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City Council Special Meeting - Includes Action Taken
Meeting Date: 08/16/2017  
Recommended by: Paul Tice Prepared by: Jim Gagliardi, Planner
Finance Director Review:    Celina Morris  
City Attorney Review:    Brett Wallace  
Approved by:    Larry Rains Date Submitted:   
Type of Action Requested:    Ordinance, Formal Action/Motion, Public Hearing

Request by Gilmore Planning on behalf of Casa Grande Mountain Ranch Limited Partnership and others to amend the Casa Grande Mountain Ranch PAD (Exhibit A), south of Interstate 8, west of Lamb. Rd. to create a new Dreamport Village South PAD which includes: 
  1. An expansion and revision of standards for resort commercial land use and a revision of other standards
  2. A new campus and technical park land use
  3. A revision to the master circulation plan of the previously-approved PAD
  4.  A rearrangement of commercial and residential land use areas, and expansion of land area of the PAD for commercial, medium and high density residential land uses, incorporating areas that were previously outside of the PAD
At its March 2, 2017 public hearing, Planning Commission unanimously voted to forward to City Council a recommendation to approve DSA-17-00001, Dreamport Villages at Casa Grande South Planned Area Development subject to conditions and technical modifications recommended by Staff.  (See Exhibit B- PZ Staff Report, Exhibit C - PZ Meeting Minutes, and Exhibit D-Technical Modifications and conditions).  All of the technical modifications and one conditions of the listed have since been addressed; therefore the recommendation is now subject to the following conditions:
  1. Land must be dedicated to the City at the west boundary of the PAD for a roadway and trail access prior to the abandonment of the existing Peart trailhead.
  2. A minimum of one acre of land must be dedicated to the City for the existing aria Rd. trailhead and parking area prior to the approval of any Major Site Plans or Preliminary Plat within the PAD.
  3. At the time of Major Site Plan or Preliminary Plat approval, applicant is to identify location of all saguaros over four feet in height that are located within areas that are to be disturbed Prior to the approval of any grading permit, these identified saguaros will need to have been relocated within the north or south PADs
  4. A Master Water Report that details the water demands, sources and facilities needed to serve the PAD shall be submitted and approved by Arizona Water Company and the City prior to approval of any Major Site Plan within the Dreamport North or South PAD
  5. A Master Wastewater Report that details the wastewater demands and treatment facility shall be submitted and approved prior to approval of any Major Site Plan within the Dreamport North or South PAD.
  6. A Master Drainage Report shall be submitted and approved prior to approval of any Major Site Plans within the PAD.  Said report to provide details regarding:
    • The source and amount of off-site flows that are impacting the site and how said flows will be transmitted through the site.
    • How development will occur within the Special Flood Hazard Area A in compliance with the City's special flood hazard area regulations.
    • The amount of additional stormwater that will be created with the development of the site and how said stormwater will be managed and retained. 

Dreamport Villages Casa Grande South Planned Area Development (PAD) is 872.07 acres located entirely south of Interstate 8, west of Lamb Road.  If approved, it would amend the currently-approved 757.8-acre Casa Grande Mountain Ranch PAD but also expand the PAD by 114.27 acres to include a rezone of areas currently designated UR (Urban Ranch) and R-1 (single-family residential).    

This amendment retains much of the existing approved land uses, densities and development standards of the existing PAD.  An exception to the currently-approved land uses and development standards is between the north face of Casa Grande Mountain and Interstate 8. The existing, currently-approved PAD identifies a mixture of commercial and office uses, high-density residential and a resort hotel in this area. The maximum height for buildings currently approved here is 35 ft.  The proposed PAD revises this area  to add a wildlife attraction land use with outdoor recreation /amusement amenities as a supplement to the amusement park land use proposed north of Interstate 8 (DSA-17-00002 Dreamport Villages Casa Grande North). Structures associated with the proposed outdoor recreation/amusement use are proposed to have a maximum height of 100 ft., with the ability to go to 150 ft. with the approval of a Conditional Use Permit by Planning Commission.  Hotels in the commercial areas are proposed to be as high as 60 ft. tall, while the hotel in the resort land use area is proposed to be 80 ft. in height as part of a resort facility use.

Though high-density residential land use areas still remain within the PAD, this particular land use along the frontage of Interstate 8 has been replaced with a campus/technical park land use with buildings proposed at a height of 50 ft.   Some additional land along the Interstate 8 frontage currently zoned UR is now proposed to have highway service commercial related uses with a 35 ft. height.  High Density Residential land use was previously approved for 35 ft. height but now proposes 40 ft. height. 

Another change  to the PAD is regarding the land near northwest corner of  Arica and Lamb Roads. This area is currently-zoned R-1 and proposed to be included within the PAD and designated for Medium-Density Residential (Note, there is a parcel of property at the immediate NWC of Arica and Lamb that is zoned UR and not a part of this proposed PAD amendment).

Both the existing and proposed PAD includes a 304-acre area currently owned by the City of Casa Grande that abuts Casa Grande Mountain Park.  This is known as the "Option Parcel". A number of years ago there was an agreement made that this property could be sold for development. The City has chosen to exercise this option to sell.  Though this area is not part of the Casa Grande Mountain Park, a number of trails meander through this area and tie back into the trail system established within the park.  Ninety-two of these 304 acres are to be designated as open space. The remainder of the acreage within the Option Parcel is designated for other uses, ranging from very-low density to medium density residential the further away the PAD gets from Casa Grande Mountain. A limited portion of commercial land use and campus-tech park land use is within this area as well.    
The largest concern with the proposed PAD is the sensitivity that exists between development abutting the open space and trails within Casa Grande Mountain Park.   In order to address these concerns the PAD provides responses for the following identified issues:
  • Trailhead access
    There are two trailheads to Casa Grande Mountain Park that are affected by this PAD.  The Peart trailhead, accessed off of Tate Rd. via Peart Rd.; and the Arica trailhead at the western terminus of Arica Rd.  The existing Peart trailhead is currently on property owned by Daryl Tang. Mr. Tang has kindly agreed that the trailhead and associated parking can remain until such time as the property is developed or sold. This parcel is now proposed to be incorporated into the PAD and it is assumed that the current trailhead and parking will be required to be removed in the near future.  The City recently-acquired a 40-acre parcel south of the Tang property, outside of the PAD.  These 40 acres can now be used for the relocated trailhead and parking.  The PAD identifies a roadway and trail extension along the western PAD boundary that leads to this City-owned parcel. As a condition of approval, land must be dedicated to the City for roadway and trail access along the West boundary of the PAD prior to the abandonment of the existing Peart Rd. trailhead located on the Tang property.
    The Arica Rd. trailhead has been identified within the PAD, and this will continue to have access and parking provided to it.  A condition of approval is that a minimum of one acre for this trailhead and parking lot be dedicated to the City for ownership and maintenance prior to the approval of any Major Site Plans or Preliminary Plats within this PAD.  
  • Use of the Option Parcel
    There are existing trails within the Option Parcel that are connected to Casa Grande Mountain Park’s trail system. This area is also perceived as an extension of the public open space.  Accordingly, the PAD indicates that existing trails or new ones to be constructed within this area will either be placed in an easement or a tract for public use at the time of platting. These trails will be in private ownership, but maintained by a Homeowners Association created in conjunction with future residential subdivisions.  The land uses immediately adjacent to the park are designated as open space or otherwise very low density residential which allows a maximum of one dwelling unit per acre. This very low density development will result in the retention of an open space appearance immediately abutting Casa Grande Mountain Park.   The maximum height for homes within the very low density area is 25 feet.  Restricting development to very low density single-family homes is a way to minimize visual impact of vistas from trails within Casa Grande Mountain Park, particularly along the park’s edge.  Low-density and medium-density residential development situated further from the mountain and at a lower grade would have a maximum height of 35 ft.  
  • Views, esthetic, passive and active enjoyment within the Casa Grande Mountain Park affected by the abutting development.  There are two primary issues prompting recommended conditions on how to best mitigate the the relationship of abutting development adjacent to Casa Grande Mountain Park:
    •  The users of Casa Grande Mountain's experience while within park and how development will effect views while experiencing the open space.
    •  The visual impact that development on slopes can have on Casa Grande Mountain as viewed from outside the park.
The PAD addresses this in the following ways: 
  1. A  PAD perimeter setback boundary which requires buildings and structures to be setback from the boundary of the PAD a minimum distance of its height.This means that from the shared boundary of Casa Grande Mountain Park and the PAD, tall structures cannot be placed as to overshadow the park to the degree as if it were following an internal setback.
  2. At the time of Major Site Plan or preliminary plat approval, applicant is to identify the location of all saguaros over four feet  in  height that are located within areas that are to be disturbed.  Prior to the approval of any grading permit, these identified saguaros will have to relocated within the north or south PADs.
  3.  To allow additional public consensus and technical examination of how best to address the relationship of development on slopes, prior to platting, grading, or development of any residential and non-residential parcels with slopes in excess of 8%, design guidelines shall be created and approved by the Planning Commission that establishes the following design principles:
    1. Maximum cut and fill allowed.
    2. Maximum driveway grade, width, and length.
    3. Appropriate street width, length, and slope standards.
    4. Maximum retaining wall heights.
    5. Amount of natural vegetation removal allowed.
    6. Alternative landscaping solution that results in planting that is low water demand and highly-compatible with the surrounding vegetation.
    7. Standard that establishes which areas of lots to be potentially placed within preservation easements.
    8. Structural designs that take up slope to minimize grading.
    9. Method for design and placement of structures to ensure their blending in with the natural environment.  

To support this development there was a master circulation plan and study provided (Exhibits E-1 and  E-2) showing roadway improvements and extensions that would be necessary.  Notably, there would be an interchange along  the Henness Rd. alignment and Interstate 8, a frontage road would follow the southside of Interstate 8 that would tie into Arica Rd. at Sunland Gin. At Interstate 8, this interchange with the Henness Road alingment would be comprised of a parkway that would carry traffic north over UPPR to access Jimmie Kerr Blvd to Selma Highway.  In later phases, this future roadway would ultimately reach Florence Blvd and there will be an interchange at I-10 and Selma. 

Utility extensions and provision of utilities would be achieved during the platting and Major Site Plan stages where detailed reports would analyze and and recommend utility service solutions.

A number of comments were received regarding this PAD amendment and have been incorporated as an exhibit within the Planning Commission Staff Report (Exhibit B).

For more information regarding the proposed PAD, please refer to the attached exhibits.
Approval of this PAD could result in new development that would generate significant new sales tax revenues.
1.  Table the PAD Amendment
2.  Approve the PAD with the recommended technical corrections and conditions as stipulated (Exhibit D)
3.  Approve the PAD with modified conditions
4. Deny the PAD. 
Ordinance - Rezoning for Dreamport Villages Casa Grande South
Exhibit A - PAD Guide Dreamport Villages South
Exhibit B - PZ Staff Report
Exhibit C - PZ Minutes
Exhibit D - Technical Corrections & Conditions updated
Exhibit E-1 Master Circulation Plan
Exhibit E-2 - Master Circulation Study
Exhibit F - Legal Description
PowerPoint Presentation for N and S PADs


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