Chair Swope swore in Ron Jackson of Curry Architecture.
Mr. Jackson stated that the proposal encompassed:
~a 111 suite retirement residence targeted for ages 55 and older.
~104,000 square feet
~7 duplexes with full kitchens
He noted that the property was zoned as R-4.
Mr. Jackson stated the following:
~The suites would have a sink, refrigerator and microwave.
~The Oro Valley Zoning Code did not define the term "full kitchen."
~The fire marshal preferred that the suites should not have full kitchens.
~The community would have a communal dining room and a full kitchen for residents to cook their own meals.
Mr. Jackson requested that the Board define the term, "full kitchen".
It was clarified that:
~Residents could cook in the kitchenettes.
~Other properties by this owner were not equipped with microwaves.
*The owner would install microwaves in the kitchenettes if it would meet the requirement for a full kitchen.
Zoning Inspector Patty Hayes presented the Staff report. She stated that:
~The R-4 zoning designation allowed mature adult retirement quarters.
*The Oro Valley Zoning Code Revised defined Mature Adult Retirement Quarters
-One or more residential buildings containing multiple dwelling units; each of which has
sleeping quarters, a full kitchen and bath.
-Intended for and limited to occupancy by adults who are able to live independently and do not require skilled medical care, nor routine ongoing assistance with the activities of daily living.
-Facilities must include areas for communal dining and group activities.
~The proposal is to build the facility without kitchens in some of the units.
~The proposal would be classified as Land Use Category had the Zoning Codeâ€™s definition of Mature Adult Retirement Quarters not noted "full kitchen".
~The property owner requested that the Board overturn the Planning and Zoning Directorâ€™s interpretation of Mature Adult Retirement Quarters.
~This case was not a request for re-zoning, building height change or setback adjustment
~Public comment has been limited to inquiries.
Vice Chair Christopher questioned Ms. Moreâ€™s interpretation citing the letter she sent to the applicant. He noted that the letter stated that the inability to prepare meals in individual units did not meet the definition of actual use though the definition specified that communal dining be available. Ms. More stated that she interpreted the intent of the definition; that both communal and full kitchen were noted therefore both elements must be available options for the residents.
Discussion noted the following:
~There was not an available category for this situation.
~Some of the terminology for various types of dwellings was outdated.
~The applicantâ€™s situation is in a gray area.
~The following elements categorize a full kitchen:
*Gas piping to accept a stove and an oven
Chair Swope opened the public hearing at 3:22 p.m. There being no speakers, he closed the hearing.
Mr. Jackson stated that this was the only zoning code that fit the community. He noted that he was not seeking a variance, just a definition for full kitchen.
Chair Swope reminded the audience and Board Members of the criteria for approval of the appeal.
MOTION: A motion was made by Member Hickey and seconded by Member Fields to uphold the decision of the Planning and Zoning Director's decision.
Vice Chair Christopher stated his reservations about upholding the decision due to the Townâ€™s lack of a definition for full kitchen in the Zoning Code. He stated that if the occupants were able to cook their own meals and sustain their independent living in every other facet then this request should be allowed.
Member Fields cited that the applicantâ€™s website used the term "kitchenettes," which by admission notes that they are not full kitchens.
Member Hickey stated that the issue should be brought before Council for definition. He concurred with the Planning and Zoning Directorâ€™s interpretation.
Chair Swope stated that he agreed with Ms. More, though he was sympathetic to the position of the applicant. He encouraged Staff to work toward a definition as many seniors fall in between the categories of assisted and independent living.
Vice Chair Christopher stated that he did not feel the Town adequately supported its position due to the fact that a definition was not offered. He noted that this decision deprived the owner of the use of the property.
MOTION carried, 3-1 with Vice-Chair Christopher opposed.