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12425 W. BELL ROAD, SUITE D-100










Call to Order:


Chairman Ken Senft called the Regular Planning and Zoning Commission Meeting to order at 6:05 p.m. at the Surprise City Hall12425 West Bell Road, Suite D-100, Surprise, Arizona, 85374, on Tuesday, December 21, 2004.


Roll Call:


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.


Staff Present:


City Attorney, Jeff Blilie, Acting Community and Economic Development Director, LaTonya Finch; Planner Lee Lambert; Planner Desmond McGeough; Senior Transportation Planner, Randy Overmyer; Planning Manager Robert Millspaw, Planning Department Secretary Linda Bernsdorff.


Council Members Present:


There were no council members present.




Chairman Senft made opening remarks wishing everyone a good holiday season.


                                                                  OLD BUSINESS:                                                                



Regular Agenda Items Not Requiring a Public Hearing:                                                                    


§         Item #1:  SP04-275, Site Plan, The Vineyard Church of Surprise.


Planner Andy Jochums presented the staff report.  He stated that staff recommended approval, subject to stipulations 'a' through 'l'.


There were no questions by any of the commissioners.


Pastor Brad Wilson, 18701 N. Diamond Drive, Surprise, AZ; identified himself as the applicant.  He started that he feels this parish will serve Surprise.  They picked the location to serve both City of Surprise and Sun City Grande.


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


Chairman Senft read letter received in the mail today dated 12/21/04, from Kiki Abbott, 16236 N. 162nd Lane, Surprise, AZ 85374 in support of the church.


Hearing no further comments, Commissioner Segarra made a motion to approve SP04-275, Site Plan, The Vineyard Church of Surprise, subject to stipulations 'a' through 'l'.  The motion was seconded by Commissioner Morris.  The motion was approved by a vote of 6 to 0 (Commissioner Nachtigall arrived late).


                                                                 NEW BUSINESS:                                                                


                                      Regular Agenda Items Requiring A Public Hearing:                                     



§         Item #2:  ZTA03-366, Local Residential Street Crossing Zoning Text Amendment


Planner Jim Atkins presented the staff report.


Commissioner Hall asked about a 1.5-foot set back, and wondered who would maintain it, the City or the applicant?


Planner Atkins stated that maintenance is part of the residential yard landscaping and would be the responsibility of the homeowner.


Commissioner Segarra asked if this would also apply to private streets.


Planner Atkins stated that if the developer chooses to have private streets and provide this cross section, then the developer will need to maintain it because a private street is not maintained by City.  If a developer were to choose a private street, and they wanted to provide an alternative cross section that was determined to be acceptable to staff, and approved by Commission and Council.


Commissioner Morris had a question on page 2 of the report.  He noted that Item # 5 says that City Engineering recommends minimum of 1-foot of clearance space behind these areas, and we are now asking for 1.5 feet.


Planner Atkins stated that staff was attempting to round up instead of down, 45 to 55, going in increments of 5 feet, it was originally 50 feet, then it went up to 55 feet.  He noted that the 1.5 feet is approximate.  There could be instances where that could be reduced down to ½ foot.  The intent is to provide access to that section, and the larger distance builds in a little more flexibility to the cross section.


Vice Chairman Blair commented that it looked good.


Commissioner Nachtigall apologized for being late.  He had no questions.


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

Hearing no additional comments, Commissioner Morris made a motion to approve ZTA03-366, Local Residential Street Crossing Zoning Text Amendment.  The motion was seconded by Vice-Chair Blair.  The motion passed unanimously.



§         Item #3:  CUP04-339, Marley Park P.A.D. Comprehensive Master Sign Program


Stephanie Wilson presented the staff report.  Staff recommended approval with stipulations a through h as amended.


Commission Morris asked if the cap on top was a lighting cap.


Planner Wilson noted that it is indirect lighting, following the same concept as a Ballard Light.


Planner Wilson noted that staff added an amendment to stipulation “d”.  It will now read “Future phases of this master plan program, as depicted on the site plan with the exception of the commercial properties shall be processed as minor amendments to the master sign program and shall require the approval of the Community Development Director.”  She noted that the reason for this stipulation is that it has not appeared on previous master plans, but staff found with the residential sign programs, we bring them forward to the Commission, and staff is attempting to eliminate having to bring forward each phase for a public hearing before the Commission.  The commercial properties would be major amendments to the master plan.


Commissioner Morris stated that he thought it would be a good idea not to have to bring this before the Commission for the future phases if the Commission approves a Master Plan for the total site.


Planner Wilson stated that once the main design contract is established it will be carried out throughout the remainder of the project.


Commissioner Morris asked if the Community Development Director would not be bringing it back to the Commission in the future.


Planner Wilson replied affirmatively.


Vice-Chair Blair commented on the diagram on page 4, the primary community entry monument.  I noticed on the others we don’t have the sharp points, are those protected in any way?  And why would we do it on this one and not on the school or community center.  I was just wondering why we would need those.


Alan Walder, Sign Language, 7465 East Cannon Drive, Scottsdale, AZ 85258; identified himself as the applicant.  He stated that the spikes are designed to be high enough to prevent children or even a normal adult from reaching.  That particular design element was designed by the landscape architect and approved previously.  To his knowledge this is the only signage to have the pickets, everything else is flat at the top.


Chairman Senft opined that he liked the idea of master sign plan and that will not have to come to Commission in the future for each phase.  It will cut down on the Commissions workload and make the Commission more efficient.


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


Hearing no further comments, Commissioner Morris made a motion to approve CUP04-339, Marley Park P.A.D. Comprehensive Master Sign Program, subject to amended stipulations a through h.  The motion was seconded by Commissioner Nachtigall.  The motion passed unanimously.

§         Item #4:  SP04-380, Dickinson’s Palazzo 16 Screen Cinema in Surprise Center.


Planner Lee Lambert presented the staff report.  He stated that staff recommended approval subject to stipulations a through n, with amended stipulation j.


Tim Keenan, 11811 N. Tatum Bld, Phoenix, AZ 85028; identified himself as a project applicant.


Architect - Bane Gaiser – HMN Architects, Inc., 7508 Woody Creek Lane, Platte Woods, MO 64151; explained the theater is just a portion of a much larger piece.  He noted that there would be two main entrances, one from the street and one from the parking lot.  He feels the building and landscape is very appealing.  He noted a total of 16 screens are proposed.


He stated that the 144th Street and parking side are different from the north and south side.  The retail entrance has the largest view and we have set it back from the street to allow for a colonnade.  The theatre function lends itself very well to this urban landscape site because of the staggered movie start times, giving an influx of people to shopping or movie and constantly putting people onto the street for shopping, dining, etc.  Future office building will work well, because of the difference in the scheduled work hours and theatre time because there is less need for hardscape.


Mr. Keenan commented that he has not seen a theatre with two entrances that was as architecturally beautiful as this project is.


Chairman Senft noted that the Commission really couldn’t visualize the beauty without the surrounding office and buildings.


Commission Morris asked to see the site plan again.  He noted that there appears to be diagonal parking along 144th that permits cars to be backing out into traffic.


Planner Lambert stated that this parking has been removed from consideration because it is against State law without a City ordinance to allow it.  He stated that parallel parking will replace it.


Mr. Keenan stated that additional parking would be available east of 144th Street.


Chairman Senft opined that diagonal parking is more esthetically nicer than parallel parking.


City Attorney Blilie  stated that it is illegal unless the City Council actually adopts an ordinance allowing diagonal parking on City streets.  The City does not have that ordinance in place, therefore we cannot allow angle parking.  The City Engineer has concerns about passing an ordinance allowing for angle parking on City streets.


Chairman Senft commented that it looks better and allows for more parking on a 45-degree angle.  Also, it is easier because parallel parking is a bit of a challenge for some people.


Mr. Keenan stated that backing into the street might cause traffic problems.


Commissioner Morris stated he would prefer diagonal parking.  He suggested a secondary street with diagonal parking.  He suggested that the diagonal parking be moved on-site and off the right of way.


Mr. Keenan said he not in favor of moving the building back to provide the diagonal parking.


LaTonya Finch, Acting Community Development Director, suggested that a stipulation be added stating that if an ordinance were to be passed by the Council allowing the angled parking, a minor site plan amendment could be utilized to affect this type of parking on this site.


Chairman Senft asked that this stipulation be added since the Commission was in favor of angled on-street parking for this project.


Mr. Keenan agreed to continue working with staff on this subject.


Planner Lambert stated that staff could add the stipulation that they could design the road to accommodate angle parking if an ordinance permitting angle parking is approved before the project is finished.


City Attorney Blilie modified stipulation j regarding allowing angle parking.


Commission Morris asked to review the building elevations.  He noted he has concerns over the architecture and the flow of the building.  He asked if what was happening on the east and west of the building be carried out on the north and south of the building as well.


Mr. Gaiser stated the plain area will have a light façade, however would be possible to change the left side of the façade to match the entire elevation.  He reviewed the elevation and agreed to redesign the wall on the backside of the building so it would be modulated.


Vice-Chair Blair commented she thought it was a great project.


Commissioner Nachtigall echoed Vice-Chair Blair’s comments.


Commissioner Gonzales discussed Item # 13, history of conditions, and requested a Master Site Plan be reviewed prior to building the project.


Planner Lambert replied that a Master Site Plan was not required at this point; however, he noted that the applicant was working on one.


Mr. Keenan said he met with Planner Lambert regarding the site plan and is working on it now.  It would consist of 120 to 160 acres which would be master planned.  The total amount that is left out here is approximately 540 acres.  So these would be pretty large chunks, it wouldn’t be smaller chunks.  This piece is about 120 acres.  The best way to do the planning on this is one chunk at a time because the project is so large and it’s going to change over time.  And I think we are fairly confident where we are going with this 120 acres, which may be expanded to 160 acres.  But I’m fairly confident we know where we are going with this portion of the project.


Commissioner Gonzales asked if the engineering and fire department issues raised had been taken care of during departmental review.


Planner Lambert noted that the Engineering Department has agreed that the drainage has been drafted at least in terms of calculations, that they are correct.  And they provide for correct drainage.  We are still, and that comes back to that master site plan, looking at a drainage solution that would address essentially what you see in front of you on the screen.  The design proposed works for the retention for that area, the city is still working out how the basin will look.  With regards to Fire and Building Safety, we did get the necessary information since this report went out.  Fire and Building Safety both appear to be comfortable with what is proposed now.


Commission Hall stated he had one large concern regarding where the building is staged.  He would like to know to see the building moved about 60 feet and create a courtyard here where retail could look onto the courtyard.  There could be all kinds of things happening right in here.  He wondered why everything was pushed up onto 141st Avenue.


Mr. Gaiser stated that it is their intent to put it on the street to create the streetscape.  Because of the width of the theater building, you do not get useable parking unless it is situated as is.  They wanted to put the office buildings on the major street, not a parking lot.  We do have parking here dedicated to the retail.  The intent was to get the angled parking here along the street so we could energize this area, but we discussed that earlier.  There is parking along these streets as well.  And as far as the overall plan, just like is happening here you are going to have a much thinner band of retail on this side of the street with the parking behind it and in the center here.  This would really be a good place to park and the retail as it goes.


Mr. Keenan stated that the parking field is a parking field today but in the future it could be parking garages.  And that is what Rick West would really like to do in order take advantage of full use of that land.  He wants to create an intense urban downtown feel.


Commissioner Hall noted that he did not see how you would lose that by moving the theater and creating a courtyard.  He opined that this whole site seems titled, and asked what as planned for another location.


Mr. Keenan stated that it could be larger retail, noting that they would like to have department stores.


Commissioner Hall asked how Sun Village Parkway is oriented to 141st Avenue.


Mr. Keenan noted that Civic Center Drive is Sun Village Parkway.


Commissioner Hall opined that he just did not like the way this building sits, noting that it seems out of place for the site.  He opined that with the parking shown, it seems like it’s a Home Depot with really nice architecture on the outside.


Mr. Gaiser commented that patrons actually enter into the lobby to buy the ticket.  It has ticket windows facing in both directions; one facing towards 141st Street and one facing towards the parking lot.  What Tim was talking about earlier is the intent is to have building all around with the parking in the middle.  At the current state, it doesn’t make sense to do structured parking in the center area.  But it certainly would make sense if this were to become a very intense urban space, and I don’t mean by very intense that we are going to have skyscrapers or anything like that, but a fairly condensed urban space and then the parking would be concealed in the middle.  The comment on the Home Depot, I don’t take offense with that either, with this many seats in the theater we need to have 850 parking spaces.  So you are going to have a parking field.  The attempt here has been to conceal that parking field in the center of the block and the long term vision for that is that is would be essentially concealed with the with the buildings all the way around.  And that’s why we are trying to get the parking in this area here.  There is an opportunity for good development on the street here on the street to the south that you were talking about as well as on 141st Street.  As this takes off with momentum, hopefully we can start to build up here along the sides just like these are.  You can see how these are outlined here.  You’ve got buildings all the way around on the street.  You are really addressing the architecture, the cars are inside and they are concealed.


Commissioner Hall noted that this is an office building here, and questioned if there would be parking some distance from the building.


Mr. Keenan noted that there would be some parking over there too.  When that parking structure goes in, there might be a sister building that faces the other way.  Again we are trying to create that street theme going down Civic Center Drive.  The intention is to not have the backside of any building each side would have an entrance.  We’ve started that theme with the first office building and we’re continuing it with the theater and I’m hoping throughout the project.  It is typical today that you have two entrances to each building.


Commission Hall asked if the parking stalls are 9 x 18 in size.


Mr. Keenan replied affirmatively, and stated that he told Commissioner Blair we would try to incorporate the new parking design guidelines into this project.  When did it, we had Mr. Dick Norton look at the civil engineering aspects.  We asked how much space it would take.  He said it would take an additional 1.8 acres to accomplish what the new parking design guidelines are.


Commissioner Hall asked the applicant if he had been to the Harkins Theater in Peoria.  He stated that it has parking on both sides so it’s convenient to the moviegoer to go to the movie.  Plus something else I like about it, it has a place right in front of the theater for people to be dropped off.  Mom and the kids can get out of the car, go in and buy the tickets and dad can go park the car.


Mr. Gaiser stated that this is similar to what we have proposed here with the configuration of the street.  We have a pull-in area and a pull-out area.  He noted that this concept was borrowed from that movie theater.  There are two major drop-off points they are not as deep because this is a lower speed area, one on either side.  The reason we don’t put it in the center because there is a lot of pedestrian flow in the parking lot in the center.  We don’t want everyone trying to cross at one point, plus it doubles the amount of drop off.  The two drop-off points are a little smaller due to the lesser traffic.  There has been talk of creating it a little bit deeper and creating an island there to completely separated it from this drive area here.  We have that opportunity here because we have enough depth.


Commissioner Segarra suggested that there be better pedestrian access.  He stated that it is pretty well delineated, but observed that nothing happens over here.  I think we should have something like of that.  Next, how is the emergency exit going to be handled on this side?  How will you deal with a fire or an explosion.


Mr. Gaiser pointed to all the exits that come from the public area from the lobby or public access ways, they’re not really corridors but essentially extended lobby throughout the theater.  They happen here at the front, they happen here, here, and here.  All of those areas go straight to the street.  This is 20 feet across here, this is closer to 55 feet across there, 20 feet here.  That’s all leading to a public way.  Essentially the way the property lines are drawn, this retail property line is like that, and this one is like that.  So this is public way.  There is a secondary exiting from each auditorium.  Each auditorium allows you to go out the door you came in to the main lobby structure and out through the building that way.  We take 50 per cent of the load out that way, its just good common practice.  There is also a door that comes out of each auditorium.  Primarily those doors are along these sides here.  There is one door here and that is why this retail is separated away so those people can move right over to this public way out.  There is one door here and there is one door here that goes directly into this public way here.  And it is the same on the other side.  There is a large auditorium here.  It has an exit straight out here and an exit out the front door, which is here and exits back into the theater.  Because in an emergency situation, people tend to leave the way they came, so most people would run out the door they came in and out to the lobby and out of the building.  So that’s the way it is set up.  Also, because this is a very large auditorium, with 650 seats, with the stadium style seating; we’ve also provided an exit up at the top of the theater.  So the people who are up at the top of the theater don’t have to come all the way down the stairs, they can either go out through a stair that sits outside here or they can go down a communicating stair that leads down to the lobby and outside the front doors.  So each auditorium has two exits and the large auditoriums have three exits.


Regarding the path, if we are going to add a path, I would like to see it right here so the people get across and get into an area where they are safe from traffic.  If we have it here, they will still have to cross the traffic that way.  But we can certainly look at it in both locations.


Commission Segarra noted that he did not like the way the building is situated.  The grand entrance is going to be very imposing.  But you are hiding it because you have retail over here so all this is going to be essentially hiding.  I did some research.  There is another location in Overland Park, Kansas.  I would like to see a little more shadow on that building to enhance the looks.  [Illustrations were presented and reviewed with research].  He would like to see a little more lighting along with a water feature inside then you have all the balcony type stuff on the walls.  I hope ours is going to be just as nice or nicer.


Mr. Gaiser stated that he was glad Commissioner Segarra brought photos because really you are looking at our lobby.  There are some adjustments.  The picture is a little bit dark, but what you are seeing here is the size of the lobby area.  It is a small building streetscape more like what you would see in Venice where there are a lot of buildings tightly packed right on the street.  The reason for that is because of the way the building is situated.  They have the restrooms right there in the lobby and they are kind of poking into it.  Ours would be very similar.  In fact this wall is almost identical.  With the fountain in the middle and the tile pattern on the side is the same.  The same finishes we are shooting for with the dome in the ceiling.  But the sides are a little more Renaissance, more of an ordered building.  Our lobby is actually much larger than this one, it is a bit crowded in there and that has to do with the way they oriented some of the big theaters.  There is going to be a lot more space in this lobby than in the one there, but essentially this is the interior theme, the same materials, the same columns.  You’ve got the Corinthian columns with the barrel vaults and the indirect lighting on the barrel vaults and the sky murals on the dome and it is going to be very nice.


Commission Segarra opined that he thought I was going to have trouble selling my idea, but you didn’t mention that over on this side over here you are going to have more retail.  A little over a year ago I happened to be in the mall at Manhattan Beach, CA.  As you see over here, you have an entrance.  And it goes around and here’s the front of the mall.  Then you have retail.  Then you have mixed stores.  Here is Sepulveda Blvd, etc.  Now I think that if we make a little effort, we can achieve some of that concept on this site.  Now that I know there is going to be retail on the site and everything, I think if we turn the building around we can achieve something better and here is my idea.  You have this entrance coming in from Bell Road.  You have this big structure over here, which is going to be landscaped, illuminated and everything.  You come in and you see this.  You actually see the building.  It’s not hiding like it is over here.  You have free access all around the building for exits.  And we can do a lot more I think.  Then we go to the retail.  I’m just going to explain the concept.  This is one section of the Village Mall.  As you can see there is retail on both sides.  The pathways, landscape, palm trees and all that.  Granted that it is California and you can grow trees on the walls and all that.  We can achieve the same thing with the type of vegetation we have here.  If we have this village concept, then I suggest we have like fake rocks.  We can create an atmosphere in the whole area.  Being that we have the retail over on the east side, you have plenty of space to play around with parking and everything.  Remember this is just an idea.  We have the theater over here, the grand entrance and another entrance over here, we can play around with the drop off area on the front.  We have the shops, which then we can put the entrance over here to get to the other side.  In essence we create an atmosphere in the whole place.


Chairman Senft stated that he saw this building when you first brought it out and presented to the City of Surprise and the renderings are very good and they give a more realistic feel for the project and the way it will look once it becomes more three dimensional which is hard for us to see on some of the drawings presented here tonight, because that is what we require you to bring in.  And I think that it is a great project.  I think it needs more date palms, so just keep that in mind.  People in the City are excited about it.  They want entertainment in Surprise.  I’m sure it’s going to get a lot of use.  One of the concerns I had is obviously the parking because I’ve been a big advocate of the 10-foot wide stalls and the 20-foot deep stalls.  And I guess this project falls under an old requirements, would this project come under the old PAD.


City Attorney Blilie stated that, as a development agreement, they are locked into the standards from 1997.


Chairman Senft stated that’s the only real concern I had.  One thing I would like to encourage is in our stipulation on “j” that if it is passed by Council it would permit angled parking, “which is strongly encouraged by the Planning and Zoning Commission.”  Because I would like to send a message to them that this is something we think is positive.  That’s the only recommendation I have.


Mr. Keenan stated that in terms of the theaters being a long time coming, Rick West and Scott Phillips have worked their tails off to get a theater here.  If we waited for Harkins, we’d be waiting for many years to come.  Because of the comments they made to us about the proximity to the Arrowhead Harkins.  Dickinson has stepped up here and proven that they want to be here.  One last thing, this is my last Planning and Zoning meeting for Surprise Center Development Company, but it’s nice to go out on the nicest part of this project so far.  I mean the architecture here has gone beyond anything we ever expected.  I truly believe it is ten times better than a Harkins building and something we are real proud of.


Chairman Senft stated that he was very impressed with the architect.  The architecture is a very top class act.  It is Mediterranean style, which fits with the theme and I think that it’s a very impressive project.  The renderings are great and I think the project is going to be a great project for the City.


Commission Segarra asked to hear some response to his idea.


Mr. Gaiser stated that he didn’t really know how to respond at first because it really is a different concept from what we have come in with.  Next time we get started on one of these projects and conceptualize, I would love to have you in the room, I’m serious, that is the fun part.  Your concept appears to be a village concept; we are presenting a street concept that creates a village of the overall streetscape.  The scale and the sense in the way we are looking at it, our vision is beyond this site.  If we could put up one that has the several blocks together.  We want to create a village at that scale not one that is introverted on itself.  Those images are wonderful, they really are.  But essentially it is looking inward, we want to look outward to the City of Surprise and create a new center that is going to continue on to your new City Hall and to the court buildings and the library that’s constructed, all the way over to the spring training, where my Royals train every spring.  So what I think we are looking at is a difference in concept.  And this is the concept we are bringing forward.  We feel strongly that this is a very good concept for the City of Surprise and we would like your support on it.


Commissioner Segarra stated that you have my support, it’s just that it could be so much better though.


Mr. Gaiser stated that he had one quick comment though, the way you placed it so it would be on access to the street that would make it more visible.  I would put forth however, that this power element we have will be visible.  And I really believe the best way to view a building is not straight on.  Especially one that is stepping in and out, and that has different heights as this one.  To view it from an angle as you come on it, so you can actually discover it.  So you can actually come into the site, and come upon access because that is the destination you want to get to rather than being forced into it from the street.  Also that is the most congested part from a pedestrian standpoint of a theater complex.  Everyone is moving to the center and into the theater.  And we would typically want to pull the traffic, the people still in their automobiles driving in, we want to separate them from that so they actually experience the approach to the theater on foot.  And I really believe that is the best way it unfolds at that pace, as you are walking towards it.  Because it just starts to rise up, as people walk in underneath the colonnade, you are in a new space, you have a fountain there, you hear the fountain, suddenly all that is behind you.  I would much prefer to approach the building on foot than in the automobile.  That’s another reason why we oriented it this way.


Commissioner Segarra asked how do you account for it if 99 per cent of the public is going to come in on the west side, why do you have the main entrance facing the east?


Mr. Keenan –noted that it has a dual entrance.  One has a little bit different architectural style than the other, but one is not intended to be the main entrance.


Mr. Gaiser opined that if you put on a scale, the west side would probably slightly outweigh east side.  They are both very different because of that scale.  Because there are less people coming in the east entrance than the west entrance does not mean they are any less important.  You need a wider entrance in the west so the people coming in do not feel crowded you need a slightly narrower entrance on the east so the people do not feel lost in this vast space.


Commissioner Segarra stated that he hoped the management maintains the theater because the one in Goodyear is not one of the best.


Mr. Gaiser noted that this concept for the palazza really grew out of a project that Dickinson built a long time ago in Kansas City called the Glenwood.  It was a theater in this class.  It was very grand and the owner says they had less trouble maintaining that theater than any other theater because people respected it more.  I can also say that Dickinson is a class act, they are very good family, it is family run.  They are dedicated to providing the best experience out there.  I certainly expect them to be the best you can get regarding the theater.


Commissioner Segarra asked about a couple of items on the water feature shown.


Mr. Gaiser stated that the water feature outside is going to be in the open and it will use gray water.  Hoping to get a fountain at both entrances.  It will probably use one very similar to the Overland Park one that was put up on the screen that was imported from Italy.  It’s about the size of your seating area here.


Chairman Senft stated that as part of the overall development of the City of Surprise, the focus should be more on a cityscape, and the parking would not be seen form the street.


Chairman Senft opened the meeting to receive public comment.


Paula Forrester, 16333 W. Escondido Court, Surprise, AZ stated that she ctually like the architecture but is concerned about open streets.  Is it possible to move the building one row to the west, giving added parking?


Planner Lambert replied it is a mix of grid streets in the complex, and noted that some will go through, some will not.


Hearing no further comments, Chairman Senft closed the public hearing.


Vice Chair Blair made a motion to approve SP04-380, Dickinson’s Palazzo 16 Screen Cinema in Surprise Center, subject to stipulations a through n with “j” as amended.  The motion was seconded by Commissioner Nachtigall.  It was approved unanimously.




§         Item #5:  SP04-129 Site Plan for the Colonnade, Independent Living Facility.


Planner Andy Jochums gave the staff presentation and recommended approval with stipulations a through n.


Vice-Chair Blair asked if this was a four-story building.


Planner Jochums responded affirmatively, stating that a four-story building is allowed within the Sun City Grand PAD zoning ordinance, up to a height of 56 feet.  This is generally exactly the same height as the Hampton Hotel, which is under construction.


Vice-Chair Blair asked about fire access outside the building, expressing concern that this is a senior facility.


Planner Jochums commented that there are no exterior stairwells, as it is an interior hallway system.  The site has been reviewed and approved by the Fire Department.  He noted that Assistant Chief Mills could comment, if there were more questions regarding fire access.


Vice-Chair Blair asked if there could be one family per dwelling or could three owners live in the same apartment.


Planner Jochums stated that they would be selling the units, as they are condominiums.  It was his understanding that they will not be communal living, as was noted in a previous application the Commission heard.  It is my understanding it will be a single family per each unit that is purchased.


Galye Chase, Chief Operating Officer for Roskamp Arizona/Sun Health Manager, 14510 W. Granite Valley Drive, Sun City West, AZ identified himself as the applicant.  He noted that they are selling a life estate condominium because we are an insurance product.  We are selling life care to the residents of the community.  So they hold the deed but it is a life estate condominium deed and there would be one family per unit.  It could either be a couple or a single.  Our usual density is about 1.5 persons per unit.


Vice-Chair Blair asked if he could address the fire exits.


Stick Mescal, 919 E. Farwell Road, Phoenix, AZ; identified himself as the project architect.  We worked with the fire department especially closely on these 4 story buildings.  And what we have agreed to do is to treat these buildings as if they were being built under the high-rise code rather than if they were low-rise.  All the corridors are pressurized.  The stairs are all pressurized.  This is done so smoke won’t come into the units and people will have a safe path of exit to get to the stairs and to the areas of rescue so the fire department using the stairs can bring them out.


Vice-Chair Blair asked if medical personnel would be on staff 24 hours day to help.


Ms Chase replied affirmatively, noting that, as part of the contract, we have medical staff 24 hours a day 7 days a week.  There is either an EMT or nursing staff.


Chairman Senft asked if the building would be sprinklered.


Commissioner Nachtigall asked Assistant Chief Mills if his department had apparatus that can handle the 4 story height of the building.


Assistant Chief Mills noted that they would access the third story balcony with their 35 foot ladder.  And soon we will be ordering a 110 ft platform.  These folks have been very good to work with.  They have put a lot of extra fire protection and systems in this complex such as sidewalks around the backs of the buildings and things that we need.  So we are very comfortable with this project.


Commissioner Hall asked about the design of the system that sucks the smoke out of the building.


Mr. Mescal noted that it is not a smoke evacuation system.  That is a different thing.  We are pressurizing the corridors with air so that smoke coming from a fire in a unit does not boil out into the corridor.  The corridors are pressurized with a greater air pressure than is in the units.  So there is a safe path that will be maintained reasonably free of smoke in the corridors and in the stairways.  The stairways are also pressurized.


Commissioner Hall asked how would the system be checked.


Mr. Mescal noted that they have a full maintenance staff at all times.


Assistant Fire Chief Mills stated that they would be required to have an annual inspection and be certified for fire protection.


Commissioner Hall opined that it was his experience that sometimes those systems don’t work and an annual inspection.  You have an on-site manager that ought to know how that works in case it’s interrupted.  He asked if there if there was an alarm for the system.


Ms. Chase noted that the systems that we put in place have alarms.  There is somebody besides our medical personnel, there are security personnel and the systems are set up at a central control station.  So that it monitors all the fire systems on a regular basis.  So it’s more than annual checks.  We do, at a minimum, quarterly checks.


Commissioner Hall asked if there is someone to monitor on-site checks.


Ms. Chase replied affirmatively.


Commissioner Hall questioned the landscaping on Mountain View, asking who would be responsible for maintenance outside the wall.


Planner Jochums noted that an HOA or management agency will maintain all the landscaping, including within the right-of-way along the frontage.


Commissioner Hall noted that the residents will have owner’s benefits or privileges at Sun City Grand, and wondered if they run with the land.


Ms. Chase stated that when we bought the land we were given the option by Del Webb Corporation an all or nothing proposal.  We chose the “all proposal” and to have access to “all” the amenities.


Commissioner Hall asked if that was in the deed.


Ms. Chase replied affirmatively.


Commissioner Hall asked where the location of the restaurant in the recreational village would be.


Planner Jochums noted that Commissioner Nachtigall was pointing the location out on the overhead.  Though the Sun City Grand PAD essentially is this line that I am highlighting on the screen.  There is showing the area designated for commercial and the area designated for residential.  So all the residential component will be to the north and to the west.  He pointed out where the auditorium and two restaurants were, and noted there will be two smaller restaurants, such as a coffee shop and a bagel shop, with about 100 seats each.


There were additional commission questions regarding the concept of the proposed project.


Commissioner Hall asked about the parking access, and wondered if it were at ground level or if it were subterranean.


Mr. Mescal stated that in the villa buildings the parking is semi-recessed.  It is below grade.  The townhouses have parking garages.


Commissioner Segarra asked about stipulation “l,” stating that it says that the traffic circle is going to be removed.  Is this the area also that is open to the public?  The restaurants?  And is the entrance is here?


Mr. Mescal noted that the primary entrance is to the south, that other entrance would be a secondary entrance.


Planner Jochums stated that the area north of the traffic circle as you are passing Blockbuster Video is a private drive servicing essentially the commercial center.  Grand Market Place Way, which is a public right-of-way for public access in that traffic circle.  I don’t believe there are any plans to widen that private drive serving the commercial projects.


Commissioner Segarra asked when the traffic circle was removed, would sidewalks be installed instead.


Planner Jochums replied affirmatively.


Commissioner Morris asked if the Traffic Engineer looked at the golf cart circulation from these various units to the various golf courses.


Planner Jochums stated that he didn’t believe Traffic Engineering specifically looked at the movements of golf carts.  He noted that the applicants submitted a traffic analysis dealing with all vehicular traffic, but didn’t believe there were specific issues regarding golf cart movements.


Commissioner Morris commented that he didn’t believe there is designated golf cart parking on the streets beyond this unit going to the golf courses.


Mr. Mescal noted that they have covered golf cart parking at the townhouse and casitas, the multi-story units, the villas, in addition to the covered automobile parking in the two story garages.  He stated that one of the spaces would be for an automobile and one for golf cart.


Commissioner Morris asked how the traffic would be handled on the streets so that it is safe and designated when the residents here get in their golf carts and go to the various golf courses.


Planner Jochums noted that Mountain View is a public roadway that has a 35 mile per hour speed limit, which would allow golf cart traffic on the road in the automobile lane.  That is how it is typically being used today by the residents of Sun City Grand and it would continue to do so with this development.  The golf carts would drive on the vehicular lanes as they currently do.


Commissioner Morris questioned the speed limit of a major arterial of 35 mph.  He observed that he golf carts and the cars are traveling at the same speed.


Chairman Senft had a question about the concept of the project.  We talked about or described this a life estate.  So they purchase the property, it is deeded to them.  As they progress in age and require more assistance they will move to an assisted living area.  At that time does the original purchase go back to the property owner or do they sell it.


Ms. Chase stated that it goes back to the property owner.  They don’t sell it.  We would handle the resale of that unit.  They enter into different purchase plans.


Chairman Senft asked if the proceeds from that go to helping sustain the assisted living program.


Ms. Chase stated that it is whole program, a life care program where they buy in and we take care of them for the rest of their life so at the termination of the contract be that they move out or to their estate, there would be a refund depending on how they purchased into the plan.  Whether they run out of money or they have money; once in a plan agreement they are guaranteed care the rest of their life even if they use up their assets.


Chairman Senft opened the meeting to receive public comment.


Paula Forrester 16333 W. Escondido Surprise, AZ; stated that she was a little confused.  My information, living in Sun City Grand, is that this was going to be a totally gated community that would be closed to the public.  That is how it was presented.  I would like to know if each resident is going to pay assessment to Sun City Grand?  She said that they agreed to belong to the community of Sun City Grand.  Are they then going to be charged the same assessment as those that live here?  And then what happens to the residents that are now moving past the self-sustaining into a being cared for facility?  Are they then going to be required?  I mean it is a little confusing.  What is going to happen with garbage collection?  Do they have a dumb waiter?  Or are they going to have outside collection areas?  Which concerns me because of the smells that can occur.  And also what type of wall is going to be set up to cover the water department, which is in the back of these residences?  A big water tank?


Chairman Senft stated that the applicant indicated they will be part of the Sun City Community and they will pay their portion of the HOA fees or whatever that is required for the shared amenities.  The other questions I will have to defer to the applicant.


Mr. Mescal stated that the project is a gated community.  There will be automated gates at the entrance on Mountain View and once you get inside there is no other access.  You can’t get back out.  The recreational village is kept separate because that is the only area that has public access.  But there is no vehicular connection between the two.  As far as trash facilities in the four story villas, we have trash chutes.  They are unique trash chutes because they are automated where they sort the trash by recycle or regular trash.  It all goes down within the same chute but it depends on which button you push, I guess.  And that goes into a trash container, which is in the basement, which will be taken out.  All trash collection is private.  In the one and two story units there will be trash collection just like in any other residential neighborhood.  They will keep their trash containers inside or in their garages and put them out on the street on collection day and the private trash company comes in and does their collection and takes it off‑site.  The areas where walls do not exist, we are putting in the same design wall as Sun City Grand standard which has the top three block area is split faced block.


Commissioner Hall asked if the applicant would explain options 1, 2, 3 that was outlined in the brochure, and the 90% refund and a 50% refund concept.


Ms. Chase stated that because we are offering tiered pricing, so that depending on what someone wants to put up front, or what they have for an asset base, we can either offer a zero refund termination base, 50% or 90%.  Depending on what refund they opt for; the lower the refund, the lower the front end payment.  So it could be anywhere from $90,000 up to $375,000.  So if you choose one casita it could three different prices depending on the contract that you choose.  So if you choose a zero refund or option 1, you could pay $90,000.  If you choose option 2, you could end up paying $180,000.  Option 3, it could be $250,000 for that same place.  But what is driving is the option you choose for a refund at termination.  There is a monthly service fee, yes.  It includes housekeeping, it would include some meal service.  There are various amenities that monthly service fee includes.  For one person that can be anywhere from $1,500 up to $2,400 per month.  It is an all inclusive monthly service fee.


Hearing no further comments from the public, Chairman Senft closed the public portion of the hearing.


Commissioner Morris noted that in the report on page 3 of 7 Item 10, needs to be corrected.  It says the site consists of seven three-story buildings and it should be seven four-story buildings.


Planner Jochums apologized, noting that was obviously an error.


Chairman Senft asked if staff was comfortable with 901 parking spaces proposed, and wondered if staff feels this is adequate for the amount of people who will be residing there.


Planner Jochums stated that the project is 100 percent in accordance with the City standards.  The casita and town home units require 2.5 per building.  They have a two car garage and there is on street parking or parking bays off the street for guest parking.  The four story villa units require 1.5 spaces and I believe the applicant is exceeding that because they have the golf cart parking in there.  The discussion is really around the commercial site and the applicant has provided justification to us because a lot of the traffic going to and from that site will be the on-site residents and they will either be walking, riding bikes or taking the free shuttle.  So a majority of the users of that commercial project will be walking from site, so the applicant is providing less parking stalls than required by code, but in a shared parking agreement essentially which is encouraged by the code.  Staff does feel there is adequate parking in the commercial project to service the needs of the general public guests that will be visiting that site including the other residents of Sun City Grand or anyone who does drive to the anything on that site including the auditorium which will be open to the public.


Hearing no further discussion, Commissioner Morris made a motion to approve SP04-129 Site Plan for the Colonnade, Independent Living Facility, subject to stipulations a through n.  The motion was seconded by Commissioner Nachtigall.  The motion passed unanimously.



§         Item #6:  SP04-295 Site Plan for Offices at Bell and Reems.


Planner Lee Lambert gave the staff presentation.  Staff recommended approval with stipulations a through k.


Chairman Senft questioned why the staff report noted the parking has changed to 34.  He wondered if they have 62 shared parking spaces and only 34 dedicated to this site


Planner Lambert noted that there are actually 62 parking spaces dedicated to this site.  There is additional shared parking beyond the 62.


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


Commissioner Nachtigall made a motion to approve SP04-295, Site Plan for Offices at Bell and Reems, subject to stipulations a through k.  The motion was seconded by Commissioner Segarra.  The motion passed unanimously.



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.


Paula Forrester 16333 W. Escondido Surprise, AZ.  There are two issues she wanted to discuss.  One, I want to find out if anything had occurred with the parking situation at Macayo’s to correct that problem in the front lanes.  Secondly I would like to know since I had attended a number of meetings, if in fact Sun City Grand got permission to put their storage unit at the Cimarron Parking Lot.


Chairman Senft stated that someone would get back to her on those questions.  I can only tell you that the Macayo’s parking problem is not resolved.  I was there today and they just need to open that first aisle and let an exit be there and I think that will resolve that issue.


LaTonya Finch, Acting Community Development Director, commented there is a site plan redesign in the works right now, so the issue would be resolved.




Chairperson and Commissioners:


Acting Community & Economic Development DirectorLaTonya Finch introduced the new Planning Manager, Robert Millspaw, noting that he comes to the City of Surprise from Vancouver, Washington with over 20 years of planning experience.


Mr. Millspaw stated that he started his planning career with the City of Mesa some 21 years ago.  He worked in Arizona for nearly five years and had a desire to go back to the Pacific Northwest.  He spent a year in Oregon, three years in Southern California, and nearly 12 years in Washington State, prior to returning to the Valley.


Acting Director Finch announced that Phil Testa is slated to come back full time next month.


She also provided an update on the cost analysis for the General Plan, stating that  it is moving forward, and the information gathering has been completed.  They are now working to develop a planning and costing consistency, which will basically be the final step of the cost analysis.  So we hope to wrap that up, certainly next year.


She also announced that the City of Surprise just approved the theater.  I wanted to let you know that we have begun what will be monthly meetings with the master developer to work on project development for that site to coordinate development with the City complex.  And also, to assure we get the master site planned that they are not required to submit.  It is the only downtown we have so we have a vested interest in making sure it is developed in an orderly fashion.


The Community Development Department in 2003 for the first time, issued an annual report which summarized Department accomplishments, special activities, population projections, permit numbers, revenue generation and we will be publishing that document again for 2004.  Look for it in February.


I also e-mailed the Commission some updates on the residential subdivision map, the Transportation Short-term Action Plan, population projections and commercial projects.  I hope you received that and have an opportunity to review some of that information.  It summarizes a lot of what we have accomplished here within the last year.


A final update on the SUDC:  We are still moving forward with that project.  It is 90 days behind schedule.  We are still anticipating it will be approved in 2005.


There were no additional comments or questions from Commissioners or the public.


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.


No Commissioner requested an Executive Session.




Chairman Ken Senft adjourned the meeting at 8:20 pm.




LaTonya Finch, Acting, Director

Community Development Department




P&Z Commission Chairman Ken Senft