City Council Work Session (Amended)


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  8.       
Meeting Date: 08/25/2020  
From: Dan Symer, Zoning Code Manager

TITLE
Consideration of a Zoning Map Amendment to Rezone Areas of the City to the Proposed Neighborhood Community Commercial (NCC) Zone
STAFF RECOMMENDED ACTION:
Hold a work session to allow the City Council and the public to ask questions, seek clarification, have discussions, offer comments and provide direction on the concept of a Zoning Map Amendment to rezone areas of the city to the proposed Neighborhood Community Commercial (NCC) zone.
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:
To achieve the intent of the High Occupancy Housing (HOH) Plan’s implementation strategies (see Chapters 4 and 5 of the HOH Plan) to lower the Community Commercial (CC) zone’s allowed building height from 60 feet to 45 feet (Strategies to be implemented by 2019, bullet 5, page 102), the staff is seeking direction from the City Council on the concept of a Zoning Map Amendment to rezone areas of the North End, Southside, and Sunnyside neighborhoods from the Community Commercial (CC) zone to the proposed Neighborhood Community Commercial (NCC) zone. The proposed Neighborhood Community Commercial (NCC) zone allows a maximum building height of 45 feet. The Zoning Map Amendment will enable the City Council to be precise with the locations where the Neighborhood Community Commercial (NCC) zone is placed while maintaining the existing Community Commercial (CC) zone in specific areas.
INFORMATION:
I. City Council Questions
For your reference, below is a general overview of the questions on which the staff is seeking the City Council’s comments and direction.
  • Does the City Council desire to initiate a Zoning Map Amendment to rezone areas of the city to the Neighborhood Community Commercial (NCC) zone?
  • What neighborhoods, North End, Southside, and/or Sunnyside, with the existing Community Commercial (CC) zone, should be rezoned to the Neighborhood Community Commercial (NCC) zone?
  • Should properties that abut and/or are adjacent to commercial corridor streets (e.g., Fourth St, Cedar Ave, Butler Ave, Humphreys St, Beaver St, San Francisco St, etc.) maintain the existing Community Commercial (CC) zone?
  • Are there any other areas of the North End, Southside, and Sunnyside neighborhoods that should maintain the existing Community Commercial (CC) zone?  (e.g., Fort Valley Shopping Center (north of the intersection of Humphreys St and Columbus Ave), the properties on the north side of Cherry Ave between Humphreys St and Agassiz St, etc.)
II. Background Summary
As a result of the comments received at the public open house meetings and Planning and Zoning Commission’s Work Session that took place in August 2019 and the City Council's Work Session that occurred in October 2019 related to changing the building height of the Community Commercial (CC) zone from 60 feet to 45 feet, a new zone is being proposed (Case No. PZ-19-00123 and High Occupancy Housing Specific Plan (HOH Plan), Strategies to be implemented by 2019, bullet 5, page 102.) The new zone, Neighborhood Community Commercial (NCC), is proposed to be identical to the Community Commercial (CC) zone, except that the maximum building height allowed would be 45 feet. This approach is being proposed to enable the City Council the flexibility to determine which areas of the city with the Community Commercial (CC) zone should maintain the currently allowed maximum building height of 60 feet, and which areas should have a maximum building height of 45 feet.

III. Discussion
If the Neighborhood Community Commercial (NCC) zone is adopted to implement the above referenced HOH Plan strategy, it is contemplated that the City Council may initiate a Zoning Map Amendment to rezone certain properties that are currently zoned Community Commercial (CC).

Staff is seeking the City Council’s input and direction regarding the locations that the proposed Neighborhood Community Commercial (NCC) zone could be applied. There are three primary areas of the city where the Community Commercial (CC) zone currently exists. These areas include the North End, Southside, and Sunnyside neighborhoods. Attachment 1 consists of the locations of the Community Commercial (CC) zone in these neighborhoods.
 
Throughout the community outreach and public hearings for the HOH Plan, the above-referenced neighborhoods are the areas of the city that:
  • Allow a building height of 60 feet that does not correspond with the lower building heights of existing developments;
  • Have the greatest overlap of historic small-scale traditional neighborhoods that could be negatively impacted by the influx of large-scale developments;
  • Have significant overlap with low-income communities that may be displaced by gentrification and redevelopment; and
  • Contain localized limited utility capacity to support large-scale High Occupancy Housing developments.
During the public outreach conducted in August 2019 to change the maximum building height of the Community Commercial (CC) zone, almost all of the individuals that were opposed to the amendment in the Sunnyside neighborhood area did not support the height reduction adjacent to the commercial corridors (7th Ave, Route 66, and Cedar Ave). These individuals were supportive of the proposed building heights within the interior of the neighborhood. As a compromise, a majority of these individuals recommended maintaining the 60-foot building height adjacent to Fourth St, 7th Ave, Route 66, and Cedar Ave. Attachment 2 is a conceptual map of the Sunnyside neighborhood where the Neighborhood Community Commercial (NCC) zone could be applied that corresponds with the public comments.

IV. Community Involvement
The August 25, 2020 City Council Work Session was advertised in the Arizona Daily Sun on July 25, 2020, which is 31 days before the scheduled meeting date. Also, persons of interest on file with the Planning and Development Services section of the Community Development department and property owners of lots and parcels that contain the Community Commercial (CC) zoning on file with the Coconino County Assessor’s Office were notified of the Planning and Zoning and City Council Work Sessions via first class mail.

The virtual open house meetings for the proposed Neighborhood Community Commercial (NCC) zone were held on July 15, 2020, and July 20, 2020. As part of the discussion for the proposed Neighborhood Community Commercial (NCC) zone, rezoning the above-referenced neighborhoods was discussed. The virtual open house meetings were advertised in the Arizona Daily Sun on June 30, 2020, which is at least 15 days before the scheduled meeting dates. Also, persons of interest on file with the Planning and Development Services section of the Community Development department and the property owners of lots and parcels that contain Community Commercial (CC) zoning on file with the Coconino County Assessor’s Office were notified of the virtual open house meetings via first class mail. Persons on the HOH Plan and Regional Plan contact lists were also sent notifications. In addition, the notification of the virtual open house meetings was posted on the City’s Facebook page. Eight people attended the open house meetings.
 
In addition to the virtual open house meetings, a community survey was posted on the City’s Community Forum website regarding the proposed Neighborhood Community Commercial (NCC) zone and the areas that could be rezoned. The notice was sent to individuals registered with the City’s Community Forum website. Also, the option to provide public comments on the City’s Community Forum website was included in the notices indicated above.
 
As of this memo's date, a total of 210 people, including emails, letters, meetings, and visits to the Flagstaff Community Forum topic web page, have participated. The public comments on the Community Forum web page were split up by general public comments and property owner comments. The property owners were provided a separate web page on the notices that they were mailed. The property owner web page was not publicly available and was separated by each of the above-referenced neighborhoods.

Several individuals that contacted staff for the one-on-one discussions identified themselves as property owners. It should be noted that the property owner responses have been low.  Additional public outreach may be warranted.
 
In summary, approximately 83% of the general public that responded to the Community Forum topic supported applying the 45-foot building height in all of the above-referenced neighborhoods. Also, about 68% of the general public comments received did not support keeping the Community Commercial (CC) zone with the 60-foot building height adjacent to the commercial corridor streets.
 
The following is a summary of the property owner responses: 
  • North End. Ten property owners responded to the Community Forum or had discussed the amendment with staff. Approximately 78% of the property owners did not support a Zoning Map Amendment to rezone the properties from Community Commercial (CC) to Neighborhood Community Commercial (NCC). One property owner did not provide a response.
  • Southside. Eleven people viewed the Southside property owner Community Forum website, although no comments were provided. Three people that contacted staff or attended the open house meeting identified themselves as property owners. One person did not support a Zoning Map Amendment to rezone properties from the Community Commercial (CC) zone to the Neighborhood Community Commercial (NCC) zone. One person indicated that they might be supportive of a Zoning Map Amendment to rezone properties from Community Commercial (CC) to Neighborhood Community Commercial (NCC). However, the preceding comment was contingent upon implementing a change to the Zoning Map in a systematic manner. This individual indicated that a change to the Zoning Map should be based on property owner desires and considerations, such as maintaining the 60-foot building height adjacent to commercial corridors. One person did not provide a preference.
  • Sunnyside. Nine property owners responded to the Community Forum or had discussed the amendment with staff. Approximately 78% of the property owners supported an amendment to change the Zoning Map from the Community Commercial (CC) zone to the Neighborhood Community Commercial (NCC) zone. It should be noted that the respondents indicated that they were supportive of maintaining the Community Commercial (CC) zone adjacent to the commercial corridors. One person indicated that they would support a Zoning Map Amendment if the building height of the Neighborhood Community Commercial (NCC) zone were lower, such as one or two stories.   
A summary of the public comments received is included as Attachment 3.

V. Conclusion
As indicated above, the staff is seeking direction from the City Council on the concept of a Zoning Map Amendment to rezone areas of the North End, Southside, and Sunnyside neighborhoods from the Community Commercial (CC) zone to the proposed Neighborhood Community Commercial (NCC) zone. Also, the work session enables the public and the City Council to ask questions, seek clarification, have discussions, and offer feedback on the proposed concept. Additional opportunities for discussion, public comment, and action by the City Council will occur at a future public hearing.

Attachments
1. Community Commercial (CC) Zone Locations by Neighborhood
2. Sunnyside Neighborhood Conceptual Neighborhood Community Commercial (NCC) Location Map
Public Comments
Presentation


    

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