|The background information and analysis for the proposed rezoning can be found in the March 6, 2018 Planning and Zoning Commission staff report (Attachment 7)
A. DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS
At the March 6, 2018 Planning and Zoning Commission meeting, the following issues and/or concerns were discussed (comments in italics):
The roads most impacted by this development are Naranja Drive, Lambert Lane and La Cholla Boulevard as well as the Cañada Hills Drive intersection. Since the last Commission hearing on this matter, a detailed Traffic Impact Analysis (TIA) was evaluated and approved by Town engineering staff. A summary of the TIA is included below:
- Naranja Drive, Lambert Lane and La Cholla Boulevard
The developer will be required to install turn lanes into Parcel A (northwest corner of La Cholla Blvd. and Naranja Dr.) and Parcel B (southwest corner of La Cholla Blvd. and Naranja Dr.) to help minimize impacts to thru traffic.
During the March 6, 2018 Planning and Zoning Commission meeting larger concerns were expressed about
Naranja Drive being congested in the morning and afternoon peak hours during the start and end of a typical Ironwood Ridge school day. The primary cause of this congestion is the strong prevalence of westbound traffic for entry into the parking and drop-off/pick-up areas within the school campus. The congestion issue is compounded by the fact the school is located on the south side of Naranja Drive which forces most motorists to make left-turns into the campus. This results in a long back-up of vehicles, particularly during the morning peak periods.
To mitigate the issue, the Town widened Naranja Drive in 2015 to create a painted center median which doubles as a continuous left-turn lane for westbound vehicles entering the school. The purpose of the center lane is to free up the westbound through lane by providing a separate storage area for motorists waiting to enter the school from the east. These improvements met the intended purpose as the westbound through lane is relatively free flowing during the morning and afternoon peak periods.
The other main issue resulting from the heavy morning and afternoon traffic is the difficulty for motorists to turn left out of new or existing subdivisions along this segment of Naranja Drive. There is no easy solution to alleviate this issue which is the result of westbound left-turning traffic -- essentially forming a solid barrier between west and eastbound lanes. There are two important points to be noted:
- The proposed development areas adjacent to Naranja Drive (Parcels A and B) will also have direct access points to La Cholla Boulevard. The La Cholla access points provides a means for motorists to head south towards Tucson, north towards Tangerine Road or east towards Oracle Road. Other developments along Naranja Drive also have secondary access drive connections such as The Estates at Cappella to La Cholla Boulevard and Saguaros Viejos to Glover Road or La Cholla Boulevard;
- During all other times beyond the heavy morning and afternoon peak periods, Naranja Drive has relatively low traffic volume and therefore provides a good level of service for motorists.
The developer will be responsible for the widening of Lambert Lane to accommodate two through lanes in the eastbound and westbound directions, from La Cholla Boulevard to the western project limits. Timing of the improvements shall coincide with the construction of Parcels J, H and K as they develop. Furthermore, the developer will be required to coordinate with Pima County for improvements to the Lambert Lane/Shannon Road intersection to increase capacity and safety.
La Cholla Boulevard
Construction for the widening of La Cholla Boulevard to four lanes, as funded by the RTA, is anticipated to begin during the latter half of 2018. The roadway design already includes accommodations for multiple access points along the Capella development. Completion of the La Cholla widening improvement project is expected to take approximately 2-years which coincides well with the potential timing of this development.
It should be noted that TIA updates will be required at the final site planning stage for each development area as they occur. Each will identify any additional off-site improvements that may be proactively warranted at time of development. All public roadway improvements to be completed by the developer shall be at their expense and will require approval and a permit issued from the Town Engineer’s office.
- Access on Cañada Hills Drive
The proposed rezoning conforms to the General Plan policy regarding access to Cañada Hills Drive. The Traffic Impact Analysis indicates that a future traffic signal is warranted at this intersection on La Cholla Blvd. Timing of the signal installation and associated intersection improvements shall coincide with construction of any PAD development area or construction of the proposed roadway creating the new west leg of the intersection, whichever occurs first. To meet the Special Area Policy and improve the safety and efficiency of the intersection, the final design will not permit eastbound or westbound through traffic across La Cholla Boulevard.
2. Compatibility with surrounding land uses
The proposed rezoning meets the anticipated land uses and detailed planning polices in the previously approved General Plan amendment. It is important to note the underlying zoning designations are consistent with the Long Range Conceptual Master Plan (Attachment 4) established as part of the previous General Plan Amendment process. See the March 6, 2018 Planning and Zoning Commission staff report (Attachment 7) regarding General Plan conformance and compatibility with the surrounding area.
3. Tentative Development Plan concepts or scenarios
The proposed Planned Area Development includes a unique approach to the rezoning Tentative Development Plan (TDP) requirement, though similar to the Oro Valley Town Center Planned Area Development (San Dorado development), which affords the applicant more flexibility in the future. The rezoning includes multiple "Tentative Development Plan Concepts" (Attachment 6) as indicated in the table below:
||PROPOSED LAND USES(S)
||# OF DEVELOPMENT CONCEPTS
Proposed use(s) by Parcel
||Neighborhood Commercial/Office (C-N) or Medium Density Residential
||4 (3 commercial/office & 1 residential)
||Community Commercial (C-1) or Medium Density Residential
||5 (4 commercial & 1 residential)
||High Density Residential or Medium Density Residential
||4 (3 attached residential & 1 detached residential)
||High Density Residential, Medium Density Residential or Church Expansion
||5 (3 attached residential & 1 detached residential
& 1 church expansion)
||Medium Density Single-family Residential
||Community Commercial (C-1)
||Low Density Residential
||Low Density Residential or Church Expansion
||2 (1 residential & 1 church expansion)
||Low Density Residential
4. Recreational Area requirements for new Planned Area Developments (PAD's)
The Zoning Code requires all new PAD's to address the following regarding recreation areas:
- Pedestrian, equestrian and bicycle trails are designated, including picnic/rest areas
- Recreation and open space facilities are linked to the community open space network where appropriate
- Neighborhood scale recreation and appropriate linkages to existing and planned trail systems are provided
- Each active recreational area is suitably located and accessible to the area it is intended to serve and adequate screening is provided to ensure privacy and quiet for neighboring uses.
Furthermore, the Zoning Code requires the following relative to recreational area location and design:
- Serve as a focal point for passive and active recreational activities
- Provide a meaningful place for neighborhood gatherings and activities
- Be located in highly visible areas that are accessible to all residents within the project
The proposed rezoning is consistent with the above criteria with 3 recreation areas spread throughout the PAD. The recreation areas provide convenient access to all residential parcels, as well as connectivity to trails and multi-use paths. Lastly, each of the recreation areas will be required to incorporate landscaping to help provide additional screening for adjacent residential uses.
5. Open space
The applicant's proposal includes approximately 73.8-acres of open space, or approximately 36% of the total project area. The open space within the Planned Area Development (PAD) is comprised of:
Furthermore, future developers will be required to identify and preserve all significant vegetation as defined by the Zoning Code, including saguaro's. Saguaro's that do not meet the significant vegetation criteria, but are healthy will be required to be transplanted on-site as part of the corresponding landscape plan.
- Critical Resource Area (riparian/wash areas) - requires 95% preservation
- Resource Management Area Tier II - requires 25% preservation
- Recreation Areas - requires 1 acre of recreation area for every 85 dwelling units within the project
B. PUBLIC PARTICIPATION
Staff has received several additional letters (Attachment 9) regarding the applicant's proposed rezoning.
C. SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATION
In summary, there are a number of key factors regarding the proposed rezoning. Those factors include:
Based on the aforementioned factors, staff recommends approval of the proposed rezoning, subject to the conditions listed in Attachment 1.
- The proposal represents a comprehensively planned design which includes a variety of complimentary land uses
- The request is consistent with the Long Range Conceptual Master Plan approved as part of the preceding General Plan Amendment process
- The request is consistent with the General Plan Special Area Policies
- The most sensitive parts of the property (riparian areas or washes) are being substantially preserved
- Impacts to neighbors have been addressed as provided in the previously approved General Plan amendment.