ZMA-2006-005 Avinity (Sign #75)

PROPOSAL:  Rezone 8.81 acres from R-1 Residential (1 unit/acre) to PRD Planned Residential Development (3-34 units per acre with limited commercial use) for a maximum of 113 units at a density of 12.83 units/acre, with proffers.

EXISTING COMPREHENSIVE PLAN LAND USE/DENSITY:  Urban Density Residential (6.01-34 units/acre) and supporting uses such as religious institutions, schools, commercial, office and service uses.


LOCATION: Avon Street Extended (Route 742) approx. 1/2 mile south of intersection with Mill Creek Drive

TAX MAP/PARCEL: TMP 91-14, 90-35J, 90-35K


STAFF:  Elaine Echols


Ms. Joseph pointed out that the Commission would allow public input on this particular item.


Ms. Echols noted that staff had written the staff report using a new format in hopes of providing essential information without making the Commissioners read paragraphs.  This format would replace the executive summary requested by the Commission because the information would all be there in the form of a table.  Staff is trying a pilot project on this application, which will carry through to the next meeting.  There have been two pilot projects.  Staff is working on project improvements.  One of the things staff is finding that is important to the applicants and the public and hopefully the Commission is to look at the big picture items first.  First, they wanted to look at the overall issues before going into the details so that when someone is two or three months down the road getting to the Planning Commission and there is something that is fairly fundamental to the plan that should have changed two or three months before the applicant went to all of the detailed work, staff would like to get that input early on.  Staff has two willing applicants who have agreed to go through the pilot project to see if it is helpful and beneficial.  Staff hopes that it will be a time savings to everyone.  She asked for comments from the Commission on this format and process. Staff notified all of the adjoining property owners about the work session and advised them that they would be allowed to speak. She made a power point presentation and summarized the staff report. 


Specifics of ProposalAvinity is an apartment and townhouse development proposed for the 8.8 acre parcel located between Cale Elementary School and single family houses located on a private road in the Development Areas.  The rezoning is proposed from R-1 to PRD. 


The rezoning plan (Attachment A) shows the desired layout which contains townhouses at the entrance, two streets or drives on the perimeter of the property with units and an amenity area internal to the development.  The amenity area contains passive and active areas.  Storm water management is proposed under the “open green space” shown on the plan.


In addition to the plan, the applicant has submitted proffers indicating a commitment to provide 15% affordable housing, a commitment to provide an interconnection to properties to the east, allowance for a water main to be constructed to the property for use by adjoining parcels and construction of a path to Cale Elementary school.


Ms. Joseph opened the public hearing and invited the applicant to speak.


Mark Keeler, of Tara Concepts, PC, stated that they appreciate this opportunity to present and discuss the macro issues associated with this development proposal.  The Planning Commission’s reaction to the current vision and the directives that they give them tonight will help them determine the overall feasibility of the project and guide the detailed engineering work that hopefully will follow.  Due to the topography of the site, the conflicts arise when they start discussing the retaining walls and interconnectivity.  This site drops roughly 70 feet from its high point to its low point.  He reviewed the proposal with the Commission noting that they were trying to deal with the sensitivity of the site due to the steep topography. He noted that they were trying to create a highly accessible environment.  He pointed out the location of the proposed retaining walls since they will have to create cut section.  He pointed out that they were working with an adjacent property owner to acquire additional property.  If they were able to acquire that parcel the project layout would be changed.


There being no questions for the applicant, Ms. Joseph invited public comment.


Dottie Hill, an adjacent property owner, noted that she had a little contact with the applicants in terms of a trade of her property for a unit.  She liked living in this area. She knew the property was going to be developed and there was no question that it was going to be a multi density use.  When Cale Elementary was built they burned trees and she had ashes everywhere for months. She pointed out that she would be interested in a trade of property if they were able to work out something that would work.  The concerns she would have if the trade does not happen would certainly be what kind of privacy and noise barriers could be provided.  She had lived at this location for 20 years and had planted the Leyland Cyprus that was 30 to 40 feet high along her southern property line. 


There being no further public comment, Ms. Joseph closed the public hearing to bring the matter back before the Commission for discussion of staff’s questions.


In summary, the Planning Commission held a work session on ZMA-2006-005, Avinity to discuss the proposed rezoning. The Commission reviewed and discussed the proposal with staff and the applicant, and then responded to the preliminary questions posed by staff.  The Commission provided the following feedback on the issues mentioned in the staff report as follows:


Is the proposed development sufficiently in keeping with the Comprehensive Plan?


In general, the Commission agreed with staff’s opinion that, in terms of density and use, the development is in keeping with the Land Use Plan; however, the Commission believes that density is closely tied to form and that the form is not sufficiently in keeping with the Neighborhood Model to justify the density with the design proposed.


Does the layout and design sufficiently support use of the retaining walls at the perimeter of the property?


In general, the Planning Commission did not think that the layout and design sufficiently supports use of the retaining walls at the perimeter of the property.  Staff needs to work with the applicant to see what they can come up with because 20’ retaining walls are very massive.  Terracing was one suggestion made by the applicant.  The Commission believes that some redesign is necessary to create better lot-to-lot relationships. 


Where should interconnections take place?


In general consensus, the Planning Commission preferred the second interconnection recommended by staff on the south side and shown by the applicant on the plan.


Are there impacts to community facilities which should be mitigated with this rezoning?


Because of the level of increased use in the property from 12 potential units to 113 units, the Planning Commission agreed with staff and felt that there should be some contribution or cash proffers to mitigate impacts. Contributions to the CIP for a future library and transportation improvements need to be worked out with staff.


In addition, the Planning Commission added the following comment:


·         The Commission asked staff to work with the applicant on fencing to keep the dogs off the school property and security issues.

·         The Commission loved the new staff report format and asked staff to change to the new format in the future.




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