P&Z Meeting Minutes – 01/05/2017


Event Details

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January 5, 2017

In Attendance:

Commissioners  Staff
Jim Thornhill, Chairman (Absent) Devin Brown, Director
Oscar Miranda, Vice-Chairman Shanna Pearce, Executive Assistant
Dan Muth Joe Young, Chief Deputy Attorney
Kay Hauser Greg Green, Building Official
Carey Dobson (Absent)
Bobby Fite (Absent)
John Freeman
Brad Peterson
Terry Smith
Michael Bragiel

Work Session

Call to Order 12:20p.m.

Item #1  Discussion of the agenda items below

No discussion.

Item #2  Discussion about updating the Comprehensive Plan

Director Devin Brown explained the need for an updated comprehensive plan. He explained the process for readopting the current plan or creating a new plan, noted either way would require community involvement.

Discussion on the associated costs, the use of grants and labor involved. Mr. Brown stated without grants a lot would fall on staff, any commissioners and/or community members willing to help. Mr. Brown felt it would take a year to complete the process and added they would follow the participation plan that was adopted in 1999.

Discussion on the process and getting things accomplished. Mr. Brown explained and added Supervisor Doyel Shamley had given some ideas to help with the process and tailor it to the county needs now and into the future.

Commissioner John Freeman provided his experience when getting Article 6 adopted for Greer and getting the community involved.

Mr. Miranda agreed that putting together a new community plan would be best, recommended getting participation from the communities’ and expressed his concerns with the lack of participation from different groups and coming up with a substantial product.

Mr. Miranda invited community member George Walsh to address the commission.

Mr. Walsh stated the community plan was not completed and suggested to have a community plan for each community.  Mr. Miranda provided background for the community plan started for Alpine but never completed. Mr. Brown provided some ideas for getting this done.

Commissioner Brad Peterson provided his experiences when on other boards and developing comprehensive plans.

Mr. Freeman explained Prop 207 and how it related to the development of a comprehensive plan. Mr. Young explained further.

Commissioner Michael Bragiel suggested to have a calendar for timelines and recommended that for those communities’ that didn’t want to be involved would fall under the county guidelines. Mr. Miranda agreed and suggested to have a calendar set by the next meeting and also to have a schedule of events.

Commissioner Dan Muth explained A.R.S and the jurisdiction of counties; he recommended to be sensitive to and include the incorporated communities’ zoning.

Mr. Freeman suggested putting together a straw plan showing the timelines and steps. Mr. Brown explained what his participation would be in the development of a new comprehensive plan.

Item #3  Discussion about amending the Lot Combination ordinance

Mr. Brown explained the process when simply removing a lot line to combine lots within a subdivision. He provided to the commission Cochise County’s subdivision regulations and explained their process. Mr. Muth agreed and felt streamlining the process would be easier for the landowner when there are no effects on the right a ways or easements.

Mr. Muth explained what the reversion to acreage process did to subdivisions CCR’s, HOA’s, and POA’s and intent of the subdivision.

Mr. Smith asked what would happen if lots were combined and the land owner wanted to build a house on top of a water easement. Mr. Muth replied that it would be another process; any public dedication created by the plat would have to be vacated by a board action, going through P&Z and then the BOS.

Discussion regarding federal access easements for homesteads.

Mr. Brown explained zombie subdivisions with in the county and added that by making the process easier may help to get those subdivisions cleaned up.

Discussion of the process for state approved subdivisions and the jurisdiction of 36+ acre subdivisions.

Mr. Miranda clarified that is was not the intent to interfere with anyone’s rights, interest, or title to property; it was an idea allowing a landowner to be able to use their lots in his best interest.

Mr. Muth felt some of this would be taken care of by clearly defining the difference between parcels and lots.

Adjourn 12:54p.m.

Commission Meeting

Item #1  Call to Order

Vice – Chairman Oscar Miranda called the meeting to order at 1:06p.m.

Item #2  Roll Call/Determination of a Quorum

Vice – Chairman Oscar Miranda stated a quorum was present.

Item #3     Public Communications (Forms must be turned in at this time)

Public communication forms collected and turned in.

Vice-Chairman Oscar Miranda invited George Walsh to address the commission.

George Walsh, Vernon, AZ requested to place on a future agenda training for the commission and staff by the county attorney’s office relating to due process of property rights and public participation due process and also the discussion of Article 23 – Medical Marijuana ordinance, added it’s been in limbo since January 2015, there had been no changes made and felt it was an excess of power.

Item #4  Approval of the minutes from the October 6, 2016 meeting

No discussion.

Vice – Chairman Oscar Miranda opened for a motion.
Commissioner Terry Smith moved to approve the minutes.
Commissioner Brad Peterson seconded the motion.
Voting is 5 ayes, 0 nays, 2 abstention; Commissioners John Freeman and Kay Hauser were not present at the October 6, 2016 meeting.

Item #5    Elect a new Chairman and Vice-Chairman for 2017

Vice – Chairman Oscar Miranda opened for a motion.

Commissioner Kay Hauser motioned to nominate Jim Thornhill for chairman.
Commissioner Michael Bragiel seconded the motion.

Mr. Miranda opened for discussion.

Commissioner John nominated Oscar Miranda for chairman. Mr. Miranda stated the commission needed to vote on the motion on the floor. Mr. Freeman recommended the commission vote no on the motion to allow for further discussion.

Mr. Miranda called the question for nominating Jim Thornhill for the 2017 chairman.
Voting is 3 ayes, 4 nays.
Motion failed.

Mr. Miranda opened for discussion of nominating a chair person for 2017.

Mr. Freeman motioned to open the floor for nominations for the chair of P&Z commission and nominated Oscar Miranda for the 2017 chair person.

Mr. Miranda opened for nomination. Mrs. Hauser nominated Jim Thornhill. Mr. Miranda felt he should abstain from the vote and discussion and added he felt that Mr. Thornhill had more experience and advised it was for the commission to make a decision. Mr. Peterson provided his opinion on having more than one nominee. Mr. Freeman provided his thoughts regarding Mr. Thornhill and his past service on the commission, he felt there were opportunities for some changes in style that would significantly benefit the commission.

Mr. Miranda called the question for Mr. Thornhill to be the chairman for 2017.
Voting is 3 ayes, 3 nays. Mr. Miranda voted for Jim Thornhill to be the chairman for 2017.
Motion approved for Jim Thornhill to be the chairman for 2017, 4 ayes, 3 nays.

Mr. Miranda opened for discussion and nominating of a new vice-chair for 2017.

Mrs. Hauser nominated Oscar Miranda for vice-chair.
Mr. Bragiel second the motion.

No other nominations.

Voting is unanimous.

Item #6  Setting the time and place for monthly meetings for 2017

Discussion regarding when the meeting schedule should have been on the agenda and holding the meetings earlier in the day.

Vice-Chairman Oscar Miranda opened for a motion.
Commissioner Kay Hauser moved to approve.
Commissioner Brad Peterson seconded the motion.
Voting unanimous.

Item #7  Report from Staff to the Commission

Director Devin Brown provided staff report, outlined his future agenda items to go along with developing the comprehensive plan and creating and/or amending ordinances.

Mr. Freeman requested to add a clarification from the attorney’s office relating to the extent and the scope of the commission when initiating a general plan request, opening a case on specific zoning issues and generating a hearing.

Mr. Muth brought up non-conforming parcels less than one acre that are undevelopable under the current code and noted the issues he has had in Alpine when they are hooked to city utilities. Mr. Brown explained when hooked to city utilities vs. septic.

Item #8  Commissioner’s comments or directions to Staff

Mr. Freeman requested clarification of the commissions’ responsibility when faced with a case based on false, misleading, or fraudulent information from an applicant or their representative; both at the moment of application or discovered after the fact and added that the commission had been faced with cases where the commission was informed and proceeded to approve. He asked what the liability was of those members that voted in approval vs. those that voted in opposition and asked what the general liability of the commission as a whole would be and what action could the commission, both at the moment of application and after the fact. He questioned if the commission could call a re-call a case where they find out they have been misled with the facts of the truth. Mr. Miranda felt this would be included in the training. Mr. Freeman disagreed and stated it was a pertinent issue at this moment and added he knew of a blanket clause, that when acting in good faith without knowledge thereof you were covered, but questioned what happened when you have knowledge and act. Mr. Young spoke to his concerns and added he would look further into after the fact. Mr. Young added that in general, if the board or individuals, acting reasonably or on a reasonable bases, were protected. Mr. Freeman questioned the meaning of reasonable. Mr. Young stated he would research further and advised that in general the commission had liability for most things, including being presented with false information and acting,  and noted that the decision to approve may be based on other reasons and encouraged the board not to be fearful when taking action on things they see as reasonable.

Mr. Freeman asked for a definition of what constituted a real legal opinion, which enabled the commission to act in accordance with the specific statutes and standard of the law.

Mr. Freeman questioned if it was in violation of open meeting law when boring down the discussion of a case, by providing past history and how things were determined to be true but now contemporary, not in the immediate little box that the application was put in.

Mr. Miranda suggested to add the concerns Mr. Walsh had earlier to the list for training.

Item #9  Adjourn

Vice-Chairman Oscar Miranda opened for a motion.
Commissioner John Freeman moved to adjourn.
Commissioner Mike Bragiel seconded the motion.
Voting unanimous.

Adjourned 1:33p.m.