City Council Regular Meeting - Includes Action Taken


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Meeting Date: 04/05/2021  
Recommended by: Paul Tice Prepared by: Jim Gagliardi, Planner
Finance Director Review: Angele Ozoemelam  
City Attorney Review: Brett Wallace  
Approved by: Larry Rains Date Submitted: 03/08/2021
Type of Action Requested: Ordinance, Formal Action/Motion, Public Hearing

Public hearing on a request by Mark Reddie of RVI Planning for the following land use approvals on approximately 16.4 acres located at northeast corner of Cottonwood Ln. and Trekell Rd: 
  1. DSA-20-00192: Zone change from B-2 (General Business) to PAD (Planned Area Development) for “The Bungalows at Cottonwood and Trekell” to allow built-to-rent dwellings on a single parcel. 
At its March 4, 2021 meeting, the Planning and Zoning Commission voted (5-1) to recommend that City Council approve this zone change request from B-2 to PAD (Attachment 1- P&Z Minutes).  
This zone change request involves the 16.4 acres located at the northeast corner of Cottonwood and Trekell which is currently zoned B-2 (General Business).  The Applicant is requesting to change the zoning of this property to PAD (Planned Area Development) to allow the development of a medium-density single-family rental development.  The proposed PAD guide can be found at Attachment 2.  This would be a gated rental community, complete with a club house, swimming pool and other outdoor amenities.  This would be managed similarly to an apartment complex, except unlike apartments where rental units are attached to one another,  this community would be comprised of 174 individual detached rental units.  This build-to-rent product would be comprised of one, two, and three bedroom units within single and two-story individual detached dwellings clustered in a multi-family configuration. Each unit would have a private enclosed outdoor area ranging from 152 sq. ft to 429 sq. ft. including one tree within each private enclosed area.    

The proposal has been evaluated with respect to the all of the review criteria required of proposed PAD zones.  An overview of this can be found in the Planning Commission Staff Report at Attachment 3.  

One of the most critical requirements is how this proposal complies with the 2003 Residential Design Standards for Planned Area Developments (2003 RDS).   These design standards typically require a minimum lot  size and  width as well as requirements for multiple house plans and color schemes.  The 2003 RDS allow alternative design standards to be approved in conjunction with the approval of an exception by City Council. This development meets exceptions "A" and "C" as provided within the 2003 RDS.  It's both an infill development, reliant upon existing infrastructure and services and surrounded by established residential development; and it's a unique, innovative proposal where strict application of the 2003 RDS would be counterproductive to achieving the creativity and diversity sought in the PAD.  Accordingly, the applicant contends that this infill development is more like a multi-family community than a traditional single-family neighborhood. 

Specifically, below are the 2003 RDS standards for which alternative design is proposed by the applicant:

Section IA. Mandatory PAD Layout and Design Standards
     2. Single Family lot and Manufactured home space sizes RDS requirements:
  • No single-family lot or manufactured home park space shall be less than 6,000 square feet.
  • For every lot  or space less than 7,000 sq. ft., an equal number of lots or spaces that are at least 8,000 sq ft. in area shall be provided
  • A minimum fifty-five foot width is required for all single-family lots and manufactured home park spaces.
  • Lot and space variety is required to encourage diversity in housing product types and neighborhoods.
  • For every single-family lot or space less than 7,000 square feet in area, an equal number of lots or spaces that are at least 8,000 square feet in area shall be provided. 
Applicant’s Request:
Due to the nature of this unique and innovative development type with a single-family . . . product in a multi-family cluster configuration on a single lot, this standard as written is not achievable . . . The intent of this standard is for a traditional subdivision with individual lots. 
Proposed Alternative
  1. Minimum of 3,500 average square feet of lot area per unit.
  2. No minimum lot width or space requirement per unit since there are no individual lots or spaces defined within this type of development.
Staff Response:
Staff agrees that the unique nature of this project encourages a departure from standard lot/space sizes that would apply to a traditional residential product.  Also, the R-2 zone district would allow a minimum lot area of 3,000 sq. ft. per unit if attached, such as a duplex.  The proposed 3,500 sq. ft. of lot area per unit for detached product to create a cluster-style development is reasonable. The orientation of the homes and the variety in sizes (ranging between one and three bedrooms and one and two stories) provides a diverse mixture beyond that of a standard apartment complex, which would not be beholden to the same extent of restrictions.   
Additionally, Staff contends that the design and diversity objectives of the PAD RDS are still achieved because in lieu of large front and back yards associated with each dwelling similar to traditional single-family development, this proposal provides 30% open space within the PAD, where there will be amenities including a clubhouse and passive and active outdoor recreation amenities for the residents to enjoy as a whole. 
     3.  Setbacks- RDS Requirements:
  • Conventional single-family residential zoning district setbacks shall be used as the basis for establishing single-family residential setbacks; however, unique setbacks shall be established for each PAD based upon the proposed development theme and housing product. A minimum 10-foot side yard setback shall be provided for every lot to allow for adequate access to the rear yard.
Applicant’s Request:
As defined  . . .above, this development is designed as a multi-family cluster development on a single lot, with not individual lots or traditional lot setbacks.  Each building is separated by a minimum of 8 ft, therefore we are requesting .  . . a Minimum 4 ft. setback from an imaginary property line between adjacent unit (resulting in a minimum of 8 ft. between units)
Staff Response:
Staff agrees that this project’s unique characteristic does not lend itself to the standard zone districts setbacks.  Though 8 ft. is the minimum distance between buildings, in many cases it’s greater, particularly when rear patios abut each other and provide for a minimum of 16 ft. Each unit is served with a sidewalk with proximity to parking.  The need for rear yard access between buildings isn’t as critical due to the rear of the units serving more so as smart-sized patio areas than large multi-purpose yards where direct access is needed for additional parking, pool construction, etc.   
Section IIA. Mandatory PAD Residential Architecture Standards - RDS Requirements:
In order to avoid repetition and encourage architectural diversity, the following mandatory standards are provided (for Housing Product, see Exhibit D):
1.  Floor plans and elevations- RDS Requirements:
  • A minimum of five home floor plans, each with three distinct elevations, is required per project and within each definitive housing price range or product type.
  • A minimum of five distinct home color schemes is required per project and within each definitive housing price range or product type.
Applicant’s Request:
(Provide) Five floor plans with two distinct elevations.   . . . A minimum of ten color schemes are provided, one for each floor plan (and elevation style) . . . A mix of 1,2, and 3-bedroom single story units and 1 and 2 bedroom two-story units, as well as a separate community clubhouse within its own unique style   . . . provides for a wide variety of architectural styles . . . Since this development is not laid out in a traditional street frontage configuration, the residential units will be oriented in various configuration with views of front, rear and side elevations from different vantage points, creating even more variety in  . . . character throughout the community.
Staff Response:  Staff agrees that due to the proximity of the units and the overall aesthetics of the project, the limiting of two elevation styles per plan is adequate.   Ten color schemes are provided and accommodating for two styles per plan helps achieve diversity that would otherwise be lost if every unit was built to the same style.   
4.  Patio covers - RDS Requirements:
  • Rear or side yard covered patios or covered courtyards are required on every home.
  • Where possible, covered patio areas should be incorporated into the architecture of the homes.
  • Patio cover columns and roofs shall be constructed of the same materials used on the remainder of the home.
Applicant’s Request:  
No patio requirement . . .due to compact, cluster configuration of this innovative and unique development plan concept. However front entry to each unit is covered (providing a patio-like appearance).  Each unit provides a private backyard  . . . where residents have the flexibility to include personal design and shade elements (however, the PAD provides specific restrictions limiting these aspects to. Shade elements can’t exceed 60 sq. ft. with a , maximum height of 8 ft. )
Staff Response:  
Staff agrees that the units shall not be required to provide covered patios.  However, with every home proposed a covered front entry, and one of the two-story plans has a small covering over the rear entry, much of the intent of this standard is met.   
The applicant is meeting the requirements found in Section IB, Additional Requirements for PAD Layout and Design as well as Section IIB, Additional Requirements for PAD Residential Architecture and no exceptions to these requirements are sought.  For reference to how these are being met, refer to Attachment 4- Elevations.  

Planning Commission also considered the Major Site Plan request for this development, approving it  on a 4-2 vote, provided that the Council approves the PAD zone (Attachment 5- Major Site Plan excerpt).  The most significant concern was the impact the use would have to the traffic on Trekell and the fact that a multi-family development site is already designated in the area immediately to the east of this site.  A Traffic Statement was provided by the applicant and found agreeable by the City Traffic Engineer who found that this development would have less impact as a residential development than if developed commercially.  Based upon the impact of the proposed development the applicant is being required to construct a right turn lane into the development from Trekell.  Other traffic concerns discussed by the Planning Commission are existing and not created by this specific proposal; therefore is not a requirement of this development to directly address.  Rather, impact fees collected for this development will go toward City-wide street improvements, which could indirectly resolve some of the concerns, such as an extended median on Trekell, or the creation of turn lanes on Cottonwood.  

Though there are multi-family designated properties abutting this site, their direct access is to different roadways; and the development of this corner parcel as either a multi-family development or commercial development is appropriate.  
Approving this zone change would result in the construction of 174 dwelling units, which each would prompt the payment of an impact fee at the time of building permit submittal as well as construction sales tax revenue.
1. Approve the request
2. Table the request
3. Deny the request.  
Attachment 1 - P&Z Minutes
Attachment 2 - PAD Guide
Attachment 3 - Staff Report
Attachment 4 - Elevations
Attachment 5 - Major Site Plan excerpt



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