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The Special Session of the Planning Commission of the Town of Cave Creek Arizona was held on Thursday, March 2, 2006 at 37622 N. Cave Creek Road in Cave Creek, Arizona.  The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m.


PLANNING COMMISSION MEMBERS PRESENT:  Chairman Stan Toal, Vice-Chairman Bob Moore, Commissioners Bill Allen, Jim Bruce, Ted Bryda, Steven LaMar and Bob Williams


STAFF PRESENT:  Ian Cordwell, Planning Director, Wayne Anderson, Town Engineer, Souren Naradekian, Assistant Town Engineer.






Chairman Toal and Mr. Cordwell offered information regarding the upcoming meeting schedule. 




Minutes of February 16, 2006 are available for review and approval.

Items to be corrected:  Line 23: should read “Vice-Mayor”; Line 97: should read Fleming Springs Road instead of Highland.

Vice-Chairman Moore moved to approve the Minutes of February 17, 2006 as amended.  Motion seconded by Commissioner Bryda.

By voice vote, motion passed 5-0, Chairman Toal and Commissioner Williams abstaining.


3.         UNFINISHED BUSINESS:  No cases were agendized.


4.         NEW BUSINESS:


a.         CASE NO.      SPR-05-14

            OWNER:       Cave Creek Resort  LLC

APPLICANT:  Cave Creek Resort LLC     

APN:                211-09-007G & 211-09-970A

LOCATION:    NW corner of Cave Creek Road & School House Road

REQUEST:     Approval of Case SPR-05-14 Cave Creek Resort & Casitas – Site Plan Review, for approval of a 252-unit full service resort


Mr. Cordwell reviewed the three application processes for the Cave Creek Resort & Casitas.  He stated that given the size and impact of the project, he advised the Commission that after the applicant has presented the case and after public comment, the cases may be continued to another meeting.


Mr. Cordwell stated that the Town’s traffic consultant has reviewed the project; however, neither he nor the applicant’s traffic consultant was present at the meeting.


The applicant was called to present the case.  Bob Kite addressed the Commission.  He provided an evolution of the site which began in 1985 in the County.  The site was approved as a 300,000 sq. ft. commercial site in 1986.  In 1991, the Town of Cave Creek approved the commercial site.   Over the years, it has had over eight revisions to bring it to the present concept.  He stated all considerations were taken to develop the project keeping in mind the environment and the flavor of Cave Creek.  Mr. Kite introduced Larry Lazelle.


Mr. Lazelle addressed the Commission.  He stated it has been an eighteen month journey to this stage.  Mr. Lazelle presented the history of the project and the owners of the project. He stated that this project is similar to the Valley’s dominant resort operators, Marriott, Hyatt, Princess, Boulders and funding for the development of these resorts is by selling individual title to units to owners.  Once purchased, the unit owners are encouraged to place their unit in a rental program.  Owners consider the units as vacation real estate, not a permanent residence.  The rental program allows the Resort to operate as a hotel.


Mr. Lazelle emphasized that this is a first class resort.  The team looked for a community that offered a unique opportunity and felt Cave Creek presented the best prospect.  He stated that over twelve months of due diligence they have worked closely with staff and thanked staff for their professionalism and guidance.  Mr. Lazelle stated that the project looks to drive tourist dollars to the Town and that they intend to be good neighbors.


Regarding the project, Mr. Lazelle stated that buildings will be 2-story, low profile full service resort.  Their ambition is to build a successful hotel and to operate a successful hotel. The style and ambiance of the resort will reflect the early western heritage of Cave Creek.  The property is a joint development by Grande Destination Resorts (GDR), Pointe of View Inc. (PoV).  Cave Creek Resort LLC is an Arizona corporation owned by GDR, PoV and Cave Creek Project, LLP (Mr. Kite).  Mr. Lazelle introduced Skip Niemiec, the project architect.


Mr. Niemiec addressed the Commission.  He presented colored elevation sketches of the project.  He stated the project will be pueblo style with some units having metal accents.  The finished floors will have one to three foot elevation changes.  They have complied with the ordinance and are not requesting any variations from the Town’s Ordinances.  Mr. Niemiec stated the project will be divided into three villages:  the Mountain View Village, the Sonoran Village and Little Cave Creek Village.  Included in the Resort will be a Club House, a restaurant servicing both the Resort and the community, a centrally located pool, water slide and lazy-river feature.  An equestrian trail runs along the north portion of the site.


Mr. Niemiec stated a traffic study was prepared by Task Engineering.  It was estimated that the trip generation for the site in the Year 2010, at total build out, would be 2,112 per day with 100 morning peak hour trips and 158 total evening peak hour trips.  He stated this is less intense than a commercial project would be.


Mr. Lazelle again addressed the Commission.  He stated the key to success in this type of project is that it is operated as a hotel.  Cave Creek Resort & Casitas is designed and will be operated in every way as a resort.  Resort Owners Association is designed in support of the hotel operations and often the public facilities are owned or controlled by the operators.  The units are operated as a hotel:  each unit will be fully furnished; a capital reserve account per unit is established for maintaining the quality of each unit; there are no attached garages; the club house is a hotel lobby; meeting rooms will be available.

He stated the average stay would be of 30 days or less.  Lazelle stated the project would be an economic benefit to the Town, bringing in bed tax revenue of $400,000 per year based on 50 percent occupancy, and about $750,000 per year in property taxes.  Additionally,  the Resort would provide about 30-40 full time and additional seasonal part time jobs.  He sated that even though they have not actively marketed the project, they have received about 300 calls regarding the project.  Mr. Lazelle thanked the Commission for the opportunity to present a quality project to them.


Questions to Staff:


Chief Norton of Rural Metro addressed the Commission.  He stated that Rural Metro has worked with Mr. Niemiec to assure fire department access is safe. 


Commissioner Bryda stated the traffic impact study seems to be out of date; there is no mention of the crash gates on Basin Road.  He said he was also concerned about the intersection of School House Road and Cave Creek Road.


Wayne Anderson, Town Engineer said a traffic signal at the intersection of Cave Creek and School House roads might be warranted in five to 10 years, possibly as soon as three.


Mr. Niemiec stated that the traffic study was prepared prior to staff’s recommendation that crash gates be installed along Basin Rd.  Niemiec stated that their traffic consultant suggested that by the year 2010, a round about or traffic light might be required at School House and Cave Creek Roads.


Commissioner Allen stated that he has a strong objection to putting in a traffic light or roundabout at the center of Town.  Mr. Anderson stated that it would be up to the Town to determine if a stop light would be required at some point based upon a traffic study.


Commissioner Bruce asked staff what was the rationale for not having access from Basin Rd.  Mr. Cordwell responded that in reviewing the case, it seemed there were issues with access along Basin Rd. given the multi-family residences but that emergency access made sense.


Vice-Chairman Moore stated he concurred with Commissioner Bruce’s concern regarding emergency access on Basin Rd.


Commissioner Williams said he had a concern with traffic and that the trip generation in the traffic study seemed to be light.  He would request more information.  Williams asked if the traffic engineer was available to answer a few questions.  Mr. Lazelle responded that he was not in attendance.

Lazelle stated that the Resort will have a shuttle which would transport guests to and from the facility.  Mr. Niemiec stated 50 parking spaces on the south side of the property are earmarked for public use.


Chairman Toal if there were any lock-out units.  Mr. Lazelle said that was a time share term and they had no such units.  Chairman Toal asked Mr. Lazelle to explain the ownership.


Lazelle stated that the Resort is not a timeshare; this is an ownership.  He stated the stay would be for 30 days or less.  The units are placed into a rental program where 50 percent of the revenue goes back to the owner and 50% to the hotel. 


Commissioner LaMar had a question regarding the traffic situation on School House & Cave Creek Road.  He asked staff when would a traffic signal be warranted.  Mr. Anderson responded within the next five to ten years and possibly three considering this and the other projects on board.


Commissioner LaMar asked who owned the property when it was bladed in the middle of the night.  Mr. Kite responded that he owned the property; however, it is a misconception that it was bladed overnight. 


Commissioner Allen commented that the maximum height of a building is 25 ft. from natural grade and that this site was substantially higher before the blading.  He suggested adding a stipulation that the height should be measured at the current ground level. 


Chairman Toal asked what is allowed in the zoning district.  Mr. Cordwell responded that Appendix A of the Zoning Ordinance list Hotels/motels are allowed in the Commercial Core Zone with a Special Use Permit.


Commissioner Bruce asked for clarification regarding height regulations.  Mr. Cordwell stated that the maximum height is 25 ft. following the natural grade.  The Ordinance does allow up to 30 ft. for screening mechanical equipment on the roof.  Mr. Niemiec stated that the mechanical equipment will probably be low ground mounted and screened with vegetation.

Commissioner Bryda asked the applicant how long they anticipated the construction period to be.  Mr. Niemiec responded that it was anticipated that the construction time would be about 14 months after the infrastructure was in place.


A recess was taken at 8:20 p.m.

Meeting resumed at 8:35 p.m.


Public Comment:


Wayne Stanfill, 38426 N. Basin Rd, has lived on Basin Rd for 20 years.  He stated that if the ingress and egress for the project were on Basin Rd., with the multi-family properties, the potential for kids to be hurt would increase.  He supports the crash gates only on Basin Rd.


Randy Strickland, 32687 N. Basin Rd. stated he was in favor of the project; however, he did have a concern regarding lighting and asked about fencing.

Gary Rector, 39225 N. Ridgeway Rd., stated the intersection of School House and Cave Creek Road is an issue and mitigation is necessary.


Tom Walsh, 6210 E. Grapevine Rd. asked if construction traffic would use the  crash gate access during the construction phase.


Beth Webster, 6210 E. Grapevine Rd, stated she would like more information on the equestrian trail and asked where the employee parking would be.


Questions to Staff:


Commissioner Allen stated that when Habitat for Humanity was approved, there was a commitment by Bob Kite to provide an area for a playground.


Mr. Cordwell explained that Mr. Kite was willing to set aside an easement as a suitable place for a play area.  Mr. Kite stated that the area set aside by him was on an interim basis.  Commissioner Allen stated the play area still needs to be considered.


Commissioner Allen stated that a fence has to be provided to separate the project from residential properties.    Mr. Niemiec stated a fence can be provided to Mr. Strickland, if he is concerned.


Chairman Toal asked about construction access.  Mr. Niemiec responded that construction traffic could be off School House Rd.  In response to Ms. Webster’s question, Niemiec stated there would be about 30-35 employee parking spaces which will be adjacent to the mini-storage facility to the south.  All site lighting is bollard lighting with accent lighting on landscaping. 


Commissioner Allen stated that for the traffic study, Grapevine Rd is not a thru road.


Chairman Toal called for a voice vote to go beyond 9:30 p.m.  A voice vote was taken and passed 7-0 to continue beyond 9:30 p.m.


With regard to drainage, Commissioner Allen commented that the drainage report states the property drains towards a wash that directs the flow to a culvert under Basin Road and that downstream from the culvert there is channel in which the south side is the foundation of a residential building.  A significant flow in the wash may cause some damage to the channel.  Mr. Anderson stated that flows would be looked at with the Improvement Plans.


Commissioner Allen stated the design calls for retention and he would like to see a more comprehensive design.


A motion was requested by the Chair.

Vice Chairman Moore moved to approved Case SPR-05-14 – Cave Creek Resort & Casitas.  The motion failed for lack of a second.


Commissioner Williams Moved to Continue Case SPR-05-14 – Cave Creek Resort & Casitas to March 16, 2006.  Commissioner Bryda seconded the Motion.

A roll call vote was taken.  Motion to Continue passed 7-0.


Mr. Niemiec stated he would like to get their traffic consultant and the Town’s traffic consultant together for the March 16th meeting.


b.      CASE NO.         P-05-04 Cave Creek Resort & Casitas – Preliminary Plat Review

OWNER:            Cave Creek Resort LLC

APPLICANT:     Cave Creek Resort LLC

APN:                   211-09-007G & 211-09-970A

LOCATION:       NW corner of Cave Creek Road & School House Road


REQUEST:        Approval of Case P-05-04 Cave Creek Resort & Casitas – Preliminary Plat Review – for approval of a 252-unit full service condominium resort.



Vice Chairman Moore moved to Continue Case P-05-04 Cave Creek Resort &Casitas – Preliminary Plat Review to March 16, 2006.  Commissioner LaMar Seconded the Motion.  A roll call vote was taken.  Motion to Continue Passed 7-0


c.     CASE NO.          SUP-05-03 Cave Creek Resort & Casitas – Special Use Permit

Owner:              Cave Creek Resort LLC

Applicant:          Cave Creek Resort LLC

APN:                   211-09-007G & 211-09-970A

LOCATION:       NW corner of Cave Creek Road & School House Road                                                                        

REQUEST:        Approval of Case SUP-05-03 Cave Creek Resort & Casitas –Special Use Permit – for approval of a 252-unit full service resort hotel.



Mr. Cordwell presented the staff report.  He stated a special use permit is required for hotel/motel/timeshare projects in the Commercial Core zone.


Commissioner Williams asked if the special use permit is for the applicant to justify the hotel.  Cordwell responded that that was correct.


Call to the Public:  None


Commissioner Williams Moved to Recommend Approval of Case SUP-05-03 Cave Creek Resort & Casitas – Special Use Permit – for a 252 unit full service resort hotel, subject to Conditions in Exhibit L & M, as may be modified in the review process for the Site Plan Review, Case SPR-05-14 – Cave Creek Resort & Casitas and the Preliminary Plat, Case P-05-04- Cave Creek Resort & Casitas.

Vice Chairman Moore Seconded the Motion.  A roll call vote was taken.  Motion to Recommend Approval Passed 7-0.


Vice Chairman Moore Moved to Adjourn.  Commissioner Bryda Seconded the Motion.


Meeting was adjourned at 9:25 p.m.


Respectfully Submitted,                                                        Approved by:



____________________                                                   _____________________

Marie Carsia                                                                         Stanley Toal

Assistant Planner                                                                  Chairman