CITY OF SURPRISE
AND ZONING COMMISSION WORKSHOP
Northwest Regional Library
North Bullard Avenue
Surprise, AZ 85374
December 20, 2005
Call to Order:
The Planning and
Zoning Commission Workshop Meeting began at 6 p.m. at the Northwest Regional
Library, 16089 North Bullard
Avenue, Surprise, Arizona 85374,
on Tuesday, December 20, 2005.
with Acting Chair Jan Blair were Commissioners Skip Hall, Antonio Segarra,
Lyn Truitt, and Fred Watts. Chairman
Ken Senft and Vice Chairman Randy Nachtigall were absent.
Planning Manager Scott Chesney; City Planner Adam
Copeland; and Planning and Zoning Commission Secretary Carol Dager.
Members Present: None
Planning Manager Scott Chesney
talked about an engineering study conducted by HDR that commenced in 2003 and
will be completed in 2006. This study
will contain data about what it really costs to develop a city. The value of the study will help the City
understand how city financial impacts relate to the actual cost of
Issues that will be covered in the HDR study include:
Link the demographic and economic forecast to the general plan.
Calibrate the fees to cover the cost of development.
Demographic and population growth rates.
General plan land use intensities.
Densities and quantities.
Timing/costs of financing and capital infrastructure.
Internal operating costs.
Efficiencies of operation.
Revenue bases (property/sales tax, new development costs, and funding
Mr. Chesney mentioned that it should be interesting and useful to
review peer communities and get a feel of how Surprise compares with similar
Mr. Chesney explained that a model will be designed by HDR, and if it
appears credible, it will be part of the general plan process and will be
tested over a realistic timeline, such as one year.
Commissioner Blair asked what would happen to the impact fees if
progress stopped. Mr. Chesney pointed
out that the impact fees currently in place assume a specific level of growth
that matches the general plan.
Director Finch added that if the residential densities would be
lowered, the City would have to review other ways to generate revenue.
Commissioner Truitt voiced his concern about impact fees not
adequately covering the cost of infrastructure and other things needed to
build the type of community desired.
He suggested that part of the City’s strategy should include bonding
and limited CFDs; specifically, identifying what is needed in a particular
area and spreading that cost through a CFD.
He also is concerned that the City should be charging higher impact
fees. Commissioner Truitt stated that
he feels we should be fairly aggressive in how to fund the general plan.
Commissioner Watts suggested that
coming up with a model will be difficult since it is a moving target. Mr. Chesney agreed that the model will need
to accommodate any of the changes of the general plan.
In response to Commissioner Hall, Mr. Chesney replied that the
analysis does include sales tax. He
pointed out that on the revenue side of the model, any of the sources could
be adjusted to balance the equation.
Director Finch noted that it was anticipated that the study would
reveal secrets of development deficiencies that would assist in updating the
Commissioner Truitt indicated that when specifics are in place, it is
easier to develop strategies to address the issues of costing to provide the
amenities, facilities and infrastructure that is required.
Mr. Chesney indicated that the chief advantage of the model would be
trying to anticipate some of City’s operational costs. Commissioner Truitt stressed that capital
improvement and M&O are two different issues. Anything built today will need to be
maintained tomorrow and the costs will be borne by the residents of Surprise.
Mr. Chesney mentioned that the intention of the planning division in
the 2006 update of the general plan will be to present a higher level of
Mr. Chesney agreed with Commissioner Hall that a side-by-side analysis
of the general plans could be completed.
Mr. Chesney next talked about annexation strategies. He mentioned that there would be a major
annexation project in SPA1. He also
emphasized that managing the municipal planning areas will be important. Surprise is extremely fortunate in having a
large amount of area in the municipal planning area that will provide
opportunities to balance a full range of products. He noted that the municipal planning areas
will allow the City to control growth.
Mr. Chesney stressed that annexation needs to be orderly. He commented that the State Land Board has
a mandate to obtain the highest and best use of their land, which will factor
in the City’s growth. The area around
the White Tanks is suitable for resorts, as well as having some preservation
areas. SPA6 also has some similar
types of areas.
Mr. Chesney suggested that the annexations will more than double the
current size of the City. Director
Finch commented that the amount of land area currently pending annexation is
enormous – over 25,000 acres of land in the planning area. This will provide an opportunity to master
plan the City’s utilities, schools, and other critical infrastructure. She stressed that it is important to note
that Surprise can no longer only react to growth. Foremost and critical is the master plan of
the infrastructure components that will create a desirable community. The City will bear the burden of the growth
if we do not aggressively design the annexation plan and try to control the
growth. It is important to redefine
the City’s development processes.
Mr. Chesney next talked about a more comprehensive annexation strategy
emphasizing a quality of life.
In response to Commissioner Hall, Director Finch explained that the
benefit to annexing all this land is to assist in developing projects that
will create the type of quality of life we want to pursue in Surprise.
Commissioner Truitt suggested that the annexation plan looks fairly
passive because it is developer driven.
He wondered why the City is not pursuing state lands around the White
Mr. Chesney agreed that this is a development-driven plan; however, Planning
is working on targeting new areas that make sense to annex. He also mentioned that the City is
currently working with the State Land Department.
In response to Commissioner Hall, Director Finch replied that the City
has been working with the appropriate jurisdictions to discuss expansion of Grand Avenue;
however, no annexations are contingent upon a Grand Avenue expansion.
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.
further business, Chairman Senft adjourned the Planning and Zoning Commission
workshop meeting of Tuesday, December 20, 2005 at 6:56 p.m.
Planning and Zoning Commission