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05/18/2004WSE ~ 1 WORK SESSION MEETING 2 OF THE 3 PLANNING AND ZONING COMMISSION 4 FOR THE 5 CITY OF LAS CRUCES 6 May 18, 2004 7 6:00 pm 8 9 BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT: BOARD MEMBERS ABSENT: 10 Bruce Buchman, Chair William Ludtke 11 Elizabeth Camunez Harry Sanchez 12 Quentin Ford 13 Nancy Binneweg 14 Henry Young 15 16 STAFF PRESENT: OTHERS PRESENT: 17 Robert Kyle, Planner Kim Seckler -Attorney, Chamber of Commerce 18 Lani Ruth McCarson, Planner Jae S. Bul-ock -Chamber of Commerce 19 Kirk Clifton, Planner David Steinborn -Zoning Committee 20 Vincent Banegas, Michele Marshal -- Las Cruces HBA Development and MPO Administrator 21 John Carmody 22 Carmen A. Lucero, Recording Secretary 23 24 CHAIR BUCHMAN: I would like to call the meeting of the Work Session of the Planning and Zoning to 25 order. The first item on the agenda is the approval of the Work Session Minutes from March 16'h. Did -1- • • 1 everybody get a copy? Are there any changes or any additions to the minutes of March 16? Ms. 2 Binneweg looks like she wants to point something out. 3 BINNEWEG: Just a few typos and stuff, little things; I'd hate...l'm not going to go with typos... 4 CHAIR BUCHMAN: OK, all right. If there's no changes or additions, the minutes will stand approved as 5 presented. 6 OK, looks like we have a long agenda tonight, and a few guests and I think one thing I would like to 7 recommend, I noticed in the past it's happened, if we have a lot of people talking at once, it's hard for the 8 recorder to know what's going on. So, after the presenter is done, if you want to speak, please raise your 9 hand and we'll do questions and comments through the Chair, and that way there's not a lot of people 10 talking at once. Is that OK with the Board? OK. 11 Number three, is discussion of the Proposed Revisions. Who's going to start us out? Mr. Banegas. 12 VINCE BANEGAS: Commissioner Buchman, let me start off by saying that you're absolutely right in 13 stating that we have same guests here today. The guests represent a form of an Ad Hoc Committee that 14 has been working with staff to review issues related to the 2001 Zoning Code as amended. And the 15 whole intent is to try and see where the Zoning Code could be improved, where certain provisions could 16 be strengthened, andlor made more flexible to adjust to the needs of the community as it now stands, in 17 terms of the development process, business process, and so forth. 18 We have, of course, Mr. Dave Steinborn who has been working from the get go, Joe Bullock, 19 Kim... 20 KIM SECKLER: Seckler. 21 BANEGAS: ...Seckler, and who else, John Carmody, has also been sitting in on all the meetings and we 22 have other members that aren't in attendance with us but suffice it to say it's been a process. We've 23 been meeting since, I believe, late January, February, working towards a common goal of trying to do as 24 much of a review of issues that were presented as concerns, as possible. We've come up with a list of 25 proposed amendments that we intend to present to you tonight as information, in terms of what the issues contain, what they address they are by no means in any legislative format at this time. The whole intent -2- ~ • 1 is to give the Planning and Zoning Commission an opportunity to review the issues as we have discussed 2 them at the Committee and staff level before we embark on a rather extensive process of going through 3 that legislative format change. 4 With that, as you know, we've had the 2001 Zoning Code in place since September of 2001, and 5 since then there have been several amendments to it to address a variety of issues that have come up. 6 However, there was a need to take a look at some specific areas, particularly as it relates to, for 7 instance, the Residential Zoning Districts, and also some of the Commercial and/or Industrial Zoning 8 Districts to see what type of flexibility we can incorporate into there without, without affecting to a large 9 extent the rest of the provisions of the Zoning Cade, and at the same time allowing the development 10 community the opportunity...oppartunities to work within the confines of the Code and still meet their 11 obligations; and business practices. 12 So what I'll do is go through this packet of information, as I have done with the Committee prior to 13 coming here and with that let's just dive in if we may. Again, this is a synopsis of the issues that we've 14 came up with to date. 15 First of all, the issue on residential issues pertains...there further in your packet there is a table, a 16 set of tables that refers to the Residential Zoning Districts and also the Commercial and Industrial Zoning 17 Districts; and you may be flipping back and forth as I talk about these, but to start with, we'll hit the 18 residential issues. 19 And, the first area of discussion between the Ad Hoc Committee and staff was to allow greater 20 variety of dwelling types in the zoning districts that are currently identified as R-2, and R-3 Zoning District 21 nomenclature. 22 Both of those districts are multi-dwelling in nature and previously...if you flip to the table itself, 23 think it's identified in your packet on the bottom of page 4-2-19, there is...it's referred to as Matrix...or 24 Development Standards, All Residential Zoning Districts Section 3$-31 d, at the top left of the page; and 25 you will see two columns further to the right, identified as R-2 and R-3, and there you will see that in both instances we had allowances for duplexes and triplexes and, of course, mobile home parks, in the listing -3- • • 1 of Structures That Would Be Allowed. What you can now see is a red lined listing of additional structure 2 types that are proposed to be allowed, these also include, of course, site builts and manufactured 3 dwellings, patio homes, town homes, and quadplexes. 4 That represents part of that proposed amendment addressing the structure types within the R-2, 5 R-3 Zoning Districts. 6 The...any questions on that item, before I proceed? It's really all that particular issue at this 7 point. 8 QUENTIN FORD: Why stop at quadplexes? 9 BANEGAS: We try to get the R-4 district to pertain more towards the larger variety of structures that we 10 would be allowing; anything above four would go into the R-4 designation; we'd still retain the R-4 11 designation. And the whole idea was to ensure that there was, number one, a zoning district to house 12 those structures, if you will, but also protect some of the neighboring land uses and trying to maintain 13 some consistency in terms of land use distribution and potential impacts that are higher in intensity than 14 what residential uses might have. 15 ROBERT KYLE: Maintain one zone that was solely for multi-dwelling, since you could have theoretically 16 single family back in the R-2, and R-3. 1 T HENRY YOUNG: We spent quite a bit of time in developing the new zoning Code and my only concern 18 is increasing the maximum intensity, as far as dwelling units per acre, because there was quite a bit of 19 discussion, especially on the R-2 at the time that this was developed. And, I don't know that...even 2p though it's only three more dwelling units per acre on R-2, that is a problem to me. 21 BANEGAS: Yeah, that...l'll tell you what, why don't I go ahead and go through all the residential issues 22 and then we can discuss them as a whole, because what you're referring to is under Item 3. And so, I'll 23 just try and address all residential issues. How's that? 24 YOUNG: OK. 25 BANEGAS: Item Number Two, under the Residential Issues, was clarification as a means to address the additional single family structure types that would be allowed in the R-2 and R-3 zones. We felt the need -4- • • 1 to clarify the applicable set backs when structures of that nature were used in amulti-family district. 50, 2 all we're trying to do there is specify that multi-family structures follow the set backs as identified in the 3 zone and then we allowed a single family set back standard, if you will, at 20 front, 20 rear, 5 side, so 4 there's two separate standards; one for single family, and one for the multiple family structure. 5 In both those districts, it should also be noted that the square footage of a lot size was reduced, 6 or decreased by 5,000 5q ft as stated previously. 7 Item Three, talks to the dwelling units, the density issue and in the R-2 Zoning district, we 8 increased it up to 15 units per acre, whereas before it was 12. And for the R-3 zoning district, we 9 adjusted it to 20 dwelling units per acre from the 15 it's at now. 10 Item four on the list was dealt specifically with the maximum dwelling unit counts in bath the R-2 11 and R-3 Zoning Districts. Basically, we removed any maximum thresholds that pertained in those 12 districts. What you're looking at is the carrying capacity of the lot that will dictate how many units then 13 could ultimately be while still maintaining, obviously, 20 units, or the density issue. So, obviously, that's a 14 carrying capacity of the land, and the development standards would have to be applied and met. 15 Item five, clarify the R-4 Zoning District in terms of the apartment types and style that could be 16 developed. We also included a provision that states that any R-4 Zoning District that existed prior to the 17 adoption of the 2001 Zoning Code, that is the September 3`d date, would maintain the '81 Code standard 18 of 40 dwellings per acre. Anything that was rezoned under the 2001 Code since September 3~d, 2001, 19 would also be identified as a dwelling unit or density standard pursuant to the zone change action. 20 That is consistent with what we've been doing, if you can recall some of the properties that have 21 gone through the process of seeking R-4 Zoning District, there is a density that is also tied to that 22 standard and we do set a minimum of 10 dwelling units per acre as a density threshold, if you will, with 23 this proposal. 24 Item six and seven, are more of a clean up in that R-4 height is lowered to 60 feet whereas 25 before it was a 100; that's more of a City Council directive. There's been issues that have been -5- . • • 1 addressed at Council level, and various zoning cases that have gone before them and this is taking action 2 on what has previously been requested. 3 Also, Item Seven is the minimum designation for roadway access for residential properties; we 4 take away the "minimum" phrase and replace it with the word "recommended." So it's more of a clean up; 5 it gives staff a little bit more flexibility to deal with instances where it just doesn't quite make sense to 6 apply a minimum standard. 7 So, I'll pause there, that's the end of the residential changes being proposed at this time, kind of 8 in a nut shell, and if you have any questions, staff will try and answer those. 9 CHAIR BUCHMAN: OK. Commissioners, any questions. Yes, Ms. Binneweg? 10 BINNEWEG: I want to understand that on Issue Number Five, it says, Apartment Types of Any Style, 11 you're not talking about Overlay Zones, where you have... 12 BANEGAS No. 13 BINNEWEG: OK. So, it's except for areas that have certain... 14 BANEGAS: We're talking single family, duplexes, triplexes, quads and Quail Ridge version type 15 apartment complexes. It's wide open to the type of structure proposed by the builder. 16 BINNEWEG: OK. And, also how many units...lssue Number Four, hasn't the carrying capacity always 17 pretty much always dictated how many units you could get in there? If you have a height limitation. On 18 R-2 and R-3, do you have limitation standards? 19 SEVERAL PLANNERS ANSWERING AT ONE TIME: Yes, yeah, mh hm. 2Q 81NNEWEG: Just two-story? 21 LANI RUTH MCCARSON: 35 feet. 22 BINNEWEG: OK. Three stories? 23 BANEGAS: Three stories, yeah, 35 feet is the maximum height maximum for R-2 and R-3, so... 24 BINNEWEG: Mh, 'cause R-2 and R-3 is...my experience is the University area, I mean, I understand the 25 rest of town, but the University area has instances where you have R-1 backing up to R-2, and if R-2 is allowed to go up three stories high, that gets really intense really fast. But, legally they can do it. -6- • • 1 2 YOUNG: Mh hm. 3 BINNEWEG: They can put up three stories, and then fill the rest with parking. 4 YOUNG: Well, it's the overlays; right on University. 5 BINNEWEG: Is tha# the issues that... 6 BANEGAS: For that matter, R-1a a Single Family District can go up to 35 feet as well. (Inaudible) 7 BINNEWEG: OK. 8 CHAIR BUCHMAN: And, (inaudible) is not residential issues. 9 DAVID STEINBORN: Mr. Chairman, I guess I do have questions. 10 CHAIR BUCHMAN: Certainly. 11 STE=INBORN: May we participate in this discussion at all? 12 CHAIR BUCHMAN: Certainly. 13 STEINBORN: OK. Just a quick comment, Nancy, the reason that we did this, and if you think back to the 14 Philippou Annexation and initial zoning, we felt like 23 feet was a maximum height... 15 BINNEWEG: Mh hm. 16 STEINBORN: ...for low density character. So what we did, we said, "Look, you know, even though the 17 City allows us to go 35 in R-1a or R-2, or R-3, we wanted to limit it to 23 feet because we've got some 18 view issues that we wanted to protect for people... 19 BINNEWEG: Mh hm. 20 STEINBORN: ...well, this is kind of the same thing. The Code prior to 2001 in R-3, and I think you can 21 put 32 units in R-3, or is it 32? 22 BANEGAS: Thirty. 23 STEINBORN: Thirty, in R-2, if you could meet the appropriate requirements, the parking requirement. 24 So, bringing it, and this is...you brought up a goad point about the, you know, now we're asking to 25 consider going up a little bit. We just felt like there was too much compression between how many units -7- • • 1 you could put in R-2 and how few units you could put in R-3. So, we wanted to have a little bit more 2 difference. If you could believe, I mean you, if one believes that buffering is a goad thing, and we do... 3 BINNEWEG: Mh hm. 4 STEINBORN: ...so, we felt like an R-2 would be good against R-1, and R-3 isn't so good against R-1. 5 BINNEWEG: Yeah. 6 STEINBORN: ...so by doing this, it felt like it was more honoring the difference between R-2 and R-3. 7 The way it was...the way it is right now, there isn't much differentiation between the two. 50, if you $ owned a piece of R-3 that you awned prior to 2001, what the ordinance did was took away 50% of the 9 value of this land even though somebody like never had built 30 or more units on it. 50, by giving them 10 back a little bit, essentially what we're doing...and we sat and try to figure out, OK, haw many units can 11 you put on it if you kept to that maximum height and you had two parking spaces, haw can you do it? 12 And, it seemed like these numbers were realistic. That's how we came up...they weren't just arbitrary 13 numbers. 14 CHAIR BUCHMAN: Yes? 15 YOUNG: How, Qavid, haw often has this come up though, since the Zone change? 16 STEINBORN: You know we have no...actually, the publics that we represented were...l 17 represented...l'm not here as Sonoma, that's not who I'm repre...l represented the Las Cruces Home 18 Owners Association, as did George Rossen. There were others that represented as Joe does, the Las 19 Cruces Chamber of Commerce, and then there were people who represented the Las Cruces Realtors 20 Association, which is a very hybrid group, because they represent a lot different kind of people. 21 So, the answer to your question, kind of lies in a different way, and, I...if you don't mind, let me 22 skip for a minute, there is one thing we're going to talk about, time permitting, which we've got a very 23 strong feeling about, which is treating everybody equal. And, so that's like let's protect the little guy, and 24 in this case, that is really what we're saying. We're saying some people don't know that the piece of land 25 they have, that was zoned R-3, that you can put 30 whatever units on, isn't worth what it was worth before 2001...they just don't know, `cause they haven't tried to develop it and they're not informed, and _g_ • ~ 1 they're not sophisticated investors. So, what we're trying to do is look at this in a global sense and figure 2 out, OK, what's there. 3 And, the other thing is what we've been told by the staff folks is that they're looking for different 4 kinds of zoning, densities, and intensities, and more multi-family, which hopefully, will equal more 5 affordable housing. Well, it's hard to do that unless you increase the densities, and we don't have much 6 R-4, and you can't put multiple family in Cs any more, which you used to be able to do. So, by increasing 7 the R-3 density, all we're doing is allowing more (inaudible) types. 8 YOUNG: My only problem with that, when we were going over this, then was, we even solicited input, but 9 whether it was not thought out at that point, or whether people just didn't bring us their input, we left 10 ample time for this. And, you know, that's kind of a personally a bane of contention with me. 11 STEINBORN: And it should be, and our contention is that we were stupid. We, you know, that's for the 12 minutes, we...all of us really, as you've heard the expression, "deaf, dumb and happy." We just went, you 13 know, we kept hearing that we would have more flexibility and we never got into the details. And the 14 Devil is in the details. And, even though you asked for input, and even some of us had representatives 15 that came to those meetings, they didn't see the issues the way...the practical (inaudible) now saying. 16 That's, I mean, we admit it, we were very absent from the meetings, and shouldn't have been. So, that's 17 why were here. And, we've spent in aggregate, nine or ten months on this project. 18 BINNEWEG: Oh, and also there's the point that once you have something printed in a written document 19 and stuck on, "by gosh, line, by line, byline..." 20 STEINBORN: Yes. 21 BINNEWEG: ...when it's all talking and staff's churning away at the reason that everybody...hoping that 22 their interest will be coming out, and once you've seen the written word, it's like "Oh boy..." 23 STEINBORN: Yeah.. 24 BINNEWEG: ...you turn around and start revising. 25 STEINBORN: Well, you know, Nancy, in fairness to our staff at the City, they tried to...they try to interpret what the policy makers are asking them to do... -9- ~ r • 1 BINNEWEG: Mh hm. 2 STEINBORN: ...I mean, they don't make the law, they're trying to interpret what you guys want, what the 3 City Council wants. And, but the difficulty is, they know more about it than some times you guys do, and 4 so, I can sure understand how this happened, and that's why we're here. I mean, we all...none of this is 5 our agenda. I mean, we're here because we feel like there's some things we need to address. You're 6 going to hear a couple of things that they did that we feel need to be addressed, that you're going to be 7 maybe a little surprised at, because they're not our fish to fry at all; they're not our issues. So, but 8 anyway, that's...thank you Mr. Chairman, that's just the reason we (inaudible). 9 CMAIR BUCHMAN: All right, any other questions, comments? OK, next? 10 BANEGAS: Non-Residential Issues: Increase the O-1 and O-2 zoning district for maximum building size 11 from 1,500 to 2,500. Modification was intended to address greater flexibility in terms of development in 12 tenant need potential. We also modified the maximum building size for the C-2 zone by eliminating any 13 building size threshold; the amount went from a 5,000 sq. ft. standard to unlimited. Again it's based on 14 the carrying capacity of the land in meeting all the development requirements of parking, ponding, 15 landscaping, et cetera. 16 Modifying maximum building size for C-3 zone by eliminating the threshold stated and 17 establishing the minimum, in this case, 10,000 sq. ft. And, the reason...l'll get to the reasoning there by 18 hitting the next item, which is Item Four. 19 We're eliminating C-4 zoning in its entirety. The premise was to set the commercial ceiling down 20 to the next zoning...the commercial zoning district of C-3, so if we're going to do that, we had to make the 21 C-3 the maximum and set that as the zoning district where you can have your large structure, commercial 22 structures, commercial development, that sort of thing. So, that's your regional centers, that type of thing, 23 where C-3 comes into play under this proposal. 24 Item Five is clean up issue, again, the "minimum" designation of the roadway access criterion is 25 changed to "recommended", and then for the old one C-1 zone is eliminated in its entirety. -10- • • 1 Item Six, is a reorganization of manufacturing/industrial zoning districts to, in essence, make 2 them more like the '81 Industrial Districts. And, we still seek to preserve a long term solution for the high 3 technology or clean industry-type industrial district. So we'll be explaining that here shortly. 4 Item seven, is where that comes into play. We are, at this point in time, referring to an MT 5 Manufacturing/Technology District which will serve for the clean technology and/or tech/industrial-type 6 application. Research parks come to mind and other related-type uses. But, in that zoning district, we're 7 seeking to not only...apply it to the industrial applications, but we're also opening it up to supporting retail 8 and service uses. And, I just want state that, it's not an unlimited list. We have tried to define in your 9 packet the MT Zoning District land uses. We tried to define those supporting uses that would be a good 10 fit for certain businesses or office uses for instance, Kinko's, coffee shops, small scale restaurants, you 11 know, those type of things so that people are not traveling from point A to point B to go get certain items 12 while you're at the industrial park. 13 The Item Eight refers to the M-1 zoning district, and here is where we allow greater flexibility in 14 the accommodation of retail and service related uses. The list is similar to the MT zone, that is included 15 in your packet, but it does go a step further. Basically, we're looking at virtually all the uses that were in 16 the M1 Zoning District. All the uses that were allowed under the M1 zoning district, virtually all of them, 17 will be allowed under the modified, if you will, M1 zoning District proposal. 18 We eliminated the top end, which was listed on our current Code as M-3, and in essence, as a 19 result of that, in similar fashion as the commercial, in this case the M2 zone becomes the top end. And, 20 so that's where we're truly reserving the heavy industrial-type uses. We will not be looking at 21 incorporating some of these service and retail activity in there, `cause again, we're trying to keep it...keep 22 it free of competing uses that could be problematic in terms of the types of manufacturing/industrial 23 activity, you're likely to see there. 24 We clarified application of the terminology centers and that's more of a clean up issue. And, then 25 we also talked about non-conforming use language and have a proposal in place to eliminate the -11- • • 1 monetary threshold for interior remodel. There was a provision that triggered compliance requirements 2 when a certain threshold was met. On the interior, if you want to put in diamond... 3 BINNEWEG: Gold... 4 BANEGAS: ...gold plated, yeah, silver, go ahead in the interior; the exterior could still trigger certain 5 compliance issues, but the interior, we didn't see a problem with it. And, sa that's the non-residential 6 section, in a nut shell. I'll pause there. 7 CHAIR BUCHMAN: OK. That a deal. 8 YOUNG: I was just going to say; I agree with all of these changes, I was just concerned about the 9 residential portion. This looks good. 10 FORD: I'd like to say, just a little nit picking things. 11 BANEGAS: OK 12 FORb: On, and I don't know how to identify these, but on the O-1/O-2 table, you've got a minimum area 13 depth, which I don't know what depth means, with the feet, and then 70x60, you don't mean that it's 70 14 feet or 60 feet, do you? 15 BINNEWEG:: The minimum is depth... 16 FORD: I believe an area is a product and then it comes out to a square. 17 BINNEWEG: the dimensions of a lot, 70x60? 1$ FORD: Which is interesting, if you had the minimum, then you couldn't put a 10,000 sq. ft. minimum 19 building on that. 20 BINNEWEG: Mh. 21 KYLE: No. Not in the O-1, I mean, it's limited to 2,500 sq. ft. 22 MCCARSON: That's to prevent people from making odd shaped lots or like a little skinny snake lot or 23 something. 24 KYLE: That's where we're getting to the minimum lot dimension, that's 70 feet for the depth of the lot and 25 60 feet for the width of the lot, are to keep people from creating very odd shaped parcels. It gets us away -12- • • 1 from the whole, you know, 21x130 that we have, that aren't very useable, so they're setting a 2 minimum...you're still have to meet the minimum lot area, which, you know, is... 3 FORD: I know it's not in there, but... 4 BANEGAS: I think what you're referring to though, Qr. Ford, is if it's referring to area it should be square 5 footage. 6 FORD: I think it should, yeah. 7 KYLE: And we have the top column is the minimum square foot of the lot... $ BANEGAS: (inaudible)...off the lot. 9 KYLE: Those are just the minimum... 10 BANEGAS: The minimums. 11 SEVERAL PEOPLE TALKING AT THE SAME TIME UNINTELLIGIBLE 12 YOUNG: So it can be under 60 feet in front. 13 BANEGAS: Right, and we'll change that to... 14 FORD: That's all right, I just meant that you just (inaudible). And also along that same line, it kind of 15 bathers me, I quiver when I see a maximum gross...building gross floor area as a minimum of 10,000, so 16 you have a minimum maximum. 17 BINNEWEG: Right. 1$ BANEGAS: OK. We'll figure some mechanism to make it consistent. We just wanted to make sure 19 there was a... 20 KYLE: We just...let's strike maximum in the left column then, and just put 2,500 maximum in the 21 appropriate cell. 22 JOE BULLOCK: Mr Chairman, I just wanted to say, our Committee is...we applaud the City's efforts on 23 the residential issues that (inaudible) meeting of the minds there, and I think it can account for something 24 that's real workable and improvable. 25 FORD: From my brief experience on the Commission, it's an improvement to get rid of C-4. BUCHMAN: Mrs..... -13- • • 1 2 SECKER: Seckler 3 BUCHMAN: Seckler. 4 SECKERL: Thank you Mr. Buchman. It's Kim Seckler, for the record. One of the reasons we...and back 5 this move is a lot of the comments we hear in the Chamber group was the people thought they had lost a 6 fair amount of rights when the residential zoning districts did become narrower. And this allowed us to 7 return to a little bit of a cumulative zoning so people had more flexibility and didn't feel like they'd lost 8 quite so many rights. That made...especiallybankers, alittle less nervous about their particular land that 9 they may loaned money on it, and all of a sudden it's worth less. So that allowing a cumulative or 10 cascading form of zoning for the residential, was pretty highly endorsed by the Chamber group. 11 CHAIR BUCHMAN: Yes? 12 KYLE: I think that staff can add a little bit of that for ourselves its application as written...the application 13 of the R-2 and R-3 zone has proven problematic for staff because we defined those dwelling types, you 14 know, it had to be a duplex or a triplex or a tri and a quad, and it's very difficult to apply those in the field 15 and I think going back to where it's capped more of the density; we allow whatever housing... 16 BINNEWEG: The configuration is very narrow. 17 KYLE: ...quota for configuration, but we can't on the density, it will make it a lot easier for staff, and the 18 public, and the industry to address the issues we have. 19 YOUNG: That's why I wanted to know how often did it come up. 20 KYLE: It's... 21 YOUNG: So that's good. 22 KYLE: It's been problematic for us. 23 YOUNG: That's why we needed your input. 24 STEINBORN: Mr. Chairman... 25 CHAIR BUCHMAN: Yes? -14- • • 1 STEINBORN: ...if you want to know why we changed from 1,500 to 2,500 the maximum in R-4 and...the 2 R-4? No, it's not R-4, it's O-1 and C-1, is because the minimum size parcel, which is 5,000 sq. ft., you 3 couldn't get a 2,500 sq. ft. building on it to meet the parking requirement unless you went up, and it'd be 4 very hard economically to justify doing that. But, on the high side, you could do 32,000 sq. ft. of land, and 5 a 2,500 sq. ft. building is very small for that size piece of land. The persuasion was that this is a very 6 neighborhood oriented property and what we wanted to do was...if somebody built a 2,500 sq. ft. building, 7 cause of the example, and had a 1,500 sq. ft. tenant in it, and a 1,000 sq. ft. tenant in it, they could grow 8 into the other 1,000 sq. ft. without having to move out of the neighborhood. The way it was written before, 9 they build a 1,500 sq. ft office and if their business grew, they'd have to more, they couldn't make it fit. 10 So, it just made it a little bit more flexible. 11 YOUNG: OK. 12 KYLE: Again, those two zones just, I don't think we've even had any requests for those, in either one of 13 those zones because they were just...that's a little too limited. And, you know, but as Dr...Commissioner 14 Young had said we did spend a considerable amount of time putting those codes together, but we've had 15 three years to apply it in the field now, and we're seeing, you know, where some of the, same of the pit 16 falls, or some of the areas that need to be addressed. 17 BUCHMAN: OK. Mr. Steinborn? 18 STEINBORN: And, on top of the...the other thing is the number of levels, which was something that we 19 all kind of groped with because the way it started out is...current legislation says the maximum you can 20 spend without triggering an entire re-do on something grandfathered is $50,000. So we looked at that 21 and wondered, well why wasn't a percentage, instead of 50,000. Then we tried to apply 50,000 to real life 22 dollars, and we said, look somebody had a half a million dollar property, and they were spending $50,000 23 on it, that's not the same impact as if somebody has $80,000 property, and they're spending 50. Then we 24 came to, "well, what if all the work was done on the inside of the building," and then we said, "yeah, but if 25 they touched outside of the building, and it's like in an overlay zone, then they have to bring the whole scheme of the building into compliance." So, what we came up with was, "get rid of the 50,000" which -15- • • 1 was really an arbitrary number and instead say, "you know, if they could do anything they wanted to the 2 building," `cause it's improving the inventory of the building in Las Cruces, but they can't do anything on 3 the outside of the building, unless they really then star to bring it into compliance. 4 The whole idea is, how do you upgrade the quality of run down buildings? I mean, that's really 5 what this is about. So, it was a way to do it where everybody gat their worth, especially the banker. 6 BINNEWEG: He should. 7 CHAIR BUCHMAN: Anybody else? OK, back to you, Mr. Banegas. 8 BANBGAS: The final issue is under Miscellaneous Issues and it's really a question at this point in time, 9 and it certainly has some backing at the Committee level. Staff recognizes that there's some issues there 10 that'll have to be ironed out, but it's an opportunity so substantially modify the variance process as it now 11 stands. 12 We've been seeing a dramatic decline of variances as a result of the implementation of the 2001 13 Code, but also, you know, there's been other issues prior to that Code that have decreases the amount of 14 cases that went before the Board of Adjustment. But, starting with the implementation of the 2001 Code, 15 the number of cases has dropped. The Planning and Zoning Commission has been given authority in 16 certain instances to grant variances to flexibility developments, and also staff has some authority, an 17 increased authority to grant some flexibility (inaudible), in terms of the standards that cannot be met 18 during development, sa all those mechanisms have equated to a lower amount of variance 19 requests/cases. 20 So, the issue is, does the City still have a need for the Board of Adjustment. Obviously it's not an 21 easy, yes or no, it's something that staff recognizes as a policy decision that'll have to come from the City 22 Council. It comes with a little potential whip lash, if you will, but it's something that we can definitely Innk 23 at and determine whether or not greater authority can be placed on you all as the hearing body for related 24 variance cases nr whether there's other mechanisms in place that'll allow staff to take same of the lead 25 on that. But, that's really the one issue that we'll have to evaluate further and determine the best -16- • • 1 approach on how to bring that issue forward at the time this pack of information goes forward to a regular 2 meeting of this body and ultimately to City Council, so... 3 The other information in your packet is more support, as I indicated; there are some tables that 4 speak to the issue of the types of uses for instance the MT Zone, the reason it's all red lined is because 5 it's brand new zoning district. There's been no attempt to try and break those into permitted uses 6 (inaudible) or anything like that. It's just a laundry list of uses. 7 As you'll see, if you reference the other zoning districts and the current Code, we do have that 8 stratification. You also have the M-1 Industrial Light Zoning District and you'll see that there's certain land 9 uses that have been added. Again, that district addresses the service retail component that we 10 discussed. And, so that's what you'll find in that table, and that is the bulk of it. 11 I included the initial correspondence that certainly, called into action the process of reviewing the 12 Zoning Code. And that's been included for your review as well. That's what staff has to offer this 13 Commission at this time in terms of the issues that we've come to the table on and have agreed to push 14 forward at this time for further consideration by this body,and ultimately City Council. 15 I know Kim had included in the packet of information some other items that at some point we 16 would consider taking a look at. Some of these issues have been hammered out, I don't know if all of 17 them, but at a meeting environment and they feel strongly about them; sometimes, staff did not. So, I'll 18 just leave it at that, I think Kim would like an opportunity to at least address same of those issues. 19 CHAIR BUCHMAN: Mr. Banegas, if I may make one statement away from all this; you used this 20 terminology twice, and whenever you do, the hairs in the back of my neck go up. You know what it is, 21 "red-lining." It is highlighted, but don't mention "red-lining," because "red-lining" has led to litigation... 22 BANEGAS: Sure. 23 CHAIR BUCHMAN: ...OK, so, I wouldn't use that terminology for...l know you meant it innocently, but... 24 BANEGAS: It refers to word processing formatting. 25 STEINBORN: When you said "red-lining," I immediately looked at this guy and see if he had red lines. CHAIR BUCHMAN: Mr. Young. -17- • • 1 CHAIR BUCHMAN: Mr. Young? 2 YOUNG: I'm going to get like Dr. Ford and get nit picky... 3 CHAIR BUCHMAN: Sure. 4 YOUNG: And this is an English issue; under Miscellaneous Issues, it says, Issues, but there's only one 5 item. So, let's drop the Issues and strike the one. 6 STEINBORN: Ta da. 7 CHAIR BUCHMAN: All right, any more questions to Mr. Banegas? Yes? 8 STEINBORN: It's a comment, Mr. Chairman, and that is, you know, the last item becomes somewhat 9 political. And, it's political because if you propose it as a Board, you're asking for a broader authority to 10 swallow the Board of Adjustment. If the staff is proposing it, they are going outside of their area of 11 responsibility politically. And, so this comes form us. And, it comes from me, who serves as Chairman of 12 that Board for eleven years, through five Mayors and was it's first Chair, and it lived a good life. And, like 13 a lot of things that live a good life, they should be buried well. And, it has fulfilled its function, and 14 because of the evolution of the Planning and Zoning Commission, it can best serve that because there is 15 another problem that we haven't talked about, and it's the politics of appointments. And there have been 16 in the last three years numerous months where a quorum, which is five on the Board of Adjustment; a 17 quorum did not exist. 18 BINNEWEG: It's still a quorum. 19 STEINBORN: It used to be, OK, and they changed it because they couldn't get quorums. They used to 20 have to get a super majority to get anything passed on the Board of Adjustment. And, for a long time, 21 there were positions that sat vacant, and for a long time there were people on the City Council; there's 22 one on right now who has a very strong belief that certain groups of citizens should not be able to serve 23 on the Board of Adjustment, because of their occupations. 24 So, it's my feeling that we need to get rid of it, because it's getting harder and harder to find 25 knowledgeable people who are qualified to serve, who can get through the vetting process, and at the same time for what reason? I mean, there's fewer and fewer pieces of meat they can put on the table to -18- • • 1 deal with. So, if you would like us to be the recommender, to get the staff out of the middle of that, we're 2 glad to do that. 3 FORD: It would serve for the high pay and recognition. 4 STEINBORN: For the high pay and recognition. 5 YOUNG: I only had one other question; would that double our salary? 6 STEINBORN: You'll get 100%. 7 BULLOCK: We'll endorse it as well. 8 STEINBORN: Plus you'll get your normal per diem. 9 CHAIR BUCHMAN: OK. Is there anything more? 10 FORD: Vince, when you go through this list, be sure and put tanning saloons...salons in there, with. 11 STEINBORN: Tanning saloons, yeah. 12 FORD: You know, I don't care, but one or the other. 13 CHAIR BUCHMAN: Kim, do you want some time now? 14 SECKLER: If you're ready to move on, and they've stopped, I would say that I think that what we have 15 met and we've been working with these guys for several months, and we've been working for many 16 months before that. And, a good chunk of what we agreed, I think, with pretty much everything they put 17 forward. I mean, we, how we put it forward originally, we said, "please can we do this?" And they agree 18 that this is a good thing to do. So, I think, just in support of what Mr. Banegas has put forward, I think the 19 Chamber group is very supportive. 20 CHAIR BUCHMAN: OK. 21 SECKLER: But, when you get to our stuff, I'd love to. 22 CHAIR BUCHMAN: Oh, OK. 23 YOUNG: Must be number four. 24 CHAIR BUCHMAN: Must be number four. No, it's not. Did you take my agenda? Thank you 25 CAMUNEZ: No I didn't. -19- ~ • 1 CHAIR BUCHMAN: Yes you did. The secretary (inaudible). Discussion of Unresolved Revision Issues 2 to the 2001 Las Cruces Zoning Code. Is that you again, Mr. Banegas? Oh no, that's you, Kim. 3 Now you get to carry (inaudible). 4 SECKLER: All right, Commissioner Buchman, I think first off I'll defer to my fearless leader, and that's 5 Joe Bullock, to allow him to...l think he was going to sort of scope out exactly how we came into being. 6 BULLOCK: OK., well, and again, I certainly agree with Mr. Young's statements about we should have 7 been awake a little earlier in the process, but for various reasons we weren't. I apologize for my 8 speaking, I'm a victim of my oral surgeon, I'm not used to what he's done. 9 I was asked to head this Committee by the Chamber of Commerce because it was bankers 10 represent sort of a generic interest in this process. We make loans on mobile home parks, on 11 apartments, an developments, on residences, on everything, so we've got a generic interest in real estate 12 in Las Cruces, so they thought that a banker would be a good representative for everyone. 13 We, as you know, the 2001 Code is a great thick instrument, with great detail, great complication. 14 We met for several months just to get though and decider it and see if we could understand it before we 15 came with our recommendations. We had local engineers, local developers, local attorneys, local 16 business people, people who...from the affordable housing end of the spectrum also on our committee 17 helping us, advising us, and we're very lucky to find Kim Seckler, who is a professor at the University, 18 who's an attorney, who's had considerable expertise in this area. She's helped draft state-wide 19 legislation, and really was invaluable to us in helping us go through and decipher everything, and help us 20 understand and know what we wanted to recommend. 21 And, if you look at the new Code, much of it is very good. We're not...we're just recommending 22 certain areas to be changed, we're not, you know, advocating the whole sale, just chuck it in the trash can 23 situation. 24 And, once we came with our recommendations, we thought it was prudent to meet with the City 25 staff. We talked with Jim Ericson about it. And Jim suggested we all get together with City staff and work and see what areas we could come together to you folks, and to the Council with this. And say, OK, we -20- • • 1 all agree these areas need to be addressed. And then work together on the areas that we differ, and we 2 all come shoulder to shoulder to you on those areas. But, I think we've come shoulder to shoulder on 3 substantial areas. They're going to be good to the City, and so my role has been mainly as facilitator to 4 get people together, (inaudible) get the right people in the mix, and I'd like to defer Kim or David for the 5 more technical aspects of it. They are more qualified than I and discuss the technical issues of what 6 we're going to recommend. So, I'd like to deter to David. 7 STEINBORN: Well, I'm going to...l need give Kim lead role. I would just like to thank you all for giving 8 the time in the Work Session. I think we can go through these items, in whatever time you're comfortable 9 taking. And, what I'd like to do is suggest we go through one at a time, give what our rationale is, give a 10 response, you know, a reaction to it, or staff has a reaction, we can get that in the minutes and then we 11 can go on to the next thing. 12 Our intention is not to be...we haven't been, except maybe for a few minutes in a couple of 13 meetings, our intention is not to be confrontational, it's really to be comfortable and, so that's why we're 14 here. The staff is certainly correct; some of the items on this list, we didn't give enough time to discuss, 15 we didn't realize that the staff wanted to bring this forward quite as quick as we're here, but that's great, 16 and so Kim, take it from there. 17 SECKLER: Commissioner Buchman, let me start by saying they had me as an expert, but I am not an 18 expert in Zoning Law, I have done a little bit of zoning. They hired me because my expertise is in 19 drafting. I spent ten years drafting the legislature. My real day job is I'm a professor in the Government 20 Department at NMSU. And, I was driving along feeling very dim witted after grading 82 Constitutional 21 Law exams, and I thought I've got the perfect analogy; you wrote the Constitution, and this is the Bill of 22 Rights. The Constitution was drafted in four months, and within two years, they wrote the Bill of Rights. 23 So, this is the tweak that need to be done to make people feel secure in the 2001 Code. The 2001 Code 24 was a tremendous undertaking, and we heard a lot of compliments about the Cade from the people who 25 came to us and asked us about changing the Code. -21- • • 1 But there were some thing that really did worry people about the Code being implemented and 2 we tried to address those when we so there was broad base support for that. 3 I think I'll just go straight down the list. The first two things on the list are things we've already 4 talked about and they have pretty much good endorsement from City staff. 5 The next thing, we mentioned this, we didn't meet with any resistance, but I thought we'd put this 6 forward to our group, and put this forward...a lot of...in the Non-Conforming Use Section, the 7 "Grandfathered Section," under the current Code, you loose your "grandfather status" at a certain point, if 8 you're destroyed. We looked around at several other places and thought...and found the language...if 9 you're less than 213 destroyed, you aught to be able to rebuild what you had and not worry about loosing 10 your "grandfather status." That was one of the things put forward by many members of the engineers, 11 and realtors, and property owners that came to us. That is a minor point. 12 The major point and the one that we had probably the most contentions discussions about was 13 about Mobile Home Parks. And, that, as Mr. Steinborn... 14 STEINBORN: Kim, let's stop, let's take them one at a time. 15 SECKLER: OK. You want one at a time? 16 STEINBORN: And see if anybody has any... 17 BULLOCK: Any issues. 18 STEINBORN: ...any issues on it. 19 FORD: I have a question, can you (inaudible) in there? 20 STEINBORN: Sure. 21 FORD: How does this impact in a Historic District or Zoning? 22 STEINBORN: This does not supercede Overlay Districts, which would include Historic Zones, so we 23 can't respond to that. 24 FORD: Oh, I see. 25 STEINBORN: If it's in a Historic Zone, there are rules about Historic Zones, we're not...we're not trying to change those rules. OK? For instance, I'm President of Temple Beth EI, perfect example. 702 Parker -22- • ~ 1 Road, sitting in an area of mixed uses; I've got R-3 on one side of me, I've got R-3 probably, on the other 2 side, R-1 a probably across the street. The building doesn't meet parking requirements today, and the 3 building doesn't meet; it's on one acre instead of two, so it's non-conforming, it's "grandfathered." Now, 4 God forbid what if we have a fire? Now, all the neighbors know there's a church type building there, are 5 we doing any harm if it's less than 2/3 damage by rebuilding it? I wouldn't think so. And, that's...when 6 I'm thinking about this, that's the example I'm thinking about. I mean, I have a real live example that I 7 shepherd and am responsible for. Maybe other people see that as, this is their opportunity to get rid of $ something that is non-conforming and, but I don't know, you know, so we got rid of it, I don't know that we 9 served...that we're really serving my...that's my own feeling. I don't know that we're serving the public 10 good by doing that. 11 FORD: Right, I think in Historic Zones you can have 100% destruction, than you have to rebuild exactly 12 like you were. 13 STEINBORN: Well. I don't know about that. 14 FORD: I think so. That's my understanding. 15 YOUNG: (inaudible) you're bending the rules. 16 KYLE: There's, Mr. Chairman, you can correct me if I'm wrong but, the City of Las Cruces has no rules in 17 place regarding Historic Zoning what so ever. We are in process, as the Commission is aware, of 18 working on the Mesquite, the Historical District Overlay Zone, but right now that's, you know, in the 19 process it is in. The Alameda Historic neighborhood is much the same thing; we're in the early stages of 20 regulations. So, currently the City doesn't regulate Historical properties at all, and really, the only...to my 21 knowledge, the only regulations that do relate to Historic properties are if you're taking tax credits for 22 maintaining a Historic property, then, you know, there's Federal regulations and State regulations that 23 would get involved, and that's haw the property has to be maintained, that sort of thing. But, the City itself 24 does not require something be rebuilt or otherwise; it's non-conforming and goes away.... 25 SECKLER: So, if they have to tear something down, can they, like you say I guess, there is no limit as to what square footage they can come back with and rebuild? -23- • • 1 YOUNG: No. 2 BINNEWEG: Not tearing it down. 3 STEINBORN: All we're saying is that if they have a "grandfathered" use and because of involuntary 4 destruction of the property; a car drives into it, there's a fire, what else could happen? 5 BINNEWEG: Plumbing, flood... 6 STEINBORN: Flood, plumbing, something like that, that they could re...as long as it's less than 2/3 of 7 the structure what was destroyed, they could rebuild that structure. Obviously, they'd have to rebuild it 8 based on today's standards, I mean, they could...if they had...if it didn't have the appropriate size...for 9 instance, you have to have 22" wide windows in rooms today. Let's say that was built with 18" windows; 10 well, you'd have to replace it with 22s, but you'd have the right, I mean, that's a...that's a not as...to me 11 that's not a zoning thing, that's a public safety thing. But, you can rebuild it and have the same use, 12 which could include not enough parking. 13 BULLOCK: I think the message you hear is we don't propose that you can increase the intensity of the 14 nonconformity. Now, you rebuild something to replace what you had, obviously it has to be (unintelligible) 15 choose things like these, you just wouldn't increase the intensity of the nonconforming use (unintelligible), 16 and that's the big issue 17 SEVERAL PEOPLE TALKING AT THE SAME TIME UNINTELLIGIBLE 18 CHAIR BUCHMAN: Mr. Ford's next. 19 FORD: I'd just like to see the up to the 2/3 taken out; I would feel more comfortable if it had none. 20 What's magic about 2/3? 21 STEINBORN: It was a compromise. That wasn't...the 2/3 didn't have to come from the public side 22 initially, it came from the public side as a way to change...to honor the process, change the 23 restrictiveness that we currently have, and allow for more flexibility. 24 CHAIR BUCHMAN: OK. Kim? 25 SECKLER: Commissioner Buchman, maybe to help clarify the issues, under the current Code, if you have a $50,000 worth of involuntary damage, or 50% which...of value, whichever is less... -24- ~ • 1 STEINBORN: Less. 2 SECKLER: ...you have to...you have to...you loose your "grandfather" clause and you have to rebuild... 3 STEINBORN: That's really... 4 SECKLER: ...completely build to Cade. So this is...if Mr. Steinborn has a $50,000 fire in Temple Beth 5 EI, he had...he looses his "grandfather" clause. And, that the...under the current Code, all it is is 6 $50,000 triggers, and since we're taking $50,000 out to remodel, it makes sense to do the parallel of 7 involuntary destruction. 8 CHAIR BUCHMAN: OK, I think...Michelle; you have something you want to say? 9 MICHELE MARSHALL: Well, I was just trying...l'm sorry for interrupting, I guess I didn't... 10 CHAIR BUCHMAN: That's OK, go ahead. 11 MARSHALL: ...but I was trying to make the point that it doesn't seem fair to take away square footage in 12 an instance like that from building (inaudible) in order to have more parking, far compliance. 13 SEVERAL PEOPLE AGREEING: Yeah, right. 14 CHAIR BUCHMAN: Well, one comment that I would like to make here, and I heard Mr. Steinborn say it, 15 we don't have in this anything that says "structure." "To rebuild after involuntary destruction, of the 16 'structure'," should that be in there? 17 SECKLER: I think actually, it is there in the drafted version, sir. 18 CHAIR BUCHMAN: Oh, OK. 19 STEINBORN: This is shorthand. 20 CHAIR BUCHMAN: OK. OK, Mr. Steinborn. 21 STEINBORN: OK. The two issues that I'd like the Commission to consider is, from the banking side, the 22 issue is that you...it's pretty tough to...if...under the current law, it would be very hard to finance with...if 23 you knew everything that we are talking about, it'd be pretty hard finance a nonconforming building, 24 because a % million dollar nonconforming building that had a grease trap catch fire in the kitchen for 25 $52,000, all of a sudden, you couldn't rebuild it and you couldn't use the building for much else either, so you loose your nonconformity, and what can you do with it? -25- • • 1 I mean, the value would then be land value, and so, like in the case of the that temple, 2 which...the land and the building is worth probably 3.25 or 3.30 or something like that, all of a sudden it'd 3 be worth $25,000, it would be worth the value of the land. 4 CHAIR BUCHMAN: OK. Anybody else? 5 BANEGAS: Mr. Chairman... 6 CHAIR BUCHMAN: Yes? 7 BANEGAS: ...I think from a staff's perspective, what we were conveying at the time of discussion on this 8 particular issues is the whole premise behind nonconformities, and the fact that, at least pursuant to 9 Zoning Codes, here and elsewhere, the whole premise is that, at some point or another, nonconforming 10 properties need to come in compliance with current codes, if possible. And so, that was one of the issues 11 staff had brought forward as a concern; the more you allow to be rebuilt the...l mean, you're always going 12 to have some potentially significant nonconforming issues that will remain for however long it takes, 'till 13 something changes. So, that's where staff was coming from. 14 CHAIR BUCHMAN: And it should. OK, shall we drop that one and go on to the next one then? Any 15 mare discussion there? 16 STEINBORN: Does drop mean you're finished? 17 CHAIR BUCHMAN: With the discussion yes, sure, OK, we're not really dropping it. 18 STEINBORN: We're not ready to drop it. 19 CHAIR BUCHMAN: OK, Kim, continue. 20 SECKLER: All right, (inaudible), the next issue I was, and this is probably the most contentious listed... 21 SEVERAL PEOPLE AGREEING: Mh hm, yeah, mh. 22 SECKLER: ...and if we ever tripped Robert Kyle in the hallway it was over this one because... 23 STEINBORN: Kim, could we go to this one last? 24 SECKLER: Yeah, sure. 25 STEINBORN: Do you mind, Mr. Chairman? -26- i , ~ • 1 CHAIR BUCHMAN: If the rest of the Commission is OK, you want to make that... 2 YOUNG: Dave, no, let's take them... 3 CHAIR BUCHMAN: ...no, it's OK. 4 YOUNG: No, I don't care. 5 STEINBORN: Now you really want to hear it, right? 6 CHAIR BUCHMAN: No, let's leave it at the end, OK. Go ahead on the next one then, we'll come back 7 to that one. 8 SECKLER: OK, then I'll go on to another contentious issue, just to keep the sparks going here. One of 9 the things we heard from our constituencies at...time and again, was that even though people 10 appreciated the idea of having more flexibility in the staff, that at some point there's too much flexibility in 11 the staff. And we must have heard 15 or 20 times from people, "I just want to know what the rules are. I 12 don't want to be treated on a case by case basis. I want to know what the rules are. And, I want to know 13 that I get the same deal as somebody else, not a case by case basis." 14 And, that puts us and the staff in an awkward position, because after asking for more flexibility, 15 what our constituencies said was rules, maybe there's too much flexibility now. So, maybe the way to 16 handle that is to clear up by the standards upon which things like variances could be granted. So that 17 staff can point to, "here's the reason you get it, or here's the reason you don't," but it's not a...the 18 appearance of an arbitrary decision to the public. 19 CHAIR BUCHMAN: All right. 20 YOUNG: Here's the reason you can't do that, our Commission operates as aQuasi-Judicial institution, 21 therefore, you have to take everything on a case by case basis. You can't define things down...#hat's 22 what Codes are for. Codes are meant to define everything to a pin point. This is something that has to 23 be more broad in the point that you have to have the flexibility; even if everything looks the same on 24 paper, you can't always judge the same way in each case, because of all of the variables involved. 25 SECKLER: Commissioner Young, Commissioner Buchman, I'm...l don't think there's ever any attempt to reduce the flexibility of the Commission, it was the staff's decisions that were...people were coming to us -27- • ~ 1 and saying, that in any particular area, there appeared to be too much discretion and they wanted more 2 standards to be placed at...it was not at the Commission level, absolutely it's a case by case, that...this 3 wasn't (inaudible) at the P&Z Commission... 4 YOUNG: Just at Staff. 5 SECKLER: ...this was at the...at what decision staff could make. And when things got to a bigger point, 6 a larger variance was requested, then people should have to come to you guys. And, smaller variances 7 certainly should go to the staff, but for bigger decisions, they should come straight to you guys. 8 YOUNG: Could you give us some examples of what you're talking about. 9 KYLE: Mr. Chairman? 10 CHAIR BUCHMAN: Mr. Kyle? 11 KYLE: If I can just interject for the record and for the benefit of the Commission; staff cannot grant a 12 variance, there's statutory requirements for that.... 13 YOUNG: Right. 14 KYLE: ...staff has authority to grant flexible departures from the development standards of the Code, we 15 may be messing with semantics here, but I think we do need to make that clear. Staff cannot approve 16 variances. 17 CHAIR BUCHMAN: OK. 18 KYLE: So, I want that clear. 19 CHAIR BUCHMAN: OK. 20 MARSHALL: Mr. Chairman? 21 CHAIR BUCHMAN: Michelle? 22 MARSHALL: Well, I don't know, I guess, I...the way I see it, the flexibility that the staff has, they still 23 have to go by the Zoning Code, and like you said, they don't grant any variances. The way I see that as a 24 way to keep me or anyone else having a matter having to take every little thing to you guys above what 25 you are already doing. So, I understand why that flexibility was written in. And, from my perspective, think it should, could be, and would be a good thing. So... -28- • • 1 YOUNG: Yeah. See, that lowers the red tape. 2 SECKLER: Commissioner Buchman, maybe I can clear this up. I think we are making semantics, and 3 I...that's probably my fault, because I'm using the term variances, but what I am referring to is actually the 4 Ordinance on Flexible Development Standards, I apologize if I confused the terms. I am referring to the 5 Flexible Development Standards, because in the tier system, under the tier system, the Community 6 Development Director or their designee, under the current Code, can grant, (I was calling it variances, 7 excuse me it should be called planning related development standard departures) up to 100% in some 8 areas for setbacks, buffers, and screens; 33% for landscaping, 50% for parking. 9 And, what we've said is that, when you wrote this, you wrote it as a tier system, tier one, tier two, 10 tier three. 11 YOUNG: Mh hm. 12 SECKLER: Tier one, terrific, that's fine. Once you start getting up to tier two, maybe that stuff should go 13 to the Board of Adjustment. Once you're saying...giving the ability to do 100% departure, it's not a 14 variance, but 100% departure from what the zoning standard is. Maybe that should go before a Board, 15 or...and three, that instead of...on the greatest departures, things that are more than 50% of parking, and 16 mare than, I'm not sure how you would it be more than 100% of setbacks, but more than 100% of 17 setbacks, should go to the Planning and Zoning Commission, anything that covers that. 18 FORD: Over on the next lot. 19 SECKLER: Yeah. 20 STEINBORN: A little here and a little there. 21 SECKLER: And, in the idea, just clarifying the authority of the staff not to try and make it so they can 22 never use any discretion, but to clarify what they can....when they have discretion and when they don't. 23 Part of this also, is that this can be rolled into our discussion of maybe this is the place where we get rid 24 of the Board of Adjustment. When we presented this, they said, "Gee you've stuck the Board of 25 Adjustment in there, we were hoping to get rid of the Board of Adjustment. -29- ~- • LJ 1 Maybe this is the place where we clarify, excuse me, the standards by...their idea was to come 2 up with an alternative path; one through staff and one through the Commission. And, parallel paths that 3 would allow people of staff, where they didn't feel subjected to discretion by staff so much as they could 4 just go straight to the Board. 5 YOUNG: Can I explain the reasons for this system having been placed there when we wrote the Code? 6 There were two reasons, one...and even some of the Commissioners on the Board at that time, had 7 some qualms about giving some of that authority to staff; however, the reason that it was put in was, one, 8 so that we wouldn't have everything come to us; and two so that it would be more public friendly to allow 9 things to go to their discretion, rather than have to come to us and involve another month to three months. 10 So, it really benefits the public, even though they may think there's some grey area. It was for their 11 benefit. 12 CHAIR BUCHMAN: Mr. Steinborn, you have your hand up. 13 STEINBORN: Thank you, you know, as a one time public official, with several different hats, and also in 14 the industries that I've made my living in, it's real obvious to me, from inside of my body, that there is the 15 opportunity for conflict of interest and also the perception of the conflict. And, I think this is analogous to 16 this, that if you're on the side, if you're sitting inside of the developer who just got a really good 17 opportunity to not have to come to your meetings, sat with the staff, and got flexible what? 18 SECKI.ER: Plex Standards. 19 STEINBORN: And got a flex standard, as opposed to a flexoid sygmoidoscopy, than you feel really 20 good about this process. If, on the other hand, you walk out wondering how is it that...maybe this is, what 21 do you call it when somebody always thinks the other guy got a better deal? There's a term for this. 22 BINNEWEG: Oh yeah. 23 YOUNG: Politics. 24 STEINBORN: No, no, no. Anyway, when you... 25 SECKL.ER: It's a... -30- • • 1 STEINBORN: ...it's a psychological... 2 SECKLER: ...yeah... 3 STEINBORN: ...it's paranoia, it's paranoid. You're out there figuring the other guys always gets a better 4 deal than I do, and I wish I could have gone to the Planning and Zoning Commission. That...this is what, 5 there's about...of these nine items that we're gonna talk about, three of them fall into that category; where 6 it's a perception, we're not saying it's a reality, it's a perception. 7 And so, what happens is, when we talk to a developer who says they got "hometown." What 8 they're telling us is, they didn't get treated...their perception is, they didn't get treated the same way in 9 that town as the local guys. And, a perfect example is my partner, George Rawson, who just built a 10 building in EI Paso. He said, every hoop wasn't big enough, every hill wasn't high enough, and he said, 11 he would have been smarter hiring a guy in EI Paso to build his brother's building in EI Paso, than him 12 going there. Now, that's his perception, I don't know if it's right or not. 13 Our perception of this is, the flexibility that the staff has, unwittingly, is also built...looked upon, 14 not by me but by some people, as unfair. Because some people, fairly or unfairly, seem to have gotten a 15 better deal than others. So, that's what this is, is far you think about again, now that you've done it for a 16 while and find...and they ask the question, have you gotten anybody that's come to you, or come...or 17 maybe they haven't came to you, and said, "you know, Joe got this deal; how come he got it and I didn't." 18 That's what this is all about. 19 CHAIR BUCHMAN: Commissioner Young. 20 YOUNG: Well, then the way to alleviate that, in these instances is, then say, "OK, if you don't feel that 21 staff treated you fairly, then allow them to come before (inaudible). 22 MCCARSON: It's there. 23 KYLE: It's already in there. 24 YOUNG: OK, then, it's always been that way. 25 STEINBORN: OK, then let...can we jump then to item two down, which is a short sentence that starts with "Require.?" And I would like to know if you would feel comfortable, as a Commission, creating a -31- • • 1 mechanism so that the public could pay to have a stenographer do the minutes more expeditiously so 2 that they could be on your agenda quicker, so that somebody that wants to make an appeal, has a 3 quicker opportunity to do that? 4 YOUNG: That process is in effect already. 5 CHAIR BUCHMAN: Yes, that is in effect now. 6 STEINBORN: What happens? 7 KYLE: Well... 8 CHAIR BUCHMAN: The minutes are always presented to us before... 9 YOUNG: The next meeting. 10 STEINBORN: Great. 11 KYLE: Mr. Chairman? 12 CHAIR BUCHMAN: Yes? Go ahead. 13 KYLE: If I could address that, and, or at least part of that. Since Carmen, our recording secretary, 14 Carmen Lucero, has been on board, I don't think we've had a meeting, or a month go by yet that staff has 15 not had a draft set of minutes within the statutorily required ten days. Prior to us, essentially, going in- 16 house with our own minutes, we did have a court reporter hired who would da it and then we would have 17 a significant lag in time in getting minutes from that person because they had other duties, they were in 1$ court, et cetera, but since, essentially, we got in-house with our minute preparation, getting our minutes 19 on time is not... 20 STEINBORN: Not an issue? 21 KYLE: ...not a problem, certainly not any more. 22 BINNEWEG: Nat an issue at all. 23 KYLE: So... 24 CHAIR BUCHMAN: So, I would say, that one there, basically needs to be taken out. 25 STEINBORN: So, would it be a problem then, living it in? So that there's a remedy in the event you have a different problem again? In other words, here in the short history, you have one administrative -32- • • 1 person who gets them out in time, and in my history, in the last year, we've had an appeal that we waited 2 months to present, because the minutes weren't ready so that you could vote on them, so they could go 3 to the City Council, so the City Council could get them in their package, so we can get an appeal on them. 4 CHAIR BUCHMAN: I don't think that's happened in the last year, maybe... 5 YOUNG: Yeah. 6 CHAIR BUCHMAN: ...ten months, correct? 7 YOUNG: Six to eight months. $ CHAIR BUCHMAN: OK. But, the thing that I think we were able to take care of among ourselves or with 9 the staff, is getting that problem corrected. 10 FORD: However, if there is an administrative decision made, there are no minutes for that, are there? 11 YOUNG: No. 12 FORD: That's...so, how can you have...you can't have a time limit... 13 KYLE: Mr. Chairman, there is something... 14 FORD: ...and fill something that doesn't exist. 15 KYLE: There's no minutes... 16 (Changing recording tape) 17 CHAIR BUCHMAN: OK, Mr. Kyle? 1$ KYLE: Mr. Chairman, on any of the administrative decisions we make regarding a flex standard, those 19 decisions are made in writing and the parties, the affected parties are given that decision in writing, so 20 there is an appealable document that we provide our justification on why it was approved or denied or 21 otherwise, so there is...they do have an appealable document. It's not minutes, but it's, you know, the 22 official decision form which would provide the rationale why the decision was made. 23 CHAIR BUCHMAN: Anybody else on this subject? OK, now you jumped ahead, we did this one; are 24 you ready to go back to the other paragraph saying, "Clarifying Standards" or are we finished with that for 25 now? -33- • • 1 SECKLER: I think we've explained our... 2 CHAIR BUCHMAN: OK, OK. 3 SECKLER: ...we can go on with the next one, if you'd like. 4 CHAIR BUCHMAN: All right. Let's go to the next one then. 5 SECKLER: The next one is, currently, the Board of Adjustment cannot consider physical or monetary 6 hardship in the granting of variances. And what this...our group has asked that, to allow P&Z and the 7 Board of Adjustment to be able to consider physical or monetary hardship in the granting of variances. 8 Because a person who needs a variance because of a physical or monetary hardship, can go on appeal 9 to the City Council for that variance, but what you're doing is you're making that person do two hoops; 10 they can't get their variance on physical or monetary hardship at the first level, they have to go two levels, 11 so, the people who can least afford it, have to go more hoops than a person who's going for a physical or 12 monetary hardship, excuse me, on a variance on a different reason; and, so, to expand the authority, 13 perhaps, of the Board of Adjustment or the P&Z to allow the granting of variances upon the showing of 14 physical and monetary hardship. Not to command it, but to allow you to take that into consideration. 15 Which you can't, under the current Code. 1 fi CHAIR BUCHMAN: Mr. Banegas? Is the staff allowed any way to consider the monetary or physical 17 hardships? 18 BANEGAS: I would suspect that if we took that into consideration, it would be approving... 19 YOUNG: Everything. 20 BANEGAS: Yeah, I mean, that's... 21 SEVERAL PEOPLE TALKING AT THE SAME TIME, UNINTELLIGIBLE. 22 BANEGAS: ....for instance... 23 BINNEWEG: Mh hm. 24 BANEGAS: That's always a claim... 25 BINNEWEG: Mh hm. -34- • • 1 BANEGAS: I cannot approve this... 2 CHAIR BUCHMAN: OK. Yes sir? 3 FORD: But, can you say positively that you've never, in no way taken into consideration... 4 BANEGAS: I'm not aware... 5 FORD: I don't think any of us can make that statement, but it's always going to be a fact that we are 6 considering both monetary and any kind of physical disability. 7 STEINBORN: Well, do you mean, even if...are you finished? Even if you said you weren't you might be. 8 FORD: I wonder. 9 STEINBORN: So, we can kind of make it legal that you could. You don't have to. In other words, 10 somebody says it's a hardship on it, you can just look at them and with compassion and cold eyes, and 11 say, "we don't agree with you." 12 SECKLER: But, you could, and you wouldn't require somebody who really does have that, to go extra 13 hoops by having to take it all the way to City Council. 14 YOUNG: Is that in any way tied in with mobile home parks? 15 KYLE: Mr. Chairman, I think that that is more...the Planning and honing Commission has a different set 16 of criteria for making decisions... 17 BANEGAS: Right. 18 KYLE: ...and as of right now, you have seen some variances as part of zone changes; we had one not 19 too long ago, you know, for a lot area. And, your criterion for decisions is much different than that of the 20 Board of Adjustment. The Board of Adjustment is specifically prohibited from using monetary or physical 21 hardships in their criteria. The Commission, and that's one of the reasons where we actually wrote some 22 language in the 2001 Code to give you the authority to grant variances as part of the zone change 23 because you guys can look at something in its totality and determine whether or not it makes sense... 24 YOUNG: Yeah. 25 KYLE: ...or if it's a problem. And, so, I think that the issue of the monetary and physical hardship is really only applicable to B of A, and if B of A goes away and, you know... -35- • • 1 SECKLER: But, we were writing this on the theory that B of A wasn't going away. And if B of A wasn't 2 going away, allowing them to take into consideration (inaudible) until the next level made a lot of sense. 3 BANEGAS: Yeah. 4 KYLE: It would require that language be added to the code. 5 CHAIR BUCHMAN: OK. Commissioner Young? 6 YOUNG: Kim, one place that you do see this come into play is in P...is in the Infill Development process. 7 $TEINBORN: Mh. 8 YOUNG: Sa we do have that there... 9 SECKLER: Right. 10 YOUNG: ...whether it needs to be more extensive or not... 11 SECKLER: And I.., 12 YOUNG: ...is any one's call. 13 SECKLER: And I think really the main target of granting that language was at the Board of Adjustment, 14 `cause the Board of Adjustment had, as Robert said, specific language which prohibits them... 15 YOUNG: Right. 16 SECKLER: ...and you can understand that at the staff level, but ante you get to an appointed body, the 17 appointed body aught to have authority, not be specifically prohibited from even considering what is 18 probably bringing most people before them anyway. So, that seems incredibly sensible to us. 19 CHAIR BUCHMAN: OK. All right, because I think we have a few more. Let's move on. 20 SECKLER: OK. I'll skip the one that we...about the scheduling appeals, `cause we seem to leave that 21 one, and I'll go on to "Allowing property owners to request conditional zoning." I'm...under the 1981 22 Code, it's my understanding, and I think all of you are mare expertly on the Code than I am, that when 23 someone came in...it was only the property owner that could ask for conditional zoning. And, what came 24 to our group was that on multiple occasions the person comes in and they want one thing, and they get 25 stuck with conditional zoning because it gets hoisted on them by other folks. And, there was a lot of sentiment for going back to the standards of the '81 Code to say that the only person who could impose -36- • • 1 conditional zoning on a person was the person who requested it and not come up later and have it 2 hoisted on someone. I think Dave Steinborn has the best explanation of that that I've heard. 3 STEINBORN: Really, what is it? 4 SECKLER: Remember the House of Cards story? 5 STEINBORN: Where was I? 6 BANEGAS: Mr. Chairman, I'd just like to indicate, just for clarification, under the 1981 Code there was 7 that provision that the property owner had to agree to it; it was later changed to allow the discretion of the 8 body hearing the case to apply a condition. Staff's take on this particular issue is more from the 9 perspective of concern for the property owner than anything else. There's been numerous cases taken 10 before either the Planning and Zoning Commission or City Council where things aren't going quite 11 favorably for the property owner, pursuant to a case being addressed at that particular moment. Some 12 times they don't realize, and Robert can certainly clarify this, they can't realize that, or they don't realize 13 that a condition, a simple condition that really doesn't impact them to any great extent, solves the 14 problem. So, they're not thinking of that, they don't request that, and you as an entity see these 15 provisions and see this opportunity to help mitigate concerns that are identified by the public or ether 16 members of the Board, and, so a recommendation can be made to approve the case with a particular 17 condition and make everything good. And, so (see this as potentially harming property owners and 18 applicants during presentation of cases more so than helping, as staff (inaudible). 19 CHAIR BUCHMAN: Mr. Young? 20 YOUNG: May I go a step further with what Vince has said. In the past three years that I was Chairman, 21 there would be many cases, and understand, we don't poll, but you can get a feeling of how the case is 22 going. And, I have actually stopped and asked the presenter, whether it's an engineering firm, or 23 whomever, "is the homeowner or is the property owners OK with the condition that we're considering?" 24 I've even allowed them to go and talk with them while we were discussing other things knowing that if it 25 came to a vote without the condition, it was denied. So, that's what Vince is saying, it has actually help them. Go David. -37- • • 1 STEINBORN: I think, you know, it's...words are so...words are hard. And sometimes you need to be 2 exactly in the right place, exactly the right time to kind of recreate what you're talking about. You're 3 exactly right. The, well, there's a difference between you as the Chair or Nancy as the member of the 4 Commission or one of the staff people. 5 As a staff person, saying to Kim, who, let's say, who is an attorney representing the bank on a 6 zoning deal, and saying to Kim, "do you think your client might be willing to change the landscape area 7 and loose those two parking spaces, which they have an abundance of, in order to give us more foliage $ coverage here in order to meet the buffering requirement of this zone to the other zone?" That sound 9 different than saying, "if you're client will add more landscaping and take away these two parking spaces, 10 I think we can get it done." 11 The result is the same, but in one case, intrepidation as the applicant, you're sitting there 12 thinking, "Oh my gosh, if I don't do this..." In the other case it's a convivial conversation af...it's collegial 13 rather than frightening. And, so all we're trying to...in our own artful way, to say is, it would sell, but if 14 there's a way to say that staff can make suggestions, or recommendations, but not sound like they're 15 imposing a condition that is the only way it's going to get accepted. Because, to the listeners, one sounds 16 like, "I'm with you; let's figure out how to do it." The other one sound like, "look, you're doing it my way or 17 you're not doing it." 18 And, 1 don't know how to say...l'm not telling you...l know how to say that, I'm telling you that's 19 what the (inaudible) is. 20 YOUNG: I understand what you're saying... 21 STEINBORN: And you've been there. 22 YOUNG: ...it's really up to the Chairman to focus and run the meeting in such a matter that will... 23 STEINBORN: Yeah. 24 YOUNG: ...not give those appearances. 25 CHAIR BUCHMAN: And I can say it from experience too. These conditions have...) haven't heard anybody come back, have any hardship because of the conditions. You've run across this stuff at all? -38- • • 1 YOUNG: Yeah, there's been a few. 2 CHAIR BUCHMAN: There has been? 3 YOUNG: But, they've appeal and gotten... 4 CHAIR BUCHMAN: OK, and that's what the system if for. 5 STEINBORN: Yeah. 6 CHAIR BUCHMAN: So, if the owner is not presenting it, they can appeal it. If it doesn"t come out to 7 their satisfaction. 8 KYLE: Mr. Chairman, if I can add, I think that the ability for staff, number one, we're not making any 9 decisions; we as the professional staff are just providing a recommendation of action to the Commission, 10 who in turn makes a recommendation for action to City Council, who ultimately makes the decision. 11 I can say, and many of you that have been on the Commission for a length of time, can 12 remember how many zone change cases came to you recommended approval with conditions. And, 13 can almost say that if that tool or that ability of staff to recommend conditions, is taking away from us, 14 everyone of those cases that came to you with a recommendation of approval with conditions, would 15 came at you with a recommendation of denial, if staff did not feel that the case stood on its own merits 16 without same modification. 17 And, so then, that changes the complexion of the meeting right from the beginning. If we come 18 at you with approval with some conditions, that's our effort to try to work with the applicants and with the 19 bounds of our rules and regulations to provide the Commission an option which they can approve that. 20 Otherwise, we are coming at you more or less in an adversarial premise of staff has no choice but 21 recommend a denial because we don't feel as it stands, it's appropriate, and then it...the burden is on you 22 and you can't ask us, "well, if there was a condition on here, you know, if the problem is that, if we made 23 that a condition, would it be OK?" Because this is saying that, you guys can't make that either. It is only 24 up to the property owner to agree whether or not they are going to have a condition on there. 25 CHAIR BUCHMAN: `Cause you're doing it now and you're putting these conditions on there, isn't the property owner and the representative, both given plenty of time to look at that condition? -39- r ,.. • 1 YOUNG: Mh hm. 2 KYLE: Yeah, we discuss the case and... 3 STEINBORN: That's our issue. It isn't staff and our representative, or staff and us that met and 4 we...and here it is, and we can do this, we can recommend it, we...OK. 5 That isn't what I'm talking about; what I'm talking about is, we're Planning and Zoning, we're at 6 the meeting, there are people in the...and you know how it works, there are people in the audience 7 section, and I remember David Milligan didn't like the word audience, there are people in the public 8 section, he said, "you guys aren't performers," in the public section, that all of a sudden they're yelling and 9 screaming and it's not comfortable. And, all of a sudden, a White Knight suggestion comes up from the 10 staff, right then. And, the applicant hasn't had any foreshadow, he has not time to think about it, it's right 11 there. And, they are turning blue, because they're hearing all these people behind them yelling and, you 12 know, it's a very contentious atmosphere. We're saying, that isn't the time to try and exert influence on 13 this applicant, the time to have done it would have been quietly before the meeting...exactlytyhat you're 14 saying, quietly before the meeting, and either try to build a consensus over that issue or not, what it is. 15 That's not what we're ...we're talking about a Committee where the pressure's on and all of a sudden the 16 staff comes up with an idea that they present and say, "if we did this, we could support that." 17 CHAIR BUCHMAN: Commissioner Young. 18 YOUNG: David, in all due respect, I can't think of a single time that's happened. 19 CHAIR BUCHMAN: And I can't either, in the two years that I've been there. 20 YOUNG: It's possible that it could. 21 BINNEWEG: I remember, I can remember... 22 CHAIR BUCHMAN: But you go back to the old times, when... 23 YOUNG: Well, I do too. 24 KYLE: Yes, there has been instances where, I mean, literally we have sat down and pow wowed; most 25 of the time when we do that, we're doing it with the actual property owner. I mean, the staff's not just piping up with it, we're trying to think of some options that may save the day, if the case is, far the _40_ r • • 1 applicant. And then so it has happened. Nancy is right, it's happened. I can't think of...l can't think 2 specifics, but I know it's happened, `cause... 3 BINNEWEG: I can remember sessions of... 4 YOUNG: Sure. 5 BINNEWEG: ...coming to... 6 KYLE: I mean, if that's the concern that it's in that particular setting, the downside of the decision not 7 being made then is, well, you wait 30 days, but we can...there can be revisions in the Code, if that 8 happens, it's automatically postponed to next month. 9 FORD: This is just another form of plea bargaining, isn't it? 10 YOUNG: Sure. 11 STEINBORN: Yes, except it's public. The person is under a great deal of pressure and the problem is, 12 in order for the applicant to get to that place. Let...and I'm going to talk about somebody that's got a 13 development plan. In order to get to that place, they've done a fair amount of expense in doing the paper 14 work to get to you. And so, to make recommendations, for instance, if you go to next page, the middle 15 paragraph that says, "during that process, the staff can ask for private incentives for giving, not variances, 16 the word you used, but giving.... 17 SECKLER: Departures. 18 STEINBORN: ...departures." Let's talk about what one would be, as a perfect example, a deceleration 19 lane in front of a set of apartments or in front of a commercial proposed project. Now, it's good to have 20 that, because then it would be a deceleration lane coming into the parking and an acceleration lane 21 leaving, but it means the taking of, how many feet would it be, 12 feet or 15 feet? 22 KYLE: Eleven to 15 feet. 23 STEINBORN: Eleven to 15 feet along the entire front of the property. Now, as a developer, I would 24 immediately wonder do either properties on either side of me have this acceleration or deceleration lane. 25 And, if they don't, then how really does mine work in the real world, in terms of traffic study? But, I don't have time to do that at a meeting. I don't have time to sit with the traffic engineer at the meeting and say, -41- • • 1 by giving up this 12 - 15 feet of the land in front of our project, what does that do to our parking? Does 2 it...have we now lost one row of parking spaces? And, then if we've lost that, does it change how many 3 square feet of building we can build? And if we've done that, do I have to go to the bank and get approval 4 again? Does now, instead of going X, I'm building less than X? It gets real complicated, if it happens at 5 the meeting. 6 YOUNG: Yeah. 7 STEINBORN: That's what it's all about. 8 YOUNG: I can understand that too, but with the infrequency of the occurrence and the fact that the 9 Commission can postpone, and allow that discussion to continue, I think we're covered. 10 STEINBORN: OK, because I'm going to suggest to you all that, and I'm not trying to play ouija...l'm not 11 trying to be a Ouija Board, but I'm going to suggest to you, that in the next five years, we're going to see 12 more development in Las Cruces than we have in the last ten. 13 YOUNG: I agree. 14 STEINBORN: And, it isn't going to slow down. I mean, they've discovered us, whoever they is. And 15 because of that, we're going to be faced with more and more what should have been done maybe a long 16 time ago, all of a sudden things like these acceleration, deceleration ones, or, buffering with landscaping, 17 or putting money into a neighborhood park, which is a little different than the so many dollars per unit 18 parking that we have. For instance, I don't think there's a requirement that any money from a 19 nonresidential development has to go into park, I don't think that's currently in the law. 20 CHAIR BUCHMAN: I think what we have to do now, because it's getting close to 8 O'clock and the time, 21 and I think we have to move on, let us leave this one (inaudible.) 22 STEINBORN: OK. So, that's what the middle paragraph is about. 23 CHAIR BUCHMAN: OK. 24 STEINBORN: Can I take over for a minute?, 25 SECKLER: Sure. -42- M ~ w • • 1 STEINBORN: Do you mind? 2 SECKI_ER: No. 3 STf=INBORN: On the back, the top one strictly says this, "you accepted the responsibility to be on the 4 Planning and Zoning Commission." People run for the City Council, that's like a job. There are a half a 5 dozen people who figure it's their job to regularly come to P&Z Meetings and Council meetings and be 6 protesters, or againsters, but there's very few people in the business community who, as their job 7 responsibility, regularly come to Commission and Council meetings. 8 We are asking that once changes are made this wholesale number of changes, that in the 9 Planning and Zoning document, it state that on the first...we don't care what date they are, on the first 10 meeting in April, and the first meeting in July, and the first meeting in September, any items that amend 11 this Ordinance come before the City Council. So, that it isn't everybody in the development, builder, 12 realtor, community's job to know what's happening at every City Council meeting, because often times 13 there are things that are coming up at those meetings that are amending the current Planning and Zoning 14 document. 15 So, we're asking them, keep amending them, but they only come to the City Council for decision 16 two or three specific days of the year. 17 I have 72 real estate agents that work for me; they have a responsibility to disclose, how can 18 they...How can they? I know the answer, but they're not going to do it. So, therefore, I...my 19 responsibility is the weakest members of those 72 agents, I can't keep them informed...l can't keep them 20 informed about every new regulation because they're all independent contractors; they never have to 21 come to one of my meetings, ever. Now, that's my problem, but that's 320 real estate people in the 22 community's problem. 23 KYLE: Do you want to address that? 24 BANEGAS: Staff's concern on that, Mr. Chairman, is that there has been several instances where City 25 Council has found something in our Zoning Code or other Codes, for that matter, that simply doesn't work. And, when they find those items, they want staff to address them yesterday. -43- w ~ ., • • 1 Locking them down, which is what in essence that speaks to, is something that staff isn't 2 comfortable taking forward, that's for sure. 3 STEINBORN: We don't want you to. 4 BANEGAS: But, also something that we certainly don't think...) mean, maybe there's support there, but I 5 don't think there is. Not based on that strategy. 6 CHAIR BUCHMAN: Anything else then? 7 STEINBORN: Yeah, the last one is, we believe that are a number of people who have been negatively 8 impacted by overlay zones, rezoning, changing of their property rights over the 2001 Zone...zone 9 changes. And, one of the questions that we would ask, since we know that the City, once they've 10 scrapped it, for the last 20 years has done a lot of work on GPS and data retrieval for all the different 11 property owners in the City, that they be put on notice that, in fact, they may need to check to see if their 12 uses and intensity and rights, as landowners has changed in the last several years. 13 CHAIR BUCHMAN: Mr. Young? 14 YOUNG: As written there, it's physically impossible. City can't spend the money to notify all of those 15 landowners. It would be utterly impossible. It's all I have to say. 16 STEINBORN: It would be possible, but it would be very expensive? 17 YOUNG: Yes. 1$ STEINBORN: OK, let's go to our last item. The last item is the second paragraph in the middle page. 19 And, (inaudible) it goes this way. And, each of us have different things that we'll say on this. My thing is 20 pretty simple. I just think that mobile homes folks, and I've never owned one, and I've never owned a 21 mobile home park, or an accumulation of mobile homes on a piece of land. Never been involved, other 22 than representing mobile home lot subdividers, who are clearly and completely in the law. 23 It seams to me that this current 2001 Planning and Zoning, treats those people differently and 24 more hostilely than it treats apartment... 25 (pause to change the tape) -44- • • 1 STEINBORN: ...then it treats apartment owners or house owners. And, so this is an equal protection 2 thing to me, and I feel that it...that we have a very small inventory of properties that these is targeting and 3 I think that, in general, the issues that it targets are public safety issues, and that can be taken care by 4 Code Enforcement, and it doesn't have to be taken care of the way this takes care of it, I'm sure. 5 CHAIR BUCHMAN: OK. 6 SECKLER: Under the new Code, under the 2001 Code, you can be a legal nonconforming park on 7 August 31 ...September...August 31st, 2001, and the next day, when the new Code goes into effect, you $ are suddenly illegal and nonconforming. So, you were legal one day, and you're not legal the next... 9 SEVERAL PEOPLE DISAGREEING: No, that's not the way it is, that's not the way it's written. 10 SECKLER: Hold on. You are...you are legal nonconforming...two things, legal...you are legal and 11 nonconforming one day, and the next day you are told you must come up to the 2001 Code, even though 12 you were legal the day before and "grandfathered" into the old Code. And, what we are saying is that you 13 can't come in with a magic wand and say, "it was OK for you to be here yesterday, but you can't be here 14 tomorrow," to people who have businesses, and especially business where you're talking about 15 affordable housing. 16 Mobile homes, whether we like it or not, are affordable housing for a good chunk of the 17 population. We have an area where 25% of the people live in poverty. You come in and say that you 18 must suddenly bring your standards from your 1967 mobile home park up to the shrubs and fences and 19 stone walls, and landscaping of the 2001 mobile home park, you are going to put a lot of people on the 20 streets. 21 And, in addition to that, you probably think you're skirting the edges of some serious law suits. 22 There's fairly...excuse me, Fair Housing Standards, that specifically say you cannot target mobile homes. 23 Excuse me, you cannot target affordable housing; and affordable housing is mobile homes in this area. 24 We are not asking anybody to make a lax public safety or public health issues, we are not saying 25 that. And we, as a group we have all said, if there are public safety problems, if there are public health problems, if there's emergency vehicle accident problems, absolutely those should be fixed. But to try -45- H ~ y • • 1 and take a 1967 mobile home park and say on September 1st, 2001, suddenly you are out of compliance 2 where you were in compliance the day before, it's not right. I'll let Joe Bullock have the floor. 3 BULLOCK: Well, the only thing I'll add is that, of all the different properties, there's only one type of 4 property that's being told if you don't do this, you're out of business, and that's the mobile home parks. 5 And, I think you might run into some disparaging law issues on this. You know, I don't own a mobile 6 home park, I don't live there, but the fact when it comes to fair housing concerns, that I think you let the 7 Code's people clean that problem up; I don't think it's a zoning solution. 8 CHAIR BUCHMAN: OK, Commissioner Binneweg? 9 BINNEWEG: Well, I've always been in agreement with that. I was around during the initial drafting of 10 this new Codes, but not...l didn't see how it turned out; and I certainly would've had input because I'm a 11 huge fan of affordable housing. And, it's the only way; you cannot artificially create brand new affordable 12 housing in any market. And, we're not going to be building much affordable housing, except Casa Del 13 Sol, and Habitat for Humanity; the developers aren't building it, apartment people aren't building it, no one 14 is. So, I agree with you...with your findings that if there's public health, public safety issues, no fire 15 hydrants, things like that, we could address that before, but I'm not for adding rock walls and decorations 16 and landscaping, because it defeats the purpose. 17 FORD: The reality is you can talk all you want to, and there's still several that are not (inaudible) out of it, 18 staff compliance far about 25 years, and they're still (inaudible) along. 19 CHAIR BUCHMAN: Anybody else? 20 SECKLBR: Commissioner, let me just to finish that very shortly. What our suggestion was, was that 21 people who were "grandfather..." who were in the '81 Code who were considered legal but 22 nonconforming, should be considered legal but nonconforming under the 2001 Code. And, should not be 23 required...the main fight we have heard from almost everybody who came to us was, the issue of 24 compliance plans; the new Code requires a compliance plan to show you how you're going to come up to 25 speed in five years. Two of the one, the mobile home park owners who came to us and said, "look, this is unreasonable, it jeopardizes our value of our property, it makes it harder to sell" And, because it's -46- r f • • 1 unclear; here it says, in five years we have to shot down in the ordinance, it says, "if you want up to snuff 2 in five years, and have...if you don't have a compliance plan, you will be told to shut down in five years." 3 Now, even though, 1 will commend, I think these guys have worked very hard to make that language 4 work; the language is still horrible. 5 CHAIR BUCHMAN: OK. That's the one avenue that, I was looking through my old (inaudible) and I 6 remember Mr. Hayward came to us with changes to mobile homes. Now, I want to read more on that, 7 before I go into this also. Yes, that is an area we need to definitely look at it. 8 Any more comments on the Chamber of Commerce (inaudible) 9 BULLOCK: I appreciate your time. Thank you. 10 CHAIR BUCHMAN: We appreciate very much you giving us the input. 11 Item number five, discussion of any other items at this time. Staff? Yes. 12 BANEGAS: Mr. Chairman, I just ask that you kind of give us some direction as to how you'd like to 13 proceed with the packet of proposed amendments proposal. I agree, as indicated, the amendment to the 14 Code, in terms of identifying the (inaudible) changes in legislative format will be extensive. So, staff 15 wanted to go back to the computer and start incorporating some of these changes if you so deem 16 appropriate at this time. We can certainly bring back proposals section by section in legislative format. 17 Tell us how you would like to proceed. 1S CHAIR BUCHMAN: On which item, all of them, or..? 19 BANEGAS: Well, we can take it Residential...it will be significant, the Residential section; we can try to 20 group them...we wouldn't take the whole package forward until we get all of this. All I'm saying, you 21 know, for Work Session, regular meeting, how would you like to proceed? 22 CHAIR BUCHMAN: What type of time frame are you looking at? 23 BANEGAS: Good question. We really don't know. Charles Harwood is the project planner and he 24 worked extensively with this Code. He's already begun to identify areas, just, on any given topic that has 25 been agreed upon for proposed change, and there's...the Code is so intertwined that we affect one section, we affect several others. So, we literally have just to go... -47- ... _ i • • 1 CHAIR BUCHMAN: Which one of the three would be most advantageous to address first, from your... 2 KYLE: Residential 3 CHAIR BUCHMAN: Residential? 4 BANEGAS: Yeah. 5 STEINBORN: Yeah. 6 CHAIR BUCHMAN: OK. OK. So, in our mind, Commissioners, we got to start with the residential 7 aspects; what we want to do. Do we want to have anything for the next meeting? 8 YOUNG: I'd say that's up to staff. 9 BANEGAS: Let us get down to the nuts and bolts of making that change, that work happen and we can 10 certainly contact all parties involved and see how it's progressing. We'd like to do it as quickly as 11 possible, we really would, but reality is that there's lots of projects, (inaudible), and so we have to work 12 diligently on this, but also understand what the reality is. 13 CHAIR BUCHMAN: OK. So, you'll start on residential first, OK. 14 Anything else needs to be brought before the work session. Commissioners? Staff? Public? 15 FORD: Adjournment. 16 YOUNG: Moved, yeah to adjourn 17 CHAIR BUCHMAN: ~i meeting is adjourned at 7:49 18 19 20 21 CHAIR 22 23 24 25 -4$-