VOL. 17 ISSUE NO. 30   |   JULY 27 – AUGUST 2, 2011


Planning commission completes zoning ordinance review

‘Can you tell me what you mean by outside cowboy entertainment?’

txc thorstenson and adam trenkT.C. Thorstenson (l) was accompanied by former Councilman Adam Trenk for his site plan application review for a restaurant, bar and accessory uses on his 8.99-acre parcel to the west of the Buffalo Chip Saloon and Foothills Granite.
Photos by Linda Bentley

CAVE CREEK – The planning commission completed its review of the town’s zoning ordinance on July 21, sending its final recommendations to council for approval.

Planning Director Ian Cordwell said he incorporated suggestions made during the last meeting and the ASU Planning Department interns’ presentation regarding the sign ordinance with respect to size, lighting and guidelines.

During public comment, James Carpenter, on behalf of the Arizona Sign Association and International Sign Association, said he appreciated the increase in the size allowed and internally illuminated signs, stating he encouraged and supported those changes.

dan baxleyWhen Chairman Dan Baxley (r) asked the commission how they wanted to proceed, Commissioner Bryda said he wanted to go through all the chapters that were modified.

Beginning with Chapter 2, Bryda stated private ranches are allowed an “unlimited number of small ranch animals,” and said, “I’d like to eliminate the word ‘unlimited’ and put a number in there. I don’t know what that number should be.”

Cordwell told the commission, “This language has been in place since 1998 and has never been a problem.”

Commissioner Reg Monachino said he looked at the ordinances of Mesa and Phoenix and found chicken coops were only required to be 40 feet from neighbors and 80 feet from the house.

At first, Bryda suggested the word “unlimited” be replaced with the number 20, but after some discussion the commission unanimously voted in favor of limiting the number to 20 per acre.

Most of the discussion was regarding clarification of items moved to different sections and reinserting struck language.

The commission previously expressed having an issue over the term quasi-public.

Cordwell said he inserted the Webster Dictionary definition, which defines quasi-public as “essentially public (as in services rendered) although under private ownership or control.”

There was a little more discussion over the height of outdoor lighting being limited to 12 feet in height, but the commission concluded 12 feet is appropriate even for a two-story building.

Following a unanimous vote (absent Commissioner Omundson who needed to leave early) to recommend approval of the changes to the zoning ordinance, the commission went on to review T.C. Thorstenson’s site plan application for a restaurant, bar and accessory uses for his 8.99-acre parcel to the west of the Buffalo Chip Saloon and Foothills Granite.

The case number also included the title “Bull Run,” as this is the site where the Running of the Bulls event is planned for October.

Commissioner Rae Iverson said she didn’t see anything in the plan addressing animal storage, while Monachino questioned where horse trailers would be parked.

ted brydaBryda (l) also noted there were 39 parking spaces for the restaurant/bar but no parking was shown for the bleachers.

T.C. Thorstenson told the commission his building, which will be approximately 3,472 square feet, is probably the smallest building on one of the largest lots in town, at just under nine acres.

Bryda told Thorstenson he read his narrative about the project and asked, “Can you tell me what you mean by outside cowboy entertainment?”

Thorstenson responded, “It could be a concert.”

Associate Planner Luke Kautzman told the commission there was plenty of room on the property for additional parking.

He also said they added condition number 22, which requires one parking space for each four seats of bleachers, as well as condition number 23, stating a deceleration lane may be warranted, as per the applicant’s traffic engineer.

The commission voted unanimously to recommend approval.

With the August meeting canceled, the next planning commission meeting is scheduled for Sept. 15.

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