Town Council Study Session
February 11, 2009
CALL TO ORDER - at 5:30 p.m.


Paul Loomis, Mayor
K.C. Carter, Vice Mayor
Paula Abbott, Council Member
Bill Garner, Council Member
Barry Gillaspie, Council Member
Al Kunisch, Council Member
Salette Latas, Council Memmber

Council Member Abbott attended via telephone.

Historic Preservation Commission Roll Call:
Robert Baughman
Daniel Zwiener
Sam McClung
Lois Nagy
Patrick Foley
Valerie Pullara
Patricia Spoerl


Discussion of Cultural Resources Inventory with the Historic Preservation Commission

Planning Administrator Paul Popelka presented the item. He stated that there were two specific goals in the General Plan that drove the Historic Preservation Commission (HPC):
~Cultural Resource Protection
~Community Education

He informed Council of the duties the Preservation Code requires of the Commission:
~Maintain and enforce the code
~Identify, promote and register landmarks and districts in the Town
  *Currently in the process of registering Steam Pump Ranch
~Survey of significant resources
  *Most important aspect of the commission along with informing and educating the public
    -Promote appreciation for Oro Valley's heritage

He presented the reasons for conducting a resources inventory:
~Identify cultural resources; historic and pre-historic
~Create community awareness
~Aid community planning

He stated that the project would consist of:
~Archival research
  *The Environmentally Sensitive Land Ordinance (ESLO) team would research the archeological resources
  *Historic Commission’s consultant would conduct the records research for historic resources.

He stated that when the research is complete, an historic narrative would be created. He stated that all of the resources would be catalogued, though the consultant would help the commission to determine the most significant sites.

He explained that the survey would also create a preservation plan to include:
~How to maintain properties
~Determine the condition of the sites

Mr. Popelka stated that:
~Public outreach was important throughout the entire process
~Two open house forums would be scheduled
~A road show could be developed to display the history
~A public meeting would be scheduled with Council to review the results of the final study
~Council had budgeted $50,000 for this project
~Project completion time was projected at 6-8 months
~Selection of a consultant would be brought before the HPC in March
~The first open house would be in summer 2009
~The intent is to complete as much a possible in the 2008/2009 fiscal year

Chair Baughman noted that there is no final survey as it would be a living document.

Discussion noted the following:
~Delay the survey until the current economic climate improves.
  *Historic sites and resources could continue to disappear if not identified and designated.
~Much of the work conducted by the ESLO team would cut the costs for this project
~Archival research will go beyond Town boundaries for the Planning area noted in the 2005 General Plan.
~The survey would need to be kept current by the HPC.
~This inventory is designed to find sites and resources that are not obvious as a piece of history; sites whose value that could easily be overlooked.
~The historical society will have volunteers to carry forward the work conducted by the consultant.
~Historic designation is voluntary.
~Proposition 207 would regulate the ability of government to affect vested development rights on private property
~Identification of properties would not prohibit owners to exercise of their vested rights on their property.
~The Town can acquire from the owner a conservation easement or other development restrictions with appropriate compensation to the owner.
  *Or through condemnation in order to acquire and preserve the property.
~The timing of this survey would be important to the Arroyo Grande Annexation.
  *Identify important sites prior to development.
~The Federal guideline for determination of historic importance is 50 years.
  *Cultural events can take place that pre-empts the age of a property.
~The intent is to compile and catalog all potentially historic areas in and around the Town.
  *Newer developments would not need to be reviewed.
~Findings will be brought to the public for input regarding what is considered to be significant.

Chair Baughman explained that buying historic properties was not the norm for designating properties. He noted that property owners usually request historic designation as there are benefits associated with designation. He stated that property owners would be made aware of the benefits and limitations. He noted that the designation and limitations carry forward to future owners.

It was noted that in order to lift the designation, the property owner would need to request such an action from the Town. 


MOTION: A motion was made by Council Member Kunisch and seconded by Vice Mayor Carter to adjourn the Joint Study Session at 6:32 p.m.

MOTION carried, 7-0.


CALL TO ORDER - at 6:43 p.m.


Paul Loomis, Mayor
K.C. Carter, Vice Mayor
Paula Abbott, Council Member
Bill Garner, Council Member
Barry Gillaspie, Council Member
Al Kunisch, Council Member
Salette Latas, Council Memmber

Council Member Abbott attended via telephone.


Discussion of Environmentally Sensitive Lands Project Status

Planning and Zoning Director Sarah More introduced the ESLO team:
~Bayer Vella, Project Manager
~Karen Berchtold, Assistant Project Manager
~David Williams, Willdan
~Lori Woods, RECON Environmental
~Mary Davis, Public Outreach and Facilitation
~Howard Ward, TerraSystems Southwest   
~Steve Moore, GIS Coordination  

Senior Planner Bayer Vella explained that environmentally sensitive lands encompassed four elements:
~Sonoran Desert ecosystem
~Scenic Resources
~Open space
~Cultural resources

Mr. Vella stated that these aspects must be taken into consideration when creating a plan and the ordinance. He explained that policy development and zoning requirements were necessary to synergize these elements to create effective resource preservation.

He stated that the current General Plan would be the starting point due to the compilation of the studies and surveys already conducted. He noted that the Arroyo Grande General Plan amendment process was a critical component. He stated that the focus was to take all of the policies and move toward implementation.

He noted that the Town had documented goals and policies that direct the Town toward preservation.

Mr. Vella introduced David Williams of Willdan. Mr. Williams explained that the ESL team was comprised of local people that understood Oro Valley. He stated that the team was supplemented by Town support in order to reduce Town costs. He noted that Communications Administrator Mary Davis will handle the public outreach. He stated that GIS Analyst Steve Moore would assist Howard Ward of TerraSystems Southwest, Inc. with mapping.

Mr. Williams stated that the team will begin where the Town’s policy ends.

He introduced Lori Woods to present RECON’s primary functions with the technical steps of the process:
~Review and refine definitions for Significant Resource Area (SRA)
  *Go out in the field and review the current mapping and identify new areas of significance
~Geographic focus 
  *Areas identified for potential future rezoning
    -Arroyo Grande
    -An additional smaller parcel
   *Members of her team will walk 40 miles in order to create and refine SRA’s
~Participate in discussions and advise the Technical Advisory Committee.
~RECON’s goal is to provide a solid foundation of information that can be implemented.

Mr. Williams explained that the next stage will be split into two parts:
~Rezoning requirements - this will be accelerated and brought back to Council for adoption due to the Arroyo Grande annexation
~Zoning Code Amendments

He stated that there will be checkpoints during this process to determine that the team is on track. The team will confer with legal counsel, Mayor and Council and Town management.

Mr. Williams defined the three layers of input:
~Technical Advisory Committee (TAC)
  *Determines what is significant
~Public Advisory Committee (PAC)
  *Broad based representation
  *Provides guidance for definition
~Public Input
  *Reviews the progress of the team
  *Serves to analyze if components have been missed

Mr. Williams proceeded to discuss the budget for the project. He stated that the budget was reduced to $198,000 by expanding the role of Town staff. He noted that the cost encompassed 1,800 man hours for the project.

Mr. Williams presented the schedule for the project:
Arroyo Grande & Significant Resource Area Update  February 2009
Rezoning Requirements March 2009
Zoning Code Amendments March 2009
Public Review & Revision Summer 2009
Adoption of Rezoning Requirements January 2010
Adoption of Amendments to Existing Zoning Code March 2010

Discussion ensued regarding:
~The State would review the findings of this project before releasing the land for annexation
~The Town has funds set aside in cash reserves as a non-recurring cost
~Council Member Gillaspie disclosed that he had worked with each member of the team professionally and respected their expertise.
~This project is part of the Pre-Annexation Development Agreement
~Voters approved this in the 2005 General Plan
~The current economic conditions versus additional cost
~The two main costs for this project were attorneys’ fees and the ESL.
~$23,000 has been spent in legal fees to date.
~Council members expressed support for moving forward with the ESL.

Mr. Vella stated that the purpose for focusing on the term, "rezoning" was that each time the Town was approached with a request for rezoning, it was a blank slate. He explained that this will assist Staff by establishing a criteria as well as having information on properties in the Town.
Ms. More explained that the TAC would be comprised of technical experts and not the public. She noted that the TAC would bring their findings to the public for input.

Mayor Loomis noted that Council Members would need to nominate members for the PAC as it will be an item on the first Council meeting in March.

Council Member Abbott stated that she felt the PAC did not have a balanced committee. She suggested that Council add two conservationists to the PAC as two seats were reserved for development interests.

Mr. Williams stated that the approximate time commitment for members would be 10-12 meetings possibly every other week up to two hours per meeting.


MOTION: A motion was made by Vice Mayor Carter and seconded by Council Member Kunisch to adjourn at 7:47 p.m.

MOTION carried, 7-0.