent ecosystem.
    Groundwater-Dependent Ecosystems: Shallow ground-water areas, springs and intermittent and perennial streams that are not effluent-dominated, as mapped by Pima County.

    Groundwater recharge: A hydrologic process where water moves downward from surface water to groundwater. Recharge occurs both naturally (through the water cycle) and anthropologically (i.e., “artificial groundwater recharge”), where rainwater and or reclaimed water is routed to the subsurface.

    Growing Smarter Act: 1998 Arizona state legislation that affected how cities and counties conduct and administer long-range planning activities. This legislation required four new plan elements and expanded other elements; required additional public notification and involvement; and required that Comprehensive and General Plans be readopted every 10 years. The Growing Smarter Act was amended by the Growing Smarter Plus Act.

    Growing Smarter Plus Act: 2000 Arizona state legislation that revised some of the considerations of the 1998 Growing smarter act. The Growing Smarter Plus Act required an additional element, and redefined major amendments to the Comprehensive Plan. The Growing Smarter Plus Act has been amended several times including adding Energy as an element.

    Habitat Protection Priority Areas: Those areas referenced and mapped as part of the 2004 open space bond program.

    Health Impact Assessment (HIA): HIA is a process that helps evaluate the potential health effects of a plan, project or policy before it is built or implemented. An HIA can provide recommendations to increase positive health outcomes and minimize adverse health outcomes. (See also Land Use Element, Section 3.1, Goal 1, Policy 14).

    Health Literacy: The ability to obtain, read, understand and use healthcare information to make appropriate health decisions and follow instructions for treatment.

    Healthy Community: For the purposes of the Comprehensive Plan, a healthy community is a condition of living that enables the present generation to enjoy social well-being, a vibrant economy, and a healthy environment, without compromising the ability of future generations to enjoy the same.

    Healthy Homes: A healthy home is sited, designed, built, renovated and maintained to support health. A healthy homes approach is a coordinated, comprehensive and holistic approach to preventing diseases and injuries that result from housing-related hazards and deficiencies.

    High Noise or Accident Potential Zones: High noise or accident potential zones means any property located in the following zones: Luke Air Force Base in Maricopa County, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Pima County, Yuma Marine Corps Air Station and Laguna Army Airfield in Yuma County and Libby Army Airfield in Cochise County, or ancillary military facilities.

    Housing Tenure: Refers to the arrangements under which the household occupies all or part of a housing unit. Types of tenure includes ownership by a member of the household and rental of all or part of the housing unit by a member of the household, etc.

    Human Infrastructure: Human Infrastructure relates to the efficient provision of existing and future services needed to support current and forecasted populations. These include: . health services; . public safety and emergency services; . parks and recreation; . workforce training/education; . library services; and . animal care.
    Each of the services listed above play a significant part in howour county functions, they implement the overall vision and they each connect our people with each other on multiple levels.

    Human Scale: The quality of the physical environment which reflects a sympathetic proportional relationship to human dimensions and which contributes to the citizen’s perception and comprehension of the size, scale, height, bulk and/or massing of buildings or other features of the built environment.

    Identity: Qualities that make a community distinctive, unique, interesting or attractive.

    Implementation Strategies: Located in a companion document, implementation strategies ensure that the Plan is used, and that the policies in the Plan are implemented by specific tasks. The implementation strategy lists all of the tasks, lead responsible entities, schedule for completion, and potential funding mechanisms.

    Important Riparian Areas: Areas characterized by hydro-riparian, meso-riparian, and xero-riparian biological communities.  Hydro-riparian communities generally exist where vegetation is supported by perennial watercourses or springs. Meso-riparian communities generally exist where vegetation is supported by perennial or intermittent watercourse or shallow groundwater.  Xero-riparian communities generally exist where vegetation is supported by an ephemeral watercourse.
    Important riparian areas are valued for their higher water availability, vegetation density, and biological productivity.  In addition to the inherent biological values, important riparian areas including their associated upland areas provide a framework for linkages and landscape connections.  They are essential elements in the Conservation Lands System.

    Inclusive Home Design Ordinance: This standard provides technical criteria for making sites, facilities, buildings, and elements accessible.

    Indirect Potable Resources: A water recycling application where municipal wastewater is highly treated and discharged directly into groundwater or surface water sources with the intent of augmenting drinking water supplies Infill: Development of vacant land (often individual lots or left-over properties) within areas that are already largely developed.

    Infill Incentive District: Used to promote high quality new development, redevelopment and infill development within the district through the use of flexible development standards.

    Infrastructure: Public services and facilities, such as sewage-disposal systems, water supply systems, other utility systems, flood control improvements, and roads.

    In-lieu Fee: An in-lieu fee is an option where developers may pay a fee instead of fulfilling a specific requirement (for example the developer may choose to pay an in-lieu fee to a third party to provide parks instead of building a project-specific park on site).

    Intergenerational Housing: A housing concept that enables a family of multiple generations to live together on one property. There are many arrangements for such housing, but one example takes the form of a single-family home that includes additional dwelling units that are used for cohabitation between parents, children, and other relatives, such as grandparents. Other arrangements may include multiple manufactured homes on one lot, a two or three story duplex or triplex, each floor being a family residence, a family living over a garage, etc.

    Impervious Surface: Any surface through which rainfall cannot pass or be effectively absorbed such as roads, buildings, paved parking lots, sidewalks etc.

    Intensity: Used to describe size, bulk, use, and scale of development in nonresidential districts.

    Intermountain West Corridor (I-11): Through the recent transportation authorization bill, (MAP-21) Congress recognized the importance of the portion of the Corridor between Phoenix and Las Vegas and designated it as future I-11, intended to be a new high-capacity, multimodal transportation facility connecting the two cities. Extended, it has the potential to become a major multimodal north-south transcontinental Corridor through the Intermountain West, connecting cities, trade hubs, ports, intersecting highways, and railroads.

    Isolated Basins: Hydrologic basins in Pima County except the Tucson and Avra basins.

    Land Use: The occupation or utilization of land area for any human activity, infrastructure, conservation of the natural environment and economic development as specifically defined in the Comprehensive Plan.

    Land Use Map: A map that graphically depicts existing or future land uses and densities. It visually defines land use compatibility and spatial relationships, establishes the physical form of the community, and identifies urban design opportunities. A land use map serves as a guide in preparation of zoning ordinances, zoning district maps, rezonings, comprehensive plan amendment requests, CIP planning, bond decisions, and indirectly variances and CUP’s.

    Level of Service (LOS): A measure of congestion and performance, typically on an A through F scale; a very congested freeway, for example, would have a “low” level of service (such as LOS F); LOS can also be applied to transit, bicycle and pedestrian travel modes.

    Livability: The sum of the factors that add up to a community's quality of life—including the built and natural environments, economic prosperity, social stability and equity, educational opportunity, and cultural, entertainment and recreation possibilities.

    Live-work: A mixed-use unit consisting of a commercial and residential function. The commercial function may be anywhere in the unit. It is intended to be occupied by a business operator who lives in the same structure that contains the commercial activity or industry.

    The Loop: A system of shared use paths connecting the Rillito, Santa Cruz and Pantano River parks with the Julian Wash and Harrison Road Greenways. The loop will extend through Marana, Oro Valley, Tucson and South Tucson. Pima County residents and visitors on foot, bikes, skates, and horses can enjoy the more than 100 miles of shared- use paths that have already been completed.

    Low Impact Development (LID): A land development or re-development approach that preserves or restores on-site natural systems and hydrologic functions, and reduces impervious or disturbed areas to manage stormwater as close to its source as possible.

    Mass: The combination of the three dimensions of length, height, and depth which give a building its overall shape; a building is often composed of many masses, hence the term massing, which is often used to describe the form or shape of structures.

    Mitigate: To lessen the impact of, alleviate, or avoid to the extent reasonably feasible.

    Mix of Uses: An area with a combination of compatible land uses.

    Mixed Use Development: Development that includes a mixture of complementary land uses; sometimes referred to as live/work/play areas. A common mix of land uses that may include housing, retail, office, commercial services, civic uses, recreation or open space.

    Horizontal Mixed Use: Combines single- use buildings on distinct parcels with a range of other land uses within one block.

    Vertical Mixed Use: Combines different uses in the same building. Lower floors could have more public uses with more private uses on the upper floors. For example, the ground floor could have retail, second floor may have professional offices, and the top floors may have some form of residential use.

    Multi-family: A structure that contains three or more dwelling units that share common walls or floor/ceilings with one or more units. The land underneath the structure is not divided into separate zoning lots. Multi- dwellings include structures commonly called garden apartments and condominiums.

    Multi-modal: The combination of several travel modes within a single corridor or facility; also refers to the ability to choose among several travel modes.

    Multiple Use Management Areas: Those lands that fulfill the five tenets used to construct the Conservation Lands System (CLS), but which are not as biologically rich as those lands designated as Biological Core Management Areas.  They are primarily distinguished from other lands within the CLS by their potential to support high value habitat for three or more priority vulnerable species as identified by the Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan.

    Neighborhood: The smallest subarea in planning, defined as a residential area whose residents have public facilities and social institutions in common, and generally within walking distance of their homes.

    Neighborhood Capacity: The combined influence of a community’s commitment, resources, and skills that can be deployed to build on community strenFgths and address community problems.

    Net Metering: The practice that allow consumers to produce renewable energy and sell the excess power back to the grid and to the utilities, thereby rolling back meters and their electric bills.

    Net Zero Energy Buildings: At the heart of the Zero Energy Building concept is the idea that buildings can meet all their energy requirements from low-cost, locally available, nonpolluting, renewable sources. At the strictest level, a Zero Energy Building generates enough renewable energy on site to equal or exceed its annual energy use.

    Non-attainment (air pollution): Used as an air quality standard, a “non-attainment” air pollution classification means that air quality in a particular region does not meet (or “attain”) a federal air quality standard.

    Non-potable: Water that is not of drinking water quality, but which may still be used for many other purposes depending on its quality.

    Open Space: An area of land not developed for use as residential, commercial, industrial, office, or institutional. PAG: Pima Associations of Governments. Pima Association of Governments is a nonprofit metropolitan planning organization with Transportation Planning, Sustainable Environment Planning and Technical Services divisions. These divisions coordinate efforts with all the local jurisdictions in Pima County, and with the Pascua Yaqui Tribe and Tohono O’odham Nation. PAG's nine-member Regional Council has representatives from the local, state and tribal governments.

    Parks: The National Recreation and Parks Association developed a park classification system that establishes  a hierarchy of parks. Such hierarchy includes:
    Regional Parks – Regional parks supplement community and neighborhood parks, serving broader based recreation needs in addition to those addressed in smaller parks. The increased size permits larger development of both active and passive facilities, providing a wide range of recreational pursuits. Regional parks may include sizeable areas of undeveloped land with natural vegetation. Regional parks can also incorporate linear parks, such as The Loop, and provide connectivity to the regional trail system.
    Community - Community parks are typically larger in scale than neighborhood parks and serve several neighborhoods with both active and passive recreational facilities. A community park may include a community center. Group activities are well integrated and may include highly used recreational facilities such as programmed athletic sports fields, swimming pools, and recreation centers. Community parks may also contain large passive open space areas or preserve unique landscapes. This type of park, due to their location on major thoroughfares, provides a visual break in the built environment.
    Neighborhood - A neighborhood park is the basic unit of the park system and serves as the recreational focus of an individual neighborhood. Playgrounds, trails and usable open spaces are generally given the highest priority. A neighborhood park may include a neighborhood center. This type of park includes features for sitting, picnicking, and relaxing.
    Pocket - A pocket park is the smallest park in
    the park classification system and is considered as an alternative when providing a typical neighborhood park is impractical. Pocket parks provide open space and meet the recreational needs of neighborhoods. Pocket parks are residential in scale and character and provide a quiet setting for park use. They includes passive uses such as picnic and sitting areas, and shade. In more urban areas, pocket parks may take the form of courtyards, plazas, promenades, and ramadas in mixed-use development.
    Linear - Linear parks offer scenic beauty and allow safe, uninterrupted pedestrian, bicycle and/or equestrian movement along natural or built corridors. They are generally located along washes, creeks, streams or in association with major thoroughfares or boulevards. An example of a linear park is The Loop.

    Pedestrian Oriented: An environment designed to make movement by pedestrians fast, attractive and comfortable for various ages and abilities; considerations include separation of pedestrian and auto circulation, street furniture, clear directional and informational signage, safety, visibility, shade, lighting, surface materials, trees, sidewalk width, intersection treatment, curb cuts, ramps and landscaping.

    Pervious Surface: A surface which allows water to filter into the ground, which enables natural groundwater to recharge, helps with filtration of pollutants, and reduces erosion and flooding. The use of pervious asphalt and concrete for parking lots, roads and sidewalks is an important part of stormwater management that conserves precious natural resources.

    Planned Development Communities: An area of land with a minimum size, as specified by district regulation, to be planned and developed using a common master zoning plan, and containing one or more uses and common areas.

    Planning Area: Thirteen distinct areas within Pima County are addressed by the Comprehensive Plan, including: Ajo/Why, Altar Valley Avra Valley, Catalina Foothills, Central, Mountain View, Rincon Valley, San Pedro, Southeast, Southwest, Tortolita, Tucson Mountains, and Upper Santa Cruz. The planning areas are based on watersheds and natural hard boundaries such as I-10, for example.

    Planning and Zoning Commission: The Planning and Zoning Commission is made up of 10 volunteer members, two members are appointed by the supervisor for each of the districts. The Planning and Zoning Commission hears and makes recommendations on land use decisions such as rezoning cases, amendments to the zoning code, and amendments to the comprehensive plan, as well as the comprehensive plan update process.

    Policies: A course or principle of action defined to support a given goal.

    Potable water: Drinking water or potable water is water safe enough to be consumed by humans or used with low risk of immediate or long term harm.

    Preliminary Integrated Water Management Plan (PIWMP): A plan identifying all sources and uses of water intended for, and water demand projections based upon, a proposed rezoning.

    Primary Care Areas (PCAs): Primary Care Areas describe areas in Arizona where the local residences primarily obtain their health care.

    Primary Property Taxes: The County currently assesses a primary property tax to provide funding for the judicial system, Sheriff, healthcare, general services, and community development.

    Public/Private Partnership: Achieving a goal or providing a service by merging public and private resources in the form of, for example, financial assistance, expertise, collaborative planning, and public relations support.

    Recharge: Water that infiltrates into the ground, usually from above, that replenishes groundwater reserves, provides soil moisture, and affords evapotranspiration.

    Rainwater Harvesting: A technique used for collecting, storing, and using rainwater for landscape irrigation and other uses.

    Reclaimed Water: Former wastewater that is treated to remove solids and impurities, and used for a variety of uses including sustainable landscaping irrigation, to recharge groundwater aquifers, and to meet commercial needs.

    Redevelopment: A process to rebuild or restore an area in a measurable state of decline, disinvestment, or abandonment. Redevelopment may be publicly or privately initiated. It can transform an underutilized or distressed area into an economically viable and productive part of the community.

    Renewable: Generating power from naturally-replenished resources such as wind, biogas or solar power.

    Renewable and Potable Water: A quality of water suitable for essential human uses such as drinking, cooking or cleaning, which is derived from a renewable source. In the manner used in this policy, treated surface water, including treated Central Arizona Project water, is considered renewable and potable, but effluent and groundwater are not.

    Renewable Energy Incentive District (REID): The district offers incentives to encourage utility or large-scale solar facilities to be developed on specifically selected sites in unincorporated Pima County.

    Renovation: The process of improving a broken, damaged, or outdated structure. Renovations are typically either commercial or residential. Renovation can refer to making something new, or bringing something back to life and can apply in social contexts. For example, a community can be renovated if it is strengthened and revived.

    Revitalization: Improves a neighborhood's physical, economic, and social conditions to enhance the overall quality of life and economic opportunities for neighborhood residents.

    Rezoning: A public process for zoning district changes and amendments, upon recommendations by the planning and zoning commission and adoption by the board of supervisors to change the range of uses for property, and implement the comprehensive plan.

    Right-of-way: A strip of land occupied or intended to be occupied by certain transportation and public use facilities, such as roadways, railroads, and utility lines.

    Riparian: Vegetated ecosystems along a water body through which energy, materials, and water pass. Riparian areas characteristically have a high water table or are subject to periodic flooding.

    Rural: A sparsely developed area where the land is primarily used for farming, forestry, resource extraction, very low density residential uses, or open space.

    Safe Yield: Safe yield is the term used to express the amount of water an aquifer or well can yield for consumption without producing unacceptable negative effects.

    Scale: The sense of proportion or apparent size of a building or building element as created by the placement and size of the building in its setting; scale usually applies to how the sense is perceived in relation to the size of a human being and refers to the apparent size, not actual size, since it is always viewed in relationship to another building or element.

    Scientific Research Areas: These areas are currently managed fro scientific research: The Santa Rita Experimental Range and the University of Arizona Desert Laboratory at Tumamoc Hill.  Land uses and management within these areas focus on balancing conservation, restoration, and enhancement of natural communities in support of scientific research on the environment and natural resources (e.g. monitoring ecological change, measuring effects of experimental grazing methods).

    Secondary Property Taxes: The County has a secondary property tax to fund special taxing districts such as the Regional Flood Control District and the Library District.

    Section 10 Permit: Section 10, of the Endangered Species Act, provides a clear regulatory mechanism to permit the incidental take of federally listed fish and wildlife species by private interests and non- federal government agencies during lawful land, water, and ocean use activities. An applicant for an incidental take permit must submit a "conservation plan" that specifies, among other things, the impacts that are likely to result from the taking and the measures the permit applicant will undertake to minimize and mitigate such impacts.

    Sense of Place: The feeling associated with a location, based on a unique identity and other memorable qualities.

    Sewage Conveyance: Method of transporting wastewater by gravity along a downward-sloping pipe gradient.

    Single-occupancy Vehicle Mile Traveled (VMT): One person traveling alone in a vehicle for one mile.

    Smart Growth: Smart growth seeks to identify a common ground where developers, environmentalists, public officials, citizens, and financiers can find ways to accommodate growth. It promotes compact, mixed-used development that offers a high-quality living and working environment and encourages a choice of travel mode— walking, cycling, and transit, while protecting environmental features and resources.

    Special Assessment District (improvement district): Improvement Districts can be formed to implement a specific improvement for a particular area of the County as a special assessment district. An improvement district can only be formed by petition of the majority of the property owners in the affected area. This funding mechanism is typically used for neighborhood road improvements, street lighting, utilities and revitalization programs such as the formation of Arts District and others. The county has used Improvement Districts but for very discrete projects in specific neighborhoods.

    Specific Plan: A type of rezoning on larger parcels with phased development and with a unique set of development and design standards. Represented on the Comprehensive Plan maps as “Planned Development Communities.”

    Special Species Management Areas: Areas defined as crucial to the conservation of specific native floral and faunal species of special concern to Pima County.  Currently, three species are designated as Special Species: Cactus ferruginous pygmy-owl, Mexican spotted owl, and Southwest willow flycatcher.

    Sports Facilities Assessment: In December of 2012, Pima County worked with the Pima County Sports and Tourism Authority (PCSTA) to perform a County-wide sports facilities assessment. The study first determined the number of existing and planned sports facilities. We then assessed future facility needs for the overall community through interviews, workshops, and summits

    Sprawl: Low-density land-use patterns that are automobile-dependent, energy and land consumptive, and require a very high ratio of road surface to development served.

    Stocking Rates: The number of animals on a given amount of land over a certain period of time.

    Storefront retail: Storefront-style shopping areas cater to pedestrians and are characterized by ground-level walk-in retail activity.

    Stormwater: The flow of water which results from a rainfall event.

    Stormwater Harvesting System: A system for the on-site collection and retention of precipitation that has reached the ground, collected from paved, impervious or disturbed surfaces, which may consist of: a. earthworks (including but not limited to depressed landscape areas, basins, berms, swales); b. structures (including but not limited to curbs with inlets, scuppers or cuts, gabions, check-dams, permeable paving, rock mulch); and c. other green infrastructure and low impact development elements to slow and disperse stormwater and promote its infiltration into the soil.

    Study Area: The Study Area for the Comprehensive Plan is the entire 9,184 square miles of Pima County.

    Subsidence Area: The lowering of the land surface more than 3 inches as mapped by the U.S. Geological Survey.

    Suburban: The low-to medium-intensity development patterns which surround the downtown or other more
    intense, urban areas of a city.

    Sun Corridor: The greater Phoenix-Tucson area, commonly referred to as the Arizona Sun Corridor, is one of eleven nationally- defined megapolitan areas in the United States. A megapolitan region is defined as a conglomeration of two or more intertwined metropolitan areas with a combined population of five million or more.

    Sustainability: The basis upon which an organism or a community can manage its own continuing viability, meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

    Target Areas – see Community Development Target Areas.

    Tech Launch Arizona: The UA created Tech Launch Arizona (TLA) to move inventions, technologies and intellectual property from the laboratory out into the marketplace.

    Tiger V Grant Funding: The U.S. DOT National Infrastructure Investment grant program provides transportation funding on a competitive basis for projects that have a significant impact on the nation, a metro area, or a region.

    Traditional Neighborhood Development (TND): A community type structured by a standard pedestrian shed oriented toward a common destination consisting of a mixed- use center or corridor, and in the form of a medium-sized settlement near a transportation route.

    Transfer of Development Rights (TDR): Transfers of development rights are used to transfer ownership of development potential from lands where development is less desirable to lands where it is more desirable. The land from which development is transferred is generally called the “Sending Property” and the property to which it is transferred is called the “Receiving Property.”

    Transit Oriented Development (TOD): A mixed use residential and commercial area designed to maximize access to public transportation, and often incorporate features to encourage transit ridership. A TOD neighborhood typically has a center with a transit station (streetcar, bus station etc.), surrounded by relatively higher- density development with progressively lower-density development spreading outward from the center.

    Unincorporated Pima County: Land within designated County jurisdictional boundaries and outside of any town or city boundaries.

    Urban: Urban areas are generally characterized by moderate and higher density residential development, commercial development, and industrial development, as well as the availability of public services required for that development (i.e. water, sewer, roads, transit etc.).

    Urban Heat Island: A developed urban or suburban area that is significantly warmer (2 degrees-10 degrees Fahrenheit or 1-6 degrees Celsius) than surrounding rural areas due to the retention of heat by un-shaded buildings and paved surfaces. Urban heat islands can increase energy demands, air conditioning costs, air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, and heat-related illness and mortality.

    Urban Form: The general pattern of building height and development intensity, and the structural elements that define a place physically, such as natural features, transportation corridors, open space, public facilities, as well as activity centers and focal elements.

    Vernacular Architecture: A style of architecture exemplifying common techniques, decorative features, and materials of a particular historical period, region, or group of people.

    Vision: A shared image of the future characterized by long-term thinking, and provides the foundation for the development of goals, policies, and implementation strategies. A vision is not a binding goal and may not be achievable in the lifetime of those participating in the drafting of the Comprehensive Plan.

    Volatile Organic Compounds: VOCs are ground-water contaminants of concern because of very large environmental releases, human toxicity, and a tendency for some compounds to persist in and migrate with ground-water to drinking-water supply well.

    Walkability: Walkability is a measure of how friendly an area is to walking. Walkability has many health, environmental, and economic benefits. Factors influencing walkability include the presence or absence and quality of footpaths, sidewalks, or other pedestrian rights-of-way, traffic and road conditions, land use patterns, shade, building accessibility, and safety, among others.

    Walkable Neighborhood: Definitions of neighborhood walkability may include walking proximity to amenities (such as movie theaters, clothing stores, parks, and libraries) or may refer to community-built environment design features of neighborhoods (such as street connectivity and sidewalk access).

    Wastewater: Water carrying wastes from homes, businesses, and industries that is a mixture of water and dissolved or suspended solids, or excess irrigation water that is runoff to adjacent land.

    Watercourse: Any lake, river, stream, creek, wash, arroyo, or other body of water or channel having banks and a bed through which waters flow at least periodically. The watercourse includes the streambed, channel banks, floodway and floodway fringe areas, and areas subject to sheet flooding (Pima County Zoning Code 16.08.740).

    Water Harvesting: The accumulation and storage of rainwater for reuse before it reaches the aquifer.

    Water Resource Impact Assessment: The review County staff performs on proposed rezoning applications.

    Water Resource Impact Review: The review County staff performs on a proposed Comprehensive Plan amendment.

    Watershed: The contributing drainage area located upstream of a specific point along a watercourse (Pima County Zoning Code 16.08.760).

    Xeriscapes: A style of landscape design requiring little or no irrigation or other maintenance, used in arid regions.

    Zoning Code: Regulatory document that specifies distinct areas of land use or zoning district, and also establishes development standards for each of those zoning districts. The Pima County Zoning Code also allows for Zoning Overlay Districts.

    Zoonotic: A disease of animals, such as rabies or psittacosis that can be transmitted to humans.


    This section of Appendix E includes all the Geographic Information System (GIS), demographic and socioeconomic data sources as well as sources of documents reviewed during the preparation of the Comprehensive Plan.
    Arizona Department of Administration. Employment and Population Statistics. Data downloaded 2014. laborstats.az.gov
    • Population Estimates.
    • Population Projections.

    Arizona Department of Health Services. Data downloaded 2014. Health Professional Shortage Areas.
    City of Tucson and Pima County Location of Growth, Urban Form, and Cost of Infrastructure - A White Paper Supporting Phase Two of the Water, Wastewater Infrastructure Supply and Planning Study. June 15, 2009

    Imagine Greater Tucson
    Imagine Greater Tucson: Looking Forward - A Vision for a Greater Tucson Region September 2012

    National Historical Geographic Information System. Data downloaded 2013-2014.
    Minnesota Population Center.

    Pima Association of Governments. Data received 2013-14.
    • Population Projections. Received 2014.
    • Population Estimates. Received 2014.
    • Building Permits. Received 2013.

    Pima Association of Governments 2014
    Regionally Significant Corridors Study Final Report January 2014

    Pima County Bond Advisory Committee 2014
    Sonoran Corridor Powerpoint Presentation – June 2014
    (maps, status, employment centers, Aerospace and Sonoran corridor alternative alignments)

    Pima County Community Development and Neighborhood Conservation. Data received 2014
    • Foreclosures
    • Draft Community Development Target Areas (CDBG),
    • Other Economic Development / Incentive Areas

    Pima County Community Wildfire Protection Plan. September 2013

    Pima County Economic Development Plan Draft Update 2015-2017 (February 2015)

    Pima County Economic Development Plan 2012-2014 (Nov 2012)

    Pima County Finance and Risk Management Department. Data received 2014.

    Pima County Information Technology Department, Geographic Information Systems.
    Pima County GIS Library. Data accessed 2013-15

    Pima County Health Department
    Pima Animal Care Center. Data received 2013-14.

    Pima County Infrastructure Plan 2013

    Pima County Multi Species Conservation Plan (MSCP)

    Pima County Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation

    Pima County Regional Optimization Master Plan (ROMP) November 2007

    Pima County Regional Flood Control District, Summer 2014, Regional Hydrology – Original GIS Dataset. http://webcms.pima.gov/government/flood_control/

    Pima County Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan (SDCP) 2001

    Pima County - The Loop

    Pima Regional Trail System Master Plan 2012
    Shooting Sports (Outdoor Shooting Ranges)

    Pima County Southwest Infrastructure Plan (SWIP) Final Report, November 2007

    Pinal County, Arizona
    We Create our Future: Pinal County Comprehensive Plan - Adopted November 18, 2009

    Plan Tucson: The City of Tucson General and Sustainability Plan 2013

    Town of Marana, Arizona
    Marana 2010 General Plan Adopted May 2011

    Town of Oro Valley, Arizona
    Oro Valley General Plan, Adopted June 2005
    Your Voice, Our Future: Oro Valley General Plan (in process)

    Town of Sahuarita, Arizona
    Aspire 2035: Sahuarita’s General Plan. Adopted June 2015 (pending ratification by voters)

    U.S. Bureau of the Census. Data downloaded 2013-2014.
    • 1990 Census of Population and Housing.
    • 2000 Census of Population and Housing.
    • 2010 Census of Population and Housing.
    • 2007-11 American Community Survey.

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