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Natural Area Open Space

What is NAOS?

In the Environmentally Sensitive Lands Overlay (ESL), which affects the northern two-thirds of the community - north of the Central Arizona Canal, there are requirements for providing natural area 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.

Homeowners Guide to Natural Area Open Space (PDF)


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).

The amount of NAOS required to be set aside with each development is based upon two factors -- the landform area and land slopes.


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)

Natural Area Open Space (NAOS) Resources

Environmentally Sensitive Lands 


Indigenous Plant List

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

NAOS Easement (PDF)

Confirmation of New Dedication (PDF)

Release of NAOS (PDF)

NAOS Enhancement (PDF)