City of Glendale





5850 West Glendale Avenue
Glendale, AZ 85301












Meeting Minutes




Tuesday, August 15, 2017
6:00 P.M.
Workshop Meeting
Council Chambers






City Council


Mayor Jerry Weiers
Vice Mayor Ian Hugh
Councilmember Jamie Aldama
Councilmember Joyce Clark
Councilmember Ray Malnar
Councilmember Lauren Tolmachoff
Councilmember Bart Turner









 
 



 
             
CALL TO ORDER

Mayor Weiers called the meeting to order at 1:33 p.m.
             
ROLL CALL
 
Present: Mayor Jerry Weiers; Vice Mayor Ian Hugh; Councilmember Jamie Aldama; Councilmember Joyce Clark; Councilmember Ray Malnar; Councilmember Lauren Tolmachoff; Councilmember Bart Turner
Also Present: Kevin Phelps, City Manager; Tom Duensing, Assistant City Manager; Michael Bailey, City Attorney; Julie K. Bower, City Clerk
             
WORKSHOP SESSION
             
1. GILA RIVER ARENA FISCAL YEAR 2016-2017 OVERVIEW
Presented By:       Tom Duensing, Assistant City Manager
Guest Presenter:  Chuck Steedman, AEG Facilities, Chief Operating Officer
Guest Presenter:  Dale Adams, AEG Facilities, Gila River Arena General Manager

Ms. Bower read the item by title.

Mr. Adams said the arena was a state-of-the-art concert and entertainment facility.  Bookings had increased in the last year and the arena was currently holding 23 dates, which was more than had been booked for all of last fiscal year.  Over 40 hockey-related events were held at the arena.

Mr. Adams said there had been several events that had returned for additional bookings at the facility, including the Harlem Globetrotters, Professional Bull Riding, Kellogg's Tour of Gymnastic Champions and the first-ever Indoor Football League Championship event. 

Mr. Steedman said the Coyotes worked very cooperatively with AEG to encourage bookings at the facility.

Mr. Adams said the Coyotes and the NHL were also flexible working with AEG around the playoff dates.  The average per show had increased from FY15-16.  Growth was expected in this fiscal year, as well.  He said paid tickets sold per show was the highest it had been in arena history.

Mr. Adams said it was a great market for new acts. The arena sold the most tickets in any one fiscal year since FY09-10 and had the highest average paid tickets per show in arena history.  The arena also had the second highest total gross ticket revenue over the past seven years.  The arena rehearsed and opened tour dates for Zac Brown, Queen with Adam Lambert and Kendrick Lamar, as well as hosting two comedy acts in one season.  Business was cyclical and the past year had been strong.  Continued growth would depend on touring schedules and act availability.  There was an increase in new shows in family entertainment, which would increase bookings.

Mr. Steedman said AEG had gone out into the marketplace to find opportunities to book family shows.

Mr. Adams said the key points were profitability, programming availability, positive industry exposure and industry relations.  Venue capital expense highlights included engineering and mechanical equipment, operations, security and guest services and production and IT.  He said AEG's plan focused on catching up on maintenance and addressing immediate needs.  Several projects had been completed that were affecting operational efficiency and upgrades were made in several other categories, as well.  Housekeeping, engineering and production and IT issues had been addressed to make sure the building operated more efficiently.  Additional operational improvements had been made within guest services, security and parking.

Mayor Weiers asked for more information about the High School Hall of Fame area.

Mr. Adams said the High School Coaches Hall of Fame contacted AEG and asked if its display could be moved to the arena.  A display area had been created on the south side of the main concourse area.  

Mayor Weiers said the display made the facility seem more personal.

Mr. Adams said security was a priority and new equipment had been purchased that provided text notification from guests who were able to report a problem from their seat.

Mr. Adams said AEG felt food and beverage was underperforming and had performed a year-long assessment to raise the bar.  He said the providers had been open to conversations about offering the right products to visitors.

Mr. Steedman said happy customers spent more and it was key to provide quality products at the venue.  More  improvements were expected in the upcoming year.

Councilmember Aldama said most patrons ate dinner at the facility when attending an event and he was glad to see better options for patrons.  He also wanted to make sure everyone was aware that a lounge for nursing mothers was now available at the facility.

Mr. Adams said the arena had earned several awards including best extra large music venue and a prime site destination award.

Mr. Adams said the staff had worked in some of the best facilities in the world and had wanted to come to Glendale.  He said the budgeted return to the City was over $500,000.  The good news was that just over $1.6 million was actually being returned to the City.  He said it meant success and he hoped to continue to grow and make the venue successful and give the City a positive return.  The arena and surrounding area was Arizona's place for entertainment.  It was a destination for everyone and AEG was excited about being a part of the growth.

Mayor Weiers said AEG had been a positive for Glendale and was moving in the right direction.  He thanked AEG for a job well done.

Councilmember Aldama thanked AEG for taking the building that belonged to Glendale citizens and using it to its full extent.  He appreciated the relationship AEG had with the Coyotes, as well.

Councilmember Clark thanked  AEG and said it was the first good news she'd heard about the arena in many years.  She was very impressed with the return on investment to the City.  It was great that AEG encouraged new acts and new projects to perform at the arena.   She asked if AEG had any communication with the Coyotes about extending their stay beyond the next year.

Mr. Steedman said AEG had a very good, ongoing dialogue with the Coyotes.  There were numerous levels of confidentiality with the conversations with the Coyotes and it might not be wise to discuss them.  AEG would do everything it could to work with Glendale to get the Coyotes to stay.   

Councilmember Turner said it was good to hear that the City was on track to meet performance goals.  It was good for the entertainment district businesses as well as Glendale citizens.  He said it was great news that the speed and level of service was improving and the suites were selling.  He said the $1.6 million rebate showed real dollar savings for the citizens.  He looked forward to more great years.
             
2. BOARDS & COMMISSIONS UNDER CITY CLERK'S OFFICE MANAGEMENT
Presented By:  Julie K. Bower, City Clerk

Ms. Bower read the item by title.

Ms. Bower said the Government Services Committee had asked the City Clerk's Office to look at the feasibility of the Clerk's Office assuming the management of the Boards and Commissions, develop recommendations and bring them back to Council for discussion. 

Ms. Bower said, currently, the Council Office oversaw Boards and Commissions.  The Clerk's Office did have the capacity to take over management if a few changes were made. 

Ms. Bower said the expiration of terms varied throughout the year.  There was continuous recruitment and vacancies occurred each month.  The first recommended change would be to consolidate the expiration of terms which would help make the process more efficient.  The City and Council was continuously recruiting for candidates.  Council meetings could be impacted each month due to the time it took to make the appointments and swear in new members.  Council was also required to schedule time each month to discuss appointments in Executive Session. 

Ms. Bower said the Clerk's Office was recommending that all Boards and Commission terms expire at the same time.  If recruitment was consolidated to once per year, the City would be able to focus its recruitment efforts to get the maximum number of applicants and make all appointments at one meeting.  The processes of other cities were reviewed and Scottsdale was the only other valley city that followed the same process that Glendale used.  All other municipalities had consolidated term expirations.  Peoria made semi-annual appointments with some terms expiring June 30th and some on December 31st.  

Ms. Bower said applications not selected for annual appointments would be kept on file for a minimum of one year.  Applications would also be accepted throughout the year and kept on file.  In the case of an unexpected vacancy, Council would have the option to make an appointment from the applications on file and/or conduct a special recruitment. 

Ms. Bower said the second recommended change would be to automate the process.  Currently, residents were able to submit an online application, but the rest of the process was completely manual.  The vendor that provided the City's agenda management software, AgendaQuick, was rolling out a new boards and commission module and would provide it to the City free of charge in exchange for the Clerk's Office helping to test the module.  

Ms. Bower said if Council would like to proceed with the consolidation of terms, the City Attorney had advised the Clerk's Office that it would require Council action.  Additionally, Board and Commission members and staff liaisons would be notified of the changes to the expiration of terms.  Terms expiring in 2017 would be extended through December 31, 2017 and terms expiring in 2018 would be extended through December 31, 2018, and so on for 2019 and 2020 terms.   The item would be brought before Council to take action at its meeting on September 12th. 

Ms. Bower explained she did have experience managing boards and commissions and had done so in her previous city clerk positions.  If Council wished the Clerk's Office to assume management, she would work with the Council Office to make sure there was a seamless transition. 

Mayor Weiers asked if the terms would be staggered.

Ms. Bower said the terms were currently staggered and the year of term expiration would remain the same, but the term would be extended to December 31st of that year, for example.

Mayor Weiers asked if a member was appointed to fill an unexpired term that was close to the end of the term, how that would be handled.

Ms. Bower recommended that the member be appointed to complete the remainder of the term and also be appointed to the next full term.  The partial term would not count toward the term limit.

Mayor Weiers requested those provisions be detailed so there was no confusion.  

Councilmember Clark asked if these changes would change the role of the Government Services Committee.

Mayor Weiers didn't think anything was going to change.

Councilmember Malnar said it would be taking part of what the Government Services Committee had been doing and give it to the Clerk's Office.  He said the Government Services Committee would still need to meet and make appointments and go through the entire process as they currently did.

Councilmember Clark said there had been instances where some appointments were questionable and the Government Services Committee needed the ability to approve and deny consideration of an applicant.  It was a connection to the community that the Clerk's Office would not have.

Councilmember Malnar said the function of the Government Services Committee would continue in that sense and it was more of the clerical duties that the Clerk's Office would be taking over regarding boards and commissions.

Councilmember Clark asked if the Clerk's Office would be providing support for the Government Services Committee and all appointments would be made in December of each year and members would be installed in January of the following year.

Ms. Bower clarified that the Clerk's Office would not be making the selections or appointments but would simply provide support.  She had suggested December 31st as a term end date because it was logical but Council could pick any date.  She said standardizing the system would help with recruitment and her role would simply be a supportive role.

Mayor Weiers said December might be challenging due to the holidays and suggested a January 31st term end date would work better.

Councilmember Clark agreed.

Councilmember Malnar agreed also and added it would put a heavier burden on the Council during certain times of the year.  He suggested holding regular meetings of the Government Services Committee for the next year to review the number of terms ending and to assure there were enough applicants for the open positions.

Councilmember Clark asked that each Councilmember work toward contacting business leaders within their district to ask for applications for the Council subcommittee on business.  She wanted to get the committee up and running as soon as possible.

Mayor Weiers asked if there was consensus to approve the January 31st term expiration.

Ms. Bower asked if it was January 31st with appointments in February.

Mayor Weiers said that was correct.

Council concurred.

Ms. Bower said staff would bring back the legislative action necessary to change the term expiration.  She asked if Council wanted the Clerk's Office to take over management.

Mayor Weiers said that was correct.

Councilmember Clark said the list of board and commission members on the website contained incorrect information.

Ms. Bower said that site had not been updated in nearly a year and she would take care of it.
             
3. ANNUAL UPDATE ON THE GLENDALE HOMELESS STRATEGIC ACTION PLAN AND UPDATE ON COUNCIL ITEM OF SPECIAL INTEREST (CIOSI) FUNDING TO ADDRESS HOMELESSNESS
Presented By: Stephanie Small, Director, Community Services Department
                       Charyn Eirich-Palmisano, Administrator, Community Revitalization Division
                       Rick St. John, Chief, Glendale Police Department
                       Erik Strunk, Director, Public Facilities, Recreation and Special Events

Ms. Bower introduced the item by title.

Ms. Small said the objectives for today's presentation included reviewing the Homeless Strategic Action Plan, summarizing the January 2017 point-in-time count results and reviewing homeless outreach efforts to date.  Ms. Small said an assessment was conducted by the Community Services Department in 2016 and multi-departmental, stakeholder and human service agency participation and feedback was obtained.  

Ms. Small said characteristics of the chronically homeless included more than 50% of that population had been homeless more than once and the length of homelessness varied from months to years.  More than 50% experienced drug or alcohol abuse, more than 35% had mental health issues and very few individuals self-reported as veterans.  She said there were 57 individuals identified at the point-in-time count last year.  The count was advertised but some homeless individuals hid and did not want to be counted.  The actual number of homeless was higher than the 57 individuals that were counted. 

Ms. Small said recommendations for the Glendale Strategic Homeless Action Plan included identifying funding for a dedicated homeless liaison within the Community Revitalization Department.  The liaison would work with the business community to provide the services the homeless population needed.  A unified Glendale team would be created that included members of the Police and Fire Departments, as well as other partnering organizations.  Improved communication was a vital component to assisting the homeless population and key note speakers would be a regular feature in the action plan. 

Ms. Small said data collection was a work in progress and staff was working closely with the Courts, Police and Fire to collect the most accurate and useful data.  A reevaluation of enforcement capabilities was also being done to determine how best to help those in need.  Staff would come back before Council on an annual basis as they continued to formulate a plan.

Ms. Small said $325,000 had been budgeted towards homeless services and outreach services as well as funds for local shelters.  The Community Action Program had assisted about 75 families with rent and utility assistance and outreach efforts had begun with the Phoenix Rescue Mission and US Vets.  These efforts include trust-building and providing services to needy families.  The outreach coordinator would continue working to improve partnerships with human service agencies to assist the City in its efforts.   

Ms. Small said the homeless population who spent time in the local parks was changing and agencies were making adjustments.  The business community had been concerned about the changes in the homeless population, as well.  It was important to get the homeless into housing as quickly as possible.  Ms. Small said staff is engaged in discussions with MAG, downtown businesses and other partners.    The Police Department and Parks and Recreation Department were looking at any changes that needed to be made to City ordinances.

Councilmember Clark said one-third of the homeless were mentally ill, one-third were professional homeless and did not want to be helped and one-third were truly needy.  There was a great deal of talk and no action.  The downtown merchants had complained about the homeless population and what it had done to business.  She asked where were the visible signs that the truly needy were being helped.

Ms. Small said it was correct that some individuals refused help and assistance.  Staff was working to make it more uncomfortable for the homeless to stay on the street rather than get services.  She said the goal was to get those individuals struggling with substance abuse or mental health issues into some type of a treatment plan which could be the gateway to getting them the long-term help they needed.

Councilmember Clark said the City was putting $325,000 towards the problem and 75 families had been assisted to stay in their homes.  With that kind of money, they could take every homeless person off the street and give them a place to live.  A great deal of money was being thrown at a persistent problem without seeing any strong results.  She asked at what point did we say this wasn't working and try something else.

Ms. Small said the $325,000 included not only the Community Action Program, where rent and utility assistance was provided, but CDAC funds were also used for shelter operations as well.  The west valley did not have a shelter so when residents needed emergency shelters, there were shelter services available for them.  The Community Action Program was used to keep people from ending up homeless.  She said it was a multi-faceted effort regarding the types of services that were provided through CDAC and CAP. 

Ms. Small said the outreach had just started and no City funds were currently being provided to US Vets or the Rescue Mission.  Some individuals were more ready to accept help than others and it took time to build trust.

Councilmember Clark was frustrated because homelessness was a chronic problem that the City continued to throw money at and it never seemed to get any better. 

Councilmember Turner was also frustrated with the homeless problem and understood it was a problem in Glendale and other communities.  It did seem like other communities were making progress.  It was frustrating there were 57 identified as homeless persons and only one had been helped.  He was anxious for the City to start making a difference and felt there was more that could be done in the community rather than sending money to the shelters.

Councilmember Aldama had learned that being homeless was not a problem but was the result of a problem.  The City needed to find a goal, such as ending chronic homelessness, and define what that goal meant.  He said homelessness was not just located in downtown Glendale but was regional and asked if the City had asked the State for any help with funding, or if funding was available.

Ms. Small would check on that, but said the funding that had been identified was coming from the CDBG budget.  She would look into any funding opportunities from the State and what programs Phoenix had tapped into.

Councilmember Aldama said Phoenix committed some of its budget to ending homelessness.  The City needed to make more of a commitment, rather than just relying on federal funding.  He asked if the City had defined what homelessness meant.

Ms. Small said the initial action plan started the groundwork and had yet to come up with mission and vision.  Once the homeless liaison was onboard, they would begin determining what they actually wanted to accomplish and what it would look like.  She said they need also needed to be aware of how they did outreach interdepartmentally and how the human service agencies could provide the intensive case management that might be needed.  It was important to figure out how to connect individuals with the services they needed.

Councilmember Aldama asked if staff had looked into establishing goals and benchmarks.

Ms. Small said yes but the first part of that was figuring out what that population even looked like.  A large portion of the homeless population were veterans and they had enough support services there.  It might be necessary to look into the data further to determine if that same population also had substance abuse or legal issues, which could affect their transition. 

Councilmember Aldama said it sounded like a methodical process and asked what they did in the meantime.  He asked if staff had reached out to the new downtown manager to help support the needs of the downtown area.

Ms. Small said staff had reached out to business owners and business leaders and were making sure stakeholders could make contact with the Police or partnering agencies that provided intensive case management.  She wanted to make sure that everyone knew what services and resources were available.  Staff would be mapping out these strategies so there was a workflow process so anyone could determine the next step to assist the homeless and get them housed.

Mayor Weiers was encouraged by what Ms. Small said.  She was moving in the right direction to get results.
             
4. COUNCIL ITEM OF SPECIAL INTEREST – ZONING TEXT AMENDMENT FOR FLAGPOLE REGULATIONS & MISCELLANEOUS ZONING ORDINANCE UPDATES
Presented By:  Jon M. Froke, AICP, Planning Director

Ms. Bower introduced the item by title.

Mr. Froke said the Council item of special interest was about flag pole regulations.  The last time flag pole regulations were reviewed was in 1993 and the current commercial standard for flag pole height was 30 feet.  Staff was suggesting a 60-foot height for both commercial properties and model home complexes.  Home builders had requested flag pole heights from 60 to 100 feet.  Those flag poles were temporary and would be removed once the homes were sold. 

Mr. Froke said staff was also looking for Council input regarding clarification of definitions for convenience use, medical marijuana dispensaries and mobile home subdivisions.  The clarification would encourage new investment in established neighborhoods.  Staff was suggesting amending Section 3.600 Design Review to require minor review of exterior color changes to existing multi-family, office, commercial and industrial projects, which would allow staff review of proposed color changes before a property was repainted.  There was no definition for disc jockey and staff proposed adding a definition that pertained to relevant activities of a disc jockey.  It would provide clarity to the types of entertainment that were provided at certain establishments in Glendale. 

Mr. Froke said another change regarded reapplication.  If an application was denied, staff proposed that the length of time before filing the same application be increased from 6 months to 13 months.  The additional time would allow affected neighborhoods a reprieve from new applications.

Mayor Weiers asked how that would apply if an applicant made a minor change.

Mr. Froke said it would require a judgment call on how similar the applications were.

Mayor Weiers asked if staff would work with the City Attorney's Office on those matters.

Mr. Froke said staff would be working with the City Attorney's Office on a draft ordinance before the item came back to a voting meeting.

Mr. Froke said there was an omission regarding office districts and suggested adding a new heading Section 5.500 Office Districts at the beginning of the section, which would provide consistency in labeling zoning districts.  Zoning district categories that were letters typically did not contain a hyphen and staff suggested removing hyphens from the GO and BP zoning districts which would provide consistency with other zoning districts. 

Mr. Froke said staff was seeking direction regarding adding an assisted living facility as a permitted land use in NSC zoning.  It would provide integrated development, further mixed use and promote walkability.   Staff was also seeking direction regarding a day care owner in a shopping district, who owned a PAD immediately adjacent to that facility.  He had been unable to find any tenants for the property and had asked if a hospice type facility would be appropriate in that zoning district.  Staff suggested including those in the C-3, M-1 and M2 zoning districts. 

Mr. Froke said other staff suggestions included allowing accessory structures to increase in height by 3 feet for architectural features.  A major medical center was a unique land use and staff suggested various edits to the permitted signage for those facilities in response to recent requests.  In the PAD zoning districts, staff proposed requiring a public art component to all new requests for PAD zoning, which would provide additional visual interest to the built environment. 

Mr. Froke said there had been strong homebuilding activity and staff proposed increasing the lot coverage in the R1 districts to 50%.  The current standard varied from 40% to 45% and the increase to 50% responded to current market trends.  Input was also requested on how water and ice dispensing machines should be regulated and whether a conditional use permit (CUP) should be required.  Mr. Froke said convenience uses normally required a CUP and with the advent of quick service take home food and small storefront grocery stores, staff proposed that for such restaurants and stores, a CUP not be required.

Mr. Froke said there were three hospitals in Glendale.  Staff suggested minor edits that included increasing maximum sign area from 600 to 800 square feet, allowing three freestanding signs per project and allowing directional sign area to increase from 6 to 12 square feet and the height increase from 3 to 6 feet.  Text or symbols would be allowed on 50% of the sign area instead of the 25% currently allowed. 

Mr. Froke said a neighborhood meeting was held in August 2016, to introduce the zoning text amendments to the public.  Planning staff was seeking guidance from the Council on the draft zoning ordinance edits.  The edits would be brought back to Council at a future voting meeting in the form of an ordinance.

Councilmember Aldama asked if the blue hospital signs were governed by City ordinance or state law.

Mr. Froke said the blue “H” sign for a hospital was an international symbol for a hospital.

Councilmember Aldama asked if the sign was required by law.

Mr. Froke did not know, but would find out and provide that information to Council.

Councilmember Tolmachoff asked if there would be criteria for seating at the quick serve food establishment and asked for an explanation of what was meant by small storefront grocery stores.

Mr. Froke said staff felt it wasn’t necessary to require a CUP for small storefront grocery stores in the urban areas of downtown Glendale.  He said the language needed to be clarified for that particular land use.

Councilmember Tolmachoff asked about the zoning on the quick serve food establishments.

Mr. Froke said that type of establishment normally would not have the traffic that a fast food restaurant would have.  They were trying to respond to the market and provide clarity for customers.  He said the issue seemed to come up on a regular basis.

Councilmember Clark did not see the value of tying the flag pole amendment to the other miscellaneous amendments, which could take longer than approving a simple flag pole amendment.  She was concerned that the last meeting on the issue was over a year ago because some of the items might be contentious and deserve public comment.  She asked what the definition was for live entertainment and how that definition distinguished itself from the definition of a disc jockey.  Councilmember Clark asked if there were any new provisions under the Office Districts section.

Mr. Froke said the suggestion for the Office Districts was to clean up that section but there were no proposed edits to that section.

Councilmember Clark said before supporting assisted living facilities at a neighborhood shopping center, she would like to know the pros and cons, specifically to the south corner of Glendale and 83rd Avenue.  The property owner wanted an assisted living facility.  She asked if that would consume 90% of the property, leaving only 10% for retail or commercial.  There needed to be further public discussion on exactly what was implied.

Mr. Froke said that request was reviewed by both Planning and Economic Development staff.  One of the suggestions that came out of the internal discussions, was assisted living facilities on less than 4 acres.  That particular owner, who staff had worked with for approximately 15 years, was trying to find users for the property and about half of it would be used for assisted living.

Councilmember Clark was not sure that was appropriate for such a small site and wanted to know if all owners who had properties zoned for neighborhood shopping centers would be allowed to consume half of the site with an assisted living center. It merited further discussion.

Councilmember Clark said the proposal to increase the R-1 districts lot coverage to 50% was also something that deserved further public discussion and pros and cons fully vetted and explored. 

Mayor Weiers asked if Councilmember Clark wanted to break out the flag pole height limit as a separate issue.

Councilmember Clark suspected there would be support for that issue. 

Councilmember Turner would like more clarity on the concept of the disc jockey for live entertainment.

Mr. Froke said there was no definition for disc jockey and staff would like to provide clarity to some of the existing establishments that had live entertainment.  He had worked with the Police Department on the issue and it would help the organization if there was a definition of what a disc jockey was. 

Councilmember Turner asked why the City wanted to regulate the live entertainment facility. 

Mr. Froke said, at the last Planning Commission meeting, one of the agenda items was a CUP for live entertainment.  The property had been posted and it was located at the northwest corner of 51st Avenue and Northern at an existing establishment called the Coffee Club. The proprietor of the facility wanted to have live entertainment.  The site was located too close to residential to allow live entertainment outright, so a CUP for live entertainment was required.  The entertainment was very low key entertainment and did not include a disc jockey.  He did not want to confuse the disc jockey definition with live entertainment.  A definition for disc jockey in the zoning ordinance would be helpful.

Councilmember Turner said the question was, would a disc jockey be considered live entertainment. 

Mr. Froke said staff would like to look into what a disc jockey did with regard to live entertainment.  Staff would go back and do another neighborhood meeting.

Councilmember Turner asked if it was staff's intent to create the definition for a disc jockey and to regulate it in the same fashion as other forms of live entertainment.

Mr. Froke said that was correct.

Councilmember Turner referred to assisted living facilities in neighborhood shopping centers.  He noticed Mr. Froke had been saying assisted living facilities and asked if that was distinct from an independent living facility that would cater to seniors.

Mr. Froke said that was the input staff was looking for.

Councilmember Turner said there was a big distinction between an independent living facility and an assisted living facility.  With an independent living facility, there would probably be interaction with the other businesses in the area.  Once an individual had graduated to assisted living, they were probably not getting out very much and wouldn't be walking about, so it would not increase walk-in trade at the other businesses that might be in the shopping center. 
Councilmember Turner’s impression was that there was too much commercial property, particularly at the major or arterial intersections.  It was due to over zoning in the 1970s and because of the nature of how people were shopping more online.  He asked if a struggling neighborhood shopping centers could be re-purposed or rezoned into a multi-family zoning district that would bring traffic to the area and help support commercial activity where it existed.  For commercial corners that were not yet developed, the question was whether commercial was still the appropriate zoning category.   

Councilmember Turner said another item presented was the C-3 zoning classifications and what would be permitted or restricted use.  It had to do with the breweries in the C-3 district.  He asked if a brewery related to a specific volume of production that would require them to be in a C-3 or an M-1 district as opposed to a microbrewery.

Mr. Froke said with respect to the proposal on the auction houses, the brewery and the data centers, data centers was a land use that occasionally Planning and Economic Development would get an inquiry on.  There was not a definition of a data center and it was not listed in the zoning ordinance.    An M-1, M-2 or C-3 designation would be appropriate.  With respect to the brewery in C-3, that would be production and would not necessarily be onsite consumption.

Councilmember Turner confirmed that a microbrewery could be located in a less restrictive commercial district but a brewery specifically for production and shipping off site would be in the heavier district.

Mr. Froke said staff agreed but was looking for Council input.

Councilmember Turner wanted to keep the door open for microbreweries with a limited amount of take home to be in the commercial and entertainment district in the downtown area.  He asked for an example of a data center.

Mr. Froke said the data centers housed servers and few employees and M-1 and M-2 was an appropriate district.

Councilmember Turner had no problem with a data center and didn't think it needed to be located only in industrial or heavy commercial areas.  It just needed to fit into whatever neighborhood it was going into.  He asked a question about allowable height of a pergola.

Mr. Froke said the draft ordinance suggested that 25% of the roof area would be allowed an additional 3 feet.  Staff had seen that an allowance of up to 50% of the roof area allowed an additional 3 feet in other cities and was looking for input from Council.

Councilmember Turner asked what the existing height level was for the accessory structure.

Mr. Froke said it varied from 10 to 15 feet, depending on how far away the structure was from the perimeter setback.

Councilmember Turner said his last question was about flag poles on commercial properties.  Phoenix had a limit of 45 feet and the height limit being proposed of 60 feet was the same as a 5- to 6-storied building and felt that was a little tall for a commercial area.   He was concerned because it would apply to any commercial property, so every gas station, grocery store and other commercial business could have very tall flag poles.  Councilmember Turner said it cheapened the American Flag being used as an advertising mechanism.  He suggested leaving the flag pole intact in housing developments so residents could use it after the homebuilder had left the area.

Councilmember Tolmachoff asked for clarification on the public art component and wanted to know who decided what the components would be.

Mr. Froke said the Council would ultimately make those decisions through PAD zoning.  Staff would work with the applicant on a public art component section which would be vetted by staff, the Planning Commission and Council.

Councilmember Tolmachoff asked if there would be established parameters for different PADs and how would the size of the public art project be determined.

Mr. Froke said it was contained in Section 5.900 and staff was suggesting a new section, adding public art.  It would state that each request for a PAD shall include a public art component and the public art component shall be established in the approval of the PAD.

Councilmember Tolmachoff said that wording seemed a little vague.

Mr. Froke said staff could work on establishing additional criteria.

Councilmember Malnar agreed with several of the proposed items and wanted to move the flag pole item forward.  He wanted to add any other items that Council could agree on and move all of them forward at once.  Some of the items were business regulations and he would like to run the more controversial items through the business regulations committee.

Councilmember Aldama asked if it would be a violation of the law if there was a requirement that only the American flag could be flown on a pole that was 60 feet and any other flag would fly at a lower height.

Mr. Froke said staff would look into the legality but other cities had that requirement.

Councilmember Aldama wanted the public to know that it was not unusual to edit draft legislation.  He was open to moving forward all items that had Council consensus.

Mayor Weiers asked if there was a consensus on a flag pole height of 60 feet.

Councilmember Malnar asked if that included the American flag flying higher than other flags.

Mayor Weiers said that was protocol but did not know if the Council could legally mandate that. 

Mr. Bailey said he would look into the issue.

Mayor Weiers said there was consensus for the 60 foot height total.  He also asked what other items may have Council consensus.

Councilmember Malnar asked if there was consensus on the mobile home subdivision item because it would be a benefit to his district.

Mayor Weiers asked if there was a potential that someone would request to move a mobile home into a modular home area.

Mr. Froke said the zoning did not allow for modular homes to be placed on land zoned for mobile homes.  He said changing the provision might help upgrade some neighborhoods in Glendale.

Mayor Weiers said there was consensus.

Councilmember Malnar suggested moving forward the amendment that would make City in compliance with the medical marijuana laws.

Mayor Weiers said there was consensus for that.

Councilmember Malnar said the item increasing to a 12- month refiling time period might have consensus.

Mayor Weiers said it would be a great policy.

Councilmember Aldama said it might not be a great policy if the issue was a minor one.  He was open to sending that proposal to the business regulation committee.

Councilmember Clark agreed with Councilmember Aldama and was not ready to support it today.

Councilmember Malnar said the next item was the proposed edits, minor changes, hyphens and re-numbering.

Mayor Weiers said there was consensus.

Councilmember Tolmachoff asked if that included the public art item because that needed further discussion.

Mr. Froke said that it did not include the public art item.  He said the City had been using PAD zoning for many years.  There were some that felt it was special zoning and something should be given back by the applicant or developer, such as requiring them to provide a special feature or component.   

Councilmember Tolmachoff said she did not want this to become an obstacle or deterrent to development.

Councilmember Malnar asked if there was consensus on the Office District item.

Mayor Weiers said there was consensus for the item.

Councilmember Clark asked if the medical signage had consensus.

Mayor Weiers said that signage was important and made a difference.  He supported moving it forward.

Councilmember Aldama asked if the items that Council did not move forward would come back at a later date.

Mayor Weiers said the consensus items would come back for a Council vote and the other items would be heard for further discussion.

Councilmember Aldama asked if the proposal to add land uses to C-3, M-1 and M-2 had consensus.  He wanted to hear more on that one and wanted it excluded from the consensus items.

Mayor Weiers asked if Mr. Froke had what he needed.

Mr. Froke said he did have what he needed.
             
5. COUNCIL ITEM OF SPECIAL INTEREST – ASSESSMENT OF POSSIBLE INSTALLATION OF A PERMANENT FLAG POLE IN THUNDERBIRD CONSERVATION PARK
Presented By:  Erik Strunk, Director, Public Facilities, Recreation and Special Events
                        Tim Barnard, Assistant Director, Public Facilities, Recreation, Special 
                        Events

Ms. Bower introduced the item by title.

Mr. Strunk said the item was a Council item of special interest regarding the placement of the American flag at Thunderbird Conservation Park (TCP).  He explained that items that were not supposed to be in the park were removed from conservation parks and an American flag was removed from Arrowhead Point, in the park.  There was no authority to allow a flag in a conservation park.  Staff would present options, including the construction of a 20- to 25-foot lighted flag pole on Arrowhead Point.  A citizens’ group would raise the funds to put the flag pole at that location and would maintain it.
 
Mr. Strunk said phase 1 of the project included looking at objectives and a report had been provided to Council.  The report included the U.S. Flag Code, the City’s dark sky ordinance, a review of the deed restrictions for TCP and a determination regarding conflicts with aircraft. 

Mr. Strunk said there was nothing specific in the master plan regarding placement of a flag pole at the site, but the master plan did try to limit development to the perimeter of the park.  There were no deed restrictions and any development had to be for the community or for recreational purposes.  There were no conflicts with surrounding airports as long as the flag was lighted properly. 

Mr. Strunk said cost estimates included $53,500 for a 20-25 foot lighted pole atop Arrowhead Point, $17,200 for a lighted flag pole in the parking lot area, no cost for an ordinance allowing the current flag to remain at Arrowhead Point and $900 a year for labor expenses to continue removing all flags from the park.  He recommended sending the item through the Parks and Recreation Commission to get its input on the issue.  There would be an outreach component if options 1, 2 or 3 were selected.

Mayor Weiers said there were many citizens and groups in the audience specifically for the issue.  He said the groups might be most interested in a combination of options 1 and 3.  A group had already committed to raising the funds for the project so the City would not be out any money.  He said the groups also wanted to partner in putting in a flag pole at the park.  He proposed to Council that they allow option 3 to continue until the groups could raise the funds for option 1.

Councilmember Clark said option 3 was the most appropriate.  The issue came about because of one man's love of country.  She had no objection to the group raising the funds for option 1 and agreed with Mayor Weiers and sticking with option 3 until the group raised the funds for option 1.

Councilmember Tolmachoff agreed that option 3 might be the best option, but felt a responsibility to also protect the park.  She didn't know how big of a foundation would be required to put in a 25-foot flag pole.  Most people who used the park, loved it the way it was.  Councilmember Tolmachoff supported an ordinance that allowed the continuation of the current flag placement that was community driven.  She would not be able to support option 1 and wanted community input if that option was selected.  She would agree to a 20-foot flag pole at the base of the mountain near the other existing structures.  It would be a mistake to turn the grass roots effort into something it was not.

Councilmember Aldama was in favor of option 3, but asked what happened to option 3 if Council later approved option 1.  He asked if Council would have to vote to remove the ordinance for option 3.

Mr. Bailey said if Council approved an ordinance, it would need to repeal it later.

Councilmember Aldama asked if there was anything that precluded the City from flying a flag in a conservation area.

Mr. Strunk said there was a City code that didn't allow for the alteration of, or placement in a park.

Councilmember Aldama was open to option 3 and then option 1, once the money was raised.

Vice Mayor Hugh favored allowing the current flag to remain and explore option 1 through the Parks Commission.

Councilmember Turner was touched by the patriotism expressed by the citizens but said if a larger pole was put up at the peak, photos would only show a person standing next to a pole and not the flag itself.  He proposed creating an ordinance that allowed for making the current human-scaled flag permanent and allowed for a flag in the parking or ramada area of the park or an area suggested by the Parks Commission.  Councilmember Turner said the community was welcome to raise the money for a larger pole but if the public was raising money for a cause, preferred to see money raised for a companion animals project or to help veterans with homelessness and medical issues.  He was happy to have a combination of options 2 and 3.

Councilmember Tolmachoff clarified that she was opposed to the lighted 25-foot pole on top of the mountain.  She was okay with options 2 and 3 because she liked the park the way it was.  She asked how much concrete would be needed to put up a large flag pole.  It would change the way the top of the mountain looked and that was what she didn't like about that option.

Mr. Strunk could provide a breakout of the cost and said if a flag pole was erected, it would be done in a manner so the mountain would not look like it was altered.  He said the concrete base would not be seen, and the area would look natural.

Councilmember Tolmachoff asked if a consensus could be reached on option 3 for now and to let the other two proposals be part of the public process.

Councilmember Malnar supported allowing the flag at Arrowhead Point.  He asked, if option 3 was approved, would that include taking the flag down every night or would there be a lighting requirement.  He wanted to know how that would be handled.

Mr. Strunk said a group of individuals had placed a residential-sized flag with solar lighting on the peak.  Staff envisioned keeping that going.

Councilmember Malnar asked if solar lighting would be the lighting for the flag.

Mr. Strunk said yes.

Councilmember Malnar recommended making the flag base a more permanent structure to hold the flag up.

Mayor Weiers had a great deal of experience with flags and flag poles.  He said a hole could be drilled to hold the flag that wouldn’t require a concrete base but wasn't sure if rock could be drilled.  He suggested taking up assembled metal plates to attach the flag pole to and the plates could be covered with natural rocks. 

Mayor Weiers said there was a sense of pride and part ownership in participating in the project and there was discussion about getting Boy Scouts and the National Guard to assist with it.  The flag pole in the parking lot was not a real popular option.  He asked if the private groups were able to raise the money to put in a permanent pole for option 1, would option 3 be removed at that time.  The groups wanted to be able to look up at the mountain and see the flag.

Councilmember Aldama still favored options 3 and 1.  He said option 1 would go to the Parks Commission for public input.  He was confident the issue would be heard and it would give the residents an opportunity to weigh in on the issue.  His preference was for option 3, then option 1, subject to going through the Parks and Recreation Commission and asked if it would go to the Commission.

Mr. Strunk said if the Council provided direction to move to Phase 2, it would go back to the Commission for public engagement and formal recommendation to Council regarding the project.

Councilmember Aldama asked if the stipulation that the funding would be provided by the citizen groups, would be a part of the discussion.

Mr. Strunk said his understanding of Council's direction was that there would be no expense to the City, and a community group would be responsible for conducting the fundraising portion of the project.

Mayor Weiers asked about a petition that went around to the Arrowhead Ranch area homeowners and there were over 1,000 signatures to allow a flag pole at the top of the mountain.

An audience member said there were at least 800 signatures on the petition.

Mr. Phelps said staff would work with the City Attorney's Office to prepare an ordinance changing the current policy to allow the temporary flag so that the City was in compliance and consistent with enforcement.  The Parks Department would not enforce the existing rule until the ordinance was changed. 

Mr. Phelps said the second part of the process was implementation if Council decided to move forward.  It would be a good idea to set expectations for the community prior to raising money to know what would be expected to be able to erect a flag pole.  The City needed to decide whether the group was an ad hoc group or an organization like the VFW that would take some level of responsibility.   He suggested that staff spend some time engineering what this expectation would look like, talk about the FAA regulations for lighting standards and masking of the solar panels.  He believed the consensus of the Council was to explore option 1, establish a framework and bring it back for Council for discussion.

Mayor Weiers said LED lights were small, bright and didn't take many solar panels to run.

Councilmember Tolmachoff asked if the group was interested in having the flag pole anywhere but at the top of the mountain.

Mayor Weiers said there was overwhelming support for the flag pole at the top of the mountain. 

Councilmember Tolmachoff was not sure how the height of the pole made anyone more patriotic.

Mayor Weiers said the object was to make the display more permanent and a 25-foot tall pole was not that tall.  Another issue was flag replacement because the flags wouldn't last that long on the peak.  He said the group was willing to take on the challenge of raising the money to fund the project at no cost to the City.

Councilmember Aldama asked staff to look at how the adopt a street program was framed and suggest ways to use a similar program to maintain the flag pole.

Mr. Strunk said with respect to the ongoing O&M, the City would need to enter into a formal agreement with the group.  He said the organization, Partners in Parks, were citizens who gave their time to assist at the parks.

Mayor Weiers said that was a great idea.

Councilmember Clark said it sounded like there was consensus to move forward and allow option 3.  She said option 1 was going to take a great deal more work than what Council was prepared to discuss today.   

Mayor Weiers agreed there was consensus for option 3.  He asked if there was consensus for option 1 to move through the Commission. 

There was Council consensus for option 1.

Councilmember Turner asked about option 2.

Mayor Weiers said there was consensus on options 3 and 1.  He asked if there was consensus on putting a flag pole in the parking lot.  Mayor Weiers asked who would pay for that.

Councilmember Turner said he suggested this as an option to present to the Parks and Recreation Commission.

Mr. Strunk said that was part of the conversation they had in February and it would be an outside group that would raise funds for that.

Mayor Weiers asked if an outside group would pay for that.

Councilmember Turner would like to hear from the Parks and Recreation Commission on that option and was not talking about the City paying for it.

Councilmember Aldama was open for any conversation, but said if option 1 was presented to the Parks and Recreation Commission, nothing precluded it from bringing back an entirely different recommendation.

Mr. Strunk said there might be several additional options presented by the Commission.  He said in the spirit of public participation, it might be something the commission would consider.

Councilmember Aldama said his point was that there didn’t need to be consensus because there was nothing to preclude the Commission from making additional recommendations.

Mayor Weiers could not support option 2 because the message was extremely clear that the groups wanted the flag pole at the top of the mountain.  He asked if there was a consensus on Councilmember Turner's question on option 2.

Councilmember Malnar had no problem with moving option 2 forward.

Councilmember Tolmachoff asked if they were proposing options 1 and 2 to the Parks Commission.

Mayor Weiers said the question was to have the Parks and Recreation Commission discuss both options.  He asked if there was consensus that option 4 would not be discussed.  Mayor Weiers asked if staff had what it needed.

Mr. Phelps was confused because he had recommended to come back with some additional discussion to understand what the Parks Commission needed to consider and what he had heard was Council wanted it to go straight to the commission.

Mayor Weiers said no one had any concerns about giving the Commission as much information as possible and letting it make a decision.    He said no one had an issue with Mr. Phelps' comments.

Mr. Phelps wanted to bring the discussion before the Council again to make sure it had the correct scope on the issue and then send it to the Commission.

Councilmember Tolmachoff asked if they would be getting scope on options 1 and 2.

Mr. Phelps said there would be discussion on all the options.

Councilmember Turner asked if the City Manager could take the additional information directly to the Parks and Recreation Commission rather than bringing it back before Council.

Mayor Weiers said he would like to see the recommendations himself and asked staff if it had what it needed.

Mr. Strunk said he did.

Mayor Weiers told the people in the audience they had won the battle today, but not necessarily the war. 
             
6. WEST PHOENIX/CENTRAL GLENDALE HIGH CAPACITY TRANSIT UPDATE
Presented By:  Jack Friedline, Director, Public Works
Guest Presenter:  Scott Smith, CEO, Valley Metro
Guest Presenter:  Jennifer Pyne, Project Manager Valley Metro
Guest Presenter:  Wulf Grote, Director of Planning and Accessible Transit, Valley Metro

Ms. Bower introduced the item by title.

Mr. Friedline said planning for the project had been underway for several years with the high capacity corridor to downtown Glendale included as a capital project in both cities' GO transportation program and the Maricopa County Regional Transportation Plan.  Both of the programs relied on voter approved dedicated sales tax revenue streams to fund the programs.  Glendale's GO program had a one-time allocation of $105 million programmed for capital costs and a yearly allocation of $3.8 million programmed, beginning in 2026 for ongoing operations and maintenance over a 25 year balanced program. 

Mr. Friedline said in May of 2016, the City requested additional study on design elements of the project, including consideration of a Grand Avenue crossing west of 59th Avenue and also requested that staff work with the city of Phoenix on a cost-sharing agreement in reference to the section of light rail on 43rd Avenue from Camelback to Glendale.  Valley Metro had also asked to conduct a feasibility and cost analysis on other potential end-of-line options along the approved preferred corridor in an effort to provide additional insights and options for the Council regarding affordability of the project.  He said staff would be coming back to Council to discuss the project in the context of the GO program, including a holistic view of the entire transportation program and funding needs and would seek direction regarding priorities at that time.   

Mr. Smith said about a year ago, the Council made some decisions with instructions for Valley Metro to look at specific issues, such as the crossing over Grand Avenue.  He explained they were looking for other options along the projected routes into Glendale.  When the original analysis was completed, the determination was made that the light rail needed to get to downtown to meet the criteria outlined by the Federal Transit Administration for federal participation in the project.  At the time of the study, the answer was it would probably end federal participation if they did not end the line in downtown.  Another look was taken at the project and it was determined that federal funding would not be in jeopardy regardless of where they chose to end the line along the existing route.   Mr. Smith said it was now up to the Council to determine what Glendale's vision would be.  If Council chose not to go downtown, perhaps a phased project could be implemented at Council's discretion.

Ms. Pine said the focus today was on the area from 19th Avenue to about 59th Avenue.   In 2016, a leading alternative route was identified for light rail and was discussed in a series of public meetings.  This route would run on Camelback, 43rd Avenue and Glendale or Glenn, with a few areas that were subject to continuing study.  A resolution was passed last May that confirmed the leading alternative route, identified light rail as the type of transit and directed continuing study.  It included looking at the feasibility of crossing Grand Avenue.  The other item directed in the Resolution was to support continuing conversations between Glendale and Phoenix with regard to local cost sharing.

Ms. Pine said there were a variety of funding sources for the capital project, which included a regional share and was public transportation fund monies that came from Prop 400.  Currently, $72 million was programmed for the project and that funding source was intended to cover certain items that were considered regional facility such as park and rides, structures and vehicles.  Other important funding sources were the cities of Phoenix and Glendale and a large share of the capital would come from federal funding.  She said about 50% of capital from the New Starts Program and about $75 million had been programmed through the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) program.

Ms. Pine said the capital costs averaged about $130 per mile which was an early planning estimate and included a pretty high level of contingency.  Operating costs were about $1.7 million per year, per mile. She explained that cost sharing discussions to date had forecast that Phoenix was responsible for capital and operating on Camelback Road within Phoenix and Glendale for Glendale Avenue and Glenn within the City of Glendale.  She said 43rd Avenue would be split 50/50.  The costs would be split at about 4 miles for Phoenix and 3 miles for Glendale.

Ms. Pine said a feasibility study regarding Grand Avenue was completed.  Several factors were studied including connectivity, transit operations, traffic operations, constructability, cost and potential right-of-way requirements.  The key reasons in favor of a Grand Avenue crossing included to get closer to Glendale High School, ability to site parking facilities at the end of the line, more seamlessly integrate with commuter rail facilities and set the City up to get out to Westgate.  She said some of the challenges were all related to the fact that Grand Avenue was partially depressed, BNSF Railroad and a power line.  These challenges all increased the coordination requirements and increased the cost of the project.  She said no public comment on the project had been gathered yet.

Mr. Smith said funding sources for the Grand Avenue crossing were questionable.  Part of the project might be available for regional funding but there were not enough funds to cover the project.  Funding might come from ADOT, but there was a high demand for the funds.  He said funding for this part of the project would be included in the 50% federal funding, but there would not be any special funding for crossing Grand Avenue specifically so they would look at various special funding sources for assistance with the project.

Ms. Pine said 43rd, 47th, 51st, 55th and 58th Avenue were also looked at as end-of-line options.  She said it could be a shorter project or a first phase of a larger project, but the primary question was if the shorter project would still be competitive for federal funds.  All of the proposed end-of-line locations would meet the minimum threshold to be eligible for federal funding.  Other considerations for the end-of-line location were bus line connectivity, light rail line, north/south bus routes and the length of the corridor presented different opportunities, depending on where it went.  She said no public outreach had been done on that part of the project.

Ms. Pine provided key milestones for a 2026 opening date.  Those included an action in 2018 regarding a preferred alternative.  That preferred alternative defined how the project moved forward into environmental studies and preliminary engineering.   Following that, final design and construction would begin in 2022.

Mr. Smith explained preferred alternative was a fancy way of saying where it was going to end, where the stations were and specifics regarding the route.  He said they were moving toward the more detailed decisions and said the City would make a more formal commitment to building the project in 2018.

Ms. Pine said next steps included continuing collaboration with ADOT, MAG and Phoenix, conducting a public outreach process prior to any Council action in 2018 and any or input regarding an end-of-line preference could necessitate additional public outreach any phasing or future extensions could also be a part of the overall discussions.

Mayor Weiers asked if the figures presented were in today's dollars or 2026 dollars.

Mr. Smith said the figures were estimated in 2026 dollars.  Operating cost estimates were pretty accurate but capital costs were much more difficult to estimate because it depended on utilities, how much property was involved and those were difficult to tie down.  The costs were easier because they had been working on the project for 8 years.

Mayor Weiers asked if the capital costs included crossing Grand Avenue.

Mr. Smith said the capital costs did not include crossing Grand Avenue.

Mayor Weiers asked if the costs included crossing I-17.

Mr. Smith said the costs did include crossing I-17.  ADOT was the lead on that part of the project.  He said the cost would go down since ADOT was involved.  They would not be spending as much on the I-17 bridge as originally anticipated.

Mayor Weiers asked if the approximate $127 to $137 million had the bridge costs included.

Mr. Smith said that it did.

Mayor Weiers said Glendale was not paying for the bridge.  It was paying for 100% of what was in Glendale and Phoenix was picking up 100% of what was in Phoenix.

Mr. Smith said Glendale was also paying 50% along 43rd Avenue.

Mayor Weiers said Glendale was paying for one mile if they went to Glendale Avenue.

Mr. Smith said Glendale was paying for one-half of the two miles on 43rd Avenue and would also pay for whatever part of the project continued west.

Mayor Weiers said the Council had a lot of questions.

Councilmember Malnar asked what other projects the City could do with the $72 million provided regionally.

Mr. Smith said the City could do any other high capacity rail project.  He said Prop 400 had a very firm firewall between street projects and transit projects. The money that had been set aside could only be used on rail projects.  It could not be used for streets or local bus routes.

Councilmember Malnar asked for examples.

Mr. Smith said the funds could be used for streetcar or light rail in a different location.  He said if the money was not spent in Glendale, it would go to another rail project outside of Glendale.

Councilmember Turner asked where the ramping up began on the Glenn Drive alignment for the potential Grand Avenue crossings.

Ms. Pine said there would be a bridge that started on Glenn, near City Hall and the church across the street.  She explained it would change the streetscape quite a bit.  The benefit to the option was that it was one of the lower capital cost options.

Mr. Smith explained around 58th or 59th Avenue, the street would have to be raised to get enough height to get over the railroad.

Councilmember Turner asked if there was a possibility the raised portion of the road could begin west of 59th Avenue.

Ms. Pine was not sure about the necessary slope and proper clearance west of 59th Avenue.

Mr. Smith said it typically required about a 6% maximum slope and about 16 to 18 feet.

Mr. Grote said it took about a block and a half to 2 blocks to get up and over a street.

Councilmember Turner asked if the 6% slope was in today's technology or 2026 technology.

Mr. Smith said it was based on today's technology.

Councilmember Tolmachoff spoke about right-of-way acquisition, utilities and federal funding and asked if the Council was about 6 months from a decision on the project.

Mr. Smith said it was about 6 to 9 months.

Councilmember Tolmachoff said there was no certainty for funding of utility relocation and right-of-way acquisition and asked what would happen if there was no federal funding once the City began laying out money for the project.

Mr. Smith said federal money was never fronted and was always received on the back end of a project.  Based on past experience with the same type of project, they would know how it fit into the federal program.  If the steps were followed, the federal funding would be there.  He said a challenge was what the level of funding there would be.  He said once that point was reached, the situation might look very different and would depend upon the political landscape in Washington and Congress' desire to continue funding.   Serious discussions would have to take place in 2021 regarding the risk at that point in time.   

Mr. Grote said working with the federal government was a lengthy process and there were approvals when they entered into different phases of the project.  Once the project got into the pipeline, it tended to keep moving forward.  At the end of the environmental process, the project would be going through an approval process and that would be another indicator if the project was moving in the right direction.

Mr. Smith said Council would be well-informed and educated when it was time to make those decisions.

Councilmember Aldama asked if Mr. Smith if he previously spoke about Prop 400 or Prop 402.

Mr. Smith said it was Prop 400 funds.

Councilmember Aldama asked to confirm that Prop 402 funds could be used for projects other than just high capacity.

Mr. Smith said the Glendale GO money could be used, depending on whatever restrictions were within the program.

Councilmember Clark said the voters approved a high capacity transit project but it didn’t have to be light rail and there was no requirement that it had to go to downtown Glendale.  The study corridor was from Northern Avenue to Bethany Home Road and there was no drop dead date for spending the money.  There was $105 million available which would cover everything except crossing Grand Avenue, the most important part of the project.  She said $3.8 million had been earmarked for 25 years of O&M but under the shortest scenario, it was $1.6 million per year for O&M  there had to be further discussion regarding whether or not the City wanted to supplement GO funding with general fund money. 

Councilmember Clark was concerned about investing money without any assurances it would be reimbursed and there wasn’t enough GO funding to pay for the entire project.  She asked for verifiable data regarding the amount invested to date and the rate of return.  Councilmember Clark was not willing to go any further than Camelback and 43rd, which would leave the option open to go along Camelback to 91st.  Camelback Road was shared with Phoenix and so the costs would be shared.  It would help get the line to Westgate and two of the lowest socio-economic populations were located along that route.  These areas would benefit from light rail and mass transit.  It made more sense than going to downtown Glendale, which was not a mass destination. 
 
Mr. Smith would be happy to provide the investment and ROI information.  The project would be based on Glendale’s vision and Valley Metro would construct it wherever the City wanted.  Phoenix was committed to building the line to Camelback and 43rd.  Time frames were dictated by the availability of regional funds and Prop 400 expired at the end of 2025, that $72 million had to be committed.  If it wasn’t committed in Glendale, it would be spent on light rail somewhere else in the valley. There was also Phoenix’s timetable and federal funding. 

Councilmember Clark favored spending some of the $72 million to cross Grand Avenue at 43rd

Mr. Smith said Valley Metro would look at whatever option Council approved but the clock was ticking.  He said with regard to the ROI, Valley Metro tracked transactions and there had been $8 billion real estate transaction since light rail was constructed.  He said there had not been $8 billion in transactions in the twenty or thirty years prior to light rail.  It did have an economic impact. He said it was up to Council to decide if it was worth the investment.

Councilmember Turner said Glendale voters did vote to bring light rail to downtown.  The destination was on the ballot.  It’s been voted on twice as a financial question and twice as part of the General Plan.  Buses don’t compare to rail as people movers and the City would forego the $72 million.  The line could be extended from downtown to Westgate.  There was an economic development potential along Glendale Avenue, from 43rd to 51st.  Getting across Grand Avenue wasn’t the most important thing and spending a good portion of the funds on that didn’t make sense.  Westgate’s business plan had never depended on light rail.   

Councilmember Clark asked for clarification regarding public and private investment.

Mr. Smith said there had been approximately $8.5 to 9 billion in real estate investment activity, of which $6.5 billion in private and $2 billion in public investment.

Councilmember Clark asked how much longer light rail would be a viable option before technology came up with something better such as GPS cars.

Mr. Smith believed technology would enhance the use of light rail.  Driverless cars and rides sharing would change short trips and would enhance high capacity transit by allowing people to integrate it with autonomous cars or ride sharing, such as Uber, for the final leg of the trip.

Mayor Weiers asked if Mr. Smith needed anything from Council.

Mr. Smith did not and would continue to work with City staff until a decision was made.
             
CITY MANAGER’S REPORT

Mr. Phelps had no report.
             
CITY ATTORNEY'S REPORT

Mr. Bailey had no report.
             
COUNCIL ITEMS OF SPECIAL INTEREST

Councilmember Turner requested staff to scope a potential economic study to be done along the preferred light rail route.
             
ADJOURNMENT

Mayor Weiers adjourned the meeting at 6:05 p.m.
 
I hereby certify that the foregoing minutes are a true and correct copy of the minutes of the meeting of the Glendale City Council of Glendale, Arizona, held on the 15th day of August, 2017. I further certify that the meeting was duly called and held and that a quorum was present.
  
Dated this 1st day of September, 2017.
 
  

_______________________________________
Julie K. Bower, MMC, City Clerk

AgendaQuick©2005 - 2017 Destiny Software Inc., All Rights Reserved