Zoning changes hold promise for new businesses in AJ
At the City Council meeting on Tuesday, April 16, 2019, Mayor Jeff Serdy read a proclamation designating the month of April 2019 as “Promise for the Future” month. The document acknowledges the program established by Central Arizona College (CAC) to provide tuition-free, 4-semester scholarships to qualifying high school graduates in Pinal County.
Representing CAC at the reading were CAC Board member Dave Waldron, Dean Dr. Jeff Bunkelmann and CAC Foundation Director Maggie Dooley.
The Council unanimously approved Resolution No. 19-06 and Resolution No. 19-07 as items on the consent agenda. The resolutions authorize the city to enter into Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) Amendments with the Arizona Department of Transportation. The first amendment will provide additional funding for the construction of the Southern Avenue Roadway Improvement Project, consisting of $2,157,890 of federal-aid funds and an estimated city match of $204,570.
The second amendment will provide additional funding for the construction of the Winchester Road Sidewalk Improvement Project. It consists of $2,435,203 of federal-aid funds and an estimated city match of $147,197.
Fox Young from the city’s revenue staff updated the Council on developments at Friends of Apache Junction (FOAJ), Community Development Corporation (CDC) and Corporate Sponsorships. He said that $34,000 has been donated to FOAJ since January 1, 2019. Paws & Claws Care Center received $8,600 and Apache Junction Police Department (AJPD) received $7,600 this past quarter. AJPD’s end-of-year fundraising campaign netted $10,000 to upgrade the department’s AV equipment.
The City Council unanimously approved Resolution No. 19-05, authorizing the submission of Fiscal Year 2019 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and Fiscal Year 2019 State Special Project grant applications, along with proposed projects. The Council approved the leadership team’s recommendation for the construction of Grand View sidewalks, curb, gutter and drainage improvements.
By a vote of 7-0, the City Council approved rezoning approximately 50 acres of a vacant 78-acre property, located at the southeast corner of US-60 and S. Idaho Road. The property will change from B-1/PD (General Commercial by Planned Development) to B-5/PD (Light Industrial/Business Park by Planned Development) and amend the plan of development for the remaining B-1/PD-zoned, 28-acre portion of the property.
The proposal was requested by Amerco Real Estate Company and U-Haul International, LLC, represented by David Pollock. Most of the discussion centered on the approved uses for the 28-acre property in the Northwest section. U-Haul has planned a moving center that includes 128 covered spaces for recreation vehicles, other vehicles and boat storage.
The city has been opposed to adding another RV storage yard to its portfolio of 20 or so currently in operation. The thinking has been that, for the acreage involved, storage yards contribute a minimum of jobs and taxes to the city. Amerco agreed to make road improvements to S. Idaho Rd. south of Baseline Rd. and establish a paved road on the 28-acre southern boundary.
At the city’s Planning & Zoning Commission meeting on April 9, 2019, the members unanimously approved a recommendation to the City Council. Council members also voted 7-0 to allow the rezoning and were assured by Amerco that the project was ready to go.
The Council also approved rezoning a 7.5-acre property at the southeast corner of S. Vista Rd. and E. 12th Ave. from RS-GR (General Rural Low Density Single-family Detached Residences) to B-4/PD (Light Industrial/Business Park by Planned Development).
Jennifer Layton Noel and Kelly Layton Beeson want to develop a business park with rental or condominium suites and accompanying yards for various business tenants. Randy Carter of Sketch Architecture Company presented elevations and plats of the proposed business park. Concern was raised about the hours of operation, since the properties to the north and east are residential. The Council voted unanimously to approve the rezoning with the addition of a noise condition amendment.
The Council heard a presentation, had a discussion and held a public hearing on the draft February 14, 2019, Infrastructure Improvements Plan and Development Fee Report, which the city is required to update every five years.
Carson Bise, of the development fee consulting firm TischlerBise, reviewed the draft study that includes land use assumptions and the infrastructure improvement plan. The city implements the development fees through city code. The draft study has been available to the public at the Development Services Department since February 15, 2019. A second public hearing will be held on May 21, 2019, to consider a Resolution to adopt the Development Fee Study. A copy of the draft study may be found at: https://apachejunction.legistar.com/View.x?M=F&ID=7135792&GUID=FD803C79-7620-4B02-A39A-1E5E90091DFA.
Finally, after a presentation, discussion and public hearing, the Council voted unanimously to approve Ordinance No. 1470, case PZ-2-19, a city initiated corrective rezoning of the Smoketree-Warner Neighborhood from Medium Density Single Family Detached Residential (RS-20M) to Medium/High Density Single Family Detached Residential (RS-7M).
The Smoketree-Warner Neighborhood is an area comprised of 41 lots, bounded by W. Foothill St., N. Desert View Dr., W. Smoketree St. and N. Warner Drive.
RS-20 lots should average 20,000 sq. ft., but the average lot size in the subdivided section actually averages 7,000 sq. ft. The change will bring the land splits closer to city plan compliance.
City Council meetings are open to the public and held in chambers at 300 E. Superstition Blvd. in Apache Junction. The meetings begin at 7:00 p.m. Complete agendas and supporting materials are available at https://apachejunction.legistar.com/Calendar.aspx.
Photo above: A proclamation designating April 2019 as “Promise for the Future” month was read at the April 16 City Council meeting. Accepting the award were (left to right) CAC Board member Dave Waldron, Mayor Jeff Serdy, Dr. Jeff Bunkelmann, dean of CAC, Maggie Dooley.