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12425 West Bell Road, Suite D-100

Surprise, Arizona 85374


April 3, 2007




Call to Order:


The Planning and Zoning Commission Workshop Meeting began at 5:05 p.m. in the Surprise City Hall, 12425 West Bell Road, Suite D100, Surprise, Arizona 85374, on Tuesday, April 3, 2007.


In attendance with Chairman Truitt were Vice Chair Blair and Commissioners Richard Alton, Skip Hall, Wayne Tuttle and Fred Watts.   Commissioner Steve Somers was absent  




City Planner Dennis Dorch; City Planner Nicole Green-Catten; City Planner Bart Wingard; City Planner David Neal; City Planner Adam Copeland; City Planner Lance Ferrell; Planning and Development Services Manager Berrin Nejad; Planning and Community Development Director Scott Chesney; and Planning and Zoning Commission Secretary Carol Dager.




Dennis Dorch, Senior Planner, continued from the previous workshop on a discussion regarding the roles and responsibilities of the Commissioners. 


Some of the topics discussed included:


u       Authority

         Arizona Revised Statutes (ARS), Title 9, Article 6.0, 6.1, 6.2 – Municipal Planning, Zoning, Subdivisions


         General Plan, Zoning Ordinance, Subdivision Ordinance, Design Guidelines and other plans


u       ARS Responsibilities

         Adopt and maintain rules of procedure.

         Develop and maintain the general plan and any specific plans.

         Recommend to city council ways to act on the adopted plans.

         Review subdivision plats –lots, roads, trails, open spaces.

         Review zoning requests and use permits for land use compatibility.

         Review capital improvement programs.

         Seek and evaluate public input, advise public on alternatives and make difficult decisions.




u       Surprise Municipal Code Responsibilities:

         Zoning Map (recommend)

         Rezoning (recommend)

         Subdivision (recommend)

         Site Plans (decision)

         Conditional Use (decision)

         General Plan (recommend)

         Text Amendments (recommend)


u       Not Responsible:

·       In-depth design review

·       Development agreements

·       Sales/Construction sales tax reimbursement agreements

·       Annexations


u       Staff’s Role:

         Objectively represent and balance:

-    Applicant’s desire

-    Zoning ordinance

-    Design guidelines

-    General plan policies

-    Planning and Zoning Commission expectations

-    City Council expectations


u       Decision Tools:

         Project description

         Staff report

         Applicant’s presentation

         Public comments



u       Commission Procedural Items:

·       Explaining ‘no’ votes.

·       Explanations will appear in minutes.

·       Public hearing process.


u       Project Preparation:

·       Why only approved projects brought to Commission.

·       Ratio of projects denied.

·       How staff reports are developed.

·       How planner determines the recommendations.

·       Redesigning staff reports.

·       Board of Adjustments reviewing denied projects.







Following are other topics discussed:


u       Transportation:

·       Bell Road Improvements.

·       Resident’s frustration regarding slow progress.

·       Aesthetic qualities of Bell Road.

·       Too much planning; too little execution.

·       Funding and political issues.

·       Streetscape design.


u       CIP:

         Community Development Involvement







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, the Planning and Zoning Commission workshop meeting was adjourned on Tuesday, April 3, 2007 at 5:50 p.m.





       Scott R. Chesney, Director

       Planning/Community Development Department