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12425 West Bell Road, Suite D-100

Surprise, Arizona 85374


March 4, 2008



Call to Order:


Chair Jan Blair 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, March 4, 2008.


In attendance with Chair Blair were Commissioners Matthew Bieniek, Ken Chapman, John Hallin, Robert Rein, and Steve Somers.  Commissioner Fred Watts was absent.




Planner Bart Wingard presented a brief overview of the Parks and Trails Master Plan, specifically noting that the 2001 General Plan adopted the recreation element directive directing the Planning Department to prepare this plan. 


Planner Wingard pointed out that parks and trails improve:

·    Economics

·    Traffic

·    Environment

·    Wellness

·    Crime Prevention


He commented that parks and trails could provide safer paths for children to school.  Statistics show that 25% of the morning traffic is attributed to taking children to school.


Commissioner Hallin questioned the reduction of crime by the installation of parks and trails.  Acting Director Kathy Rice explained that Florida has surveys that show residents feel safer because of their lighted parks and trails.  Planner Wingard added that a well-designed, well-lighted trail does assist in improving the crime rate. 


Planner Wingard talked about the various National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA) Standards for Parks which includes the following:

·    Pocket Parks – Less than 5 acres (1/4 mile service area)

·    Neighborhood Parks – 5 to 25 acres (1/2 mile service area)

·    Community Parks – 25 to 100 acres (3 mile service area)

·    Regional Parks – 100 acres (10 mile service area)


Charts were displayed that showed the existing parks in the city, as well as information indicating the comparisons of the numbers of parks in surrounding local cities and some nationwide cities of similar size. 


Responding to questions regarding the various acres each developer should dedicate for a park, Planner Wingard noted that some creative solutions will be needed for the developers designing smaller parcels.  This is a working document and will be updated annually to accommodate the changing times. 


Planner Wingard mentioned that the key factor of this plan that ties into the village concept is the trails portion. 


When discussing the trails plan, the following was noted:

·    Regional Trails – 89 miles

·    Signature Trails – 50 miles

·    Community Trails – 136 miles

·    Local Trails – 114 miles


Planner Wingard commented that they have worked with the various surrounding jurisdictions to connect with trails through the communities.  He mentioned that we are actively looking at funding sources for trails, noting that there is an abundance of monies available for motorized trails.  He showed a map of the 50-mile signature trail which will encompass the entire planning area for Surprise. 


He pointed out the various standards established:

·    Provide standards to developers to supply parks and trails.

·    Standardize maintenance.

·    Standardize equipment to cut maintenance costs.


In response to questions, Planner Wingard explained that the master plan for parks and trails will be evaluated each year, asking residents for input.  Acting Director Rice stated that Code Enforcement is responsible for monitoring parks for inappropriate signs.  Community Recreation is responsible for maintaining the parks.  This new master plan should assist the White Tanks Park in controlling the misuses at their park. 


Planner Wingard wrapped up with summarizing the items discussed.




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, March 4, 2008, at 5:35 p.m.




Assistant City Attorney Jim Gruber, City Planner Adam Copeland, City Planner Bart Wingard, City Planner Nicole Green-Catten; City Planner Dennis Dorch, City Planner Janice See; Fire Marshall Doug Helbig; Assistant Fire Chief Clint Mills, Planning & Development Services Manager Berrin Nejad, Acting Community Development Director Kathy S. Rice; and Planning and Zoning Commission Secretary Carol Dager.





Kathy S. Rice, Acting Director

Community Development Department