P&Z Meeting Minutes – 05/04/2017


Event Details

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MINUTES FOR May 4, 2017

In Attendance:

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

Work Session

Call to Order 12:07 p.m.

Item #1    Discussion of the Comprehensive Plan and update on community meetings to be held around the county.

Devin Brown updated the commission of the community meetings held in Concho and Greer and future meetings. He explained the process he used for gathering the communities issues, concerns and goals. He also highlighted some of the communities’ main concerns.

Commissioner John Freeman suggested to possibly include in the upcoming meeting for Greer what the relationship was between the Comprehensive Land Use Plan, the ordinance and the community plans derived for a certain district.

Commissioner Terry Smith provided his opinion of the meeting in Concho and gave recommendations for future meetings mentioning the communities concerns with animal control. Commissioner Bobby Fite noted the past animal control officer was employed by the county Sheriff’s office and recommended a push to reinstate that position for the county. Discussion of the communities’ current water issues.

Mr. Freeman commended Mr. Brown for managing the meetings on a more personal level.

Item #2    Discussion about amending or adding to the Zoning Ordinance or Building Code. Specifically, discussion on these topics:

a.    Changing building codes to allow for tiny houses less than 400 square feet. Apache County has no zoning laws that prohibit tiny houses. Therefore this is a discussion of modifying building codes for tiny houses.

Mr. Brown presented the item, referring to the proposed regulations of Coconino County and explained the history behind their creating the regulations, he added they had been working on these regulations for two (2) years.

Mr. Brown explained the concerns for having an ordinance or policy for Apache County and the different meanings of Tiny Homes. He also explained having a policy vs. an ordinance.

Commissioners discussed preparing a proposed ordinance and putting on the next agenda or in the work session for further discussion. It was decided to place this on the next agenda in the work session.

Chairman Jim Thornhill clarified this would only effect those homes 400 square feet or less not mother-in-law homes as those were a separate issue. Mr. Brown agreed.

Mr. Smith expressed concerns with the possible creation of a small subdivision on a 2 acre lot and questioned how many tiny homes would be allowed on a parcel, noting the process for getting a mother-in-law house currently.

Item #3    Discussion of a proposed policy on how the Commission would respond to cases that involve false, misleading, or fraudulent information before, during, and after an application has been decided.  

Mr. Freeman presented the item. Commissioners and Attorney Joe Young discuss the proposed policy and drafting a policy and placing it on the next agenda in the work session to discuss further vs the procedural processes in place now.

Attorney Joe Young advised the commission that he and Attorney Josh Covey would need to leave the meeting soon and would not be available for the regular meeting and assured the commission that Mr. Brown would be able to handle the rest of the meeting.

Commissioner Kay Hauser questioned the procedure for those developing without going through the process of special permits and noted a possible violation of a development by the “Y”. Mr. Brown explained the violation process. Mr. Freeman added that the commission had the right to call a zoning case. Mr. Young stated the commission has the right to request investigations.

Mr. Freeman questioned adding executive session language to the agenda for any possible need.  Attorney Joe Young stated he did not feel the language needed to be added as an executive session had to be for a specific item, a specific reason and reference a statute. He did not agree with adding the language just for a possible need. Mr. Brown noted that in the opening meeting law training they were stricter on what happens in an executive session. Commissioners discussed further, provided insight, opinions and concerns. Mr. Miranda noted an executive session gave the perception of non-transparency and would be counterproductive.  Mrs. Hauser noted the commission was a recommending board and did not see a need for adding the language. Mr. Freeman disagreed.

Adjourned 12:54 p.m.

Commission Meeting

Item #1    Call to Order

Chairman Jim Thornhill called the meeting to order at 1:00 p.m.

Item #2    Roll Call/Determination of a Quorum

Chairman Jim Thornhill stated a quorum was present.

Item #3    Approval of the minutes from the April 6, 2017 meeting

No Discussion.

Chairman Jim Thornhill opened for a motion.
Commissioner Terry Smith moved to approve the April 6, 2017 minutes.
Vice-Chairman Oscar Miranda seconded the motion.
Voting is unanimous.

Item #4    Public hearing, consideration and possible recommendation for approval allowing Sun State Towers to construct a 195 foot self-support wireless communications tower designed to support additional wireless carriers. Property is located near U.S. 60 and the Refuse Transfer Station, Vernon, AZ. A.P.N 106-39-006.

Mr. Brown provided staff report and recommended approval. Mr. Smith questioned if this was a Verizon tower. Mr. Brown clarified Sun State was the developer of the tower and would rent space to multiple carriers.

Chairman Jim Thornhill opened the public session.

Eric Hurley, representative of the applicant stated that Verizon would be their first carrier on the tower and they market to other carriers to fill the other space.

Mr. Smith asked when the tower would be built. Mr. Hurley stated they were still going through other approval processes but they anticipated by the end of 2017 or first quarter of 2018.

Commissioners discussed expiration of CUP’s.

Mr. Miranda noted a discrepancy in the location description provided with the application and clarified the location of the tower for the record.

Commissioner Bobby Fite questioned if Sun State was the developer for the Nutrioso tower. Mr. Hurley stated he was not sure of the other towers in Apache County. Mr. Brown stated he thought that was Reg Destree. Discussion regarding the relationship between Sun State and Reg Destree.

Mr. Freeman asked how many other tower applications Sun State had within the county and their locations. Mr. Hurley stated this was the second one but could not recall where the other tower was located. Mr. Brown added the tower in Greer. Mr. Hurley agreed.

Chairman Jim Thornhill closed the public session.

Chairman Jim Thornhill opened to the commission.

Mr. Freeman stated there were several tower applications that had not developed, specifically the Greer tower that was coming close to the two (2) year CUP expiration. He felt it would be respectful to the community and to the commission that the applicants follow through with their commitments so as to demonstrate not just a marketing ploy. He recommended adding a stipulation to the approvals based on their completion of the tower.

Commissioners discussed applicants keeping faith, marketing strategies, two year limitations, stipulations being added to the application, attaching performance bonds, securing tower locations and co-locating on the towers.

Chairman Jim Thornhill opened for a motion.

Vice-Chairman Oscar Miranda motioned to approve the application as submitted.
Commissioner Kay Hauser seconded the motion.

Commissioner Terry Smith requested to amend the motion by adding a stipulation with a two (2) year time limit. Commissioners discussed the two (2) year limit already in the ordinance.

Vice-Chairman Oscar Miranda did not accept the stipulation, moved to approve the application as submitted.

Chairman Jim Thornhill called the question.

Voting is 6 ayes to 1 nay.
Motion carried.

Item #5    Public hearing, consideration and possible recommendation for approval of amended versions of the Subdivision Ordinance Section 10 Reversion to Acreage and the Zoning Ordinance Section 740 Lot Combination. The Reversion to Acreage amendment would create three separate processes: minor plat amendment, major plat amendment, and abandonment—all of which apply only to lots within subdivisions. The Lot Combination amendment would simplify the procedures and only applies to parcels outside of a subdivision.

Devin Brown provided staff report and explained that the proposed fees were not noticed with the public hearing notice of the amendments.

Commissioners discussed the options and agreed to table this item until the next meeting so notice requirements could be met and the applications and fees would be decided on at the same time as the amendments.

Chairman Jim Thornhill opened for a motion.
Commissioner John Freeman moved to table the amendments.
Vice-Chairman Oscar Miranda seconded the motion.
Voting is unanimous.

Item #6    Call to the Public (Forms must be turned in at this time).

No public comments.

Item #7    Adjourn

Chairman Jim Thornhill opened for a motion.
Commissioner John Freeman moved to adjourn.
Commissioner Terry Smith seconded the motion.
Voting is unanimous.

Adjourned 1:26 p.m.