City of Mesa Planning Minutes for Pacific Proving Grounds North

The information is a little outdated (June 20,2012) but so far, it has some of the best information about the back and forth banter about what Pacific Proving Grounds North will be like as a neighborhood:


Z12-27 (District 6) The 5200 to 6900 blocks of the South Crismon Road alignment (east and west side). Located on the north side of the future State Route 24 freeway alignment between Ellsworth Road and Signal Butte Road; southern portion of the former General Motors Proving Grounds (485± acres). District 6. Rezone from Maricopa County Rural 43 SUP to City of Mesa LI. This request will establish City zoning on recently annexed property. Pacific Proving LLC, owner; Beus Gilbert PLC, applicant.

Comments: This case was on the consent agenda for continuance; however, the applicant asked to make a presentation to the Board.

Paul Gilbert and Susan Demmit 4800 North Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale. Mr. Gilbert stated they were discussing Pacific Proving Grounds North which is 484 acres north of the future State Route 24 Freeway. They were not discussing the area south of the freeway. The developer was Harvard Development Canada; Harvard investment Master Developer Texas and Arizona. He stated they had developed Talking Rock in Prescott Arizona. He stated in October 2011 the requested Planned Community Zoning. They had held weekly meeting with City staff since January 2012. They had not had anyone show up for their neighborhood meetings. They were working with Mesa Phoenix Gateway Airport as well as Boeing. He stated they had also met with DMB to discuss infrastructure for the two developments.

He stated they are in the area of the Mesa Gateway Strategic Plan which states the area should be a Mixed use Community District and that it is prime area for residential. They line up with the four planning principles: parks, compact, walkable, interconnected streets. There would be 5 development units; one along Ellsworth will have retail and multi-family; 2 and 4 will have single family residential; D3 and D4 which are south of Williams Field will have employment and retail, no residential.

They will have a Community Plan which will be the foundation of the plan. There will be DUP Design Guidelines, general locations, acreage of each land use group, master reports. Any non single family residential will come to the Planning and Zoning Board. Staff will approve units 2 and 4. Chair Carter stated he was concerned with the proliferation of RSL development proposed for this area. He asked if they would sell off parcels and allow developers to build whatever they want. Mr. Gilbert stated they don’t want overbuild of all small lots either. Boardmember Coons stated their documents say up to 95% can be RSL. Mr. Gilbert stated they want a diversity of housing. According to the DUP, staff would have the authority to say no if they thought there were too many small lots. Plats would still have to come to this Board. The community plan would allow them to deny plats. Chair Carter was concerned with the Board only seeing projects at the very end of the process. How will they maintain the proper balance? Mr. Gilbert stated they can appeal staff decisions to the Planning and Zoning Board. Boardmember Coons confirmed the design guidelines would be part of the DUP’s. The design guidelines would be very important to this project.

Mr. Gilbert stated there would be site plan review and design review of single family residential, all multi-family would need Design Review Board approval. There would be checks and balances, all single family residential would have plat review by the Planning and Zoning Board.

Chair Carter confirmed the builder would submit product review to staff, who would review it against the Design Guidelines. He was concerned that such an important site not be developed by builders who want the smallest, cheapest product they can build.MINUTES OF THE JUNE 20, 2012 PLANNING AND ZONING MEETING

Mr. Gilbert stated Community residential would be moderate density 6,000, 7,000, 9,000 square foot lots with reduced set backs. 10% net lot area useable open space. 4,000 square foot lots 2 – 4 thousand only if unique and must be earned. 5% net lot area must be usable open space. Chair Carter questioned 5’ rear yards. Mr. Gilbert stated there would be 65 acres of parks. 

Every home would be within 300’ of a park, trail or open space.

Boardmember Coons stated she appreciated the answers and presentation.

Chair Carter stated he thought they would have a very nice development.

It was moved by Boardmember Beth Coons, seconded by Boardmember Lisa Hudson

That: The Board continue case Z12-27 to the July 18, 2012 meeting

Vote: Passed 5 – 0 (Boardmember Arnett absent)

* *


And from their July 18,2012 meeting:

Regarding quality, he stated Mr. Coen and Mr. Levine had a lot of people contacting them to buy this property. They felt Harvard Investment would do the quality job they needed to ensure the project south of the freeway will work. He stated they would include quality parks and trail systems, with 65 acres of parks and open space, and 8 miles of trails and pathways. There would be community open space as opposed to private open space. There would be a minimal usable open space requirement with 10% for community residential and 5% for community residential small lots. They had increased the minimum rear yard setback to 10’. For the small lot residential approximately 1,600 sq. ft. would be setbacks and open space, for 7,000 sq. ft. lots 2,400 sq. ft. would be open space and setbacks. Each development unit would have guidelines. For DU2 and DU4 the Planning and Zoning Board would not see the guidelines, so they were proposing a new condition “the residential development design standards as required by Chapter 7.4C of the Community Plan shall be distributed to the Planning and Zoning Board for review and comment as part of the administrative staff review and approval process. A study session shall be held with the Planning and Zoning Board to discuss the proposed design guidelines upon request by the Planning and Zoning Board”. Mr. Gilbert then presented the entry features as an example of their proposed quality. For DU1, DU3, and DU5 the Planning and Zoning Board would review. The Board would also review Subdivision Plats for all development. The Planning and Zoning Board would be able to review the Subdivision Plats against the Design Guidelines.
Regarding changes being made to the Community Plan, a majority of the changes would be to the Land Use Budget. Two of the changes were to conform to stipulations 23 and 24 addressed setbacks and definitions.
Boardmember Beth Coons confirmed they could go to smaller lots but that would trigger a whole new set of requirements and guidelines. They did not anticipate having many lots smaller than 4,000 sq. ft. They were asking for flexibility. Boardmember Coons confirmed that DU2 and DU4 there was about 384 acres, so for community residential and community residential small lot 95% or 362 acres could be 2,000 sq. ft. lots. Mr. Gilbert stated they could not sell a subdivision with only 2,000 sq. ft. lots. Also staff would not approve the subdivision because it was not a variety of development. Then they would have to receive Subdivision approval from the Planning and Zoning Board. Boardmember Coons was concerned with the 95% statement. She liked allowing flexibility, but to the extreme 95% was a concern. Mr. Gilbert stated the internal controls were put there to insure that would not happen.
Planning Director John Wesley, then stated he agreed with Mr. Gilbert regarding the items that were in the Community Plan that gives some assurance that as those come in, if there is too much of one kind the internal controls would come in. He stated they had talked about setting arbitrary percentages but decided they wanted to let the market set the design. He suggested the Board could let the 95% remain for the community residential and establish a smaller percentage for the small lot residential.
Chair Randy Carter confirmed that the plats would come before the Planning and Zoning Board. The Board could then turn down the plats if there were too much of one type.
It was moved by Boardmember Suzanne Johnson, seconded by Boardmember Brad Arnett
That: The Board recommend to the City Council approval of zoning case Z12-27 conditioned upon:
1. Compliance with the Zoning Ordinance and all City development codes and regulations for the proposed development.
Vote: Passed 6 – 0


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