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MINUTES

REGULAR TOWN COUNCIL MEETING

TOWN OF CAVE CREEK, ARIZONA

MONDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2005

 

CALL TO ORDER: Mayor Vincent Francia called the meeting to order at 7:02 p.m. at the Cave Creek Town Hall, 37622 N. Cave Creek Road, Cave Creek, Arizona.

 

ROLL CALL: Town Clerk Carrie A. Dyrek

 

Council Present:         Mayor Vincent Francia, Vice Mayor Dick Esser, Council Members

                                    Kim Brennan, Ernie Bunch, Gilbert Lopez, Thomas McGuire and

                                    Grace Meeth

 

Council Absent:          None

 

Staff Present:             Town Manager                         Usama Abujbarah

                                    Town Clerk                              Carrie A. Dyrek

                                    Town Engineer             Wayne Anderson

                                    Planning Director                      Ian Cordwell   

                                    Town Attorney                         Bill Farrell

                                    Attorneys                                 Kelly Lewis & Gary Birnbaum from

                                                                                    Mariscal, Weeks.

 

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE   Everyone stood and gave Pledge to the flag.

 

PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

Francia introduced Attorneys Kelly Lewis and Gary Birnbaum of Mariscal, Weeks.

 

CALL TO THE PUBLIC

 

Jack Evans of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Posse thanked Marshal Adam Stein and the Town for providing a newer radio for the posse making communication safer for posse members.

 

Senator Waring commented on legislative perspective regarding the bills on state-shared revenues, tax issues and developers, eminent domain, and cable.

 

Anna Marsolo, 41816 N. Sierra Vista, spoke on general plan issues not yet acted upon.  Two very important issues that were motioned and passed by Council have yet to be acted on.  On September 7, 2004 Mozilo and Lopez made and seconded a motion to direct Staff regarding the initiation of amendments to the Zoning Ordinance and setting a maximum number of square feet for commercial businesses in the Town Core.  The object for that was to protect the Town Core while making the other properties on Carefree Highway more intense.  To this date this has not been done.  The second important issue was a motion made by Mozilo to designate land currently zoned commercial located at the SE corner of Cave Creek Road and Carefree Highway as appropriate for general commercial land uses.  Also, the Staff was to bring to the Council a definition of General Commercial and then to revise the zoning for that property to General Commercial for the Council to vote on.  Although a motion was passed and approval of Council was given, action on that cause has not been taken, causing one to question the validity of the motion and the whole vote of the General Plan because the description has yet to be made setting forth what General Commercial is.

 

REPORTS

 

1.                  Presentation by Cathy Connolly, Executive Director of the Arizona League of Cities and Towns, on a recap of the 2005 Legislative Session and a look ahead at what cities and towns can expect in the 2006 session.

 

2.                  Presentation by Nissa Maddox of the Trust for Public Land regarding the Town of Cave Creek Feasibility Study.

 

Francia commented that Nissa Maddox was unable to make it out of Colorado therefore her presentation would not be given this night.

 

Cathy Connolly presented a recap of the 2005 Legislative Session and a look ahead at what cities and towns can expect in the 2006 session.  She stated that her legislative director and she were doing something rather unprecedented over the summer and fall in going out to speak to individual communities on what they found to be a very difficult legislative session.  There was an anti-city sentiment at this session of the legislature that was unprecedented.  Two things of most concern to them were the very basic premise of local control and state-shared revenues.  She went through some issues of local control that happened during that last legislative session and the principle of where decision-making should take place.  The League was founded and continues to exist on the premise that decisions regarding local mattes should be made at the City and Town Council level in consultation with local citizens – not at the State legislature.

 

ü      Cable Television: The cable industry came to the legislature’s session and said the system has been in place since the 1970s and they don’t like that anymore because it places too much control in the hands of the individual City and Town Councils.  The current law basically requires the cable company to come to the Town Council and negotiate with the Council an agreement and contract that would work for the community and that makes financial sense for the cable company.  They wanted to change that and have the State legislature determine what could or could not be in those contracts.  This bill was successfully defeated by a single vote on the floor of the House.

 

ü      State-shared Revenues:  Senator Waring is correct regarding the State-shared income tax revenue.  This seems to be under attack by the legislature but was passed by the voters of the State of Arizona in 1972 pursuant to an initiative after the legislature decided against granting those monies.  There were tradeoffs in that initiative bill as well.  Basically, the cities agreed not to impose a local income tax and they also agreed not to impose a local luxury tax in return for the State-shared revenues.  The program has gone unchanged but during the last session of the legislature there was a proposal to take those state-shared revenues away from the nine largest cities.  We opposed this.  Senator J. Flake stated during the discussions “there isn’t a single city in my district that falls within this definition of the nine largest cities.  But there isn’t a single mayor or councilman that doesn’t understand the concept of divide and conquer or that what they do today to the nine largest cities will happen to my city in the future.”  He opposed this because he believed this was an attack on all cities eventually.  That State-shared revenue source provides almost $400,000 in monies to Cave Creek each year.

 

ü      Annexation Authority:  This was under attack this year at the legislature.  The law already requires that you receive the approval of the majority of the property owners both by value and by number.  There were attacks in the House to change that so that there would be an almost unreasonable signature requirement, in the range of 80%, except for single property annexations, virtually making annexation unavailable.

 

ü      Development of Fee Reporting: This is not an issue of whether or not you believe in tax incentives.  The issue is “who should make the decision?”  Should the decisions, since we are dealing with local tax dollars, be made by the City or Town Council in conjunction with local citizens, or should the State legislature make those decisions?  It should be made at the local level and whatever restraints are put on it should come from the Town Council.  It is local money involved; no State money is involved.  The basic issue is local control and this attack during the last legislative session makes us very concerned about what will happen in 2006.  On the positive side Cathy Connolly stated that there are some things that individual Councils can do.  Some of the decision-making at the Capitol is because our legislators do not really understand the issues that are facing our Cities and Towns throughout the State and that those Cities and Towns have not taken the time to educate them about what’s happening in the communities.  Perhaps a dialogue well in advance of the next legislative session (before January) might be well worth your time to brief them on what is happening in your community in order to give them an appreciation of the fact that you do know what you are doing and can be trusted with these important decisions.

 

ACTION ITEMS

 

I.                   CONSENT AGENDA

A.                 Approval of August 29, 2005 Regular Town Council Meeting Minutes.

B.                 Approval of September 6, 2005 Regular Town Council Meeting Minutes.

C.                 Approval of Deed of Gift to the Town for a dedicated easement for roadway and public utilities purposed over, under and across 10.0 feet of the east half of the northwest quarter of Section 33, Township 67 North, Range 4 East; Assessor’s Parcel 211-14-044E.  Grantors are Anthony F. and Mary C. Venetucci.

 

M/Brennan, S/McGuire to Consent Agenda as submitted.  M/C 7-0 by voice vote.

 

II.        GENERAL AGENDA ITEMS

 

1.                  COUNCIL DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE APPROVAL OF RESOLUTION R2005-25, DECLARING A PUBLIC NEED AND NECESSITY AND A PURPOSE; AUTHORIZING AND DIRECTING THE TOWN MANAGER, TOWN ATTORNEY AND TOWN CLERK TO TAKE ANY AND ALL ACTION NECESSARY; AND, TO SIGN ANY AND ALL DOCUMENTS; AND TO PAY ANY AND ALL COSTS OR FEES IN ORDER TO ACQUIRE REAL PROPERTY CONSISTING OF 2.2 ACRES OWNED BY THE CHURCH OF THE GOOD SHEPHERD OF THE HILLS LOCATED WITHIN THE CORPORATE LIMITS OF THE TOWN OF CAVE CREEK, THROUGH PURCHASE.

 

Cordwell reported that the Town has been approached by the parish of the church of The Good Shepherd of the Hills (the “Church”) to determine our interest in acquiring the north 480 feet of Lot 11, Friers Addition No. 1, also known as Saguaro Hills.  This parcel is approximately 2.2 acres and the price of $400,000.00 was arrived at by use of an appraisal prepared for the Church.

 

The Attached Resolution R2005-25 authorizes Town Staff to acquire the property and it is proposed that the property be acquired with a $200,000.00 cash down payment and the execution of a $200,000.00 Deed of Trust which would be payable in one year.

 

The Desert Foothills Land Trust has indicated a desire to partner with the Town on this open space and has indicated that it will raise the $200,000.00 within the next 12 months to satisfy the outstanding Deed of Trust.

 

Should the Town Council authorize the acquisition of the property from the Church, then a separate agreement will be negotiated with the Desert Foothills Land Trust regarding their acquisition of a one-half (1/2) interest.  Should those negotiations fail for some reason, then the Town would be obligated to come up with the additional $200,000.00 in order to obtain free and clear Title to the property. 

 

Cordwell mentioned the Town Core Plan; the acquisition of Saguaro Hills open space was identified in the land use zone and implementation program in the Town Core Plan adopted in March 2000.  He gave a brief description of this.  Saguaro Hills is a prominent natural land form in the Town Core located north of Cave Creek Road and East of School House Road.  This area is designated as park open space and is under private ownership.  The entire designated area comprises approximately 14 acres, however approximately 4.5 acres is under the jurisdiction of the Desert Foothills Land Trust.  The entire area is vacant at this time and provides a connection to Gateway Park and Trail access to the commercial and public facilities on the north side of Cave Creek Road.  This discusses the approaches of the purchase of the property at the time we had estimated that cost of acquisition would be $500,000 to $650,000. 

 

The program and project completion time was 1-3 months for appraisals and 3 months to 5 years for acquisition.  The primary responsibility in acquiring this is identified as the Town of Cave Creek and the Desert Foothills Land Trust.  The potential resources for purchase include the Heritage funds, Desert Foothills Land Trust, private donations, and Town General Fund.  Since this time the Land Trust has gone on independently to acquire Go John Canyon, and Watts Preserve to below the Creek adjacent to Spur Cross.  At this time the Town is stepping forward; we have the development fees in place to purchase some open space and this is on the priority list to acquire a portion of Saguaro Hill anyway.

 

 

 

COUNCIL QUESTIONS

 

Cordwell responded to Esser that the appraisal was done by the Church and he had seen it.  The date of the appraisal was July 21st.

 

Lopez asked if there was any need or desirability to have an independent appraisal to which Counsel responded they didn’t feel they needed another appraisal.

 

Cordwell responded to Meeth that 2.28 acres is 480 feet and is not the entire parcel.  The Good Shepherd of the Hills Church owns the parking lot with the Gold Mine shop up front along Cave Creek Road which is commercially zoned property.  The Church itself is in multi-family property and behind it is Desert Rural DR-89 that the Church has split off.  It met our lot-split requirements in the area of requirements with the intent of selling the property.  That is the 2.28 acres in escrow.  It is visible from Cave Creek Road and goes up the hill quite a distance.  The majority is on the south side.

 

McGuire asked clarification for the Town placing this particular parcel in the category of needing to be preserved and high priority.  Cordwell responded that when the Town Core Study was done the open space was studied as part of the Town Core Plan and the natural geographic boundaries to the Town Core are Saguaro Hills to the north and Brenner’s Hill and Andora Wash to the south.  It is felt that if the Town could acquire or receive donations of land on Brenner’s Hill and Saguaro Hill it would help preserve and define the Town Core.

 

Abujbarah responded to Lopez that based on the market date of recent transactions Staff knows that it is the current market value.

 

Bunch asked if the source of the funds is from Development Fees.  Cordwell agreed.

 

Birnbaum responded that he needed a few minutes to look at the appraisal and then gave more detail to the per acre price.  Mr. Macander, a Certified General Appraiser, prepared the appraisal for Mozilo.  He did apply the standards applicable under the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice.  The appraiser utilized 15 comparable sales available for inspection.  The comparable sales indicated a range of value of between $255,000 and $495,000 with a median of approximately $390,000.  The specific answer to Lopez is that this Council is not required to obtain an independent appraisal, nor is this Council required to utilize Macander’s appraisal.  Instead Council is permitted to use its own judgment and advice of Staff to make an independent determination of what it believes is the appropriate fair market value of the property.  He stated that he could not tell Council that the comparables were appropriately selected or adjusted, that would take either a review of the appraisal to be conducted or a new independent appraisal on the part of the Town.  Ultimately whatever the next or this appraisal says, it’s the Council through the Staff that has to make the determination as to whether Council believes the market price is fair.

 

PUBLIC COMMENT

 

Representatives of Good Shepherd of the Hills Episcopal Church were present.

 

Ralph Mozilo stated that the appraiser was from a list of appraisers that Bob Lee had given them.  This is a local certified appraiser.  He stated he was not on the Board of the Church or a representative.  He was asked by the Rector of the Church to meet with him in his office and a developer who wanted to buy the parcel to build a spec house.  When he climbed to the top of the hill with the developer to look where he would put the house, Mozilo realized that the property was adjacent to the preserve area next to the library.  He would prefer to see that area preserved as it is the heritage of this Town.  He spoke with Michael Rigney, Executive Director of the Desert Foothills Land Trust to see if they had an interest.  He also spoke with Abujbarah to see if the Town would have an interest in partnering with the Desert Foothills Land Trust and he thought this was a legal thing that the Town could do.  Mozilo stated that he felt this was a great win-win opportunity for the Town to partner with the Desert Foothills Land Trust to preserve a piece of property.  He urged Council to approve this Resolution.

 

Commissioner Steven LaMar, 5028 E. Desert Hills Drive spoke on behalf of the Church.  He told Council that the church decided to sell the land as part of their capital improvement plan to enhance the campus.  He stated that it didn’t occur to them that this land could be preserved.  They were just ready to put it on the market.  The Church was delighted at the prospect of preserving land adjacent to them.  This is a great opportunity to partner with the Town.

 

Michael Rigney, Executive Director Desert Foothills Land Trust wishes to partner with the Town to preserve this property.

 

Rudy Williams, 6861 E. Stevens Road expressed concern for the language in the Resolution, stating “authorizing and directing Town Manager, Town Attorney, Town Clerk to do any and all actions or any and all documents and any and all costs…”  He felt this might be inappropriate.  He saw a huge blank check to give to three individuals and it is too wide a blank check to be put on the table.

 

Carrie Dyrek stated that the purchase agreement is yet to be negotiated and will come back to Council for their approval.

 

Don Sorchych, 5000 E. Morning Star does not believe the Town should enter into an Agreement with these two organizations using taxpayers’ money.

 

COUNCIL COMMENTS

 

M/Esser, S/Brennan to approve Resolution R2005-25.

 

Esser commented that he heard what both the Church and the Desert Foothills Land Trust had said as well as what Sorchych had said.  There is probably some truth to all of that but the mission and objective here is to preserve a well-known landmark.  For that reason he is willing to take a chance.  None of the details of the agreements have been worked out yet as spoken by the Town Clerk.  That action will come back to Council and they will receive public scrutiny and public input so there are some safeguards.

 

Brennan stated that this is about “where” for her.  This particular piece is right down town is small but beautiful and very unique and significant.  She is in favor of preserving it.

McGuire shared that less than 2 years ago we bought an extra acre of land next to their property with the intention of preserving their views and no intention of building on it.  He commented that there just isn’t a lot of land left.

 

Meeth stated that she believed very strongly in strategic planning and the previous Council had sat down many times to talk about what pieces of land in this Town needed to be preserved.  All of Saguaro Hill was included in that so she felt this is a great thing.  When the Town approached the State Land Department a several years ago to say they wanted to annex and work with State Land we had no credibility.  Now we have this great interface going with the Desert Foothills Land Trust.  The State Land Department told Cave Creek that the Desert Foothills Land Trust is the only organization, including all municipalities in this State that had spoken for land and then paid for it.  They have good credibility, which got this Town in the door, and now we have our annexation to the west to thank for it.  The fact that we will partner on something else is a wonderful idea.

 

Bunch stated that the property needs to be preserved but he has a problem using Town funds by letting another organization have control over it.

 

Lopez stated that he has spoken many times of his desire to conserve or preserve as much land around the Town as we could possibly afford that is appropriate.  As former Vice Mayor Mozilo spoke he thought of certain areas that are of special interest to the Town and this is one of them.  He will support it.

 

Francia referred to Meeth’s comments on the Saguaro Hill area as being on the strategic plan of preservation for Council for a number of years.  The most notable is Spur Cross and we saw how the community acted in order to bring that acquisition about.  He supports this for the same reason, every acre preserved in this community, – the better.

 

M/C 6-1 by roll call with Bunch voting nay.

 

2.                  COUNCIL DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE APPROVAL OF RESOLUTION R2005-26 DECLARING SUPPORT TO THE REQUEST BY RESIDENTS OF WHISPERING HILLS SUBDIVISION TO BE ANNEXED INTO THE CAVE CREEK UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT; OFFERING FURTHER SUPPORT TO THE REQUEST BY RESIDENTS OF THE WHISPERING HILLS SUBDIVISION TO BE DEANNEXED FROM THE DEER VALLEY UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT; AUTHORIZING THE TOWN CLERK TO SEND A CERTIFIED COPY OF THIS RESOLUTION TO THE BOARDS OF BOTH DISTRICTS AND; AUTHORIZING AND DIRECTING THE TOWN MANAGER TO PROVIDE ANY TECHNICAL SUPPORT NECESSARY TO SAID REQUESTS THROUGH TOWN STAFF.

 

Francia commented that he had been in Email contact with the citizens of Whispering Hills last week, speaking on their behalf before the Cave Creek School Board.

 

 

PUBLIC COMMENT

 

Jennifer Schwimer, 3713 E. Galvin Street was representing the community of Whispering Hills.  She spoke on their behalf on September 20th to the Cave Creek School Board.  Also speaking were residents of Whispering Hills and others.  They are present tonight to ask Council to pass this Resolution.  They need as much support as they can get.  They know that Deer Valley denied this request two years ago and she stated that they are very well prepared but the Council’s support would give one more vote in favor of this.  They live in Cave Creek and vote on Town issues.  They want their children to go to school in their community.  They are closer to the Cave Creek schools geographically.  She gave copies of their petition to the Council.

 

COUNCIL COMMENTS

 

In response to Lopez, Schwimmer stated that the mileage is 4.5 miles to Cave Creek Schools and 17 miles to Deer Valley in Anthem.

 

Schwimmer responded to Esser that there are ninety homes in Whispering Hills and all are occupied except for two of them.  There are 43 students.

 

Marcie Prock, 3935 E. Galvin in Whispering Hills gave a personal testimony of what it is like to be a mom in Whispering Hills and be a part of Cave Creek in every capacity of their lives except for the school.  She requested that their children go to Cave Creek schools because they are members of the Cave Creek community.

 

M/ESSER, S/McGUIRE TO APPROVE RESOLUTION R2005-26.  Esser read the title for the record.

 

RESOLUTION R2005-26

 

A RESOLUTION OF THE MAYOR AND COMMON COUNCIL OF THE TOWN OF CAVE CREEK, ARIZONA, DECLARING SUPPORT TO THE REQUEST BY RESIDENTS OF WHISPERING HILLS SUBDIVISION TO BE ANNEXED INTO THE CAVE CREEK UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT; OFFERING FURTHER SUPPORT TO THE REQUEST BY RESIDENTS OF THE WHISPERING HILLS SUBDIVISION TO BE DEANNEXED FROM THE DEER VALLEY UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT; AUTHORIZING THE TOWN CLERK TO SEND A CERTIFIED COPY OF THIS RESOLUTION TO THE BOARDS OF BOTH DISTRICTS AND; AUTHORIZING AND DIRECTING THE TOWN MANAGER TO PROVIDE ANY TECHNICAL SUPPORT NECESSARY TO SAID REQUESTS THROUGH TOWN STAFF.

 

Esser stated that he was in awe that the Town continues to grow and our demographics have changed.

 

McGuire stated that the Town owes Whispering Hills our support.

 

Meeth expressed her concern that the zip codes don’t match the schools or the Town and it doesn’t make sense.  She was concerned that the Cave Creek Schools are over crowded and might not honor this request.  She hopes they will.

 

Lopez responded as a parent and the importance of parents trying to participate in the activities of the students, making several trips daily to the schools.  It is important for parents to be able to do this.  If the child’s interest is taken to heart Anthem certainly would agree to do as much as they can to assure the Cave Creek School District will accept them.

 

Brennan supports this and wishes them luck.  She stated for the record that Fry’s and Home Depot are in Phoenix.

 

Bunch expressed his experience with his own children going to the Cave Creek School District and the amount of time it took to get home.  He hopes that the State Legislature would take notice of this and find a way to make this easier.

 

Francia stated that Item #1 was about preservation and this one is about community.  Both have a great deal of value.  He will be with the citizens on Tuesday before the Deer Valley School Board.  It will be up to them but the letter of support will hopefully make things a little easier.

 

M/C 7-0 by roll call.

 

Francia conferred with Legal Counsel on Agenda Item #1.  We did not read the entire Resolution.  Francia then asked Vice Mayor Esser to read the entire Resolution.

 

RESOLUTION R-2005-25

 

A RESOLUTION OF THE MAYOR AND COMMON COUNCIL OF THE TOWN OF CAVE CREEK, ARIZONA DECLARING A PUBLIC NEED AND NECESSITY AND A PUBLIC PURPOSE AUTHORIZING AND DIRECTING THE TOWN MANAGER, TOWN ATTORNEY, AND TOWN CLERK TO TAKE ANY AND ALL ACTION TO TAKE ANY AND ALL ACTION NECESSARY; AND, TO SIGN ANY AND ALL DOCUMENTS; AND TO PAY ANY AND ALL COSTS OR FEES IN ORDER TO ACQUIRE REAL PROPERTY CONSISTING OF 2.2 ACRES OWNED BY THE CHURCH OF THE GOOD SHEPHERD OF THE HILLS LOCATED WITHIN THE CORPORATE LIMITS OF THE TOWN OF CAVE CREEK, THROUGH PURCHASE.

 

3.                  PUBLIC HEARING AND POSSIBLE APPROVAL OF ORDINANCE O2005-18, AMENDING THE ZONING MAP OF THE TOWN OF CAVE CREEK

 

CASE NUMBER:                  Z-05-01 David Lewis - Rezone

APPLICANT/                          David Lewis

OWNER:                                 Julie Terry

APN:                                       216-07-008

            LOCATION:                           38020 N. Vermeersch (Exhibit A)

            REQUEST:                              Approval for Case No: A-05-01 David Lewis-Rezone, to rezone a parcel from a Desert Rural (DR-89) Zone to a Commercial Buffer (CB) Zone (Attachment).

            ZONING:                                Desert Rural (DR-89) Zone

            SURROUNDING                    North: Residential (DR-89) Zone

            ZONING:                                South and West: Commercial Core (CC) Zone

                                                            East: Multi-family Residential (MR-14) Zone

            LAND USE:                            Single-family residence

           

            Surrounding:                   North: Gateway Park

            Land Use:                            South: Roadhouse Restaurant and Jackalope Center

                                                            East: Single Family Residences

                                                            West: Town Dump store & Petite Acres Mobile Home Park

 

Cordwell reported on this project.  This is a request to approve the rezoning of a parcel from Desert Rural (DR) to Commercial Buffer (CB) Zone.  The Town of Cave Creek Planning and Zoning Commission at a public hearing on July 21, 2005 voted 4-2 to recommend approval of Case No. Z-05-01, the David Lewis rezoning request.

 

The property owner is Julie Terry.  The parcel is located behind the Cave Creek Road House and just south of Gateway Park, West of Vermeersch Road.  At present the property has some residential uses on it as well as some storage.

 

The request is to rezone the subject property, approximately 5.6 acres from current Desert Rural to Commercial Buffer Zone.  The Town of Cave Creek Zoning Ordinance does not require site plans to be provided as part of the submittal since conditional rezoning is no longer recognized within the Ordinance.  As for the Ordinance, Section 3.4 D, initiation of a rezoning an owner of real property within the Town or that owner’s authorized representative, may, upon proof of ownership, apply for change in zoning district boundaries, or rezoning, for that planned owner’s property.  The Town Staff, the Commission, and the Council also may initiate such amendments.  If a rezoning application filed by a party other than the Commission or Council includes property not owned by the applicant, the application shall include the signatures of the real property owners representing at least 75% of the land in the area proposed to be changed.

 

Although Staff has recommended that the applicant submit a proposed site plan for reference, the accompanying narrative and exhibits (attachments) are not considered as a part of the rezoning, if the request were to be approved.

 

Subsequent to any rezoning action, the applicant would have to submit a request for site plan approval that meets the bulk regulations of the underlying zone.

 

The Project Narrative (attachment) describes a proposed mixed-use development comprised of 44 condominium units and commercial buildings.

 

Under General Plan Conformity, the Land Use Map of the Town Core Plan identifies the subject parcel as being designated for very Low Density Residential (VLDR) uses with a denotation as being an Area Appropriate for More Intensity.  This denotation has never been further defined; the Planning Commission and Town Council would have to determine whether or not a Commercial Buffer (B) Zone designation would be appropriate for the subject property, based upon its compatibility with surrounding land uses.

 

The Town Core Plan Vision Statement states:

 

The Town Core should contain the office, retail, artisan, local government, and civic/cultural facilities that will complement a primary tourist/specialty market.  Regional facilities such as cultural facilities, lodging, eating and drinking establishments and entertainment should predominate in this area.  There should also be natural open space, passive and low intensity parklands, and pedestrian oriented facilities.  It should include a variety of housing opportunities for single-family housing.  This housing should allow for a mix of living experiences for the young, area employees, elderly, and local artisans.  Development should be oriented toward low-rise facilities.  Town Core development shall maintain the historical scale and encourage southwestern architectural themes and site amenities that reflect Cave Creek’s natural living desert.

 

Under Zoning Ordinance Conformity, conformance with the zoning Ordinance would not be subject for review until a request for site plan approval has been submitted.  Should the Town Council, upon recommendation of the Planning Commission, approve the request to rezone, the subject parcel (216-07-008) would then have the designation of Commercial Buffer (CB) Zone with no conditions.  Although a narrative report and accompanying site plan describe a 44-unit condominium project with commercial buildings, the property owner, or agent, would not have to adhere to this description when submitting for a future site plan.

 

This request was noticed in accordance with the provisions of the Town of Cave Creek Zoning Ordinance.  To date Staff has received no written or verbal comments from surrounding property owners or the general public.  There have been some submittals from Planning Commissioners to the Town Council.  Cordwell commented that he believed there had been other submittals from surrounding residents since this report was forwarded to Council.

 

As a prerequisite to the Commission hearing for any rezoning, a neighborhood meeting shall be conducted by the applicant.  (A neighborhood meeting is not required for Conditional Use Permit or Site Plan Review).  The purpose of the meeting is to provide information to the adjacent property owners and residents and to allow the neighbors and residents to express any issues or concerns that they may have with the proposed rezoning before the public hearing is conducted.  The applicant shall provide notice of the meeting to all landowners within three hundred (300) feet of the boundaries of the proposed development, the Town, and any Neighborhood Associations on record with the Town, by first class mail no less than thirty (30) days prior to the scheduled Commission meeting.  The Applicant shall submit a list of the attendees and Minutes of the meting(s) to the Town Planning Department.  All meetings shall be held within the Town of Cave Creek Corporate limits.

 

On June 22nd, the applicant held a neighborhood meeting.  Minutes and attendance of that meeting have been included for reference (Exhibit B).

 

All zoning text amendments and zoning change applications shall comply with the submittal requirements outlined in Sec. 3.2C of this Ordinance, and those on the application form.  This information is required even though the rezoning would not be conditional to the submitted site plan.

 

Under Procedures, Section F, all zoning text amendments and zoning change applications shall be processed in accordance with Sec. 3.2D of this Ordinance.

 

1.                  Approval of a petition to rezone land may not be enacted as an emergency measure and the rezoning shall not become effective for at least thirty (30) days after Council approval.

2.                  If the proposed rezoning is inconsistent with the General Plan, General Land Use Plan, an application for an amendment to the General Land Use Plan shall be submitted by the applicant in accordance with A.R.S. § 9-461 (et seq) and Sec. 3.5 of this Ordinance.

 

COUNCIL QUESTIONS

 

Cordwell stated that he had done some research on the Town Core Plan and found some Minutes from when the Town Core Plan was adopted March 27, 2000.  The Minutes were limited to six pages, at which one page referred to this property specifically.  He had copies for Council to refer to.

 

Mr. David Lewis, Applicant, Ridgeway, Cave Creek introduced Architect Suzanne Rothwell, of Rothwell Architecture, 10046 N. 23rd Street, Phoenix. She is on the Desert Preserve Citizen Advisory Committee, an original member of Sonoran Preserve Citizens Planning and she is on the Mayor’s Commission of Desert Preservation, Past President of the Phoenix Mountain Preservation, Council and Board Member, heads Guidelines Preview Committee for PMCP and she is an outgoing Desert Preserve Activist. Rothwell represents David Lewis who has an option to purchase this 5.6-acre parcel.  This parcel is presently zoned DR-89.  According to the Town’s Code the DR-89 would allow one house every 2 ½ acres and it is set up “to protect scenic distance, to preserve natural habitats and natural features such as hillsides and washes, and to ensure that the residential development is harmonious and sensitive to the natural environment.”  She stated she had taken photographs of this site.  It has an old house and shed, brick yards, mobile homes and when we started to take photographs the people who were there moved away.  The DR-89 Zoning is not really an economically feasible zoning for a downtown Cave Creek site.  The General Plan designates this site as appropriate for upzoning and that is a sensible designation.  Unfortunately it doesn’t say what you designate the upzone for because we could probably work with almost anything except the DR-89 zoning classification.

 

They would like to have Council consider rezoning that to a Commercial Buffer Zone (CB), which allows for 50% lot coverage.  We are proposing in our plan that we get 27% lot coverage.  Our development is to be a very low density, two-story condominium development with 10,000 square feet of space to be used for health purposes, gymnasium, or some medical facility.

 

She showed how once this particular site is rezoned it might be affected by the properties around it by using a chart.  So the density being proposed is very low density for this property.  She showed how this rezoning might affect properties around them.  Under the Ordinance it is required that we send out a letter to everyone within 300 feet.  That particular requirement comes about because the lawyers and planners sending out that particular request decided that people within 300 feet would be the most directly influenced by any zoning change that would occur.  That letter was sent out to all within 300 feet.  Of all the letters sent, they then called the meeting with two property owners attending and being in favor.  Further, there were two letters from people within the 300-foot zone and they were in favor as well.  We have received no negative comments.

 

They are proposing 27% lot coverage to use the type of architecture requested in the Town Core Vision Statement.  We have proposed low-density, southwestern cell architecture, use of rock and glass, and we are about to propose a way around that, since that was also a key issue with the Planning Commission.

 

To the east we have the multi-residential 14 rezoning, almost twice the density of development they are asking for this evening.  Further east and south they have commercial core allowing 60% lot coverage.  To the north and west we have a mobile home park, also commercial.  The residential neighborhood due north is approximately 700 feet to their property line.  On the west side it is almost 400 feet to their property line.  Their concern is the very large buffer zone formed by the Gallaway Wash.  The site slopes 25 feet from east to west and with dense vegetation planned for this property, the impact to Black Mountain would be negligible, plus there is only one house with a backyard that faces to the south.

 

Rothwell stated:

ü      They have prepared a site plan that breaks the condominium development into many different smaller buildings, is residential in scale and contains 44 small units

ü      Advantages to the community are:

Ø      Build the condominiums of light-weight masonry block, very sound effective.  The site at the moment has been bladed with many uses of it, such as ATVs, rock storage and is a mess.

Ø      Plan to revegetate the land and add some amenities back to the Town of Cave Creek, such as pedestrian pathways.

Ø      The maximum population anticipated in 44 small units is 44-80 people...

ü      Because of the response from the Planning Commission from the last Hearing and because of the meeting with Abujbarah and McGuire, if you grant rezoning on this to a CD and something happens where the project might move on, what is to hold anyone to a 27% lot coverage in the project we are proposing with the 73% open space?  Mr. Lewis is willing to cooperate with the Town and would offer a Deed restriction or Development Agreement.

 

Mayor Francia interrupted stating “The only question before us tonight is rezoning.  This is very nice, but it’s not what’s on the agenda.  The only thing before us is whether or not Council wishes to approve or deny rezoning.

 

Rothwell continued stating that what they were proposing is a way to restrict that to 27% lot coverage.

 

Mr. Lewis stated that he had a health clinic in Town for the past two years when Francia interrupted again stating once again that he wanted to be clear with Council and that which is before Council is whether or not Council approves or denies a request for rezoning.  He asked them to stay to the Agenda Item.

 

Rothwell reiterated the advantages stating that this would be a beautiful development in the architectural style requested in the Town Core Vision Statement and they would get rid of the existing squalor.  This would allow for low-density development according to their concept of a development agreement or deed restriction on the lot.  There would be a sound barrier for the bars and the nightclubs and probably a vision barrier to the lights from the commercial development to the south.  It’s a design that would be residential scale and would fit in with more of the development to the north.  Health related facilities would be a benefit to the community.  They will be offering an alternative housing type.  She respectfully submitted their request for rezoning.

 

COUNCIL QUESTIONS

 

Esser asked to see the small exhibit showing the view from the Black Mountain Shadow subdivision looking southwest.

 

Mr. Lewis stated that he loved this Town as much as anyone and had lived here over 17 years.  He wants to help this Town by a health clinic to improve the health of the citizens.  He has had the clinic for 2 years.  As he started to ask Rudy to come and speak on his behalf Francia interrupted to say, “I’m going to say this for the last time, there is only one thing before this Council and that is whether or not to approve or deny the request for rezoning.  Nothing else is pertinent for this Council to hear tonight.  We have to follow the laws and rules of this State that tell me this Council may only discuss what is in front of it.”

 

PUBLIC HEARING OPENED AT 8:41 P.M.

 

Andrea Markowitz, 6602 E. Military Road stated that it is not unusual for elected law makers to leave definitions in the laws they pass somewhat vague.  Rather than make the law too limiting they err on the side of generosity to ensure individual citizens receive their due process to which they are entitled.  There are checks and balances to scrutinize laws on multiple levels to ensure that the definition in question makes sense on a case-by-case basis.  Tonight we are being asked to decide whether it is reasonable to define more intensity in a case in which an applicant has asked for an upzoning from 2.5 single family homes per acre to 8 multi-family residential units per acre in addition to retail and business zonings.  Is it reasonable to upzone a property to the extent that it would increase traffic according to the Traffic Engineers from 20 trips per day to more than 550 trips per day?  Is it reasonable to define more intensity in a way that will surely negatively affect the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens who elected the Council members to protect them and uphold the Town’s promise of open space and low density?  A reasonable person would likely conclude that more intensity on a residentially zoned parcel that allows 2 single family homes would be to keep its residential zoning and allow 4 single family homes, not 44 multi-family units plus commercial space.  She urged Council to vote no on this application for rezoning.

 

Herb Natker, 6850 E. Stevens Road stated that in 2001 the voters overwhelmingly defeated the upzoning of this property by referendum.  Even though Council is legally obligated to hear all rezoning requests he didn’t feel that Cave Creek citizens should have to revisit this rezoning.  The people have spoken as stated by Francia and that should be the conclusion of this matter.  Setting precedent for zoning on this type of land is inappropriate.

 

Larry Johnson, 6955 E. Stevens Road stated that the General Plan and zoning of all properties within the jurisdiction of a governing agency should be established by that agency with a view to the long-term benefit of all properties in that jurisdiction.  It stands to reason that zoning is something that should be initiated by the governing agency.  It is not surprising that the owner of this property would prefer 44 units to the 2 units permitted by the zone.  If the Town of Cave Creek feels two units are not appropriate for this property, the Town should change the zoning to what is appropriate.  It is the Town’s responsibility, not the owner’s to zone this property to be compatible with the surrounding area’s land use, taking into account the area’s significant restraints.

 

Rudy Williams, 6861 E. Stevens Road stated that the density is too high, traffic is too dangerous a situation.  Where does it stop?

 

Ann Mangouni, 6946 E. Stevens Road stated that she strongly opposed the rezoning of this site from rural residential to commercial.  It would affect the nature of the community adversely by adding to the density and greatly increasing traffic and congestion in the Town.  The people have spoken emphatically on this issue.  Approval of this rezoning would establish a precedent that would make it difficult if not impossible to refuse subsequent requests for zoning changes.  The added infrastructure necessary to support the increased population would require a substantial outlay of public funds.  Allowing a zoning change would send a signal to would-be developers that Cave Creek has caved in.  She urged Town Council to deny this request.

 

William H. Whitmore, Jr., owner of Cave Creek Road House stated that this rezoning is not in the best interest of the community.  The Commercial Core has been improved, however, having multi-family units within 300 yards would only offer challenges for additional residential complaints on traffic, noise, etc.  He stated he was never notified with regard to this rezoning and has never met Mr. Lewis.  He is not in support of this rezoning.

 

Patti Windes, 5404 Morningstar Drive supports all issues that the speakers before her addressed and urged Council to vote no.  This upzone was turned down in the Referendum of 2001 and we need to think about the impact this has on the residents and businesses.

 

Jim Bruce, 7162 E. Stevens Road, stated that this property is single family residence.  He urged Council to vote against this.

 

Steven Polgar, Jacqueline Lane #6 spoke on his former place in Alaska which is much like Cave Creek.  The Planning Commission made a recommendation to upzone this land based on Lewis’ proposal.  He stated he lives near the Health Clinic and thinks that people would enjoy the Town Core during their stay during the healing process.

 

Anna Marsolo stated that Commissioner Stanley Toal was unable to be here and asked her to present his statement.  She gave the statement to the Town Clerk for the public record.  She stated that she does not want upzoning in Cave Creek.

 

Rudy Dragone, 6748 E. Lone Mountain has a pharmacy at the Basha’s Center.  He praised the work of Mr. Lewis and has seen miracles of people healed.  We are all going to get older and we need a clinic like this.

 

Hal McIlroy, 6948 E. Horizon Drive stated that the fundamental question tonight is “Do the people have a voice?”  There was a Referendum that passed by 60% on upzoning of this property and the people voted no.  He encouraged Council to think of their representation of the people.

 

Winona commented that she was one of Lewis’ miracles who has been cured of tumors and cancer of the bone and lungs.  She hopes for a larger facility in this Town.

 

Roy Cirincione, 6827 E. Stevens Road was concerned about setting a precedent.  The project is a noble cause and a good program that is horribly misplaced.

 

Ken Howell, 3707 N. 7th Street, Phoenix of Task Engineering spoke regarding the traffic study they prepared for this site.  The traffic count could go up to 2300 trips per day on Vermeersch.  By 2010 Cave Creek Road with this development and Stage Coach development completed could go up to 16,000 trips per day.

 

Commissioner LaMar stated that he was among four Commissioners who recommended the upzoning.  He explained the basis of his decision.  He made 2-3 direct comments to several neighbors who suggested it was our duty to consider it all, including the referendum.  He saw that as a disservice to the Council that he serves.  Council has relied upon the Commission to give their best judgment regarding best use of land in a Planning and Zoning context.  That was his only correct purpose.  There is a great deal of emotion on both sides of this issue but has nothing to do with the decisions of the Planning and Zoning Commission and nothing to do with this particular project.  It only had to do with the logical determination of this use.  He wanted Council to understand that saying that it is not a legitimate consideration of the Planning and Zoning Commission to consider the Referendum or belittle the people is one thing because we have a narrow purpose.  And that purpose is to give you our best planning and zoning decision.  He felt it is appropriate for the Council to consider the referendum and consider the will of the people.  It is a judgment call and he wanted to make clear that he could suggest that the Council’s scope and the Planning and Zoning Commission scope were one and the same.  Council has a broader scope and a broader purpose and in fact, all the elected officials must be responsible to the political role of the people.  The Commission will continue to give them their best recommendations.

 

Mr. Lewis summed up his comments that most people who spoke tonight were from one neighborhood and do not represent the Town.  This is not the same project that took place in 2001 with an 80-unit hotel.  He wants to work with the Town in any way that they can.  This project would be a sound buffer and of benefit to the community.

 

Rothwell thanked Council for their time and for Ian Cordwell’s help and for professional interpretation of the general plan as it now stands.

 

PUBLIC HEARING CLOSED  AT 9:24 .M.

 

Francia noted for the record that Council had listened to over 17 speakers on this issue.

 

COUNCIL COMMENTS

 

Esser stated that a point of order was that Marsolo indicated that she was representing the Chairman of Planning and Zoning who is away and had submitted a statement.  His was an affirmative vote.  Is that part of the public record?  Francia directed Town Clerk Carrie Dyrek to show the statement to Esser.

 

Esser stated that this is a tough call, but I have to move we deny.

 

M/Esser, S/Meeth to deny Case Z-05-01 David Lewis Rezone.

 

Esser commented that we are elected public officials and we must respond to our citizens in this community.  He felt in the beginning it was a wonderful project and the objectives noble.  He had concerns regarding ingress and egress as well as density.  This is a wonderful project but it’s in the wrong place.

 

Meeth asked if the order did not need to be read to which Dyrek responded that if you are going to give a negative motion we could deny the First Reading of the Ordinance.  Esser read the Ordinance.

ORDINANCE NO. O2005-18

 

AN ORDINANCE OF THE MAYOR AND COUNCIL OF THE TOWN OF CAVE CREEK, ARIZONA, AMENDING THE OFFICIAL ZONING MAP OF THE TOWN OF CAVE CREEK REZONING PARCEL 216-07-008 DESCRIBED IN EXHIBIT A AND DEPICTED IN EXHIBIT B FROM DESERT RURAL (DR-89) TO COMMERCIAL BUFFER (CB).

 

Esser stated the motion is to deny.

 

M/Esser, S/Meeth to deny first reading of ordinance O2005-18 amending the zoning ordinance of the town of cave creek.

 

Meeth felt this could be looked at in a number of perspectives.  One is that it is bad planning to grant a rezone without a site plan.  From the citizens’ point of view it’s been said.  The citizens were asked a question and they answered it; they do not want this up-zoning.  This is not project related as it is a wonderful project but it should be on an already zoned piece of commercial property.  For someone who is supposed to be protecting the values of this community in order to even think of an upzoning it has to be something extraordinary, has to be the right place and has to add to the Town.  In this area we have one road in and one road out.  In that area we are going to have gridlock throughout Cave Creek Road some day and in that area we are just adding to that gridlock and those problems and over burdening the infrastructure which is already overburdened.  Something like this needs to be in a place where there is more room for it.

 

She has heard that this was mandated by the General Plan and Growing Smarter.  This was disingenuous government in the first place because when we ask the people and they take out a referendum it tells us they don’t want it.  Increasing intensity in a residential area is to go from one home to 8-10 homes but you don’t go from one home to commercial.  She has voted against this in the beginning and is glad to see she will not be the only vote against it tonight.

 

McGuire stated that this is a simple issue.  One issue before Council is a rezoning.  The plans presented on a project are not relevant.  What is relevant is that the citizens of the community voted against rezoning in the past.  The bottom line is what is best for Cave Creek.  He feels what is best is what the voters told us several years ago.

 

Lopez commended Commissioner LaMar and the Planning and Zoning Commission on how they handled this issue from the land use perspective.  The Council isn’t bound by the same limitations as the Commission.  Some years ago Council approved rezoning for this property and it passed unanimously on the First Reading.  The Second Reading passed by 6-1.  He thought even the Special Use Permit passed unanimously.  So it wasn’t that the Council wasn’t listening, no one was speaking and there was very limited objection to this rezoning.  As a result that is probably the way Council voted as they did.  Since the Referendum on this issue we have heard the people and they don’t want residential rezoned to commercial.  He’s listening.

 

Bunch commended Mr. Lewis on his work but this is the wrong venue.

 

Brennan stated that this is not a simple issue.  The Commercial Buffer portion is not a factor.  It concerns her about all the living quarters.

 

Francia spoke to Mr. Lewis that there were people here who would help him find the right land in this community for his project.  Commissioner LaMar is absolutely correct; Planning and Zoning did exactly what they were supposed to do. They recommend to Council.  Council on the other hand is a policy-making body.  In May of 2005 our citizens went to the polls and told us their desires on the General Plan and a fifty million dollar credit line.  Council honors that voice.

 

In 2001 citizens went to the polls and voted on this issue and Council should honor their voice.  Francia noted that it must have been very important to our citizens in 2001 because the day of the vote was on 9/11 and they showed up to vote.  He felt Council is honor-bound because their authority comes from the citizens.

 

M/C TO DENY FIRST READING 7-0 by roll call.

 

Council recessed at 9:40 p.m.

Council reconvened at 9:53 p.m.

 

4.                  REPORT BY CH2M HILL ON THE EXPANDED SITE STUDY FOR THE NEW WASTE WATER TREATMENT PLANT WITH COUNCIL DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE SELECTION OF THE PREFERRED SITE.

 

Wayne Anderson reported that at the request of the Mayor and Council they had expanded the study of the Waste Water Treatment Plant siting.  Originally they had two sites as well as the existing site.  We have expanded to seven sites and commissioned CH2M Hill to increase their review.  Tom McLean and Ron Williams are present to give a presentation.

 

CH2M Hill made a power point presentation.

 

1.  Community Wastewater Treatment Needs are increasing

Ø      Existing plant has a capacity of 0.233 million gal/day.

Ø      In 2003 and 2004, the existing flows to the plant were O.118 mgd and O.125 mgd respectively

Ø      The flows to the plant are increasing and are currently O.160 mgd or 69% of the plant’s rated capacity.

Ø      Growth, timing is defining wastewater treatment needs and time frames.

Ø      Additional wastewater capacity is required by 2008 (anticipate flows at .232 mgd)

Ø      Conclusion: Additional wastewater treatment capacity is required.

 

2.  What are the Capabilities of the Existing Waste Water Treatment Plant?

Ø      Can the existing facility be modified to meet future needs?

ü      The existing facility can be re-rated in the short term to 0.350 mgd but cannot be modified to meet long term needs.

Ø      Is the site large enough to accommodate an expansion?

ü      The existing plant site is not large enough to accommodate an expansion.

Ø      Is the existing plant in the correct location geographically to meet future needs?

ü      Areas with dry sewers and future growth areas are down-gradient towards the south.

Ø      Conclusion: Additional capacity cannot be provided at the existing wastewater treatment plant site.

Ø      A new wastewater treatment plant is required.

 

3.  What are the Considerations to Meet Future Treatment Needs with a New Plant?

Ø      Guidelines for placing a new facility in the community

Ø      Must be a good neighbor

ü      No odors

ü      Utilization of natural buffers and aesthetic treatments

ü      No light or noise pollution

Ø      A new facility is needed in the community but every effort will be expended to be a “good neighbor.”  Six aspects for being a good neighbor.

1.      From a technical standpoint, what are the objectives for siting a new facility?

2.      Must address existing and future growth needs.

3.      Must be down gradient within the service area.

4.      Must consider conveyance considerations.

5.      Setback requirements.

6.      Based on the guidelines and technical requirements, what are the feasible, available candidate sites?

Ø      What Are the Considerations to Meet Future Treatment Needs with a New Plant?

Ø      Site I – Town Hall Site

Ø      Site II – Rodeo Grounds

Ø      Site III – BLM I

Ø      Site IV – BLM II

Ø      Site V – State Land

Ø      Site VI – 5 acre Parcel

Ø      Site VII – State Land

 

He showed a map of the seven sites meeting the technical guidelines and criteria located in the southern portion of the community and toward the west.  That is the lowest point of elevation and down gradient which will allow most of the waste water to the plant to flow by gravity.

 

4.   Setback Requirements

Ø      Arizona Administrative Code – Title 18 – Environmental Quality, Water Pollution Control, Article R18-9-B201- General

Ø      Conclusion: Town has predetermined that all facilities will be covered, noise mitigated and aesthetically treated as a requirement of the community.

5.   Criteria for Evaluation

Ø      Proximity to Residences

1.      No existing or future residences within 660 ft or 1/8 mile.

2.      No existing or future residences within 350 ft (setback for full noise, odor & aesthetic control.

3.      No existing residences within 350 feet however future residences within 350 feet.

4.      Existing and more future residences within 350 feet.

Ø      Ability of Site to Meet Setback Requirements.

1.      Both 350 feet and 1000 feet setbacks available.

2.      Only 350-foot setback available.

3.      350-foot setback is not available.  Single noise & odor easement required.

4.      350-foot setback not available.  Multiple noise & odor easements required.

Ø      Accessibility of Site/Impact of Vehicular – Traffic Impact

1.      No impact to existing or future neighbors

2.      Very little impact to neighbors.  Sparsely populated.

3.      Little/no impact to existing neighbors.  Significant impact to future neighbors.

4.      Significant impact to existing/future neighbors.  Densely populated.

Ø      Constructability

1.      Very constructible.  Flat topography.  No major washes.

2.      Constructible.  Flat topography.  Major washes pose some difficulty.

3.      Difficult to construct.  Very tight space and major washes.

4.      Extremely difficult to construct.  Very tight space, major washes and/or hilly terrain.

Ø      Accessibility to Utilities

1.      Accessibility to all utilities including 480 Volt power.

2.      Accessibility to all utilities (power, water & gas), except 480 Volt power.

3.      Some utilities not available.

4.      No utilities available.

Ø      Method of relative comparison among candidate sites based on criteria.  He summed up that Sites V and VII had the same final score, therefore were the sites best available for building a new waste water treatment plant.

 

CH2M responded to Francia that they were projecting that the existing plant would reach capacity in 2008.  The projection is based on looking at the last 2 to 4 years of flow data and looked at what the increase in flow has been over that time, year by year, and then extrapolated that data out to 2008 and determined what the flows would be at that time.  We didn’t look specifically if it was commercial or residential contribution.  If the flow were increased that would bring the time line down, i.e., more developments approved and they are able to go on line sooner and are not included in the current plan.

 

Abujbarah stated that at the same time the waste water treatment plant is rated to be with modifications to increase the capacity to 350,000 gallons.  So we could reach 2008 with 350,000 gallons.

 

Esser assumed the 69% capacity is in the certificated area, the people who are entitled to hook up.  CH2M agreed.

 

Abujbarah clarified for Lopez how long and how much money it would take.  It would be a minor modification.

 

Bunch asked if the 350,000 gal/day is short-term process.  What is the definition of short term?  CH2M clarified that a short-term duration is where the ability of the plant to handle the different flows will become more difficult.  The plant can be re-rated now to 350,000 gal/day so how long it would take to get to that flow number is the question.  There would be several years beyond 2008 before the flows got to the 350,000.  It is just a buffer period.

 

Brennan asked if the new plant would meet all build-out needs for the Town once and for all.  CH2M agreed.

 

Esser stated that he had reviewed the matrix and it appeared your preferred sites are V and VII.

 

Anderson stated they had looked at sites and had originally picked Site V as their favorite site.  The key factor there is the 80 acres designated as State Land of which 15 acres is useable.  Site VII is 40 acres of State land but 35 acres are useable.  The difference in cost between the two will be significant and we only need the 15 acres.  That will take care of the Town’s Waste Water Treatment Plant and our public works yard and water company office as well.  Also South West Gas has expressed an interest in being on site.  Basically it would be the Town of Cave Creek’s Utility Operation site, buffered by all these buildings around our plant.  It would be the less costly of the two.  There is an old quarry there and there is illegal dumping so that detracts from the value of the site but would be fine for our purpose.

 

Esser commented that it sounded like extensive advance planning with multiple land use.  Are you locking Council in tonight for giving a mandate for Site V?  Anderson responded that he was giving his opinion but it would be the Council’s decision.

 

Esser commented that if this time line is as short as you say all seven of the sites would be difficult to acquire.  Esser asked for an estimate/guess of what we should be doing to acquire a site.  The Town Manager has stated that if we are unsuccessful, the next step will be to condemn it.  Using eminent domain takes a long time.  Anderson responded that to get started in acquiring a site he felt that if Council made a decision this evening on the preferred site there would be some preplanning and work that would need to be done but Site V and VII are both State Land sites.  It is contemplated that those sites could be acquired perhaps by early summer 2006.

 

Abujbarah responded to Esser that Site V is on the State Land auction list for 2006.  The other site (VII) is not on the auction list. 

 

Abujbarah responded to Esser that if someone were to outbid Cave Creek the turn around time would be that Cave Creek would condemn it the next day.

 

Esser expressed concern that if we have to meet the 69% capacity by 2008 that falls well behind the schedule that CH2M gave us originally.  Anderson responded that currently he felt there is plenty of time to get the plant completed by 2008 if we start now.  That would give 1 ½ years to do some design and 1½ years to do some construction.  That is well within a reasonable timeframe for completion of a plant this size.

 

Esser commented that both Site V and VII are large parcels.  If you put the plant in the middle would that meet the setback requirements and then there would be no concern about the parcel line.  Anderson agreed.

 

Meeth asked if since there were only four sites that meet the setbacks, should we even consider the other sites?  Anderson responded that all the setback criteria does is determine that because you have made a community decision that no matter where the plant is located, there will be full noise and odor control and esthetic treatments provided.  Then 350 feet is the minimum setback from the parcel line to the treatment unit within the plant site.  Basically we could put the plant on any one of these however you would have to get permission from the adjacent property owners.

 

McGuire asked to see the map showing the sites.  What is a CH2M?  They replied that they are a Consulting Engineering firm and CH2M are the initials of the last names of the founding fathers of our organization.

 

Lopez looking at the map asked if the area to the right of Site V is a wash?  Site VII has residential next to it now.  CH2M responded yes.  To the east of Site V is Los Montana development and to the north of Site VII and to the west is the Whispering Hills subdivision.

 

Esser stated that assuming that we pick Site V, which meets the criteria, are these folks in the back of the room going to have opportunity for input in the planning stage, the esthetics, etc.?  CH2M stated they work with the residents of the Town and when they express an interest we will work towards that end.  We feel this site has the best buffering visual and distance-wise and should provide the best opportunity to meet and satisfy their concerns.  We will work with them.

 

Esser asked if that input would be in the form of a public notice to which CH2M responded that they have had working sessions in the past for public input.  That would be good and perhaps some representatives could work more closely with the residents.

 

PUBLIC COMMENT

 

Ted Bryda, 3786 E. Sat Nam Way is not happy with the study results, but if Council makes a selection he would support Site V if it has to be.  If the Town doesn’t get that land, he would support Site II, the rodeo ground.

 

Deldsie Maurer, 35065 N. 39th Place, was representing the Sierra Vista Home Owners Association and Whispering Hills neighborhood.  She thanked Council for taking the time and expense to look at alternative sites and they will support the decision.  

 

Jim MacDonald, 2111 E. Highland Ave., Phoenix stated he represented a number of properties in Cave Creek.  He urged Council to be sure that there is sufficient capacity for him when he develops on his properties.

 

Abujbarah responded that the issue tonight is the site selection for the new treatment plant.  Any questions MacDonald has regarding his law suit he could put them in writing to the Town Attorney who will answer those.  Discussion/arguments followed.

 

Dr. Bill Allen, 38914 N. 73rd Street spoke not as a private individual but more with the concerns that he had with regard to the assured water supply that the Town would hope at some time in the future to acquire.  He directed a couple of questions to the representatives from CH2M.

1.      Has the possibility of acquiring this State Trust Land been addressed with the State Land Department at this point in time?

2.      Are they willing to sell that property to the Town for this specific purpose?  Their concerns are the highest and best use, which would only serve them if this were the most desirable site with regard to where the long-term development on State Trust Land would occur.

 

Abujbarah responded that the State Land Department is willing to auction the land.

 

Allen responded that doesn’t mean the Town has the money to outbid anybody else who might want to acquire it.  This speaks again to the question of whether or not a private parcel would be more appropriate.  As far as criteria are concerned, there is no mention of the need with the exception of the comment made by Commissioner Bryda that the water must be returned to the Cave Creek area for the golf course use.  That is a significant issue, however, it is not the only issue.  Any water that is withdrawn from within the Cave Creek/Carefree Basin is going to result in the decline in the water level, which will not be offset by taking any of the water available to the waste water treatment facility.  He has not heard of how or where the water will be disposed of.

 

A primary issue is to deal with the location of some of these sites being on prime existing archeological sites.  This will be a problem especially on Federal land or State land, so this criteria needs to be considered.

 

What is the possibility of keeping the existing plant in operation for an indefinite period of time and not necessarily having to carry everything that is developed in the Town Core area into a new plant located outside of the Basin?

 

Francia stated that there is only one Agenda Item before Council tonight.  He made very clear the importance of staying within the Agenda.  What is before Council on the Agenda is the only thing that the elected people may consider on any given night?  If you desire something else on the Agenda, tell us and we will put it on the Agenda and we will consider that.

 

Jennifer Schwimmer, 3713 E. Galeria stated she grew up in New York with the largest dump in the world.  It was also the site of the remains of 9/11.  Environmentally speaking, Staten Island is not the greatest place in the world.  We have moved further and further from the smog and now we are talking about a waste water treatment plant.  It is environmentally not pleasing to her.  She is concerned for the health of those living near the plant.  She would like to have the plant plans reconsidered and not choose Site V, VII, or III.

 

COUNCIL COMMENTS

 

M/Lopez, S/Brennan to designate Site V State Land Department land as the preferred site of the new Waste Water Treatment Plant.

 

Lopez stated that there is no perfect site.  There are a lot of issues involved, but a decision has to be made and we have to move on.  He felt Staff and CH2M have looked at this very thoroughly and have come up with the best solutions that we could have.

 

McGuire commented that he lived on Spur Cross Road and he would have great concern if he were in the position of some of those who spoke tonight.

 

Brennan commented that this is a big-time discussion and a lot of money to research a proper location.

 

Meeth stated that we have known for years that the new plant would be near Carefree Highway due to gravity.  The good news is we have done this before and the first time it was done wrong.  We fixed it and we will do this one right due to our experience.

 

Bunch stated that if this is done well you shouldn’t even know it’s there.

 

Esser stated that he is uncomfortable that we don’t have a backup alternative site.  He’s not sure we can outbid some developer.

 

M/C 6-1 by roll call vote with Esser voting nay.

 

M/C to adjourn at 10:47 p.m. by voice vote.

 

 

 

 

SUBMITTED BY:                                                     APPROVED BY:

 

__________________________________                ____________________________________

Carrie A. Dyrek                                                         Vincent Francia

Town Clerk                                                                  Mayor

 

 

CERTIFICATION

 

I hereby certify that the foregoing minutes are a true and correct copy of the Minutes of the Regular Session of the Town Council of Cave Creek held on the 3rd day of October 2005.  I further certify that the meeting was duly called and held and that a quorum was present.

 

                                                            Dated this __________ day of  __________________ 2005

 

 

SEAL                                                   ________________________________________________

                                                                        Carrie A. Dyrek, Town Clerk