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Willow Canyon High School

17901 West Lundberg Street

Surprise, Arizona


November 8, 2005





Call to Order:


Chairman Ken Senft called the Planning and Zoning Commission Meeting to order at 6 p.m. at the Willow Canyon High School, 17901 West Lundberg Street, Surprise, Arizona, on Tuesday, November 8, 2005.


Roll Call:


In attendance with Chairman Ken Senft, were Vice Chairman Randy Nachtigall, Commissioners Jan Blair, Skip Hall, Antonio Segarra, Lyn Truitt, and Fred Watts. 


Staff Present:


City Attorney Scott McCoy; Community Development Director LaTonya Finch;

Planning Manager Scott Chesney; and Planning and Zoning Commission Secretary Carol Dager.


Council Members Present:


Mayor Joan Shafer


Pledge of Allegiance


                                                              NEW BUSINESS:                                                              


·        Item 1:  GPA05-213 – Discussion Only – DaimlerChrysler Proving Grounds


Scott Chesney, Planning Manager, presented the DaimlerChrysler Proving Grounds project to the Commission, explaining that Planning staff recommended an increase in nonresidential land use in the southwestern portion of the site.  With the applicant’s acquiescence to add mixed-used area and to preserve the eastern and northern edges of it to lower-density residential classification, the Planning staff is supporting this project. 


Mike Phalen, Fennemore, Craig, representing DaimlerChrysler, provided an overview of the project and asked for support of the proposed plan amendment.  He indicated that revisions were made at the City’s request to the original submitted project by changing the land use designation of the Southwest portion of the property.  He pointed out that with developments moving closer to the DaimlerChrysler Proving Grounds, it was time to sell the property and move the proving grounds elsewhere.


In response to Commissioner Watts, Mr. Phalen replied that the proposed plan amendment includes a mixture of uses and residential densities.  It is proposed that residents will not only live in the area, but work and shop in this new community. 


In response to Commissioner Blair, Mr. Phalen noted that it is projected to take five to fifteen years to build out the area.  First, it will take approximately two to five years to rezone the property.  Mr. Chesney added that the annexation program is expected to take two years to accomplish, bringing potential annexation into the City in 2007. 


Commissioner Truitt voiced his concern about the water situation in the area, wanting an assurance that there will be water available.  Mr. Phalen responded that there are two methods of acquiring water: Arizona Department of Water Resources or City of Surprise.  He stressed that the water supply is limited and shallow; however, it is deeper in the Southwest area of the property.  Mr. Chesney added that a water study has been conducted and is positive for this area. 


Commissioner Truitt also explained that he is concerned about transportation issues because of the volume of traffic that the new residents would create.  Other concerns to be aware of would be whether the appropriate number of schools are planned for the area, as well as public safety issues. 


Mr. Phalen pointed out that they do have conceptual sites for schools, police and fire departments identified within the plan.  He assured the Commission that DaimlerChrysler is committed to working to resolve any issues.


In response to Commissioner Hall, Mr. Phalen explained that the employment area represents approximately 200 acres.  There is also a mixed-use area that will include employment, commercial, and residential use.   Commissioner Hall stressed that an employment area is important to this project to reduce travel.  Mr. Chesney commented that if the mixed-use areas are developed properly, there will be a significant reduction in vehicles leaving the area.


In response to Commissioner Hall regarding transportation, Mr. Chesney answered that the current conceptual plan is to provide superior access via Highway 60, as well as a six-lane access to SR74. 


In response to Commissioner Segarra, a representative from DaimlerChrysler noted that they do not plan to move the proving grounds out of state. 


Chairman Senft voiced his concern about a two-year process for the annexation of the property.  He also noted his concern about the timing of the completion of SR303. 

Mr. Chesney explained that there will be parallel plans in place to complete the DaimlerChrysler project, as well as SR303.  He indicated that SR303 will be completed in two phases, with the southern phase beginning in 2011. 


Chairman Senft commented that he does not feel there is enough employment planned for the area.  He also noted his concern about the rural residential areas, as well as water issues.  Mr. Chesney talked briefly about the water issues and studies occurring regarding recycled water. 


Chairman Senft suggested that consideration could be given to this area for a regional airport.  He also stated that the regional airport idea is another reason to look at a larger employment area in this project.  He stressed that the City should take the lead in locating the regional airport in Surprise.   Mr. Chesney agreed that aviation is a future consideration for Surprise. 


Chairman Senft next talked about more rural residential areas. 


Director Finch quoted from the General Plan 2020, which states that they should “strive to master plan large parcels of the city and critically review the treatment of edges and their impact on adjacent land uses.”  She suggested that this proposed GPA provides an opportunity for the City to master plan this area. 


Chairman Senft opened the meeting to receive public comment.  


Rusty Mitchell, Luke Air Force Base, mentioned that the mixed-use area within the three-mile range needs to comply with the GDC of Luke Air Force Base.  He suggested that there continue to be communications as the project moves forward.


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


·        Item 2:  GPA05-276 – Discussion Only – Rancho Mercado


Scott Chesney, Planning Manager, presented the Rancho Mercado GPA to the Commission. 


In response to Commissioner Truitt’s question regarding a community park, Jeff Blilie, representing Rancho Mercado, stated that he was not aware of a community park in the Rancho Mercado area.  Director Finch added that there is a small modification for employment acreage in the GPA; however, there is nothing in the plan for a community park.  A large amount of land acreage is identified as open space.  Mr. Blilie indicated that there is a community park designated in the area east of Rancho Mercado.


In response to Commissioner Watts, Mr. Chesney replied that lower portions of the property may be in the flood plain. 


Chairman Senft opened the meeting to receive public comment.  


Bob Carlyle, Waddell Resident, voiced his concerns about the following:

u         Bell Road always under construction.

u         City developing next to the mountain.

u         CAP not planned to be a man water artery for the state.

u         Eight fatalities on SR303.  Originally designated as a thoroughfare; however, it now has stoplights.

u         Unable to ride horses with development encroaching.


Catherine Ferris, Waddell Resident, voiced her concerns about the proposed plans taking away her lifestyle, explaining that she moved to Waddell to provide a peaceful and quite environment for her children to grow up.  She also has concerns about Waddell Road becoming a six-lane road and questioned why Waddell was selected instead of Greenway.


Chairman Senft pointed out that the comments of the speaker actually refer to the Transportation GPA. 


Mr. Chesney mentioned that the Transportation and Planning staff do consider preserving lifestyle values and quality of life when reviewing projects.   


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


·        Item 3:  GPA05-277 – Discussion Only – Transportation Circulation Element


Scott Chesney, Planning Manager, presented the Transportation Circulation Element project to the Commission. 


In response to Commissioner Truitt, Mr. Chesney explained that the 2006 revisions to the General Plan 2020 will clarify the various types of transportation issues facing the City, specifically providing more details.


In response to Commissioner Hall, Mr. Chesney replied that the projected six-lane Waddell Road is designed to help alleviate the traffic congestion from the Sun Valley Parkway, as well as local development along SR303.


In response to Commissioner Blair’s question about how planners plan the roads, Mr. Chesney indicated that transportation planners review traffic patterns and project roads for the next 25 years. 


Director Finch reiterated that transportation planning is long-range planning.


Chairman Senft suggested that they need to be considerate of the lifestyles and also plan for the rural areas, encouraging developers to provide for trails and rural residential areas. 


Chairman Senft opened the meeting to receive public comment.  


Russell Williams, Surprise Resident, voiced his concerns about the following items:


u         City not interested in quality control.

u         Inspectors more concerned about weeds not building safety.

u         Inspection Department should be concerned with construction.

u         Waddell Road brought into plan because City not paying attention.





Lynette Rogel, Surprise Resident, voiced her concerns about the following:


u         Safety issues.

u         Greenway was improved two or three years ago.  Why not expand Greenway further to include six lanes rather than expanding Waddell.

u         City needs to work with Waddell residents.

u         A six-lane highway on Waddell will come within a few feet of some homes.


Chairman Senft recommended that residents should contact the Planning staff to discuss some of the issues.


Chairman Senft suggested that Greenway Road would have been the ideal road to expand to six lanes to follow it through from the east side.  However, that construction was done a long time ago and the current City planners were not involved in that decision. 


Myra McBoula, Wittmann Resident, voiced her concerns:


u         DaimlerChrysler area has one road in and out.

u         The roads will not handle the traffic.

u         What is the City going to do about schools?

u         Why move people in without roads and water?

u         Would like to know more about annexation.


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




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 Special General Plan Amendment Planning and Zoning Commission meeting, Tuesday, November 8, 2005 at 7:50 p.m.




  LaTonya Finch, Director

  Community Development Department




Chairman Ken Senft

Planning and Zoning Commission