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DRAFT

CITY OF SURPRISE

 

PLANNING AND ZONING COMMISSION

12425 West Bell Road, Suite D-100

Surprise, Arizona 85374

 

October 2, 2007

REGULAR MEETING MINUTES

CALL TO ORDER:

 

Chairman Lyn Truitt called the Planning and Zoning Commission Meeting to order at

6 p.m. at the Surprise City Hall, 12425 West Bell Road, Suite D100, Surprise, Arizona 85374, on Tuesday, October 2, 2007. 

 

ROLL CALL:

 

In attendance with Chairman Truitt were Vice Chair Jan Blair, Commissioners Richard Alton, Jesse Conn, John Hallin, Steve Somers and Fred Watts.  

 

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE:

 

CURRENT EVENTS REPORT: 

 

Director Scott Chesney reported that the Economic Positioning Framework Study will be presented to City Council on October 11, 2007.  Although there is a slow growth of residential projects, commercial projects continue to be submitted.   

 

CONSENT AGENDA:

 

All items listed with an asterisk (*) are considered to be routine by the Planning and Zoning Commission and were approved by one motion.  There was no separate discussion of these items during this meeting.

 

Commissioner Somers made a motion to approve the Consent Agenda, with a correction to the September 11, 2007 minutes adding that Council Member Martha Bails was present.  Commissioner Alton seconded the motion.  The motion passed with a vote of 7 ayes.

 

·    Approved Item 2*:  Planning and Zoning Commission Minutes for

September 11, 2007 and Planning and Zoning Commission Minutes for  

September 18, 2007

 

·    Approved Item 3*:  SP07-254 – Consideration and Action – M Square, Stipulations ‘a’ through ‘o.’

 

·    Approved Item 4*:  SP06-448 – Consideration and Action – MidFirst Bank at Stadium Village, stipulations ‘a’ through ‘j.’

 

·    Approved Item 5*:  SP06-443 – Consideration and Action – Veramonte Professional Plaza, stipulations ‘a’ through ‘h.’

 

 

 

 

 

Item 7:  GPA07-221 – Consideration and Action – Schuff Properties Major General Plan Amendment

 

Planner Vineetha Kartha presented the project to the Commission.  Staff recommended approval of GPA07-221, Schuff Properties Major General Plan Amendment.   

 

Jeff Blilie, Beus Gilbert, representing applicants, requested approval of the project.

 

In response to Vice Chair Blair, Mr. Blilie noted that this project has not been brought to the Commission by these applicants prior to this year.   He mentioned that three offsite outreach meetings were held.

 

Chairman Truitt opened the meeting for public comment.  Hearing no comments from the public, Chairman Truitt closed the public hearing.

 

Commissioner Alton made a motion to approve GPA07-221, Schuff Properties Major General Plan Amendment.    Commissioner Blair seconded the motion.  The motion passed with a vote of 7 ayes.

 

Item 8:  PP07-028 – Consideration and Action – Fox Trail

 

Planner Bart Wingard presented the project to the Commission.  Staff recommended approval of PP07-028, Fox Trail, subject to stipulations ‘a’ through ‘l.’   

 

Chairman Truitt opened the meeting for public comment. 

 

Elizabeth Oldham, Wittmann resident, questioned whether the entire property was in Surprise, to which Planner Wingard responded that it was.  Chairman Truitt explained that cluster homes include a variety of types and styles of homes. 

 

In response to a question about the timing of the build of the school, Joan Scarbrough, applicant, replied that the community is designed around the school, explaining that they are working with the Wickenburg School District encouraging them to build as soon as possible.

 

Susanne Duplissy, Wittmann resident, questioned if the parents would be paying tuition to the Dysart School District.  Planner Wingard indicated that the Wickenburg School District would be paying the tuition to Dysart School District.

 

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

 

Commissioner Somers made a motion to approve PP07-028, Fox Trail, subject to stipulations ‘a’ through ‘l.’  Commissioner Conn seconded the motion.  The motion passed with a vote of 7 ayes.

 

 

 

 

 

OLD BUSINESS: REGULAR AGENDA ITEMS REQUIRING A PUBLIC HEARING 

 

Item 6:  GPA07-235 – Consideration and Action – BNSF Commercial Major General Plan Amendment

 

Planner David Neal presented the project to the Commission.  Staff recommended approval of GPA07-235, BNSF Commercial Major General Plan Amendment.   

 

Director Chesney pointed out that this project is part of the ongoing growth of the Northwest valley with the intent to bring in high-quality jobs as part of an overall business development strategy.  He explained that the action tonight is to amend the City’s General Plan and approve the land use to employment.  The next step would be a petition for annexation and a planned area development, where buffering and performance standards are set.  Applicant then would bring forward plats for specific uses within the zoning requirement.  He stressed that there would be at least three additional opportunities to review this project in its various stages.  He emphasized that the landowner does not have to do this in the City of Surprise; they can do it in the county. 

 

LaTonya Finch, BSNF representative, commented that it is their intent to bring significant employment to Surprise.  She indicated that they are aware of several challenges of moving traffic and developing industrial properties in the Phoenix metropolitan area.  No engineering has been done at this point; however, they have identified some proposed uses that would bring employment to the City. 

 

Ms. Finch addressed issues such as noise, crime, traffic impact, and safety that would impact the community.  Regarding hazard materials, she noted that it is not their intent, to store, offload, or move hazardous materials on this property.  Noise: whatever facility is designed will use the highest technology that would mitigate the impact of noise and vibration of the railcars.   Issues related to crime:  Ms. Finch mentioned that the deputy chief was present to answer questions.  She stated that this project is not considered a high crime area for BNSF.  Providing some statistics, 656 calls related to incidents involving BNSF facilities since January 2005 throughout the Phoenix area.  Many of those calls were minor issues.  Traffic impact:  facility was designed next to Grand Avenue to offload traffic. 

 

Ms. Finch stated that given the current land use and location of the property outside of Surprise, BNSF can develop this property without doing so within the City of Surprise.  However, it is the intent of BNSF to develop within the City, and thus be held to a high standard of codes. 

 

In response to Commissioner Alton, Ms. Finch indicated that one of the proposed uses would be distribution and warehousing bringing employment to the area.   BNSF does have similar facilities in Chicago and Alliance. 

 

Although it is anticipated that truck traffic will be substantial, Director Chesney indicated that it is too early to request information from ADOT because no specific use has been identified for the site.  Looking at timeframes, this project will probably not begin developing until 2009.  He pointed out that SR303 construction to Interstate 10 will begin in 2010.  Grand Avenue is slated for major improvements in various stages starting next year. 

 

Ms. Finch added that BNSF is looking at a three- to five-year timeline.  She pointed out that they are talking to ADOT and MAG and fully intend to address the transportation study.   

 

In response to Commissioner Alton, Ms. Finch explained that BNSF is planning to develop two major facilities that will completely change how product is moved through the Phoenix metro area.  Besides this location, there is one located to the south of Surprise in the Glendale annexation area. 

 

In response to Vice Chair Blair, Ms. Finch indicated that this could be a 24-hour operation.  On-site security will be available to protect the property and community.  There was discussion about protecting the school that is adjacent to the property and it was noted that BNSF does employ their own security, many of which are former police officers.  There are certain uses that we intend to improve upon by developing this facility; specifically, eliminating the cars that are currently stored on this site. 

 

Responding to Commissioner Somers, Ms. Finch stated that it has not yet been determined where the switching area will be located.

 

In response to Commissioner Hallin, Ms. Finch indicated that she has not met individually with any of the residents; although she has attended the open meetings.  She has provided contact information to the resident.  She stressed that it is difficult to address specific concerns because specific uses have not been identified. 

 

Director Chesney indicated that as projects come forward, there will be neighborhood meetings that will address issues and concerns. 

 

In response to Chairman Truitt, Ms. Finch indicated that there would be no offloading of hazardous materials.  Chairman Truitt mentioned that the fire chief is willing to schedule a meeting with residents to assist with allaying their fears regarding hazardous materials moving across the BNSF property.  Ms. Finch added that they work with all fire departments within the Phoenix metro area to ensure safety is addressed.  Chairman Truitt shared information received from the fire chief that the danger is typically in the offloading of hazardous materials. 

 

Chairman Truitt opened the meeting for public comment.  

 

Don Yost, Wittmann resident, distributed some information and voiced his concerns as follows: 

·       Safety. 

·       Kingman accident caused by a leaky valve; destroyed one mile. 

·       BNSF property is 1300 feet from the front door of Nadaburg School with 800 children. 

·       Homes adjacent to property.

 

Dennis Yost, Wittmann resident, distributed a letter and stated that BNSF will not benefit this area.

 

Jim Nelson, Superintendent of Nadaburg, voiced the following concerns:

·       Asked that the Commission please listen to the people tonight. 

·       Concerned about safety of the children; one incident is one too many. 

·       Sustainable growth; who will buy a million dollar home next to this facility. 

·       Traffic concerns. 

·       Impact to the school.

Patrick Leadabrand, Wittmann resident, voiced his concerns:

·       Property borders the BNSF property.

·       Wittmann fire department indicates fire service would be lost to residents. 

·       Insurance for house would triple.

·       Million dollar home would become worth one dollar.

·       Crime – sheriff department’s patrols would be reduced. 

·       BNSF would not be a good neighbor.

·       BNSF between schools and homes is not applicable. 

·       Do not postpone this issue; stop it now.

 

Scott Swazee, Wittmann resident, voiced concerns as follows:

·       Air pollution. 

·       Been on various medications over the years; do not take any at this time.

 

Marcus Goodrich, Wittmann resident, stated:

·       Supports what everyone has said. 

·       Appreciates the questions from the commissioners.

·       Cannot get specific answers to our questions.

·       Asked Commissioners to vote as if they lived across the street from the property.

 

Alexis Goodrich, Wittmann resident, stated:

·       6,000 jobs at this site.

·       Employed by BNSF or other organizations?

·       Wondered what the average salaries will be? 

·       What is average unemployment rate for the area?

·       Average salary of homeowners in the area.

·        We have good jobs to pay for these homes.

 

Sue Dolphin, Wittmann resident, stated:

·       Resident for past 20 years. 

·       Oppose any rezoning for BNSF. 

·       A distribution center is not in our best interest. 

·       Dangerous project for a rural or city area.

·       1973 Kingman incident.

·       Last year, Council recommended that Scott Chesney visit with residents to come to an understanding. 

·       Mr. Chesney told them that everything was set and they could do nothing to change the Surprise General Plan. 

·       Council did not approve this plan last year.

·       Location and accuracy of the signs announcing the meeting.

·       Attended all meetings in their area; no one has listened to their concerns.

·       When will you work with us and be a good neighbor.

·       Strongly urge that you not approve this project.

 

Elizabeth Oldham, Wittmann resident, voiced the following concerns:

·       What exactly is going to be stored and their explosiveness?

·       Closest hazardous material team is in Glendale; how long to get here?

·       Where will the response teams cross the railroad?

·       Who is responsible to notify the fire department?

·       How are the workers going to be trained? 

·       Truck safety issue. 

·       Will city have enough spaces in schools when we chose not to send our children to Nadaburg because of the hazards.

·       How can Grand be widened into six lanes with railroad tracks on one side and business/homes on the other.  

·       BNSF will be serving Surprise; what about Wittmann. 

·       Meeting with fire department should included Chief Welch, as well as the Glendale Fire Department’s haz mat team.

 

Paula Berkshire, Wittmann resident, stated:

·       Moved from Phoenix because they like the open spaces. 

·       No offloading of hazardous materials. 

·       Making a decision without all the facts will be an injustice to the citizens of Wittmann.

·       Semitrucks have difficulty trying to stop suddenly. 

·       Excess traffic in school zone.

·       What other options are out there for BNSF where it is not so populated. 

·       Would want a written guarantee no hazardous materials stored, offloaded, or will go through this area.

 

Susie Waggoner, Wittmann resident, stated

·       Never received anything from the railroad about this site.

·       Live less than one mile from their area. 

·       This does not bring anything good to our area.

·       Her children go to school here.

·       We cannot vote for you but depend on you to make good decisions. 

·       Grateful for Daimler Chrysler project.

·       Well issues:  Water treatment and sewers are needed in this area. 

·       Rural lifestyle is impacted. 

·       Traffic impact.

·       Will not be able to afford insurance for our homes because of this project and homes will be foreclosed.

 

Rick Green, Wittmann resident, spoke in opposition and agreed with the others regarding hazardous materials.  A vote to approve this will put my children in harm’s way.

 

Jan Dodgen, Wittmann resident, agreed with concerns voiced by other speakers.

 

Larry Coppi, Wittmann resident, stated:

·       Agreed with previous speakers.

·       Concerns with traffic impact.

 

Cinnamon Swayzee, Wittman resident, concurred with all other residents. 

·       Referred to the application which shows low-density; the county shows rural. 

·       Has an amendment been submitted regarding this change to the application?

·       What is the city code pertaining to this?

·       If the railroad does not have a preliminary drawing, why does this zoning need to be changed? 

·       Directed by the doctor to move out of Peoria because of the pollution.

·       Has three asthmatic children; one still on an inhaler.

 

Byron Gibbs, Wittmann resident, concurs with most of what has been said. 

·       Moved to Wittmann four years ago for the quiet.  

·       27 years with Phoenix Police Department; has worked with and investigated crimes around railroads.

·       Railroads attract transients and criminals. 

·       Minimum evacuation for hazardous materials is two miles.

 

Paula Forster, Surprise resident, voiced her concerns:

·       Have been told for at least a year that there will be quite zones in Surprise.  BNSF has not been cooperative.  How will it happen in Wittmann?

·       Traffic on Grand Avenue is unbelievable.

·       Truck route from Canada to Mexico.  How many additional semis will be on the road?

·       Leave R43s alone.

·       Safety of Nadaburg students and teachers

·       BNSF does not know what is on their cars.  One spill will be a mistake.

 

Pat Stewart,  Wittman resident, voiced her concerns. 

·       Requesting clarification of major general plan amendment application BNSF railroad. 

·       Page 3 is blank; should have parcel accessor’s number.

·       Page 7 notes Cemetery Road to the north which is incorrect.

 

Susan Morgan, Wittmann resident, agreed with everything said. 

·       The dark sky is already gone after five years.

·       We do not want you out there.

 

Suzanne Pacsa, Wittmann resident, agreed with everything said.

 

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

 

Chairman Truitt thanked everyone who spoke.  He addressed the Commissioners, noting their responsibility with this project.  He explained to everyone that this item will go forward to City Council with or without the Commission’s recommendation.  He mentioned that if the City Council does not approve the project, it still could go forward to the county for approval.  Chairman Truitt encouraged the residents to continue with dialogue on this project.

 

Commissioner Hallin talked about residents needing a forthright answer from BNSF.

 

Commissioner Somers made a motion to deny approval GPA07-235, BNSF Commercial Major General Plan Amendment.   Commissioner Hallin seconded the motion.  The motion passed with a vote of 7 ayes.

 

Chairman Truitt called for a recess at 7:48 p.m.; meeting reconvened at 7:52 p.m.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Item 9:  spa07-146 – Consideration and Action – The Colonnade -  Recreation Village

 

Planner Bart Wingard presented the project to the Commission.  Staff recommended approval of SPA07-146, The Colonnade – Recreation Village, subject to stipulations ‘a’ through ‘l.’   

 

Lynn LaGarde, representing applicant, provided a brief overview of the project, specifically talking about the maintenance of Grand Marketplace Way, which is privately maintained.   She explained that there are two segments of the roadway; the first segment of the roadway is a driveway maintained by Albertsons and adjacent commercial owners.  The second segment of the roadway is owned by the adjacent owners and Albertsons.  Both have a recorded agreement for maintenance for Grand Marketplace Way.  

 

In response to Commissioner Hallin, Planner Wingard explained that they are promoting pedestrian and golf cart usage throughout the project.

 

In response to Commissioner Alton, Ms. LaGarde reiterated that all of Grand Marketplace Way is owned by an HOA.  The north exit/entrance is feeding into a private driveway.  Ms. LaGarde suggested that they create a cul de sac at the end of Grand Marketplace Way to allow drivers to know that they are going on to a private road. 

 

Chairman Truitt opened the meeting for public comment.  Hearing no comments from the public, Chairman Truitt closed the public hearing.

 

Stipulation M:  Cul de sac be created at the northern terminus of Grand Marketplace Way with driveway access beyond to the shopping center.  

 

Vice Chair Blair made a motion to approve SPA07-146, The Colonnade – Recreation Village, subject to stipulations ‘a’ through ‘l.’    Commissioner Somers seconded the motion.  Vice Chair Blair withdrew the motion and Commissioner Somers withdrew the second. 

 

Commissioner Watts mad a motion to add Stipulation M.  Vice Chair Blair seconded the motion.  The motion passed with a vote of 7 ayes.

 

Commissioner Somers made a motion to approve SPA07-146, The Colonnade – Recreation Village, subject to stipulations ‘a’ through ‘m.’    Commissioner Watts seconded the motion.  The motion passed with a vote of 7 ayes.

 

REGULAR AGENDA ITEMS REQUIRING A PUBLIC HEARING

 

Item 10: pad07-224 – Consideration and Action – Acoma Court

 

Planner Lance Ferrell presented the project to the Commission.  Staff recommended approval of PAD07-224, Acoma Court, subject to stipulations ‘a’ through ‘m.’   

 

Planner Ferrell explained that a revision should be made to Stipulation K, changing Wickenburg Unified School District to Dysart Unified School District. 

 

In response to Commission Somers, Planner Ferrell responded

 

Mr. Gibson, Snell and Wilmer, representing applicant, noted that the landscaping for the set back space will be maintained by the Homeowners Association and will be constructed after the homes are built. 

 

Chairman Truitt opened the meeting for public comment. 

 

Paula Forster, Surprise resident, voiced concerns about:

·       Proper lighting in the ramada; safety is an issue. 

 

Planner Ferrell stated that the applicant has agreed to use lighting for safety. 

 

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

 

Commissioner Somers made a motion to approve PAD07-224, Acoma Court, subject to stipulations ‘a’ through ‘m, with a modification to stipulation k.’  Vice Chair Blair seconded the motion.  The motion passed with a vote of 7 ayes.

 

OPEN CALL TO PUBLIC:

 

Chairman Truitt called to the public to discuss any issues not noted on the agenda. 

 

Ernie Young wondered about fees and inspections, specifically talking about timelines for inspections (30 days versus 180 days).   He also noted concern about expired permits.

 

Hearing no further comments from the public, Chairman Truitt closed the call to the public.

 

CURRENT EVENTS REPORT: 

 

Chairman Truitt announced that the Arizona Planning Association Conference will be held in Glendale in November and encouraged Commissioners to attend.

 

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.

 

No request was made to call for an executive session.

 

ADJOURNMENT:

 

Hearing no further business, Chairman Truitt adjourned the regular Planning and Zoning Commission meeting, Tuesday, October 2, 2007 at 8:28 p.m.

 

 

 

STAFF PRESENT:

 

Assistant City Attorney Jim Gruber, Fire Marshall Doug Helbig, City Planner Vineetha Kartha, City Planner David Neal, City Planner Adam Copeland, City Planner Lance Ferrell, City Planner Bart Wingard,  Planning & Development Services Manager Berrin Nejad, Planning and Community Development Director Scott Chesney, and Planning and Zoning Commission Secretary Carol Dager.

 

COUNCIL MEMBERS PRESENT:  Doc Sullivan

 

OTHER ELECTED OFFICIALS:  Senator Jack Harper, Legislative District 4

 

 

 

 

_______________________________________

Scott R. Chesney, AICP, Director

Planning & Community Development Department

 

 

_____________________________

 Lyn Truitt, Chairman

 Planning and Zoning Commission