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12425 W. BELL ROAD, SUITE D-100


February 1, 2005






Call to Order:

Chairman Ken Senft called the Regular Planning and Zoning Commission Meeting to order at 6:05pm at the Surprise City Hall12425 West Bell Road, Suite D-100, Surprise, Arizona, 85374, on Tuesday, February 1, 2005.


Roll Call:

In attendance with Chairman Senft were:  Commissioners Robert Gonzalez, Commissioner Daniel Morris, Commissioner Skip Hall, and Commissioner Jan Blair.  (Commissioner Antonio Segarra and Commissioner Randy Nachtigall were absent).


Staff Present:

City Attorney Jeff Blilie, Planning and Zoning Manager Robert Millspaw, Planner Stephanie Wilson, and Planning Department Secretary Linda Bernsdorff.


Council Members Present:

There were no council members present.




                                                            OLD BUSINESS:                                                          


The minutes from January 18, 2005 P&Z Commission Meeting were approved by unanimous vote.


                                                           NEW BUSINESS:                                                          



                                      Regular Agenda Items Requiring A Public Hearing                         


There were no items on the agenda not requiring a public hearing.



                                   Regular Agenda Items Not Requiring a Public Hearing:                      


·         ITEM #1:  CUP04-365, Conditional Use Permit for a Safeway fueling station.


Planning Manager Robert Millspaw introduced himself and stated that he would be presenting the staff report in Desmond McGeough’s absence.  In his presentation, Mr. Millspaw discussed the history of development activities occurring on the PAD site, the location and configuration of the pump islands, and the landscaping and low wall which will provide visual screening and setback distance from both Litchfield and Waddell Roads.  He concluded by noting that the development of the site is in conformance with the master plan for master development plan of the Surprise Crossing center, and that staff recommended approval of the Conditional Use Permit, subject to eight standard stipulations and one special stipulation.


Vice-chair Blair expressed concerns with the hours of operation and the distance between McDonalds and the Safeway fuel facility.  Another concern she voiced was the type of pedestrian traffic walkways connecting this portion of the site with the remainder of the site.


Ed Bull, 702 E Osborn, Phoenix, AZ; an attorney representing Safeway; explained that the Kiosk will be open from 5am to 11pm.  Regarding pedestrian-friendly access to the McDonalds site, Mr. Bull replied that McDonalds is located just north of the main Safeway store, and he didn’t believe that there would be a need for pedestrians to walk to the kiosk from McDonalds, as the inventory of food items carried in the kiosk would be very limited.


Vice-chair Blair asked a follow-up question about foot traffic to the kiosk.  Mr. Bull replied that there would likely be no other foot traffic other than pedestrians that would purchase candy, cigarettes, or any other of the limited number of items that would be for sale in the kiosk.


The commission questioned the relationship of this use to the main Safeway store.  Mr. Bull noted the relationship displayed on the overhead map and stated that the fueling station will follow the opening of the store by a few weeks.


Commissioner Gonzales asked if the fueling station will carry diesel fuel in addition to unleaded grades of fuel.  Mr. Bull responded that all grades of fuel are proposed to be sold.


Commissioner Gonzales questioned the angle of the parking for those vehicles not purchasing fuel, and asked how these vehicles would be accommodated on the site.  Mr. Bull indicated the area on the overhead display that will be used for parking for employees and those not fueling their vehicles.


Commissioner Hall asked what the underground fuel tanks would be made of, and if they would be a two-layer plastic material.  Mr. Bull replied stating that the underground tanks will be made of fiberglass.


Chairman Senft asked about the type of security to be utilized.  Mr. Bull stated that there will be video cameras placed on canopy columns and on the kiosk.  Chairman Senft recommend a video camera be placed within the kiosk as well.


Chairman Senft opened the meeting to receive public comment.  Hearing no comment, Chairman Senft closed the public hearing.


Commissioner Blair made a motion to approve CUP 04-365, a request for a fueling station, subject to stipulations a through i as contained within the staff report.  Commissioner Morris seconded the motion.  Upon a vote, the motion passed with a unanimous vote (5-0), with Commissioners Segarra and Nachitgall absent.


·         SP04-417, Site Plan Approval for Imagine Charter School.


Planner Stephanie Wilson presented the staff report.  In her presentation, Planner Wilson noted that the school will have a capacity of 750 students.  Access to the site along Cactus Road will accommodate all types of vehicles.  The secondary access on Bullard Avenue will permit right turns in and right turns out and left turns in through a median cut.  Parking is shown at 40 spaces.  Long driveways with turn-arounds will accommodate parents dropping off and picking up children.  The architecture is southwestern Spanish, with 22% of the total site in landscaped areas, which exceeds the City minimum requirement of 15%.  The staff recommendation is for approval subject to the 11 stipulations in the staff report.  Planner Wilson added a twelfth stipulation, stipulation “l” which will require the erection of view fencing along Bullard Avenue.  The design of this view fencing shall require the approval of the Community Development Director.


Vice Chair Blair asked about points of access to this site and if the City were aware of plans for adjacent land uses on sites around the school.


Planner Wilson explained that any C-2 commercial use with exception of certain liquor licenses may locate on adjacent properties.


City Attorney Blilie briefly discussed requirements for buffering liquor establishments from certain land uses, such as schools and churches.


Commissioner Gonzales questioned the architectural style proposed for the school and asked why it couldn’t be dressed up a little bit.


Planner Wilson stated that the architecture proposed is traditional southwest Spanish.


Commissioner Hall pointed out that trash enclosure is next to residential development and asked if it can be moved to another place on the site.


Casil Libman, 571 W. Iowa Ave, Mesa, AZ; identified himself as one of the applicants.  He stated that the trash dumpster is located where it is not in the front yard, not visible from the main school grounds and yet is still accessible by the school staff.


Chairman Senft asked what the distance was between the trash enclosure and the adjacent single family residential neighborhood.  Planner Wilson stated that the enclosure was approximately 12 feet from the fence line.  Chairman Senft opined that this location is pretty close to the residential neighborhood.


Commissioner Gonzales suggested that the applicant reconsider this location and possibly move the trash to another location.


The commission asked if there will be a cafeteria.  Eric Kendall, a co-applicant, explained that a proposed multipurpose room will also serve as a luncheon room.  The school will not serve a breakfast meal, but will provide snacks for children after school.


Commissioner Hall questioned the proposed site lighting, stating that he didn’t want to put a lot of lighting onto lots 29-30 of the adjacent residential development, but acknowledged that a grade separation may help.


Planner Wilson explained that all lighting will be directed towards site and away from residential area, in accordance with the requirements of the Surprise Design Manual.  The applicant also explained that no evening activities are planned on a regular basis, however, an occasional night meeting would take place in the multi-purpose room.


Commissioner Morris noted that the playfield is 6.8 acres in size, and is small compared to most school playfields, which are 10 acres or more in size.  He noted that the playfield is also being used as a retention basin, which will be unusable for a period of time after a rain event.  He questioned where the children will play outdoors when the retention basin is flooded.


Eric Kendall explained that children would use the multipurpose room during inclement weather.


In response to Commissioner Morris’ question, Mr. John Griffin, a co-applicant, explained that there is an additional play area that is above the retention area.  He also noted that the city engineer requires that the water can be in the basin for a maximum time of 36 hours.


Commissioner Morris commented that the fields are still wet and unusable after this time period elapses.


City Attorney Blilie explained that retention basin cannot be greater than three feet deep and he discouraged the use of underground retention.  In some instances, depths greater than three feet may be permitted; however, fencing of the area is still required.  He also stated that drywells cannot be used for retention storage.


Commissioner Morris noted that the City code requires 235 parking spaces; however, the applicant is only providing 80.  He questioned the amount of reduction.


Doug Bouma, 4101 Roger B. Chaffee Boulevard SW, Grand Rapids, MI, representing the application, stated that no assembly uses are proposed, that buses will be provided for transportation, and that 80 parking spaces will be provided.  He noted that staff informed him that 40 parking spaces should be sufficient to serve the proposed use.  Mr. Kendall further explained that is not uncommon for charter schools to find operational needs to reduce parking, physical education space, and other land consumptive issues.


Commissioner Morris noted that there are no architectural features below the window.


Tracy Lee, from the Orcutt/Winslow Partnership, 1130 N. 2nd Street, Phoenix, AZ; the architects for the project, noted that they discussed adding wainscoting or other architectural features to the buildings but felt as if they would conflict with the southwest Spanish architectural style envisioned.  She noted the sloping window sills shown on the photo of their other school in Phoenix, and noted that the windows are set back (recessed) within the wall, which provide “relief” to the building elevations.


Chairman Senft asked what material was proposed for the roof.  Mr. Bouma stated that the roof would be three tab architectural grade shingles, and not clay tiles, as depicted in the photo of their existing school in Phoenix.  Chairman Senft opined that he wanted the project to contain a tile roof, and not a shingle roof.  He questioned why the roof was not a tile roof.  Ms. Lee explained that tile was not proposed for this project due to its cost. Chairman Senft noted that many buildings in the area have tile roofs.


Commissioner Morris opined that the southwest traditional Spanish design does not include roof shingles and opined that he wanted to see clay tiles of some sort used on the roof of this school.  Mr. Bourma stated that they could consider using tile on only the visible exposures of the roof and use shingles elsewhere.


Chairman Senft opined that he wanted to see a completely tiled roof on this school so that it would complement the neighborhood.  After further discussion on this point, Mr. Bourma agreed with Chairman Senft’s observation.


Chairman Senft stated that he will require tile roofs and add it as a stipulation for approval.  He also stated that the building should have wooden window sills, similar to those shown in the photo of the school in Phoenix.


Commissioner Morris opined that the architecture proposed did not show any treatment below the window sills, and expressed a concern that the treatments depicted in the photo on the overhead would direct rainwater downward across the front of the building elevation.  He opined that this would cause the elevation to deteriorate over time, as the rainwater would direct dirt downward across the building elevations.


Mr. Libman stated that they have existing buildings and don’t have this problem.  He added that the building is now one year old and it does not have any dirt on the elevations below the windows.  He opined that he had no problems with the commissioner’s recommendations, and will comply with the type of window sills they would like to see.


Ms. Lee stated that standard windows proposed for this project will have sloping sills that should eliminate this problem.  She added that they could install a pre-cast window to make them look like those illustrated in the photos.


Commissioner Morris opined that there is a need for some sort of pre-cast feature to eliminate the dirty rainwater cascading down the building elevation and making it unsightly.


Chairman Senft noted that the applicant stated that they didn’t appear to have that problem with their other school with the same elevation design.


Commissioner Morris asked if this building would have the same architecture and architectural features as the other school building.


Ms. Lee stated that this building would not have the short block wall around the front of the building, as is shown in the photo on the overhead.


Commissioner Morris asked about the location of the flagpole.  Ms. Lee stated that it would be located up front adjacent to the parking lot.


Commissioner Morris stated that he would like to see a one-foot drop in the drainage/retention basin area.  Chairman Senft responded that if you drop the elevation of the play field then you would lose additional play area.


Commissioner Morris responded that he feels that the drainage should be placed at the bottom of the field where the water would collect.


Chairman Senft opened the meeting to receive public comment.  Hearing no comment, Chairman Senft closed the public hearing.


Commissioner Gonzales opined that the style of roof depicted in the photo was not what the applicant was proposing for this project, and he felt that what was shown was deceiving to the commission.  He requested that when the applicants come back again that they present exactly what they propose to build.


Mr. Libman offered an apology, stating that the photo was merely illustrative of the elevations of their existing school building.  He noted that he felt that they were very clear with what was submitted with their application because they called out the type of materials they proposed for this project.


Planner Wilson added that she inherited this project from a planner no longer in the Department, and therefore did not attend the TAC meeting.  As such, she could not specifically address the requirements placed on this project as a result of the TAC meetings with the applicants.  She added that the photos were displayed only as a means to enhance the project proposed.


Chairman Senft stated that he wanted to add additional stipulations to the project; Stipulation ‘m’, which would require tile roofing; Stipulation ‘n’, which would require eight-inch sills be added to all windows, and suggested that the applicant work closely with staff to ensure that the intent of the commissioner’s comments are addressed.  He added that the applicant should work with city engineer to help create more useable field space.


Commissioner Morris opined that he wanted to add a stipulation to require that the play fields be more usable.  He also wanted the applicant to work with the City Engineer to see if more usable space can be created within the retention basin.  City Attorney Blilie responded that this stipulation could be added as Stipulation ‘o’.


Planner Wilson re-read the wording for Stipulation ‘l’ and stated the basic intent of the three additional stipulations requested by the commission with City Attorney Blilie’s assistance.  City Attorney Blilie stated that the exact wording of the additional stipulations will be added to the final staff report.


Commissioner Morris made a motion to approve SP 04-417, a request for approval of a site plan for a new charter school, subject to stipulations a through k as contained within the staff report, and with the addition of an additional stipulation ‘l’ as proposed by the planning staff, and adding additional stipulations, ‘m’ through ‘o’, as requested by the commission.  Commissioner Hall seconded the motion.  Upon a vote, the motion passed with a unanimous vote (5-0), with Commissioners Segarra and Nachitgall absent.



                                                           OPEN CALL TO PUBLIC:                                              


Note:  During this time members of the public may address the Commission on any item not on the agenda.  At the conclusion of the open call, Commissioners may respond to criticism, may ask staff to review the matter, or may ask that the matter be put on a future agenda.  No discussion or action shall take place on any item raised.


Chairman Senft called to the public to discuss any issues that are not on the agenda.


Paula Forester, 16333 W. Escondido Surprise, AZ; asked a question regarding land uses in the large wash area by the bridge on Bell Road.  She noted that a park was built in a similar area on 59th Avenue and Thunderbird Road.  She opined that this park was very clean and looked great.  She stated that the City could undertake a similar effort to clean up the Agua Fria area since it was an entryway into the city.  Chairman Senft responded that the commission will work with the city to address this issue.


Chairman Senft closed the public meeting.



                                                        CURRENT EVENTS REPORT:                                           


Chairperson and Commissioners:


Commissioner Blair noted that there are several vacant lots that are overgrown with weeds, and stated that the stadium looked terrible.  She asked if the City can require landowners to remove weeds.  City Attorney Blilie responded that the code enforcement division will look into this issue.


Commissioner Blair stated that she is interested in attending the national APA conference in San Francisco, and requested that someone from the Community Development Department contact her about her request.


Planning Manager:  Robert Millspaw.


Mr. Millspaw had no additional reports to present.



                          CONSIDERATION AND ACTION TO HOLD AN EXECUTIVE SESSION:             


Pursuant to A.R.S. § 38-431.03(A)(3), the Planning and Zoning Commission may go into executive session with the City Attorney for legal advice on any item listed on the agenda.


There was no request made to call for an executive session.




Hearing no further business, Chairman Ken Senft adjourned the Regular P & Z Commission meeting of Tuesday, February 1, 2005 at 7:21pm.




Phillip Testa, Director

Community Development Department





P&Z Commission Chairman Ken Senft