View Other Items in this Archive | View All Archives | Printable Version

CITY OF SURPRISE

 

PLANNING AND ZONING COMMISSION

12425 West Bell Road, Suite D-100

Surprise, Arizona 85374

 

December 4, 2007

 

REGULAR MEETING MINUTES

 

CALL TO ORDER:

 

Vice Chair Blair called the Planning and Zoning Commission Meeting to order at

6:00 p.m. at the Surprise City Hall, 12425 West Bell Road, Suite D100, Surprise, Arizona 85374, on Tuesday, December 4, 2007. 

 

ROLL CALL:

 

In attendance with Vice Chair Blair were John Hallin, Steve Somers and Fred Watts.  

Richard Alton, Jesse Conn, and Lyn Truitt have tendered their resignations.

 

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE:

 

CURRENT EVENTS REPORT:  None

 

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 Watts made a motion to approve the Consent Agenda.   Commissioner Somers seconded the motion.  The motion passed with a vote of 4 ayes and 3 vacancies.

 

·    Approved Item 2*:  Planning and Zoning Commission Minutes for November 6, 2007

 

·    Approved Item 3*SP06-488 – Consideration and Action – Storage Solutions, Stipulations ‘a’ through ‘h.’

 

·    Approved Item 4*: RS06-439 – Consideration and Action – O&P Estates, Stipulations ‘a’ through ‘j.’

 

·    Approved Item 5*: RS06-230 – Consideration and Action – Professional Marketing Group, Stipulations ‘a’ through ‘j.’

  

 

 

 

 

Vice Chair Blair explained Item 6, CUP07-242, Imagine School at Surprise, noting that this is a consideration and action for Imagine School at Surprise, which includes reviewing a conditional use permit for the Imagine School, located on the southeast corner of Custer Lane and 156th Avenue.  The request is subject to stipulations ‘a’ through ‘i.’

 

Vice Chair Blair announced that this item will not be opened to a public meeting, as the public hearing was already held. 

 

REGULAR AGENDA ITEMS NOT REQUIRING A PUBLIC HEARING

 

Item 6: cup07-242 – Consideration and Action – Imagine School at Surprise

 

Planner Lance Ferrell presented the project to the Commission.  Staff recommended approval of CUP07-242, Imagine School at Surprise, subject to stipulations ‘a’ through ‘i.’   

 

Lynne LaGarde, Earl, Curley, and LaGarde, representing applicant, provided additional information, noting that Imagine has a proven safety record at their school campuses with adequate traffic and parking management.  For this specific location, a bus service has been added and school start times have been delayed to avoid conflicts with Carden.  She pointed out that the City’s staff has prepared a technical memorandum to address traffic issues and has maintained there is no safety hazard and is recommending approval. 

 

Ms. LaGarde mentioned that information was disseminated that misrepresented Imagine School.  This information stated that the school would be an alternative school for dropouts.  She stressed that this is not an accurate statement; Imagine School is a college preparatory school.

 

Ms. LaGarde indicated that Carden is misrepresenting the School Facilities Board requirements.  Also, the ADOT guidelines were missing information, specifically, that engineers familiar with local conditions are in the best position to assess and make engineering decisions.

 

Nick Wood, Snell and Wilmer, representing Carden School, stated that he feels Commissioners are asked to act without any specific standards set forth.  He indicated that determinations need to be made using discretion, while considering the effect of the proposed use upon the health, safety and general welfare of surrounding land.  Without standards, decisions will be made by guessing, using individual experience, or looking to authorities for guidance.  He stated that he has never asked that the Commission follow the Arizona state statutes nor has he requested that the ADOT set of standards for school safety be imposed upon the decision makers.  He suggested that since no specific standards have been given for the Commissioners to use, perhaps they could rely on the standards set by the School Facilities Board. 

 

Mr. Wood provided information regarding various charter schools throughout the city with less students yet more parking accommodations than recommended for this site. 

 

In response to Commissioner Watts, Ms. LaGarde stated that signage can be provided if needed.  She added that school staff does typically direct traffic at the schools. 

 

Commissioner Somers made a motion to approve CUP07-242, Imagine School at Surprise, subject to stipulation ‘a’ through ‘i.’   Commissioner Watts seconded the motion.  The motion failed with a vote of 2 ayes (Hallin, Blair), 2 nays (Watts, Somers) and 3 vacancies.

 

Vice Chair Blair called a recess at 6:16 p.m.  The meeting was reconvened at 6:24 p.m.

 

REGULAR AGENDA ITEMS REQUIRING A PUBLIC HEARING

 

Item 7:  PP07-077 – Consideration and Action – Laizure Estates

 

Planner Adam Copeland presented the project to the Commission.  Staff recommended approval of PP07-077, Laizure Estates, subject to stipulations ‘a’ through ‘l.’   

 

In response to Commissioner Hallin, Brad Chelton, Copperfield Management, applicant, stated that they will comply with standards for crossing washes, as well as minimize the amount of disturbance to the hillside. 

 

Vice Chair Blair opened the meeting for public comment.  Hearing no comments from the public, Vice Chair Blair closed the public hearing.

 

Commissioner Somers made a motion to approve PP07-077, Laizure Estates, subject to stipulations ‘a’ through ‘l.’  Commissioner Hallin seconded the motion.  The motion passed with a vote of 4 ayes and 3 vacancies.

 

Item 8:  Pada07-155 – Consideration and Action – Sycamore Farms Parcel 12

 

Planner Bart Wingard presented the project to the Commission.  Staff recommended approval of Pada07-155, Sycamore Farms Parcel 12, subject to stipulations ‘a’ through ‘h.’   

 

Mike Withey, Withey, Anderson & Morris, applicant, provided additional information about the project, showing the existing site and the various surrounding projects.  He indicated that multi-family projects are often a good buffer use.  He noted that the request is not adding overall units to the PAD; rather it is far less than what was originally approved. 

 

In response to Commissioner Watts, Planner Wingard replied that the north half of the parcel will remain medium density.

 

In response to Commissioner Somers, Planner Wingard explained the various densities of the projects surrounding this parcel. 

 

In response to Commissioner Hallin, Planner Wingard noted that the 75-foot buffer is part of the guidelines.  He further explained what architectural forward.   Ed McCoy, applicant, replied that this is not a gated community. 

 

Vice Chair Blair opened the meeting for public comment. 

 

Laura Morgan, voiced the following concerns:   

  • 360 units in small community = 360 to 720 cars.
  • Not notified that apartments would be built around my house when purchased.
  • Crime; people wandering through neighborhood; walking dogs who make messes.
  • Feel apartments will outnumber the homes and decrease value of homes.

 

Doc Sullivan, voiced the following concern:

  • Consider continuing to January when there is a full commission.

 

Michael Besk, voiced the following concerns:

  • Just closed on home and found out that there will be apartments.
  • Moved here for a quiet area.

 

Janet Sullivan, representing parents Danny and Ninfa Rule, voiced the following concerns:

  • Attended community outreach meeting
  • Submitted letters to be part of record.
  • 360-unit apartment does not fit the character of community.
  • Parcel 12 was to be medium density.
  • Parcel could be high density rather than having it in Parcel 11 and 12.
  • This is not a minor change to the residents.
  • Do not want three-story apartment building looming over homes.
  • Apartments will outnumber single-family homes.
  • Increased traffic and crime; decrease home values.

 

Amy Packa, voiced the following concerns:  

  • Agree with the other speakers.
  • Crowd the schools.
  • Apartment residents do not pay as much taxes; strain on school system.
  • Crime will increase.
  • Poor planning.

 

Michael Wright, voiced the following concerns:

  • Negative impact on quality of life.
  • Excessive noise, disturbances; property damage – apartments.
  • Past 12 months: 171 calls a high-density apartment complex in Surprise – criminal damage; stolen vehicles; thefts; suspicious activities.
  • Above-mentioned crimes do not end at the property lines.
  • Financial bottomline of an out-of-state corporation.

 

Pete and Sandra Vargas:  agree with other speakers’ statements.

 

Hearing no additional comments from the public, Vice Chair Blair closed the public hearing.

 

Mr. Withey reiterated the uses of the surrounding properties, stressing that this will be a very urban area. 

 

In response to Commissioner Hallin, Mr. Withey noted that the original PAD did indicate three-story buildings. 

 

Commissioner Somers made a motion to continue PADA07-155, Sycamore Farms Parcel 12.

 

Commissioner Watts made a motion to approve Pada07-155, Sycamore Farms Parcel 12, subject to stipulations ‘a’ through ‘h.’   Commissioner Somers seconded the motion.  The motion passed with a vote of 3 ayes, 1 nay (Hallin), and 3 vacancies.

 

There was some discussion that many of the audience members were unable to obtain a speaker’s slip because the room was crowded with other residents to hear a previous agenda item.  Thus, they felt they did not have an opportunity to voice their concerns.

 

Vice Chair Blair mentioned that this agenda item will go forward to the City Council where there will be an additional public hearing where residents could speak.

 

In response to Vice Chair Blair, City Assistant Attorney James Gruber explained that it is the chair’s discretion as to whether additional public statements would be heard.

 

Commissioner Watts made a motion that the Commission hear additional testimony, no second motion was made nor was the motion voted on.

 

Vice Chair Blair reopened the meeting for additional comments:

 

Tricia Meyers, voiced the following concerns:

·         No barrier between apartments and single-family homes.  

·         Why should my HOA fees pay for others to use our area.

·         Bus stop safety with increased traffic.

 

Chad Brown, voiced the following concerns:

·         Area is being changed after we have bought our homes.

·         Where is the buffer?

·         Not enough parking for these apartments. 

·         Consider the people of Surprise; you represent us, not out-of-state corporation. 

 

Vice Chair Blair called a recess at 7:10 p.m.  The meeting was reconvened at 7:12 p.m.

 

Commissioner Somers made a motion to reconsider the previous motion.  Commissioner Watts seconded the motion.  The motion passed with a vote of 4 ayes and 3 vacancies.

 

Vice Chair Blair reopened the meeting for public comment. 

 

 

 

Stephanie Matthews, voiced the following concerns:

·         Children from apartments will be in our common areas. 

·         Property values will drop.

·         Home and car insurance will increase.

 

John Paul Cartier, voiced the following concerns:

·         Support the comments. 

·         Moved to this area; took a lot of time to investigate where to live.

·         No one can predict what the future will be concerning the surrounding properties.

·         Financial interest of the corporations will end after build out. 

 

Michael Morgan, voiced the following concerns:

·         Used to work with Taylor Woodrow.

·         Safety of my family.

·         Told there would be no additional apartments other than what is currently being built.

·         Traffic – only two roads to the apartments.

 

Carolyn Fall, voiced the following concerns:

·         Built our dream house; never would have picked the location if I knew what I know now. 

·         Continuous traffic.

·         We are stuck here.

·         9-year-old’s window will face an apartment.

·         Was told the property would be medium density.

 

Chelsea King, voiced the following concerns:

·         Back up to the apartments that are currently being built.

·         Was not happy about the apartments

·         Assured that medium density would be single-family homes.

 

Tyler Loomis, voiced the following concerns:

·         Just moved here.  Surprise is centered around community.

·         For a town that prides itself in being family centered, concerned that this is being considered.

·         33rd safest community in America; this could decrease that standing.

·         It is a big deal to us. 

·         Quality of life

 

Dion Garcia, voiced the following concerns:

·         Apartment buildings will cause additional traffic.

·         Like seeing the White Tank Mountains. 

 

Hearing no additional comments from the public, Vice Chair Blair closed the public hearing.

 

In response to commissioner Somers, Planner Wingard reiterated that the PAD document states that three-story buildings are allowed. 

 

 

Commissioner Somers made a motion to continue Pada07-155, Sycamore Farms Parcel 12, to the January meeting.  Commissioner Watts seconded the motion. The motion passed with a vote of 3 ayes, 1 nay (Hallin), and 3 vacancies.

 

Item 9:  Pada07-132 – Consideration and Action – Crossroads at Surprise

 

Planner Adam Copeland presented the project to the Commission.  Staff recommended denial of Pada07-132, Crossroads at Surprise, subject to stipulation ‘a.’

 

Stephen Anderson, applicant, provided additional information about the project, explaining that the site is zoned C3 and the site plan has been approved.  This PADA would allow light industrial users.  This project is complicated by the passing of a text amendment in 2006 that establishes a minimum acreage threshold for PADs.  He stated that he feels this application warrants an exception. 

 

In response to Commissioner Watts, Planner Copeland explained that if this agenda item is approved, the PADA would be its own PAD. 

 

Planner Copeland noted that although the agenda shows that staff recommendation for this project indicates approval, staff is recommending denial at this time. 

 

Kathy Rice, Acting Director, suggested removing stipulation ‘a.’

 

In response to Commissioner Hallin, City Attorney Gruber stated the City Council could approve this project without doing a text amendment.

 

In response to Vice Chair Blair, Planner Copeland explained that the legal interpretation for this application is that it does not meet current code.  The applicant interprets the code language differently.

 

Vice Chair Blair made a motion to remove stipulation ‘a.’  Commissioner Somers seconded the motion.  The motion passed with 4 ayes and 3 vacancies. 

 

Vice Chair Blair opened the meeting for public comment.  Hearing no comments from the public, Vice Chair Blair closed the public hearing.

 

Commissioner Somers made a motion to approve Pada07-132, Crossroads at Surprise.  Commissioner Hallin seconded the motion.  The motion passed with a vote of 4 ayes and 3 vacancies.

 

OPEN CALL TO PUBLIC:

 

Vice Chair Blair called to the public to discuss any issues not noted on the agenda. 

Hearing no comments from the public, Vice Chair Blair closed the call to the public.

 

 

 

CURRENT EVENTS REPORT: 

 

Vice Chair Blair voiced a concern about receiving materials at the last minute at the meeting.  Ms. Rice suggested that changes to the rules and procedures could be made to have applicants present all materials in advance of the meeting. 

 

Vice Chair Blair recommended that a workshop be held at the beginning of the year to instruct new and current commissioners about policy and procedures.  She reemphasized that she does not feel that commissioners should be given last-minute stacks of information and then make a decision without reviewing that material adequately. 

 

Vice Chair Blair read a letter to the Commission from Mayor-Elect Lyn Truitt, thanking everyone for their commitment to the residents of Surprise.

 

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, Vice Chair Blair adjourned the regular Planning and Zoning Commission meeting, Tuesday, December 4, 2007 at 7:47 p.m.

 

STAFF PRESENT:

 

Assistant City Attorney Jim Gruber, Fire Marshall Doug Helbig,  City Planner Adam Copeland, City Planner Lance Ferrell, City Planner Bart Wingard,  City Planner Vamshee Kovuru, Community Development Administrator Marcel LaVallee, Planning & Development Services Manager Berrin Nejad, Traffic Engineer Nicholas Mascia, Acting Community Development Director Kathy Rice, and Planning and Zoning Commission Secretary Carol Dager.

 

COUNCIL MEMBERS PRESENT:  Doc Sullivan

 

 

 

_______________________________________

Kathy S. Rice, Acting Director

Community Development Department

 

 

_____________________________

 Jan Blair, Vice Chair

 Planning and Zoning Commission