March 1, 2011

Chair Swope called the meeting to order at 6:00 P.M.


Robert Swope, Chair
Don Cox, Vice Chair
Alan Caine, Commissioner
John Buette, Commissioner
Robin Large, Commissioner
Mark Napier, Commissioner
Robert La Master, Commissioner


Chair Swope led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance.

CALL TO THE AUDIENCE (Non Agenda Items Only)

Opened and closed without comment.


Council Member Joe Hornat updated the Commission on the following:

-ESL was basically untouched by Council
-C-N went through with very minor changes when presented to Council


Review and/or approval of the January 13, 2011, and February 1, 2011, P&Z Commission meeting minutes.

Chair Swope requested grammatical changes to the minutes.  The requested changes have been noted.

MOTION: A motion was made by Vice Chair Cox and seconded by Commissioner La Master to Approve the January 13, 2011, and February 1, 2011 P&Z Commission meeting minutes.


Public Hearing:  Rezoning for R1-144, Single Family Residential to PS, Private Schools for the purposes of constructing a church on the 17-acre property located on the southeast corner of Tangerine Road and Shannon Road, St. Marks Church, represented by ML2 Management LLC., OV910-002.

Mitch Lorenz, from ML2 Management, non resident, presented the following:

- Parish background and community involvement
- Current Tentative Development Plan
- Review of staff conditions of approval

Dave Berringer, from BCDM Architecture, non resident, presented the following:

- Proposed architecture for sanctuary
- Architectural intent & master plan
- Updated view shed analysis of the new sanctuary from Braun Residence.

Mr. Lorenz continued with his presentation

- Responses to neighbor concerns
- Main concerns from the neighbors to the south
- Lighting concerns addressed
- South buffer yard variations
- Screen wall design
- Landscape of south buffer yard
- On-site septic system
- Water
- Shannon Rd. & access
- Religious Education/Administration Building
- Closing statement

Commissioner Caine asked if the buffer yard was still an issue or whether it has been resolved.  Mr. Lorenz responded that currently the detention basin and the drainage and grading are not fully engineered.  It is still a recommended condition that it be curvilinear and the walls treated on the west side in a similar fashion to the walls on the east side.

Commissioner Napier confirmed there are 25 conditions in the staff report and asked Mr. Lorenz if he agrees to comply with all 25 conditions without reservation.  Mr. Lorenz answered that is correct.

Chair Swope asked if the parking to the rear would be impacted by the buffer yard area they intend to provide.  Mr. Lorenz said that is unclear at this time.

Chair Swope voiced his concern with minimizing the buffer by moving the parking to the rear.  Mr. Lorenz commented that the conditions asked for a 25 foot buffer.  The proposed buffer is 35 feet in width, which is 10 feet more.

Commissioner Napier asked for confirmation that there was no more room for compromise on the building height.  Mr. Berringer responded that they have decreased the building height as much as they can in order to achieve their design objectives.  

Commissioner Cox commented that has been stated at a previous meeting that the education offered by the church would be K-12 opposed to 1st-12 and asked the applicant to comment on that.  Mr. Berringer responded that the parish leaders felt the pre-school and kindergarten were more compatible and reasonable.

Chad Daines, Principal Planner, presented the following:

- Request
- Context Map
- Review Focus
- Summary of Proposal
- General Plan Designation
- General Plan - Applicable Policies
- Staff Analysis - Substantive Items
- Public Input - 2 neighborhood meetings
- Summary

Commissioner Large asked if the circulation still worked if the two variances required for access should be denied.  Paul Keesler, Permitting Manager, said one of the issues was driveway spacing from the intersection and other existing driveways.  Town staff has looked at this and it is something we can recommend for approval.  If this does not happen, there are other mitigation measures that can be used.

Commissioner Caine asked if the rezoning is in compliance with the ESL.  David Williams, Planning Manager commented that the ESL does not take effect for six months and this rezoning was not evaluated in light of the ESL.

Commissioner Caine asked if the new ESL would make the conditions more stringent.  Mr. Williams said for the Tangerine Road Corridor Overlay District, it does not.

Commissioner Caine asked how these conditions would remain in place.  Mr. Williams replied that the Commission can recommend additional conditions limiting any uses that they would like to see prohibited.  Mr. Tobin Rosen, Town Attorney, added in the event a condition is violated it becomes a violation of zoning conditions and is processed as such by staff. 

Chairman Swope asked what the vision of the Tangerine Corridor is and whether a project of this sort is consistent with that vision.  Mr. Williams commented that this is a case where we need to look at a Tangerine Road as more than just a road.  Tangerine Road will be a major transportation corridor in both Oro Valley and Marana.  Oro Valley has concerns about land use, urban design and transportation issues along this corridor.  Staff is comfortable with this type of facility along the Tangerine Road corridor.

Chairman Swope commented that the General Plan makes it clear that the Significant Resource Area (SRA) overlay requires that development be clustered in the least sensitive portions of the SRA and asked if that has happened here and how.  Mr. Ronquillo replied that as part of the site analysis, there was an overall analysis of plant density on the whole site.  On this particular site, there was a lot of dense vegetation staff felt had to be preserved.  The way the site was proposed and the layout of the building, staff felt the intent of the SRA was met.

Commissioner Napier asked if the Commission would be so inclined to recommend approval to Council of the twenty-five conditions, would the conditions have force and effect from this day forward on this development.  Mr. Rosen said the Mayor and Council are the final authority and should they approve this project with conditions, the conditions would have legal effect at that point. 

Commissioner Napier asked for clarification regarding the enforceability of the conditions.  Mr. Rosen stated in terms of enforceability, it is the actual content of the conditions that would be enforceable.  If the conditions were to be modified between now and approval, it is what is approved that becomes enforceable.

Commissioner Napier commented that Town Staff did not address the question of the septic system.  Mr. Rosen said the design and approval of septic systems is outside the jurisdiction of OV and is vested in the Pima County Department of Environmental Quality and it his understanding that the applicant is working with them to gain approval of the septic system.

Matthew Moutafis, OV resident, said he was there tonight on behalf of St. Marks church and felt this is going to be a remarkable church and something that OV is going to be very proud of. 

Melody Devenport, non-resident, said she grew up on the existing property that the church is now on.  Ms. Devenport and her family are not happy about the large traditional catholic design which in her opinion does not fit with the existing design of the community.  The existing church which her father originally agreed to build was only eighteen feet tall.  

Dennis Devenport, non-resident, said he supports all twenty five recommended conditions for approval with two proposed amendments and would like to offer five additional conditions for approval.  Mr. Devenport supports the applicants request for rezoning. 
The two proposed amendments as follows:

- Changes be made to eliminate kindergarten as a permitted use.
- Screen walls should be a minimum of twenty five feet from the south property line including the southwest corner of the property.

The five additional conditions for approval are the following:

- Building heights should be limited to twenty five feet maximum.
- Lighting fixtures for parking, landscaping, and buildings should be selected from the International Dark Sky Associations IDA approved fixture list and installed consistent with dark sky best practices.
- New development on the site should be connected to the sanitary sewer system and the developer should be responsible for the cost of connecting the existing sewer system service.
- No clearing should be done for temporary parking.  Parking will only be allowed on permitted and permanent parking spaces constructed in accordance with Oro Valley building code.
- Existing water wells should be abandoned and be connected to Oro Valley Water Utility.

Mr. Devenoport asked Mr. Rosen the following two questions:
- If E3A or E1 applies?
- What is going on with the Oro Valley light code and if this project would be exempted from Title 49 of the State code?

Mr. Keesler responded that when staff completes zoning code amendments, we ensure compliance with State Codes and regulations.  Mr. Williams added that our outdoor lighting code exceeds State requirements and that OV has one the most restrictive outdoor lighting codes in the State. 

Vice Chair Cox asked Mr. Davenport if the sound issue was his only objection to the kindergarten use.  Mr. Devenport responded that he generally does not have a objection to kindergartens, but does object to any kind of preschool or school next to million dollar homes.  There are four potential building sites next to the church which would be nicer and quieter without the kindergarten use.   

Dick Miller, resident, said his major problem is the height of the church.  He was told the reason for annexation was for preservation of land.  The church is asking to be rezoned to a school because it automatically takes them from twenty eight feet to thirty two feet, with the ability to ask for another variation to go to forty five feet. 

Buzz Braun, resident, said he was passing up the chance to speak to the commission.

Chairman Swope called for Dick Johnson who had left the meeting.

Scott Leska, resident, said he belongs to this wonderful parish and is a member of the choir at the church.  If you have the lower roof line the acoustics are awful, it is hard to hear and these are major factors in any place of worship and the parish is bursting at the seams. 

Joseph Giliberto, non-resident, said he is a member of this parish and the approval of this rezoning will be an asset to the community. 

Dick Eggerding, resident, said he has been here for some twenty five years.  He supports this project because he believes it is necessary to support the core values of our community.   

Bill Rodman, resident, said he attended one of the planning meetings and was told there would be a traffic study.  On Sundays it is challenging trying to turn onto Camino De Fierro where he lives and that is with the current number of parishioners they have now.  There is a two-lane highway with one short left turn lane that does not work now.  This is very serious concern and he has been told that nothing could be done about until the road was widened.  Approving this project will cause more traffic problems before it can be fixed.  Putting a person out there with a vest and helping people get in and out is not the solution.  The solution is getting a traffic pattern that works. 

Mr. Keesler replied that this issue is addressed in condition number 18 in exhibit "A".  The developer mentioned no improvements to Tangerine Road are going to be made, which is not entirely true.  If the traffic report requires lane widening and extension of left turn lanes they will be required to be constructed by the developer.  Traffic conditions must be safe.  

Chairman Swope asked if the recommended improvements will be made by the Town.  Mr. Keesler replied that the developer would be required to construct the improvements as part of their development of the site. 

Pastor Liam Leahy, resident, said the church is bursting at seams and currently has a modular type temporary building.  The parish estimates twenty-two percent of Oro Valley residents are of the Catholic faith and he was here tonight on their behalf. 

Mark Pineus, resident, said his family work brought him to Oro Valley, but he made the decision to live in Oro Valley because of the community and he was very impressed with St. Mark Roman Catholic Church.  For Roman Catholics, the height and architecture of the church is important as it is lifts their spirits and raises them closer to God. 

Phil Hernandez, resident, said he understands the concerns of residents in regards to change and growth, especially if it affects views and generates additional traffic.  There is an opportunity here to have a wonderful church and a gateway into Oro Valley and a place for community gathering.  

John Lonien, resident, said there is not enough room in the church to sit.  The lighting was not an issue, it was so dark that he was unable to find the entrance the other night.  He asked the Commission to consider if it is needed here in Oro Valley.

MOTION: A motion was made by Vice Chair Cox and seconded by Commissioner La Master to Approve with the conditions set forth in Exhibit "A" OV910-02, request for approval of the rezoning for St. Mark Church.


Commissioner Caine stated the development will dominate the landscape and believes the intent stated in the General Plan was to preserve the landscape.  Several speakers spoke about the building and the intent to dominate the landscape and he has no real feeling on what the development is going to look like.  He is leaning towards not recommending it because he is unsure of what it is going to look like. 

Chairman Swope commented that another option was to ask for a continuance and conduct a more in depth visual analysis. 

Commissioner Large commented it is this Commission’s responsibility to look at the land use and how appropriate it is for this location and she is not sure if anyone on the Commission has a good grasp on what the Tangerine Road corridor will look like in a few years.  This is a major corridor where traffic will be focused and where intense development should be.  A church can be an intense use, especially certain days of the week.  She can see Tangerine Road supporting more intense uses.  When Tangerine Road is widened, it will have a right of way comparable to Interstate 10.  She can understand the Braun family concerns, there will inevitably be more intense land uses along Tangerine Road in the future. 

Commissioner La Master commented that he believes the time to talk about the restriction of use on the property should have been at the time of sale, instead of waiting until now.

Vice-Chair Cox commented that he spent close to two hours walking the site from one corner to the other.  There is absolutely no doubt that this project is going to have an effect on the views to the north, but agrees with Commissioner La Master on his comment about the restrictions at the time of sale.  Architecturally the design of the church is great, he has no concerns that the Town is not complying with the dark sky lighting code. 

Commissioner Buette commented that Tangerine Road is going to be major corridor and, of all the things that could be built along this corridor, this project is something we will be proud of as opposed to a big box store. 

Commissioner Napier commented that he endorses this project and believes the applicant has made thoughtful concessions and has tried to be as accommodating as possible to the desires of the neighborhood.  We need to consider this church as a community asset.

Chairman Swope commented that this project seems to be consistent with the Tangerine Corridor vision and is consistent with the General Plan.  He would prefer a church to other potential uses.  He was dismayed that there were five additional conditions and two amendments being proposed while the Commission is deliberating.  The only issue that might have some merit would be consideration of a twenty-sixth condition of prohibiting clearing of vegetation for temporary parking.   

Commissioner Caine asked if the forty-five foot building height is a given or is still subject to design review approval.  Mr. Williams responded that the base height was twenty five foot, but the zone allows an additional ten feet subject to design review approval.  The steeple or tower can be forty-five feet tall.  The Commission’s recommendation tonight will go forward to Town Council and if approved by Council, gain approval from the design review body would they be required for the additional ten feet.

Mr. Keesler commented that the zoning code requires a hardened dust free surface for temporary grading.  The applicant is required to get permits to support the actual parking for the church itself.  Temporary parking lots would not work within the framework of the development plan, there is a maximum and minimum parking requirement per the code. 

MOTION carried, 7-0.

Planning Division Manager Update

David Williams, Oro Valley Planning Division Manager, presented the manager’s update:

- ESL was unanimously approved by Council on February 16th.
- Public Art Code that came before the Planning Commission in January will go to Council on March 2nd.
- Updated Sign Code will go before the Council on March 2nd.
- Potential LA Fitness at the northeast corner of Oracle Rd. and Hardy.
- Community Academy agenda for spring classes has been published on the Planning Division website.
- Conceptual Design Review Board code amendments are currently being drafted.
- Next Planning Commission meeting is April 5th.
- Publication of zoning interpretations item is on the April 5th agenda.


Future Agenda Items

Vice Chair Cox stated he would like to see an update of the work plan.

MOTION: A motion was made by Commissioner Buette and seconded by Vice Chair Cox to Adjourn

MOTION carried, 7-0.