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MINUTES

 

PLANNING AND ZONING COMMISSION

                                                           

12425 W. BELL ROAD, SUITE D-100

SURPRISE AZ  85374

 

REGULAR MEETING

 

March 18, 2003

6:00 P.M.

 

Call to Order:

Roll call:

 

Chairman Martha Bails called the Regular Planning and Zoning Commission Meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. at the Surprise City Hall – 12425 West Bell Road, Suite D-100, Surprise, Arizona 85374, on Tuesday, March 18, 2003.  Also in attendance with Chairman Bails were: Vice Chairman Dan Morris and Commissioners Bob Gonzales, Lyn Truitt, Tony Segarra, and Jan Blair. Commissioner Ken Senft was absent (excused).

 

Council Members Present:

Mayor Joan Shafer, Vice Mayor Tucker Smith, and Council members Donald Cox, Johnny Montoya, and Roy Villanueva.

 

Staff Present:

 

Deputy City Attorney, Jeff Blilie; Community and Economic Development Director, Phil Testa; Planning Manager, Scott Phillips; Planner, Desmond McGeough; Planner, Andrew Jochums; Planner James Atkins, and Planning Tech, Stephanie Wilson.

 

·       Approval of Planning & Zoning Commission LAFB Workshop Minutes of February 18, 2003

 

Morris made a motion to approve the February 18, 2003, LAFB Workshop minutes.  Segarra seconded the motion.  6 yes votes.  1 absent (Senft).  Motion carried.     

 

·       Approval of Planning and Zoning Meeting Minutes of March 4, 2003  

 

Blair made a motion to approve the March 4, 2003, minutes.  Morris seconded the motion.  6 yes votes.  1 absent (Senft).  Motion carried.     

 

PRESENTATION:

 

·       Discussion and Possible Recommendation regarding the Conceptual Site Design and Layout of The Orchards, Parcel 6 & 7.

 

Planning Manager, Phillips, introduced the topic and how the project relates to the Surprise Center as a whole.  He emphasized that the staff and applicant are working together to come up with a plan that will compliment everything that the city has worked towards developing in that area.  He then introduced the applicant, Tony Wall.

 

Mr. Wall spoke of sharing the vision of staff.  That the idea is to create a visual and pedestrian friendly environment and to create a fully functioning downtown area to enhance the city’s stadium.  He mentioned that timing is critical – the hope is to have hotels and restaurants in place by the spring of 2004.  The approval process must be expedited.  Staff recognizes the importance of reaching these goals, timeline-wise.  The idea behind the workshop/discussion was to share the concept and get feedback on this partnership.

 

Planning Manager, Phillips, reiterated the reason behind the workshop was to get comments up front from members of the council and commission, to move this project along as quickly as possible. 

 

Using the image boards, Mike Edwards, detailed how the overall master plan will work with the development of Surprise Center and the sports complex.  Specific to the plan is the concept of the “Main Street” type of development; hotels and theatre to come ‘first’; hotel components to align with potential boulevard entrance; a theatre complex; loft style condos; user friendly pedestrian interaction with existing sports complex; offices and restaurants; potential larger retail anchors to bring life and energy to project; and potential for festivals, etc.  A lot of different possibilities.  As far as the character of the project, the desire is to make the area look as if it were ‘built up’ over time, using colors and various design schemes to avoid anything coming across as monotone.  The variety of uses will provide for daytime as well as evening events.  Very pedestrian friendly.  A lot of dynamic activity.  Geared towards urban lifestyle, those choosing to live close to the action/activity of the downtown area.

 

General discussion took place regarding the possibility of a mass transit system; priority being given to controlling/easing any traffic concerns and creating a pedestrian friendly environment; ease of getting from parking structures to various features; avoiding the problems that face the Peoria complex; the desire for more upscale type hotels; creating views that entice users of the recreation complex to stop in and look around/shop; trying to dress up the parking structures – work in features that will make them more appealing; where deliveries and loading and unloading are to take place; if the communities were to be gated; and type of buyer/user for these properties.

 

Vice Chair Morris asked about the possibility of a mass transit system, an example being the trolleys in Scottsdale.

 

Applicant, Edwards, pointed out they are not at that point in the details but that the streets are all vehicular and that there are possibilities for trolley stops on Stadium Way.  Needs to be looked at.

 

Commissioner Morris asked for specifics that distinguished this project from Kierland Commons. 

 

The applicant highlighted features that will serve to distinguish Stadium Village including: More width, more landscaping, landscaped medians, grander in scale –both dimensionally and developmentally, plenty of significant areas, such as a roundabout with fountain area, etc.

 

Commissioner Truitt liked the inviting nature of the layout, felt it was inviting people into the area, but asked if there was anything that could make the area more visually inviting from those people visiting the recreation center.  Asked if it were possible for a wraparound the parking structure that might have a 2nd floor balcony area with restaurants, small shops, etc.  The applicant agreed that this is a good idea but a lot of the decision on that would have to be based on demand for such.

 

Councilman Montoya’s concern dealt with the traffic and parking.  Need to really think through all aspects of pedestrian and vehicular connections/access to avoid repeating some of the problems Peoria’s sports complex area experiences.  He was also concerned about the location of the parking garages and the distance for pedestrians to the next parcel. 

 

The applicant noted that there is a dimension to the levels of landscaping that isn’t easily denoted on the display models and that the parking structures will be architecturally enhanced with pedestrian ‘islands’ placed in the middle of the street to make the trek from parcel to parcel more inviting.

 

Commissioner Segarra made note of the number of parking structures and suggested dressing up the medians with landscaping.  Applicant will check the specs and see if traffic engineer okays such plans.

 

Councilman Cox has concerns about the traffic and the noise from the activities but the applicant stated the type of buyer attracted to this area would understand and desire the activity and the overall environment of the area.

 

The applicant responded to a question about the type of hotel that will be brought in, noting that it will fit the ‘downtown’ character desired for the area.

 

Commissioner Bails stated she is building up the emphasis on walkability of the area for those wishing for a place to park and walk.  She agrees that pedestrians and mass transportation have to remain a high priority to make the site friendly and safe to users.  The applicant pointed out the design layout itself slows traffic flow through the location.

 

Councilman Villanueva questioned where, in the design, was the space built in for activities such as loading/unloading of deliveries.  Applicant agreed that the area was not a typical retail area, that service courts would serve that function.

 

The applicant stated the goal is to resubmit the plans to the Planning and Zoning Commission on April 15, 2003, for consideration and action.

                                                                       

OLD BUSINESS:

 

REGULAR ITEMS NOT REQUIRING A PUBLIC HEARING: n/a

 

REGULAR ITEMS REQUIRING A PUBLIC HEARING: n/a

 

 

REGULAR ITEMS NOT REQUIRING A PUBLIC HEARING: 

 

·       SP02-322 – Consideration and Action – Site Plan – Surprise Village

 

Planner Manager, Phillips, asked that this item be continued to the April 1, 2003, agenda.

 

The commissioners were asked to save their packets on Surprise Village for the April 1, 2003, meeting.

 

Truitt made a motion to approve the continuance of SP02-322 to the April 1, 2003, agenda.  Segarra seconded the motion.  6 yes votes.  1 absent (Senft).  Motion carried.     

 

·       SP03-026 - Consideration and Action – Site Plan – Autozone at Surprise Marketplace

 

Planner, McGeough, gave the presentation.

 

General discussion took place regarding a typo in the narrative (PAD vs lot) and the importance of being consistent for clarity sake; addressing issues of outside signage/storage with a specific stipulation with the hopes of avoiding similar issues with Big O Tires and their brightly painted windows and stacks of tires located outside the store; asked staff what’s being done to effectively enforce existing ordinance; also addressed issues of light spilling over, with the idea of working towards adhering to the Dark Sky ordinance coming up through state legislation.

 

The applicant, Ken Zell with Norman Engineering Group, stated the plan should read “lot”, not PAD, and that it is referring to Lot 6.

 

In regards to the outside signage stipulation posed by the commission, Planning Manager, Phillips, stated that the ordinance in effect fully addresses the concerns indicated (such as the problems with Big O Tires), and that the problem is more of an enforcement issue.  Deputy City Attorney, Blilie, reinforced Planning Manager, Phillips, comments stating that it is an enforcement issue, that the ordinance is mandated; it’s just that the city is lacking the staff to fully and effectively enforce the existing ordinance.

 

Lighting issues are being addressed via the stipulation h.  Problem is there isn’t a Dark Sky ordinance yet.  Planning Manager, Phillips, stated the lights will be full cutoff, fully shielded, and that these lights will comply with Dark Sky.  And the applicant pointed out that the windows do not face Grand Avenue but the other storefronts.

 

Morris made a motion to approve Application SP03-026, subject to stipulations a – k, attached hereto as Exhibit A.  Segarra seconded the motion.  6 yes votes.  1 absent (Senft).  Motion carried.     

 

REGULAR ITEMS REQUIRING A PUBLIC HEARING:

 

·       PAD02-308 Consideration and Action – Planned Area Development – Veramonte

 

Planner Manager, Phillips, asked that this item be continued to the April 15, 2003, agenda. 

 

The commissioners were asked to save their packets on Veramonte for the April 15, 2003, meeting.

 

Blair made a motion to approve continuance for Application PAD02-308 to April 15, 2003.  Segarra seconded the motion.  6 yes votes.  1 absent (Senft).  Motion carried.     

 

·       PP02-350 Consideration and Action – Preliminary Plat – Veramonte

 

Planner Manager, Phillips, asked that this item be continued to the April 15, 2003, agenda. 

 

The commissioners were asked to save their packets on the pre-plat for Veramonte for the April 15, 2003, meeting.

 

Truitt made a motion to approve continuance for Application PP02-350 to April 15, 2003.  Segarra seconded the motion.  5 yes votes.  Commissioner Gonzales was not in the room and did not participate in the vote on this item. 1 absent (Senft).  Motion carried.     

 

·       PADA02-336 - Consideration and Action – Planned Area Development Amendment – West Pointe Towne Center

 

Planner, McGeough, gave the presentation. 

 

General discussion took place regarding the overall quality of the design; concerns of surrounding residents; noise from project; cash put up by applicant to extend the back wall if decided it is necessary; issues of a traffic signal; access off of Dysart; the type of users; and height of the buildings.

 

Representing the owners, Gary Toreim, spoke of how the project will capture the character of the area; designed to be very pedestrian friendly; that the users would be smaller – bookstores, gift shops, etc. – no big box anchors, that the fifty multi family units would be located towards the rear of the site.  He wanted it on record that he is sensitive to the feedback from the residents and has agreed to limit the residential units to two levels with no balconies that will face the residents to the south and an extensive landscaping buffer.  He and staff worked on the wording of the existing stipulation, and he wanted further clarification in the stipulation, that they will provide for funding to cover the cost of extending the rear wall, if elected this be done by the majority and or/the HOA. 

 

The applicant also wanted, as part of the public record, a clarification of the issue of the traffic signal on Grand Avenue which staff does not support.  The applicant feels that controlled access is critical to safely move traffic in and out of the site.  They have a traffic analysis supporting this and, furthermore, they could synchronize the lights to minimize disrupting the traffic flow along Grand Avenue.  The applicant is agreeable to securing some sort of easement that will allow the traffic generated by the project to use the existing traffic signal and offered to pay to move the existing light to better serve the need of the area.  But if the property owner in control of the existing traffic signal balks at the proposed easement/access, the applicant wanted it on record that this issue will be revisited because of the safety issue. 

 

Applicant, Cindy Paddock, addressed the question of Commissioner Morris regarding access off of Dysart.  She explained that the original traffic study suggested it would be for emergency access but upon further review and discussion with staff and Traffic Engineer, Robert Maki, it was determined it would be best to make it a right turn in/right out only, with curbing installed to prohibit left turns. 

 

Opened for Public comment: 

 

Scott Cronan, 16541 N. Lasso Drive, wanted more specific details about the project.  As a homeowner in the area, he’s uncomfortable with the thought of apartment complexes cropping up around his property.  He also stated that his neighbor is having problems selling his home already.  He wanted to know if the apartment residents would be staring down in his backyard. 

 

Staff explained that the project has come before the commission at this time for a rezoning from multi-family residential to mixed use.  The property originally was zoned for approximately 509 units.  As proposed for the rezoning, the number of units is approximately 50, or 1/10th of the original usability.   Commissioner Blair asked if there were any other neighborhood meetings planned.  The applicant answered that the participants of the neighborhood meeting that was held on January 7, 2003, were assured that they would have the opportunity to comment when the site plan is advertised via public notices by the city.

 

Deputy City Attorney, Blilie, wanted to clarify stipulation d – changed language to ‘cash’ and made this option available for five years.  Also, as suggested by the commission, he rephrased the existing stipulation from ‘building an eight foot wall’ to ‘extending the existing wall.’   The height of the buildings is addressed in the approved PAD.

 

Truitt made a motion to recommend approval for Application PADA02-336, subject to stipulations a – f (with stipulation d as amended – “The applicant shall provide the City with a cash deposit, prior to any building permits being issued within the property, covering the cost of increasing the existing wall up to a height of 8 feet at the perimeter of Parcel 12 adjacent to the existing homes, to be utilized in the event the neighboring residents desire an extension of the wall in addition to the landscape buffer provided with the development structures on site.  The cash is to be deposited with the City for a period of time not to exceed 5 years.”) attached hereto as Exhibit B.  Blair seconded the motion.  6 yes votes.  1 absent (Senft).  Motion carried.     

 

·       FP03-016– Consideration and Action – Final Plat– Surprise Marketplace

 

Planner, Jochums, gave the presentation. 

 

No comments from the commissioners.

 

There were no public comments.

 

Morris made a motion to recommend approval for Application FP03-016, subject to stipulations a – f, attached hereto as Exhibit C.  Segarra seconded the motion.  6 yes votes.  1 absent (Senft). Motion carried.     

 

·       CUP03-032 – Consideration and Action – Conditional Use Permit – Desert Oasis Water Storage Facility

 

Planner, Jochums, gave the presentation. 

 

General discussion took place with the Commission regarding the possibility of putting landscaping between tanks and residential area; the height of the tanks and their visibility to surrounding residential area; height and decorative face of walls; lighting issues; color of tanks; who is water provider; who will be paying for future development; and issues with sewer lines.

 

The applicant, Cliff Leatherwood, commented that additional landscaping would be difficult with the existing lots abutting a brick wall, plus the site needs to be open for access and usage and employee functionality.  The lot was graded out, setting the tank ‘down’, taking residents into consideration.

 

Vice Chair Morris was concerned about how much of the tank was visible over the top of the walls.  Asked if it was possible to recess them even more than they are.  Applicant Leatherwood stated they looked at various options; that cost was a factor, and the final decision as far as the buffer would be left up to the homeowners - taller wall or trees.  He stated that the top of the tank will be approximately 6 feet above the wall and reiterated that this is a city facility – meeting all the requirements – and that the plans have been approved.  Small tank shown on plans is ‘his’, the big tank shown on the plan is the city’s future expansion on the site.  As for the decorative nature of the wall – the applicant advised the commission that the wall would have a decorative face along Jomax, consistent with existing wall; that the builders can do what they want with the walls along residential section.  The color of the tank will be compatible with environment.

 

Lighting was a concern to commission.  Lighting is addressed in stipulation g.  Reference again to the Dark Sky ordinance, but staff reiterated that this ordinance is not defined yet.  Planning Manager, Scott, said very low lighting is stipulated.  There is an element of security for the site but that low-level lighting is desired out of consideration for surrounding area.  Lighting to be discussed and fine-tuned to meet all the requirements and safety factors.

 

Commissioner Gonzales wanted it clarified who was to be the water provider.  Staff told him that it would be city property.  The applicant advised him that both wells were drilled.  The piping of the water to the tank site will feed along the roadway to Jomax to tanks. 

 

Future development is planned to accommodate the needs of residential areas that will be developing; that impact fees built in for infrastructure will be used to build tank; and that staff anticipates regional sewer as development grows.  Discussion turned to details of the sewer lines that were approved by Council in the development agreement.  Applicant, Dana Belhap, spoke about the oversized lines that were put in and how the applicant was responsible for that initial cost.  The city will be responsible for funding future development needs, beyond development agreement.

 

There were no public comments.

 

Truitt made a motion to recommend approval for Application CUP03-032, subject to stipulations a – g, attached hereto as Exhibit D.  Blair seconded the motion.  6 yes votes.  1 absent (Senft).  Motion carried.     

 

·       CUP03-034 – Consideration and Action – Conditional Use Permit – Chick-Fil-A Restaurant

 

Planner, McGeough, gave the presentation. 

 

General discussion took place regarding the use of angled parking; the possible drawbacks to there only being one way in and out; where delivers will be made, outside seating arrangements; and the narrow, tight nature of the site. 

 

Applicants, Kevin McAndrews and Bill McDermott, addressed the commissioners concerns stating that they worked to meet all staff requirements, that the access is internal to the site feeding off the collector to the south, that small area of outside seating is planned with tables and umbrellas, and that deliveries will be made to the rear of the building as worked out with staff.

 

 There were no public comments.

 

Morris made a motion to recommend approval for Application CUP03-034, subject to stipulations a – k, attached hereto as Exhibit E.  Blair seconded the motion.  6 yes votes.  1 absent (Senft).  Motion carried.     

 

 

OPEN CALL TO THE PUBLIC:

 

There were no public comments.

 

CURRENT EVENTS REPORT:

 

Chairperson and Commissioners: 

 

Vice Chair Morris will not be at the April 1, 2003 commission meeting.  He was advised he should put his comments on Veramonte in writing for the record.

 

Community and Economic Development Director:  No comments

        

ADJOURNMENT:

 

There was no further business.  On a motion duly made and seconded, Chairperson Martha Bails declared the meeting adjourned at 8:14 P.M.

 

        

__________________________          _________________________

Martha Bails, Chairman                      Philip A. Testa, Director

Planning and Zoning Commission                 Community & Economic Development