View Other Items in this Archive | View All Archives | Printable Version




12425 W. BELL ROAD, SUITE D-100


March 1, 2005






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 1, 2005.


Roll Call:

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).


Staff Present:

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 members present.




                                                            OLD BUSINESS:                                                          


The minutes of the November 2, 2004 P&Z Commission Meeting were approved by unanimous vote.


The minutes of the February 15, 2005 P&Z Commission Meeting were approved by unanimous vote.


                                                           NEW BUSINESS:                                                          



                                      Regular Agenda Items Requiring A Public Hearing                         



·         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.


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


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 process.


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 completed.



Chairman Senft opened the meeting to receive public comment.


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 examples.


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 regular updates.


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 public process.


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 responded affirmatively.


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.


                                                           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.  There was no one in the audience that approached the Commission.


                                                        CURRENT EVENTS REPORT:                                                       


Chairperson and Commissioners:


Commissioner Nachtigall announced that he was apologizing for his frequent absences and late arrival at tonight’s meeting.  He noted that the scope of responsibilities of his job had changed, and that these changes have impacted his Commission schedule.


Community Development Director:  (LaTonya Finch acting in Philip Testa’s absence).


Development Services Director Finch reminded the Commission that the Planning and Zoning Commission meetings will be held at the Surprise City Library for the months of May, June, July and August, due to construction activities planned in the Council Chambers.


Development Services Director Finch distributed copies of Planning & Zoning project agendas to each of the commissioners.


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, March 1, 2005 at 7:06pm.




Philip A. Testa, Director

Community Development Department





P&Z Commission Chairman Ken Senft