A housing community designed in a manner that was once used to maximize space for low-income housing is under development in Oro Valley.

The “zero-lot” home model is being introduced by Maracay Homes, which is billing the houses as suitable for busy folks who aren’t interested in the maintenance of large yards or for winter visitors who don’t want the fuss of upkeep while they are away.

Maracay Homes plans to build 101 of these homes within its newest Southern Arizona community, Center Pointe Vistoso, at the northern end of La Cañada Drive.

To get more indoor living space, the houses will be built right up to the neighbor’s property line but in a zig-zag manner and without side windows that look right onto the neighbor’s wall.

The community is surrounded by a golf course and the homes back up to open space, said James Attwood, vice president of Maracay’s Tucson division.

Two model homes have been built and the designs are communal, with kitchens, living rooms and dining areas all blending together.

They feature 10-foot ceilings and front courtyards.

“Once reserved for low-income home buyers in urban areas, z-lots are becoming widely popular among baby boomers who are looking to simplify their lives, winter visitors needing to lock-and-leave each season, and those who simply don’t have the time to maintain a large yard but still prefer a lot of space and privacy,” according to a company statement.

The zero-lot homes range in size from about 1,400 square feet to 2,400 square feet with two to four bedrooms.

The homes come in single- and two-story floor plans and start at $249,000, Attwood said.

Maracay’s zero-lot enclave is within the new 343-home development that has five neighborhood designs with six gated entrances. Common areas include a 6,000-square-foot pool complex, splash park and activity lawns with shaded playground equipment.

Creative floor plans and features will help homebuilders get the attention of buyers, the president of the Southern Arizona Home Builders Association said.

“Key to success for homebuilders will be to understand and adapt to the preferences of today’s home buyer,” said David Godlewski, president of SAHBA. “More and more you will see builders changing layouts and options based upon how people are living today. New homes provide a considerable advantage to the home buyer to be able to customize and personalize their home just the way they want.”

SAHBA has launched a campaign to encourage buyers to look at the advantages of new construction versus the resale market, which had been dominant in the past couple of years. See buynewtucson.com for more information.

Contact reporter Gabriela Rico at grico@tucson.com