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CITY OF SURPRISE

 

PLANNING AND ZONING COMMISSION WORKSHOP

 

12425 West Bell Road, Suite D-100

Surprise, Arizona 85374

 

June 19, 2007

 

MINUTES

 

Call to Order:

 

Chairman Lyn Truitt called the Planning and Zoning Commission workshop meeting to order at 5 p.m. in the Surprise City Hall, 12425 West Bell Road, Suite D100, Surprise, Arizona 85374, on Tuesday, June 19, 2007.

 

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

 

STAFF PRESENT:

 

Assistant City Attorney Jim Gruber; City Planner Dennis Dorch; City Planner Lance Ferrell; City Planner Bart Wingard; City Planner David Neal; City Planner Nicole Green-Catten;  City Planner Vineetha Kartha; City Planner Janice See; Planning & Development Services Manager Berrin Nejad; Planning and Community Development Director Scott Chesney; and Planning and Zoning Commission Secretary Carol Dager.

 

                                                              PRESENTATION:                                                            

 

Rich Williams, Water Services Director, provided a brief overview of the Water Services Department, discussing various topics; such as, waste water planning, design construction, and integrated water master program updates. 

 

The mission of the Water Services Department is to provide water, sewer, recharge and stormwater services to customers.  The department’s goals are to protect against waterborne health-related diseases and illnesses, provide exceptional service to customers, and provide for long-term water resources. 

 

Water Services continually works towards more water resources and conservation.  One conservation consideration is dual water systems which would provide irrigation water with reclaimed waste water for open spaces and eventually residential front yards.  Public awareness and education is essential for better water conservation methods.

 

Mr. Williams mentioned that it is important to ensure needed infrastructure comes to the city on our terms.

 

One of the department’s objectives is to use the strategic plan, implementing the goals of the integrated water master plan.  

 

Director Williams explained that the water services review process is parallel to the planning review process, specifically noting that the review includes how the project meets the expectation of the integrated water master plan.

 

He emphasized that although home sales have slowed, Water Services business continues to flourish.  Such processes as planning for the new areas are ongoing, as well as how to deal with the leapfrog development, insuring infrastructure is in place.

 

Director Williams mentioned that the new City code now requires that developers follow the current integrated water master plan.  He also pointed out that the stormwater ordinance was recently updated.

 

He commented that education is a large part of the water conservation effort.  Some of the things they are working on include:

 

·      Model homes have to demonstrate water conserving landscaping as an option.

 

·      Looking at reduction in the amount of turf areas. 

 

·      Encourage a change in HOA rules that currently restrict homeowners from changing grass to artificial turf. 

 

·      Low water spray nozzles for restaurants.

 

·      A water conservationist provides information to citizen groups, schools, and HOAs.

 

He stressed that although the City has the ability to access penalties and citations, they would prefer to educate water users about conservation methods.

 

Chairman Truitt asked for information about the following:

 

·      Overview of the impact of the $50 million bond.

 

·      Update on the line from south facility across other water jurisdictions to Prasada – how it will benefit Surprise.

 

·      When to expect the reclaimed water line on Litchfield Road to go online.

 

·      What plan is in place to use the CAP allocation?

 

Rich Williams responded that the water treatment plants have been designated for specific planning areas.  SPA1 existing facility is currently permitted for 8.3 million gallons of capacity and could be a 24-million-gallon per day facility at buildout.  He stated that the facility was planned to be built in 4-million-gallon modules.  Two are currently under construction and should be online by year-end 2008.  He pointed out that it will cost $88 million to build these modules.

 

In response to Chairman Truitt’s question, Director Williams replied that we are not quadrupling the capacity of the south facility; rather it is doubling.  He noted that there should be sufficient capacity in place for any new economic developments. 

 

In responding to Chairman Truitt’s question about CAP water, Director Williams indicated that the facility is unable to treat the CAP water at this time; however, it is planned for the future. 

In order to have access to the water, it is necessary to design and construct a recharge system to put the water back into the ground. 

 

Chairman Truitt commented that the City does not have the capacity to use the CAP water because there is a missing link.  He wondered what could be done to change it.   Director Williams replied that they need to purchase land near the CAP water and build a treatment facility; neither of which have been funded. 

 

In response to Commissioner Alton, Director Williams replied that the City does not get credit for CAP water we currently do not use.   However, we will eventually use those water rights in the future.

 

In response to several questions about whether 100-year water assurance is accurate, Director Williams stated that for the amount of activity projected, we do have a 100-year water supply. 

 

Chairman Truitt emphasized the importance of conserving water, noting that as they plan the future, they would like to have some degree of confidence of water availability.   How long can we go on promising the 100-year assured water?   Should we be planning for future developments? 

 

Director Williams indicated that there is a concern to consider the quality of life as we plan the future and how we use the water.  Water Services is willing to assist the Commission in making appropriate decisions.

 

Discussion continued regarding when the various treatment facilities and recharge wells will go online.

 

There was some discussion as to whether it would be prudent to use the term ‘150-year water assurance’ for marketing reasons to encourage new development.  Director Williams reiterated that the benchmark is 100 years of water assurance.   

 

Commissioner Somers wondered about a decline in rainfall and whether it would affect predictions.  Director Williams suggested that predictions could be affected depending on a number of things; one being the length of the drought.

 

In response to Commissioner Alton, Director Williams mentioned that most of the water coming from the aquifer is not metered; most of the private wells are not metered.    

 

In response to Chairman Truitt, Director Williams agreed that the City does put more water back into the ground than we draw to deliver to customers, specifically noting that the City is not the major water provider for Surprise.  He emphasized the importance of treating and recycling water. 

 

Chairman Truitt stressed that we all have a responsibility to use water wisely; being conservative and proactive is important.

 

Director Williams mentioned that the City does have a Water Conservationist who is commissioned to teach residents how to use and conserve water. 

                                      

             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.

 

There was no request made to call for an executive session.

 

                                                              ADJOURNMENT:                                                             

 

Hearing no further business, the Planning and Zoning Commission workshop meeting was adjourned on Tuesday, June 19, 2007 at 5:50 p.m.

 

 

 

______________________________________  

       Scott R. Chesney, Director

       Planning/Community Development Department