Natural Area Open Space

What is NAOS?

A Natural Area Open Space easement essentially restricts what can be done with a piece of land. NAOS easements are areas of continuous natural desert. Land that is designated NAOS must be preserved in its natural desert state and remain free of obstruction. No grading, filling, clearing or excavation of any kind is permitted in the NAOS easement.

NAOS is found throughout the community, specifically in the Retreat Village Association. In designated NAOS areas, the Association is not able to trim or remove vegetation, even if it is dead. Dead plants, such as saguaros that have fallen over, serve as animal habitat and are to be left in place unless it is determined that they pose a health and safety concern.

Who owns NAOS?

Although the City of Scottsdale Zoning Ordinance mandates the dedication of NAOS, the land is owned by a homeowners association or individual and is private property. However, the easement acts as a deed restriction and serves to achieve the goals of the city’s Environmentally Sensitive Lands Overlay.