MINUTES
ORO VALLEY PLANNING AND ZONING COMMISSION
REGULAR SESSION
December 5, 2017
ORO VALLEY COUNCIL CHAMBERS
11000 N. LA CA√ĎADA DRIVE
 
REGULAR SESSION AT OR AFTER 6:00 PM

CALL TO ORDER

Chair Hurt called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m.

ROLL CALL

PRESENT:
Charlie Hurt, Chair
Melanie Barrett, Vice Chair
Tom Drzazgowski, Commissioner
Bob Swope, Commissioner
Thomas Gribb, Commissioner
Greg Hitt, Commissioner
Don Cox, Commissioner

ALSO PRESENT:
Planning Manager Bayer Vella
Council Liaison Bill Rodman

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

Chair Hurt led the Commission and the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance.

CALL TO AUDIENCE - at this time, any member of the public is allowed to address the Commission on any issue not listed on today’s agenda. Pursuant to the Arizona open meeting law, individual Commission members may ask Town staff to review the matter, ask that the matter be placed on a future agenda, or respond to criticism made by speakers. However, the Commission may not discuss or take legal action on matters raised during "Call to Audience." In order to speak during "Call to Audience", please specify what you wish to discuss when completing the blue speaker card.

There were no speaker requests.

COUNCIL LIAISON COMMENTS

Council Liaison Bill Rodman did not have any comments.

REGULAR SESSION AGENDA

1.

REVIEW AND APPROVAL OF THE NOVEMBER 8, 2017 REGULAR SESSION MEETING MINUTES


11-8-17 Minutes

Commissioner Swope requested the 11-8-2017 minutes be amended on Items 4A and 4B to reflect his reason for opposing the vote. Commissioner Swope indicated that he was opposing the proposed amendment because Parcel 5-I would fully encroach into the Major Wildlife Linkage Category designation of the Environmentally Sensitive Lands Ordinance, which requires 100% natural open space preservation.

MOTION: A motion was made by Commissioner Cox and seconded by Commissioner Hitt to approve the minutes as amended.

MOTION carried, 7-0.
 
2.

PUBLIC HEARING: DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION ON A ZONING CODE AMENDMENT RELATED TO THE CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT REQUIREMENTS FOR UTILITY POLES, WIRES AND POLE MOUNTED EQUIPMENT AS OUTLINED IN SECTION 25.1.B.22 OF THE ZONING CODE, OV1700002.


Attachment 1 - Proposed Code Amendment

Attachment 2 - Current Zoning Provisions

Attachment 3 - Applicant’s Request

Attachment 4 - Increased Pole Height and Diameter Example

Attachment 5 - Support Pole Example

Atachment 6 -Pole Mounted Equipment Example

Senior Planner Rosevelt Arellano gave a presentation that included the following:

- Purpose
- Reasons for Request
- #1 and #2 Poles
- #3 Wires
- #4 Pole-mounted Equipment
- #5 Segment Replacement Length
- Temporary and Emergency Services
- Review Tools
- Summary and Recommendation

Key issues and questions raised by the Commission and addressed by staff:

- Has there been consideration as to how this might have an effect on the new changes in state law regarding cell towers?
- Where does the amendment focus on view conservation efforts along primary view corridors? 
- What is the timeline for a Conditional Use Permit under 5000 feet? Will the timeline stay as the twelve months currently indicated?
- The size of the pole mounted equipment is much larger than the example given.
- The segment length has changed from 2000 to 5000 feet from original staff report, as well as from 30% to 50% in pole height.
- Two proposed code amendment statements focused on visual impact have disappeared from the previous staff report.
- Will the lines still be higher on the tapered pole design?
- What does this amendment do for new poles?
- What does Oro Valley receive from this change? 
- If the lines are up higher, they are far more out of views, so height is important.
- Concerned about the statement made regarding getting something out of proposal before us. This is about updating the archaic code and there is a great deal of cost involved, the win are the savings.
- Clarified that the point made about "receiving something" was meant to understand where staff is coming from.

Applicant Todd Stockdale, representing Tucson Electric Power (TEP), provided a presentation that included the following:

- Application Purpose
- Consideration
- Emergency Clause
- 50% Pole Height
- Distribution: La Cholla Blvd Comparison
- Distribution: Old 4kV vs New 4kV on Lambert Lane & North Highland Drive
- 50% height change
- Pole Diameter and Self-supporting Poles
- Diameter Exception
- Wire Diameter
- Pole-mounted Equipment
      - Less than 480 cubic feet 
      - More than 480 cubic feet
- Pole Segment Replacement Length

Key issues and questions raised by the Commission and addressed by the applicant and staff:

- Can the pole mounted equipment be on the ground?
- What is the next smaller increment if the 480 cubic feet size is not approved?
- Does not recall encouraging TEP to go longer in the length at the last meeting.
- Explain why enforcement of the Conditional Use Permit is such a concern. 
- How many Conditional Use Permits do you apply for in a year?
- If the code is amended, would you be more willing to go through the process?
- How many complaints have been received about new poles in Oro Valley? What about the higher poles along La Canada?
 
Chair Hurt opened the public hearing.

There were no speakers. Chair Hurt noted the letter received in support of this agenda item by Oro Valley Chamber of Commerce President Dave Perry.

Chair Hurt closed the public hearing.

MOTION: A motion was made by Commissioner Hitt and seconded by Commissioner Drzazgowski to recommend approval of the Zoning Code Amendment in Attachment 1 related to reducing the Conditional Use Permit requirements for utility pole, wires and pole mounted equipment, based on the finding that the request conforms with the General Plan.

Vice Chair Barrett stated it was her opinion to continue this item for further discussion, including undergrounding, finding a new size for the equipment and greater scrutiny, shorter length closer to 2000 feet, any new lines/poles deserve neighbor input, like to see some obvious items not need go through the process and consider changing some cases where neighborhood meetings are not required. In the past three years, she has seen a movement toward less and less public input in the name of greater efficiency. Appreciates the need, but democracy is valuable.

Commissioner Swope stated he would support Vice Chair Barrett's input and would support that motion; he feels we have lost the visual impact oversight which has changed since the October meeting. Need to build resident input into the process.

Commissioner Drzazgowski stated he understands the concerns with new poles, but also talked through a Conditional Use Permit scenario for replacement poles. Steel poles are safer and the right thing to do. Public meetings are important, but we have to find the appropriate place for what is safe and right.

Commissioner Gribb stated the issue is that this amendment is an all or nothing. He has no issues with upgrades, but does with the new proposals.

Chair Hurt stated he is having difficulty with this amendment. Need to come to a place of maximum flexibility for both the Town and TEP. Confused by the 5000 feet as it doesn't go from traffic light to traffic light. It appears the numbers have been pulled out of thin air; would like to see better criteria for both quick approval and presentation to the Commission. There isn't any mention in this amendment regarding undergrounding.

Commissioner Hitt empathized with TEP's difficulty; undergrounding is an option, the question is who is going to pay for it. Very few residents in attendance at this Commission meeting probably shows it is not much of an issue.

MOTION failed, 3-4 with Chair Hurt, Vice Chair Barrett, Commissioner Swope, and Commissioner Gribb opposed.
 
MOTION: A motion was made by Chair Hurt and seconded by Commissioner Swope to refer this matter back to staff to work with TEP on more refined set of criteria by which determination can be made to administratively approve.

Commissioner Swope would like the motion to be more specific; it would be more helpful to staff if it included the concerns Vice Chair Barrett raised.

Vice Chair Barrett suggested brainstorming on what we would approve and what is more objectionable.

Commissioner Cox stated if we are going to ask staff and TEP to go through this process again, we should be very specific.

Chair Hurt stated he disagreed as it is not the Commission's role to set the numbers, but the negotiation between staff and TEP.

Commissioner Cox stated they already did that, but the Commission did not approve.

Chair Hurt responded that the numbers keep changing which bothers him as well as staff stating it is in the eye of the beholder.

Commissioner Drzazgowski would recommend being highly specific or having a Commissioner work with staff to provide direction.

MOTION: A motion was made by Vice Chair Barrett and seconded by Commissioner Swope to Amend to go back to the 2000 feet length, we allow bird guards to be put in, extra and larger wires are the thresholds suggested without conditional use permits, but there be a different measurement than the 480 cubic feet, new poles would require a conditional use permit and some set of criteria regarding visual impacts.

Commissioner Hitt asked that the motion be reread in its entirety for clarification.

Planning Manager Bayer Vella restated the points in the motion to continue this item to have the following additional issues addressed:
- find a new size for equipment below that is the 480 cubic feet
- address instances of brand new poles and have those be part of the Conditional Use Permit process
- reduce the length from 5000 to 2000 feet
- establish criteria to address visual impact
- the concepts of bird guards and 2-inch wire thickness are acceptable without review

Vice Chair Barrett stated that they didn't address height.

Commissioner Drzazgowski stated he will vote against this because he feels that the Commission is going too much into the weeds. He said he would support taking out new poles from this amendment, but questions why this should apply to replacement poles.

Commissioner Cox stated that based on the very few complaints received in years past, he rests his case.

Commissioner Hitt asked Commissioner Drzazgowski for clarification of new poles. He suggested a subcommittee of two Commissioners, one who voted for and one against.

Commissioner Swope asked if the creation of a subcommittee should be included in the motion.

Mr. Vella stated certainly it could be added to the motion or proceed with the motion to continue and ask the Chair to appoint two people.

MOTION carried, 4-3 with Commissioner Drzazgowski, Commissioner Hitt, and Commissioner Cox opposed.
 
3.

DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION TO INITIATE ZONING CODE AMENDMENTS PERTAINING TO "SMALL" CELLULAR COMMUNICATION FACILITIES TO ENSURE COMPLIANCE WITH RECENT CHANGES TO STATE LAW


Planning Manager Bayer Vella stated this is a request to initiate moving the regulation from the Zoning Code to Town Code based on state law changes. Regulations will remain the same; this is more of administrative component to keep up with state law.

MOTION: A motion was made by Commissioner Cox and seconded by Vice Chair Barrett to initiate zoning code amendments pertaining to "small" cellular communication facilities to ensure compliance with recent changes to state law.

MOTION carried, 7-0.
 
4.

DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE ACTION TO INITIATE ZONING CODE AMENDMENTS PERTAINING TO REZONING PROTESTS AND IMPACT ON TOWN COUNCIL VOTING REQUIREMENTS TO ENSURE COMPLIANCE WITH RECENT CHANGES TO STATE LAW


Planning Manager Bayer Vella stated based on changes to state law, it is necessary to change our code to reflect the language of the new state law.

MOTION: A motion was made by Commissioner Cox and seconded by Vice Chair Barrett to initiate zoning code amendments pertaining to rezoning protests and impact on Town Council voting requirements to ensure compliance with recent changes to state law.

MOTION carried, 7-0.
 
PLANNING UPDATE (INFORMATIONAL ONLY)

Planning Manager Bayer Vella provided the following updates:

- The volunteer appreciation dinner is Thursday, December 14, please RSVP by Monday, December 11
- All four General Plan Amendments will be considered by Town Council tomorrow, December 6
- The next Commission meeting is scheduled for January 9, 2018
- Four upcoming neighborhood meetings

ADJOURNMENT

Chair Hurt adjourned the meeting at 7:30 p.m.

Prepared by:


Jeanna Ancona
Senior Office Specialist

I hereby certify that the foregoing minutes are a true and correct copy of the regular session Planning and Zoning Commission meeting of Oro Valley, Arizona held on the 5th day of December, 2017. I further certify that the meeting was duly called and held and that a quorum was present.