March 23, 2010
CALL TO ORDER - 3:00 p.m.


Paul Parisi, Chair
Jeremy Christopher, Vice Chair
Jimmy Fields, Member
John Hickey, Member

EXCUSED: Sandra Hoy-Johnson, Member

MINUTES:   Approval of the Minutes of October 27, 2009, Regular Session.

MOTION: A motion was made by Member Hickey and seconded by Member Fields to approve the Minutes of the October 27, 2009, Regular session.

MOTION carried, 3-0.



CASE NO:  OV10-10-02, Holton Design Associates, LLC, representing Panda Express requests a variance from the Oro Valley Zoning Code Revised sections 27.6.C.3.a, 5’ landscape screen, 27.6.C.3.d, 10’ landscape screen and 25.1.A.5.b.i, interconnection between buildings.  Subject parcel (#225-51-2160) is located on the southeast corner of Oracle Road and Magee Road in the Escondido Plaza at 7848 N Oracle Road, Oro Valley, AZ, 85704.

Chair Parisi swore in the applicant Mark Russell and architect Ward Holland. Mr. Holland stated that the site was platted when the area was designated as Pima County and did not have landscaping requirements. He explained that it was difficult to meet all of the zoning requirements and noted the problems:
~Small site; just large enough for a building and some parking spaces.
~Restricted by 150’ setback from the center of Oracle Road
~The traffic patterns around the other three side of the building

Mr. Holland noted that Panda Express devised a special building design for this site, which is smaller than their typical building in order to incorporate the required landscaping.

He explained that the first variance regarded the landscape border around the drive thru. He stated that green screen landscaping would be used on the east side. He noted that on the north side of the building there would be room for 3 feet of landscaping rather that the required 5 feet. He asked to reduce the height requirement fROM 36 inches to 30 inches.

He reviewed the request for the second variance:
~Most of the landscaping on the south side of the building would meet the requirement with the exception of a narrow area that would be reduced to 3 feet
~The east side of the building needed a reduction from the 10 foot requirement to 7 feet.
~The north side of the building would be reduced to 7 feet at the drive thru

Mr. Holland noted that a large landscaped area was added in the front of the building. He summarized that the request was for a reduction of a few feet of landscaping due to the constraints of the area.

He reviewed the third variance regarding interconnectivity. He explained the reasons why this requirement could not be met:
~Other onsite buildings do not have interconnectivity
~Slope on site
~Traffic around the building would create a safety issue

Discussion noted the following:
~The lot would not be viable without the drive thru, due to Oracle Road
~The refuse enclosure and gas meter were located off of the property
  *Space for these items was leased by a third party as there was not enough room on the property.
~There would be three handicapped parking spaces
  *Due to ADA requirements for access and the topography, the building cannot be adequately shifted
~The drive thru would be u-shaped

Zoning Inspector Patty Hayes presented the staff report:
~Currently the site houses a Church’s Chicken restaurant
~Panda Express seeks to demolish the current building and build a new restaurant
~New construction is required to meet the Oro Valley Zoning Codes Revised criteria
  *The Code requirements for a drive thru are as follows:
    -Drive thru windows and waiting/stacking lanes must be screened with a minimum of a 5 feet wide landscape screen with a minimum height of 36 inches
  *The applicant proposed to reduce the landscaping from 3 feet to 2 feet in varied locations, with a lattice of vines on green screen at a maximum height of 30 inches
~Variance request No. 2
  *The Code requires 10 feet of landscaping around all sides of the building
  *The applicant proposed to reduce portions of the landscaping on three sides of the building to 3 feet, 2 feet and 1 foot 6 inches in various locations
~Variance request No.3
  *The Code requires interconnectivity among the adjacent buildings to include buildings, parking, bicycle and recreational areas where possible
  *The applicant concluded that interconnectivity is not possible and requested to waive this requirement
~Currently, landscape does not exist on the property 

Discussion noted the following:
~A Panda Express building is typically 2,448 square feet
  *The proposed building has been reduced in size to 2,200 square feet
    -The size of the kitchen has been reduced and the seating area has been reduced by 13 seats
~Each variance request would need to be voted on separately
~The height requirement for a site triangle is 30 inches
  *To meet the height requirement 36 inches for landscaping would reduce visibility and create a safety issue
~Circulation, the drive and the lack of separation between the drive thru and the church were discussed at the Pre-application meeting
  *All items were considered acceptable

Chair Parisi opened the public hearing. There being no speakers, he closed the hearing

Mr. Russell stated that Panda Express was excited to come to Oro Valley and was trying hard to meet the Town's requirements. He stated that he believed the new building and landscaping would be an improvement for the site.

It was noted that the screen wall in the back would be made of a mesh metal painted green like a trellis with plants growing up it.

MOTION: A motion was made by Vice Chair Christopher and seconded by Member Hickey to approve Oro Valley 10-10-02 variance request for proposed reductions of the required landscaping around the drive thru windows and waiting stacking lane as required in the OVZCR 27.6.C.3.a

Vice Chair Christopher cited the reasons for approval:
~Special conditions apply to the property to include size, shape, topography and location
~Circumstances were not created by the owner or applicant
~The variance is necessary for the enjoyment and preservation of the property rights
~The variance would not grant special privileges
~The variance would not be materially detrimental to other property owners in the vicinity or the public welfare in general

Vice Chair Christopher expressed his appreciation to the applicant for their efforts to work with Town staff.

MOTION carried, 4-0.

MOTION: A motion was made by Member Hickey and seconded by Vice Chair Christopher to approve Variance No. 2, OV10-10-02 the proposed reduction of landscaping around all four sides of the building as required in the OVZCR 27.6.C.3.d

MOTION carried, 4-0.

MOTION: A motion was made by Member Hickey and seconded by Vice Chair Christopher to approve Variance No. 3, OV10-10-02, request for relief from possible interconnectivity as called out in OVZCR 25.1.A.5.b.i

MOTION carried, 4-0.


MOTION: A motion was made by Member Hickey and seconded by Vice Chair Christopher to adjourn the meeting at 3:31 p.m.

Vice Chair Christopher called for a point of order after Chair Parisi declared the meeting adjourned to note that a vote to adjourn had not been taken.