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Old 09-02-2013, 01:40 AM
 
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Went to Tucson a couple of days ago to visit the Biosphere, and drove by Oro Valley because I was told it was a beautiful place to live in the Tucson area...seemed pretty far from the Tucson downtown, and looked like there was a lot of construction going on...part of my question also is, where are some nice areas to live in Tucson?
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Old 09-02-2013, 05:34 AM
 
Location: Tucson for awhile longer
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Long before you arrive in Oro Valley, you have officially left the city limits of Tucson. There is a wide swath of land in between Tucson and Oro Valley, and east of Marana, that is officially "unincorporated Pima County." It includes much of the commercial district on Ina (the Foothills Mall area west to Casas Adobes Plaza at Oracle Road, for example), as well as the area west of Oracle to Shannon (where you find the Omni Tucson National golf resort, the Northwest campus of Pima Co. Community College, and the NW YMCA). I believe this unincorporated area falls mostly within the 85741 and 85742 zip codes and is home to thousands of people who call themselves Tucsonans. Because those of us who live or own businesses here are not officially in a municipality, we make out at tax time, but we do forego some services, for one example municipal police protection. If I call 911 for an emergency it is the sheriff's office that would respond.

Fire districts and school districts in Pima County can exist independently of municipalities, too. But you can believe that because of the potential windfall taxation would provide, Tucson, Oro Valley AND Marana would all like to "annex" this part of the county. What we would get for contributing taxes to any of those areas has yet to be explained since they are too busy squabbling.

People who live in Oro Valley pay higher taxes than I do, but they have a lot of nice amenities to show for it. Oro Valley has its own parks and plenty of community activities. If you drive around there you will notice a fine network of trails for walking and jogging. There are also bike lanes on all their well-paved roads and commercial areas are beautifully landscaped. Marana also has plenty of top-quality community amenities. I understand that many of them were paid for by the developers who created the gigantic Continental Ranch residential area. The Marana Town Hall, the superb Marana Health Center, and a brand new fire station are all clustered on Marana Main Street.

You do see the most construction in the Northwest suburb of Tucson, which includes Marana, Oro Valley and the area I just described. South Tucson is its own incorporated town and has a concentrated population of Mexican-Americans who have lived there for generations. South of the city is not residential because Davis-Monthan Air Force Base and the Tucson Airport take up much of the acreage. A large percentage of property Southwest of the city, between Tucson and Green Valley is tribal land. The Northeast suburb, including the lucrative real estate zone known as "The Foothills" was developed all the way to the mountains starting decades ago. So that left the Northwest for growth, with I-10 as its spine.
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Old 09-02-2013, 03:28 PM
 
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I prefer Tucson to Oro Valley. The crime is higher, incomes are lower, and the houses are older and in many cases not as well built in Tucson . Tucson has the advantage of being a bigger city with public transit and other services. Almost everything in Oro Valley is going to have a very low walking score and you are car dependent. In Tucson I can walk to almost all shopping I need or its at most 2.5 miles away. I can ride the bus to the airport for $1.50 and get away. Tucson is also a little more youthful than Oro Valley. The median age in Oro Valley is 45 and in Tucson its 33.
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Old 09-02-2013, 04:01 PM
 
Location: Arizona
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Oro Valley is all right, but it's nothing to write home about, IMO. I actually prefer Sahuarita to Oro Valley--it's newer, flatter, more manicured, not as commercialized, more off-the-beaten-path, and has smoother road surfaces. There's also far less traffic on I-19 than I-10, and Sahuarita is much more convenient to the airport, air force base, border, Downtown Tucson, and the university. However, if your job or family obligations take to you to Phoenix on a regular basis, then Oro Valley would obviously be the more logical choice.
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Old 09-02-2013, 06:09 PM
 
Location: Oro Valley AZ.
1,024 posts, read 2,539,075 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InTheZona View Post
Oro Valley is all right, but it's nothing to write home about, IMO. I actually prefer Sahuarita to Oro Valley--it's newer, flatter, more manicured, not as commercialized, more off-the-beaten-path, and has smoother road surfaces. There's also far less traffic on I-19 than I-10, and Sahuarita is much more convenient to the airport, air force base, border, Downtown Tucson, and the university. However, if your job or family obligations take to you to Phoenix on a regular basis, then Oro Valley would obviously be the more logical choice.
By your description I have to wonder if you have ever even been in Oro Valley. Just because there is a sign at I-10 / Tangerine that says "Oro Valley" doesn't mean you are in Oro Valley. That town you are passing through on I-10 is Marana. Oro Valley actually starts about 8 miles east of I-10. Oro Valley was recently voted as "The Best Place to Raise Kids in Arizona." by Bloomberg Business Week magazine. Depends on what one is looking for. Lots of great places to live in the Tucson area.
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Old 09-02-2013, 06:59 PM
 
Location: Arizona
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickTucsonHomes View Post
Lots of great places to live in the Tucson area.
I think "lots of great places to live in the Tucson area" is a bit of an overstatement.
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Old 09-07-2013, 03:11 AM
 
Location: Tucson, AZ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickTucsonHomes View Post
Depends on what one is looking for. Lots of great places to live in the Tucson area.
It's been interesting reading all of the responses to this thread, but I must first say BINGO! to the above. When I first started reading and posting to this board a few months ago when we were looking to buy a home here for our retirement years, the first thing I gleaned was that the "best" areas to live were the NW, NE, and East areas of town (and to avoid the South, period). So, when I came here in May to familiarize myself with the city I made a point to drive through each of those areas (as well as what I would consider "Central" Tucson because I've been a prisoner in suburbia for the last 35 years and would love to live close to the heart of a growing and vibrant city for a change). I quickly ticked off central because, outside of the Sam Hughes neighborhood (way out of my price range) the "kempt" ratio wasn't good (i.e. more unkempt properties than kempt ones. And if "kempt" isn't a word, then unkempt shouldn't be either).

I then discounted what is considered East Tucson, because, let's face, when Point A is East Tucson and Point B is, say, 1-10, getting from Point A to Point B is a journey only for the patient. It felt a lot like driving from Downtown Denver to DIA (aka Western Kansas) and I'm not a patient person.

That left NE and NW Tucson I should probably back up to say I discounted Oro Valley and Marana out of hand even though Jukesgirl had talked them up and I knew my realtor lived there because regardless of - or perhaps *because* of - how pristinely laid out and amenitied they may be, they represent perfectly everything I'm desperate to escape - cookie cutter suburbia! OMG, OMG, OMG. Every few miles, another strip mall with several chain retailers, and yet they're all just far enough away from most of the homes to require a drive. Or perhaps it's not even the distance, but just the experience of walking through that sort of suburban landscape: the main streets simply aren't enjoyable to walk. For instance, when I dropped my car off or repairs on in the vicinity of 22nd and Craycroft, I walked down the road to Diunkin' Donuts 1/2 mile away. I was crazy sleepy and not at my best and, had I been walking down, say, West Ina or Magee, I wouldn't have even considered walking a half mile. But on a more inner-city street, you aren't generally just traversing the outer edge of a huge parking lot, you're passing businesses and can do a bit of window shopping and people watching - the walk isn't a chore, it's an experience. And when I take a bike ride, I MUCH prefer riding lazily through city neighborhoods than on bike trails. Fort Collins had some really nice bike trails, but after you've been down the same one a few times, it gets pretty darned boring. If you just take off in the direction the wind takes you and make random turns down city streets, you're always going to see something new and you just might meet a few people to boot.

So, yeah - it really does depend on what you're looking for and, ergo, yes, there are a lot of great places to live in the Tucson area, Miss InThe(head up your provincial)Zona(ss). I really appreciate the time so many posters (Jukesgirl and RickTucsonHomes among them) have taken to respond to questions posted here so that I could more efficiently narrow down what my own personal best-area-to-live-in-Tucson would be. I LOVE my neighborhood and my home. And Tucson! Just love it. Yay!

Well, except for the bugs. But they CAN be bested if you're vigilant. And having a cat helps.
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Old 09-07-2013, 04:08 PM
 
Location: GoJoe
713 posts, read 1,348,244 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DebBho View Post
It's been interesting reading all of the responses to this thread, but I must first say BINGO! to the above. When I first started reading and posting to this board a few months ago when we were looking to buy a home here for our retirement years, the first thing I gleaned was that the "best" areas to live were the NW, NE, and East areas of town (and to avoid the South, period). So, when I came here in May to familiarize myself with the city I made a point to drive through each of those areas (as well as what I would consider "Central" Tucson because I've been a prisoner in suburbia for the last 35 years and would love to live close to the heart of a growing and vibrant city for a change). I quickly ticked off central because, outside of the Sam Hughes neighborhood (way out of my price range) the "kempt" ratio wasn't good (i.e. more unkempt properties than kempt ones. And if "kempt" isn't a word, then unkempt shouldn't be either).
What city are you referencing? Tucson is not a "growing vibrant" city compared to say neighbor metro-Phoenix.

Quote:
Originally Posted by InTheZona View Post
I think "lots of great places to live in the Tucson area" is a bit of an overstatement.
+1, heck, Casa Grande and nearby Queen Creek has more cooking than Tucson right now.
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Old 09-08-2013, 12:47 AM
 
Location: West of the Catalinas East of the Tortolitas
4,923 posts, read 7,862,083 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DebBho View Post
So, yeah - it really does depend on what you're looking for and, ergo, yes, there are a lot of great places to live in the Tucson areaI LOVE my neighborhood and my home. And Tucson! Just love it. Yay!

Well, except for the bugs. But they CAN be bested if you're vigilant. And having a cat helps.
LOL to the bugs! Much different than in Colorado, which I consider mostly bug-free.

We lived in the mountains west of the Springs for 40 years before permanently settling in Oro Valley. We started coming to Tucson in 1993 for the Rockies Spring training at Hi Corbett Field. Starting in 2007, we looked all over for a "snowbird" condo, and finally, in 2008, settled on Oro Valley. We'd lived on 5 acres in rural, wooded Teller County and wanted suburbia for the convenience to many stores, businesses and medical facilities, so you (and Rick) are right...it does depend on what you're looking for. Tucson has something for everyone who likes the Southwest. I just love Oro Valley!!!

Last edited by Marcy1210; 09-08-2013 at 12:48 AM.. Reason: typo
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Old 09-08-2013, 01:08 AM
 
Location: West of the Catalinas East of the Tortolitas
4,923 posts, read 7,862,083 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Home_Kid View Post
What city are you referencing? Tucson is not a "growing vibrant" city compared to say neighbor metro-Phoenix.
In my opinion, Phoenix is a treeless, dry, vast, sprawling, bland city with no ambience or flavor to it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Home_Kid View Post
+1, heck, Casa Grande and nearby Queen Creek has more cooking than Tucson right now.
What does Casa Grande have going for it? It's a non-descript bunch of cookie-cutter houses with sand all around it. Tucson has history, culture, a University, world class medical facilities, trees, and an identity. I'd much prefer the smaller, more culturally distinct feel of Tucson than Phoenix any day.
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