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04-29-2014 I PLANNING AND ZONING COMMISSION 2 FOR THE 3 CITY OF LAS CRUCES 4 City Council Chambers 5 April 29, 2014 at 6:00 p.m. 6 7 BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT: 8 Godfrey Crane, Chairman 9 William Stowe, Vice-Chair 10 Charles Beard, Secretary 11 Joanne Ferrary, Member 12 Ruben Alvarado, Member 13 Kirk Clifton, Member 14 15 BOARD MEMBERS ABSENT: 16 Ray Shipley, Member 17 18 STAFF PRESENT: 19 Katherine Harrison- Rogers, Senior Planner, CLC 20 Adam Ochoa, Planner, CLC 21 Susana Montana, Planner, CLC 22 Ezekiel Guza, Associate Planner, CLC 23 Mark Dubbin, CLC Fire Department 24 Robert Cabello, CLC Legal Staff 25 Becky Baum, Recording Secretary, RC Creations, LLC 26 27 1. CALL TO ORDER (6:00) 28 29 Crane: Good evening ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to the deferred April 22nd 30 meeting of the Planning and Zoning Commission. For the record that was 31 postponed because we had a problem with the recording apparatus for the 32 minutes which are taken verbatim and without means to record minutes 33 we could not have a legal meeting. So we are reconvened. We never 34 had a meeting last Tuesday, although there were plenty of people here 35 and one of them made an informal presentation which I will get to in a 36 minute. 37 We start by introducing our commissioners; to my far right a new 38 Commissioner, Mr. Kirk Clifton who is with District 6, represents District 6; 39 then Commissioner Stowe who is our Vice Chairman, District 5. And then 40 Commissioner Ferrary who represents District 5. I'm sorry, did I say, 41 District 5 here, yes. Mr. Stowe I beg your pardon, it's District 1. 42 Commissioner Ferrary is District 5. And then we have Commissioner 43 Alvarado representing District 3. Our secretary Commissioner Beard 44 District 2. Presently we do not have a Mayor's appointee. And I'm the 45 Chairman Godfrey Crane and I represent District 4. 46 1 I IL CONFLICT OF INTEREST 2 At the opening of each meeting, the chairperson shall ask if any member on the 3 Commission or City staff has any known conflict of interest with any item on the 4 agenda. 5 6 Crane: Always also at this point if any Commissioner or member of the city 7 community planning department has any conflict of interest regarding any 8 of the items on tonight's agenda? Nobody is signifying conflict of interest, 9 so we will continue. 10 There is a revised agenda for tonight so if you happen to have with 11 you the one for the 22nd it's been changed to take one item from the 12 consent agenda and put it into the new business agenda. 13 Another small matter that concerns really the housekeeping for the 14 Commission, it's been brought to my attention that sometimes we interrupt 15 a speaker to get a clarification; for example if Mr. Ochoa says something 16 and Mr. Beard didn't quite catch it he may say, excuse me what was that. 17 And often because it's a very quick informal procedure the commissioner 18 who interrupts and that can include me, does not ask to be recognized 19 and so his name does not get into the recording. Result is our worshipful 20 recording secretary has to find out by listening to the recording who that 21 was and recognize the voice. This doesn't always work, so, everybody 22 including community development people, please put on your little red 23 light and I will recognize you and we'll get your name into the record. 24 25 III. APPROVAL OF MINUTES 26 27 1. March 25, 2014 - Regular Meeting 28 29 Crane: Our next item of business is approval of the minutes of the last meeting. 30 Ladies and gentlemen, anybody have any adjustments to make to the 31 minutes of the 25th of March meeting? Commissioner Stowe. 32 33 Stowe: Thank you Mr. Chairman. I have on page nine, line 22. 34 35 Crane: Page nine, line 22. 36 37 Stowe: The very first word should be "intense". 38 39 Crane: I think that should perhaps be I think today we're thinking of a less intense 40 water use type of crop. 41 42 Stowe: I have another one; on page 23, line 24. 43 44 Crane: Twenty-two, line 24. 45 46 Stowe: Page 23. 2 1 2 Crane: Twenty-three, line 24. 3 4 Stowe: It says "storage land uses which appears two places". I believe 5 punctuation mark of a colon should be there right after the word places, so 6 that following that it says "on page one and page two." 7 8 Crane: Okay. You're talking about what Ms. Montana said. 9 10 Stowe: Yes. 11 12 Crane: "Bulk storage land uses which is the outdoor storage so those are", and 13 then I interrupt looking for the second item which she directs me to. Okay, 14 1 think that's a punishment to me for having interrupted Ms. Montana. Is 15 she here? Mr. Ochoa do you have any clue about what that was about. 1 16 can't help. I'm sorry. Ms. Montana you arrive at a timely way, we need 17 your help. We're looking at page 22, line 23 of the minutes of the last 18 meeting and I interrupted you when you were saying something. 19 20 Stowe: Page 23. 21 22 Crane: We go back and forth about question but at no point, I think, did I really let 23 you pick up where you left off, and Commissioner Stowe wonders what it 24 was you were going to say. 25 26 Montana: To tell you the truth I can't remember. 27 28 Crane: Okay. 29 30 Montana: So we'll have to leave it as is. 31 32 Crane: Sorry Mr. Stowe. 33 34 Stowe: Finally on page 24, line 36, at the end of the line, word should be 35 probably'. 36 37 Crane: Right, yes, I can see that. "Probably all the neighbors in that area". Okay. 38 39 Stowe: That's it. 40 41 Crane: Anything else? Then I'll entertain a motion that the minutes be accepted 42 as amended. 43 44 Stowe: So moved. 45 46 Crane: Moved by Mr. Stowe. 3 1 2 Beard: Second. 3 4 Crane: Seconded by Mr. Beard. All in favor aye. 5 6 ALL: Aye. 7 8 Crane: Any abstentions? 9 10 Ferrary: I abstain. 11 12 Clifton: I abstain as well. 13 14 Crane: Ms. Ferrary and Commissioner Clifton abstain. Thank you that passes 15 four/zero. 16 17 IV. CONSENT AGENDA 18 19 1. Case Z2871: Application of Cheryl Reome on behalf of Marcos Chapunoff, 20 property owner, to rezone a 2.5 +/- acre lot from A-2 (Rural Agricultural 21 District from the 1981 Zoning Code) to R-4 (Multi-Dwelling High Density & 22 Limited Retail and Office), located on the south side of Northrise Drive, 0.29 23 +/- miles east of it intersection with Roadrunner Parkway; Parcel ID# 02- 24 18716. Proposed Use: Multi-dwelling high density and limited retail and 25 office uses, Council District 6 (Levatino) 26 27 Crane: Next item is one thing on the consent agenda. Let me explain briefly what 28 that is. Anything that's put on the consent agenda is something that the 29 community development department thinks is probably non-controversial 30 and as a consequence there won't be any desire on anybody's part to 31 discuss it, so we lump these all together in one consent agenda and we 32 vote on them as a group without any discussion. However, any 33 Commissioner, community development person, or member of the public 34 who wishes to have us discuss any of these matters is free to ask us to 35 and we will remove the item from the consent agenda and put it on the 36 new business. Does anybody wish to discuss item Z2871 concerning a 37 zoning change from A-2 to R-4 for a lot on Northrise? No. In that case I'll 38 entertain a motion that the consent agenda be accepted. 39 40 Beard: So moved. 41 42 Crane: Commissioner Beard moves. Do I have a second? 43 44 Stowe: Isecond. 45 46 Crane: Commissioner Stowe seconded. All in favor. 4 1 2 ALL: AYE. 3 4 Crane: Opposed? All right, passes six/nothing. Thank you. 5 6 V. OLD BUSINESS - NONE 7 8 Crane: Any old business Mr. Ochoa? 9 10 Ochoa: No sir, none tonight. 11 12 VI. NEW BUSINESS 13 14 1. Case 5-13-034: Application of Western Lands Surveying on behalf of Robert 15 Fishback, property owner, for a replat known as Jornada South Unit 3-13, 16 Replat of Lot 29, Block L on a 2.889 +/- acre lot located on the south side of 17 Real Del Sur, 85 +/--feet east of its intersection with Feliz Real; Parcel ID# 18 02-15842. Proposed Use: Three (3) new single-family residential lots; 19 Council District 6 (Levatino) 20 21 Crane: Okay, in that case we pass to new business. The first item is Case S-13- 22 034, application of Western Lands Surveying for a replat of a lot in 23 Jornada South Unit 3-B. You have a presentation to make Mr. Ochoa. 24 25 Ochoa: Thank you sir. Adam Ochoa, Development Services for the record. First 26 case tonight ladies and gentlemen is case 5-13-034. It is a request for a 27 replat known as Jornada South Unit 3-13, replat of Lot 29, Block L. Shown 28 here on the vicinity map, subject property's highlighted with the lines 29 throughout it, located south of Highway 70 along Jornada. To get there, 30 along Jornada South Road and then east on Del Rey ... Real Del Sur, 31 excuse me, Road. Taking a closer look, the subject property here at the 32 dead end of Real Del Sur in a neighborhood zoned R-1a, single-family 33 medium density. A little more exact location of this property, it is located 34 on the south end of Real Del Sur right at the dead end of Real Del Sur, 35 which as it dead ends into Mesa Grande Estates. It is roughly about 85- 36 feet east of its intersection with Real Feliz. This is the original lot 29 of 37 Block L of the Jornada South Unit 3-13 subdivision which was approved 38 back in December 1978. The zoning on this property and on the 39 surrounding neighborhood that it's within is R-1a, single-family medium 40 density. The subject property currently encompasses roughly about 2.889 41 acres, so just under three acres in size and is currently vacant and 42 undeveloped. What the applicant is proposing to do is to subdivide that 43 one existing single-family residential lot into three new single-family 44 residential lots, lot 29A will encompass just under an acre in size; 0.959, 45 and 29B will be 0.959 acres as well, and lot 29C will encompass roughly 46 0.83 in size, that being because of the required dedication of right-of-way 5 I for the improvements required on Real Del Sur. I'll go a little more into in 2 depth when the plat comes up. Again like I said because of the required 3 improvements to Real Del Sur which is essentially a cul-de-sac that'll have 4 to be placed in there is why lot 29C is smaller than the other two. 5 After all reviews have been done, all subdivision code and 2001 6 Zoning Code requirements are being met by the proposed replat. Here 7 showing it to you on the aerial; that vacant piece of property here south of 8 Real Del Sur just east of Feliz Real, surrounded by single-family homes 9 large lots, single-family homes. And here is that plat showing those three 10 lots; lot 29A, 2913, and 29C. There is where that right-of-way dedication is I1 being done on 29C making it smaller than the other two lots. This is 12 where a cul-de-sac will be constructed by the applicant. This is required 13 by the subdivision code that any right-of-way dedication and construction 14 be done by the proposed developer. So that cul-de-sac will have to be 15 constructed by the applicant. 16 On April 2nd, 2014 the Development Review Committee or DRC, 17 reviewed the proposed plat. After some discussion between the DRC and 18 the applicant's representative, the DRC did go ahead and vote to 19 recommend approval with conditions for the proposed replat. Those 20 conditions are as follows: 1) all remaining outstanding comments from all 21 reviewing parties shall be required to be resolved prior to the filing of the 22 plat. There are still some minor outstanding comments from our traffic 23 engineering department, a couple of comments from our surveying 24 department, and our addressing department which just need to be 25 resolved, minor clean ups really that really won't hinder the actual plat 26 itself. 2) the proposed cul-de-sac is required to be constructed for the 27 proposed subdivision and shall meet city design standards including a 28 minimum 40-foot wide radius, that's minimum radius for that cul-de-sac. 29 3) the alignment of the required right-of-way dedication fronting lot 29C 30 shall be resolved prior to the filing of the plat. Currently if we go back to 31 the plat the applicant just has it chunked out as one big rectangular shape. 32 We are actually requiring him to follow the contours of the cul-de-sac and 33 not necessarily dedicate kind of no-man's-land parkway area to the city 34 that the city does not want to maintain. And 4) all required right-of-way 35 improvements shall be required to be finalized prior to the filing of the plat. 36 The Planning and Zoning Commission does have final authority on these 37 non-administrative replats. With that ladies and gentlemen your options 38 are 1) to vote yes to approve the request, the replat request as 39 recommended by DRC with the stated conditions for Case S-13-034; 2) to 40 vote yes to approve the replat request with additional conditions seen fit 41 by the P&Z; 3) to vote no to deny the replat request; and 4) table/postpone 42 and direct staff accordingly. Staff did receive a number of phone calls of 43 neighbors roughly about three of them, just asking what was the intent of 44 this replat. That information was provided. The majority of them were not 45 supportive of the proposed replat for various reasons including not liking 46 the additional two homes in the subdivision, the possible traffic created by 6 I those two homes, and just the character of the neighborhood is what they 2 were referencing. And before you have a written testimony from a 3 gentleman we spoke to last week at our meeting that we didn't have that 4 he did want read into the minutes so at this time we will go ahead and 5 read that into the minutes if that's okay with the chairman. 6 7 Crane: Thank you Mr. Ochoa. Please ... let me see, we'll read this into the 8 minutes at the time that we have the public input. Does any 9 Commissioner have a question of Mr. Ochoa? Commissioner Beard. 10 11 Beard: Could you give me the approximate size of the properties that are 12 adjoining the subject property, both on the left and on the ... excuse me, 13 on the east and west, and especially the second house on the west, both 14 of those properties? 15 16 Ochoa: The two properties to the west sir are roughly about an acre and a half in 17 size. This lot here was replatted relatively recent as well from the one 18 existing lot to two. That lot was originally roughly about three acres in size 19 so these are roughly about an acre and a half in size. The properties to 20 the east are zoned EE-C, I'm not exactly certain of their exact size sir but 21 the EE are equestrian estate zoning requirements. The EE zoning 22 designation does require them to be a minimum of one acre in size, so 23 they are at least one acre in size to the east here. 24 25 Beard: Thank you. 26 27 Clifton: Mr. Chair I do have a question for staff. 28 29 Crane: Yes, Commissioner. 30 31 Clifton: Not, Mr. Ochoa it's probably more of an observation, but it appears in this 32 subdivision, it is an older subdivision, but there are approximately 17 lots 33 that are well under the initial lot size. They appear to be probably one 34 acre and slightly larger. And if I do recall the subdivision to the east 35 simply developed that as EE conditional as part of a buffering agreement 36 with this subdivision. And to the south it appears there are several lots 37 that are less than 0.25 acres in nature. And if you could go back to the 38 aerial for me. It appears that this subdivision was developed with minimal 39 infrastructure, so as you can see many of the lots have natural stream 40 pass and arroyos on them and from what I understand in the packet it 41 appears that Mr. Fishback will probably be developing these lots with the 42 appropriate drainage infrastructure which would meet city standards 43 today, correct? 44 45 Ochoa: That is correct sir. It does follow all design standards. 46 7 I Clifton: And the other question I have on the plat, I'm just curious why the right-of- 2 way take is rectangular and not a bulb shape. 3 4 Ochoa: That is one of the ... Mr. Chairman, Commissioner Clifton that is one of 5 the conditions stipulated by ... for the conditional approval is that the 6 actual final alignment of that right-of-way dedication will be finalized. The 7 applicant's representative was still working on the actual design of that 8 cul-de-sac showing how that will actually align along lot 29C. So that will 9 have to be adjusted on the plat once it is finalized and the rectangular 10 shape will go away and it'll look like a bulb essentially. 11 12 Clifton: So it's just really a temporary visual of the right-of-way taken till there is 13 such time the bulb is agreed to. 14 15 Ochoa: Correct. 16 17 Clifton: Okay, and on that note I thought it was interesting you know given the 18 distance from the nearest intersection, I guess what is that Feliz Real? 19 20 Ochoa: Correct. 21 22 Clifton: The fire department approved this on August 6th of 2013 and apparently 23 didn't have any issues with it not having a turnaround? Is that what I read 24 based on the DRC and the review comments, or was this a ... I mean 25 aside from the design standards was the fire department, would they be 26 okay with this not having a turnaround? 27 28 Dubbin: Mark Dubbin, Las Cruces Fire Department. We did approve it on the 29 condition that the turnaround will be dedicated and constructed at the time 30 of the subdivision. 31 32 Clifton: Okay. Okay, thank you. That's it for now. 33 34 Ochoa: Thank you. 35 36 Crane: Any other Commissioner have a question for Mr. Ochoa? Okay. Mr. 37 Ochoa do you have ... can you put it in a nutshell what the basis for the 38 splitting of the lot that next to the one in question into two, one and a half 39 acre lots or any of the other lots that are smaller than three acres? It 40 appears that this replatting has progressed in several different spots over 41 the last few years. I'm wondering on what basis that was done, do you 42 have a clue as to that? 43 44 Ochoa: Mr. Chairman I really have no idea. I can't speak about that unfortunately. 45 That was done in the past. There are a number of lots that are within that 46 acre, a little over an acre in size when they were replatted. A large 8 I number of lots within this subdivision still are roughly about three acres, 2 maybe larger in size, but as to why they were replatted I would just say 3 possibly just for conveyance, selling of the property, and the building of an 4 additional home on that new lot. That's the majority of what happened, 5 just doing some research on the two lots to the west, a subdivision was 6 done and then essentially almost automatically right after that lots were 7 conveyed either to ... to other people and those homes were constructed. 8 9 Crane: Thank you. Any ... is the applicant here please? Applicant's 10 representative. 11 12 Ochoa: The applicant is here and they do have a presentation for you sir. 13 14 Crane: That person come forward please. Please identify yourself. 15 16 Gutierrez: I'm Anthony Gutierrez with Western Land Surveying. Good evening. 17 18 Crane: Good evening. Do you swear and affirm Mr. Gutierrez that the testimony 19 you are about to give is the truth and nothing but the truth under penalty of 20 law? 21 22 Gutierrez: Yes sir I do. 23 24 Crane: Go ahead please. 25 26 Gutierrez: Okay basically up here. I prepared a short presentation. I do want ... 1 27 don't want to restate anything that Adam has stated already, so I'll skip 28 over some of this and answer the questions that you had. One thing I'd 29 like to point out is that the medium density is eight dwelling units per acre, 30 we're effectively only going to one dwelling unit per acre with this 31 subdivision. And here's a picture of the old plat, the old lot that's being 32 replatted. You've already seen this. I will get to this next slide. This is the 33 proposed construction design for the turnaround and one of the reasons 34 we left if for review as a cutout, rectangular shape was to give our 35 engineer enough room to provide adequate ponding. We weren't sure 36 how he was going to go about that when we gave him the plat. So, as you 37 can see looking up here we have put a pond in. It will catch all the surface 38 runoff for two inches of rainfall created by the extra impervious area for the 39 cul-de-sac. So we are accounting for that. Some of the natural drainage 40 features as was previously stated, there are a lot of them that exist across 41 the property. We didn't want to add to that, so this will contain the water 42 that will be uncontained during a rainfall. And what we will do is now 43 finalize the plat with an arc following the southeastern portion of that cul- 44 de-sac. So hopefully that answers that question; what our intention was 45 by leaving it rectangular. Do you have any questions on the construction? 46 9 I Crane: Thank you Mr. Gutierrez. Any Commissioner have questions? 2 Commissioner Clifton. 3 4 Clifton: Mr. Chair, quick question. It states in the approval conditions - all right-of- 5 way improvements shall be required. What exactly beyond the cul-de-sac 6 is required for this subdivision? 7 8 Gutierrez: Right now we're meeting the requirements ... this is the minimum of the 9 requirements that we found and were stated. There ... we are following 10 the existing section of Real Del Sur. Right now it's approximately, I don't I1 know if I can read that dimension up there or not, but is it 30-foot section 1 12 believe. It's quite wide. So our ... our engineer did follow design 13 standards with that section in mind and, so yes. 14 15 Clifton: Was a waiver to these requirements ever ... ? 16 17 Gutierrez: No. 18 19 Clifton: Discussed? 20 21 Gutierrez: No. We did not. 22 23 Clifton: Requested? Introduced? Entertained? 24 25 Gutierrez: I'm going to let him speak to that. 26 27 Ochoa: Sorry, if I may interject here Mr. Chairman. Commissioner Clifton initially 28 the applicant did come in with a waiver request for the proposed 29 subdivision after it was routed out for review by our engineering 30 department, public works department, traffic engineering, they deemed the 31 road to be meeting minimum design standards and the only thing that was 32 brought up was essentially not ... that dead end as it exists now does not 33 meet city standards so that was the one thing remaining if you will on the 34 waiver request that they needed to do. So instead of continuing with that 35 waiver request the applicant did agree to go ahead and construct the cut- 36 de-sac, the minimum requirements for it to be following city right-of-way 37 requirements. 38 39 Clifton: Okay. So essentially it well exceeds the previous subdivision ... 40 41 Gutierrez: Yes. 42 43 Clifton: Where they probably should've done a turnaround. Okay. Thank you. 44 45 Gutierrez: Absolutely. And we are putting that entire turnaround into the subject 46 property. On the original plat you can see there was allocated temporary 10 I turnaround easement, so now that can be effectively vacated. And as it 2 stands now it hasn't been used that way anyhow so this will ... this will 3 provide aesthetic features to the neighborhood as well as safety features. 4 Estimates of construction are around $11,000 to $12,000. And foreseeing 5 impact to the neighborhood, essentially if all three lots have homes built 6 on them we're looking at about 30 trips per day generated. The westerly 7 adjacent lots view of the Organ Mountain may be affected, we were able 8 to speak with them, that's not a concern for that particular neighbor. 9 Construction of the cul-de-sac will take about a week and that's on the 10 long side according to the general contractors that we spoke with. The 11 neighborhood will allow use of emergency turnaround that's not there, it's 12 occupied and there isn't a place for emergency service vehicles to 13 turnaround as well as garbage trucks, things of that nature. And 14 driveways, and I did speak with a couple of neighbors along Real Del Sur 15 that are in that section and driveways do get used to turn around in dead 16 end situations, it's kind of typical. Hopefully that will be reduced with the 17 addition of the cul-de-sac. And one note was that Mr. Fishback is willing 18 to grant an easement for sanitary use to pour into the adjacent subdivision 19 for this lot. So there is the potential there to reduce the need for septic 20 systems on each lot. 21 Okay, I already addressed that. And layout is more visually 22 appealing. So, one of the ... two of the concerns that were ... when we 23 canvased the neighborhood that were brought up were; 1) traffic 24 generation and the other was the drainage issue. One of the neighbors 25 brought up specifically water comes down that lot during a rain. We're not 26 going to add to that, so that is going to be effectively reduced. Also the 27 lots being smaller they are less to purchase and so if they are built out 28 those grading plans will have to go through community development, site 29 plans will have to be approved, and the drainage will essentially be 30 addressed at that time as well. So, I think overall there is improvement to 31 the area. 32 To address some of the other concerns that were more minor were 33 what was it going to do to the value of the neighborhood. I did make 34 phone calls to several appraisers around town as well as the assessor and 35 none of the improvements that we're doing from what they saw would 36 neither affect the properties' value upwards or downwards from the way 37 they look at it. Is there any other question? 38 39 Crane: What is the lot size specified by the ... permitted by the current zoning? 1 40 know it's not quite a question for you but I bet you know. 41 42 Gutierrez: Yeah, I actually prepared a slide for this. It depends on how you look at it. 43 Right now current zoning, the minimum lot width is 70 by 50, eight 44 dwelling units per acre, and the minimum lot size is 5,000 square-feet. 45 So, you can of course get 50 by 70 and get that, but those are your 11 1 minimums to work with. So 5,000 square-feet is quite small. That's more 2 the density you see in the subdivision to the south. 3 4 Crane: Thank you. Other Commissioner have a question for Mr. Gutierrez? 5 Thank you sir. 6 7 Gutierrez: Thank you. 8 9 Crane: Any members of the public wish to address this? In that case ... yes sir, 10 please come up and introduce yourself. Name please. 11 12 Pennington: Dr. Robert Pennington, 4555 Panorama Drive. 13 14 Crane: Dr. Pennington do you swear and affirm that the testimony you are about 15 to give is the truth and nothing but the truth under penalty of law? 16 17 Pennington: Yes sir. 18 19 Crane: Please continue. 20 21 Pennington: I'd like to answer some of your questions ... if I could ... if Mr. Ochoa 22 could give me the aerial map I could answer some of the questions that he 23 was not able to. The development to the south was until I think about nine 24 years ago zoned EE, that is a planned unit development now and that 25 went in about nine years ago. You might notice that between that 26 neighborhood to the south and the Jornada South neighborhood is a 40- 27 foot buffer strip, so that ... there was a question about why those lots are 28 small. Yes, they are small but that is a planned unit development. Also, 29 many of these lots in Jornada South were subdivided before they were ... 30 before building had begun on any of the lots. So the original Jornada 31 South it's hard for me to point it out without a laser, but the original 32 boundary of the Jornada South neighborhood was actually out of the 33 frame at the top of this and land was added to it. We had covenants and 34 restrictions that were in effect for 25 years from 1976, so it expired about 35 13 years ago. At that time the EE zoning was not available. The 36 covenants and restrictions specified that the lots would be minimum size 37 of one acre. So the effect of that was to give this EE zoning, even though 38 that was not available, and then yes to the east in the Mesa Grande 39 Estates that's a buffer zone of minimum one-acre lots and across Mesa 40 Rico is half-acre lots. I think I've answered all the questions you had 41 about this. Was there anything else that I know historically about this that 42 might concern you? 43 44 Crane: Was there any point at which people bought these lots thinking that they 45 were anchored at three acres and were not allowed to be any smaller? 46 12 1 Pennington: I can only give you what I've head. I have been ... I've owned property in 2 this neighborhood for 16 years. My lot is not in the image here but it is 3 described as part of lot three. It originally was 2.4 acres, now my neighbor 4 and I have 1.2 acres each. I have heard from others who lived in this 5 neighborhood that we had an agreement that no subdivision would occur 6 without the approval of all the other neighbors in the neighborhood. Now 1 7 have heard that, I have asked for documentation and I have never seen it. 8 Nobody has been able to find it. I haven't been able to find anything in the 9 county records yet. That doesn't mean it doesn't exist, but I have not 10 been able to find it. It is just what I've heard as an understanding when I 11 got to the neighborhood. That somebody had tried to subdivide and it 12 couldn't happen because the neighbors objected, but I have not seen 13 anything in writing. 14 15 Crane: Thank you Dr. Pennington. Please hold there a moment. Where is Mr. 16 Gutierrez? Is he still with us? Could this matter that Dr. Pennington just 17 mentioned be something to do with that covenant you mentioned that has 18 expired or been allowed to lapse? 19 20 Pennington: It was not in the covenants. 21 22 Gutierrez: It was ... the three acre was not in the covenants. The one acre was in 23 the covenants. That was in the covenants. But they did expire. 24 25 Crane: Thank you. 26 27 Pennington: But there was something, and to me now it's only hearsay cause I have 28 not seen documents, that there would be no subdivision of any lot of any 29 size without the approval of the neighbors. 30 31 Crane: But clearly that has happened. 32 33 Pennington: But ... well, yes I cannot tell you why because I have not seen the 34 documentation. 35 36 Crane: Thank you Dr. Pennington. Commissioner Ferrary. 37 38 Ferrary: Thank you. Dr. Pennington, so it's your understanding that everyone who 39 lives in this development has ... whether they've expired or not the 40 covenants, the understanding that the lot should be at least an acre or 41 more? 42 43 Pennington: Yes. 44 45 Ferrary: Okay. Thank you. 46 13 I Crane: Commissioner Clifton. 2 3 Clifton: Mr. Chair if I may and just to get clarification from city legal, this body has 4 no jurisdiction over private restrictive covenants and quite frankly we 5 probably shouldn't be discussing it because it is a civil matter not a matter 6 before the City of Las Cruces. 7 8 Cabello: Chairman Crane, Commissioner Clifton, that is correct. This body does 9 not have any jurisdiction over private covenants. 10 11 Pennington: Mr. Clifton I bring that up only to show the intension in development 12 because the EE zoning was not available at the time this subdivision was 13 developed. 14 15 Crane: Yeah, I was just trying to establish what mindset the original owners of this 16 property had because we are going to shortly read into record a deposition 17 for want of a better term, from somebody who's not with us tonight who 18 bought a three-acre lot and is objecting to this splitting of the adjacent 19 vacant lot. I agree that the covenants are not really a matter for us but I'm 20 interested in the terms under which people originally bought. 21 Commissioner Beard your finger is on the light. 22 23 Beard: Mine was directed to the city. How many letters ... how many people 24 received notice of this meeting in Jornada South? My question is basically 25 did we go by the distance rule or did we include all of the people that 26 reside in this area? 27 28 Ochoa: Mr. Chairman, Commissioner Beard we did follow the standard city rule of 29 the ... requiring certified mailing within 100-feet minus right-of-way 30 adjacent to the property and then 500-feet out from the subject property. 31 So, a good number of people did receive letters. As to the exact number 32 I'm not exactly sure but just in certified themselves it looks like we had at 33 least eight letters sent out certified, of course that's just within 160-feet 34 from the property. There's still an additional 340-feet out that were sent 35 out public letters. 36 37 Beard: Did that include those houses to the south? 38 39 Ochoa: Mr. Chairman, Commissioner Beard, yes it did. I did actually ... one of the 40 phone calls I received questioning the proposed subdivision was from the 41 subject property owner directly south of this property right here. 42 43 Beard: So most of the people that live in Jornada South did not receive any 44 notification and this property's located in a corner, so a lot of the people in 45 that area would not have seen the sign that we typically put out. 46 14 I Ochoa: Mr. Chairman, Commissioner Beard, they might not have seen the sign 2 driving out there but I did get a phone call from two property owners within 3 the subdivision that they found out about the subdivision even though they 4 didn't get a letter. That's a pretty tight knit subdivision out there, 5 everybody did let everybody know essentially what was going on out 6 there. 7 8 Beard: Thank you. 9 10 Crane: Commissioner Ferrary. 11 12 Ferrary: And did those who called you, they were objecting to this? 13 14 Ochoa: Mr. Chairman, Commissioner Ferrary that is correct. 15 16 Ferrary: Thank you. 17 18 Clifton: Mr. Chair I do have a quick question for Mr. Ochoa. 19 20 Crane: Mr. Clifton. 21 22 Clifton: In the R-1a zoning district what is the maximum allowable density by right, 23 is it 10 dwelling units per acre, nine, I don't recall? 24 25 Ochoa: Mr. Chairman, Commissioner Clifton, in the R-1a zoning district there's a 26 maximum density of eight dwelling units per acre. This subdivision will 27 roughly be a little over one dwelling unit per acre essentially. 28 29 Clifton: So in theory based on the zoning that Mr. Fishback has by right he could, 30 excluding the right-of-way, take ... develop up to 25 lots on this parcel? 1 31 mean it would be tight in theory that would meet the letter of the law and 32 the zoning code? 33 34 Ochoa: Mr. Chairman, Commissioner Clifton, it'd be a tight fit but that's something 35 that's possible. 36 37 Clifton: So one acre is still quite large considering what could be developed by 38 right. 39 40 Ochoa: Mr. Chairman, Commissioner Clifton, that is correct. From city staff 41 perspective though the proposed subdivision does follow all zoning code 42 requirements and development design requirements as well. 43 44 Clifton: All right. Thank you. 45 15 I Crane: Thank you Mr. Ochoa. Any other member of the public wish to speak? 2 Yes sir. 3 4 Thompson: My name is Gerald Thompson. I live at 4300 Real Del Sur. 5 6 Crane: Sir, do you swear and affirm that the testimony you are about to give is the 7 truth and nothing but the truth under penalty of law? 8 9 Thompson: I'm sorry. 10 11 Crane: Where did you lose me, right at the top? I'm swearing you in. Do you 12 swear and affirm that the testimony you are about to give is the truth and 13 nothing but the truth under penalty of law? 14 15 Thompson: Yes I do. 16 17 Crane: Okay. Thank you. 18 19 Thompson: I live at 4300 Real Del Sur and I had to hear this from people in the 20 neighborhood. I didn't know that there was anything going on about this 21 so I definitely was not contacted. My concern is this blank spot right in 22 here. Is that a runoff problem? 23 24 Crane: Excuse me, I think you can use the pointer, touch the mouse, is that true 25 Mr. Ochoa? 26 27 Thompson: I'm sorry. 28 29 Crane: You can use the pointer there, Mr. Ochoa will show you. 30 31 Thompson: Oh, okay. Yeah, that spot ... 32 33 Crane: Now you've broken it. 34 35 Thompson: That spot right there. It looks to me like that might be a runoff problem. 1 36 know that the two neighbors there that had to do quite a bit of work for the 37 ... to take care of the runoff. Has that been taken care of? 38 39 Crane: Are you speaking sir of the runoff from those lots to the east? 40 41 Thompson: To the west. Those two people had a lot of trouble. 42 43 Crane: Oh, okay. So where's the runoff coming from that was giving them 44 trouble? From the east? 45 16 I Thompson: I'm not sure but I just looked at that blank spot that looked like that's a 2 runoff area to me. 3 4 Crane: Okay. Well I don't have an answer for you sir. 5 6 Thompson: It looked like they should have you know really have thoroughly checked 7 that out cause I know that several people in that neighborhood have 8 trouble with runoff. 9 10 Crane: Mr. Ochoa do you want to address that. You said something about ... I 11 think Mr. Gutierrez said that drainage will have to be addressed. 12 13 Ochoa: That is correct Mr. Chairman. The area ... any type of drainage issues or 14 runoff issues for the property will have to be addressed when they actually 15 develop the property. So they will have to essentially retain their runoff on 16 their own subject property sir. 17 18 Thompson: That's all I have. Thank you 19 20 Crane: Thank you sir. Anyone else from the public. Then I'll close this to 21 discussion. Oh pardon me, Ms. Harrison-Rogers. 22 23 H-Rogers: Chairman Crane, members of the commission, I do have the letter from 24 Mr. Jon Mercurio. He wished that this would be read into the record for 25 this evening. He was the gentleman who was unable to attend this 26 evening. If you would like I can go ahead and do that for you. 27 28 Crane: Please do. 29 30 H-Rogers: And I am reading this directly from his letter. 31 This communication has been made necessary by the 32 postponement of the City's Planning and Zoning Commission meeting 33 scheduled for April 22, 2014. 1 had delayed departure for vacation in order 34 to attend this meeting, but the meeting's last minute postponement to April 35 29, 2014 precluded any further delay in my departure. It was and is my 36 intension to address an item originally on the agenda for the April 22, 2014 37 Commission meeting. 38 As an owner of property adjacent to the parcel addressed in Case 39 S-13-034 known as Jornada South Unit 3-B, lot 29 Block L I object to any 40 approval or consideration of approval for the proposed replat. The 41 Jornada South 'subdivision' is occupied by approximately 40 lots the 42 majority with homes, it is one of the few remaining large lot areas within 43 the city limits that isn't associated with the raising of livestock or horses 44 and with that it is a unique and desirable location. Recently (6-7 years 45 ago) several adjacent small-lot subdivisions were developed, in particular, 46 the Mesa Grande subdivision was developed with the majority of the lots 17 I being a quarter acre or less. The original owner of the property that 2 became "Mesa Grande Estates' as well as the developers which included 3 Mr. Fishback (the ultimate petitioner in the current case) agreed that it 4 would be out-of-line to put small lots immediately adjacent to Jornada 5 South. Such would detract from the character of the original subdivision 6 as well as having a potential impact on the ambiance and value of 7 established properties adjacent to the new development. The current 8 application is in violation of that notion in spirit and in fact for the new lots 9 are not adjacent to but wholly within Jornada South. 10 Mr. Fishback's proposal to subdivide the property in question would 11 effectively cram three homes in chock-a-block fashion between two 12 existing homes, his home in Mesa Grande Estates and the existing 13 property at 4560 Real Del Sur, so that there would be effectively five 14 contiguous structures in a fashion of standard neighborhoods. This 15 arrangement would be incongruous with the remainder of the Jornada 16 South neighborhood. Even if said property were to be divided so that only 17 two homes occupied the frontage with the third on a 'pipe-stem' each lot 18 would be substantially less than one acre and the frontage on the only 19 street with access very limited in comparison to the remainder of the 20 neighborhood. This is in contrast to the remainder of the subdivision in 21 which the majority of the homes sit on two plus (closer to three) acres. 22 Granted there are a few of the original 2.5 plus acre lots that have been 23 subdivided but only in two parcels which are substantially larger than one 24 acre and the homes arranged such that the ambiance of space is 25 maintained. Three homes sandwiched onto this property could not 26 maintain the original neighborhood design. The available frontage is only 27 about two-thirds the length of the frontage of that property on the other 28 side of the street. 29 We do not wish to interfere with Mr. Fishback's property rights and 30 his legal right to enjoy the benefits of his property. However, when Mr. 31 Fishback acquired this parcel he was very much aware of the conditions 32 and design of Jornada South and as a member of the development team 33 for Mesa Grande Estates was aware of the compromise to put one acre 34 lots on land adjacent to Jornada South and had, and has ample 35 opportunity to exercise his home building occupation in the still large 36 undeveloped area of the Mesa Grande Estates subdivision. 37 1 hesitate but must remind the Commission, City Council and Las 38 Cruces Community Development that their role is to protect the rights of 39 all citizens and while Mr. Fishback's desire for substantial financial gain 40 (effectively triple) by turning a piece of property originally zoned and set 41 aside for a single home into three homes is his right but it must be 42 weighed against the desires and the impact of 40-some households that 43 have occupied this area for much longer than Mr. Fishback has owned the 44 parcel in question. There are only two homeowners who have lived in this 45 subdivision less than 10 years and it was the ability and desire to live in a 46 neighborhood different from the developer's dream of single-family homes 18 I on postage stamp lot that has enticed them to live here. It is a unique 2 area of Las Cruces. The proposed lots may not be postage stamps but in 3 comparison to the remainder of the neighborhood they are small and 4 inappropriate and it is your responsibility to honor the desire of other 5 property owners. The design of Jornada South is a matter that Mr. 6 Fishback, as a developer and builder, is very much aware of now and at 7 the time he acquired the property. 8 Unless the city's long term plan, which drives planning and zoning 9 decisions includes the purchase of and/or condemnation of all the 10 properties in Jornada South with the intention of rezoning it into sub-one 11 acre lots, approval of this application must be considered outside the 12 authority of the Planning and Zoning commission. The alteration of an 13 existing neighborhood plans such that it benefits only one individual at the 14 expense of a collection of people without the consent of other affected 15 land holders must be considered discriminatory and extralegal. Submitted 16 by, Jon J. Mercurio, 4625 Real Del Sur, Las Cruces, New Mexico, 88011. 17 18 Crane: Thank you Ms. Harrison-Rogers. Any other member of the public wish to 19 address this? Mr. Gutierrez, you have something to say? 20 21 Gutierrez: I just want to make a couple observations after I did a canvas of the 22 neighborhood. I did and was asked some pointed questions about 23 covenants. This keeps coming up and he even used in his letter the word 24 conditions which don't exist anymore and I think it's appropriate also to 25 look at the geographical location of this lot. It's the last lot that is the 26 postage stamp layout in this subdivision as you head down Real Del Sur. 27 I've never been to a Planning and Zoning meeting where there aren't 28 neighbors that are affected by the replatting or the subdivision of any land. 29 There are always people that disagree with what's going on and we all 30 have our own function and role that we play in our neighborhood and our 31 community and how we address these concerns that we have. The roles 32 of developers as I deal with them and have dealt with them throughout the 33 years are to provide these lots to homeowners so they can build these 34 homes. This lot is the last lot left and it's next to high density to the south, 35 even with the 40-foot buffer, 40-feet isn't even the same amount of 36 distance that you have across Real Del Sur. This lot is left in a high- 37 density area, if you compare it to the rest of the subdivision. It's also on a 38 dead end. The improvements are not going to happen to this lot with the 39 turnaround unless the subdivision goes through. So, when I look at this 1 40 do take my name with it as well when we present it to you. And I think that 41 it is in conformity with what Planning and Zoning has already allowed to 42 happen in the adjacent lots next door. The density's increasing as you go 43 down this dead end and then it's already increased to one-acre lots to the 44 east and quarter acre lots to the south. So, as you consider this I would 45 like you to take that and think about it because Mr. Fishback has played a 46 role in developing this entire area and I think he's following the same vein 19 I that the gentleman just spoke about. He's keeping more or less the one- 2 acre density that he agreed to and he's providing a possibly better solution 3 for purchase which will get those homes built out, effectively addressing 4 drainage issues, and the like. That's all I have to say. 5 6 Crane: Thank you Mr. Gutierrez. There being no other input, I will close this to 7 further discussion, but I do have a question for you Mr. Ochoa. In Mr. 8 Mercurio's letter he mentions near the bottom desire for substantial 9 financial gain by turning a piece of property "originally zoned and set aside 10 for single home into three homes". Could you comment on originally 11 zoned and set aside for a single home? Did that ever happen? 12 13 Ochoa: Mr. Chairman, the property was initially brought into the city and zoned for 14 single-family residential. That lot was a single-family residential lot, what 15 they are creating now are still three single-family residential lots. 16 Essentially it's still one home for one lot and so that character has not 17 changed. The only thing that's changing is essentially two more lots being 18 added to the neighborhood essentially. 19 20 Crane: So his statement is correct as it stands, "originally zoned and set aside for 21 a single home". 22 23 Ochoa: Mr. Chairman, yes and no I would have to say. It was initially zoned 24 correctly for single-family residential. The applicant, what he's proposing 25 is still single-family residential, so it may not be the size of the home as it 26 ... size of the lot as it originally was intended by the subdivision or the 27 covenants better yet, but from a city standpoint it's following all city, not 28 only design standards but also the 2001 Zoning Code. When this was 29 actually brought into the city it was zoned R-1 under the '81 Zoning Code 30 which was still way under the one acre minimum I believe, or that was 31 required by the subdivision that's been stated numerous times. But 32 essentially it could've still been subdivided further under the old '81 Zoning 33 Code requirement of the R-1 zoning district. So it's still a single-family ... 34 it is a single-family residential lot and they're still going to be single-family 35 residential lots. 36 37 Crane: Okay, thank you. Commissioners. Mr. Clifton. 38 39 Clifton: Mr. Chair, real quick, it's unfortunate that Mr. Mercurio couldn't be here. 1 40 mean there are several statements in his letter that I would like to discuss 41 in a public forum because I do feel they're inaccurate and deceptive to an 42 extent but it's really quite honestly hearsay that these lots were set aside 43 for large lot development. I mean this property was zoned 33 years ago. 44 The City of Las Cruces didn't just enact a zoning code in 1981, there was 45 a lot of thought and planning that goes into writing a zoning code, doing 46 map zoning on an area. This was out on the outskirts of Las Cruces but at 20 I the time the staff obviously felt it was appropriate to be zoned 5,000 2 square-foot minimum lot size, R-1a. In 2001 the code was amended, the 3 zoning stayed the same. So I mean I would argue with Mr. Mercurio that 4 his statement ... that's not true and simply that Mr. Fishback's in it to make 5 money, well you know he builds houses, I mean I don't think we're here to 6 discuss who's here to make money and quite honestly in this economy I'm 7 not sure anybody's making money, so good luck Mr. Fishback. 8 9 Crane: Commissioner Ferrary. 10 I 1 Ferrary: I totally disagree. I live in North Jornada which is almost a mirror image of 12 the southern Jornada and to have ... they have basically one entrance into 13 the area and then like we do in the Jornada North. If you go to these 14 homes being so close I agree they will look like the Mesa Grande Estates 15 which purposely has a buffer of at least one acre homes between them so 16 you stair-step the closely small lots to a little bit bigger and then the larger 17 lots of Jornada North. I don't think it would be fair to the residents in that 18 area when they bought with that intension and that's how it was 19 developed, to go less than an acre with the other two lots right next to this 20 in question and are one and a half acres each. And if you go to the 21 smaller thin, real close, you're going to change the whole essence of how 22 this development was first made and you have other lots in the Mesa 23 Grande that still Mr. Fishback is a part of that he could develop instead of 24 changing the character of Jornada South. 25 26 Crane: Commissioner Beard. 27 28 Beard: I agree. This property was designed for large acreage homes. We don't 29 have very many of these lots in Las Cruces this size. And if we were to 30 make this a sub-acre plots here there's no reason why other people in the 31 area that own property couldn't subdivide also and start making smaller 32 lots based on our decision tonight. I think that this should be maintained 33 as originally planned and not start subdividing these things into sub-acre 34 lots. 35 36 Crane: Mr. Clifton your light's on. 37 38 Clifton: Yes Mr. Chair, I would like to point out that it was stated that essentially 39 that nobody lives in the subdivision that originally purchased the lots so 1 40 don't know that there wasn't original intent to purchase three-acre lots. 41 And if you would please note attachment one on the vicinity map as you 42 drive into Jornada South there was a subdivision of one of these large 43 three-acre lots, essentially a gateway into the subdivision. That dynamic's 44 already been gone for a number of years. I don't know when that was 45 subdivided, I'm not even going to ask staff because it really doesn't 46 matter. It's been subdivided and filed, it's three independent lots that were 21 1 I subdivided out of three right there at the corner behind the C-3 and C-2 2 zoning district. Then in the corner of near Panorama there is another what 3 appears to be a two lot subdivision, possibly a three lot and all those lots 4 on the north side are relatively small in nature as are the ones on Jornada 5 Road South and Panorama and Feliz Real. So the dynamics of the 6 subdivision changed a number of years ago. I mean the dynamics are 7 5,000 square-foot minimum lot size. That is what the applicant by right 8 pursuant to the zoning code and the subdivision regulations as part of the 9 municipal code is you know legally permitted to do. 10 11 Crane: Thank you Mr. Clifton. Ms. Ferrary. 12 13 Ferrary: Mr. Chair, I don't believe the lot sizes, they don't look like they're less than 14 the other two that are 1.5, so I think the other subdivided lots look to be at 15 least one acre which I think would be at least keeping with the rest of the 16 development. 17 18 Crane: Well it seems to me that running down the east side of Feliz Real there 19 are five three-acre lots and then there's this one at the bottom that's in 20 contention. And then moving west there's two one's, or I guess they're 21 one and a half s, and then looks like a two and a two, and then above that 22 on the Jornada Road South a probably elongated three. A couple more 23 three's above that, and definitely some ones or one and halfs. So the 24 three acre aim, if that ever was an aim, has been dispensed with but I 25 have considerable sympathy for Mr. Mercurio's view and that expressed 26 by several Commissioners that the ... this is a rare configuration here, 27 three acre lots and I think that I'm leaning towards disapproving the 28 request for the replat. Any other Commissioner have a point? Mr. Clifton. 29 30 Clifton: Mr. Chair, Mr. Ochoa for the record, could you please read into the record 31 the size of each proposed lot as indicated on the plat? 32 33 Ochoa: Sure, lot 29A is 0.959 acres, 29B is 0.959 acres, and 29C is 0.863 acres, 34 but as the applicant has stated they will be redoing the right-of-way 35 dedication so a bit more property will be part of the private property now 36 since it won't be a rectangular dedication to the city for the cul-de-sac. 37 There will be an extra chunk added to that lot, so that lot is potentially 38 going to grow as well. 39 40 Clifton: So essentially what we're looking at are lots that are approximately more 41 or less 0.040 acres less than one, so we're just a hair under an acre on 42 each lot if I'm correct. Is that an accurate statement? 43 44 Ochoa: Mr. Chairman, Commissioner Clifton, on two of them that'd be correct. 45 The one smaller one being because of the right-of-way dedication, but ... 46 22 I Clifton: Could you go to the aerial real quick for me? 2 3 Ochoa: Sure. 4 5 Clifton: To the east those are approximately one-acre lots, correct? In the EE, the 6 equestrian estate lots, that initial zoning? 7 8 Ochoa: That is correct. 9 10 Clifton: Okay. So as you can see there's ... that's a pretty big lot still. I mean I 11 think a one acre lot is hardly found in Las Cruces but looking at the large 12 lots I mean it's evident that there are drainage issues with existing 13 drainage flow patterns that quite frankly have never been addressed and 14 really I don't see what's being done with that property. I mean you know 15 with all due respect I think it would probably be an enhancement by 16 building out these three additional lots. As you can see to the west that's 17 about a 1.2 to 1.5 acre lot. It probable looks nice. It's probably a nice 18 house out there. I don't know. The point being there's still one-acre lots 19 which is an extremely large lot, extremely large lot in the city. 20 21 Crane: Commissioner Ferrary. 22 23 Ferrary: Mr. Chair I think part of ... even though they're one acre, they're very long 24 lots so the homes are going to be built very close together and look like 25 they would be part of like Mesa Grande only just having a large backyard. 26 So they would be not in essence with the rest of the development where 27 the homes are you know located somewhere within that acreage, instead 28 of being probably just right straight across from each other and very close 29 together with a long backyard or something. 30 31 Clifton: Mr. Chair, Mr. Ochoa. 32 33 Crane: Mr. Clifton. 34 35 Clifton: What is the minimum lot width in the R-1 zoning district? 36 37 Ochoa: Minimum lot width in the R-1a zoning district Mr. Chairman, Commissioner 38 Clifton is 50-feet. 39 40 Clifton: And these lots are 110-feet? 41 42 Ochoa: Yes sir. 43 44 Clifton: And that's with a five-foot setback, correct? 45 23 I Ochoa: Mr. Chairman, Commissioner Clifton correct, minimum five-foot setback 2 on the sides. 3 4 Clifton: So that would mean they could essentially construct a 100-foot wide 5 house. 6 7 Ochoa: That is correct sir. 8 9 Clifton: But that's not likely to occur. I don't think I've seen a 100-foot wide house 10 here. So, just the point is it's a wide lot, I mean I think graphically is what 11 is throwing everybody off because they do appear long and narrow but the 12 reality is they're not narrow, they're more than twice what's permitted in 13 this zoning district. They could be 50-feet where as they're actually 110. 14 And I think the vicinity map is actually also deceiving cause there are 15 horizontal lines on the parcel so it kind of looks like the old downtown 16 district in a way. So just a point of reference. I think it's a matter of scale 17 and wrapping your arms around the scale here. Thank you. 18 19 Crane: And Commissioners are you ready for a vote? Let me entertain a motion 20 that the ... we have to phrase it positively, that the request to zone change 21 be ... replat be approved with the conditions applied by the Community 22 Development Department. Mr. Beard, are you about to ...? 23 24 Beard: Yes. I move that we accept 5-13-034. 25 26 Crane: Moved by Mr. Beard. Do I have a second? 27 28 Clifton: Second. 29 30 Crane: Seconded by Mr. Clifton. We will do a roll call and we'll start with Mr. 31 Clifton. 32 33 Clifton: Aye. 34 35 Crane: Mr. Clifton sir you have to say on what you base your decision, that would 36 be findings, discussion, site visit, and combination of those. 37 38 Clifton: I vote aye on the findings that the proposed replat does comply with all of 39 the requirements of the 2001 Zoning Code, chapter 38 of the Las Cruces 40 Municipal Code as amended, and the City of Las Cruces Subdivision 41 Code chapter 37 and the Las Cruces Design Standards, all requirements 42 being met. Thank you. 43 44 Crane: Mr. Stowe. 45 46 Stowe: No based on discussions and site visit. 24 1 2 Crane: Ms. Ferrary. 3 4 Ferrary: I vote no for discussion. 5 6 Crane: Mr. Alvarado. 7 8 Alvarado: I vote aye based on discussion and findings. 9 10 Crane: Mr. Beard, 11 12 Beard: No based on site visit and discussions. 13 14 Crane: And the chair votes not based on findings, discussion and site visit. The 15 measure fails four to two. Thank you. 16 17 2. Case SUP-14-02: Application for a Special Use Permit by Deborah and 18 William Caldwell for a Group Child Care Home (7-12 children) located at 19 7565 Sierra Bella Place; Parcel 02-37680. Council District 5 (Sorg) 20 21 Crane: We proceed to next item on the agenda, Case SUP-14-02, application for 22 a special use permit by Deborah and William Caldwell for a Group Child 23 Care Home at 7565 Sierra Bella Place, Parcel 02-37680. Ms. Montana, 24 25 Montana: Thank you Mr. Chair. Members of the Commission. You have before you 26 a request for a group childcare home at a single-family residence at 7565 27 Sierra Bella Place. Give you a little indication, go up Sonoma Ranch 28 Boulevard, left on Thurmond Road, left on Sierra de Luna, and then right 29 away Sierra Del Sol to Sierra Bella. This is the property right here. As 1 30 said it's single-family, zoned R-11b which is high density single-family 31 zoning and of course it does allow group childcare home as a special use 32 permit, as a home occupation. This is the home. It is a single-family 33 dwelling here. There's parking in front. There's a two-car garage which 34 the applicants would keep their own vehicles. The two-car driveway would 35 be available for parents dropping off and picking up the children as well as 36 the parking space in front, if it were available at that time. 37 This is the rear yard, it's recently built ... a recently constructed 38 home so you don't see amenities in the rear yard but there would be play 39 areas here and grass areas or artificial turf built into the rear yard. This is 40 the single-family home interior. The home is about 2,600 square-feet. 41 The childcare activity would take place in this half which is the 42 entranceway, bathrooms, kitchen, open floor area, kitchen and dining 43 room, and living area. The applicants currently operate a group childcare 44 home that was previously approved by this commission in January of last 45 year. They operated out of that home this entire year. The owner of that 46 home decided he wanted to move back into the home and so the 25 I applicants have purchased this new home, about two and half miles 2 distant from their current location. They're currently caring for 12 children, 3 about eight or nine at any one time and the children, or the parents come 4 at different times during the day so there will be maybe half of that number 5 at any one time in the home. The notice, the public notice about the 6 proposed special use permit was sent out to residents or property owners 7 of lots within 500-feet radius of this subject property and we received four 8 comments; one of which was included in your staff report, two comments 9 were handed to you last week, and then this evening I sent another one. 10 Those three comments were concerned about traffic, parking congestion 11 that might occur as the parents, if they all arrived at the same time, would 12 drop off or pick up the children. And they just didn't like the idea that this 13 group childcare home is a business, a business in a residential 14 neighborhood. 15 Again, I just wanted to show you where the parking would occur. 16 Parents would drop off and pick up the kids here and perhaps this on- 17 street parking space would be available. I have done a reconnoissance of 18 their current location at about five, six o'clock and then again about eight 19 o'clock in the morning and I never saw more than one parent at a time 20 dropping off or picking up the children. In addition, I went to this location 21 between five and six p.m. and although they weren't operating in this 22 home yet, I did take a look at the parking availability in the neighborhood 23 or on that street at that time, it was a weekday from five to six p.m. and 24 there was not any parking congestion. There were spaces available on 25 the street. I do have to note that not all the homes are built yet on these 26 lots. There are a significant number of vacant lots on this street at the 27 moment, further down the street, but in this little area there was not 28 parking congestion, but again the daycare has not started operation at that 29 time. 30 Based on the findings for approval found in your staff report, we 31 recommend approval of the special use permit for the group childcare 32 home as a home occupation in this single-family home. Your options 33 tonight commission are to vote to approve the special use permit, vote to 34 deny it, vote to modify the permit by placing conditions or limitations on the 35 permit, or to vote to table or postpone this action tonight. I do have one 36 more slide which may be of interest, the red dots are the properties or the 37 homes of the persons who commented ... did express concern about the 38 traffic and the parking congestion. The yellow square here is the subject 39 property. And with that I conclude my presentation and I'm happy to 40 answer any questions you may have. 41 42 Crane: Thank you Ms. Montana. Commissioners? Commissioner Alvarado. 43 44 Alvarado: Are there ... do you know if there's more childcare being done out of 45 homes in the city other than this one and the other one that is seeking 46 approval? Do you have any idea if there are any more? 26 1 2 Montana: Well we do have one more case that would be brought before you 3 immediately after you take action on this ... 4 5 Alvarado: But then those two, is there any more that you know of? 6 7 Montana: I don't have any that are expected in the months ahead. These are the 8 only two I'm aware of. 9 10 Alvarado: Okay. Thank you. 11 12 Crane: Ms. Harrison-Rogers. 13 14 H-Rogers: Yes, Mr. Chair, and members of the commission just for clarification 15 although we don't have any in process for new home childcares, there are 16 several throughout the city that have business registrations. I'm not quite 17 sure of the numbers but there are several. 18 19 Crane: Thank you. 20 21 Montana: Mr. Chair, Commissioner, there is a state registry put out by the state 22 department of children, families, etc. where you could log in and put in 23 your zip code and you can find the number of licensed childcare, either 24 home childcare providers or daycare centers. 25 26 Crane: Thank you. Commissioner Ferrary. 27 28 Ferrary: Ms. Montana is it the intent of the person who's going to run this to live in 29 that home also and be good neighbors you know the rest of the time and 30 on weekends, or are they just going to use this as a daycare? 31 32 Montana: Commissioner it is their intent to live and operate it as a home occupation. 33 As a matter of fact they could not operate this as solely a commercial 34 business. They could not operate if they did not also live in the property. 35 In their previous two locations they lived and operated their childcare in 36 that home. 37 38 Crane: Thank you. Any other Commissioner have a question? Okay, is the 39 applicant here? 40 41 Montana: Yes. 42 43 Crane: Will the applicant please come forward? Ms. Montana, I'm very sorry, 44 you'll have to repeat everything cause I forgot to swear you in. 45 46 Montana: Oh right. 27 1 2 Crane: We'll skip it this time. 3 4 Montana: Okay. 5 6 Crane: Please identify yourself. 7 8 Caldwell: Hi I'm Debbie Caldwell. 9 10 Crane: And do you swear Ms. Caldwell and affirm that the testimony you are 11 about to give is the truth and nothing but the truth under penalty of law? 12 13 Caldwell: Yes sir. 14 15 Crane: Thank you, please go on. 16 17 Caldwell: Do you have any questions for me or? 18 19 Crane: Well we may, but do you want to say anything? 20 21 Caldwell: Well it's the same story as the last two times. It was ... the concerns were 22 you know parking and traffic and like we showed you all before it's 23 scattered drop off and pick up time. It's not a school where everybody 24 runs in there at 7:15 in the morning or anything like that, it's all throughout 25 the day. I think when you send these letters out again for SUP permits 26 they think it's some kind of KinderCare going in, especially with the four by 27 four sign out front of the house, it's looks huge. It looks like ... you're 28 asking are we going to live in that house? Yes, it's just a home occupancy 29 you know and I think that the general public does not understand what an 30 SUP permit is and when you say group home, they think we have a bunch 31 of children living there that are troubled children ... you know what I mean 32 like when you hear of a group home you think of troubled children you 33 know living there 24/7. It's just little toddlers from ages ... the youngest 34 one we have right now is one up to five and they're all not there at the 35 same time. And our parents are very ... they're all professional people, 36 they understand, they have their own children. Some families have 37 multiple children so it's not like there's 12 different families running in and 38 out. We've had the same families forever and you know we see their kids 39 grow up and then they have more kids and things like that. So, it's ... 1 40 think people just get the wrong impression when they hear daycare or 41 group childcare home, they think "augh" you know like it's going to be a 42 big mess, but it's very organized and like I say, the parents, we 43 communicate with them and they don't stay, they come in, they drop off 44 their children, they sign them in, they leave, they come back. And like 1 45 say it's all scattered times so it's not any traffic problem at all. And we 46 keep on top of it. 28 1 2 Crane: Thank you. Commissioner Beard, you have a question? 3 4 Beard: Is the garage going to be part of the daycare? 5 6 Caldwell: No. 7 8 Beard: And do ... is there only going to be two adults living at the house? 9 10 Caldwell: It's my husband, myself, and I take care of my mother. 11 12 Beard: Oh, okay, so but you have what, two automobiles? 13 14 Caldwell: We have two. 15 16 Beard: Two automobiles. 17 18 Caldwell: And then we park those in the garage. 19 20 Beard: How many people are you taking care ... babysitting right now? 21 22 Caldwell: We have 12 enrolled. At one time there's usually eight to nine there 23 depending like ... full time there's ... 24 25 Beard: I mean at this particular location. 26 27 Caldwell: We're not in that house yet. We couldn't operate without a special use 28 permit. 29 30 Beard: Okay. Okay thank you. 31 32 Crane: Commissioner Ferrary. 33 34 Ferrary: Yes, I was ... the traffic objection is that you need three parking spaces. 35 Can that be provided by maybe extending the driveway and taking out the 36 landscaping on the left? 37 38 Caldwell: We offered to do that but then when we measured and parking went out 39 there, there was enough space in the driveway and then across the front 40 of our house was 25 or 26-feet from the edge of our driveway, not blocking 41 our driveway but to the other property line, there's enough ... and it's only 42 18 or 19-feet per space. And it's not a private road, people park, you 43 know what I mean, it's not a neighborhood like you were just speaking of 44 in the last case and when we had our problem before with the Pueblos, we 45 lived in a gated community and they were saying private street and all this, 46 and so they suggested, the Commissioners suggested next time when you 29 I buy a house go into a family neighborhood and that's what we were 2 searching for, for a year and a half. We have been searching for a family 3 neighborhood where you know there's not covenants as far as parking in 4 front of your house or parking in front of the neighbors' house. Like the 5 neighbors are allowed to park in front of my house. I can't say they can't. 6 You know it's a public street. They can park down the street. They park 7 at Pic-Quik and walk if they want. I mean I can't tell them where to park 8 so that's their choice. 9 10 Ferrary: So I'm wondering why they are requiring three parking spaces? 11 12 Caldwell: It's some kind of calculation that they do. I don't know where they get that 13 from either. I questioned that before so I don't know. 14 15 Ferrary: Ms. Montana. 16 17 Montana: Thank you. The traffic engineer is using a national traffic engineering 18 calculation for childcare center of this type but it doesn't take into 19 consideration the local conditions or the local zoning controls. The local 20 home occupation zoning controls allows on-street parking for these home 21 occupations. So, the zoning we believe trumps what the traffic engineer 22 was trying to do with his national standards. So we're comfortable that the 23 parking for this project can be accommodated with the two-car garage, 24 excuse me the two-car driveway. 25 26 Ferrary: Thank you. 27 28 Crane: Commissioner Clifton. 29 30 Clifton: Mr. Chair, so essentially this proposal does meet the city requirements for 31 childcare? 32 33 Montana: Yes, Mr. Chair, Commissioner, yes it does. 34 35 Clifton: And the garage could also be utilized for parking, so in essence you have 36 four parking stalls plus legal on street parking because it is city right-of- 37 way. 38 39 Caldwell: Yes sir. 40 41 Clifton: Thank you. 42 43 Crane: Any other Commissioner? Commissioner Stowe. 44 45 Stowe: Ms. Caldwell what is the difference in how your people are organized to 46 care for six children as opposed for the larger 12 children? What 30 I difference in organization of your people? 2 3 Caldwell: There's really not a difference. I mean when we had our license for six 4 back in 2010, before we applied for a special use permit back then it was 5 the same, it was just families that were growing and I needed that extra 6 space like people having children and they're all the same families that we 7 have. I mean a few have added but it's ... they just come scattered times. 8 They all work different times of the day. Some are schoolteachers, some 9 are you know ... come ... don't go to work till nine so they don't you know. 10 The majority of the children are there by 8:30, but I do have some that 11 stroll in at like 8:45, 11 o'clock and those'II be the children that stay till 5:30 12 or six. But it's very scattered. We haven't changed our system at all. 1 13 mean it's working, it's been working for years and so we feel comfortable 14 with it. 15 16 Stowe: Does it take more caregivers to care for 12? 17 18 Caldwell: Yes it does. Once you're over six you have to have a second caregiver. 19 20 Stowe: So you have two. 21 22 Caldwell: It's my husband and I. 23 24 Stowe: Thank you. 25 26 Caldwell: You're welcome. 27 28 Crane: Any other Commissioner have questions for Ms. Caldwell? Thank you 29 ma'am. 30 31 Caldwell: Thank you. 32 33 Crane: Any other member of the public wish to address the Commission on this 34 matter? Come on up ma'am. Please give us your name. 35 36 Law: Bernadette Law. 37 38 Crane: Okay, Ms. Law do you swear and affirm that the testimony you are about 39 to give is the truth and nothing but the truth under penalty of law? 40 41 Law: Yes. 42 43 Crane: Please go on. 44 45 Law: I don't have anywhere else to take my children if you say no. She 46 operates in a small neighborhood that's exactly the same size as she's 31 I moving into now. I work full time for property management. My husband 2 has a full time job and I don't think that there will be any disruption to the 3 neighbors. 4 5 Crane: You're with her now in the current location? 6 7 Law: Yes. 8 9 Crane: Okay. Thank you. Yes sir. 10 11 King: My name's Kenny King and I ... 12 13 Crane: Wait till you're on the mike sir. 14 15 King: My name is Kenny King and I'm going to ... 16 17 Crane: Do you swear and affirm that the testimony you are about to give Mr. King 18 is the truth and nothing but the truth under penalty of law? 19 20 King: Yes. 21 22 Crane: Please continue. 23 24 King: I'm going to comment on the next people coming up, they're doing the 25 exact same thing. And I live right beside them ... 26 27 Crane: Can we save that until their case comes up, cause they're separate 28 cases? 29 30 King: It's the same thing. That's fine. I'll wait. 31 32 Crane: We'll hear from you then. Yes ma'am. 33 34 Reno: Hi. My name is Natalie Reno. 35 36 Crane: Ms. Reno do you swear and affirm that the testimony you are about to 37 give is the truth and nothing but the truth under penalty of law? 38 39 Reno: I do. 40 41 Crane: Go ahead please. 42 43 Reno: This is my third time at a meeting like this because I've had Deborah and 44 her husband Bill since my daughter was four months old and the necessity 45 for home childcare is really important for me. My daughter had a lot of 46 special needs when she was growing up that regular daycares couldn't 32 I take care. I'm a teacher at the elementary schools and so I have a pretty 2 normal drop off with my daughter. As much as I love everybody who 3 brings their children, I barely ever get to see them unless we get together 4 for birthday parties and stuff at our houses. They are very respectful. The 5 Caldwell's are very respectful of the rules and make sure that we do come 6 staggered. I think that we see similar protests but then as people say oh, 7 it just looks like a home. Like you could not tell there was a daycare there 8 if you didn't bring your child there yourself. 9 10 Crane: Thank you. 11 12 Reno: Thank you. 13 14 Crane: Anyone else in the public? Yes ma'am. 15 16 Chain: Good evening my name is Jillian Chain. 17 18 Crane: Okay, would you please ... oh beg your pardon. Do you swear and affirm 19 that the testimony you are about to give is the truth and nothing but the 20 truth under penalty of law? 21 22 Chain: I do. 23 24 Crane: Does that go for the young lady standing near you? 25 26 Chain: Say I do. 27 28 Chain: I do. 29 30 Crane: Okay, go ahead. 31 32 Chain: Not to be redundant but to show our support. We also go with the 33 Caldwell's, we're part timers, two to three days a week. My baby goes 34 there. My husband and I both work law enforcement. We have odd 35 hours. And to second what she just said, this is my first time meeting half 36 of those parents. I know their children from when I do pick up and from 37 when I do drop off, but I never see any of the parents. So we are 38 staggered and we are in a hurry, so we do park, drop off our children and 39 you know we don't visit, we do leave so I don't see traffic as a problem. 40 41 Crane: Thank you. 42 43 Chain: Thank you. 44 45 Crane: Anyone else? All right, I'll close this to public discussion. 46 Commissioners? Commissioner Beard. 33 1 , 2 Beard: I'd like to remind everybody that we're not denying a homecare service for 3 up to six people. This is a special use permit to take you to 12 children. 4 So even though if we were to reject it, you would still be able to bring 5 children to this home. One of the things that we look at, we do approve 6 these quite a bit, but one of the things that we also do is we listen to the 7 concerns of the neighbors. And there are already four concerns on this 8 neighborhood about traffic. Nobody knows what it's going to look like yet 9 because nobody's ... the daycare is not going on. But there is definitely a 10 concern of neighbors. This is a narrow street. It could cause a problem. 11 We have to consider that. 12 13 Crane: Thank you. Ms. Ferrary. 14 15 Ferrary: I agree that you know we do need to be concerned, but since most 16 families have two or three children this might be only two or three more 17 cars or vehicles coming or going and if it's already apparent that the 18 parents aren't running into each other that two or three more might make it 19 so that two might be there at one time which I don't think would be, you 20 know wouldn't take up the three parking spaces at all. 21 22 Crane: Ms. Caldwell can you ... where is she ... can you very briefly give us a 23 guesstimate as to how many children arrive in one car ... pardon me, you 24 know what I'm asking. No I better say it. How many children come as just 25 one, how many come as two, how many come as three? 26 27 Caldwell: Okay, let me clarify something real quick. We're not upping our license. 28 We already are licensed for 12. We're just relocating. We've been doing 29 12 since 2011. So this is not adding anything. These families are all what 30 we have. This is it. We just purchased our own home cause we were 31 renting. So, it's not that we're going to add new people or anything like 32 that. We have three families with multiple children, two at least. So, 1 33 mean when he did a scientific calculation or whatever he did on 12 cars 34 that didn't apply to us at all. 35 36 Crane: Thank you. Mr. Beard. 37 38 Beard: Yeah, I'd like to remind the committee also that even though all of them 39 were coming with multiple children at this particular time, two years from 40 now it could be one child per car and you have to consider that, that it 41 might be one child per car. 42 43 Crane: Any other Commissioner wish to comment before we go to a vote? Mr. 44 Clifton. 45 46 Clifton: Mr. Chair, staff, could you remind us what the timeframe on the special 34 I use permit is now? 2 3 Montana: Special use permits would run with the operator and with the land. So it 4 would ... 5 6 Clifton: In perpetuity. 7 8 Montana: As long as they operated that business at that location. 9 10 Clifton: Okay. Thank you. 11 12 Montana: For example, they're moving from the current location so that would 13 expire. 14 15 Clifton: Okay. Thank you. 16 17 Crane: Anyone else? Ma'am, public discussion is now closed. Do you have 18 something really important to say? Please come up ma'am. 19 20 Law: My main thing is the residents that wrote in to these letters. If it was that 21 important to them they would have been here at the meeting to tell them 22 their concerns. 23 24 Crane: Thank you. 25 26 Law: You have all of us here that if you take it down to six, she's going to have 27 to tell six of our kids, sorry you have to find somewhere else to go. 28 29 Crane: Thank you. 30 31 Law: Bernadette Law. 32 33 Crane: Yes, ma'am since we let her speak again, come on up. Please be brief. 34 Please identify yourself. 35 36 Sanchez: Chasity Sanchez. 37 38 Crane: Do you swear and affirm that the testimony you are about to give is the 39 truth and nothing but the truth under penalty of law? 40 41 Sanchez: Yes sir. 42 43 Crane: Go ahead please. 44 45 Sanchez: I have been taking my son to Debbie and Bill for over a year now, closer to 46 a year and a half. And I have been with the same job, I work at the 35 I detention center full time. Most of my shifts are 12-hour shifts. My son 2 only goes after school. On the days that I work overtime I get out earlier. 3 The days that I work regular I get out at five o'clock. In a year and a half 4 that I have gone, whether it's my regular shift ending at five o'clock, me 5 showing up there about 5:30, or my overtime shift ending at 3:30 me 6 showing up there at four o'clock, I have only run into one person at every 7 time I've gone or nobody at all. 8 9 Crane: Okay. 10 11 Sanchez: There has never been the issue with parking or neighbors you know, there 12 are not children running around crazy outside or anything. It just looks like 13 a regular home. There's no parking issues. There's no having to wait for 14 another parent to leave so that I could park or ... it's never been a problem 15 and I don't think there would be. 16 17 Crane: Thank you. 18 19 Sanchez: Thank you. 20 21 Beard: I'll ask her a question. 22 23 Crane: Yes, okay. Commissioner Beard has a question for you. 24 25 H-Rogers: Excuse me Mr. Chair, just a point of order. I'm sorry to interrupt but the 26 meeting was closed to public testimony. I advise that we reopen it up to 27 the public just to make things official. 28 29 Crane: Very well, I will officially reopen this to public comment. So if there is 30 anyone else please be ready to put your hand up in a moment. Mr. Beard. 31 32 Beard: What is the property width of the property that you're going to presently? 33 34 Sanchez: I'm sorry? 35 36 Beard: The average property width of the homes that you're going to right now? 37 38 Sanchez: Property width? 39 40 Beard: Yes. 41 42 Crane: I think he means the size of the lot. 43 44 Beard: The size of the lot. 45 46 Sanchez: The house that we're currently taking our children to now is a large house. 36 I I haven't seen the new house that she's going to be moving into yet other 2 than the pictures and it looks about the ... exactly the same. The parking 3 she has right now is a double parking. If need be a parent will park at her 4 ... right in front of the sidewalk like legally permitted to. It wouldn't be any 5 different than the picture shown. 6 7 Beard: Well this is a 50-foot, if I correctly read this, this is a 50-foot lot, is that 8 correct? That's a very narrow lot. 9 10 Crane: Ms. Montana indicates yes. 11 12 Beard: That's a very narrow lot and when all the houses are occupied a lot of the 13 people in those houses are going to be parking on the street. This place 14 does not have facilities for three car parking and so there could be, very 15 possibly a congestion there when all of the properties are occupied and 16 cars are parking there and then 12 other cars are coming in to drop off 17 and pick up their kids. 18 19 Sanchez: Well there never is 12 people, ever. And ... 20 21 Beard: I'm not saying that 12 will be there at any given time. 22 23 Sanchez: Right. 24 25 Beard: They'll be ... maybe they are staggered. 26 27 Sanchez: Right, and they are. 28 29 Beard: There could be three or four of them there at the same time. 30 31 Sanchez: I understand that, but you would be assuming that the other neighbors 32 would have more than two vehicles, you would be assuming they would 33 have three or four vehicles needing to park out in the street and that 34 doesn't really seem logical. Everybody has probably a two-car garage 35 and a two car spot in their driveway. Debbie and Bill would have also and 36 like I said I've been going for a year and a half full time and every time 1 37 have gone I may be run into one parent. One parent while I'm there or no 38 parents at all. 39 40 Crane: Thank you Ms. Sanchez. 41 42 Sanchez: Thank you. 43 44 Crane: Yes Ms. Caldwell. 45 46 Caldwell: In reference to Mr. Beard, we took your advice last time. We went to a 37 I family middle class residential area with public parking. You were the one 2 that stated, go find a family friendly neighborhood which is not going to be 3 huge wide streets, the houses are going to be right next to each other and 4 we did. I mean we chose that neighborhood for this reason and you 5 suggested that to us, right away, so that's what we thought, you know 6 cause we were thinking about going in the valley and having some space 7 and all that but then you run into other problems, so we kept that in mind 8 and we took that and that's what we found, so that's where we're at. It's a 9 family neighborhood and people can park up and down that street 10 wherever they want. I can't tell my parents not to park two blocks over if 11 they want to walk. As a matter of fact one of the grandparents lives in that 12 neighborhood and she's here right now and she may be walking her 13 granddaughter over there. I mean there's families that live over there. It's 14 not like we're moving so far away that we're not accommodating the same 15 area. Thank you. 16 17 Crane: Thank you. Do you have a comment to make? 18 19 Beard: I'll comment on that. 20 21 Crane: Mr. Beard. 22 23 Beard: I'm for family care practices that you're trying to do. I think that you're 24 pushing the limit on this one. This is a narrow narrow lot. All of the 25 houses on that street are on a narrow lot which means maximum density 26 both in parking and traffic. Your space only occupies for two parking and 27 you're supposed to have three. So I really think that you're pushing the 28 limit on this particular issue. 29 30 Caldwell: The parking department told ... parking engineer or whatever, he told us 31 that we can use on-street parking. Because we offered to cement over to 32 the other side to take up three, you know to make it everybody you know, 33 because you know he said you can have two in the driveway, one on 34 street. Whether it be in front of our house or three houses down or 35 whatever, and we offered to cement the side, you know like where the 36 trash cans would go up to the back of your house, and then there was 37 another problem with that about the ... how far you have to be off the 38 property line with cement. So, it's kind of like a ... you know you don't 39 want to do it and then the city tells you, you can't do it and then. We felt 40 like we have accommodated for the families that we have. Thank you. 41 42 Crane: Commissioner Ferrary. 43 44 Ferrary: I think the nice thing is that the home is large and can accommodate the 45 children and the parking sounds like it is okay too. 46 38 I Crane: Any other member of the public wish to address this? Ma'am. Please 2 identify yourself. 3 4 Trujillo: Maria Trujillo. 5 6 Crane: Ms. Trujillo. Do you swear and affirm that the testimony you are about to 7 give is the truth and nothing but the truth under penalty of law? 8 9 Trujillo: I do. 10 11 Crane: Please continue. 12 13 Trujillo: I am ... I live in that neighborhood. The lots are very small. The parking 14 are very small. So my concern is just the traffic and the parking. I don't 15 have anything else to say other than that. I'm very concerned with the 16 traffic and it's very small. 17 18 Crane: Thank you. Any other member of the public? I'll again close the meeting 19 to public input and Commissioners what's your wish as Mr. Scholz would 20 say. Mr. Clifton. 21 22 Clifton: Mr. Chair I think we would probably hear these points of opposition no 23 matter where we were in the city. The fact is the city staff has approved it 24 based on the parking and they do meet the requirements based on the 25 parking stalls within the garage and the driveway. And having two small 26 children of my own I could probably attest to the fact that when I pick them 27 up from daycare I don't stick around very long. I think it's probably a quick 28 drop off and a quick pick up except when they have to write you a check to 29 pay for the month and that's ... otherwise it appears to me all the aspects 30 of the city code and the recommendation of staff. 31 32 Crane: Thank you. Mr. Beard. 33 34 Beard: I sympathize with you. I have a daycare facility located in my 35 neighborhood. Our lots are six-tenths of an acre. The lot sizes here are 36 0.12. When everybody ... when four cars show up at my neighborhood to 37 pick up people it causes problems. I mean as a person that I have to drive 38 by it I have to look out for kids, I have to look out for parents, I have to look 39 out for cars that are backing out. I'm just saying that this is really pushing 40 the limit here for the ... as a maximum density in putting 12 kids in one 41 house. I agree that the house is large enough and that's really a state ... 1 42 think a state issue not our issue. Ours is the concern of the other people 43 that live in that neighborhood and concern of safety. 44 45 Crane: Thank you. Do I hear a motion that ... are you going to move or are you 46 going to make a comment Ms. Ferrary? 39 1 2 Ferrary: I was just going to make a comment. I think it's more a matter if we're 3 going to have narrow streets like that, maybe we shouldn't be approving 4 developments that have such narrow streets. 5 6 Crane: Mr. Beard. 7 8 Beard: I move to accept SUP-14-02. 9 10 Crane: Do I have a second? Il 12 Stowe: Second. 13 14 Crane: Mr. Stowe is seconding. I'll do a roll call starting at my end for a change. 1 15 vote aye based on findings, discussion, and site visit. Mr. Beard. 16 17 Beard: I vote no based on discussions and site visit. 18 19 Crane: Mr. Alvarado. 20 21 Alvarado: I vote aye based on discussion and site visit. 22 23 Crane: Ms. Ferrary. 24 25 Ferrary: I vote aye regarding discussion and site visit. 26 27 Crane: Mr. Stowe. 28 29 Stowe: I vote aye based on site visit, discussion, and findings. 30 31 Crane: And Mr. Clifton. 32 33 Clifton: I vote aye based on the proposal meeting the relevant goal seven of the 34 city comprehensive plan and the proposal meeting section 38-52 of the 35 2001 Las Cruces Zoning Code. 36 37 Crane: Thank you. The measure passes five to one. 38 39 3. Case SUP 14-03: Application for a Special Use Permit by Terik S. Gohrick, 40 property owner, to allow the use of a Group Child Care Home (7-12 Children) 41 located at 4008 Jewel Ct. within the Las Colinas PUD; Parcel 02-29446. 42 Council District 5 (Sorg) 43 44 Crane: We now pass on to SUP 14-03, application for special use permit by Terik 45 Gohrick for a group childcare home of 7-12 children at 4008 Jewel Court. 46 Ms. Montana. 40 1 2 Montana: Mr. Chair I introduce ... 3 4 Crane: Oh yes, this young gentleman will remind me who he is. 5 6 Guza: Ezekiel Guza, associate planner for the City of Las Cruces for the record. 7 8 Crane: Do you swear and affirm that the testimony you are about to give is the 9 truth and nothing but the truth under penalty of law? 10 11 Guza: I do. 12 13 Crane: Go ahead please. 14 15 Guza: The case in question is somewhat similar, though not exactly to the last 16 case. It's for an SUP for a group childcare home at 4008 Jewel Court. On 17 the vicinity map you can see that it is located on a cul-de-sac in the Las 18 Colinas PUD neighborhood off of ... accessible off of Sonoma Ranch 19 Boulevard and Las Colinas Drive. On the zoning map you can see that it 20 is within the Las Colinas PUD with the closest adjacent zoning being R- 21 1bC. The aerial map of the property illustrates its location on Jewel Court 22 relative to the cul-de-sac or hammerhead turnaround, I'm sorry. The 23 indoor site plan of the existing daycare use which is for five to six children 24 is shown on the site plan. The current uses in the living room and the 25 dining room which is kind of adjacent to the kitchen. Here are some 26 indoor photos of the existing use for five to six children. The entryway, 27 living room, and dining room area. And the parking photos or the outdoor 28 area of the home you can see the driveway as well as the adjacent street 29 where parking is available. Outdoor site photos, the front of the home as 30 well as the rear yard area where they have the children play. 31 And some of the case details, as I said it is currently operating as a 32 family childcare home which does allow five to six children at the site. The 33 hours of operation are from 6:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. only on weekdays. 34 There would be no structural or outward appearance change to the home 35 in the SUP. And the applicants' primary reasoning for applying for the 36 expanded use of up to 12 children is that two mothers of children currently 37 enrolled are expecting a second child and they would like to enroll them as 38 well to keep the children at the same facility. And from public comment 39 we had seven responses, three e-mails in protest, three letters in support, 40 and one neutral phone call which was just asking for more information 41 about what was going on exactly. 42 The staff recommendation based on the findings and the staff 43 report which you've viewed; the staff recommends approval with 44 conditions of the SUP for a group childcare home as a home occupation in 45 a single family home. And the only condition we would recommend from 46 the fire department is that no children ... or no more than five children 41 I under the age of 2.5 years of age would be allowed at the facility. The 2 commission options that you have set before you today are to approve the 3 SUP without conditions, to deny the SUP, to vote to modify the SUP by 4 placing conditions or limitations that's as I stated earlier, the 5 recommendation of staff is to have that single condition; or you can vote to 6 table or postpone the decision and direct staff accordingly. So I can stand 7 for questions in regards to the proposal. 8 9 Crane: Thank you Mr. Guza. Commissioners. Commissioner Beard. 10 11 Beard: Could you show us the location of the three negative concerns? 12 13 Guza: I can give you the address of a couple of the negative concerns, however 1 14 believe there was one gentleman who did not give an address so I could 15 not do that. The other ... one of the other one's was at 5084 Galina Drive. 16 17 Beard: I don't see that. 18 19 Guza: Okay. 20 21 Beard: 50 ... 22 23 Guza: I'm sorry. I'll go back to the ... I'm sorry. I'll go back to the zoning map 24 here. You can see ... I'm not sure of the actual number but the only 25 address that was given in the e-mails was from a resident or I should say 26 property owner on Galina Drive which is this road here that I'm outlining. 1 27 can ... I could probably follow-up on where that exact home is but I do not 28 have that prepared at this time. 29 30 Beard: Do you know if any of the people were on Jewel Court? 31 32 Guza: None of the protesters gave their address as Jewel Court. I did have one 33 of the support letters that came in recently that was distributed prior to the 34 meeting from a property owner on Jewel Court, but that was in support. 35 36 Beard: Okay, thank you. 37 38 Crane: Any other Commissioner have a question for Mr. Guza? All right, is the 39 applicant here please? Please come up and address us. And there are 40 two people. Tell us who you are sir. 41 42 Gohrick: My name is Terik S. Gohrick, I'm the applicant. 43 44 Crane: Okay and ... 45 46 Thomas: I'm Tina Thomas. 42 1 2 Crane: On the mike please. 3 4 Thomas: I'm Tina Thomas and I am the primary educator. 5 6 Crane: Okay. Thank you. I will swear you in together. Do you swear and affirm 7 that the testimony you are about to give is the truth and nothing but the 8 truth under penalty of law? 9 10 Gohrick: Yes. 11 12 Thomas: Yes. 13 14 Crane: Carry on please. Who goes first? Ms. Thomas. 15 16 Thomas: We've been operating at our home for the last eight months. We became 17 a licensed home in January of this year. This is something I've done my 18 entire life. I'm going on 17 years as a daycare provider. When I moved to 19 Las Cruces I worked in some of the daycares here in town. I was actually 20 director at one of the larger ones. And when we bought our home in 21 October 2012 1 expressed that I really wanted to open up an in-home 22 daycare again because I had run those before and I really enjoyed as how 23 close I can get to my families. So as we did, you know my families came 24 very quickly and I have wonderful families, great kids, and now I have my 25 families are growing which is a wonderful blessing to them. Two of my 26 families are pregnant. The one mom is due May 19th. The other mom is 27 due in September. They both really do not want to go anywhere else. 28 They love their children being at my center. I offer preschool program as 29 well. I offer seriously educational program, it's not just babysitting. So 30 with that in mind they do not want to take their children anywhere else and 31 they really are hoping that we're able to accommodate their siblings and 32 they do enjoy the idea that the siblings' going to be there with each other 33 because that way they can grow and learn together. I do believe that we 34 have ample parking. All of our neighbors on Jewel Court are very on 35 board with us. We do as you've seen in the pictures, we do have a three- 36 car slot in front of our house as well as our two-car garage. And we are 37 the same as Ms. Caldwell, we never have parents ... we might have them 38 every once in a while, but our parents are pick up, and staggered times. 39 They're usually never there at the same time. And most of our neighbors 40 didn't even know that we operated a daycare the last eight months there 41 until the big yellow sign went up and the certified letters went out. And 42 when we did go canvas the neighborhood most of our ... everybody on 43 Jewel Court was for it. They had no issues with it whatsoever. 44 45 Crane: Thank you. You want to add anything sir? 46 43 I Gohrick: No comments. Wait for questions. 2 3 Crane: Any Commissioner have a question for Ms. Thomas and the other 4 applicant? Ms. Ferrary. 5 6 Ferrary: The condition that the city is saying that we should have of having no 7 more than five children under the age of 2.5, is that going to create a 8 hardship or is that something that ... you know the families that you're 9 working with and that are expecting, then you could you know still be in 10 compliance with that. 11 12 Thomas: Absolutely Ms. Ferrary. The licensing from CYFD actually requires that 13 you're not allowed to have more than four children at a time under the age 14 of two, so we would stick with that. And I have kiddos that are actually 15 turning two over the summer, so the new ones that are being born will kind 16 of take their places. So it's kind of an ongoing cycle if that makes sense. 17 But yeah, we'll be able to accommodate with the special addition there. 18 19 Ferrary: Thank you. 20 21 Crane: Mr. Clifton: 22 23 Clifton: Mr. Chair, staff is there a reason for that condition since the state already 24 mandates that? 25 26 Guza: From what I could understand it is slightly different than the state 27 requirement. The state requirement is under, is it five years of age, four. 28 Four under the age of two whereas the city fire prevention staff is five 29 under the age of 2.5, so it is slightly not the same so that's why I included 30 it. 31 32 Clifton: Thank you. 33 34 Crane: Any other Commissioner have questions for the applicant? Thank you. 35 Any member of the public wish to speak? Yes ma'am. 36 37 Johnson: My name is Jennifer Johnson. 38 39 Crane: Ms. Johnson do you swear and affirm that the testimony you are about to 40 give is the truth and nothing but the truth under penalty of law? 41 42 Johnson: Yes. 43 44 Crane: Please carry on. 45 46 Johnson: My name is Jennifer. I have two kids that go there, one is there part time 44 I after school, the other one is there full time. He's one of the two-year- 2 olds, fixing to be two. And after having both of my kids in daycares in 3 town I wouldn't take my kids anywhere else. It's a different environment. 4 I'm very passionate about it so. 5 6 Crane: Do you have any trouble with parking when you get there? 7 8 Johnson: I do not. I would say at the most there's been one other family when 1 9 drop off or pick up. There has never been an issue with parking. 10 11 Crane: Thank you. Commissioners. Commissioner Beard. 12 13 Beard: How many children are being taken care of now at that particular home? 14 15 Thomas: At the time ... just in general during the day? 16 17 Beard: Right now per day. 18 19 Thomas: Per day I would say five. 20 21 Beard: That's a big deficit from 12. 22 23 Guza: Mr. Commissioner I think that might be more correctly answered by the 24 applicant if you wanted exact numbers. 25 26 Beard: She had mentioned that she didn't have any problems with other cars. 1 27 just wanted to make sure that. 28 29 Guza: Okay. 30 31 Crane: Any questions for this lady? Thank you. Any other member of the public 32 wish to speak. In that case I will close it firmly this time. Yes, you were up 33 before but you still have to tell me again who you are. 34 35 King: My name's Kenny King. 36 37 Crane: King. 38 39 King: Yes. 40 41 Crane: Mr. King do you swear and affirm that the testimony you are about to give 42 is the truth and nothing but the truth under penalty of law? 43 44 King: Yes. 45 46 Crane: Go ahead sir. 45 1 2 King: I just moved into the neighborhood next door to Ms. Thomas and her 3 husband and I'm retired disabled and I have ... I live there ... I'm there all 4 day long and I've noticed the cars coming in and out and there's never 5 been a restriction of public access to anybody. The most I've seen at one 6 point is three cars and that's including my wife's car, so there was never a 7 problem. It's never been a problem. The longest I've ever seen anybody 8 there is about five to eight minutes long and that's just you know them 9 talking outside you know and I'm sure they're working out the days' 10 events, whatever. But it's never been an issue at all. And I've talked to 11 every one of my other neighbors and nobody is against what they're 12 doing. They're completely amenable. They give their parents strict rules 13 and guidelines to go by for parking issues and stuff and all their parents 14 maintain it with diligence, so just wanted to say that. 15 16 Crane: Thank you sir. Commissioners any questions for Mr. King? Thank you 17 Mr. King. Any other member of the public? Yes ma'am. Ms. Caldwell and 18 you're still under oath. 19 20 Caldwell: Hi. Debbie Caldwell. And I swear to tell the truth. I just wanted to say for 21 ... I don't know this lady or this gentleman but there is such a definite need 22 in this city for home day ... group homes like this because I ... we have a 23 waiting list and I would be more than willing to pass it over cause it looks 24 like it's the same neighborhood, I'm pretty sure it's close by, but they really 25 do need them in this city versus the big commercial out of touch, you know 26 you don't know what kid goes with what parent type thing. I understand 27 what she's saying about you know you get to know the families very well 28 and they're like your grandkids, well I'm older, but they're like my 29 grandkids. So, I just hope that you all approve that for her because it is a 30 definite asset to the community. Especially when someone you know is 31 doing it the right way. And I had the same situation. I did six kids for like 32 over a year and the neighbors when they got their little letters to up it, 33 they're like who approved her, how'd she do this. I'm like that's how ... 34 that's how busy ... you know how much of an eyesore we were. We 35 weren't at all. So hopefully you know you all approve her for that. Thank 36 you. 37 38 Crane: Thank you Ms. Caldwell. Mr. King want to add something. 39 40 King: I just want to make a comment about Mr. Beard's comment. 41 42 Crane: Don't start until you're on the mike. 43 44 King: I just want to make a comment about Mr. Beard's comment about him 45 having to pay attention to children when there's four more cars, that's 46 everybody's responsibility. Even when buses go by you have to pay 46 I attention to the buses and the children getting out of the buses, so that's 2 just all responsibilities in the neighborhoods we're in. Whether there's four 3 cars or one, so I just wanted to make that comment that that's just 4 unrealistic what he said. 5 6 Crane: Thank you Mr. King. Any other member of the public wish to speak? Yes 7 ma'am. You're the applicant. 8 9 Thomas: Yes, Tina Thomas. I just wanted to also make another comment to Mr. 10 Beard from saying I jumped from going from five to six kids per day to 12, 11 as well as that being that my kids are growing as families. So, you're 12 looking at maybe one to two cars extra because two of my families are 13 growing. And I already have ... Ms. Johnson she brings two kids together 14 as well. So it's really not going to be that much jump in traffic as you can 15 see. 16 17 Crane: Thank you. Commissioners. Is there any other member of the public who 18 wishes to address this, because there's not going to be a second chance 19 this time? All right. Meeting is closed to public input. Commissioners. 20 Do you want to say anything before we vote? Mr. Beard. 21 22 Beard: The difference between this special use permit and the one before is that 23 this place has three parking spots. When I was there it still could be very 24 ... it could be hazardous, but they do meet the regulation as far as I'm 25 concerned. I still think this one is pushing the limit just a little bit. I mean 26 it's ... when you drive into that area it can get congested very quickly 27 because you don't have flow of traffic that's going in a circle, it's got to go 28 in and then it's got to go back out. I'm for these daycares, okay, don't get 29 the wrong impression. But I'm more in favor of safety, and so I have to 30 weigh that. I'm not against these daycares at all. 31 32 Crane: Thank you Mr. Beard. Any other Commissioner? In that case can I have 33 a motion that this application SUP 14-03 be approved? Mr. Beard you're 34 light's on, is that constitute a motion? 35 36 Beard: Yes. I move to approve special use permit -14-03. 37 38 Crane: Is there a second? 39 40 Ferrary: I second. 41 42 Crane: Seconded by Ms. Ferrary. Let's do a roll call starting with Mr. Clifton. 43 44 Clifton: Mr. Chair, members of the Commission. I vote aye based on the property 45 being in compliance with the home occupation section 2001 Las Cruces 46 Zoning Code, and section 38-54 special use permits of that 2001 Las 47 I Cruces Zoning Code, and meeting goal seven of the City of Las Cruces 2 Comprehensive Plan. 3 4 Crane: Thank you. Mr. Stowe. 5 6 Stowe: I vote aye based on findings, discussions, and site visit. 7 8 Crane: Ms. Ferrary. 9 10 Ferrary: I vote aye for discussion, findings, and site visit. 11 12 Crane: Mr. Alvarado. 13 14 Alvarado: I vote aye based on discussion, findings, and site visit. 15 16 Crane: Mr. Beard. 17 18 Beard: Aye, based on findings, discussions, and site visit. 19 20 Crane: And the chair votes aye based on findings, discussion, and site visit. The 21 measure passes six/nothing. Thank you. 22 23 4. Case A1724: Application of Best Chicken of EI Paso, LLC on behalf of 24 Miyazaki Properties Highway 70, LLC, property owner, to vary twelve (12)- 25 feet from the maximum permitted eighteen (18)-foot tall freestanding sign. 26 The applicant is proposing to construct a thirty (30)-foot tall freestanding sign 27 on the subject property for a proposed new restaurant. The subject property 28 encompasses 0.823 +/- acres, is zoned C-2 (Commercial Medium Intensity) 29 and is located on the north side of Bataan Memorial West, 250 +/--feet east 30 of its intersection with Mesa Grande Drive; a.k.a. 5021 Bataan Memorial 31 West; Parcel ID#: 02-29073; Proposed Use: A Church's Chicken restaurant 32 with a 30-foot tall freestanding sign. Council District 5 (Sorg). 33 34 Crane: We proceed to Case A1724, application of Best Chicken of EI Paso for a 35 sign 30-feet high versus the permitted 18-feet at Bataan Memorial West 36 with no number given. That intersection of Mesa Grande Drive. Mr. 37 Ochoa. 38 39 Ochoa: Thank you Mr. Chairman. Adam Ochoa for the record again. Last case 40 for tonight is Case A1724, it is a request for a variance from the maximum 41 permitted height for a freestanding sign for a property located at 5021 42 Bataan Memorial West. Shown here on the vicinity map, highlighted with 43 the stripes. The subject property is here with frontage along Bataan 44 Memorial West, east of Mesa Grande, north of U.S. 70. Showing here the 45 zoning maps, subject property here is zoned C-2 as well as the adjacent 46 property to the north, east, and west with a C-3 zone property which is the 48 I O'Reilly's along Mesa Grande to the west as well. The code we're looking 2 at tonight that the variance is for is under chapter 36 of the City of Las 3 Cruces sign code. Under appendix one it states the development 4 standards for freestanding signs. Essentially what we're looking at is 5 subject property being zoned C-2 located along a minor arterial roadway 6 which is what Bataan Memorial West is designated, classified as by the 7 Mesilla Valley Metropolitan Planning Organization. The ... any building or 8 any business that goes on that property is limited to a sign of 18-feet in 9 height maximum. 10 Again the property is located on the north side of Bataan Memorial I1 West, a little under 300-feet from the intersection of Mesa Grande Drive. 12 The property encompasses approximately 0.823 acres and is currently 13 vacant or undeveloped. It is zoned C-2 commercial medium intensity so 14 zoning is not an issue for the proposed use or the development standards 15 of the property. And like I stated before he is located along that minor 16 arterial roadway, Bataan Memorial West. The applicant is proposing to 17 vary 12-feet from the maximum permitted 18-foot tall freestanding sign for 18 the new restaurant to be located on the property, a Church's Chicken 19 restaurant actually. That would basically make the new free standing sign 20 a total of 30-feet in height. This proposed variance did go for review with 21 all reviewing parties in the City of Las Cruces with no real significant 22 issues being seen or found by staff or other staff from the City of Las 23 Cruces and that review. Showing here the aerial, the vacant property here 24 directly west of the McDonald's, I'm sure we all know this one, and the 25 O'Reilly's to the west as well with the residential property to the east. 26 Showing here the proposed site plan. There is an updated one, 1 27 unfortunately did not put that up here. The applicant did e-mail me an 28 updated site plan showing additional landscaping here and along here and 29 here with a retention pond actually here instead of the actual parking area 30 since they would have to retain offsite drainage for Bataan Memorial West. 31 And the proposed 30-foot free standing sign to be located roughly around 32 here. Here is that proposed sign, roughly what it would look like, 30-feet 33 tall in height shown here with channel letters on the bottom for displaying 34 specials and so forth like that. And of course this is roughly what the new 35 building will look like when all is said and done. 36 Next is the criteria for decisions for variances here in the City of Las 37 Cruces. The P&Z must review requests in relations to the goals, 38 objectives, policies, and policies of the comprehensive plan, those plan 39 elements and other applicable plans as well. They need to look at the 40 purpose and the intent of the sign code and consider the following 41 hardships which we've all seen before in the past, criteria as outlined by 42 the 2001 Zoning Code; first being a physical hardship relative to the 43 property, topographical constraints something like that wrong with the 44 property where because of the topography or the terrain on the property 45 it's impossible for them to follow code requirement, 2) being the potential 46 for spurring economic development at a neighborhood or city-wide level, 49 I and 3) seen but not as a whole as a monetary consideration as well for the 2 proposed property allowing a variance for the proposed property. 3 Although staff, as I stated before does see no significant issues with the 4 proposed variance, the variance does not meet the criteria specified for a 5 hardship under the 2001 Zoning Code. They'll be able to spur some type 6 of economic development in the area but staff did, if you read your staff 7 report, we did make some recommendations as to other signage that 8 could be done along Highway 70 to bring attention to that site without 9 requiring a taller freestanding sign for the subject property. Staff did 10 review the requested variance and can find no basis for granting that 11 variance for the proposed freestanding sign. With that staff does 12 recommend denial based upon the findings found in your staff report. 13 With that your options tonight ladies and gentlemen are 1) to approve the 14 variance request; 2) approve the variance request with conditions deemed 15 appropriate by the Planning and Zoning Commission; 3) deny the variance 16 request as recommended by staff; or 4) table/postpone and direct staff 17 accordingly. Staff only got one e-mail which you all have a copy of that 18 from an adjacent, relatively adjacent property owner west of the subject 19 property protesting the proposed variance to the freestanding height. 20 Other than that, staff has received no other comments from adjacent 21 property owners. With that I stand for questions. And the applicant is 22 here along with other representatives supporting him for the proposed 23 variance. I stand for questions. 24 25 Crane: Thank you Mr. Ochoa. Commissioners. Commissioner Beard. 26 27 Beard: The staff doesn't consider a hardship because you can't see that property 28 or that 18-foot sign from Memorial East or from the freeway. Only that one 29 road you can see that ... an 18-foot sign. So you don't consider that a 30 hardship when people driving along those two roads cannot see a sign of 31 that property? 32 33 Ochoa: Mr. Chairman, Commissioner Beard. Staff has seen these types of 34 proposals in the past for taller freestanding signs, especially along Bataan 35 Memorial because of those very few and far between exits as well as you 36 know the nice humps for the interchanges there for roads along U.S. 70. 37 What our recommendation to the applicant is the same recommendation 38 we've done to other businesses in the past and they've worked just fine, 39 working with NMDOT to get those blue informational signs posted before 40 the exit of the restaurant or the business, having their logos saying how far 41 it is or where the exit is, and you just following that sign essentially, kind of 42 a directional sign placed there by NMDOT. Topographically, hardships 43 topographically there's nothing wrong with the property. There is 44 something you know possibly the over ramp, the overpass may be 45 blocking that but it's not a hardship on the property itself. That's not 46 something wrong with the subject property itself, it's off the property sir. 50 1 2 Beard: Think it would be a hardship to the business. I don't know how you could 3 say it to the property. If a business cannot advertise like they can ... if that 4 overpass wasn't there you could see those signs, but that overpass does 5 block all three of those pieces of property there, and to me it's a business 6 hardship. 7 8 Crane: Let me recognize myself and as Mr. Beard, you're saying that you cannot 9 see the 18-foot sign from U.S. 70 east or west or from the Bataan 10 Memorial East, which I can believe, but only from Bataan Memorial West? 11 12 Beard: If ... when I drove, excuse me ... when I drove up 70 in either direction 13 you can see it if you're about three or four, maybe a half a mile away, you 14 can see the signs at McDonald's and what's the parts ... 15 16 Ochoa: O'Reilly's. 17 18 Beard: O'Reilly's. You can see their signs. But as you get within three or four 19 blocks on the freeway you cannot ... you can no longer see those signs. 20 21 Crane: Both directions? 22 23 Beard: From both directions, well you can see it better if you're going to the west 24 than you can from the east. 25 26 Crane: Okay. Thank you. Commissioner Clifton. 27 28 Clifton: Mr. Chair, I actually I agree with Commissioner Beard. I see where you're 29 going with that and quite honestly for staff I think you could easily make an 30 argument that not only is this a physical hardship because of the 31 construction of the bridge, but the fact of the matter is the sign code was 32 adopted by the City Council well before the Highway 70 project was 33 constructed, so under that initial sign code that we operate under today, 34 that didn't take into consideration elevated bridge decking structure that's 35 probably 25, 30-feet in its self. And then two, this, surely this is spurring 36 economic development, it's creating jobs, bring tax base to the economy, 37 and really the direction that Commissioner Beard was speaking, this is 38 what they would call an outbound business. You know it's going to 39 capture a lot of traffic as traffic heads east towards Ruidoso, Holloman Air 40 Force Base, Alamogordo, and out of the state that direction. I believe it 41 clearly meets both criteria ... two of the three criteria in that, not to 42 mention the fact that the sign code is really quite dated and the applicant 43 could construct a billboard here. I mean a billboard is allowed by right, 40- 44 feet in height along Bataan Memorial East or West rather, pursuant to the 45 sigh code section 36-83. 46 51 I Crane: You have a comment Mr. Ochoa? 2 3 Ochoa: Mr. Chairman, Commissioner Clifton, the only ... not arguing your point 4 sir, you have definitely valid points. I just wanted to state actually 5 something that the applicant did bring up to my attention. There is already 6 an existing billboard directly east of the subject property, so technically 7 they couldn't put a billboard on their property cause they have to meet the 8 minimum of the foot distance, but that is something that the applicant 9 brought to my attention as well as part of his hardship is having that 10 billboard there potentially blocking his free standing sign. 11 12 Crane: Ms. Ferrary. 13 14 Ferrary: Mr. Ochoa, on the signs for McDonald's and for O'Reilly's, those were 15 denied the extra height and they are at the 18-feet or less, is that correct? 16 17 Ochoa: Mr. Chairman, Commissioner Ferrary. The McDonald's freestanding sign 18 is actually 30-feet in height. The reason they got a 30-foot tall sign is 19 because when the McDonald's was built Mesa Grande Drive was a 20 principal arterial roadway. So going back, a principal arterial roadway 21 that's zoned (inaudible) could have a 30-foot freestanding sign by right on 22 that property. So their sign's actually 30-feet tall because when they came 23 in that sign is now grandfathered in. Mesa Grande is no longer a principal 24 arterial roadway, it's now a minor so they wouldn't be allowed that 30-foot 25 tall sign any more on McDonald's property. As for the O'Reilly's, if a 26 couple Commissioners might remember, they actually did come in for a 27 variance to the height of their freestanding sign. They were actually, 28 because of their location on Mesa Grande, they were capped at a 12-foot 29 freestanding sign maximum because of the number of residential 30 properties along Mesa Grande compared to commercial. They came for a 31 variance to request a 30-foot tall freestanding sign, they were denied here 32 at P&Z and they did appeal to City Council and they were actually 33 permitted to do a 20-foot tall freestanding sign. 34 35 Ferrary: So the McDonald's is 30-foot. It did get a variance. 36 37 Ochoa: No ma'am, it was allowed by right. 38 39 Ferrary: Okay, but, so this ... to be the same height would need the variance to be 40 approved. 41 42 Ochoa: Mr. Chairman, Commissioner Ferrary that is correct. 43 44 Ferrary: Okay, thank you. 45 46 Crane: Any other Commissioner have a question for Mr. Ochoa? All right, thank 52 I you Mr. Ochoa. Is the applicant here? Are we going to hear from both of 2 you? 3 4 Pompeo: Yes sir. 5 6 Crane: Together or separately. 7 8 Pompeo: Together. 9 10 Crane: Okay, then each of you introduce yourselves. 11 12 Carrera: My names Javier Carrera. I represent the owner. 13 14 Crane: Okay, Mr. Carrera and ... I recognize you sir. 15 16 Pompeo: Yes sir. My name's Paul Pompeo with Southwest Engineering, 17 representing the applicant. 18 19 Crane: Okay gentlemen, do you swear and affirm that the testimony you are 20 about to give is the truth and nothing but the truth under penalty of law? 21 22 Carrera: Yes sir. 23 24 Pompeo: Yes I do. 25 26 Crane: Thank you. 27 28 Carrera: I think there's a hardship because of the overpass and ... the overpass is 29 at least 30-feet high. And because if you're coming from the south going 30 north or from the east going west you cannot even see the McDonald's 31 sign until you're real close. Once you see it you already passed it so you 32 have to drive to wherever the next exit is and come back. We are not a 33 destination point. O'Reilly's is a destination point. Dentist or doctors 34 office are destination points. We're more like if you're hungry you're 35 looking for something to eat or you go to closest thing that you can see 36 and get out on the exit. If somebody coming from White Sands come 37 back to Las Cruces, if they see the sign on the side of the road from New 38 Mexico Department of Transportation, it's a blue little sign, by the time 39 they see it they're going to already go past the exit sign. So I think also 40 per the chapter 36 of the sign code Bataan is called a minor arterial but 41 we're actually along 1-70 which is a principal arterial. (inaudible) there's a 42 difference in that, that we're actually in front of 1-70, that's people going 43 back and forth. So for that we're requesting that this be approved. 44 45 Crane: Thank you sir. Any questions for Mr. Carrera? Thank you. Mr. Pompeo, 46 do you want to speak? 53 1 2 Pompeo: Thank you Mr. Chairman. If I could just reiterate some comments that 3 Commissioner Clifton made about the sign code, the date that it was 4 adopted, and then after that Highway 70 was reconstructed with grade 5 separated interchanges. I would also like to point out that staff has shown 6 from the code, the matrix that shows principal arterials, minor arterials, 7 and adjacent land zoning and what the heights may be. I think we have a 8 very special case here, you have more than a principal arterial 9 sandwiched between two minor arterials. So, and the code doesn't take 10 that into account. So I really think because of the topography, because of 11 the grade separated interchange at this location, because of the sight 12 issues with the sign, and because we are really along Highway 70, all this 13 corridor was Highway 70 so that's a principal arterial, I think based on all 14 that criteria that ... and the fact that the McDonald's directly next door 15 which I guess could be considered a competitor, I mean fair is fair. I mean 16 if they have a 30-foot sign along Highway 70 and they're advertising for a 17 food business, then the adjacent property owner should be afforded the 18 same rights and privileges. And so based on that criteria I believe that we 19 have met the criteria for a variance to be granted in this specific case. 20 And I'd be happy to answer any questions that you might have. 21 22 Crane: Thank you sir. Commissioners? Mr. Clifton. 23 24 Clifton: Mr. Chair, Mr. Pompeo you do bring up a good point and if I do recall 25 having been from Las Cruces, this at one time was from a traffic 26 engineering standpoint one functioning unit of roadway. It was a ... U.S. 27 Highway 70 without frontage roads and to access north or south you 28 would access directly off the highway until the highway project came in the 29 early '90s which caused the grade separations and by that time the zoning 30 code had been adopted with the existing highway in place, is that correct? 31 32 Pompeo: That is correct and that is part of the basis of our variance request. 33 34 Clifton: So in essence a governmental agency NMDOT kind of created a 35 topographical hardship as part of the construction process which is not 36 uncommon but it is a hardship by topographic nature. 37 38 Pompeo: We believe in this specific case that it is. I mean in my estimation of doing 39 this, requesting variances and being before this body for many many times 40 when we talk about topographical constraints I don't believe that that's 41 limited to just the subject property. I think that when you look at 42 topographic limitations you have to look at not only the exact ... this 43 subject property but also the immediately surrounding. Well immediately 44 adjacent to this property is a grade separated bridge structure and that is 45 causing a line of sight issue with people being able to see this sign both 46 on Bataan Memorial East and Highway 70 east, specifically in those two 54 I instances. So, once again based on those facts we believe we have met 2 the criteria for a variance. 3 4 Clifton: And in terms of the other criteria with economic development, I do have a 5 quick question for Mr. Carrera. As the PM for this project, I'm not sure if 6 you can answer this, but do you know approximately how many people 7 this business will employ? 8 9 Carrera: Actually the manager or the district manager for EI Paso and Southern 10 New Mexico is here and he can answer that question. 11 12 Clifton: Thank you. 13 14 Rodriguez: My name is Luis Rodriguez. 15 16 Crane: Mr. Rodriguez do you swear and affirm that the testimony you are about to 17 give is the truth and nothing but the truth under penalty of law? 18 19 Rodriguez: Yes sir. 20 21 Crane: Go ahead sir. 22 23 Rodriguez: Well a business like this, as you can see is not in a main commercial 24 center. Church's is traditionally being ... has been in place close to the 25 neighborhoods just like this one and you know when you talk about 26 hardship it's not just about the business. No body's saying employees. 27 We're all about the employees. You know we have in our company one of 28 the lowest quitting rates and we like to keep the employees. It's about 20 29 employees that would be working with us. 30 31 Clifton: Okay. Thank you. So you know it's really not this Commissions job but 1 32 think it's relevant because this is a hardship regarding economic 33 development. But do you have an approximate number on the revenues 34 that this business would generate for the local economy? Because it 35 clearly does stimulate economic development, irregardless of the business 36 type. Any new business should be welcomed. 37 38 Rodriguez: Well I don't know what the tax rate is but with my experience and I've 39 been doing this for about 20 years, this as it is right now it would start 40 being about a $14,000 a week store and then it would grow from there. 41 So we're saying you know about $600,000 a year and then from there you 42 get the taxes. 43 44 Clifton: Thank you. 45 46 Crane: Thank you sir. Mr. Beard. 55 1 2 Beard: What would be the hours of operation? 3 4 Rodriguez: We normally come into set up the store about 9:00 a.m., open at 10:30 or 5 10:00 till 10:00. 6 7 Beard: Until 10:00? 8 9 Rodriguez: Yes. And one of the reasons again it goes back to employees, we really 10 like to be really flexible as opposed to other chains, really flexible when it 11 comes to you know getting back to home safely or helping the college 12 students because that in our experience gives us the best employee 13 possible. 14 15 Beard: Okay. I believe that when we talked with the O'Reilly people when they 16 were putting their ... about their sign, they agreed that they would turn the 17 light off in the sign itself after 10 o'clock so it wouldn't bother the 18 neighbors. Would you ... if we were to put that type of a condition on this 19 request would that be a hardship to you? 20 21 Rodriguez: Yes, the QSR restaurants, the quick service restaurants have come a long 22 way in that regard either with parking lights, you know facing forward, 80 23 degree angles or with having timers, very sophisticated timers for lights to 24 go off at a certain time. 25 26 Beard: Okay. 27 28 Crane: Any other Commissioner have a question for Mr. Rodriguez? Thank you 29 sir. 30 31 Rodriguez: Thank you. 32 33 Crane: Any member of the public wish to address this issue? Are you going to 34 speak as a unit or separately? 35 36 A.Squire: We'll we're married so. 37 38 Crane: Okay, I understand. 39 40 A.Squire: (inaudible). 41 42 Crane: Please identify yourself. 43 44 C.Squire: Cynthia Squire. 45 46 A.Squire: Andrew Squire. 56 1 2 Crane: And Andrew Squire. Okay, so you swear and affirm that the testimony 3 you are about to give is the truth and nothing but the truth under penalty of 4 law? 5 6 A.Squire: Yes. 7 8 C.Squire: Yes we do. 9 10 Crane: Thank you. 11 12 C.Squire: First of all Mr. Chairman and Commissioners thank you for giving us the 13 opportunity to speak against this variance. We live at 5700 Big Sky Drive. 14 Our property is adjacent ... 15 16 A.Squire: Right there. 17 18 C.Squire: That's our property right there, so you can see it's adjacent to Mesa 19 Grande. We're not new to this. We had to fight this with O'Reilly's in June 20 2009. Back then it was a collaborative effort with all the neighbors against 21 the variance for O'Reilly's and the neighbors are prepared to do that once 22 again. One of the complaints O'Reilly's had was that not having the 30- 23 foot sign would impact their business. I can tell you that as a neighbor 24 there, they're always busy. As a collaborative unit we help keep them 25 busy. We're all a bunch of motor heads so to speak. I have nothing 26 against Church's moving into that location. I hate to admit, I'd probably be 27 one of the frequent customers, it doesn't go along with my healthy eating 28 choices but I like their chicken, let's just face it. What I do have an issue 29 with is the 30-foot sign. I have an issue with the light pollution that comes 30 along with the 30-foot sign. And even with the concessions we made with 31 O'Reilly's and they've been really great about turning off their lights for the 32 most part, they did have to turn one on in the back part of the property for 33 their early morning deliveries, but we've been able to live with that. But it's 34 still violates my quiet enjoyment. Having the lights that bright in my back 35 yard just keeps ... sometimes you want to sit out in the back yard and just 36 relax and you can't do that if you have these bright lights at you. And the 37 other thing that, again I didn't come fully prepared, I didn't bring a CD with 38 different pictures, I just have printouts, but one of the reasons we bought 39 the property in North Jornada was cause of the covenants of the 40 neighborhood and the zoning of the surrounding areas. One of the selling 41 points for us aside from the lot size was the view of the Organ Mountains. 42 The quietness of the area. The lack of the light pollution of the area, and 43 the fact that it doesn't look like EI Paso with all of these signs up and down 44 the road. If you've ever been ... let's say that Cielo Vista Mail, Sunland 45 Park Mall, any of those areas you're just inundated with all of these signs 46 that distract from the loveliness of the area. EI Paso could be a beautiful 57 I city if it wasn't for all of the signs all over the place. Again since I didn't 2 prepare and bring you pictures other than stuff I printed out, I don't agree 3 that you wouldn't be able to see their sign. If they're saying they can't see 4 McDonald's sign at 30-foot, how is giving them a 30-foot sign going to 5 make it any different. That doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. 1 6 drive it every day. I could see their signs. I could see O'Reilly's signs and 7 where they're located at they're actually at a better vantage point from the 8 westbound traffic. You'll see the Church's sign long before you'll see the 9 McDonald's sign. I can also see the McDonald's sign coming eastbound. 10 1 really don't believe that you're going to have a hard time seeing it. And 11 since I have other neighbors here who would like to take the opportunity to 12 talk to you, I'm respectfully requesting that you guys uphold the law and 13 deny this variance request. 14 15 A.Squire: Now one thing that happened with the O'Reilly's issue was that they did 16 get a variance. 17 18 Crane: Excuse me. Identifying Mr. Squire for the record. Go ahead. 19 20 A.Squire: One thing that happened with the O'Reilly's issue is they did get a 21 variance to the 20-foot on their sign, but we made concessions as being 22 good neighbors for that. We didn't want them to get the 30-foot sign, there 23 was no need for that and they agreed finally, to be good neighbors they 24 would get ... they would go down on their sign height. I don't see that they 25 need a 30-foot sign either. I don't see a hardship at all on them. My wife 26 and I both work at White Sands Missile Range, we drive that highway all 27 ... every day, and you can see McDonald's from a long ways away. You'll 28 see Church's from a long ways away. If you get the road signs like they're 29 proposing where it says what attractions are up ahead, that'll be more 30 than enough ... more than adequate. 31 32 Crane: Thank you Mr. Squire. Commissioner Ferrary do you have questions for 33 them? 34 35 Ferrary: Yes. Since we are talking about the McDonald's sign, and the Church's 36 sign will be no higher than what the 30-feet of the McDonald's, so would 37 that still be in your viewpoint or blocking your way? 38 39 C.Squire: Since it's taller than the structures that would be in place, yes, it would still 40 be within our viewpoint. And I do want to make a point that McDonald's 41 does shut their sign down ... I don't know if it's 10 o'clock but by 11 o'clock 42 for sure their sign is off. I don't understand their response to the question 43 earlier if they'd be willing to turn off their sign and their answer was no. 1 44 don't understand that since their neighbor already tries to do the good 45 neighbor thing by shutting their sign off at the end of their workday. 46 58 I Ferrary: I think there might've been a misunderstanding. I thought they said they 2 would by putting on a timer. 3 4 C.Squire: Maybe I misunderstood. 5 6 Ferrary: So would that be agreeable if it was no higher than the McDonald's and 7 was turned off at 10 o'clock? 8 9 C.Squire: It still blocks my view of the Organ Mountains that I bought the house for 10 or bought the land for, but I'll let my neighbors have an opportunity to 11 speak about that. I do want to make one other point, that we talk about 12 the business that they would be getting from travelers, obviously I haven't 13 worked up numbers, I don't have the statistics but I'd be willing to say that 14 the majority of their business are going to be the daily commuters and the 15 high school kids that will be going there at lunch time. The neighborhood 16 people that live in that area because they don't want to drive all the way 17 down into town to go get food, the next closest chicken place is down on 18 Main Street, the next closest Church's is off of Lohman. The majority of 19 your everyday business will be the local commuters or the local people 20 who live within the area, not your out of town travelers. 21 22 Crane: Thank you. Please identify yourself sir. 23 24 Northrop: My name's Steve Northrop. 25 26 Crane: And Mr. Northrop do you swear and affirm that the testimony you are 27 about to give is the truth and nothing but the truth under penalty of law? 28 29 Northrop: Yes sir. 30 31 Crane: Go ahead please. 32 33 Northrop: Yeah, my name is Steve Northrop. I live at 5650 Big Sky Drive. I am the 34 adjacent property right next door to the Squires. I'll be the one closest to 35 Church's. I really ... Cindy covered it pretty well. I think the only thing I'd 36 like to add is that they talk about not being able to see the McDonald's 37 sign coming down eastbound on Highway 70, well what makes you think 38 you're going to see a 30-foot sign behind McDonald's sign? I know one 39 place you will see it really well will be from my back yard. It'll block our 40 view of the mountains. It'll be lit up at night. And we're just ... really don't 41 want to see this happen. We'd like to keep the ... recommend that you 42 guys keep this to the code and not allow the variance. And that's all. 43 Thank you very much. Any questions? 44 45 Crane: Thank you. Mr. Clifton. 46 59 I Clifton: Real quick question. 2 3 Northrop: Yes sir. 4 5 Clifton: Does the billboard obstruct your view, the 40-foot billboard? 6 7 Northrop: The 40-foot billboard, a little bit. 8 9 Clifton: Okay. 10 11 Northrop: You can see ... we can see the top of it. 12 13 Clifton: Okay. Thank you. 14 15 Crane: Any other member of the public? Yes. 16 17 Baur: Good evening. My name's Bob Baur. 18 19 Crane: Sir? 20 21 Baur: Bob Baur. 22 23 Crane: B A R R. 24 25 Baur: B A U R. 26 27 Crane: B A U R. Do you swear and affirm that the testimony you are about to 28 give is the truth and nothing but the truth under penalty of law? 29 30 Baur: Ido. 31 32 Crane: Go ahead please. 33 34 Baur: Well I was probably the first person living out there. I actually live on the 35 other side of the street. Moved out there cause of the view of the Organ 36 Mountains, everything's pretty, and yes the billboard blocks my view. And 37 yes the power pole they put up blocks my view. And yes the road that 38 they built blocks our view. And it just goes on and on and on. Put up the 39 road. McDonald's put up their sign because they were allowed to. We 40 didn't get any letters. We didn't get any requests. They changed the 41 signing ordinance when they put up the road. Okay, let's put up the road. 42 Now every time that a business wants to put a sign up we have to come 43 down here and say please enforce the laws. I also own a business. Many 44 of you may know that. It's called Toucan Market here in town. I also have 45 a signing ordinance. How many of you've seen my sign? Only the one on 46 the building probably, right? Because there is a signing ordinance. Well 60 I why can't I have a 30-foot sign on University, because nobody will let you 2 do that. There's only a few of us living out there. We need to enforce this 3 ordinance. It's blocking our view. Just because there's only a few doesn't 4 mean that we don't get to have some kind of say so in it. And I think that 5 we have to enforce this ordinance. If it's 18-feet, it's 18-feet. If you're 6 coming from the west where do you have to get off at anyways? How far 7 west of that area do you have to get off of? Why does that sign have to be 8 right there? I mean they're saying they can't put a billboard there, but they 9 can put a billboard out there before the exit. If you're coming up from the 10 east side you're not going to see it anyways, or excuse me from the west 11 side you're not going to see it anyways. That McDonald's sign, if could 12 have you guys come over to my house one evening, we'll sit on my back 13 patio and we'll watch the McDonald's sign all night. You know, yes they 14 turn it off, but it happened without us being able to do anything about it 15 and now we can and I think that we should enforce the ordinance. Any 16 questions? Thank you very much. 17 18 Crane: Thank you Mr. Baur. 19 20 Baur: You're welcome. 21 22 Crane: Any other members of the public? Yes sir. 23 24 Redfearn: Jake Redfearn. 25 26 Crane: Redfearn. Go on sir. Oh, do you swear and affirm that the testimony you 27 are about to give is the truth and nothing but the truth under penalty of 28 law? 29 30 Redfearn: Yes. 31 32 Crane: All right. 33 34 Redfearn: Just two quick comments. I think everybody's touched on most of it. I'm a 35 local commercial real estate broker and I work with a lot of QSRs, fast 36 food restaurants and I know that there's been a little bit of comparison to 37 them and O'Reilly's and typically what I find in my profession is that 38 people like Church's Chicken, users like that, are very much more reliant 39 on signage because they're impulse businesses. You don't drive by an 40 O'Reilly's and decide you need a new part for your car and dive in there. 41 You go look for O'Reilly's or AutoZone, things like that. So Church's 42 Chicken, McDonald's, everybody else in the world that serves in that 43 industry really relies on signage, so it is important to them for that reason. 44 Then two, we're working on other developments trying to up and down 45 Highway 70 on various exits like Sonoma Ranch. One particular 46 development on Sonoma Ranch which is on the north side adjacent to a 61 I neighborhood, they have by right to do a 30-foot sign because Sonoma 2 Ranch is a major arterial. They're choosing not to because the 3 topography's different there. They're closer to that elementary school, 4 where actually at grade level. They don't want to put a 30-foot sign up 5 because they feel like if you're driving down Bataan you'll actually be too 6 high above you and you won't see it, so they're going to do it somewhere 7 around 20-25 depending on what their design looks like. So I don't think 8 they're being out of scope in trying to request this to get up to 30-feet 9 because of the topography issues, not every person's going to want to do 10 this, but because of traveling from west to east on this highway they're 11 really restricted and it is indeed a hardship on this property. One thing 12 that has been mentioned is evaluation, you know maybe the highest and 13 best use for some of this commercial is a fast food restaurant. They pay 14 better values for property and if they're not able to put in the correct 15 signage for their business it will restrict the value that the owner can get 16 for the property. Thank you. 17 18 Crane: Any questions for Mr. Redfearn? Thank you. Any other member of the 19 public wish to address this issue? I am about to close. Yes, Mr. Pompeo. 20 21 Pompeo: Mr. Chairman would it be appropriate at this time to have a couple of 22 follow-up comments based on some of the previous testimony that this 23 Commission ... 24 25 Crane: Yes sir, go ahead. 26 27 Pompeo: Basically we have a variance standard in our code that allows this 28 Commission to look at areas, special areas that have unique situations 29 that have that allowance to be varied from the code. And once again we 30 submit to you that this is one of those locations. If this restaurant was 31 located half a mile east or west where Highway 70 and Bataan Memorial 32 were all at grade, then we could not stand here and make the arguments 33 that we're making before you now. McDonald's in this area has a 30-foot 34 sign and there's a 40-foot plus billboard sitting right here. So, once again 35 from our aspect fair is fair and then we should be ... or my client should be 36 able to advertise with the same type of signs, same height of sign as the 37 McDonald's next door. That sign being lower at this particular location 38 strictly because of the topography caused by the grade separated 39 interchange does cause us a hardship. It will be below the deck elevation 40 of that roadway and you will not be able to see that sign. I think it was 41 Commissioner Beard that pointed out in his travels that he could not see 42 the McDonald's sign and I just want to point out that the applicants you 43 know didn't make that assertion. We believe that the McDonald's sign is 44 of an adequate height and that's why we're seeking the same. So thank 45 you very much. 46 62 I Crane: Thank you sir. Any comments for Mr. Pompeo? All right, in that case 2 we're closing this to public input. Commissioners? Commissioner 3 Ferrary. 4 5 Ferrary: The McDonald's sign is where the freeway is at the highest point or close 6 to it. The Church's would be where it's lower and I think you know not 7 having that variance would be fair to the neighbors, so I think they still 8 could use as the city suggested the signs that are posted you know as 9 you're ... whenever we travel we look for the signs that say you know gas, 10 or whatever different food, fast foods are available. And people would see 11 those way before they would need to see the Church's sign. As they're 12 exiting, then they would see it and be able to go there and still be 13 attracting the business by the regular sign. And I think from the opposite 14 way going from the west to east would be the same situation. You're not 15 going to see those signs anyway, but rely upon the signs on the highway 16 that would indicate when you need to exit. So I think it's better that we 17 don't approve this variance. 18 19 Crane: Commissioner Beard. 20 21 Beard: When I built my property almost 30 years ago I had a full view of the 22 Organ Mountains. I do not ... I can't see the Organ Mountains at all today 23 because farmers put 35-foot pecan trees behind me. I knew that that 24 could happen. The property here is commercial and the people that 25 moved in there should've known that commercial property is going to have 26 commercial business and they need signs. I think it's only fair that if 27 McDonald's has a 30-foot sign that the next door piece of property should 28 have a 30-foot sign. It's true that you won't be able to see that sign 29 especially coming from the east ... coming from the west going east, it's 30 going to be more difficult to see that Church's sign as opposed to the 31 McDonald's sign, but I think it's only fair that the two be treated equally. 32 When I was there sitting on that piece of property the signs were not the 33 big issue to me. Now of course I wasn't there at nighttime, but those 34 telephone poles, especially that big metal telephone pole between the two 35 businesses, that's a really big tall structure and to me that would be more 36 objectionable than a 30-foot sign. At nighttime I can see that between 37 nine and ten if it's still dark that a lighted sign over there is going to cause 38 just a little bit more lighted area for people possibly in their backyards. But 39 if the sign lights go out at 10 o'clock I think that that's fairly reasonable 40 thing to do. So I am actually in favor of the 30-foot sign. I think it's fair. 41 It's commercial property that's been commercial property for quite some 42 time. People should've known that the signs were going to be there. If 43 Church's went in earlier before the freeway was completed it would be a 44 30-foot sign. I think it's a ... also a lot better than putting that 40-foot 45 billboard. I would go for the sign. 46 63 I Crane: Mr. Clifton. 2 3 Clifton: Mr. Chairman, Commission, real quick if you could refer in your packet, 4 there's a couple of Google street views and you know something jumped 5 out at me and I have to agree mostly with Commissioner Beard's 6 comments as well, but there's one that is ... that's directional westbound 7 and there are city street lights. The city streetlights along an arterial are 8 35-feet in height. Those are illuminated from dusk till dawn, unless the 9 light burns out the streetlights are not out. They are consistently on by the 10 great work of the City of Las Cruces. And you can see those streetlights 11 from the other side of Las Cruces as you approach Las Cruces from 12 Deming. Consequently I don't ... you know I can sympathize with the 13 opponents of this case but the streetlights are equally as intrusive at night. 14 1 mean if you're ... they're designed for the night skies ordinance. If you're 15 got a telescope and you're looking straight up in the sky at the stars, that's 16 what they're designed for, but from a street view you can't help but not to 17 see them no matter where you are, whether it's a 25-foot light post in a 18 residential subdivision or 35 along an arterial. And I would still agree and 19 firmly contend that this does meet criteria one and two of the variance 20 standards of physical hardship and that this does help stimulate economic 21 development. Thank you. 22 23 Crane: Any other Commissioner want to comment? Commissioner Ferrary. 24 25 Ferrary: In regards to the physical ... the financial hardship, I think that the 26 McDonald's gets plenty of business with local people, especially students 27 and I think that's what Church's is mainly going for or can rely on for 28 business because there is a ton of young students who go off campus and 29 would go there too, so I don't think that having the sign being raised is 30 going to make a lot of difference. 31 32 Clifton: Just to clarify Mr. Chair. 33 34 Crane: Mr. Clifton. 35 36 Clifton: Their request isn't based on an economic hardship though, it's based on a 37 topographic hardship as I read their submittal and the packet. 38 39 Ochoa: Mr. Chairman, Commissioner Clifton that is correct. 40 41 Clifton: Thank you. 42 43 Crane: Commissioner Ferrary. 44 45 Ferrary: Either way. 46 64 I Crane: I find this one a tricky one. I am sympathetic with the people whose life is 2 being affected by the signs and lights but the point Mr. Clifton made about 3 the streetlight is a good one and also about the fact that this is a corner of 4 what was once a major arterial and another major arterial and evidently 5 the kind of place where you do get commercial development. I think that 6 an 18-foot sign is going to be difficult to see from any of the thoroughfares 7 there, either Bataan Memorial East or West or U.S. 70 east or west. One 8 of the things that bothers me is that people have to make up their minds to 9 get off long before they're going to be able to get a good look at that sign. 10 And what's really going to work for Church's would be to have as I think 11 Ms. Ferrary suggested signs on the side of the highway, the NMDOT ones 12 which I guess you have to pay for saying next exit you can find Church's 13 and McDonald's and what have you. A balance I'm inclined to side with 14 keeping the 18-foot as required by the ordinance. That's the end of my 15 input. Do I hear a motion or does somebody else want to make a 16 comment? Mr. Beard. Mr. Alvarado, let's go with you. 17 18 Alvarado: I think in the interest of fairness we have to go with the variance because if 19 the McDonald's has a 30-foot sign I think we have to approve a 30-foot 20 sign for Church's. That's my view. 21 22 Crane: Let me point out that they have a 30-foot sign because it was permitted by 23 zoning at that time. Okay, Mr. Beard, you have something to say? Go 24 ahead, push your little red button. 25 26 Beard: I'm going to make the motion to accept, I get the right one here, A1724. 27 28 Crane: Moved by Mr. Beard. Do I have a second? 29 30 Stowe: Second. 31 32 Crane: Seconded by Mr. Stowe. Okay we'll do a roll call. Which way did I start 33 last time? Mr. Secretary, you're alert. I started over there? I'll start over 34 here. I vote nay based on findings, discussion, and site visit. 35 36 Beard: I vote yes based on discussions and site visit. 37 38 Alvarado: I vote yes based on discussion, site visit, and findings. 39 40 Crane: Commissioner Ferrary. 41 42 Ferrary: I vote nay based on testimony, findings, and site visit. 43 44 Crane: Mr. Stowe. 45 46 Stowe: I vote aye based on site visit and discussions. 65 1 2 Crane: And Mr. Clifton. 3 4 Clifton: I vote aye based on facts presented for the case and it meeting within the 5 packet criteria for physical hardship and the potential for spurring 6 economic development. 7 8 Crane: Okay the measure passes four to two. Thank you. 9 10 VII. OTHER BUSINESS 11 12 Crane: And continuing. Any other business Mr. Ochoa? 13 14 Ochoa: Let us see. No sir, no other business. 15 16 Crane: Okay. 17 18 VIII. PUBLIC PARTICIPATION 19 20 Crane: Any more public participation of any kind? Okay. 21 22 IX. STAFF ANNOUNCEMENTS 23 24 Crane: Staff announcements. None. 25 26 X. ADJOURNMENT (8:55) 27 28 Crane: In that case we stand adjourned at 8:55. Thank you, 29 30 31 32 33 34 Chairperson 35 36 66