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  AGENDA ITEM: 3.       
Meeting Date: 10/03/2017  
Requested by: Bayer Vella
Submitted By: Michael Spaeth, Community Development & Public Works
Case Number: OV1701699

SUBJECT:
PUBLIC HEARING: DISCUSSION REGARDING THE PROPOSED TANGERINE NORTH TYPE 1 GENERAL PLAN AMENDMENT TO EXTEND THE GENERAL PLAN PLANNING BOUNDARY AND APPLY A LAND USE DESIGNATION OF MASTER PLANNED COMMUNITY TO A STATE OF ARIZONA OWNED PROPERTY COMPRISING APPROXIMATELY 302-ACRES, LOCATED AT THE NORTHWEST INTERSECTION OF E. TANGERINE ROAD AND N. COYOTE CROSSING TRAIL AND BORDERED BY W. MOORE ROAD AND N. THORNYDALE ROAD, OV1701699.
RECOMMENDATION:
This meeting is for discussion purposes only and formal action is scheduled for the November 8, 2017 Planning and Zoning Commission meeting. Staff will be recommending approval of the proposed amendment, subject to the Special Area Policies listed in Attachment 1, during the November Commission meeting.
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:
The purpose of this request is to consider a Type 1 General Plan Amendment application to extend the General Plan Planning Area Boundary and apply a land use designation of Master Planned Community (MPC) to an approximately 302-acre property owned by the State of Arizona. The property is located at the northwest intersection of E. Tangerine Road and N. Coyote Crossing Trail and bordered by W. Moore Road and N. Thornydale Road (see Attachment 2).

The Town Council initiated the proposed amendment in July 2017 as part of a collaborative effort with the Arizona State Land Department.  As such, the Town of Oro Valley is the applicant working with property owner, the Arizona State Land Department.

The proposed amendment (Attachment 3) includes the following two requests related to the subject property:
  1. Extension of the General Plan Planning Area Boundary
The Planning Area Boundary represents those areas, both within the current Town limits and those immediately adjacent, which can have an impact on development within Oro Valley. The request to extend the boundary is important for several reasons:
  1. The property serves as a Gateway to the Town of Oro Valley along Tangerine Road;
  2. There is a desire to see an Oro Valley style of development and infrastructure on the property; and
  3. The property will impact adjacent Oro Valley properties;
As such, the Town is interested in being part of the discussion regarding any future development of properties within the Planning Area.
  1. Applying a land use designation or Master Planned Community
"This land use designation represents areas where large developments with a mix of uses is planned and developed in a comprehensive manner with a unified design theme."

This area is envisioned to include a future mix of uses. The Master Planned Community designation serves as a "place holder" designation to allow for future zoning designed specifically for the property when those discussions occur in the future regardless whether it remains in Pima County or is annexed into the Town of Oro Valley or Town of Marana.

Several "Special Area Policies" (Attachment 1) have been developed which outline the broad parameters which the Town will require should the property develop as part of the Town of Oro Valley, or will advocate for should the property develop as part of Pima County or the Town of Marana. These policies would ensure consistency with Town requirements, specifically those regarding environmental resource conservation, neighborhood mitigation and effective land use transitions.

All General Plan amendment requests are reviewed for conformance with the overall Plan as well as specific amendment criteria. Upon review, staff has found this proposal is in conformance with the intent of the Your Voice, Our Future General Plan.

As a Type 1 General Plan Amendment, two public hearings before the Planning and Zoning Commission are required. The purpose of this first public hearing is to provide information on the amendment and receive input from the Planning and Zoning Commission and neighbors. As such, no vote will be take by the Commission during this meeting. A second public hearing is scheduled for November 8, 2017 where the Commission will again take public testimony, deliberate and formulate a recommendation on the amendment request to Town Council.
BACKGROUND OR DETAILED INFORMATION:
A. EXISTING CONDITIONS AND CONTEXT

Land Use Context
The State Land owned property:
  • Is within the Town of Oro Valley Urban Services Boundary
  • Is located in unincorporated Pima County (Attachment 2)
  • Has as it's western border, the Town of Marana boundary
  • Does not have an Oro Valley General Plan land use designation as it is not currently within our General Plan Planning Area
  • Is included in both the Pima County Comprehensive Plan (Low Intensity Urban - 0.3) and the Town of Marana General Plan (Low Density Residential). The Pima County designation would permit up 91 homes and the Town of Marana designation up to 604 homes and may include commercial serving the residential neighborhoods.
Site Conditions
The subject property:
  • Is vacant and characterized by several wash corridors that traverse the property
  • Is currently zoned for large-lot (minimum 3.3 acre) residential development
  • Encompasses approximately 302-acres
Approvals to date
  • The subject property constitutes the remaining acreage (approximately 302-acres) of a larger section of property (approximately 640-acres) which had previously been owned by the State of Arizona at the northwest corner of E. Tangerine Road and N. Thornydale Road. The Town of Marana previously annexed approximately 328-acres of the larger section which has been developed as the Fry's Grocery Store shopping center and the Tangerine Crossings residential subdivision.
  • July 2017: Town Council initiated the Type I General Plan Amendment for the property
Existing General Plan designation

The subject property does not currently have a General Plan land use designation as the property is not currently within the General Plan Planning Area.

B. APPLICANT'S PROPOSAL

The proposed amendment (Attachment 2) includes the following two requests related to the subject property:
  1. Extension of the General Plan Planning Area Boundary
The first request is the extend the General Plan Planning Area Boundary to include the subject property. The Planning Area Boundary serves as:

"The areas within the Town limits as well as as land outside the Town's current limits. The boundary also includes land adjacent to the Town that may be affected by or may affect land uses in the Town."

The Planning Area Boundary represents those areas which can, and do, have an impact on development within Oro Valley. Future development on the property is highly likely as the Arizona State Land Department has a mandate to sell State-owned land for the highest bid at auction to help fund the State Department of Education. As such, the Town is interested in being part of the discussion regarding any future development of properties within the Planning Area.

The proposed boundary extension is important for several reasons:
  1. The property serves as a Gateway to the Town of Oro Valley along Tangerine Road;
  2. There is a desire to see an Oro Valley style of development and infrastructure on the property; and
  3. The property will impact adjacent Oro Valley properties
Due to this potential future impact, the amendment seeks to extend the Planning Boundary to include the subject property to ensure the Town is involved in any future development conversations.
  1. Applying a General Plan land use designation of Master Planned Community
The proposed amendment includes a request to apply a General Plan land use designation of Master Planned Community to the property. The Master Planned Community land use designation provides as follows:
 
"This land use designation represents areas where large developments with a mix of uses is planned and developed in a comprehensive manner with a unified design theme. Developments in this land use designation generally provide a range of uses including a variety of housing options, shopping and employment opportunities and recreational amenities with a safe and efficient network for automobiles, bicyclists and pedestrians.
 
Developments in this land use designation typically utilize Special Area Policies to customize the design and ensure compatibility with the surrounding environment."

This area is envisioned to include a future mix of uses including commercial near Tangerine Road and residential that is sensitively located to respect the natural drainage corridors on the property. The Master Planned Community designation serves as a "place holder" designation to allow for future zoning designed specifically for the property.

The following Special Area policies have been included as conditions in Attachment 1 which reflect the Town's vision for future development on the property:
  1. The site will be analyzed and designed comprehensively with the State-owned property on the south side of Tangerine Road. Overall, there will be a mix of commercial and residential densities. The subject property will be largely residential with the potential for neighborhood commercial nearest Tangerine Road.
  2. Any future rezoning process will follow the Town's Public Participation requirements to ensure compatible development. Noteworthy planning design items are to include the following:
    1. Lot size transitions, buffers, building heights, landscaping and other mitigation measures from all existing residential neighborhoods, where appropriate
    2. Positioning of more intensive development toward Tangerine Road
  3. The subject property will be mapped using the methods and standards of the Town's Environmentally Sensitive Lands Ordinance to conserve sensitive resource areas.
  4. All infrastructure improvements must conform to the Oro Valley Subdivision Streets and Drainage criteria manual. Noteworthy items include:
    1. Improve the condition of adjacent public roads as warranted in a future Traffic Impact analysis
    2. Future development may not increase offsite drainage beyond pre-existing conditions found on the subject property
The policies address some key concerns from the neighborhood meetings and will serve as a foundation for future discussions regarding zoning should the property develop as part of Oro Valley, or as concepts the Town will advocate for should the property develop in Pima County or as part of the Town of Marana.

C. GENERAL PLAN ANALYSIS

The proposed amendment has been reviewed for conformance with the Your Voice, Our Future General Plan, including the amendment criteria and the vision, guiding principles, goals and policies. A summary of the proposal's response is provided below, followed by staff's analysis in italics.

Amendment Criteria

1. On balance, the request is consistent with the vision, guiding principles, goals and policies of the General Plan as demonstrated by adherence to all of the following criteria.

The proposed amendment is consistent with the vision, guiding principles, goals and policies of the General Plan. A discussion regarding the amendments conformance is provided below.

The Your Voice, Our Future General Plan vision:

"Oro Valley strives to be a well-managed community that provides all residents with opportunities for quality living. Oro Valley will keep its friendly, small-town, neighborly character, while increasing services, employment and recreation. The Town's lifestyle continues to be defined by a strong sense of community, a high regard for public safety and an extraordinary natural environment and scenic views"

The proposed amendment is consistent with the General Plan vision as the request seeks to ensure the Town of Oro Valley is involved in any future development discussions for the subject property. Regardless of jurisdiction, the Town will seek to ensure the property is well managed and developed in a similar manner as the rest of Oro Valley and protects the most sensitive parts of the property.

Furthermore, the Master Planned Community (MPC) land use designation sets the stage for future, more detailed discussion regarding specific zoning for the property, when those discussion are required. Development in the future is highly likely as the Arizona State Land Department has a mandate to sell State-owned land for the highest bid at auction to help fund the State Department of Education. As such, the aforementioned Special Area Policies have been included as conditions to help formulate the broad concepts the Town supports to ensure the site is well managed. With those Special Area Policies, the proposed request is also consistent with the guiding principles.

Finally, the Your Voice, Our Future General Plan also includes numerous goals and policies which inform policy and development decisions within the Town. In sum, the proposed amendment does conform with the intent of the goals and policies. Several applicable goals and policies regarding the proposed amendment are listed below:
  • Goal K: The proactive conservation, protection and restoration of environmentally sensitive lands, natural resources and habitats and lands with high scenic value.
  • Goal X: Effective transitions between differing land uses and intensities in the community.
  • Goal Y: Development opportunities and a diverse transportation network that balance support for a growing economy with conservation of open space, water and natural resources and energy consumption.
  • Policy LU.5: Provide diverse land uses that meet the Town's overall needs and effectively transition in scale and density adjacent to neighborhoods.
  • Policy LU.8: Encourage the development of master planned communities which include suitable residential and commercials uses.
The subject property is near the area known as Tangerine 550 (south of Tangerine Road) which is included in the Your Voice, Our Future General Plan as a focus area for potential future development. This property has an existing General Plan land use designation of Master Planned Community and would be planned comprehensively with the subject property in any future discussions regarding specific zoning. Those detailed discussions will include environmentally sensitive lands conservation, neighborhood mitigation and effective transitions to existing development.

The request shall not:
 
a. Significantly alter existing development character and land use patterns without adequate and appropriate buffers and graduated transitions in density and land use.
Future development of the subject property is anticipated to include a mix of uses including commercial and residential. Special Area Policies have been included as conditions to set the foundation for future discussions regarding development on the property. These policies will serve as a frame-work for future zoning discussions should any future development occur as part of the Town of Oro Valley. Conversely, these policies will serve as positions the Town will advocate for should the property develop as part of Pima County or the Town of Marana.
 
b. Impact to existing uses with increased infrastructure without appropriate improvements to accommodate planned growth.
Any future proposals will be responsible for all infrastructure costs associated with their development. The Special Area Policies require (if developed in Oro Valley) or advocate for (if developed outside Oro Valley) the use of the Town's Subdivision Streets and Drainage Criteria manuals to ensure the highest quality design.
 
c. Impact other public services including police, fire, parks, water and drainage unless careful analysis and explanation of anticipated impacts is provided to the Town for review.
In the event the subject property is included in further discussions regarding development in the Town of Oro Valley, detailed analysis of any anticipated impacts to public services will be required. At this time, those details are not available as no further discussions have occurred to date.
     
Potential impacts to our public services represents another important reason for why the Town wants to be involved in future development discussions regarding the property, regardless of jurisdiction.
 
d. Impact the natural beauty and environmental resources without suitable mitigation.
Any development in the Town of Oro Valley will be required to conform to our Environmentally Sensitive Lands requirements regarding open space preservation and protection. In areas where impacts are proposed, suitable mitigation measures will be required.

If the amendment is approved and the subject property is included in our General Plan Planning Area, but is developed as part of another jurisdiction, the Town will seek to ensure environmentally friendly designs are utilized. Incorporating the subject property into our Planning Area allows the Town to be part of any future development conversation, regardless of jurisdictional boundary.
 
2. The applicant has implemented effective public outreach efforts to identify neighborhood concerns and has responded by incorporating measures to avoid or minimize development impacts to the extent reasonably possible, as well as to mitigate unavoidable adverse impacts.

Three neighborhood meetings (2 traditional format and 1 open house) were held regarding the proposed amendment with approximately 75-125 attendees at each meeting. Neighborhood meeting summaries are provided in Attachment 4. The primary topics discussed at the meetings included:
  1. No development

The property is currently zoned to permit large-lot (minimum 3.3 - acre) residential which would enable development of approximately 100 homes. Development in the future is highly likely as the Arizona State Land Department has a mandate to sell State-owned land for the highest bid at auction to help fund the State Department of Education. As such, any future development, regardless of jurisdiction, should be proactively designed to conserve the site's environmental resources in tandem with anticipated development.

  1. Natural Open Space preservation and wildlife protection
The primary concerns for neighbors focused on natural open space preservation and wildlife protection. Neighbors were specifically concerned with the potential impacts to the natural vegetation, namely Saguaro's, and wildlife that frequent the property. Many were interested in having the site remain as natural open space in perpetuity and not be developed.

The subject property is characterized by several washes which traverse the property. The site is located within Pima County's Conservation Land System but has not been mapped for the Town's Environmentally Sensitive Lands (ESL). If future development occurs as part of the Town of Oro Valley, the property owner will be required to map important biological areas as part of the zoning process. This mapping of the environmental resources on the property will ensure future development is respectful of environmentally sensitive areas resulting in better connected, more contiguous wildlife corridors.

Should the property develop as part of the Town of Oro Valley, any future development will be required to comply with the Town's Native Plant Preservation requirements which seeks to preserve significant on-site vegetation including Saguaro cacti. Staff will work to ensure ultimate designs avoid significant vegetation which are unlikely to survive transplanting. Further, protected plants which meet the Town's salvage criteria are to be preserved-in-place or transplanted on-site. Any salvageable plants destroyed must be mitigated, per code.
  1. Roads, Infrastructure and Water
Neighbors also had questions regarding potential impacts to existing roads, infrastructure and water availability in the area.  

Any future development on the property will be responsible for all improvements related to the development, including any improvements to existing roads or infrastructure.

The Oro Valley Water Utility has indicated there is sufficient capacity to serve any potential development on the property.
  1. Viewshed preservation
Neighbors were also concerned with potential impacts to existing viewsheds and view corridors to the Catalina and Tortolita Mountain ranges.

Any future development as part of Oro Valley will be required to minimize potential impacts to existing view corridors and viewsheds. The primary views from the property are to the east (Catalina Mountains) and the north (Tortolita Mountains). Impacts to these viewsheds will need to be taken into account when siting potential future development.

Additionally, the adjacent Tangerine Crossing's subdivision has a significant existing buffer (approximately 300 feet) which will help minimize any potential view corridor impacts to the east toward the Catalina Mountains. Again, should the property develop as part of the Town, staff will be working closely with future developers to ensure viewshed impacts are addressed.
  1. Future plans for the property
Lastly, many neighbors had questions about the future of the property and impacts to the area.

At this time, the focus is solely on the proposed General Plan amendment. Extending the Planning Area Boundary will ensure the Town of Oro Valley is involved in any future conversations regarding the property and the Master Planned Community land use designation serves as a "place holder" should more detailed discussions regarding specific zoning for the property be required.

The Special Area Policies serve as the frame-work that will be used in future zoning discussions should the property develop as part of Oro Valley, or as the concepts the Town will advocate for should the property be developed in Pima County or the Town of Marana.

3. All non-residential amendment requests will contribute positively to the long-term economic stability of the Town as demonstrated by consistency with goals and policies related to economic development and financial stability.

If developed in Oro Valley and non-residential uses are proposed in the future, appropriate financial and economic impacts will be evaluated.

D. PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

The following public notice has been provided:
  • Notification of all property owners within 1,000 feet
  • Notification to additional interested parties who signed in at neighborhood meetings
  • Notification to all Homeowners association
  • Advertisement in The Daily Territorial and Arizona Daily Star newspapers
  • Advertisement in the Explorer newspaper
  • Post on the property
  • Post at Town Hall and on the Town website
  • Outside review agencies
Three neighborhood meetings (2 traditional format and 1 open house) were held regarding the proposal with approximately 75-125 attendees at each meeting. The primary topics discussed included:
  • Natural open space preservation, wildlife protection
  • Roads, Infrastructure and Water
  • Future development
  • Viewshed preservation
A copy of the neighborhood meeting summaries of all three meetings are included in Attachment 4.

The proposed amendment was sent to several outside agencies for a 60-day review in accordance with state law. Staff received one response from Pima County which was generally supportive of the proposal. Several traffic related comments were specific to potential future annexation of the property, which is not the focus of this amendment.

Staff has also received letters in opposition, as well as letters in favor of the proposed amendment. The letters have been included as Attachment 5.

E. SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATION

In summary, there are a number of key factors regarding the proposed amendment. Those factors include:
  1. The proposal will help ensure the Town is proactively involved in any future conversations regarding proposed development on the property;
  2. The Special Area Polices serve as the frame-work for any future zoning discussions should the property develop in Oro Valley, or as the concepts the Town will advocate for should the property be developed in Pima County or the Town of Marana;
  3. The property is located within the existing Town of Oro Valley Urban Services Boundary;
  4. The property should be comprehensively planned with the Tangerine 550 project;
  5. A number of neighbors are opposed to development; however it is likely to occur regardless of this action;
  6. The Special Area Policies will help ensure the project is "well managed" and is designed to minimize potential impacts;   
Based on the aforementioned factors, staff will be recommending approval of the proposed amendment, subject to the Special Area Policies listed in Attachment 1, at the November 8, 2017 Planning and Zoning Commission meeting.
SUGGESTED MOTION:
The purpose of this first public hearing is to provide information on the proposed amendment and to serve as an opportunity for the public and Planning and Zoning Commissioners to provide input on the proposal and discuss any issues or concerns. As such, no action will be taken by the Commission during this meeting. A second public hearing will be held on November 8, 2017 where the Commission will again take public input, deliberate and provide a recommendation to Town Council.
Attachments
ATTACHMENT 1 - SPECIAL AREA POLICIES
ATTACHMENT 2 - LOCATION MAP
ATTACHMENT 3 - PROPOSED AMENDMENT
ATTACHMENT 4 - NEIGHBORHOOD MEETING SUMMARIES
ATTACHMENT 5 - NEIGHBOR CORRESPONDENCE


    

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