Call to Order AT 6:00 P.M.
*Continued: Public Hearing, Hawk Holdings LLC., represented by The WLB Group, requests approval of a Major General Plan Amendment and change to the Town Urban Growth Boundary for a 127 acre area located west of Kingair Drive and south of West Tortolita Circle and Rancho Vistoso Neighborhood 11 to potentially develop Phase 9 of the Stone Canyon Subdivision, OV11-07-02.
Chair Bergman stated that there is a memo from staff indicating they have not had enough time to prepare any revised staff report regarding this item and they are asking that this be continued to another special meeting on October 13, 2008, at the Town Hall Council Chambers. There are a number of speaker cards turned in that can be held until October 13, when this item will be heard.
Items given to the clerk will be in the record from the airpark.
MOTION: Commissioner McKee MOVED to continue Stone Canyon 9, Major General Plan Amendment, OV11-07-02, until the special meeting on October 13, 2008. Vice Chair Reddin seconded the motion. Motion carried 6:0.
Chair Bergman moved item #5 to before item #4 as the applicant for #4 has not yet arrived.
Decision on Reconsideration of Commission recommendation on Rancho Vistoso Neighborhood 5 Major General Plan Amendment. (Should the Commission decide to reconsider, the actual reconsideration will be on October 7, 2008)
Chair Bergman asked staff to put Rancho Vistoso NH5 Major General Plan Amendment on the agenda because some Commission members had indicated that they might want to reopen for further discussion.
MOTION: Commissioner Merry MOVED to reconsider the vote of last Friday night regarding the Major General Plan Amendment for Rancho Vistoso NH5, OV11-08-04, continued to October 13. Commissioner Adler seconded the motion. Motion carried 6:0.
Public Hearing: Skyline Ridge LLC., represented by The WLB Group, requests approval of a Minor General Plan Amendment for the property located in proximity to the southwest corner of Oracle Road and Hardy Road, OV11-08-02.
David Ronquillo, Senior Planner, gave the staff report. One neighbor called to express opposition to the land use change.
Questions from Commissioners and staff’s response:
- Explain the rational behind the decision to change to this to a minor amendment.
Response: General Plan (GP) policies have specific criteria. By limiting the southern portion to less than 5 acres, it was reduced to minor. It is contiguous to like areas to the north. Based on that it was determined to be a minor amendment.
- Like existing land use categories is plural, so it is not just one, but any contiguous property. It is questionable whether minor amendment requirements have been met or not.
- How was it decided the hotel was the use that will be used and will be compatible?
Response: It has not been determined that the use will be a boutique hotel. The applicant has mentioned that is the owner’s intent. Staff’s analysis has not been based on that use. It could be a range of uses. Staff hasn’t narrowed the permitted use to a hotel. Changing the land use designation from low density residential to neighborhood commercial opens the door for everything.
- How did staff decide to recommend it without any limitations on the lack of compatibility should any other use be the actual use?
Response: Staff’s justification is based on if the use was changed to NHC it could be anything. It is up to the Commission to determine use, specifically if it is not a hotel, could it be anything else, and whether we provided enough technical information in the report to state that.
Applicant Paul Oland, WLB Group, gave his report. Staff’s presentation covered all the facts very well. This property location on Oracle is key to what we are asking for. The removal of the MDR area in the south is a significant change in the proposal and eliminates access problems and wash issues. There is not a lot of developable area within the amendment area. The GP clearly envisions a commercial and high density residential corridor along Oracle. A portion of the property to the north is already zoned commercial. This proposal, as an expansion of the area to the north and cutting off the area to the south, makes sense. The NCO designation in the GP is appropriate for areas along major arterials but development should be compatible with surrounding uses. Oracle Road Scenic Corridor Overlay District (ORSCOD) places a lot of restrictions on the area. By preserving the wash intact, and by the height limitations that are in place on the parcel, the proposal makes sense as an expansion of commercial rather than letting the existing commercial develop as a smaller center, leaving it as a awkward, isolated piece of low density residential on Oracle Road. There are apartments to the north and townhomes to the south. The greatest sensitivity exists to the west. Traffic will be analyzed. Washes will be preserved. ADOT will approve any roads.
Questions from Commissioners and Applicant’s response:
- Why did the applicant choose the commercial route instead of high density residential (HDR)?
Response: 1. His client owns everything up to Hardy and seeks to expand that. 2. Regarding the market, anything non-residential is better than a medium density residential proposal. Apartments or townhomes typically are taller, involve development of the entire site and generate more traffic. HDR use would be more intense than what is being proposed.
- Interested in language suggestion that might help mitigate possible incompatibility of a commercial use adjacent to residential designations to the west. Add to the comment on the condition to provide assurance that development and design characteristics "will be consistent with residential scale", including individual building pads verses attached, continuous building units, separated by landscaping, low profile architecture, low impact lighting. Is there anything that could be added that might assure the neighbors behind that it would be a residential scale, meaning a like neighborhood design, so it won’t look like a commercial development?
Response: From an intensity standpoint, we are in agreement. Applicant is comfortable with residential scale.
- Residential scale needs some additional definition, i.e.: separate building pads as opposed to attached pads, separation with landscaping, low impact architecture, low impact lighting, etc.
Response: Language should be crafted that would prohibit a strip retail center, considering height, mass, breaking up mass of larger buildings, where on site, visual screening, landscaping, and a 50 foot strip along western edge.
- It appears the actual adjustment effects one homeowner on the western side of property.
- With this NCO designation, it could be rezoned to NHC or C1. C1 is the only designation that would allow a hotel. Would it be acceptable to put a condition in that if zoned to C1, the only allowed use would be the hotel?
Response: He would rather not. If this is amended to NCO, we would have to follow up with a rezoning getting extremely specific with the use on the Tentative Development Plan. If specific language was attached to this, it would be all the more critically reviewed during the process.
PUBLIC HEARING opened at 6:56 p.m.
Robert Slate, OV resident, suggested that the vacant land on the southwest corner of Oracle and Hardy be used as a park.
Anne Keshishian, OV resident, was concerned they have yet to designate Hardy and Northern where they want to put a roundabout. She objected to having a boutique hotel with an open school campus one block away. Make it smaller individual sections for seniors or winter visitors. Don’t want a restaurant there, which would bring more packrats, lights at night, and more traffic.
James Greenberg, OV resident, was concerned about kind of commercial use that would go there and the impact from: traffic, loss of access, lighting, effect on property values. He was less opposed to something that looks more residential.
Kent Barrabee, OV resident, was concerned about the increase in traffic and safety, and mitigation of smell if a fast food restaurant went in.
Nancy Blodgett, OV resident, was concerned about an increase in traffic and access. We don't need more hotels or buildings. It would be nice if it could stay as is.
David Deivert, OV resident. What is the sense of having a General Plan (GP) if we keep changing it? This development doesn’t meet any of the GP criteria. A hotel would not be good because of traffic and transients. We already have empty office buildings. Views will be destroyed.
Patrick Foley, OV resident. Questioned whether property at Hardy and Oracle is larger than the property to be developed across the street. The property is developable. The property to the south was classified not to be developed in the GP. GP had it correct to design a smaller development on the corner and to preserve it.
Sharon Wilson, OV resident, was concerned that a hotel is coming up again in a smaller area with more traffic. She is in opposition of commercial.
Mary Broadbent, OV resident, was concerned this property is to be sold. Why is the designation of the property changing before being purchased by whoever will develop it? Is this just for the benefit of the seller?
PUBLIC HEARING closed at 7:14 p.m.
Questions from Commissioners and response:
- Patrick Foley spoke of a no development situation. Does that exist?
Response from Ms. More: Some of that property will be undevelopable due to riparian designation.
- What about the potential traffic circle?
Response from Mr. Keesler: The traffic circle is a Public Works project for mitigation of the intersection of Hardy and Oracle, not a part of this development.
- What about the property being on the market for sale?
Response from Mr. Oland: My client does have the property on the market.
- Comment on the hotel being designated for extended stay only, more like an apartment.
Response from Mr. Oland: That is contrary to what the applicant is thinking. This is not going to be breeding grounds for transients. The cost of the property and developing it will necessitate a higher rent. This will not be a slum type development.
- The solution to this property is to try to come up with conditions to manage the ultimate design so as to mitigate concerns. The term residential scale needs an exact definition.
Response from Ms. More: There are ways to do this that is very definitive and/or subjective. Consider mass, scale, floor area ratios, architectural review, height, no large blank walls, single story, etc., and leave it up to the determination of P&Z in a rezoning or DRB in architecture or site design review. She was not opposed to the wording residential scale.
- We need to satisfy ourselves as well as the residents. Rather than denying, we should come up with language that manages scale, so when rezoning occurs there is guidance.
- Would like some kind of assurance that if this amendment is approved that property will be developed as a unit with the adjoining piece. Can a condition to be added to that effect?
Response from Ms. More: Yes.
- Regarding access only from Oracle Road, the preference would be from Hardy. If properties were combined they wouldn’t be able to get in there.
Response from Mr. Keesler: The reason for that wording was the initial proposal did not include the northern piece. It was to prohibit access to south. If both pieces were combined and developed as one piece, ADOT would determine the Oracle access. OV would determine the Hardy access. It would all be dependent upon a traffic analysis. The condition could be withdrawn.
- Only a small amount of the parcel is developable. There are many homes with a lot size of 27,000 square feet within 1/2 miles of the site, so where does that leave us?
Response from Ms. More: To clarify, scale is typically a part of architectural analysis. Typically massing and scale are similar to what is surrounding. Even though it appears to be a vague concept, there are ways to implement that, i.e., limiting floor area of buildings that are attached, requiring separations, and
jogging of frontages.
- The Commission needs to understand whether this will apply to adjacent property as well. Is there some way to tie these two properties together?
Response from Ms. More: The way to do that would be when the property to north, that is not currently zoned, comes in for rezoning. There is a piece of that property that is not C-1, but is designated in the GP as NCO, which still needs rezoning.
Attorney Andrews said those properties are not part of this application, so it could not be done today.
Break from 7:35 p.m. to 7:49 p.m. for staff to be able to craft additional language to cover the residential scale wording.
Staff suggested the following be added to the suggested motion: "In addition to the recommended conditions, staff recommends that development criteria for this site include a limit of .25 floor area ratio, 25% open space, an 18 foot height limit across the entire site, a buffer yard of 50 feet along the western property line adjacent to residential uses, that the property must be developed in conjunction with the property to the north, services area must be screened from visibility to the west, hours of trash pickup limited between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m., that the design of the property be to a pedestrian scale per the Town’s design guidelines with attention to courtyards, doors and windows, and architectural details, that the design be coordinated if it involves multiple buildings to achieve visual compatibility, and we further suggest that that be as determined by the Development Review Board, and we also recommend that condition 2b from Public Works be deleted, which limits the access to Oracle Road so the Oracle Road only limitation be removed."
Chair Bergman reminded the Commission that this in a minor general plan amendment.
Questions and comments from Commission and response:
- How big is the developable area after the SRA is taken out?
Response: 2.78 acres.
- Did the conditions Ms. More suggested refer to pedestrian scale rather than residential scale?
Response by Ms. More: Yes, because we don’t have an existing design guideline for residential scale for commercial development. It will be a subjective decision.
- What would pedestrian scale provide?
Response by Ms. More: No large blank expanses of walls that look commercial, doors and windows evenly spaced, courtyards, and a lower facade.
- The suggested wording doesn’t require individual buildings. If the design includes multiple buildings it is important to include whatever the uses are to avoid a strip mall look.
Response from Ms. More: Add to the motion: The project design shall include multiple buildings, to avoid a continuous row of buildings facing the street.
- Did the 25% Open Space include the setback from Oracle Road and the 50 foot buffer?
Response from Ms. More: Yes, that came from the Zoning Code restrictions for the CN zone. There will be well over 25% given the characteristics of this property because the ORSCOD buffer yard, the riparian area and the buffer yard in the back will all count towards that calculation.
- When you look at the size of property and take parking into consideration, there may only be one building on this site.
Response from Ms. More: It has to be designed in conjunction with properties to the north. We would anticipate a series of buildings through the two parcels. Multiple means more than one.
- The floor area ratio was .25. What does that give for buildable space?
Response from Ms. More: 1.2 acres which is less than half of the buildable area shown on the map.
Attorney Andrews said this forces it to be developed north and south continuously, because it gets to the point where the rest is needed to make it viable.
- Are these requirements things the applicant can live with?
Response from Mr. Oland: So far everything is compatible with what they are envisioning. The multiple buildings requirements may be achievable given it is developed with the rest of it. While we amending this piece specifically, a lot of these conditions are attainable only with both pieces.
MOTION: Commissioner Adler MOVED to recommend approval that Town Council approve OV11-08-02, the WLB Group’s request for approval of a minor General Plan amendment to change the land use designation from Low Density Residential to Neighborhood Commercial/Office with the conditions in Exhibit A, Exhibit B less the condition 2b requiring Oracle Road access, and Exhibit C, and adding the condition as stated by the Planning Director for pedestrian scale design of ultimate use of these two parcels. (Planning Director’s conditions: In addition to the recommended conditions, staff recommends that development criteria for this site include a limit of .25 floor area ratio, 25% open space, an 18 foot height limit across the entire site, a buffer yard of 50 feet along the western property line adjacent to residential uses, that the property must be developed in conjunction with the property to the north, services area must be screened from visibility to the west, hours of trash pickup limited between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m., that the design of the property be to a pedestrian scale per the Town’s design guidelines with attention to courtyards, doors and windows, and architectural details, that the design be coordinated if it involves multiple buildings to achieve visual compatibility, and we further suggest that that be as determined by the Development Review Board, and we also recommend that condition 2b from Public Works be deleted, which limits the access to Oracle Road so the Oracle Road only limitation be removed. The project design shall include multiple buildings, to avoid a continuous row of buildings facing the street.) Commissioner Merry seconded the motion.
Commissioner McKee said this proposal is an infill position with a chunk that is not compatible with Oracle Road. The applicant has chosen commercial because that is what is next to it. Whether the conditions have been met is marginal, but you need to bend a bit. Market demand is okay. Impact to the neighborhood has been mitigated. As for the change in conditions requirement, there may not have been any changes. Oracle Road has always had commercial and high density residential. He will support the motion.
Vice Chair Reddin said we are not at a specific design criteria at this point. We are looking at land use and how it relates to each other. He would like to see them come back at the zoning juncture where we get specific on what is actually going to happen here. At this point, it is a good compatible use with the Oracle Road area.
Commissioner Merry said at some point residential properties need be adjoined with major thoroughfares. Residential at curb line is not an appropriate transition. Using an NCO designation between Oracle Road and the adjacent residential is an appropriate transition use. CN use will not allow multi-story apartments to be built. This land use will create a must less intense development. This leaves the wash in a natural state. If this becomes a boutique hotel, these will not be people to be afraid of them. He supports this.
Commissioner Adler said he will support this. He has observed GP amendments over the years and this is one that has been done properly. He thanked Ms. More, Mr. Oland and staff for crafting clear language on how this land will be designed. That should be reassuring to residents. GP’s can be amended and language addresses incompatibilities and concerns. This has been done with concern for adjoining neighbors.
Chair Bergman will support this amendment. She doesn’t believe it is reasonable to expect land such as this to remain vacant nor as low density residential. This is keeping with the overall pattern of development in the area. This gives us an opportunity to get a better development by having parcels developed as a unit rather than piecemeal.
Call for the motion: Motion carried 6:0.
MOTION: Commissioner Merry MOVED to adjourn the meeting. Vice Chair Reddin seconded the motion. Motion carried 6:0.
The meeting adjourned at 8:11 p.m.