PLANNING AND ZONING
12425 W. BELL ROAD, SUITE
March 1, 2005
* MINUTES *
Call to Order:
Chairman Ken Senft called
the Regular Planning and Zoning Commission Meeting to order at 6:00pm at the Surprise City Hall – 12425 West Bell Road, Suite D-100, Surprise, Arizona, 85374, on Tuesday, March
Also in attendance with
Chairman Senft were: Commissioners Robert Gonzalez, Commissioner Daniel
Morris, Commissioner Skip Hall, Commissioner Antonio Segarra, and
Commissioner Jan Blair. Commissioner Randy Nachtigall arrived late (6:04pm).
City Attorney, Jeff Blilie;
Planning Manager Robert Millspaw; Development Services Manager, LaTonya
Finch; Planner Desmond McGeough; Planner Stephanie Wilson; Planning
Department Secretary Linda Bernsdorff.
Council Members Present:
There were no council
Regular Agenda Items Requiring A
ITEM #1: RS04-271 – Rural
Subdivision Plat for Dale Estates.
Planner Stephanie Wilson presented staff report
stating that the land will be divided into three lots on 5.02± acres for
residential buildings. She stated that the staff recommendation was for
approval, subject to stipulations ‘a’ through ‘l’.
Commissioner Segarra requested clarification of what
flood zone the property was located within.
Planner Wilson reviewed Item #10 Flood Zone,
stipulation ‘a’. She explained that the base elevation had not been
determined and stated that the future homeowners would have to prepare a
survey to establish the flood plain elevation prior to building.
Commissioner Morris asked if there were any standard
stipulations for rural subdivision stating that the wash cannot be
obstructed. If not, he requested that a stipulation ‘m’ be applied to all
future projects of this type stating that applicants cannot obstruct the flow
of the wash at any time. (Commissioner Nachtigall arrived at this point).
Development Manager Finch stated that the Planning
Department had depicted the location of the wash on the subdivision plat map
shown on the overhead projector. She asked for clarification on Commissioner
Morris’ request: if it applied to just this subdivision or to all future
subdivision requests. Commissioner Morris responded that such a stipulation
should be considered for all plats affected by washes. Development Services
Director Finch noted that this plat depicted the wash and that it would be
recorded as such.
Max Christianson, 16830 173rd Dr, Peoria, AZ; identified himself as representing the application.
He commented that Note #8 on the face of the plat requires a separate grading
and drainage plan, and that Note #9 states that such a plan has already been
prepared. Each lot was required to provide a separate grading and drainage
plan to be prepared to a MAG standard. The MAG standard is not shown on the
plat but it is shown on the approved grading and drainage plans.
Commissioner Morris asked if the MAG standard was in
fact a detail for crossing the wash area. He reiterated that there should be
criteria stating that there should be nothing blocking the wash.
Planner Wilson stated that the City Engineer has
required that grading and drainage plans be submitted for review to ensure
that the wash is not blocked.
Development Services Manager Finch noted that when
building plans are submitted, the applicant will be required to submit a
flood plain certificate at the same time.
Commissioner Morris opined that he would like
stipulation ‘m’ added to the staff report stating that the applicant cannot obstruct
flow of the wash at any time.
Chairman Senft asked the applicant if the wash going
through Lot #1 was a major wash.
Mr. Christenson stated that, according to Maricopa County, 235 cfs flow of water enters the wash during a heavy rain and 228 cfs of
water exits at the property line. He opined that he wasn’t certain this
amount would qualify this wash as a major wash, but noted that it does flow
after major storm events.
Chairman Senft asked how building activities on Lot #1 would be restricted.
Mr. Christenson stated that building on Lot #1 is restricted to certain areas. He illustrated which areas on the diagram
illustrated on the overhead projector were buildable.
Commissioner Gonzales commented that the building
area is located in the northeast corner, and wanted to know how it would be
accessed. He also wanted to know how deep and wide the wash was.
Mr. Christenson opined that the wash is
approximately 18-inches deep and 10-feet wide.
Commissioner Gonzales asked if there would be a way
for the resident to enter or exit the property when flood waters are present.
Mr. Christenson explained that the MAG Standard
provides a detail for constructing a low water crossing. He thought the
requirement called for concrete to be 15-feet wide and 5-inches deep. He
noted that the builder will build according to the MAG Standard.
Chairman Senft asked if a culvert would be required.
Mr. Christenson responded that the MAG Standard
would control the infrastructure requirements.
Hearing no further discussion, Commissioner Morris
made a motion to approve RS04-271, Rural Land Division – Dale Estates,
with stipulation ‘a’ through ‘l’ and with the addition of stipulation ‘m’
requiring that the wash not be blocked, as discussed. Commissioner
Nachtigall seconded the motion. The motion carried with 7 yes votes.
ITEM #2: RZ05- 039 Rezoning
Petition, R1-43 to I-2.
Planner Desmond McGeough presented the staff report
noting that the application is for a rezoning from R1-43 to I-2 to
accommodate a regional water reclamation facility for Special Planning Area
#2. He presented a brief history of the site and noted that the applicant is
proposing to rezone the 51.15± acre vacant property to accommodate the
facility. The site will be an odorless/noise
free environment. The facility will maintain a 350-foot setback from all
property lines. Access to the facility will be via an on-site private road.
The closest residence is located more than 450-feet from the property line
and over 850-feet from the proposed facility structures. There will be a
6-foot wall built surrounding the faculty that will match the architectural
theme of the facility as a buffer. The structure will be one-story in
height, with a maximum building height of 24-feet. The applicant feels this
site is favorable location because of the natural buffer provided by the Beardsley Canal and McMicken Dam. The staff recommendation is for approval, subject to
stipulations ‘a’ through ‘e’.
Commissioner Hall asked if the treatment center will
be completed by 2009. He also requested that an explanation of what ‘vault
and haul’ meant.
Planner McGeough confirmed that the final completion
date is 2009. He defined ‘vault and haul’ as the term used to describe
moving the wastewater offsite via a truck. This is required during the
initial operational phases of the plant as there is insufficient wastewater
to efficiently operate the facility.
Scott Switzer, 1150 W. Grove Parkway, Tempe AZ; identified himself as the applicant. He explained
at this time the volume at start up is not sufficient so the wastewater will
be trucked out of the site until the facility becomes fully operational. He
provided project milestones and completion dates, noting that they hoped to
break ground in October 2005 and complete the first phase of the facility and
be on-line by October 2006.
Commissioner Segarra asked several question
concerning how the water would be treated under the building and what
safeguards would be used in case of spillage.
Mr. Switzer stated that he could not speak to the
design of the project, but noted that it must be approved by the Public Works
Department and by the State.
Commissioner Segarra noted that the facilitiy will
be at an elevation that is lower than the dam, and questioned what the
absorption rates were should a spill happen.
Mr. Switzer stated he did not have that information.
City Attorney Blilie reminded the Commission that
this meeting is concerning the rezoning petition only, and that the
Commission will have several opportunities to review site plans as the
project progresses. He reminded the Commission that many of their questions
are more appropriate to be asked during the site plan review public hearing
Commissioner Gonzales asked what the distance was
between the treatment facility and 163rd Avenue, and the proposed
Pinnacle Peak Estates project.
Planner McGeough indicated that there is a large open
space area in the area and that the building will be located just North of
Pinnacle Peak Road by a distance of about 1,500 feet.
Commissioner Gonzales asked which communities the
wastewater treatment plant will support.
Mr. Switzer stated the treatment plant will serve
the Lennar community, the Desert Oasis and Pinnacle Peak Country Estates.
City Attorney Blilie noted that Desert Oasis is
constructing 900 home sites; therefore they are constructing a facility
capable of handling 3,000 gallons per day. He noted that the Pinnacle Peak
Country Estates development will have their own sewer until this facility is
Chairman Senft opened the meeting to receive public
William Dougherty 22611 N. 159 Ave, Surprise, AZ; stated that he lives on the property adjacent to
the proposed facility. He stated that he cannot support this plant at this
time. He feels the information given him is misleading and has been
misrepresented. He expressed his concerns with open ponds and their odor.
He would like to see a smaller facility. Mr. Dougherty asked the Commission
to understand the scope of the project for the future. He opined that the
perk plant requires just a few acres, however the entire project is much more
than which is shown. He asked whether or not anyone has looked at the site
plans or at any other plans for the facility. He stated that the use should
be smaller and more ‘transparent’.
Commissioner Blair asked Mr. Dougherty to point to
the map on the overhead and note the location of his residence. She also
asked if Mr. Dougherty had spoken to anyone with these concerns. She asked
him to give examples of the questions he had asked and what kind of response
he had received.
Mr. Dougherty pointed to the map showing the
location of his home. He mentions that he has sent letters expressing his
concerns and has received follow up calls, however he was unable to give
City Attorney Blilie explained that this step is
just the interim phase. He noted that the Water Services Director feels that
the City has identified the best technology that will work for the City of Surprise. This is similar to the water treatment plant just south of us, only it is of a
grander scale. This facility is a smaller facility with the same technology.
There are families that live on one-acre lots within a quarter of a mile
surrounding the larger water treatment plant, and the operation of that plant
has not affected the ground water table.
Chairman Senft explained to Mr. Dougherty that the
site plans will come back to the Commission to be reviewed and approved. He
recommended that he keep in touch with the Water Services Director for
City Attorney Blilie stated that several individuals
have been in touch with Mr. Dougherty. This proposed facility is a small
facility, as it is designed to treat 10 million gallons a day. The south
plant has a 35 million gallon a day capacity. He stated that this project is
in its infancy stages at this point.
Chairman Senft asked Mr. Dougherty to estimate the
distance between his property and the facility.
Mr. Dougherty stated his property line is about
450-feet away from the proposed facility.
Chairman Senft opined that the distance from Mr.
Dougherty’s property site to the water treatment building property the
distance is closer to 800 feet.
City Attorney Blilie opined that it is probably more
like one half mile from the proposed facility.
Chairman Senft noted that the area is located within
a floodplain and is unsuitable for residential development. He opined that
the land is more suited for ‘I’ uses.
In response to a question posed by Chairman Senft,
Mr. Dougherty affirmed that the city has been in contact with him. He stated
that he doesn’t doubt there are different issues to be looked at, but opined
that usually once rezoning is passed; the proposed land use is established.
He commented that he feels the printed information being circulated is not as
descriptive as it could be. He opined that the public has been denied an
opportunity to a part of this process, and that this is supposed to be a
Chairman Senft responded, stating that this hearing
is a public process.
Steve Earl, representing Asante Homes, responded to a few questions presented by Mr.
Dougherty. He noted that all the information that has been distributed has
been in Special Planning Area No. 2. The facility will accommodate only
those developments in this area. He opined that the plant is not using new
technology, but rather it will use proven technology, similar to the
technology currently used in the Goodyear and Avondale plants. He opined
that there was no deception in the material sent out. He reiterated that
this action is only a rezoning petition. He stated that all noise will be
contained in the building, and that the design of the plant will render it
nearly invisible, and the location is the best location to service
development in this area.
Chairman Senft suggested that someone keep in
contact with Mr. Dougherty during the first stage of the project.
Community Development Manager Finch stated that Mr.
Dougherty submitted a written outline with regard to this facility on
September 23, 2004 that posed 10 specific questions. Mr. Rich Williams has
responded to each of the specific questions in writing in a letter dated
October 4, 2004.
Commissioner Morris asked if one of the questions
asked was to address the present technology being used for this particular
plant and if it would be reserved for the rest of the site. City Attorney
Blilie opined that there could be another type of technology in the future;
however we don’t know what that is at this time.
Community Development Manager Finch reiterated that
Mr. Dougherty has asked specific question, to which Mr. Williams has
responded. She noted that his response is a public record. She noted that
Mr. Williams’s opined that better technology might be available at the time
of the design of the facility.
Commissioner Morris opined that this may not be
environmentally prudent. He noted a neighboring waste treatment facility
located to the south of him where neighbors complain of the odor from the
ponds. He asked if there is any way to address this concern.
City Attorney Blilie stated that it is premature to
be commenting on open ponds at this time, stating that site plans will be
reviewed several times in the future. Comments addressing these issues are
more appropriate to be addressed then.
Chairman Senft reiterated that the applicant is not
proposing ponds at this facility. He notes that this facility is enclosed
and, at this point in time, the applicant is only requesting rezoning.
Commissioner Morris asked if all facilities come
through the Planning and Zoning department for review. City Attorney Blilie
Hearing no further comments, Chairman Senft closed
the public hearing.
Hearing no further discussion, Commissioner Segarra
made a motion to approve RZ05-039, Rezoning from R1-43 to I-2, with
stipulations ‘a’ through ‘e’. Commissioner Nachtigall seconded the motion.
The commission then discussed the stipulations as they related to the zoning
case. After some discussion with the City Attorney, it was agreed by the
motioner and the seconder that the only stipulation that applied to the case
was stipulation ‘e’. Stipulation ‘e’ reads: In the event that the applicant does not commence
construction on the water reclamation facility within three years of this
rezoning, the City shall move to rezone the subject property back to R1-43.
The proper amendments were made, stipulation ‘e’ was
renamed stipulation ’a’, and the motion carried with 7 yes votes.
Chairman Senft called to the public to discuss any
issues that are not on the agenda. There was no one in the audience that
approached the Commission.