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Minutes of the Regular Meeting held March 17, 2008 at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers.

 

MEMBERS PRESENT

Mayor Lopez Rogers and Council Members                             Ken Weise, Vice Mayor

                                                                                                Jim Buster

                                                                                                Frank Scott

                                                                                                Stephanie Karlin

                                                                                                Jim McDonald

                                                                                                Chuck Wolf

 

ALSO PRESENT

Charlie McClendon, City Manager

Andrew McGuire, City Attorney

Richard T. Lynch, City Judge

Gina Montes, Neighborhood & Family Services Director

Pam Altounian, Code Compliance Manager, Neighborhood & Family Services Dept.

Shirley Gunther, Intergovernmental Affairs Manager

John Vater, Planner I, Development Services Department

Dave Fitzhugh, Assistant City Manager

Kelly La Rosa, Traffic Engineering Department

Scott Wilken, Senior Planner, Development Services Department

Eric Morgan, Planner II, Development Services

Linda Farris, City Clerk

 

Mayor Lopez-Rogers called the meeting to order and led those present in the Pledge of Allegiance and a moment of reflection. 

 

1)         STATEMENT OF PARTICIPATION BY THE CITY CLERK

 

2)         CITY MANAGER’S REPORT

            a.  Recognition of eight City employees who recently graduated from the Arizona State University Certified Public Manager Program.

 

            The following City employees were recognized for completing the Arizona State University Certified Public Manager Program:  Pam Altounian, Code Compliance Manager, Neighborhood & Family Services Department; Tony Ayala, Operation & Service Manager, Water Resources Department; Ron Dennis, Assistant Fire Chief; Janeen Gaskins, Grants Administrator, City Administration; Javier Machuca, Solid Waster Supervisor, Field Operations; Carmen Martinez, Deputy City Clerk; Pier Simeri, Community Relations & Public Affairs Department Director; and Lari Spire, GIS Manager, Water Resources Department. 

 

Mayor Lopez Rogers stated she was very proud of the Avondale employees and she thanked the employees for going through the program.

 

3)         UNSCHEDULED PUBLIC APPEARANCES

           

Michael Barbetta, City resident and business owner, told the Council that he calls the graffiti hotline every single day, and then calls Pam Altounian, Code Compliance Manager, and Sammi Curless, Assistant to the Mayor and Council, as well as others, and finds that it is similar to yelling in a black hole.  His big area of concern is on lower Dysart Road between Van Buren and Buckeye Road where the businesses have been inundated with graffiti.  He reported that approximately three weeks ago there were over 35 graffiti markings on that one stretch of road.  Mr. Barbetta stated the only time the business owners had satisfaction was when he called and left messages that Channel 10 was interested in coming out and doing a piece on the explosion of graffiti.  He reported it takes three to four weeks for the graffiti to be removed and it is even on some of the palm trees.  He shared that when they call the City of Goodyear, within 48 hours the graffiti is usually gone.  Mr. Barbetta stated the City of Avondale does not return his calls anymore and he feels like he is an irritation to the City.  As a result, he has moved his auto wholesaling business out of Avondale, and he is in the process of selling his home and moving his consulting business out of Avondale, because if Avondale does not care, then he does not care.

 

Lisa Amos, 12425 W. Apache St., Avondale, AZ, stated she has spoken with Vice Mayor Weise several times and Council Member Scott has left her a message.  The graffiti is a concern of hers and she has proposed by letter to various Staff some ideas that she hopes the City will consider.  She believes that businesses need to be educated that they can paint the graffiti over and they need to know what graffiti is about and how it is blight to the City.  She stated in the business and HOA summits the businesses can be educated that they have to get on the graffiti quickly.  Ms. Amos stated the graffiti hotline is great in concept, but it is only one part-time person, and if it not going to be fully staffed, maybe the City should not have it until the calls can be responded to in a timely fashion.  She encouraged in her letter that new businesses, particularly on Avondale Blvd., become volunteers and participate in graffiti removal.  She reported that a couple of her neighbors have moved because of quality of life issues, and stated that before all the new development comes in, the City needs to keep control of the developments that already exist. 

 

Mayor Lopez Rogers asked Charlie McClendon, City Manager, to address the graffiti issues.

 

4)         CONSENT AGENDA

Items on the Consent Agenda are of a routine nature or have been previously studied by the City Council at a Work Session.  They are intended to be acted upon in one motion.  Council Members may pull items from consent if they would like them considered separately.

 

            a.  APPROVAL OF MINUTES

                        ●  Regular meeting of March 3, 2008

                        ●  Work Session of March 3, 2008

 

b.      APPROVAL OF CLAIMS – JANUARY AND FEBRUARY 2008

 

c.  APPROVAL OF EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENT FOR JUDGE RICHARD T. LYNCH

Employment Agreement for Mr. Richard T. Lynch for a two-year appointment as City Judge. 

 

d.  AWARD A CONSTRUCTION CONTRACT TO BLUCOR CONTRACTING, INC. FOR THE CDBG STREET & SIDEWALK IMPROVEMENT PROJECT

Construction contract to Blucor Contracting, Inc. for the CDBG Street and Sidewalk Improvement Project in the amount of $1,695,000, authorization to transfer $429,368 from Street Fund Line Item No. 304-1009-00-8420 (Citywide Street Enhancement) to Street Fund Line Item No. 304-1162-00-8420 (CDBG Street and Sidewalk Improvements), $300,000 from Water Fund Line Item No. 514-1057-00-8520 (Garden Lakes Improvements) to Water Fund Line Item No. 514-1162-00-8520 (CDBG Water Improvements), $400,000 from Water Fund Line Item No. 514-1058-00-8520 (South Avondale Improvements) to Water Fund Line Item No. 514-1162-00-8520 (CDBG Water Improvements), and $60,632 (in FY 08-09) from Water Fund Line Item No. 514-1058-00-8520 (South Avondale Improvements) to Water Fund Line Item No. 514-1162-00-8520 (CDBG Water Improvements), and authorizing the Mayor, or City Manager and City Clerk to execute the necessary documents. 

 

e. AWARD A CONSTRUCTION CONTRACT TO BRIZCO CONSTRUCTION, LLC FOR THE VAN BUREN STREET 16-INCH TRANSMISSION LINE

Construction contract to Brizco Construction, LLC for waterline and other improvements for Van Buren Street, in the amount of $324,940.99, and authorize the Mayor, or City Manager and City Clerk to execute the necessary documents. 

 

f.        RIVERA MINOR LAND DIVISION ML-07-11

Request to subdivide a 0.46 acre parcel into two lots.  Lot 1 will be 11,578 square feet; Lot 2 will be 11,580 square feet.  In addition to creating these two lots, the applicant is dedicating 30 feet of right-of-way on 124th Avenue to the City. 

 

g. LETTER REIMBURSEMENT AGREEMENT WITH EMPIRE AT COLDWATER SPRINGS, LLC

Letter Agreement between the City of Avondale and Empire at Coldwater Springs, LLC relating to street, traffic signal and median landscaping improvements cost sharing, approve the transfer of funds from Street Fund Line No. 304-1009-00-8420 to Street Fund Line No. 304-1257-00-8420, and authorize the Mayor, or City Manager and City Clerk to execute the agreement. 

h. RESOLUTION 2722-208 AUTHORIZING AN INTERGOVERNMENTAL AGREEMENT WITH MARICOPA COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH

Resolution authorizing an Intergovernmental Agreement with Maricopa County Department of Public Health relating to the childhood immunization program. 

 

i. RESOLUTION 2731-308 APPROVING A PRE-ANNEXATION AGREEMENT AND ORDINANCE 1298-308 ACCEPTING RIGHT-OF-WAY

Resolution approving a Pre-Annexation Agreement with Mr. and Mrs. Verville and an ordinance accepting the dedication of right-of-way from Mr. and Mrs. Verville, and authorize the Mayor, or City Manager and City Clerk to execute the necessary documents. 

 

j.        ORDINANCE 1292-308 – DIAMOND P RANCH ANNEXATION

Ordinance annexing 244 acres of land generally located south of Lower Buckeye Road between Avondale Blvd. and El Mirage Road.  The Council will take appropriate action.

 

k. ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING ACQUISITION OF WELLSITE 22 FROM THE EMPIRE CENTER AT COLDWATER SPRINGS, LLC

Ordinance authorizing the acquisition of Wellsite 22 at the Coldwater Springs Promenade Development for $24,892.30. 

 

Andrew McGuire, City Attorney, noted that the Council had received a document including an exhibit with the accompanying text on Item G, Letter Reimbursement Agreement with Empire at Coldwater Springs, LLC.  He read the resolutions and ordinances by title only.  Council Member Wolf moved to approve the Consent Agenda, including the resolutions and ordinances.  Council Member Scott seconded the motion.

 

            Mayor Lopez Rogers invited further discussion, and hearing none, called for a vote.

 

            ROLL CALL VOTE AS FOLLOWS:

 

                        Council Member Scott  Aye

                        Council Member Buster            Aye

                        Mayor Lopez-Rogers               Aye

                        Vice Mayor Weise                   Aye

                        Council Member Wolf  Aye

                        Council Member Karlin            Aye

                        Council Member McDonald     Aye

 

            Motion carried unanimously.

 

5)         INSTALLATION OF JUDGE LYNCH

            Mayor Rogers administered the oath of office to Judge Richard Lynch.

6)         UPDATE ON PROACTIVE CODE ENFORCEMENT EFFORTS

 

Gina Montes, Neighborhood & Family Services Director, informed the Council that upcoming revitalization activities will include Staff bringing the CDBG Annual Action Plan for Council’s approval, which is currently in the 30 day comment period.  She stated a new item of the plan is a storefront renovation pilot program on Western Avenue with $120,000.00 set aside for improvements of the storefronts, which will be coordinated by the Economic Development Department, and a match will be required.  Housing Rehab and Acquisition Rehab Programs will include looking at homes that are in foreclosure or vacant in order to use those resources where most needed.  A Weed and Seed Community Coalition is being convened in an attempt to obtain a grant, which would be used to weed out crime and seed good things in the community. 

 

Ms. Montes reported that the part-time graffiti person has been made full-time effective last week.  She talked about the implementation of an “Eyes & Ears Program” where City employees are given forms with their paychecks so they can note where graffiti and other Code Enforcement issues need to be addressed.  She stated that her department had also implemented A Community volunteer program.  She stated that the Code Division staff are enforcing requirements for graffiti implements to be locked up and are working with businesses and HOAs to take responsibility for their properties.  She pointed out that the City cannot paint over private property without the property owner’s permission, and that the current Code allows businesses 30 days to paint over graffiti.  Ms. Montes stated that staff will be asking Council to reduce that amount of time to 10 days.  She stated that Staff is not sure why there has been an increase in graffiti, but they are certainly trying to address it as best they can.

 

Mayor Lopez Rogers invited questions and comments.

 

Vice Mayor Weise remarked that to say graffiti has increased is an understatement, and part of the problem is stores, such as Home Depot, are still not locking up their spray paint cans.  He stated it would be really nice to work with Home Depot to provide one gallon of color matching paint to citizens to paint over graffiti.  He stated that the City does not have enough graffiti abatement staff, and despite the economic times, more help is needed.  He also suggested stiffening the fines for graffiti offenders.

 

Council Member Buster asked why there is an increase in the graffiti and who the offenders were.  Avondale Police Chief Kotsur reported there has been an influx of graffiti reports to the Police Department and he would report back to the Council with assessments on where it is coming from.  He stated it is a misnomer that all graffiti is gang related, in that a lot of it is tagging, but a lot is simply a matter of artwork in some peoples’ minds.

 

Council Member Wolf stated he is very concerned about Code Enforcement capabilities on private property.  He would like to see what the Council can do from a staffing perspective and how to proactively respond to graffiti.  He stated 10 days to remove graffiti is still too long and suggested 48 to 72 hours, with a provision for new developments stating that the City can take a proactive measurement if the business does not respond in a timely fashion. 

 

Council Member Karlin agreed that graffiti sends a bad message, especially in terms of the investment in economic development, and she agrees that 48 hours to cover graffiti is something the City should strive for. 

 

Vice Mayor Weise stated he likes the idea of the volunteer program, and the Council Members should be out there as well.  He suggested a letter or form be sent to commercial water customers stating that by signing the document, the customer allows the City to come on their property to remove the graffiti if the graffiti is not removed within a certain amount of time.  He asked Staff to let the Council know what tools they need.

 

Mayor Lopez Rogers stated graffiti is sometimes a social issue, and with the economy in a downturn, it is common to see more.  She stated there needs to be input from the Youth Commission and a targeted focus on graffiti.  She reported the KEYS Program has leaders that were once graffiti offenders and suggested asking them about the increase in graffiti, as well as educating the schools and churches, and using Code Enforcement fines.  She stated she is sick of graffiti and it must be stopped. 

 

Pam Altounian, Code Compliance Manager, Neighborhood & Family Services Department, gave background information on the Code Enforcement Division, stating that they enforce the International Property Maintenance Code, support the Zoning Ordinance, and partner with other City Departments, the Avondale City Courts, Maricopa County neighboring communities, Union Pacific Railroad and ADOT.  Since July 2007 Code Enforcement has had 3,274 cases, and 182 civil citations have been issued, which resulted in 96 court hearings.  64 cases were dismissed.  One percent of the total cases have gone to court over the last three years and over $19,000.00 in civil fines have been assessed.  She reported that over 1,000 graffiti sites have been taken care of while the Staff member was part time, and now at full time there is a tremendous difference.  Code Enforcement Officers will be going to Cashion on March 20, 2008 to help with graffiti removal.  She informed the Council that graffiti is considered defacement of property under the International Property Maintenance Code (IPMC) and is handled as a civil citation, and once the time is shortened and a citation is issued, it is very effective.  Ms. Altounian reported over 3,200 illegal signs have been removed, and that the problem with grass/weeds and inoperable vehicles has dropped quite a bit. 

 

Ms. Altounian stated a task force will be put together regarding Western Avenue and preliminary work done to develop a comprehensive plan to bring Western Avenue back to vitality.  Areas covered will include sanitation, building structures, fire-rescue, zoning, design guidelines, business licenses, etc.  She informed the Council that the proposed Code Enforcement actions are:  1) Pre-inspection notification, including an inspection checklist.  2) Initial inspection.  3) Violation(s) identified verbally, by door hanger, or a notice of a violation.  4) Compliance actions with closure of the case or issuance of a civil citation.  Ms. Altounian stated the keys to success for the task force will include being unified in the mission, having a plan of action, consistency in application, offering time to comply within reason, and communication. 

 

Ms. Altounian informed the Council that the new program for Proactive Code Enforcement began in March 2008.  She explained with this new program, the City will inspect the reported parcel, as well as the properties on each side and directly across the street to provide consistency in Code application.  This will minimize frustration, improve residential trust, provide visible improvement, and define expectations.  Ms. Altounian reported the proposed amendments will come before the Council on April 21, 2008 for approval.  These amendments apply to IPMC Sections 1, 2, and 3.  One amendment is on the Notice of Abatement to separate the report of the cost of the City’s abatement on a property from the fine in order to avoid confusion for the citizen.  Another amendment regards closing of vacant structures with an added sentence that reads “Securing a vacant structure is a temporary option permitted for a period not to exceed two years.”  An amendment on parking proposes the ordinance be removed and enforced through the Zoning Ordinance.  The graffiti amendment reduces the time period for graffiti abatement from 30 to 10 days.  She commented that 48 to 72 hours for abatement is reasonable and Staff will consider that. 

 

Council Member Wolf stated he would shorten the time period for graffiti abatement to two days.  He stated that vacant buildings being closed for two years is not temporary and suggested reducing the time to perhaps six months. 

 

Council Member Scott stated cameras are a great tool and deterrent and lets the citizens know the City cares about graffiti.  He stated the volunteer program is a good program.  Council Member Scott would like to convene a group of stakeholders from Western Avenue to obtain their input before giving out money from a block grant.  Then a committee could decide where the grant money will go.  Regarding Western Avenue, he stated the businesses owe the City a partnership.  He stated over $100,000.00 was spent on the revitalization plan and now he sees holes in buildings, and proactive code enforcement will send the message that the City is serious.  Council Member Scott pointed out trailer park ordinances should be addressed. 

 

Vice Mayor Weise agreed with Council Member Wolf that vacant buildings should remain closed for no longer than six months.  He likes a time limit of 48 hours for graffiti removal.  He asked if Staff was still doing sweeps of residential neighborhoods and with a focus on Western Avenue, what about the residential neighborhoods in the northern part of the City.  Ms. Altounian informed the Council that Staff has again begun sweeps of residential neighborhoods.    She stated they have just completed a sweep of Westwind, and on Monday Staff will do a sweep of Los Arbolitos and Pecan Groves, and the following Monday, Harbor Shores, and by the end of March, Staff will have inspected 1,400 houses on top of approximately 400 complaints received for the month.  Vice Mayor Weise stated the out-of-town investors who do not care about Avondale should be treated with a hammer to bring them into compliance.

 

Council Member Karlin recommended an award or sign in response to beautification efforts.  Ms. Altounian replied that thank you notes are sent to everyone who complies, and Staff can look into other types of awards for compliance.   

 

Mayor Lopez Rogers stated the issue was critical to the Council and may be the only item to talk about on a future agenda so there is more time.

 

7)         ORDINANCE AMENDING AVONDALE CITY CODE CHAPTERS 15 AND 23

 

Shirley Gunther, Intergovernmental Affairs Manager, explained the Maricopa County region is required by the Clean Air Act (CAA) to have a plan in place to reduce the PM-10 admissions by at least 5 percent per year until the standard is obtained.  To be in attainment, the region needs three years of clean data.  She reported the City of Avondale has been a regional leader in programs regarding controlling airborne dust pollutants, and the City has a deliberate process in annexation, and therefore is able to pave and stabilize many of the roadways and alleys, which leaves the City in a good place.  She reported that two years ago the City of Avondale passed an ordinance which required all of the street sweepers to be PM-10 efficient. 

 

Ms. Gunther reported that to come into compliance with the EPA requirements, the Arizona State Legislature passed SB 1522, which made substantial changes to the statute pertaining to air quality control.  Some of the provisions in SB 1522 require municipalities to pass ordinances to achieve the PM-10 measures, which include paving or stabilizing dirt roads, shoulders and alleyways, and banning the use of leaf blowers and off-road vehicles.  She stated that Section 1 of the ordinance pertains to leaf blowers and states that it is unlawful to blow landscape debris or dust into the public roadway.  Section 1 also pertains to unpaved areas and requires public and private parking lots, ingress and egress areas to be paved or stabilized, and requires parking areas, ingress and egress areas of 3,000 square feet or more in size and residential buildings with four or fewer units to be paved or stabilized.  It also prohibits driving or parking on any unpaved lot unless the lot is dust proof, and it prohibits off-road vehicles, all-terrain vehicles, and off-road recreational motor vehicles from operation on unpaved surfaces.  The ordinance does allow some exception for vehicles on unpaved areas in the normal use of business and government operations.  As well, the ordinance authorizes the City Manager as designee to enter in and inspect property to ensure it is in compliance with the dust-proofing measures. 

 

Staff recommends that the City Council adopt an Ordinance amending the Avondale City Code Chapters 15 and 23 pertaining to dust control and abatement.  Ms. Gunther pointed out that Staff is performing public outreach through the City web site regarding the requirements and providing dust control phone numbers. 

 

Council Member Wolf stated PM-10 is 10 microns or less and the issue is animating it in the first place, and he cannot figure out how the Senate passed a bill that focuses on pushing debris into the public right-of-way, when using a leaf blower on the remainder of the property generates far more dust than putting it in the public right-of-way so a car can hit it and not animate it as much as a leaf blower.  Therefore, he wonders about the applicability of the bill only applying to the right-of-way.  Ms. Gunther stated Council Member Buster had more insight on the issue.

 

Council Member Buster stated he worked a lot on this bill last year and reported that leaf blowers were a small component of the overall PM-10 picture, but something that certain people felt to be an important part in terms of noise and dust.  In terms of the prohibition of debris being blown out into the street, if the dust is blown onto the street, it gets onto the pavement and gets entrained by tires and then goes up into the air.  He stated a big part of the PM-10 problem is vehicles traveling down the roads and kicking up dust into the air.  Council Member Buster stated the only other restriction on leaf blowers was using them on High Pollution Advisory days.

 

Council Member Karlin commented that wood burning fireplaces contribute to the PM-10 and suggested that a ban on wood burning fireplaces be added to the ordinance.

 

Council Member Buster remarked that the fireplace issue is addressed in the bill and there are bans on using them on High Pollution Advisory days.  He stated the biggest reductions in PM-10 come from the construction community with their dust control measurements.  He stated it is very important that the City move forward in order to continue to receive Federal Highway Funds. 

 

Council Member Karlin asked how the ordinance would be enforced.  Ms. Gunther replied that Maricopa County will perform much of the dust control enforcement and they have committed 23 million dollars to deal with the PM-10 issue, as well as they have hired 91 employees to help with the enforcement of dust control. 

 

Vice Mayor Weise stated he sees this as a n unfunded Federal mandate on the cities to comply with the regulation, and with the amount of effort that is required, especially in the desert where a half a gallon of water is needed per square yard to keep emissions down every day to bring the City into compliance, it is Federal government at its worse.  He thinks the rule is ridiculous and there has to be a better way to mitigate the problem rather than putting the onus on the City, especially when the State looks at taking away State-shared revenues from the City in the future and taking money from the citizens’ pockets to mitigate a State regulation, when that money could be used for other health issues that are more important and more directly affect the residents. 

 

Council Member Wolf stated the Clean Air Act (CAA) came into existence because people were dying and the City has done a lot of other things that have created the PM-10 issue far beyond leaf blowers and dust stabilization, and the fact of the matter is that the ways to address this problem are few and far between at this point in time.  He stated the CAA is not the issue, but rather the fact that no one wants to address the issue until they are hit in the pocketbook.  He reported that research shows that clean air issues in Phoenix are not part and parcel to Phoenix, but travel to Tucson and other areas.  As such, this is an interstate issue, which is why the Federal government got involved with it.  Council Member Wolf believes the plan can be implemented at a relatively low cost and the Federal requirements are not that challenging to achieve. 

 

Andrew McGuire, City Attorney, pointed out that with respect to no-burn days on High Pollution Advisory days and the ban on leaf blowers on all non-stabilized surfaces, they are a requirement for the County to implement.  The cities and towns are required to implement the ban on leaf blowers with respect to right-of-way and with City contractors. 

 

Mayor Lopez Rogers asked to have the ordinance read.

 

Andrew McGuire, City Attorney, read Ordinance 1293-308, by title only.  Council Member Wolf moved to adopt the ordinance.  Council Member Scott seconded the motion.

 

Mayor Lopez Rogers invited further discussion, and hearing none, called for a vote.

 

            ROLL CALL VOTE AS FOLLOWS:

 

                        Council Member Scott  Aye

                        Council Member Buster            Aye

                        Mayor Lopez-Rogers               Aye

                        Vice Mayor Weise                   Aye

                        Council Member Wolf  Aye

                        Council Member Karlin            Aye

                        Council Member McDonald     Aye

 

            Motion carried unanimously.

 

8)         AVONDALE MARKETPLACE (DR-07-8) MASTER SITE PLAN AND PARCEL 2 FINAL SITE PLAN APPROVAL

           

John Vater, Planner I, Development Services Department, stated this is application DR-07-8, a request for Master Site Plan approval for Avondale Marketplace and Final Site Plan approval for five sites in Parcel 2 of Avondale Marketplace.  He described the 38.6 acre development as located at the northwest corner of Avondale Blvd. and McDowell Road.  He described the surrounding properties as the Palm Gardens Development to the north, Donatela Phase 1 to the east, the proposed Agua Fria Marketplace to the south, and an APS substation to the west.  Mr. Vater relayed that the site is designated as Commercial in the General Plan and is zoned as Planned Area Development (PAD) with Residential, Commercial, and Office Park uses.  He described the surrounding zoning as Neighborhood-Commercial to the east, Agricultural to the west, and Planned Area Developments to the north and south. 

 

Mr. Vater outlined that the Master Site Plan encompasses three separate parcels, and Parcel 2 is the retail portion of the development, consisting of 25.23 acres with approximately 214,000 square feet of tenant space proposed.  Parcel 3 is a self-storage development of 4.6 acres, consisting of four buildings with approximately 103,000 square feet of storage space.  Parcel 4 is an 8.77 acre office park consisting of 11 buildings with a combined 75,000 square feet of tenant space.  Access to the site will be provided by two driveways from Avondale Blvd. and six driveways from McDowell Road.  Three full access driveways are proposed, one at the entrance to the mini storage parcel, one at the signalized intersection of McDowell Road and 116th Avenue, and one at the northern most driveway on Avondale Blvd.  Cross access is provided between the parcels, and each parcel is served by a network of internal drives.  Pedestrian access will be facilitated from Avondale Blvd. and McDowell Road by tree-lined walkways, and a pedestrian entry feature is included at the intersection of Avondale Blvd. and McDowell Road.  Mr. Vater explained that based on the proposed uses for all the buildings, the Master Site is required to have 1,183 parking spaces, and the applicant is proposing a total of 1,273.  All parcels are sufficiently sized and shaped to allow for future development and onsite circulation. 

 

Mr. Vater noted that in addition to the Master Site Plan, the applicant is requesting approval of the Final Site Plan for Parcel 2, the retail portion of the development.  Parcel 2 is proposed to be developed in phases.  The first phase consists of two major tenant spaces, B and E; Shops C; and two multi-tenant pads B and F, with PAD F having a drive-through.  The rest of Parcel 2 will be developed in future phases, as well as Parcels 3 and 4, which will be administratively approved.  All off-site improvements, including roadway improvements, frontage landscaping, power pole relocation and easements will be constructed during the initial phase.  The site is required to have 204,000 square feet of landscaping, and the applicant is proposing approximately 208,000 feet.  The development will have a 25 foot landscape buffer along the northern property line to screen it from the future residential phase, with the landscape buffer containing mostly 24 inch box trees planted 20 feet on center.  Date palms will be used in the medians of two driveways, at the pedestrian entry feature, and in front of the major tenant buildings.  Mr. Vater described the architecture as contemporary-commercial, including varied roof lines, articulated facades, decorative arches, cornice columns, scored stucco, and metal awnings.  The colors are earth tones on the walls and green for the metal roof features.  The materials are stucco, glass, masonry, slate, stone, wood, and metal.  He showed the Commission slides of the building elevations and features.

 

Mr. Vater told the Council that Staff finds that the application meets the required findings.  The Planning Commission recommended approval on February 21, 2008 with 21 stipulations.  Stipulation No. 15 was discussed in great detail and requires the applicant to install a deceleration lane at the northeast most driveway off Avondale Blvd.  As the applicant does not own the parcel where the deceleration lane would come out, the Planning Commission tried to amend the stipulation to a right-out/left-in only driveway.  On further review, Staff prepared a preferred and amended stipulation that establishes a right-out only driveway until such time that Avondale Blvd. is widened, and then the deceleration lane can be provided, and the driveway can be constructed as a full access driveway.  Mr. Vater reported that only one letter has been received since the last Planning Commission meeting in opposition to this project, which was from the adjoining property owner concerning the right-of-way and the deceleration lane, as well as water rights. 

 

Vice Mayor Weise stated the planned entryway is excellent.  He asked to discuss changing the 24 inch box trees to include a certain caliper on the trees.  He stated the variation in roof lines and stone features are great and asked if the colors could be more vibrant to match the development across the street.  Vice Mayor Weise stated he is happy to have this project in Avondale.

 

Council Member Wolf asked if the vacant parcel north of this site is part of the overall development scheme.  Mr. Vater replied that parcel is part of the PAD for this project and is the residential portion which will be phased in after the retail section.  Council Member Wolf expressed concern that the 30 foot building heights will be very imposing upon the residential district and he would advocate a separation between Palm Gardens and this development.  Council Member Wolf echoed Vice Mayor Weise, in that he is not happy with the five shades of beige and would like to see more color.  While he would approve the architectural layouts this evening, he thinks there should be more discussion and perhaps a return to Council on the colors. 

 

Regarding Stipulation No. 15, Council Member Wolf asked about the driveway for this development.  Mr. Vater replied that a revised traffic study was submitted by the applicant subsequent to the Planning Commission meeting; however, it reviewed a right-out/left-in/right-in, which was not reflective of the Planning Commission’s desire.  The applicant then submitted another revised study reviewing a right-out/left-in only per the Planning Commission’s recommendation.  Subsequent to that, through Staff review, Staff felt that the right-out option was the best and safest option at this point.  He stated the applicant has not provided the revised traffic study, but that will be required as a condition of approval.  Council Member Wolf asked if the applicant was concerned that a right-out only driveway would have a negative effect on traffic flow to the development,.  He stated he did not understand why a reconstruction of the entrance was necessary if a right-out only is the only option needed.  Mr. Vater replied that the intent was to provide a full access driveway on Avondale Blvd.  At some point Avondale Blvd. will be widened, and the traffic study originally warranted a full left-in/full right-out.  Additionally, across the street at the proposed Children’s Hospital, that will be the location for their full turning movement driveway. 

 

Council Member Wolf inquired if there would be a traffic light.  Charlie McClendon, City Manager, replied that would remain to be seen as the traffic volumes there change. 

 

Council Member Wolf stated this appears based on warrant studies and traffic that are not accounted for yet.  He thinks a right-out/left-in is all the turning movements necessary, and he does not see why a full turning movement is required at that location.  Dave Fitzhugh, Assistant City Manager, replied that as the area develops, the City is anticipating a use base coming from the north and the model was set up to distribute the traffic to all the planned access points.  The traffic study analyzed the entire Site Plan inclusive of the office, the Commercial and the Storage, and looking at how those trips were distributed amongst all the driveways, they were adequate with the full access on Avondale Blvd. and the limited access just south. 

 

Council Member Wolf asked if the revised traffic study was to have something on the books with a PE seal that states in the first phase a right-out only will work and would that be on file.  Mr. Fitzhugh stated that is correct, that documentation will need to be on file, as there are about 170 northbound to westbound left turns at that intersection predicted during the peak hour and they need to see how those trips will be redistributed to the other access points.  Council Member Wolf asked if the City was taking responsibility for reconstruction of the entrance at the time Avondale Blvd. is expanded, and would the applicant be providing some of the money now to cover that cost.  Mr. Fitzhugh stated that is correct and it is a stipulation to collect those funds for future expenditure. 

 

Council Member McDonald asked if when Avondale Blvd. is built out, will it be two lanes in each direction and a median to the point where the entrance is.  He expressed concern that it appears it will be a blind turn out.  Mr. Vater replied that the road will be designed to have both southbound movements and a widening deceleration lane starting at some point north, with sight visibility and the ability for people southbound to see that that driveway is coming up.  He informed the Council that the revised traffic study provided by the applicant showed the right turn movement was safe in this existing situation.

 

Kelly La Rosa, Traffic Engineering Department, added that the traffic study does not specifically address sight visibility unless the client requests that for landscaping, and that is taken care of at the Civil Site Plan stage.  She reported that Staff would look at the design of the driveway in terms of sight visibility to the extent that they can, but because of the issue with private property, there are legal restrictions as far as going onto private property and clearing trees.  Ms. La Rosa assured the Council that Staff would consider everything to make sure the driveway is designed as safe as possible.

 

Mayor Lopez Rogers invited further questions and comments from Council and heard none. 

 

Peter Valenzuela, 2425 E. Camelback Rd., Ste. 950, Phoenix, AZ, representing Troast Properties, stated his client was very happy to be in the City of Avondale.  He stated they are willing to discuss the color schemes and 24 inch box trees.  He reported that his client has been in the Site Approval process for about 18 months and has gone through three Site Plan submittals, and with the last Site Plan there were a number of comments concerning the traffic.  He stated regarding Stipulation No. 15, his client has bent over backwards and would like to move forward without having to reconfigure the Site Plan itself.  Mr. Valenzuela reported his client is fine with the right-out only driveway and agrees that when Avondale Blvd. is widened and the deceleration lane comes in, they will need full access movement at the northeast exit. 

 

Council Member Wolf asked how could the Staff best address the color issue.  Andrew McGuire, City Attorney, replied if the applicant is willing to state tonight that they are comfortable with adding more color as part of the approval without adding another stipulation, that would be a strong statement. 

 

Mr. Valenzuela interjected that they could stipulate the color scheme when they go through design review and plat. 

 

Council Member Wolf asked if Staff is okay with that, which Staff affirmed. 

 

Vice Mayor Weise suggested that the applicant be provided with the color palette for Agua Fria Marketplace.

 

Council Member Wolf moved to approve Avondale Marketplace (DR-07-8) Master Site Plan and Parcel 2 Final Site Plan with the 21 stipulations, to include the amended Stipulation No. 15 as presented by Staff this evening.  Vice Mayor Weise seconded the motion.

 

The stipulations are as follows:

1) The development shall conform to the project narrative, site plan, landscape plan, building elevations, preliminary grading and drainage plan, photometric plan, materials and color board, and comprehensive sign package stamped February 8, 2008, except as modified by these stipulations.

 

2) In accordance with Section 106.C.4 of the City of Avondale Zoning Ordinance, the Master Site Plan and Parcel 2 Final Site Plan shall expire within one year of approval if a building permit has not been issued.

 

3) The proposed development is to conform to the Avondale Commercial/ Industrial/Multi-Family Design Manual.

 

4) Architecture, color and materials palette for future phase development shall conform to the architecture, color and materials palette of the Master Site Plan.

 

5) All signs shall be a uniform color that is consistent with the approved Master Site Plan color palette.

 

6) Right-of-way for Avondale Blvd.:  The 9’ roadway easement along Avondale Blvd. is to be 3’ back of sidewalk only along the right-turn-lane and will end as the sidewalk angles back into the right-of-way.

 

7) Right-of-way for McDowell:  Additional right-of-way for the traffic signal facilities at the median opening west of Avondale Blvd. may be required.  This will be determined by the City Traffic Department when final construction plans are submitted.  Details for the construction of the median will be developed during the review of final construction plans.

 

8) The catch basin for area OFF2 shall be an appropriate MAG detail for the 10’ curb opening shown as being required, as the MAG 530-532 is for a maximum 8’ opening.

 

9) The right-of-way is to be a minimum of 3’ behind back of sidewalk for street lights and sign placement.  Right turn lane into storage units will require additional right-of-way to meet this requirement.  The amount of additional right-of-way will be determined at the time of Civil Improvement Plans submittal.

 

10) Prior to the issuance of a building permit for the first phase of development, the developer shall contribute the following cost contributions toward traffic signals:  50% for 116th Avenue and McDowell Road, 16% for Avondale Blvd. and Palm Lane, 18% for Avondale Blvd. and Encanto, and full costs of all modifications to existing traffic signal and associated work at northwest corner of Avondale Blvd. and McDowell Road.

 

11) Additional right-of-way on the corners at the intersection of McDowell Road and 116th Avenue is required for the new traffic signal equipment.  The amount of additional right-of-way will be determined at the time of Civil Improvement Plans submittal.

 

12) During the first phase of construction, the developer shall provide a transit stop, including bus pull-out bay (can be co-located in deceleration lane if meets spacing standards) and concrete pad for westbound traffic on McDowell Road west of Avondale Blvd.  The developer shall also provide a transit stop consisting of a concrete pad (no pull-out bay needed) for westbound traffic on McDowell Road west of 117th Avenue.  Additional right-of-way will be required to accommodate the transit bays and pads.  The amount of additional right-of-way will be determined at the time of Civil Improvement Plans submittal.

 

13) All water rights on the property shall be conveyed to the City of Avondale prior to recordation of the final plat.

 

14) No signs shall be located in a public utility easement.

 

15) The Developer will submit a revised traffic study for review and approval that evaluates the impacts of establishing a right-out only driveway at the northeast most corner of the property.  The Developer will pay for the future cost of the deceleration lane at the time of approval of the off-site construction permits.  When Avondale Boulevard is modified and the deceleration lane is available, the northeast exit can be modified to be a full access driveway.

 

16) Left and right turn lanes, including dual turn lanes, for all driveways and intersections shall meet the requirements of the traffic study for storage lengths, stacking, and taper lengths.  Some adjustments may be required at Civil Improvements Plan submittal, such as to medians and openings.

 

17) The future pads of Parcel 2 shall be treated with a decomposed granite ground cover for dust control until development of those areas occurs.

 

18) All off-site improvements will be constructed as part of the first phase of development, including those for the residential Parcel 1 off of Palm Lane.

 

19) A signing and striping plan will be required at Civil Improvement Plans submittal.

 

20) Pedestrian access to Parcel 2 from the future residential part of the development plan will not be allowed until the residential portion is developed.

 

21) The Master Site Plan and the Final Site Plan for Parcel 2 shall be revised to describe the Parcel 4 proposed use as Office Park.

 

Mayor Lopez Rogers invited further discussion, and hearing none, called for a vote.

 

ROLL CALL VOTE AS FOLLOWS:

 

                        Council Member Scott  Aye

                        Council Member Buster            Aye

                        Mayor Lopez-Rogers               Aye

                        Vice Mayor Weise                   Aye

                        Council Member Wolf  Aye

                        Council Member Karlin            Aye

                        Council Member McDonald     Aye

 

            Motion carried unanimously.

 

9)         AVONDALE COMMERCE CENTER PHASE III SITE PLAN

Scott Wilken, Senior Planner, stated this item is application DR-07-29, Site Plan approval for Avondale Commerce Center Phase III.  He stated the subject property is located at the northwest corner of El Mirage Road and Van Buren Street and is part of the Avondale Commerce Center Planned Area Development (PAD).  Mr. Wilken stated tonight’s discussion is on Phase III of the development.  The surrounding zoning is R1-6 to the south, Agricultural to the east and west, and the rest of the Avondale Commerce Center PAD to the north.  He described the subject property as currently vacant.  Phase 1 is the northern third of this property adjacent to I-10 and is complete, and Phase II is nearing completion.  The property to the west is undeveloped, while the property to the east is large lot Agricultural, as well as undeveloped property.  He relayed that the proposed development will include a retail/restaurant shopping center of approximately 53,000 square feet, three one-story office buildings totalling 53,000 square feet, 2 two-story office buildings approximating 60,000 square feet each, and a future 62,433 pad will be incorporated into the shopping center, which will be approved at a later date administratively. 

 

Mr. Wilken described two right-in/right-out driveways from Van Buren Street.  Both the intersections at 127th Avenue at Van Buren Street, and El Mirage Road at Van Buren Street, are or will be signalized.  Vehicular access will be provided from two full access driveways from 127th Avenue; two full access driveways from Corporate Drive; and two full access driveways from El Mirage Road.  Landscaping will be provided around the perimeter and throughout the development that meets or exceeds the requirements of the Zoning Ordinance and includes open space areas, shallow retention basins, shaded pedestrian walkways, and outdoor plazas.  The retail/restaurant buildings include masonry exterior walls with painted stucco and stone veneer, and clay roof tiles on overhangs and tower features.  The one-story office buildings include masonry construction with stucco and stone veneer finish, as well as clay roof tiles and ornamental steel on the exterior.  The two-story office buildings will include painted concrete tilt panel walls which reveal ornamental steel accents and a canopy system, stone veneer columns, and exterior benches for outdoor seating.  The front of the two-story office buildings will include a balcony above the main entrance with rot iron guard rails.

 

Mr. Wilken reported that on February 21, 2008, the Planning Commission voted unanimously to forward a recommendation of approval to the Council subject to 11 stipulations.  He stated that he and the applicant are available for questions.

 

Council Member Wolf commented that he likes the material and the architecture, but would like to find a way to work some color into the project.

 

Vice Mayor Weise stated he would like to punch up the color and have it match the Coldwater Development across the street.  Mr. Wilken asked if he was talking about the greens and darker reds.  Vice Mayor Weise confirmed that and he would like the applicant to work with Staff on that. 

 

Council Member Buster stated it was early enough in the project to not go with Avondale beige, as long as it would not clash.

 

Mayor Lopez Rogers invited further questions for Staff, and hearing none, invited the applicant to address the Council.

 

Kristin Thoma, RDB Management and Construction, 1617 W. Williams Dr., Phoenix, AZ, stated they look forward to completing the final phase of the Avondale Commerce Center and are more than willing to work with Staff to brighten up the colors.

 

Mayor Lopez Rogers invited questions for the applicant, and hearing none, thanked the applicant.  Mayor Lopez Rogers called for a motion.

 

Council Member Wolf moved to approve to Avondale Commerce Center Phase III Site Plan application subject to the 11 stipulations.  Council Member Scott seconded the motion.  Stipulations are as follows:

 

1) The development shall conform to the project narrative, site plan, landscape plan, building elevations, preliminary grading and drainage plan, photometric plan, materials and color board, and comprehensive sign package stamped February 8, 2008, except as modified by these stipulations.

 

2) In accordance with Section 106.C.4 of the City of Avondale Zoning Ordinance, the site plan shall expire within one year of approval if a building permit has not been issued.

 

3)  Final site plan for the future pad at the southeast corner of the site shall be reviewed and approved administratively, and shall comply with the architectural theme, materials, and colors established by this approval.

 

4) At the time of development of the future pad at the southeast corner of the site, a site specific traffic study will be required, including the analysis of queuing and stacking demand for any proposed drive-through lanes and other traffic circulation issues.

 

5) Prior to the issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy for the future pad at the southeast corner of the site, a pedestrian connection will be required from the transit stop into site, and shall be shown on the site plan.  The connection will be required to be installed per City standards.

 

6) The future pad at the southeast corner of the site shall be covered in decomposed granite a minimum of 2” thick for dust control at the time of development of the retail/restaurant buildings.

 

7) Prior to the issuance of a building permit for the first phase of development, the developer shall contribute payment for all costs associated with installing and implementing left-turn arrows for north and southbound El Mirage Road at the existing Van Buren Street intersection.

 

8) Civil Improvement Plans shall include and address the following prior to the issuance of a building permit:  a) Include ramps at all intersection corners per ADA requirements and City Standards.  b) Include right turn deceleration lanes at both driveways on Van Buren Street as per the results of the traffic study, including a minimum of 100 feet of storage and 100 feet of taper lengths.  c) Design driveway connections to Van Buren Street as right-in/right-out only with raised pork chop islands designed per City standards.  d) Submit Signing and Striping Plans for both on-site traffic control, and off-site signing & striping changes as per the results of the traffic study, including, but not limited to:  i. Stop signs at non-signalized intersections and re-striping of turn lanes as needed.  ii.  Traffic control at the internal 3-way intersection southwest of the corner of “single story Building A office condo” where one approach intersects at an odd angle.  All legs are required to have STOP signs, Stop bars, and 50-feet of double yellow striping on approach.  iii.  Re-striping to extend the left turn storage bay on El Mirage Road for southbound traffic at Van Buren Street to a minimum of 225 feet of storage.  iv.  For the intersection at El Mirage Road & Corporate Drive, re-striping dedicated left turn lane in the northbound and eastbound directions with a minimum of 150 feet of storage.  Two-way left turn lane should not approach Stop-controlled intersection condition.  e)  Include a transit stop, including bus pull-out bay and landing pad, for westbound traffic on Van Buren Street west of El Mirage Road.  f) Include fire lines for individual buildings, as well as domestic water lines to 5’ outside of buildings, water meters, and back flow prevention devices.  For domestic services, the meters shall be kept in right-of-way at back of sidewalk and back flow prevention devices just outside of public utility easement on property owner’s side.  g) Conduct a vertical review of the sewer alignment to ensure sufficient cover over the sewer line.

 

9) Prior to the issuance of a building permit for either of the two-story office buildings, the developer shall contribute ¼ of the cost of traffic signal at the intersection of 127th Avenue and Van Buren Street.

 

10) Prior to the issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy for either of the two-story office buildings, the developer shall widen Van Buren Street for an eastbound left turn lane at 127th Avenue with a minimum of 200 feet of storage, as per the results of the traffic study.

 

11) Because the traffic study reviewed only general office and commercial retail land uses, an updated traffic study is required for any other land uses proposed for this development.

 

Mayor Lopez Rogers invited further discussion, and hearing none, called for a vote.

 

ROLL CALL VOTE AS FOLLOWS:

 

                        Council Member Scott  Aye

                        Council Member Buster            Aye

                        Mayor Lopez-Rogers               Aye

                        Vice Mayor Weise                   Aye

                        Council Member Wolf  Aye

                        Council Member Karlin            Aye

                        Council Member McDonald     Aye

 

            Motion carried unanimously.

 

10)       PUBLIC HEARING AND ORDINANCE 1295-308 – FOR Z-07-3 – ZAVALA LIVING TRUST

            John Vater, Planner I, Development Services Department, stated item Z-07-3 is a request for rezoning from Residential (R1-6) to Community Commercial (C2), and the site is located at 11215 W. Buckeye Road between the intersections of 113th Avenue and 111th Avenue.  He stated the site is designated as Commercial in the General Plan.  The subject property is zoned Residential (R1-6), and the properties to the west, south and east are zoned R1-6 as well, while the property to the north is the Union Pacific right-of-way.  Mr. Vater reported that Staff finds that the application meets the required findings, and on February 21, 2008 the Planning Commission recommended approval of application Z-07-3 with one stipulation.  Mr. Vater stated he was available for questions, and the applicant was present to take questions as well.

 

Vice Mayor Weise stated he wants to make sure that the applicant understands that there is a Conditional Use Permit process for him to do what he wants, to include the self-service car wash and repair facility.  Mr. Vater assured the Council that the applicant has had a pre-application with Staff for the Conditional Use Permit.

 

Mayor Lopez Rogers invited further questions and comments for Staff, and hearing none, opened the item for public hearing.

 

Roberto Garcia, 1223 S. 111th Dr., Cashion, AZ, stated he has been a resident of Cashion for 45 years.  He relayed that he spoke before the Planning Commission on February 21, 2008, and from what he saw, the Planning Commission did not have a copy of the Cashion District Ordinance Draft.  He reported that since the year 2002, several individuals and members of the Avondale Development Services Department have attended meetings where the Cashion Business District was created.  According to the development of an amended Section 3, Commercial District, relating to the creation of the Cashion Business District, all were made aware and it was stipulated that it was not permitted to apply for a permit to open a tire shop, mechanic shop, body shop or any other business, as it states “not expressly as stated herein is prohibited,” page 2 of 8, Cashion Business District Draft Ordinance.  Mr. Garcia stated it was for that reason that he never applied for a rezoning or requested a permit to set up a tire and mechanic facility, which he thought was the easiest and most affordable business he could endeavor to pursue.  He and a neighbor have now lost six to seven years of precious time and now they find out that Mr. Damian Zavala is being given permission to establish a diagnostic mechanic facility.  Mr. Garcia stated that represents some discrepancy in the planning and rezoning since the government requests input from its community members in all phases of development, planning and any other problems affecting the community at large.  The Cashion Business District meeting attendees thought that the whole area encompasses the owners of property along Buckeye Road, and that they could rezone the area altogether as a single request at a lower price.  Yet it appears that nothing was accomplished through the efforts they made in attending the planning and drafting of the Cashion Business District Ordinance.  Mr. Garcia requested that he and the additional property owners along the Buckeye Road frontage be allowed to pursue a rezoning from R1-6 to C-2 at a lower cost, or if possible obtain a waiver, seeing that the Development Services Department of the City of Avondale has made them waste six to seven years of their precious time, and in light that they have been paying property taxes without any benefit of owning those properties.  If no rezoning or business permit is granted, he will have to build a residential home next to the diagnostic facility.

 

Andrew McGuire, City Attorney, stated that Mr. Garcia’s reading of the Draft Ordinance is correct, and that the current ordinance would allow the car wash facility by a Conditional Use Permit, but what is not listed as a permitted use is a repair facility.  He stated that Mr. Garcia and others can come back and ask for a rezoning of a particular piece of property to a different category at any time.

 

Mayor Lopez Rogers asked Staff to work with Mr. Garcia.

 

Council Member Wolf commented that from August 19, 2002, the Cashion Business District was first discussed, and Section 307, Permitted Uses, gives a litany of uses, and then Uses Permitted Subject to a Conditional Use Permit also applies to a car wash, mechanical or self-serve, technical schools, etc. 

 

Mr. Garcia stated now he has to build a home next to a diagnostic facility and wonders if he will get permission for that. 

 

Council Member Wolf stated that as cities continue to mature and develop, and as they move through election cycles and Councils change, the direction of policies change.  He echoed Mr. McGuire’s comments, that if Mr. Garcia is interested in rezoning, he should pursue it and the Council will hear it in light of the same type of deliberations that have been taken for Mr. Zavala’s property.  He apologized to Mr. Garcia for the time it has taken, and suggested that down the road the City would have an opportunity to do something that will work even better for him.  He added that an important point to keep in mind is that tonight’s discussion is about enabling the ability to provide a Conditional Use Permit for these uses. 

 

Mr. Garcia asked if he would be able to build a residential home there.  Council Member Wolf stated that Council would have to look at the conditions, and the Staff can look at that issue as well. 

 

Mayor Lopez Rogers asked Brian Berndt, Development Services Director, to contact Mr. Garcia.  She informed Mr. Garcia that Mr. Zavala would have to come back to Council for a Conditional Use, so there would be other opportunities at that point as well.  She thanked Mr. Garcia for coming before the Council.

 

Mayor Lopez Rogers closed the public hearing.  She invited further questions and comments, and hearing none, asked to have the ordinance read.

 

Andrew McGuire, City Attorney, read Ordinance 1295-308, by title only.  Council Member Wolf moved to approve the zoning ordinance.  Vice Mayor Weise seconded the motion.  1) A 20 foot “Future Roadway Easement” shall be recorded on the northern portion of the site prior to issuance of any building permit.

 

Mayor Lopez Rogers invited further discussion, and hearing none, called for a vote.

 

ROLL CALL VOTE AS FOLLOWS:

 

                        Council Member Scott  Nay

                        Council Member Buster            Aye

                        Mayor Lopez-Rogers               Aye

                        Vice Mayor Weise                   Aye

                        Council Member Wolf  Aye

                        Council Member Karlin            Aye

                        Council Member McDonald     Aye

 

            Motion passed              6 Ayes             1 Nay

 

11)       PUBLIC HEARING AND ORDINANCE 1296-308 REZONE FROM AGRICULTURAL (AG) TO PLANNED AREA DEVELOPMENT (PAD) FOR DIAMOND P RANCH (Z-07-4)

           

12)       PRELIMINARY PLAT APPROVAL FOR DIAMOND P RANCH (PP-07-2)

            Charlie McClendon, City Manager, stated items 11 and 12 would be presented together by Eric Morgan.

 

Eric Morgan, Planner II, Development Services, gave a joint presentation on Item Z-07-4, a request for rezoning of approximately 245 acres from Agricultural (AG) to Planned Area Development (PAD), and also on Item PP-07-2, a request for approval of a Preliminary Plat.  He stated the subject property of approximately 245 acres is located south and west of the southwest corner of Avondale Blvd. and Lower Buckeye Road.  He described two land use designations, Low Density Residential along Lower Buckeye Road with a development density of 1 to 2.5 du/ac, with a target density of 1 du/ac, and the remainder of the site is Medium Density Residential with a density of 2.5 to 4 du/ac, with a target density of 2.5 du/ac.  He informed the Council that the applicant is proposing a development with a density of 2.4 du/ac.  Mr. Morgan stated the subject property is bounded on the west, north and east by properties inside the City limits which are PAD zoned and are residential in nature, and the subject property further south is within the County and zoned Agriculture.  The site is currently occupied by Pylman Dairy.  East of this site is Fleming Farms, which is moving through the final platting and landscaping processes.  North of this site is Del Rio Ranch, which is currently under construction, as is Cantada Ranch to the west of the subject site.  South of the site is vacant farm land, and to the southwest is a substation.  Mr. Morgan stated that the PAD narrative gives stipulations and direction on lot dimensions, setbacks, coverage, etc.

 

Mr. Morgan described the streets and circulation, stating the northern part of 117th Avenue is part of Fleming Farms’ approval, and the applicant is proposing to build two collector streets, Elwood Street and 119th Avenue.  The applicant has proposed 42 lots at 105 X 200 feet along the north, 169 lots at 73 X 120, and 211 lots at 68 X 115, as well as 167 lots at 63 X 110.  In total there will be 589 total lots at 2.4 du/ac.  He stated he would like the Council to notice that these lots are spread out throughout the development.  The average lot size provided will be 71 X 121 with an average area of 7,429 square feet.  It is anticipated that on Lower Buckeye, Avondale Blvd. and Elwood Street will be traffic signals.  Mr. Morgan informed the Council that the development standards for the side and rear setbacks comply with the Zoning Ordinance, which is a minimum of 8, and a combined total of 18, except for the largest sized lot, which would be a minimum of 15 with a combined side yard total of 30.  The PAD narrative does propose different front setbacks and what it does allow is a reduced setback for side entry garages and small casita areas that are attached to the main dwelling, which will provide variation and visual interest along the street scape.  The PAD narrative also proposes a slight increase in lot coverages, for the largest lots from 20 to 30%, and a 5% increase for the 73 and 68 foot wide lots, and a 40 to 50% increase for the smallest lots.  All other development standards comply with the Zoning Ordinance. 

 

Mr. Morgan pointed out that the applicant has worked with the Little Elementary School District with regard to a site of approximately 18.67 acres.  The PAD allows for this to be a school or to be developed as townhomes.  He pointed out that if the site is developed as townhomes, there are development standards that the townhomes must be 2-3 stories, provide two-car garages, and there can be no more than 130 units at 7 du/ac density.  He reported that part of the stipulations approved by the Planning Commission is a change of the PAD narrative, in that if the site would be developed as townhomes, it would have to come back through the Planning Commission and the Council for amendment of the Preliminary or the Final Plat.  He noted the applicant has been required to provide a minimum of 10% active open space (25 acres), and the applicant is providing 36 acres of active open space, approximately 15% of the site.  The total active and passive open space totals 50 acres or 20% of the site.  The active open space is proposed as a 6 acre community park with volleyball courts, trails, ramadas, shade structures, etc., and three pocket parks with basketball and volleyball structures, as well as barbecues, shade structures and tot lots.  The multi-use trail is two-thirds of a mile and travels east-west along the middle of the site, and then north-south along the western edge of the site and connects Avondale Blvd. with Lower Buckeye, and then continues on to the north through Del Rio Ranch.  The stabilized trail proposed will have landscaping, shade trees, benches, trash receptacles, and pedestrian scale lighting through the entire length.  One stipulation proposed by Staff is that any areas not specifically improved for the multi-use trail would still get treatment with decomposed granite for dust control and landscaping for aesthetics.  Mr. Morgan showed the Council slides of the entry signage, walls and fence elevations. 

 

Regarding phasing, Phase 1 consists of 206 lots, and the applicant proposes to construct Elwood Drive and 119th Avenue.  Staff is proposing a stipulation that offsite improvements be included in the first phase.  Phase 2 is 58 lots and includes the community park.  The school/townhome site would be required to be covered with decomposed granite for dust control if it remains undeveloped at that time.  Phase 3 is 186 lots, and Phase 4 is 139 lots. 

 

Mr. Morgan informed the Council that Staff and the Planning Commission found the PAD ordinance met the two required findings of the Zoning Ordinance, and that the proposed Preliminary Plat complies with the proposed PAD Ordinance, the Zoning Ordinance, and the Subdivision Regulations.  On February 21, 2008, the Planning Commission voted unanimously to recommend approval to rezone from AG to PAD with 8 stipulations, and approval of the Preliminary Plat with 10 stipulations.  Additional stipulations were later added stating “The developer of Diamond P Ranch shall relocate the existing high voltage power pole located in the northwest corner of Elwood Street and Avondale Blvd. to outside of the proposed right-of-way,” and “All areas within the power line easements not a part of the multi-use train system shall be covered with DG and provided landscaping,” and “All perimeter off-site improvements shall be completed with the first phase of development.”  Mr. Morgan stated Staff and the applicant were present to answer questions. 

 

Mayor Lopez Rogers invited questions for Staff, and hearing none, invited the developer to come forward.

 

Mike Curley, 3101 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, AZ, invited questions.

 

Council Member Karlin asked if it was correct that the land was not donated to the school district, but the property is provided if the school wants to build there.  Mr. Curley replied that is correct, they are reserving the site and they want the school to be there, and they are willing to go into a Development Agreement with the school district to make contributions to the school.  Council Member Karlin stated in Garden Lakes the developer donated the land to the schools, and commented there is overcrowding in the schools and there are not enough schools being built, primarily because there is not enough funding and a concern with purchase of the land.  She asked what would prohibit the applicant from donating land for the school.  Mr. Curley replied they do not know for certain that the school district will locate the school on their site, so at this point a donation is not in the cards, but they are willing to assist them through a developer contribution agreement.

 

Council Member Wolf stated that Littleton Elementary has a school on the other side of this development, and he does not know if a location of the school on this site is as much driven by the development as it is a potential relocation of the school that is on Avondale Blvd.  He stated he is in favor of the City working with Littleton School District regarding what happens with Littleton Elementary on Avondale Blvd. and Buckeye Road because he sees an opportunity to make this land available for relocation of the school and to provide the property on Avondale Blvd. and Buckeye Road for another use, as it is potentially very dangerous. 

 

Charlie McClendon, City Manager, stated he has personally talked with Littleton Elementary representatives about this on more than one occasion.  He relayed that it is complicated by some of the rules of the State School Facilities Board, which makes relocation of a school almost impossible until they are finished building other schools.  He stated that Staff continues to offer their assistance if and when the school relocates regarding the marketing and reuse of Littleton’s existing property. 

 

Mayor Lopez Rogers asked would the applicant consider leaving options open to a private or charter school site.  Mr. Curley replied there had been no discussion on that to his knowledge, so he could not speak to it, but he presumes if a charter school came knocking at the door, the Pylmans would certainly entertain that.  Mayor Lopez Rogers asked that that option be considered at some point.

 

Vice Mayor Weise complimented the developer on the larger size lots he is proposing.    He stated one of the complaints about graffiti was on the Pylman property, and if they could do something about that, that would be great.  Mr. Curley responded that when they first met with Staff, one of the first prerequisites that they gave was that the applicant incorporate the larger lots, so it had been part of their planning decisions from day one. 

 

Mayor Lopez Rogers invited further questions and comments, and hearing none, opened the item for public hearing.  There were no requests to speak.  Mayor Lopez Rogers closed the public hearing.  Hearing no further questions or comments, she asked to have the ordinance read.

 

Andrew McGuire, City Attorney, read Ordinance 1296-308.  Council Member Wolf moved to approve the ordinance.  Council Member Scott seconded the motion.

 

            Mayor Lopez Rogers invited further discussion.

 

            Andrew McGuire, City Attorney, reminded the Council that three additional stipulations were added.

 

            Council Member Wolf amended his motion to include the three stipulations.  Council Member Scott seconded the motion.  Stipulations are as follows:

 

1) Development shall be in substantial conformance with the Development Plan and narrative Planning Division date stamped February 8, 2008. 

 

2) Right-of-way shall be required as follows:  a) Lower Buckeye Road – 55 feet width half-street.  b) Avondale Boulevard – 65 feet width half-street.  c) 119th Avenue – 80 feet width full-street.  d) 117th Avenue – 70 feet width full-street once the roadway transitions onto the subject property from Fleming Farms PAD.  e) Elwood Street – 80 width full street.  Additional requirements for improvements, traffic signals and right-of-way for deceleration lanes, turn lanes, transit stops, etc., may be required during the Site Plan process depending upon the findings of traffic studies and analysis. 

 

3) Cost contribution towards traffic signals are required as follows:  a) Lower Buckeye Road & 119th Avenue - 50% of the cost to signalize the intersection.  b) Avondale Boulevard & Elwood Street - 25% of the cost to signalize the intersection.  Additional traffic signals may be required based upon the findings of traffic studies and analysis, and as determined by the City Engineer. 

 

4) Prior to recording of a final plat, the Developer shall:  a) Obtain ownership of the existing irrigation well ADWR Well Registration No. 55-565981, and transfer that ownership to the City; b) Provide a well site footprint of approximately 7,000 square feet, no more than 660 feet from the location of the existing well, for purchase by the City; c) Provide design and construction of a pressurized transmission line from the well site to an existing transmission line at 119th Avenue and Lower Buckeye Road for reimbursement by the City; and d) The City shall work with the Developer to prepare a Purchase and Reimbursement Agreement to cover the well site property and the transmission line costs. 

 

5) Prior to recording of a final plat, the Developer shall abandon per the Arizona Department of Water Resources’ (ADWR) well abandonment rules any existing domestic and/or irrigation wells that will not be transferred to the City.  This includes, but is not limited to, ADWR Well Registration Nos. 55-634912, 55-625282, and 55-625281. 

 

6) Prior to issuance of the first Certificate of Occupancy, extinguish and pledge all existing Grandfathered Irrigation Rights, in conformance with Arizona Statutes, to the City’s assured Water Supply account at the ADWR.  This includes, but is not limited to, Rights Nos. 58-106098.0003 (75.2 acres), 58-106096.0004 (21.741 acres), 58-110594.0002 (50.0 acres), and 58-106096.0003 (371.88 acres). 

 

7) A full traffic study shall be required at the time of Master Site Plan or Preliminary Plat application.  A site specific traffic study shall be required for the proposed school/proposed Townhomes (R-2) site. 

 

8) A Preliminary Plat shall be required for the single family attached townhomes site prior to the development.  The Preliminary Plat shall require recommendation from the Planning Commission and approval by City Council.  The Preliminary Plat shall not be an administrative approval by Staff. 

 

9) The developer of Diamond P. Ranch shall relocate the existing high voltage power pole located in the northwest corner of Elwood Street and Avondale Blvd. to outside of the proposed right-of-way.

 

10) All areas within the power line easements not a part of the multi-use trail system shall be covered with DG and provided landscaping.

 

11) All perimeter off-site improvements shall be completed with the first phase of development.

 

            Mayor Lopez Rogers invited further discussion, and hearing none, called for a vote.

 

ROLL CALL VOTE AS FOLLOWS:

 

                        Council Member Scott  Aye

                        Council Member Buster            Aye

                        Mayor Lopez-Rogers               Aye

                        Vice Mayor Weise                   Aye

                        Council Member Wolf  Aye

                        Council Member Karlin            Aye

                        Council Member McDonald     Aye

 

            Motion carried unanimously.

 

            Mayor Lopez Rogers asked for a motion on Item 12, the Preliminary Plat approval for Diamond P Ranch (PP-07-2).

 

            Council Member Wolf moved to approve the Preliminary Plat subject to the stipulations in the Staff Report and those discussed this evening.  Vice Mayor Weise seconded the motion.

 

1) Development shall be in substantial conformance with the Development Plan and narrative Planning Division date stamped February 8, 2008. 

 

2) Prior to recording of a final plat, the Developer shall:  a) Obtain ownership of the existing irrigation well, ADWR Well Registration No. 55-565981, and transfer that ownership to the City; b) Provide a well site footprint of approximately 7,000 square feet, no more than 660 feet from the location of the existing well, for purchase by the City; c) Provide design and construction of a pressurized transmission line from the well site to an existing transmission line at 119th Avenue and Lower Buckeye Road, for reimbursement by the City; and d) The City shall work with the Developer to prepare a Purchase and Reimbursement Agreement to cover the well site property and the transmission line cost. 

 

3) Prior to recording of a final plat, the Developer shall abandon per the Arizona Department of Water Resources’ (ADWR) well abandonment rules any existing domestic and/or irrigation wells that will not be transferred to the City.  This includes, but is not limited to, ADWR Well Registration Nos. 55-634912, 55-625282, and 55-625281. 

 

4) Prior to issuance of the first Certificate of Occupancy, extinguish and pledge all existing Grandfathered Irrigation Rights, in conformance with Arizona Statutes, to the City’s assured Water Supply account at the ADWR.  This includes, but is not limited to, Rights Nos. 58-106098.0003 (75.2 acres), 58-106096.0004 (21.741 acres), 58-110594.0002 (50.0 acres), and 58-106096.0003 (371.88 acres). 

 

5) On the final plat, Tract K Well Site shall abut directly upon 119th Avenue, thus eliminating that section of Tract H directly abutting Tract K Well Site.

 

6) A site-specific traffic study analysis for the school site will be required at site plan or building permit application, whichever comes first.  Amenities for Safe Routes to School to be coordinated with Civil Infrastructure plans.

 

7) Improvements required for the ¾ access opening (right-in/right-out/left-in only) at Odeum Lane & Avondale Boulevard to be shown on the Civil Infrastructure plans. 

 

8) Cost contribution towards traffic signals are required as follows:  a) Lower Buckeye Road & 119th Avenue - 50% of the cost to signalize the intersection.  b) Avondale Boulevard & Elwood Street - 25% of the cost to signalize the intersection.  c) Additional traffic signals may be required based upon the findings of traffic studies and analysis, and as determined by the City Engineer. 

 

9) Signing and Striping Plan will be required at Civil Improvement Plans submittal.

 

            10) The developer of Diamond P Ranch shall relocate the existing high voltage power pole located in the northwest corner of Elwood Street and Avondale Blvd. to outside the proposed right-of-way.

 

            11) All areas within the power line easements not a part of the multi-use trail system shall be covered with DG and provided landscaping.

 

            12) All perimeter off-site improvements shall be completed with the first phase of development.

 

            Mayor Lopez Rogers invited further discussion, and hearing none, called for a vote.

 

ROLL CALL VOTE AS FOLLOWS:

 

                        Council Member Scott  Aye

                        Council Member Buster            Aye

                        Mayor Lopez-Rogers               Aye

                        Vice Mayor Weise                   Aye

                        Council Member Wolf  Aye

                        Council Member Karlin            Aye

                        Council Member McDonald     Aye

 

            Motion carried unanimously.

 

13)       PUBLIC HEARING AND ORDINANCE 1294-308 REZONE FROM AGRICULTURAL (AG) TO PLANNED AREA DEVELOPMENT (PAD) FOR AVONDALE COMMERCE PARK (Z-07-7)

           

Eric Morgan, Planner II, Development Services, stated this is Item Z-07-7.  The property is currently zoned Agricultural and is within the Freeway Corridor Specific Plan area.  The subject property is bordered on the south by the City of Tolleson.  The site is approximately 80 acres.  Development is to the north, east and south, and to the west is currently vacant, but development is expected.  The development standards in the proposed PAD establishes setbacks which comply with the minimums of the Freeway Corridor Plan and Zoning Ordinance, and addresses maximum building heights, which comply with the amended Freeway Corridor Specific Plan, and adopts those performance criteria to obtain the bonus height, which would allow up to six stories, 84 feet, for all uses except stand-alone retail.  The PAD also addresses open space and amenities and complies with the minimums of the Freeway Corridor Plan and the Zoning Ordinance, and provisions for pedestrian refuge areas.  The PAD addresses landscaping, which complies with the minimums of the Zoning Ordinance and Freeway Corridor Plan, with additional stipulations for undulating perimeter walls for enhanced visibility and attractiveness, as well as enhanced entryway corridors.  The signage complies with the maximums of the Zoning Ordinance. 

 

Mr. Morgan pointed out that the original PAD narrative proposed no phasing, but Staff asked for a stipulation, which the Planning Commission approved, to meet the Freeway Corridor Plan minimum phasing of 10 acres for a master development plan.  Mr. Morgan described the uses of PADs A and B as based upon the Commerce Park and A-1 General Industrial zoning districts, without any of the heavy uses or conditional uses of the General Industrial district.  PADs C and D correspond to the Community-Commercial C-2 zoning district and are meant to provide support to the employment areas of PADs A and B and other nearby developments in the immediate vicinity. 

 

Mr. Morgan informed the Council that Staff and the Planning Commission found that the request met the two required findings of Section 6 of the PAD Zoning Ordinance, and on February 21, 2008, the Planning Commission recommended approval by a vote of 5-1 with the eight stipulations proposed by Staff. 

 

Mayor Lopez Rogers invited questions and comments, and hearing none, opened the item for public hearing.  There were no requests to speak.  Mayor Lopez Rogers closed the public hearing and asked to have the ordinance read.

 

Andrew McGuire, City Attorney, read Ordinance 1294-308, by title only.  Council Member Wolf moved to approve the ordinance as read.  Vice Mayor Weise seconded the motion.

 

1) Development shall be in substantial conformance with the Development Plan and narrative Planning Division date stamped February 8, 2008.

 

2)  Right-of-way shall be dedicated to the City as required by the then-current version of the City’s adopted transportation plan:  For reference purposes only, as of the date of this Ordinance, the required right-of-way dedications are as follows:  (This stipulation has been modified from the Planning Commission recommendation by the City Attorney.)  a) Van Buren Street – 65 feet half-street width.  b) Roosevelt Street – 50 feet half-street width.  c) 101st Avenue – 40 feet half-street width.  d) 103rd Avenue – 40 feet half-street width transitioning into 80 feet full-street width as determined by the ultimate street alignment.  E) Pierce Street – 80 feet full-street width.  Additional requirements for improvements, traffic signals and right-of-way for deceleration lanes, turn lanes, transit stops, may be required during the Site Plan process depending upon the findings of the required traffic studies. 

 

3) A contribution of 25% of the cost of a traffic signal at 103rd Avenue and Van Buren Street shall be required with approval of the Master Site Plan for the first phase.  Additional traffic signals may be required depending upon the findings of traffic studies and analysis, as determined by the City Engineer.

 

4) A 16” water line is planned to go in Van Buren by a CIP job.  This development will be required to pay for the portion along their frontage with the first phase prior to issuance of permits.

 

5) A 65-feet width half-street waterline easement along the entire frontage of Van Buren Street is required for installation of a 16” waterline, water quality station and meters.  Said easement shall be granted and executed prior to recordation of a Final Plat.

 

6) All groundwater rights shall be dedicated to the City of Avondale in conformance with Arizona Statutes prior to issuance of the first Certificate of Occupancy.

 

7) Master Site Plans shall be a minimum of 10 acres.  A minimum of twenty-five (25%) percent of each Master Site Plan shall be developed in the first phase.

 

8) Development shall conform to the Design Manuals as adopted by the City and maintained by the Development Services Department.

 

Mayor Lopez Rogers invited further discussion, and hearing none, called for a vote.

 

ROLL CALL VOTE AS FOLLOWS:

 

                        Council Member Scott  Aye

                        Council Member Buster            Aye

                        Mayor Lopez-Rogers               Aye

                        Vice Mayor Weise                   Aye

                        Council Member Wolf  Aye

                        Council Member Karlin            Aye

                        Council Member McDonald     Aye

 

            Motion carried unanimously.

 

14)       ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business to come before the Council, Council Member Wolf moved to adjourn.  Vice Mayor Weise seconded the motion.  The motion carried unanimously.

 

Meeting adjourned at 9:50 p.m.

 

                                                                                                _____________________________

                                                                                                Mayor Lopez-Rogers

 

_________________________________

Linda M. Farris, CMC

City Clerk

 

CERTIFICATION

 

I hereby certify that the foregoing minutes are a true and correct copy of the minutes of the regular meeting of the Council of the City of Avondale held on the 17th day of March, 2008.  I further certify that the meeting was duly called and held and that the quorum was present.

 

 

__________________________________

City Clerk

Any individual with a qualified disability may request a reasonable accommodation by contacting the City Clerk at 623-333-1200 at least 48 hours prior to the Council meeting.