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  • Modification of Setback Requirements or Lot Coverage Process (MSR)

    What is a (MSR) Modification of Setback Requirements or Lot Coverage?

    A MSR is an administrative process that allows a reduction of setbacks or an increase in lot coverage when the request does not negatively impact neighboring properties.  Surrounding property owners are notified of the proposal by the applicant/owner of the property and/or by county staff.  Property owner consent is required through one of the options listed below and must meet the standards of the Pima County Zoning Code Section 18.07.070D.

    What modifications are allowed with an MSR?

    • To reduce a front yard setback to not less than twenty feet
    • To reduce side and rear yard setbacks
    • To reduce the distances between structures or buildings
    • To exceed the accessory building/structure lot coverage limits
    • For all other modifications, a variance request may be submitted

    How do I submit an MSR Request? 

    1. Prepare and provide the following documents for electronic submittal OR   applications may be submitted in person: 

    2. Submit the electronic documents to DSDPlanning@pima.gov OR  bring the application package to the 1st floor Planning Division.
    3. Pay the $267.00 fee. For electronic submittal, a record will be opened and an email containing an invoice with the record number for making payment through the online payment portal will be sent to the applicant.

    How do I obtain adjacent property owner consent?

    The applicant/owner may choose one of the following options:

    Option 1:  Demonstrate the proposal with a site plan and obtain signatures for all property owners that are:

    • adjacent to the property and within one hundred feet of the property line but separated by a public or private road or private common area
    • staff may request additional signatures that may be affected by the request after the MSR request has been submitted

    Option 2:
      Staff will provide a written notice with a copy of the site plan to all affected property owners.  There is a fifteen day protest period for an adjacent owner to file a written objection. 

    Option 3:  Applicant/property owner may provide signatures from some of the adjacent property owners per   option 1.  Staff will provide written notice to the remaining adjacent property owners per option 2.

    Will my MSR be approved?

    An MSR can be approved if all required signatures from adjacent property owners are provided to staff OR  there are no objections during the fifteen day protest period if notices are sent by staff.  An approval letter will be sent to the applicant/owner.

    For an MSR that has been noticed by staff and an objection is received, the applicant/property owner may:

    • Attempt to work with the property owner who protested the request to find a solution in order for the objection to be withdrawn.  If the changes are significant, the applicant/owner must go back to the adjacent property owners and demonstrate the new proposal to ensure that they do not have a problem with the change.
    • Submit a variance application and required materials along with the appropriate fee (Notice of Public Hearing - advertised). 
    • Amend plans for construction to meet all applicable setback and lot area coverage requirements.


    For information and compliance with Arizona Revised Statutes, see Prohibited Acts by Counties

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