Matt Michels, Senior Planner presented item #1, providing the features and photos of Innovation Park. He emphasized that several bio science firms have their global headquarters at that park. The proposed zoning amendment involves creating an environment that is competitive in economic development for the town. Economic development tools within this amendment include the opportunity to efficiently streamline the process in addition to looking after the interests of businesses and adjoining neighborhoods to maintain a vibrant community. The amendment would allow development plans within the park to be approved by staff and eliminate the need for neighborhood meetings and CDRB/Town Council meetings. The process would not be available for any rezoning, conditional use permit nor any property within 600 feet of developed residential. The amendment is expected to increase employment opportunities; attract, retain and grow the bio science industry in the town; and develop and market distinctive Oro Valley brands--highlighting bio science. The goal is to give back time and degree of certainty with a streamlined process to stand out from other competing towns. Public outreach and input are part of the goals for stakeholder suggestions and public concerns. Option "A" was recommended by the stakeholders group, while option "B" represents Town Council direction.
Staff recommended approval of the proposed amendment.
Chair Swope opened the public hearing.
The following members of the public spoke regarding the proposal:
Oro Valley resident John Musolf: he believes in public outreach and he opposes the proposal.
Oro Valley resident Bill Adler: he believes financial incentives for new businesses are a better motivator than the streamlining proposal.
President/CEO of Oro Valley Chamber of Commerce and resident Dave Perry: he supports the proposal because he believes industry and jobs create growth and demand for housing.
Chair Swope closed the public hearing.
Commissioner Cox inquired about the length of time to process an application, staff review and outside agencies involvement--given the 11 weeks of time saved with the proposal.
David Williams, Planning Manager, advised that a citizen can approach council and request a review and it takes two (2) council members to put the topic on a future agenda and a majority vote would be required by council.
Paul Keesler, Director, indicated there would be less involvement by the County due to simple notification to them. Also, there are no delays from the two-month process. Administrative approval is a minor portion and rendered in days. Staff is already doing this review regardless of size. Approval is quicker if code requirements are met.
Matt Michels, Senior Planner, indicated there were no financial incentives for the process. Staff would come up with stipulations if needed. Other towns don’t have the Conceptual Design Review Board (CDRB) to assist with a streamlining process.
Commissioner Leedy confirmed there would be three (3) months of time saved with the proposal vs. 6-8 months in a normal schedule in comparison to other towns competing with the town.
David Williams, Planning Manager, mentioned three (3) letters from the public were received and provided those letters to the Commissioners at the meeting.
Commissioner Rodman and Cox agree with the proposal.
Chair Swope discussed the public outreach aspect.
Commssioner Leedy believes the rules are already there so involving the public may not be necessary. He supports the motion as proposed.
Commissioner Buette believes there’s a cost savings to the town and businesses will benefit from a faster approval process and will make the town more competitive with other towns. He supports the proposal.
Motion passes 6/0
David Williams, Planning Manager, presented the following Planning Update:
On August 28, 2012 there was a neighborhood meeting regarding a proposed U-Haul operation out of the Ace Hardware store at 1st Avenue and Tangerine where a family of three (3) came and had concerns about views and screening. The date of the next step in the process hasn’t been determined yet.
There will be neighborhood meetings on September 13, 2012 regarding the Tohono Chul Planned Area Development (PAD) in conjunction with the proposed annexation and rights being reserved regarding zoning. The town will have two (2) public hearings on September 18th and on October 2nd.
A neighborhood meeting for a major general plan amendment for the Desert Springs project will occur on September 20, 2012 at 6:00 p.m. at Council Chambers.
A special meeting to hear the Tohono Chul PAD and the Fry’s gas station will be on the agenda in 2 weeks.
Another major general plan amendment involves the energy element that will be coming before commissioners later this fall and the town is in the public outreach portion of that which includes meetings with SAHBA (Southern Arizona Home Builders Association) and the MPA Group. A community outreach meeting is planned for September 18, 2012 at 6:00 p.m. at the library. Other outreach meetings will be at Sun City in September and Rancho Vistoso on October 4, 2012.
Mr. Adler, resident, discussed a review of the general plans and the responsibilities of the Call to Audience participants.
Commissioner Cox wanted a future discussion on the procedure regarding interaction with the audience.
MOTION: A motion was made by Commissioner
and seconded by Commissioner
adjourn the meeting