P&Z commission to review General Plan update draft line-by-line July 12

During their regular meeting July 12, Queen Creek planning commissioners will review a request for approval of 12 new standard plans, including the above design, for the Shea Homes Gateway Quarter residential community to be built on the southeast corner of Germann and Ellsworth roads. (Special to the Independent/Town of Queen Creek)

Public hearings include design review for Shea Homes community and minor General Plan amendment to allow agritainment venue at Sossaman Farms


Citizens wishing to learn more about proposed updates to the town’s General Plan can learn in-depth specifics when the Queen Creek Planning and Zoning Commission reviews the draft line-by-line July 12.

The review will take place starting at 6 p.m. during the commission’s work study session in the Queen Creek Town Hall council chambers, 22350 S. Ellsworth Road.

Public hearings regarding a design review for a Shea Homes residential community; a proposed text amendment to the town’s Zoning Ordinance; and a proposed minor General Plan amendment are scheduled for the commission’s regular meeting. It will start at 7 p.m., following the work study session.

The proposed General Plan amendment would help transform the original Sossaman Family Homestead on the southwest corner of Sossaman and Ocotillo roads into a “creative, eclectic and sustainable” agritainment use.

General Plan update draft

Public input on the General Plan update draft will be used to finalize the plan, according to a press release.

The General Plan serves as a guiding document for the community’s future, provides a road map for land use, includes goals and policies to guide future decisions and appropriately manages growth.

The town of Queen Creek is encouraging residents to review its draft General Plan update and provide input.

“The input we have received from the community so far has been fantastic,” Queen Creek Mayor Gail Barney said in the release. “The town’s General Plan provides the framework for our future, which makes that input so important. I encourage all of our residents to take time and review this important document so Queen Creek continues to develop in line with the vision and values of our community.”

State law requires an update to the General Plan every 10 years to reflect any changes in the community. Over the past several months, the town has been working to compile public input and draft the General Plan Update.

The project began in May 2016, according to a timeline on the town’s website: queencreek.org/PlanQC.

Also on that site, the public may view and comment on the General Plan update draft. Online feedback will be accepted through Friday, July 21, according to the release.

Between February and March of this year, the draft of the update was presented during meetings of several town commissions and a workshop. They include the transportation advisory committee on May 11, the economic development commission on May 24 and the parks and recreation advisory committee on June 13, according to the timeline.

The first public hearing of the final draft plan will be presented to the planning commission Aug. 9 in the Zane Grey Room at the Queen Creek Branch Library, 21802 S. Ellsworth Road. The time has not been announced.

The final draft plan will then be presented to the Queen Creek Town Council during its Aug. 16 work session at town hall.

Another public hearing by the planning commission will take place Sept. 13. It will be followed by a public hearing before the town council Sept. 20, during which the town council may vote on the presented plan, according to the timeline.

The final plan, approved by town council, will go to the residents of Queen Creek for a vote in May.

Public hearings

The planning commission also will hold its regular session at 7 p.m. July 12. The meeting agenda includes a public hearing and possible action on a Shea Homes design review and two public hearings regarding text amendments to both the town’s Zoning Ordinance and General Plan.

•Discussion and possible action on P17-0048, Shea Homes Gateway Quarter residential design review. Shea Homes is requesting approval of 12 standard plans with three elevations, each to be constructed on 319 lots of 532 lots in the Gateway Quarter subdivision at the southeast corner of Germann and Ellsworth roads.

Shea Homes is requesting to build a 40-foot-wide product on the 50-feet by 120-feet lots in parcel 2, which consists of 116 lots; a 50-feet-wide product on the 60-foot by 120-feet lots in parcel 4, which consists of 126 lots; and a 75-feet-wide product on the 85-feet by 90-feet lots in parcel 3, which has 77 lots, according to the information packet on the town’s website: www.queencreek.org.

All lots are zoned R1-5—Urban Development District. Floor plans range in size from 2,926 square feet to 4,148 square feet, according to the packet.

All 12 plans are single-story. The proposed home designs complement existing homes within Queen Creek and the surrounding neighborhoods in both character and quality, according to the packet. The 12 standard plans offer consistent architecture and comply with the town’s Zoning Ordinance and design guidelines for single-family residences.

The “Spanish” elevations include recessed windows, decorative shutters, S-shaped roof tiles and wrought iron details. The “Adobe Ranch” elevation proposes a mix of hip and gable roof masses, mission style tile roofing, adobe-slump veneer, decorative shutters and exposed rafter tails. The “Hill Country” elevation includes color blocking of certain masses or recessed areas and the use of more contemporary stone veneers to provide texture and/or color to certain massing and create a fresh, clean style reminiscent of the Austin Hill Country or Napa Valley. Some plans may have the option for standing-seam metal on certain porch or front shed/awning-like roof details.

•A public hearing and possible action on P17-0091, Zoning Ordinance text amendments. These are staff-initiated text amendments to the Permitted Uses section of Zoning Ordinance and subdivision ordinance, Article 4, Table 4.6-1. They are a series of minor text amendments to the Permitted Use section of Table 4.6-1 of the Zoning Ordinance. The proposed amendments are designed to fix textual errors, provide further clarification and propose new regulations that would further calibrate and improve the town’s ordinances and development processes, according to the packet.

The proposed amendments include:

A) Allow accessory dwelling units, such as guest houses and casitas, to be constructed in all residential zoning districts including R1-4 through R1-18. The Zoning Ordinance allows accessory dwelling units in residential zoning districts R1-35 through A1. Town staff believe it was an oversight that the residential zoning districts R1-4 through R1-18 were omitted in the recent Zoning Ordinance update. The Zoning Ordinance currently restricts the size of an accessory dwelling unit to no more than 50 percent of the under roof square footage of the primary structure. Accessory dwelling units also count toward lot coverage, which is defined in each zoning district. This change allows more flexibility without removing existing accessory dwelling unit regulations that regulate size, according to the packet.

B) Correct the Permitted Use table to indicate mobile homes are not an allowed use in zoning districts R1-12 through A1. The Zoning Ordinance in effect prior to July 15, 2015, did not allow mobile homes with conditional use permits in zoning districts R1-12 through A1. Staff reported conditional use designations were added to the table by mistake. The proposed amendment would correct the error.

C) Add “Wedding Venue” as a specific use type under “Retail Sales and Services.” Wedding venues are proposed to be allowed as a conditional use in the R1-35 and larger lots. They would be a permitted use in AT, TC, MU, C-2 and C-3. Over the past few years, numerous wedding venues were conducted without any approvals in residential zoning districts, according to the packet. In addition, there have been several requests to start new commercial wedding venues. This proposed amendment will clarify that Zoning and Subdivision Ordinance text amendments (Case P17-0091) wedding venues could be allowed in larger lot residential districts R1-35 through A1 subject to the approval of a conditional use permit. They would be permitted in the AT, TC, MU, C-2 and C-3 zoning districts.

A complete list of the proposed text amendments may be found on the town’s website.

Moving forward, the proposed text amendments are scheduled to be considered by the town council during a public hearing on Aug. 2.

This graphic shows the site of the Heritage Corner agritainment project. The proposed rezone being heard July 12 by the Queen Creek Planning and Zoning Commission could enable the Sossaman family to create an entertainment/agricultural venue on a 10-acre portion of Sossaman Farms, on the southwest corner of Sossaman and Ocotilo roads. (Special to the Independent/Town of Queen Creek)

•A public hearing and possible action on P17-0078, minor General Plan amendment from Medium Density Residential to Agritainment; and P17-0079 rezoning from R1-43 and R1-35 to Agritainment/Planned Area Development, for the “Heritage Corner Agritainment” project. This 10-acre project is at the southwest corner of Sossaman and Ocotillo roads.

The Sossaman family through its ownership entity Sossaman Holdings, LLC, and as directed by Stephen Sossaman and F. Wesley Clelland III, managers, has submitted an application to transform the original Sossaman Family Homestead into a “creative, eclectic and sustainable” agritainment use, according to the packet.

About 2 acres of the project will be the agricultural-processing area and educational uses of the site. The remaining 8 acres will consist of entertainment, special event and leisure/open space, according to the packet.

The commission generally meets on the second Wednesday of each month in the Queen Creek Town Hall council chambers, 22350 E. Ellsworth Road. Work study sessions begin at 6 p.m. They are followed by the regular sessions at 7 p.m.

Meeting dates, agendas and videos may be viewed online at www.queencreek.org.

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