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Apache County Planning and Zoning
P.O. Box 238 St. Johns , AZ 85936 (928) 337-7526 Fax (928) 337-7633


PLANNING AND ZONING COMMISSION MINUTES

 FOR DECEMBER 6, 2007
 
In Attendance:
 
Commissioners Staff
Charles Copeland Milton Ollerton
Tom Tilford Mary Turner
Nick Scienski Michelle Johnson
Kay Hauser Ferrin Crosby
Ambrose Shepherd Steve Kizer
Ray Trail Brad Carlyon
Butch Schertz Vanden Nielsen
Jim Thornhill
Delos Bond
               
 
Work Session
 
The work session started at 11:40 a.m.
 
Mr. Ollerton explained the purpose of the vicinity plan process with regard to items #3 through #5. He said the drawing is a simple one at this stage, and the Community Development Department makes sure that the subdivision complies with the Zoning Ordinance. If the lot size is less than one acre, the reason should be given. The department also looks at questions that may arise with regard to things such as water and septic. The subdivisions in items #3 and #4 are located on either side of Mineral Creek Ranch.
 
With regard to item #5, the preliminary plat will address the development of the entire section. It is located to the left of Timber Knoll where the park-and-sell lot was approved. He said it will be developed in phases, and in January the preliminary plat for phase one will probably come before the Commission.
 
Mr. Ollerton said with regard to items #3 through #5, the drainage report will be done in the preliminary plat stage, then the percolation test or soil analysis will be done on every lot in the final plat stage.
 
Mr. Bond asked if the development can determine if the land base is going to be saturated.
 
Mr. Ollerton said the type of soil makes a difference. The more sandy the soil, the faster it moves through the ground. The question is whether a soil analysis is enough.
Mr. Kizer said the Department of Environmental Quality rules that the subdivisions have to follow are based on the best available science. The agency has concluded that when putting in a subdivision with lots of one acre or more, the density is low enough and should not contaminate the groundwater or pollute the environment.
 
Mrs. Hauser said at some point, people might not want to have so many septic systems in the county.
 
Mr. Trail said now he feels that the density is high, and if the Department of Environmental Quality rules are followed, more people will have problems, and when the monsoon season arrives they will have other problems. Each subdivision having its own system would alleviate these problems.
 
Mr. Ollerton said that over the last several months there have been several vicinity plans, some with less-than-an-acre lots, some with quarter-acre lots. When sewage treatment plants are designed, prices go up and more lots are often created on smaller parcels to pay for the sewage treatment plant. It is difficult to recommend that if the soil analysis works and the lot size is greater than an acre.
 
Mr. Carlyon said it is a policy decision. If it is required in every subdivision, the developers will have to do half-acre and quarter-acre lots. Soils are different in different places, and different occupancy rates affect things. The Commission therefore needs to look at each one individually regarding things like geographical differences and soils.
 
Mr. Trail said in California, where he used to live, they required a separate system for each development, and Apache County is just deferring it to down the road.
 
Mr. Carlyon said Greer and Alpine tax themselves to pay for this. It will fall to the citizens in the affected area. He said the Commission has to decide where to draw the line: earlier or later in the process. A different approach would have resulted in smaller lots in Greer and Alpine.
 
Mr. Bond said the time will come when a sewer district will have to be created for Vernon.
 
Mr. Ollerton said the same thing will happen with Show Low Pines at some point.
 
Mr. Carlyon asked whether each subdivision should have its own system or a big system should be created. He said a Vernon Sanitary District may be something for the Board of Supervisors to look at. He asked what the county needs to know in order to get answers.
 
Mr. Scienski expressed frustration with not knowing how to respond to questions. He said it is difficult to put a halt to a project once it has started.
 
Mr. Carlyon said there are property rights that are affected on both sides, and the Commission has to figure out where in the process to look at these issues: at the vicinity plan, preliminary plat, or final plat stage.

Mr. Scienski said he is not wanting to stop progress but would like to be able to direct people to the right places to get answers to their questions.

Mr. Carlyon said there is no answer to some things. A question has been raised, however, about how in-depth the soil studies need to be in order to deal with questions related to possible saturation of the soil.
 
Mr. Copeland said he believes in one-acre-minimum lots; if people want to drop below that, they are creating an urban environment and should have to provide things like streets, gutters, lights, and raised sewer standards. Otherwise they are creating dust problems. He suggested that the Subdivision Ordinance be changed to include those requirements.
 
Mr. Scienski said someone is going to pay for the needed infrastructure. He said with regard to industry, the corporations do not generally absorb the costs; the user does. Mr. Scienski said he thinks that should be the developer's responsibility. The first obligation should be to the people living in the area, and other people coming in should know what is expected of them.
 
Mr. Carlyon reminded the Commission that putting more of a burden on the developer raises the cost of property, and people who live in the area often cannot afford to buy local properties anymore. He said people's children will not be able to afford to live in the area if the price of housing keeps going up.
 
Mr. Ollerton explained that more requirements on the developers will increase the ability of people to create ―wildcat‖ subdivisions, in which people split property numerous times and the subdivider has to sell it for more money. He explained that the Zoning Ordinance is the place to implement policies for zones with more than one house per acre.
 
Mr. Ollerton explained that the sign in agenda item #6 is on Windsor Valley's property.
 
He said with regard to item #7, Mr. Coombs owns two half-acre parcels that have been combined and has adequate capacity in his septic system for a second residence. He is hooked up to the water company.
 
With regard to item #8, Mr. Ollerton said the camp would be on private property, and the applicant has stated that he has secured a contract with Versatech to do drawings of buildings and a drainage study. Staff would like to review these before this item goes to the board. He thinks there is enough information to make a decision though. Mr. Ollerton said item #9 has been withdrawn by the applicant. He discussed item #10, saying that Springerville Auto Wreckers currently has four acres near Springerville on which it breaks down junk cars, and the applicant wants to move it to a 20-acre parcel outside Springerville.

Mr. Thornhill explained that the property is located on a mesa north of Springerville off of U.S. Hwy. 60.

Mr. Copeland asked if salvage yards require fencing. Mr. Ollerton said the Commission can add that as a condition. It is proposed in the new Ordinance. He said that with regard to item #11, Greer is becoming so expensive for overnight rentals that business are starting up in other places and are offering lower prices. He said this application is the first one that he has seen in Alpine for overnight rental cabins. They are connected to the sewage treatment plant. Mrs. Hauser asked if there is any opposition to the project. Mr. Ollerton said no, except for a neighbor who lives behind the property and was concerned that the road would be affected by the drainage. He said he has received letters of support.
 
Mr. Ollerton said item #12 is an application for family use only.
 
Mr. Copeland questioned the purpose of the 192 seats in the family room.
 
Mr. Ollerton said Mr. Brown is now selling those types of cabins. Mr. Copeland said it is not an application for a single-family residence then. Mr. Ollerton asked about what the definition of single family should be. He said there are several similar applications around the state with separate units justified by reduced cooling expenses. Mr. Ollerton explained item #13, saying Article 22 of the Zoning Ordinance is a separate, stand-alone article.
 
Mr. Bond asked if it could be more restrictive by increasing the distance of adult-oriented businesses to schools from 1,000 feet to a mile, since in unincorporated areas 1,000 feet could still allow them to be in sight distance.
 
Mr. Carlyon said it can if it is not prohibitive. He reminded the Commission that these businesses will have to be in an industrial zone, although sometimes churches will be in those types of zones.
 
Mr. Bond recommended that the minimum distance be one-half mile.
 
Mr. Carlyon said that could be possible as long as there is some area in the county where adult-oriented businesses can go.

Mr. Ollerton said if half a mile is required, then the industrial zone will have to be a minimum of 1 mile wide.

Mr. Carlyon said if the article is too restrictive and prohibitive, that part of the Ordinance can be declared invalid. There was one adult-oriented business outside Sanders at one point, but it did not last long.
 
Commission Meeting
 
Item #1 Call to Order.
 
Mr. Copeland called the meeting to order at 1:02 p.m.
 
Item #2 Approval of the minutes from the November 1, 2007, meeting.
 
Mr. Schertz moved for approval.
Mr. Trail seconded.
Voting was unanimous.
 
Item #3 Consideration/Discussion/Possible Approval of a vicinity plan for The Pines. The proposed residential development includes parcels 106-36-018B and 106-36-018E and is located in the Vernon area just north of the Apache National Forest. The project by Levy Development has 72 planned home sites with the average lot size over an acre.
 
Mr. Ollerton explained that a vicinity plan application is a very preliminary application that goes only to the Planning and Zoning Commission, not to the Board of Supervisors. It is checked to ensure that it conforms to the Zoning Ordinance. Since all the lots are at least an acre, it does conform to the minimum lot size requirement of the Ordinance. The applicant has stated that water will be provided to each home site with a proposed water system using an on-site well. Sewage disposal will be either individual regular septics or alternative systems, which will be determined at the final plat stage. In the preliminary plat stage staff looks at the surface absorption rates, drainage, and how the subdivision will change the surface drainage. In the final plat staff looks deeper into the ground at the percolation test data, the soil analysis data, to determine if regular septic systems or alternative systems are more appropriate. Solid waste disposal will be provided by Waste Management. Staff recommends approval of the vicinity plan.
 
Mr. Copeland asked if this is a single-phase project.
 
Mr. Ollerton said it is.

Mr. John Murphy of Tetratech in Show Low, who was representing Levy Development, said if there are items in the horizontal layout, the roads, that the commission would like to see changed, he would be willing to take it back to the applicant and make the necessary modifications. The lots are all over an acre. He is working with one of the local water companies to provide water service there. They are also working with the Fire Department in Vernon to provide fire protection services for the subdivision. Utilities will be underground. The roads will be a gravel standard.

Mr. Mel Wilhelm, of Vernon, thanked the commissioners for their service. He thanked Mr. Ollerton for sending him maps for items #3 through #5. He said, however, that he thinks neither the Commission nor the Board of Supervisors is concerned about the problem he sees Mineral Creek posing to Wilhelm Spring. He hopes the Commission has some questions about the cumulative effects of the three developments before it today. He asked how many new home sites have been approved in the Vernon area in the last three years. He said if it approves what is proposed today, it will have approved over 650 new home sites near him and Mr. Scienski. He asked what the current population of Vernon is and what it will be when the development currently approved is completed. He asked what the present demands for groundwater are and if there will be enough for the future. He also asked how to factor in the current drought and predicted climate change with regard to the local water supplies.
 
Mr. George Walsh, of Vernon, said he agrees with Mr. Wilhelm's comments. He suggested the commissioners ask the staff to answer their questions in writing. He brought up the legality of the roads. He does not believe the road going to this development or the extension of the road is legal. He suggested they get the documentation and find out if the project is going to affect the water or the people coming in.
 
Mr. Chuck Crane, of Vernon, said the Pines is a quarter to a half mile west of him, and the Oaks is just east of him. That makes 255 home sites close to his property. He asked if the developer will be required to develop roads to county standards, and if they will be paved. If the roads are built to county standards, he asked if they will be maintained by the county. He asked if the developer will be required to put in additional access roads from U.S. Hwy. 60 to these developments. He said the added traffic will be a hazard to the residents who live along County Road 3144.
Mr. Crane said water contamination is another serious consideration. He said his aquifer is about 300 feet down and asked if it be affected. He said the Coconino is 1,000 to 1,200 feet down and asked if there will be steps taken to seal the well so that his aquifer will not be drained. He asked about septic tanks and leach fields contaminating the water supply. He asked if the Commission is requiring that the applicant make that determination and advise it. With regard to commercial development, it is a 25-to-30-mile one-way trip into town to do shopping. Additional traffic on U.S. Hwy. 60, a two-lane road, will be created, and it is already overcrowded with heavy truck traffic and slow drivers. He asked if the state is considering widening the road to accommodate the additional traffic. There are other developments along the highway, including Sacred Circle Ranchos, Skyline Ranch, and three or four others that will also affect the traffic.
 
Mr. Crane asked if the county has addressed the issue of needed additional public safety in the area due to the growth with regard to the Sheriff's Department and its response. Mr. Crane is a retired police lieutenant from southern California, and he said he knows that increased population brings increased criminal activity. He asked where the buyers will come from and if these home sites will include built homes or merely lots. If there are going to be homes on the lots and they do not sell, it will created additional opportunities for criminal activity.
 
Mr. Mark Pope, from Concho, said there was an outbreak of E. Coli in Concho's water system. He does not know if it was the fault of the water company or not, and the water company has already fixed it. He said this sort of thing is a concern with increases in population. He asked why planned communities are needed when there are a lot of empty lots in Apache County. He wants people who want to come and live in the area, not just speculators.
 
Mr. Scienski said with regard to the potential water problems, no one seems to be able to do anything more than speculate. With regard to The Pines and The Oaks, there is only one road going in to that area and one road going out. He said he lives on that road. The responsible position would be to at least have an additional ingress and egress on the eastern side of the Vernon/McNary Road that would access U.S. Hwy. 60. He said that should be addressed up front. He thinks the road is not adequate for everyday use with these new proposals. It is better if it is addressed during the first step in the process.
 
Mr. Tilford asked if there have been any studies based on the current roads for the amount of traffic on them and if there are any planned improvements to those roads that the Commission is not aware of at this time.

Mr. Crosby said Apache County has cooperated with southern Navajo County and done a transportation study in the last few months. The many recommendations from that transportation study included addressing the congestion of U.S. Hwy. 60. Apache County's recommendation to the firm that did the study was to add lanes from the County Road 3144/U.S. Hwy 60 intersection to Vernon. The study's analysis did not show that it warranted it. He thinks their analysis went out to the year 2035. It did, however, recommend that there be lanes added to U.S. Hwy. 60 up to the intersection with state Rte. 61. It also recommended possible alternative routes, presently County Road 3144 from Vernon to Porter Mountain to the back side of Pinetop, as an alternate route to be improved to take traffic off U.S. Hwy. 60, along with some improvements of connectors at County Road 3145, which is adjacent to Crawford Ranch, 3148, and possibly at some future time another route using the old Apache railroad corridor tying in to Porter Mountain Road. Mr. Crosby said he thinks it would be helpful for the Commission to know what the traffic count is on County Road 3140. He thinks the traffic counts are fairly low there. At buildout, there will be quite a bit more traffic. Whether it warrants additional lanes or an intersection improvement at U.S. Hwy. 60, that could be shown by a traffic impact analysis. The Commission may want to do that with this applicant ' to create a traffic impact analysis for these subdivisions.
 
Mr. Tilford asked if the access road in its present condition would be adequate to serve the subdivisions in terms of regular or additional maintenance when they are built out.
 
Mr. Crosby said additional traffic would require additional maintenance. He said Mineral Creek is proposing an improvement district from that subdivision out to County Road 3140 and to pave that. That section is currently a gravel road on the 3261 section. The applicant intends to establish an improvement district and pave it. That would more than likely satisfy the other two subdivisions as well. The road from County Road 3261 out to U.S. Hwy. 60 is an old chip seal; it would require an overlay either by the county or by that improvement district. He said it would need some work to handle that buildout.
 
Mr. Copeland asked him to explain any county road standards that may exist with regard to how many vehicles they can handle per day or hour.
 
Mr. Crosby said there is not a county standard; there are, however, standards of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO). He thinks that anything with 2,000 cars per day should be paved. He said he could look that up to verify it. AASHTO does recognize a threshold when a gravel road needs to be paved based on the number of cars on it. The traffic impact analysis would show that.
 
Mr. Tilford asked if they are getting closer and closer to that point in that area.
 
Mr. Crosby said without a doubt. He said there has not been a traffic study done on County Road 3140, but he thinks the majority of the traffic on that road comes from 3144 or from 3261. There is traffic south of 3261 on 3140 to the west. There are a few residences on the east side of that road, but most of the traffic will probably come from 3261 and 3144.
 
Mr. Bond asked if the roads in the Pines and Crawford Ranch will be brought up to county specifications.
 
Mr. Murphy said they will be. They will be a gravel standard road and will be hopefully brought up to a standard that would allow them to be turned over to the county for maintenance.
 
Mr. Bond asked about the soil analysis.
 
Mr. Murphy said they have not done any thorough soil investigations yet, but he does not believe that there are going to be major problems in the Pines. In the Oaks there is some pretty shallow rock, and some alternative systems may be needed. That was the reason for the larger lots. The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) takes a pretty strict look at submittals for a subdivision, probably in much more detail than even the county health department would on a septic permit. DEQ determines from the density, some of the groundwater quality analysis, and things like that whether a complete and full aquifer protection permit is needed. DEQ looks into those things, but that is not to say that anyone else should not or could not do that. DEQ has to approve it before the developer is able to obtain any real estate report to sell anything.
 
Mr. Bond asked whether developers still have to prove that they have enough groundwater for 100 years.
 
Mr. Murphy said that on an individual system ' the Oaks water will be produced by each individual lot owner, although two or three of them could drill a well together ' there would be no requirements on the water company. In the Pines, which has smaller lots, the water company will need to have all of its approvals through the Corporation Commission. Whether that involves water adequacy evaluations and approvals from the Department of Water Resources, some of that, he thinks, is dependent on whether it is a new water system. The state laws have changed. It is probably in their best interest, and the water company could want to have a water adequacy study and report done before starting to offer water for sale.
 
Mr. Trail said there are a lot of developments going in in Eagar, Springerville, Alpine, and that part of the county. He asked if that was considered in the road study.
 
Mr. Crosby said with regard to the Sierra Montosa summit and the traffic out that direction, no. Arizona Department of Transportation traffic counters are located at various locations on U.S. Hwy. 60, so he is sure the traffic study incorporated the traffic coming from that direction that exists already. Apache County submitted as part of that study all the proposed subdivisions that it had with the number of lots on them. The applications for the Pines and the Oaks were not submitted yet, so they were not included. He does not believe Mineral Creek was either. The Ranch, just north of these, was part of that submission. Staff captured as many of these vicinity plans as it had on its books and gave those to the traffic engineer so he could show at buildout what the traffic would be and what the improvements he warranted would be.
 
Mr. Trail said he believes the growth will soon be two or three times what was anticipated.
 
Mr. Crosby said after a transportation study is done for the next 25 years, in five years another one is needed. They change. Since they do not know where the transportation boon will be, transportation studies are done to see where the needs are.

Mr. Ollerton said Apache County has submitted to the state all the subdivisions it has in process, but the number of new lots created by subdivisions that have completely finished their final plat and have gone through the public report process and have lots available for sale is only around 150. In 2006 alone, the county approved minor land splits creating more than double that number of lots. They do not require road improvements, state agency oversight, water testing, or percolation test analysis. He assumes the 2007 numbers will be as high. It is hard to be proactive for growth because of the expense. If the county had the money, it would proactively plan Vernon, put in the roads and infrastructure, and say where the lots and stores will be. As the Phoenix area grows to 5 million people and is projected to grow to 18 million people, it is having similar problems. Businesses, stores, and homes are being torn down to put in light rail and accommodate growth that they never imagined 40 years ago. It is really hard to predict how fast the population will grow. That is why zoning is done, to address those issues as far ahead as possible.
 
Mr. Tilford said with regard to water and sewage issues, he thinks the Commission needs to rely on DWR and DEQ for information and regulations. If traffic is a concern, the developer should be asked to provide a traffic impact analysis at the preliminary plat stage for review by the Engineering Department and recommendations from it.
 
Mrs. Hauser asked Mr. Crosby if Mineral Creek has chosen to do a road improvement district and within that subdivision will be paving the roads.
 
Mr. Crosby said the road improvement district, as he understands it, would come from 3140 on 3261 to the subdivision. He is not sure that it will include all the roads within the subdivision. He thinks it is just the road to the subdivision, which would feed the Oaks also.
 
Mrs. Hauser asked if that is going to happen, why does the Commission not indicate to the developer that it would like that with the other subdivisions also.
 
Mr. Crosby said they are all going to use the same road. Mineral Springs is in between these two, and if they do a road improvement district, more than likely all three subdivisions will be included in that district to pay for it. Mr. Scienski asked for an explanation of a road improvement district. Mr. Crosby said the process is instigated by the developer and the public. It is not put into place by the county. It is citizen initiated. They make a proposal, and there is a series of public meetings that have to be held to receive public comment. At some point in those hearings they bring a petition to the Board to go to the next step, which is to hire an engineer to design the road. At one point, the Board has to approve or disapprove that step, because they have to pay the engineer to come up with a cost estimate for what the improvement district is going to cost. They have to decide on the boundaries of the improvement district and who is going to pay for it by being assessed a tax, and if they get to that point, they have someone design it. They then take more public comment. If they need approval, they proceed with the engineer's cost estimate and begin assessing those properties that are in that district. There are a number of other mechanisms by which people can petition to get out of that district or be included in the district.

Mr. Carlyon said the question is, where the additional money needed is going to come from, and the alternative to look at may be an impact fee per lot. Money could go toward a sheriff's suboffice when the population dictates a need for it or to Engineering for roads. It would not be only for subdivisions but also for minor land splits because it can be done on a lot basis. Other alternatives are available, however, such as forming improvement districts, which are good for some areas but not for others, and making developers do a higher level road (paved or higher than the current minimum standards), but as the traffic increases and the demand is higher, the county cannot pave a road, because that would be an improvement, unless they make it a highway or create a road improvement district.
 
Mr. Scienski asked if the county can require the developer to put a road in or to improve a road as part of the subdivision package. Mr. Carlyon said that is possible within the boundaries of that subdivision. Outside the boundaries it would require consideration of the impact fee. Mr. Scienski asked if the Commission can require the developer to provide an alternate road that goes from the subdivisions to U.S. Hwy. 60.
 
Mr. Carlyon said no, because that would require telling the developer to talk to the over 100 property owners to get easements. He has no ability to force them to do it if they say no. The county has the ability to condemn property for road improvements. That is a governmental function, however. One of the ways to accomplish that is some type of fees so the county has the money to do it if it has to do a condemnation to pay them for their loss of the use of that land. The question is, should the money to pay for new roads come from taxpayers as a whole out of the general fund or should the people who are causing an impact on the services the county provides pay a little extra toward it? The Board of Supervisors would have to approve impact fees, but the process can start in the Commission. Other emergency response issues can also be addressed. People who are doing minor land divisions are increasing the demands on the roads, and that is why it is commonly administered per lot. If a motel, cabins, or apartments are involved, it is handled a little differently because of the higher density, but the same concept is used.
 
Mr. Murphy said the traffic impact analyses and other studies point out that there is a deficiency in that improvement before the developer comes to the site. It then becomes difficult in fairness for the developer to have to fix the problem that has been existence for some time. He said impact fees are the fairest way to do these improvements because everybody throughout the area shares in the cost.
 
Mr. Tilford said transportation on the roads in this area is going to be an issue whether the Commission requires a study or not.
 
Mr. Murphy said he is not aware if the developer from Mineral Creek has approached his client to participate in an improvement district. He said he is sure that Mr. Levy would be more than happy to participate in that improvement district.

Mr. Scienski said he is not suggesting that developers fix Apache County's road problems, but the conditions of the roads in a number of subdivisions in Vernon are embarrassing. He said both the developers and the county need to be responsible. He said he remembers a lot of roads over the years that the county was not able to maintain, but that has improved.
 
Mr. Levy should be willing to discuss these issues.
 
Mr. Murphy said he expects him to be at some of the future Commission meetings.
 
Mr. Tilford moved to approve the vicinity plan as submitted but said that the developer should know that the Commission will be looking at the roads and transportation and it is expecting some communication through that process. Mr. Schertz seconded. Voting was seven to one, with Mr. Scienski opposed.
 
Item #4 Consideration/Discussion/Possible Approval of a vicinity plan for The Oaks. The proposed residential development includes parcels 106-36-018C, 106-36-018D, and 106-36-018F and is located in the Vernon area just north of the Apache National Forest. The project by Levy Development has 85 planned home sites with the average lot size over 3 acres.
 
Mr. Ollerton said this is another vicinity plan, which requires only a quarter mile to be shown around the property. He said he thinks the developer went a little farther to show what is around the property. The water for this development will be from individual wells. At some point in this process before the final plat is done, the developer will be required to drill a well and offer that well site to the property owners through their CC&Rs so they can haul water if they choose. The developer can either put in a water system or provide a well. Water will be addressed. Sewage will be on-site regular septic or alternative systems, and solid waste disposal will be provided by Waste Management. Staff recommends approval and finds that this application is consistent with the Zoning Ordinance.
 
Mr. Wilhelm said the Oaks is his primary concern. His previous comments apply here also. There is a shallow aquifer under this property, and he is afraid that septic systems would rapidly leach into that and end up polluting it. He said he would be happy if the Board would encourage them to look at alternative systems. Evaporation basins are approved by DEQ. Mr. Wilhelm said a well in that area would probably immediately penetrate the aquifer that provides his spring. Another aquifer is down over 300 feet. The Coconino is down 1,000 feet or more. Each time those aquifers is penetrated, if the sealing process is not proper, the water from the surface will leach down to the next layer and so on. He is concerned that the shallow aquifer could be drained. He said the people's right to speculate needs to balanced with the rights of the local citizens and the quality of their environment. He suggested the Commission add stipulations to its approval.
 
Mr. Stephen Coombs, of Vernon, who lives in the Wilderness Tract, is concerned about the roads. He drives the school bus for Vernon School and sees that traffic is getting heavier along Vernon Road. He asked the Commission to ensure that the developers' bonds are in place before they are allowed to break ground or that they cannot sell the property until it is completed or they have a bond.
 
Mr. Crane said he supports Mr. Wilhelm's concerns. He has concerns with regard to his well, aquifer, and property.
 
Mr. Walsh suggested the Commission call other Planning and Zoning Commissions or offices to ask them how they deal with this type of situation. He asked if they research other counties' minutes of meetings for the same type of situation. He said some do require developers to improve the roads from the highway to the subdivision or at least take part of the cost.
 
Mr. Trail asked if the number 650 is right for the number of proposed homes in the area. He said it is not the water coming out of the ground that is a concern; it is the water going back in to the ground. With monsoons or heavy snows that saturate the ground, the aquifers can be contaminated. With regard to the people having to pay for a sewer system, he said they will have to pay for it anyway. He said it could be cheaper to do it up front than to do it after it is contaminated. Mr. Tilford said they do not know if contamination already exists. He does not know if Mr. Wilhelm's well was drilled to specifications. DEQ is in place to handle these issues.
 
Mr. Ollerton said the area is about 36 square miles in 7 or 8 miles from the split. In this immediate area there are 255 lots proposed in Mineral Creek, the Pines, and the Oaks. In this 36 square miles, there are approximately 4,000 lots right now. There are probably about 32,000 acres of private property. There will continue to be splits. The soil is not all sandy loam, which reduces the concerns about reaching saturation. It is difficult to plan for 15 or 20 years from now. With regard to these developments, the one-acre minimum is not only the county standard but also the state (DEQ) standard. The soil analysis for each lot is required. The standards are in place to try to prevent these situations. The studies are in place to determine what type of system to develop. With regard to Mr. Wilhelm's comment about an alternative system, there is a development, Hidden Meadows Ranch, that requires in its CC&Rs a very high-tech, alternative septic system due to a combination of the soils. Those are one-acre lots. If the soil analysis requires an alternative system to address some of the concerns in The Oaks, he would support that. He said a soil analysis is part of the final plat.
 
Mr. Bond moved for approval of the vicinity plan.
Mr. Trail seconded. Voting was seven to one, with Mr. Scienski opposed.
 
Item #5 Consideration/Discussion/Possible Approval of a vicinity plan for Crawford Ranch. The proposed residential development is on parcel 106-22-009 and is located at the intersection of U.S. Hwy 60 and County Road 3145 in Vernon. The project by First United Realty has 94 lots with the average lot size over an acre.
 
Mr. Ollerton said Crawford Ranch consists of an entire section of land. The map shows approximately 404 home sites. This project will have four phases. The first phase will include 94 units. The water will be provided to each home site by connecting to Lord Water System to the north of this development. Sewage disposal will be individual regular septic or alternative systems, and solid waste disposal will be provided by Waste Management. He pointed out the nearby subdivisions shown on the map and the minor land splits, which do not have to meet the requirements of subdivisions with regard to things such as road improvements, soil analysis, and the addressing of water concerns. The Crawford Ranch lots meet the one-acre-minimum standard. At some point,
 
Mr. Ollerton said the state will require a turnout lane at the intersection. Staff is requesting that the developer put that turn lane in prior to construction of the development in order to accommodate the construction traffic. Staff recommends approval of the application.
 
Mr. Murphy, representing First United Realty, said a portion of the section is private and will not be part of this development. The developer has asked Tetratech to master plan this development. It will be developed into lots of over an acre each. The subdivision reports to DEQ and DWR will be produced.
 
Mr. Wilhelm said he believes the water systems in Vernon cannot adequately supply the water that is needed now. He quoted from the Planning and Zoning mission statement and asked the Commission to define quality of life. He asked if it should apply to people who live there now or people who are moving there from other areas. There is a good population of elk, deer, and wild turkey there. He asked for a definition of citizen.
 
Mr. Scienski said according to the Random House College Dictionary, it means ―a member of a state or a nation who owes allegiance to its government and is entitled to its protection, that is to be distinguished from an alien.‖ Mr. Wilhelm said he thinks it would be a voter or someone who lives in Apache County. He suggested the Commission consider implementing the provisions of SB 1575, passed during this last year, which says that developments should not be approved without proving an adequate water supply is continuously, legally, and physically available. He said it is a way for the counties to assume responsibility for adequate water supplies. He said the Commission is to direct the director of Community Development, not the other way around.
 
Mr. Coombs said he is not opposed to development; proper development will increase his property values. He is concerned about Lord Arizona Water Systems because a couple of times last summer he did not have water. He said the Commission should ensure that the company drills the wells before putting the roads in.

Mr. Scienski said there are some serious issues. There is a need for the state to look at improvements to U.S. Hwy. 60 ' widening, left turn lanes, passing lanes, whatever the solution would be ' but it does not seem appropriate that a development with over 400 lots has one road.

Mr. Copeland said there are three. Mr. Scienski said the speed of the traffic on U.S. Hwy. 60 makes turning in and out dangerous.
 
Mr. Murphy asked if he is talking about the issue of the turning lanes on the highway.
 
Mr. Scienski said he is referring to the water situation with regard to reliability of the water company and the issue of entering and leaving U.S. Hwy. 60, right- or left-turn lanes, passing lanes, or whatever would be appropriate there. Mrs. Hauser asked if the information about the water problems got to the appropriate state agencies.
 
Mr. Coombs said he was leery about going public about it. He is not sure how many houses or lots the water company was authorized to hook into. He does not know whether that number was exceeded or not. Another subdivision east of him is fed from the same well he is on, and it has run out of water. Mr. Coombs said he has only 30 or 35 pounds of pressure. Drilling the well and doing a flow test should be required before the roads are done. He wants the developer to ensure there is enough infrastructure, including storage tanks and piping, to supply the needs. Mrs. Hauser asked if that got reported. Mr. Coombs said he did not want to file a complaint at the time. For future developments, however, he would like the water issues considered.
 
Mrs. Hauser told Mr. Walsh that Mr. Ollerton had made reference in the work session twice to having had dialogue with other counties, other planning groups. She stated her support of the staff and said the Commission will listen to what the members of the public have to say. Mrs. Hauser moved for approval of the vicinity plan with the staff recommendations. Mr. Bond seconded. Voting was seven to one, with Mr. Scienski opposed.
 
Item #6 Discussion of a possible sign at Windsor Valley in Vernon to advertise the development. This item was tabled.

Item #7 Consideration/Discussion/Possible Approval of a conditional use permit for Stephen Coombs to add a second residence, a 382-square-foot park model, that is to be used for an elderly parent. The parcel number is 106-70-084A, and the one-acre parcel is located at 50 County Road N3120 in the Wilderness Subdivision in Vernon. Mrs. Johnson said staff recommends approval of the application with the condition that it not be used as a rental.

 
Mr. Coombs said the park model would be used first for his elderly mother and then for his wife's mother so she can spend four to five months a year with them. He ran in a 400-amp service that splits off into a 200-amp subpanel, so he has more than enough electricity. It is situated behind the existing trees and close to the existing residence. His other house is only a one bedroom, under 800 square feet, and he does not plan on adding on. He has no plans for any sort of rental.
 
Mr. Scienski asked Mr. Coombs about his plans to position the park model as far away from his neighbors' residence as possible. He asked if his neighbors know he is going to do this and if they support his plans. Mr. Coombs said they all know about it. His next-door neighbor on the corner of County Roads 2119 and 2120 is Lord Arizona Water Systems, and the well for the water company is on that lot. This park model is on the northeast side of the property and is sitting between Mr. Coombs' house and the water company, so there are no residents right there. Mr. Scienski asked if the Wilderness has CC&Rs that he could be violating. Mr. Coombs said at this point there are no CC&Rs that actually may be applicable to them. When he bought the property he did not receive a copy. Because of the situation with the developer going bankrupt, they never implemented the CC&Rs to begin with. There basically are no CC&Rs in the area. Mr. Scienski asked for clarification on the definition of a park model.
 
Mr. Ollerton said it is a trailer that is under 400 square feet, so it does not require a building permit. Park models are used as permanent residences in many areas. Because it was being set up as a permanent residence, the department requested a conditional use permit.
 
Mr. Scienski moved for approval of the conditional use permit as presented.
 
Mrs. Hauser asked if that includes the condition that it never be used as a rental. Mr. Scienski amended his motion to include that condition. Mrs. Hauser asked if he would also like to ask the applicant to agree that if there is a point where his family members are no longer alive or if it is not being used that he would remove it from the premises.

Mr. Coombs said he would use it as a guest house since he has only one bedroom. The minimum distance is 15 feet, and that is what he is going to do. He would not rent it out. Mr. Tilford asked if it would be a permanent guest house. Mr. Coombs said it would, eventually, because of the cost to pull it off and the fact that he could not expand his house more than one more bedroom because he has a 1,000-gallon septic tank and cannot have more than three bedrooms total. Mr. Tilford asked if he would be opposed to doing some permanent skirting. Mr. Coombs said he plans to do the skirting and make a sidewalk between the two residences. Mr. Scienski amended his motion to approve the permit with the conditions that it not be used as a rental and that it is skirted in an appropriate fashion. Voting was unanimous.

Item #8 Consideration/Discussion/Possible Approval of a conditional use permit for Camp on Wheels to operate a Christian camp ministry for young people and adults on a 37.8-acre parcel. The parcel number is 102-22-003, and the legal description is SE4, NW4, T7N, R29E, Sec 9, located in the Apache Sitgreaves National Forest above Eagar. Mr. Tilford declared a conflict of interest. Mr. Copeland excused him. Mrs. Johnson said the closest residence is a mile away from the property. Staff asks for the following condition: if the applicant starts to run this as a business, he needs to apply for a new conditional use permit. Versatech has come up with a design element and structural format for the camp, and staff asks that the applicant provide that before this item goes to the Board of Supervisors. Staff recommends approval. Mr. Copeland asked if this will be seasonal or year-round. Mrs. Johnson said she thinks it will be year-round. Mr. Randy Wilson, from Sanders, said it will be seasonal for about eight to nine weeks in the summer and probably about five or six weekend retreats held throughout the rest of the year. Camp on Wheels is currently a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Mr. Bond asked if he has legal access from the Forest Service off Water Canyon Road. Mr. Wilson said he has talked with Jeff Rivera, the chief district ranger for Apache-Sitgreaves in Springerville, and he said he would have no problem with their having access. A gate is closed at times in the winter, but they would issue them a key to use. Mrs. Hauser asked if that needs to be in writing. Mr. Bond moved for approval of the conditional use permit with staff recommendations.

Mr. Schertz seconded.

Voting was unanimous.
 
Item #9 Consideration/Discussion/Possible Approval of a conditional use permit for Kenneth and Arleen Burke to construct a multi-unit dwelling consisting of four one-bedroom apartments. The parcel number is 201-30-057A, and the location of this property is the intersection of Dawn Lane and Mobile Drive in Concho Valley Unit 4, Concho Valley. This item has been withdrawn.
 
Item #10 Consideration/Discussion/Possible Approval of a conditional use permit for Alan and Larry Watkins to run a salvage yard on a 20-acre parcel. The parcel number is 105-12-001B, and the legal description is Sec 26, T9N, R29E, W2 of SW4 located just outside Springerville bordered on two sides by state lands. Mr. Ollerton said this application will take an existing business that uses approximately 4 acres in Springerville with an excessive number of cars and move it out to a 20-acre parcel. They will have a shop to disassemble cars. Staff has reviewed this application related to the concerns with the runoff and drainage. The drainage report shows a drainage basin with an interceptor ditch that will help collect any of the runoff that may be hazardous. The staff report states that the project is consistent with the Zoning Ordinance. It is located away from small lots, and it appears to be a good fit for the area. Staff has concerns about stormwater runoff from the junk cars. The applicant should check with DEQ to address any rules or policies. The applicant should also address access to the property. Staff suggests requiring a 10-foot setback from the property line for storing cars on the property.
 
Mr. Alan Watkins said he will have legal access up the east side of the property. {UNINTELLIGIBLE} Mr. Copeland asked what type of fence will be installed around the storage yard. Mr. Watkins said it will be a chain-link fence, probably 6 feet high.
 
Mr. Bond asked if it will be webbed. Mr. Watkins said it will if the Commission requires it.
 
Mrs. Hauser asked what can be seen from the highway and from other areas.
 
Mr. Watkins said it is above the city on top of the rim out of Springerville.
 
Mrs. Hauser asked if the fencing is the only thing that will screen it from sight.

Mr. Watkins said there is only one house in the whole area on its level. It is above the rest.

Mrs. Hauser asked about planting trees or something like that in addition to the fencing. Mr. Watkins said he has plans for planting trees.
 
Mr. Copeland said the web fencing would be a plus. He would also like to see a stipulation that the cars not be stacked above the height of the fence.
 
Mr. Tilford said he has reservations without having seen the property. He wants to know what people will see from the road and what they will see on a regular basis.
 
Mr. Scienski said he would not have a problem with that. Mrs. Hauser said she would go. Mr. Tilford moved to table the item until the next meeting so the Commission has time to do a site visit. Mr. Schertz seconded.
 
Mrs. Hauser asked if the vehicles are typically stacked and, if so, how high. Mr. Watkins said the cars will have been drained and then they will be put in a parallel line so if there is any dismantling they can be picked up and taken back to the building to do that dismantling to prevent spillage {UNINTELLIGIBLE}. Mrs. Hauser asked if a company ever comes in to do crushing and haul out to prevent any more spillage. {UNINTELLIGIBLE} Mr. Watkins said they do their own. {UNINTELLIGIBLE} He said his place is becoming too small, however. Mr. Schertz seconded. Voting was unanimous.
 
Item #11 Consideration/Discussion/Possible Approval of a conditional use permit for Greg and Shelly Thompson to construct five cabins and use them as overnight rentals on a 2.6-acre parcel. The parcel number is 101-19-058A, and the property is located at 42679 U.S. Highway 180, Alpine.
Mrs. Johnson said that staff has concluded that the application is compatible with the Alpine area and the character of the area is such that the application fits with the uses and nature of Alpine. The neighbors are not only separated by a road but also by topography. They are several feet below this project. The project will be facing southwest, and each cabin will have the views of the mountain. Staff sent letters to the neighbors and received two letters from neighbors in favor of the project. No letters of opposition have been received. Staff recommends approval.
 
Mr. Thompson said at this time they have intentions of building only five overnight rental cabins. They think that possibly two to five years later they may want to add two or three more, maybe one at a time. They have the room. He asked the Commission to consider approving a couple more cabins. Mr. Tilford asked if they could amend their plat to show three additional cabins and submit it for next month's meeting, or if they should come back in two years with a new application Mr. Ollerton said he would recommend they come back with a new application since this has already been noticed, and the site plan and design study have been developed. Those things would need to be done for the additional three. The department is also considering zoning, which may address this by itself. Mrs. Hauser asked if correct signage and lighting have been addressed. Mr. Thompson said they have not. He said he, however, plans a sign. They have an existing sign on the property that has had Tal-wi-wi Lodge on it for 15 or 20 years. They made an agreement with previous owners to put their business's name on that sign and refurbish it. Mrs. Hauser asked if it is currently lighted. Mr. Thompson said he would like to have it lighted. Mrs. Hauser said he should get with staff on the proper signage and lighting under the Ordinance. Mr. Tilford asked if he would agree to a stipulation that the property not be further subdivided. Mr. Thompson said yes. Mr. Tilford asked if they are following all the requirements with the sanitary district. Mr. Thompson said they have already gotten approval from the sanitary district, from the Alpine Water Company, and from Navopache Electric Co-op. Mr. Tilford moved for approval with the conditions that the signage comply with Article 7 of the Zoning Ordinance and that the property not be further subdivided. Mr. Scienski seconded. Voting was unanimous.

Item #12 Consideration/Discussion/Possible Approval of a conditional use permit for Tom Brown to construct one main cabin and six bunkhouse cabins on a 7-acre parcel. The parcel number is 212-27-012A, and the property is located off County Road 5020. Mr. Ollerton said the 7-acre parcel is being split off a 9.32-acre parcel. Staff has a signature sheet from the owner (the person selling the lot) approving of the application. The permit is for the buyer. The big cabin is 61 feet by 41 feet. The six smaller cabins are 12 feet by 16 feet. The lot is surrounded by similar-sized lots ranging from 4 to 40 acres. This area is mostly high plains. Access to the property is from County Road 5020. The application shows two bathrooms connected to a septic system. They considered two composting toilets with a shower facility using a gray water system. He thinks they have abandoned that idea, however, and are going to hook that central bathroom facility into the septic system. There will be a shared well using solar energy.

Mr. Ollerton said there are several counties that are looking at this type of development, trying to define single-family homes. The applicant has indicated that this will be used for family only, that this will not be used commercially. Staff asks that that be a condition. If it is to be used commercially, the applicant will have to come back for a new conditional use permit. Because it is not commercial, drainage reports are not required, or an in-depth analysis on the use of the property, for example, parking and access to the property. If this were to be used commercially, staff would ask for a new conditional use permit. Staff asks that they acquire septic and building permits. Mr. Brown, of Mesa, asked if it is true that it could never be rented out. They will, however, primarily use it for family. Mr. Ollerton said they would have to reapply. Mr. Copeland asked what the size of his family is.
 
Mr. Brown said he has 7 children and 3.8 grandchildren.
 
Mr. Copeland asked why he needs 192 seats in the main cabin. Mr. Brown said they are planning on having many more grandchildren.
 
Mr. Copeland said that is potentially a lot of parking.
 
Mr. Brown said they are part of a large extended family. That is not necessarily a lot of cars but a lot of people.
 
Mr. Copeland said it is a lot of both. He said Mr. Brown needs to reevaluate the number of toilets in order to comply with code.

Mr. Brown said they currently have four. He said they want to make sure there are plenty of toilets available, however.

Mr. Schertz moved for approval of the conditional use permit as applied for with the stipulation that the cabins not be rented out at any time and if the intention is to do so that they resubmit for another permit. Mr. Scienski seconded. Voting was unanimous.
 
Item #13 Consideration/Discussion/Possible Approval of Article 22 of the Apache County Zoning Ordinance, Adult-oriented Business. Mr. Ollerton said this is phase one of several. The adult ordinance will be added to the county Zoning Ordinance as Article 22. It is pretty detailed on the definitions, where these businesses can be located, how they can be located, and how they can operate. He said although it has been several years since the county has had an application of this sort, applications will come as the population continues to grow. The county needs to prepare for them. There have been some suggestions. In Section 2204(B), there was a suggestion to increase the distance these businesses should be from a list of things ' churches, schools, residential zones, public parks, other entertainment businesses, and alcoholic beverage'type businesses ' from 1,000 to 3,000 feet. The reference to this in subsection 2204(E) would also change to 3,000 feet. In subsection 2214(B)(1)(f) the health department, fire department, and building department would be changed to the Community Development Department. Subsection 2214(B)(3) would have the same change. The text at the end of the subsection, ―within 20 days of receipt of the application by the county‖ would be deleted. In subsection 2214(C)(3) the temporary license has been taken out. In addition, the application process shall be completed within 60, not 30, days. Wherever there was health department, fire department, and Planning and Zoning Department, it has been changed to Community Development Department. Staff recommends approval. This has been properly noticed in the newspaper as a public hearing.
 
Mr. Copeland asked if this excludes or includes family-oriented nudist colony resorts. Since they are located throughout the country now, they have to be included or have a zone for them at some point. There are national organizations for them.
 
Mr. Ollerton said he thinks this would address it indirectly because of the definitions of nudity, and those definitions fall under this Ordinance.

Mr. Copeland said children are there, and employees and visitors are nude. A couple in the county now are operating illegally. Mr. Ollerton said the department has not received a complaint.

Mr. Copeland said that needs to be clarified. Mr. Ollerton said he would be willing to clarify that before it goes before the Board of Supervisors. Mr. Ken Isaacson, of St. Johns, suggested not allowing adult-oriented businesses in the county at all.
 
Mr. Copeland said the Supreme Court has said you cannot do that.
 
Mr. Ollerton said that according to counsel, if something in there is illegal, if the county is taken to court, the whole Ordinance will be thrown out.
 
Mrs. Hauser said they cannot make it too prohibitive.
 
Mr. Ollerton said this is a pretty good ordinance. The condition to require it to be 3,000 feet from churches, schools, and residential zones means that an industrial zone has to be larger than a square mile, because that business would have to be in the middle of that industrial zone.
 
Mr. Carlyon said zoning them out would be prohibitive.
 
Mrs. Hauser moved for approval of Article 22 with the changes and input from staff.
 
Mr. Bond seconded.
 
Mr. Copeland asked if this is the only type of business in the county that requires a business license. Mr. Ollerton said it is at this point. Mr. Copeland asked if that could be considered discriminatory.
 
Mr. Ollerton said no. If there were a lot of people here today opposing this, staff would have considered doing this whole process as a business license. Staff is considering a business license for regular businesses.
 
Mr. Pope, of Concho, said he understands that the circuit and federal courts have ruled that local government sets the standard for obscenity. The people of Apache County have the authority to say they do not want this here at all. The idea that one cannot legislate morality is not true. This is the first step in legislating immorality by allowing these things to take place in the county.

Mr. Coombs said he thinks the Article should be approved so some standards are set. The county would otherwise have a hard time challenging the opening of a business of this type.

 
Mrs. Hauser said she was on the Commission when an application of this type came up before, and it was unpleasant. It did not have anything to help in dealing with that subject. When the application came up several years ago, Mr. Ollerton said there were no guidelines to use to reject it other than people's moral standards, which do not stand up in a court of law. The Board of Supervisors and the Commission both denied the project, and it went away, but the property owner could have sued the county. With this Ordinance the county is able to at least require a rezoning, and this process requires only 20 percent of the neighboring properties to oppose it to bring it to a full vote. It is a lot more direct. Voting was unanimous.
 
Item #14 Approval of the 2008 Planning and Zoning Commission's regular meeting schedule. Mrs. Hauser moved for approval.
 
Mr. Tilford recommended a January 8 meeting (Tuesday) instead of January 3. Mrs. Hauser said her motion includes that change.
 
Mr. Bond seconded. Voting was unanimous.
 
Item #15 Elect a new chairperson and vice-chairperson for the Planning and Zoning Commission for 2008.
 
Mrs. Hauser said she served as chair for 18 years and said it is good to rotate that position. She said she has nominated Mr. Copeland every time. She has been comfortable in his leadership and thinks he has done a wonderful job, but she wants to give him some relief. Mrs. Hauser moved to nominate Mr. Tilford as chairman for 2008.
 
Mr. Copeland seconded the motion. Voting was unanimous. Mr. Tilford moved to nominate
 
Mr. Copeland as vice-chairman for 2008. Mr. Scienski seconded. Voting was unanimous.
 
Mr. Ollerton explained that two commissioners' terms are ending. The department will send
 
Mr. Lucas a plaque, and Mr. Ollerton presented one to Mr. Schertz to commemorate five years on the Commission.

Item #16 Adjourn. Mr. Copeland adjourned the meeting at 4:06 p.m.

 
     
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