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Natural Area Open Space (NAOS)

In the Environmentally Sensitive Lands Ordinance (ESLO), which affects the northern two-thirds of the community - north of the Central Arizona Canal, there are requirements for providing open space on each parcel. Natural Area Open Space (NAOS) areas are either natural desert that has been undisturbed by development activity or where development has restored the desert terrain and vegetation to its natural condition. The amount of NAOS required to be set aside with each development is based upon two factors -- the landform area and land slopes.

NAOS Requirements

Land Slope

Lower Desert Upper Desert Hillside
0 to 2 % 20% 25% 50%
2 to 5% 25% 25% 50%
5 to 10% 30% 35% 50%
10 to 15% 30% 45% 50%
15 to 25% 30% 45% 65%
Over 25% 30% 45% 80%
Min after reductions* 15% 20% 40%

(*If applicable. See Section 6.1060B & Section 6.1060F)

It is very important to provide continuous open spaces along the washes in order to sustain both the desert plants and animals. NAOS can be dedicated on individual lots or on common tracts (maintained by homeowners associations, etc).


Natural Area Open Space (NAOS) Resources

Homeowners Guide to Natural Area Open Space (pdf/6mb/8pp)

NAOS High Priority Maps

NAOS Forms

Environmentally Sensitive Lands

Indigenous Plant List

Native Plant Ordinance -- Protection and transplanting of major native plant specimens; applies to entire city.