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12425 West Bell Road, Suite D-100

Surprise, Arizona 85374


April 4, 2006




Call to Order:


The Planning and Zoning Commission Workshop Meeting began at 6 p.m. at the in the Surprise City Hall Classroom, 12425 West Bell Road, Suite D100, Surprise, Arizona 85374, on Tuesday, April 4, 2006.


Roll Call:


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


Staff Present:


City Attorney Scott McCoy; City Deputy Attorney George Riemer, Community Development Director Scott Chesney; City Planner Adam Copeland; City Planner Gary Norris; City Planner Janice See, City Planning Technician Lance Ferrell, City Planner Bart Wingard, Transportation Planner Randy Overmyer, and Planning and Zoning Commission Secretary Carol Dager.


Council Members Present:  None




Community Development Director Scott Chesney provided an overview of the Surprise Unified Development Code (SUDC).  He first talked about the approach of the SUDC and the seven Transects as described below and how they will transition to the planning projects:


T1 -     THE NATURAL ZONE consists of lands approximating or reverting to a wilderness condition, including lands unsuitable for settlement due to topography, hydrology or vegetation.


T2 -     THE RURAL ZONE consists of lands in open or cultivated state or sparsely settled.  These may include woodland, agricultural lands, grasslands and irrigable deserts.


T3-      THE SUBURBAN ZONE, though similar to conventional low density suburban house areas, differs by allowing home occupations. Planting is naturalistic with deep setbacks.  Blocks may be large and the road irregular to accommodate natural conditions.


T-4      THE GENERAL URBAN ZONE is a denser and primarily residential urban fabric.  Mixed-use is usually confined to corner locations.  It has a wide range of building types: single, sideyard, and rowhouses.  Setbacks and landscaping are variable.  Streets typically define medium-sized blocks.


T-5      THE URBAN CENTER ZONE is the equivalent of a main street, including building types that accommodate retail, offices, rowhouses and apartments.  It is usually a tight network of streets, with wide sidewalks, steady street tree planning and buildings set close to the frontages.


T-6      THE URBAN CORE ZONE is the equivalent of a downtown.  It contains the tallest buildings, the greatest variety, and unique civic buildings in particular.  It is the least naturalistic; street trees are steadily planted and sometimes absent.


SD      SPECIALIZED DISTRICTS are those areas with buildings that by their intrinsic function, disposition, or configuration cannot conform to one of the six normative Transect Zones.  Typical Districts may include institutional campuses, refinery sites, airports, etc.


Director Chesney pointed out the following items that are part of the SUDC:


Transect Communities: The neighborhoods provide a mix of housing types and densities, ranging from large lots fronting a wash, a golf course, or major open space to flats and lofts above shops and offices near the central district. Each neighborhood is designed with the five-minute edge-to-center walk in mind. Support retail is provided in alternate neighborhood centers. Multiple corridors border the town: one could be a green corridor, which will be partly occupied by a wash, and one could be a transportation corridor, consisting of a future highway that will connect the communities


Pedestrian Shed:  an area defined by the average distance that may be traversed at an easy walking pace from its edge to its center.  This distance is applied to determine the size of a neighborhood or extent of a community.  A standard pedestrian shed is one quarter of a mile radius or 1320 feet.  With transit available or proposed, a long pedestrian shed has an average walking distance of a half-mile or 2640 feet.  Pedestrian sheds are oriented toward a central destination containing one or more important intersections, meeting places, civic spaces, civic buildings, and the capacity to accommodate a T5 Transect Zone in the future.  These are sometimes called walksheds or walkable catchments.


Meeting Hall: a building available for gatherings, including conferences.  It should accommodate at least one room equivalent to a minimum of 10 square feet per projected dwelling unit within the pedestrian shed in which the meeting hall is located.  A meeting hall shall be completed upon the sale of 75% of the dwelling units.  The meeting hall may be used for the marketing purposes of the development until the sale of 75% of the dwelling units, at which time control of its use shall be given to the community council. 


Director Chesney next discussed walkable communities, affordable housing, civic center space, and thoroughfare assemblies.  Also discussed were:


§      Public Frontages (distance between the vehicular lanes and the lot line).

§      Private Frontages (distance between the building and the lot line).

§      Landscaping and Lighting.

§      Redevelopment.


He then talked about an upcoming project and how the new SUDC fits into the project. 


In conclusion, he mentioned the philosophy, objectives, and implementation of the SUDC.




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, Vice Chairman Nachtigall adjourned the Planning and Zoning Commission workshop meeting of Tuesday, April 4, 2006 at 6:50 p.m.





  Scott R. Chesney, Director

  Community Development Department



 Vice Chairman Randy Nachtigall

 Planning and Zoning Commission