|Consideration and Adoption of Resolution No. 2023-20 and Ordinance No. 2023-12: A Resolution of the City of Flagstaff, Coconino County, Arizona, declaring as a public record that certain document filed with the City Clerk entitled "NAH Health Village Phase 1 Specific Plan" and an Ordinance of the City Council of the City of Flagstaff, Coconino County adopting the NAH Health Village Phase 1 Specific Plan to guide the development of 172.62 acre of real property and to provided specific development requirements for 93.39 acres generally located at 1120 W Purple Sage Trail.
|STAFF RECOMMENDED ACTION:
At the May 2, 2023, Council Meeting:
1) Hold Public Hearing
2) Read Resolution No. 2023-20 by title only
3) City Clerk reads Resolution No. 2023-20 by title only (if approved above)
4) Read Ordinance No. 2023-12 by title only for the first time
5) City Clerk reads Ordinance No. 2023-12 by title only (if approved above)
At the May 16, 2023, Council Meeting:
6) Adopt Resolution No. 2023-20
7) Read Ordinance No. 2023-12 by title only for the final time
8) City Clerk reads Ordinance No. 2023-12 by title only (if approved above)
9) Adopt Ordinance No. 2023-12
|Specific Plan request, by Northern Arizona Healthcare (NAH) Corporation, of approximately 172.6 acres located at 1120 W Purple Sage Trail for the NAH Health Village currently zoned Rural Residential (RR – 74.62 acres), Estate Residential (ER – 97.76 acres), and Single Family Residential (R1 – 0.25 acres). Of the 17 parcels included in this request, all but three are currently within the Resource Protection Overlay (RPO). The remaining three parcels will be added to the RPO as the properties are rezoned in accordance with the Specific Plan, if adopted. This Specific Plan request is the first of two entitlement cases including a Concept Zoning Map Amendment. The Planning & Zoning Commission held a public hearing on March 22 and April 12 and on April 19 voted 4-2 to recommend denial of the NAH Health Village Phase 1 Specific Plan. The Commission could not find that the proposed specific plan was in conformance with the Flagstaff Regional Plan specifically in regard to the Carbon Neutrality goals, Transit goals, and Cost of Development goals.
|Financial impact of this development will be considered with the Development Agreement.
|There are no anticipated policy impacts affiliated with the proposed Specific Plan.
|Connection to PBB Priorities/Objectives, Carbon Neutrality Plan & Regional Plan:
|Priority Based Budget Key Community Priorities & Objectives
Foster a safe, secure, and healthy community.
Deliver outstanding services to residents through a healthy, well maintained infrastructure system.
Grow and strengthen a more robust, diverse, and resilient economy.
Carbon Neutrality Plan
Ensure all mitigation actions improve Flagstaff's ability to adapt to the future.
Encourage vibrancy, appropriate density, and attainability in existing neighborhoods so that more residents can live within walking distance to their daily needs.
Create inclusive networks for walking and biking that are continuous, attractive, safe, comprehensive, and convenient people of all ages.
Encourage Flagstaff residents and visitors to walk, bike, roll and take the bus.
Invest in comprehensive and equitable transit.
Increase renewable energy installations and usage in new buildings
Support solar installations on existing residential and commercial buildings.
Encourage new buildings to rely on the electric grid as their main energy source.
A complete analysis of the Regional Plan goals and policies can be found in the attached Planning & Zoning Commission report.
|Has There Been Previous Council Decision on This:
|There has not been a previous City Council decision on this resolution or ordinance.
|Options and Alternatives:
|The City Council may adopt, modify, or deny the proposed specific plan.
|The applicant, NAH, is requesting adoption of the Northern Arizona Healthcare Health Village Specific Plan (the “Plan”) to support the future development of approximately 172.6 acres of land for a new regional hospital and ambulatory care facility, surrounded by a Health Village designed as a location for a full range of medical, health, and wellness services mixed with supporting commercial, retail, research, and housing opportunities. This new regional hospital is intended to replace the existing Flagstaff Medical Center (FMC) that has been operating in Flagstaff since 1936. NAH has owned and operated FMC for the past 35 years. FMC currently maintains a 242-bed patient facility and is an Arizona-certified Level 1 Trauma Center. FMC is the only Arizona Level 1 Trauma Center north of Phoenix.
FMC’s current campus consists of 40 acres of land that is divided by a primary transportation route (Beaver Street). NAH has struggled to maintain efficiencies on the existing site due to physical constraints and has worked continuously over the years on the existing site to enhance services to the Community. While NAH owns additional undeveloped land in the immediate vicinity of the existing hospital, those parcels are not contiguous and new development on those lots is likely to exacerbate existing issues with the current development. NAH has decided to pursue a new greenfield development to provide more efficient medical services as well as expand service offerings. In addition to the hospital, NAH has opted to plan for a larger development with supporting uses on an overall 172-acre site known as a “Health Village.” These supporting uses include complementary retail, commercial, research, education, and residential units. The anchor of the Health Village will be a new regional hospital with up to 448 beds, outpatient care including surgical services, and medical and administrative offices. Open space and civic space are also incorporated to support the Health Village concept.
This Plan is proposed to be adopted in phases in conjunction with future zoning map amendments. This Plan is intended to be adopted by ordinance and provide development standards and phasing of infrastructure for the planning area. This Plan will also serve as official City policy providing direction on how to implement the Regional Plan regarding future rezoning applications. Within this Plan, there is language that describes which parts of the documents are aspirational, advisory, and strategy, and which are standards and guidelines. Specific Plans are processed as a minor amendment to the Flagstaff Regional Plan and follow the enhanced procedural requirements for public participation and notification required of major plan amendments.
|Specific Plan – Policy Framework
The purpose of a specific plan is to provide a greater level of detail for a geographic area or element of the Regional Plan, and to provide for the systematic implementation of the Regional Plan. Specific plans can also be adopted as master plans for development when they accompany a request for rezoning. The development of specific plans is essential for implementation of the Flagstaff Regional Plan and its vision. These plans are necessary to further determine the nature and scale of activity centers, corridors, and neighborhoods, the cross-sections and alignment of future corridors, and the priority of goals and policies in a particular area.
Specific Plan – Regulatory Framework
The Specific Plan divides the 172.6-acre site into seven land use areas, each with their own proposed zoning category and intended level of development. The Concept Land Use Area Program on pages 26 and 27 of the Plan provide all the details for each planning area.
Land Use areas 1a and 1b comprise 35.2 acres, which are intended as open space or as active or passive recreation areas. Area 1a includes open space areas on either side of the Sinclair Wash FUTS trail. Area 1b is a wellness retreat adjacent to the Hospital and ACC, which is intended to include features such as paths, trails, gathering areas and civic space. Both land use areas are included in the Phase 1 Concept Zoning Map Amendment.
Land Use Areas 2a, 2b, and 2c are all located within the S16 activity center. Area 2a is a 17.4 gross-acre site at the northern end of the planning area. It is intended for mixed-use, and it may include a combination of residential and commercial uses, including retail and lodging. Area 2b comprises 63.2 gross acres and will be the location of the Hospital and ACC. The Hospital is intended to be built out in phases. Initially, the Hospital and ACC will consist of 956,892 gross square feet (or almost 22 acres) of development with an estimated 276 patent beds. Future expansions include a surgery center expansion, additional patient bed tower, and an emergency department expansion. At full build out the hospital will consist of more than 1.1 million gross square feet (or 25.25 acres) of development with up to 448 patient beds. Area 2c is a 3.4 gross acre site within the same block as the Hospital and ACC. It will accommodate commercial use, most likely lodging with a restaurant and/or retail component. Only land use area 2b is included in the Phase 1 Concept Zoning Map Amendment. The remaining areas will be included in a future rezoning request.
Land Use Area 2d is located south of the realigned Purple Sage Trail just outside the activity center. This area is 25.7 gross acres and is intended for commercial uses, particularly clinical patterns, medical offices, retail, and service uses.
Land Use Area 3 is 27.8 gross acres intended for research and development uses including research, labs, training, and education as well as light manufacturing.
Specific Plan Zoning Modifications – City of Flagstaff Zoning Code
If this Specific Plan is adopted and approved in conjunction with the Concept Zoning Map Amendment, approximately 98.39 aces of the total 172.6 acres included in the Health Village will be rezoned from RR (40.47 acres) and ER (57.92 acres) to HC (63.18 acres) and PF (35.21 acres). Of the 14 parcels included in this rezoning request, all but three (APN 112-10-036, 112-10-037, and 112-05-125) are currently within the RPO. These remaining three parcels will be added to the RPO as part of this request. The Concept Zone Plan is included in the Specific Plan but is discussed in greater detail within the Concept Zoning Map Amendment staff summary.
Arizona Revised Statutes (ARS) Section 9-461.08 provides the authority and scope for municipalities to adopt a Specific Plan. Specific Plans may, in addition to recommended zoning ordinances and subdivision regulations, include the following:
- Regulations determining the location of buildings and other improvements with respect to existing rights-of-way, floodplains, and public facilities.
- Regulations of the use of land, buildings and structures, the height and bulk of buildings and structures and the open spaces around buildings and structures.
The proposed plan includes modified standards specific to the development of the NAH Health Village regarding building placement, allowed uses, building height, architectural design standards, and bicycle parking. Additionally, the plan modifies the definition of Meeting Faculties, Public or Private as discussed below.
Site Planning Design Standards
Site Planning Design Standards are intended to reinforce the character of the neighborhoods, districts and corridors of the City to promote more livable, sustainable communities. Site Planning Design Standards include provisions for natural features and site drainage; compatibility; building placement; parking lots, driveways, and service areas; pedestrian and bicycle circulation systems; open spaces, civic spaces, and outdoor public spaces; and private streets. The Plan proposes to modify the requirements for Building placement.
Building placement on a development site is important because it establishes the form and pattern for the development along a street, which in turn affects the human scale of a site layout, its economic vitality, and how well the site functions with the connections between buildings, parking areas, and adjacent development. Building-forward design solutions that ensure the building front is located at or near the sidewalk edge are required. Display windows and other architectural features that provide interest to pedestrians shall also be incorporated into the design.
NAH states that the new Hospital and other patient-centric buildings need to be setback from the street to provide buffers from highway and airport operation noise impacts. Additionally, the Hospital needs parking and emergency circulation between the building and street for patient visibility and access, especially for unfamiliar users during stressful experiences.
Architectural Design Standards
The purpose of the Architectural Design Standards in the Zoning Code is to reinforce the unique character of Flagstaff’s architectural history. It also promotes the use of indigenous, traditional building materials and a human scale to create an inviting pedestrian realm. The regulations encourage new development to be in character and scale with the existing fabric of Flagstaff. NAH has prepared unique architectural design standards for the Hospital site that fall within the category of “Mountain Modern” architecture which juxtaposes rustic elements of traditional vernacular architecture with the clean lines of contemporary architecture. The primary components of these standards including Building Materials and Building Massing and Scale.
The NAH guidelines modify the Building Materials requirement to allow External Insulation and Finishing Systems (EIFS) stucco as a primary building material where the City’s standards consider EIFS a secondary material and limits the finish to less than 25 percent of individual building elevations.
The NAH guidelines modify the Building Massing and Scale requirements to remove the specific requirements for articulation as follows.
Current Code Requirement
For all buildings in non-transect zones, wall planes shall be divided into modules that express traditional dimensions such that a primary facade plane shall not exceed 75 feet in length. If a wall plane exceeds this dimension, then a jog shall be provided to divide it into subordinate elements each less than 75 feet in length. The depth of the jog shall be a minimum of 20 percent of the height of the wall plane. In addition, a combination of at least two of the following techniques shall be employed:
- Change the height of a wall plane or building mass by providing vertical articulation. The change in height shall be at least 20 percent of the vertical height of an adjacent wall plane or building mass;
- Change the roof form to express different modules of the building mass; and/or
- Divide large wall planes into smaller components by changing the arrangement of windows and other facade articulation features, such as columns or strap work.
Articulate the facades and massing to break down large components. Specific attention is to be paid to the ground level/podium components as well as overall roof lines.
- Change the roof form and roof lines to express different modules of the building mass;
- Change the height of a wall plane or building mass by providing vertical articulation. The change in height shall be at least five percent of the vertical height of an adjacent wall plane or building mass;
- Divide large wall planes into smaller components by the articulation of the systems and geometries; and
- On primary street frontages, create street interest/interaction every 75 feet by physically articulating the building mass.
The Zoning Code requires a minimum of two bicycle parking spaces, or eight percent of the required vehicle parking for each development. The proposed Hospital and ACC would require just under 100 bicycle parking spaces. The Plan will require a maximum of 200 bicycle spaces of which 20 percent must be covered. These requirements exceed the standards found in the current code.
NAH is proposing to alter the definition of Meeting Facilities, Public or Private to include conference center and/or convention centers. This particular use has been contemplated throughout the review of the Plan but was not included in the current Development Plan, although it may be included in the future. The City of Flagstaff does not have a use that allows for a stand-alone conference center.
Public Facility Zone Specific Standards
Land use areas 1a and 1b are proposed to be rezoned to the Public Facility (PF) zone. The PF zone applies to areas of the City owned by public or quasi-public agencies. The PF zone is intended to preserve and encourage the establishment of public lands and to provide an area within the City for active and passive recreation uses, parks, public open space, governmental buildings and facilities, schools and school grounds, quasi-public buildings and facilities, and related uses. NAH proposes to amend the allowed uses of the PF zone to prohibit the development of Libraries, Museums, residential uses, Cemeteries, Government Offices, Government Service/Maintenance Facilities, and Municipal Airports. All other listed uses remain the same. None of the PF zone building form and property development standards are modified by this Plan.
Highway Commercial Zone Development Standards
Land Use area 2b is proposed to be rezoned to the HC zone. While other land use areas (2a, 2c, and 2d) within the Planning Area are intended to be rezoned to HC, the following only applies to land use area 2b (Hospital and ACC.) The HC zone applies to areas of the City appropriate for a full range of automobile-oriented services. The development of commercial uses in addition to residential uses is encouraged in the HC zone to provide diversity in housing choices; provided, however, that residential uses are located above or behind commercial buildings so that they are buffered from adjoining highway corridors. The provisions of this zone are also intended to provide for convenient, controlled access and parking, without increasing traffic burdens upon the adjacent streets and highways. This zone is designated primarily at the commercial corridors of the City, with the intention of making the City more attractive as a tourist destination while providing needed commercial activity.
NAH proposes to amend the uses of the HC zone by prohibiting most of the uses that are not compatible with the proposed Hospital and ACC uses. Hospital is modified from requiring a Conditional Use Permit to being a Permitted Use. Any other listed use is only permissible as an accessory use to the Hospital and ACC which include Manufacturing and Processing – Incidental, Research and Development Uses, Warehousing, Libraries, Museums, both Regional and Neighborhood Public or Private Meeting Facilities, Places of Worship, Schools, Theaters, Trade School, Universities and Colleges, Congregate Care Facilities, Day Care Centers, Nursing Homes, Farmers Markets and Flea Markets, Restaurant or Café, Funeral Homes, Chapels and Mortuaries, Medical Marijuana Dispensary Office, Public Services Minor, Emergency Services, Veterinary Clinics, Veterinary Hospitals, AM Broadcasting Facilities, Antenna Supporting Structure, Attached Telecommunication Facilities, Collocation Facility, FM/DTV/Low Wattage AM Broadcasting Facilities, Stealth Telecommunication Facilities, Accessory Wind Energy Systems, Airports/Landing Strips, Heliports, or Helistops, Off-Street Parking, Off-Street Parking Lots, Passenger Transportation Facilities, Community Gardens, and Food Production. Of these uses only Airports/Landing Strips, Heliports, or Helistops is not currently listed as Permitted or Conditional Use in the HC Zone. A footnote has been added to the use table that states “Any antenna supporting structure will be a maximum of fifty (50) feet in height, as measured from adjacent finished grade.”
A Helipad is proposed for the roof of the patient tower. The helipad will be designed in compliance with International Fire Code 2018, Section 2007 Helistops and Heliports, as well as with National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Publication 418, Standard for Heliports, 2021. The helipad is intended to assist with emergency transportation of patients, medical teams, and/or medical cargo to and from the facility. This helipad will not include any service, maintenance, or refueling for flight training for helicopters on site. The placement of the helipad at the top of the patent tower provides the helicopters with a flight orientation that is close to parallel to the aircraft traffic at Flagstaff Pulliam Airport, thereby reducing potential conflicts with other air traffic. The primary helipad user will be Guardian Air, whose local helicopter is based at Pulliam Airport. Before the helipad can be constructed, it will need to undergo an “Airspace Study” by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
The Building Form and Property Development Standards are modified to allow a maximum Building Height of 160 feet. A footnote is added stating “The 160’ building height is limited to patient towers. Other uses will conform to a 60’ height maximum.” Vertical orientation provides a greater efficiency than a horizontal layout for patient care. The patient tower will be located directly above the emergency operations and other clinical services. Building floors within a hospital are much taller than a typical commercial structure. The floor heights range between 14 and 20 feet based on their occupancy. The patient tower is anticipated to be six stories overall. The applicant has provided a viewshed analysis of what the proposed tower will look like from surrounding properties. These include scenes from Mountain Dell, Fort Tuthill, the Sinclair Wash FUTS trail, and Ponderosa Trails. The images indicate the building will not be visible from surrounding locations. Actual elevations of the proposed Hospital have not been included as part of this application. It is anticipated that the actual height of the patient tower will be less than 145 feet in height based on measurements as required by the Zoning Code.
|Expanded Financial Considerations:
|Community Services Impact Analysis
The Public Services Impact Analysis review, including Transportation, Water, Wastewater and Stormwater are included within the Concept Zoning Map Amendment. The Public Service Impact Analysis is also part of the Specific Plan requirements. The following analysis review is required as part of the Specific Plan review and analysis only.
Police and Fire
The City of Flagstaff Police Department waived the requirement for an impact analysis on this project but provided the following information about this request.
- In general, providing police support for the proposed new hospital will be the same type and scope of service provided currently to the existing hospital.
- If the new hospital expands in size beyond the current hospital, then we would expect the amount of service to increase as well. The project plans anticipate a hospital that eventually may have about one-third more capacity than the existing facility, so it is reasonable that FPD costs of service will also increase. FPD does not separately track its costs for servicing the existing hospital.
- The new hospital will be about 4.6 miles from FPD headquarters/CCSO Jail compared with a distance of 1.8 miles to the current medical center. This may result in response times a couple minutes slower than currently provided, and the extra distance will have a marginal cost impact to the department. This expanded distance will play more into effect with the jail refusals of our arrested persons pending a medical clearance. In 2019, the Coconino County Jail refused 346 of our arrestees, and in 2020, they refused 344 of our arrestees.
- Impact fees collected by the City on behalf of FPD may help to offset some of the costs listed above; however, it is currently unknown If the impact fees will be insufficient to cover all the costs.
Two separate analyzes were completed for the wildland fire impact of the proposed location and an analysis was completed regarding our existing Fire services.
Wildland Risk Assessment & Mitigation Report
The Wildland Fire Risk Assessment & Mitigation Report was prepared by Fire Management Group, LLC on November 21, 2021. This report addresses the possible wildland fire impacts of placing a 180-acre medical complex (NAH Health Village) near the local Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) area. This area is the far southwestern edge of the City of Flagstaff incorporated area. The proposed site is surrounded by a mix of private, state, county, and federal lands. This report addresses the impacts, both positive and negative, of this development and gives only recommendations and not requirements to reduce wildland fire impact.
The results of this study recommend the following mitigation measures for the proposed NAH Health Village development to minimize wildland fire impacting the parcel as well as slowing fire spread across the landscape.
Under the current fuel and weather conditions, the undeveloped area that has been thinned in 2009 would be able to sustain a fast-moving low-severity grass fire. It is unlikely this area would experience a sustained crown fire and suppression efforts would likely be successful due to the low flame lengths. Mitigation recommendations for fuels include:
- The bulk of the area was thinned in 2009 and the vegetation has grown over the last 12 years. The thinning and treatment in this area should be refreshed.
- Increase the ponderosa crown spacing - there should be open areas between individual tree crowns or between clumps of trees.
- Trim up all low-hanging branches to a height of 6 feet or more above the ground
- Remove all ladder fuels, small trees, etc.
- Minimize the height of the grasses throughout the area by mowing to a height of ± 6 inches where needed.
- The 19 acres at the south end of the property have not been thinned and have an overabundance of small ponderosa that are not healthy. This area would sustain a fast moving high intensity crown fire that would impact area infrastructure and be difficult to suppress.
- This area is very heavily overgrown and will need a major thinning effort. Some general recommendations:
- Remove the majority of the smaller trees, these are not healthy and would die over time.
- All ladder fuels should be removed.
- The remaining larger healthy trees should be trimmed up to a minimum of 6 feet from the ground and the crowns should have open space between them.
- Create clear space around the City well site and APS substation that are located to the south just off the property.
- If the fiber optic and electrical lines that run through the area are not going to be relocated there should be clear space along these easements.
Other General Recommendations
- All construction material will need to meet or exceed both the IBC and the International Wildland Urban Interface (IWUI) codes for flammability.
- All landscaping adjacent to buildings should be sprinklered and the FFD should have access to turn this on, thus minimizing any embers from an area fire. The recommendation for landscaping vegetation is to utilize the Arizona Cooperative Extension “Firewise Plant Materials for 3,000 ft. and Higher Elevations” (Appendix D) as much as possible for landscaping. These identified trees, shrubs, and plants will minimize the flammability of the landscaping on the property.
Fire Service Impact Assessment
- Water supply should be established with hydrants in place throughout the property.
- All the proposed main roads should be put in with an all-weather surface to allow suppression efforts as well as break up the grass fuel crop.
- The first phase building pads (Hospital and ACC) should be established down to mineral soil.
- The overhead fiber optic/electrical line to the east of the property should be put underground. This line is low hanging on wooden poles and has overhead transformers that may spark.
- The NAH Wellness Area that is proposed to be left in a natural state should be mowed to reduce the grass crop. This area should also have all-weather established trails bisecting the area to minimize the fire spread possibility.
The NAH Health Village Fire Impact Assessment was completed by FACETS Consulting on December 29, 2021. The purpose of this report is to provide a comprehensive fire service impact assessment for the proposed NAH Health Village. The best way to reduce the impact of this development on the Flagstaff Fire Department will be to design and construct the project according to the adopted building and fire codes in place for the City of Flagstaff. The development of this project at the far southern end of the city has longer-term impacts on the delivery of fire and emergency medical services.
Based on a review of the resources of the Flagstaff Fire Department and the demands created by the development of the NAH Health Village, the following actions and studies are recommended by the consultant of this report:
- The Flagstaff Fire Marshal should utilize special experts as provided for in the International Fire Code when reviewing plans and monitoring the construction of the NAH Health Village, especially for the design and construction of the Medical Center.
- Assess the eventual impact of the relocation of the emergency room function on the fire and ambulance systems.
- Given the expansion of the urban core to the south and possible follow-on development in the area, perform an analysis of Flagstaff Fire Department fire station locations, station capacity, and service delivery depth to determine if the existing station locations, apparatus housing capabilities, and emergency service capabilities are appropriate for the longer term. This work may be in conjunction with the development of the JWP corridor.
- Follow the wildfire mitigation recommendations of the Wildland Fire Risk Assessment & Mitigation Report prepared by the Fire Management Group, LLC to reduce wildfire risks.
Standard of Cover Analysis
NAH contracted with the City’s consultant already working on a John Wesley Powell Fire Station Siting study for a standards of cover analysis to include impacts from the proposed NAH Health Village as was recommended in item #3 above. Facets Consulting provided a final report to the City on November 22, 2022. The purpose of this analysis is to understand how Flagstaff Fire Department fire station locations, station capacity, and service delivery depth be completed to determine if the existing station locations, apparatus housing capabilities, and emergency service capabilities are appropriate for the longer term.
General findings of this report are identified below:
- The Flagstaff Fire Department does not meet the minimum staffing requirements of relevant national standards and best practices; given the City of Flagstaff’s risk profile, regional importance, and limited surrounding mutual-aid resources. The City of Flagstaff should work toward full compliance with the NFPA 1710 Standard.
- The high-rise tower affiliated with the NAH Health Village demands additional response units beyond what would be required for a lower-risk occupancy and accentuates the need for a fully staffed ladder company for the City.
- The closest fire station to the proposed NAH Health Village is Station #6. The report recommends that a second emergency response unit, staffed to national standards, be provided at Station #6. This station is not suitable for additional emergency response unit (too small,) so a new station will be necessary as close as possible to the current location.
In lieu of a school impact analysis, Flagstaff Unified School District (FUSD) provided a letter about the application. The letter states that the Health Village will include up to 177 residential units. This has since been expanded to 315 units. FUSD provided the following information regarding the proposed Health Village:
- The location of the proposed NAH project lies within the area served by Flagstaff High School, Mount Elden Middle School, and DeMiguel Elementary School.
- FUSD generally estimates school enrollment generated from residential development at 0.2 percent of total residential units. For 177 units, this would mean about 35 students (for 315 units, this would mean 63 students).
- Capacity at the schools listed will not be significantly impacted by new enrollments generated by the proposed project.
- Vehicular circulation within the proposed development should be carefully planned to allow easy maneuverability of school buses.
- In order to serve shifting population centers within the City of Flagstaff, FUSD anticipates the need for a new elementary school south of I-40 along the I-17corridor. This will require a 14-acre site. If the NAH development is not suitable for a school site, then new residential development north and west of the new hospital should take this need into consideration.
Economic Development Analysis
An analysis of the economic impacts associated with the entire proposed Health Village development was provided in conjunction with this application. The analysis was completed by Applied Economics and is dated December 2022. The analysis does not break down the anticipated economic impacts by phase. A summary of impacts is provided on page 5 of that report and highlighted below:
- Construction expenditures are projected at $1.08 billion over 23 years
- Project construction could support over 10,000 direct jobs and close to 3,200 indirect jobs during the 23-year construction period.
- Once the entire Health Village is developed, the project could generate an annual economic impact of $387 million in the region and could employ an estimated 1,985 people at buildout.
- An estimated $113 million direct labor income (or earnings) are anticipated at buildout.
- Annual off-site visitor spending is estimated at $9.8 million by 2036.
- The jobs generated by the Health Village could support an estimated local population of 2,600 people (approximately half would reside in Flagstaff).
- The Health Village could generate an estimated $39.1 million in sales tax, board and beverage tax, property taxes and state shared revenues to the City of Flagstaff over the next 23 years.
The report states on page 7, “The total increase in economic activity from new construction expenditures can be measured in terms of jobs, labor income and output. Although construction is a non-recurring impact, the construction activity for this project is anticipated to extend over a 23-year period.” Construction sales tax is estimated at $11.4 million to the City and $6.5 million to the County over 23 years which assumes that the materials portion of the construction cost for the hospital, ambulatory care and medical offices would be exempt from construction sales taxes, but the labor portion would still be taxable.
The report states on page 9, “Although the ambulatory and surgical facilities, medical office and hospital will be constructed in the next five years, there will be no new employment associated with this component of the development. Existing NAH employees will be transferred to the new campus where the more efficient design of the new hospital will result in a decrease in employment at the hospital and a shifting of employees to the new ambulatory and surgical facilities. However, when the expansion of the healthcare facilities is completed in 2045, there could be an estimated 569 new jobs created.”
The hotels proposed to be developed within the Health Village could bring a significant number of additional visitors to Flagstaff who will spend money in the community. As stated on page 11 of the report, “Based on stabilized occupancy rate of 65 percent, the first hotel could attract approximately 51,000 guest per year from 2029 to 2035, increasing to 102,000 guest per year beginning in 2036 when the second hotel opens.” “In total, guests at the hotels could spend an estimated $16.2 million per year on-site (or within the development) on lodging, retail, and food beginning in 2035, and $9.8 million off-site (outside the development at other local business).”
Parks & Recreation Analysis
The City of Flagstaff Parks and Recreation Master Plan identifies a deficiency of public parks, sports fields, and community recreation facilities (such as the Aquaplex) within the southwestern portion of the city. Parks, Recreation, Open Space and Events (PROSE) staff requested the applicant further the goals of the master plan by providing additional resources that would fulfill these community needs. The applicant has agreed to make the open space areas as designated within this rezoning request open to the public. Staff has requested specific easement language to understand how these areas would be available to the public, but the applicant has not been able to provide such. The applicant generally states in the draft development agreement that restrictions within the easement will include open hours, and prohibitive language regarding camping, possession of firearms, open fire, etc. Additionally, PROSE staff requested that some form of “active” recreation amenity (wellness gym) be added to the Wellness Retreat area operating and maintained by the applicant. The applicant has agreed to evaluate options for an amenity.
|Community Benefits and Considerations:
|General Plan/Flagstaff Regional Plan (FRP 2030) Process and Analysis Summary
When staff performs a Regional Plan analysis, staff reviews all maps, text, and goals and policies to determine which are the most relevant in relation to the proposed application. The Plan’s Future Growth Illustration on Maps 21 and 22 (same map; one is regional scale and one city scale) and the text of the Plan provide supplemental information for the interpretation of goals and policies. In the case of any conflict between the Future Growth Illustration and the Plan’s goals and policies, the goals and policies will prevail. The Future Growth Illustration has two types of land use designations: “Area Types” describe the place-making context of Urban, Suburban, Rural, or Employment, and “Place Types” such as activity centers, corridors, and neighborhoods which provide the framework for the density, intensities, and mix of uses within the area types.
A Minor Regional Plan amendment was approved for the Property in December 2022. The amendment included changing the place type designation of a Future Suburban Activity Center from Neighborhood to Regional scale. The Regional Plan located future activity centers where the future road networks intended to intersect, and future development has been proposed (LU.3 and LU.18). In this case, activity center S16 was located at the future intersection of Beulah Boulevard and Woody Mountain Road (both designated as minor arterials). Every activity center is intended to work at its own scale, serving the needs of the surrounding community. That scale is directly related to the road types serving the center and surrounding development. The proposed development of a new regional hospital requires a regional scale activity center to support a zoning map amendment request at this location because of the scale, intended mix of uses, and regional attraction of the proposal.
The amendment also included moving the center of a Future Suburban Activity Center to the north and east of its original location to realign with a modified road network. Instead of locating the center of the activity center over an intersection it places priority on the focal point of the proposed Health Village, the Hospital and ACC. The Road Network Illustration (Map 25) was modified to leave Beulah Boulevard in its current location with the assurance from the applicant that a future underpass under I-17 could be accommodated. This underpass is important for the future transportation network because it will help reduce trips at the airport traffic interchange as well as Lake Mary Road and Beulah Boulevard and will assist with lowering vehicle miles traveled within Flagstaff. While the applicant is not anticipating constructing this underpass as part of their development, the applicant will need to ensure that leaving Beulah Boulevard in its current location will not prohibit the future construction of the underpass. The intersection of Beulah Boulevard and Purple Sage Trail will be conditioned to be designed and constructed to accommodate a future underpass across I-17.
The property included in this Specific Plan is designated by the Regional Plan as being part of a Regional Suburban Activity Center with Existing Employment, Existing Rural, and Future Suburban area types. Regional Suburban Activity Centers include larger, mixed-use centers at intersections of Regional Travel and Circulation Corridors with access to large residential developments, entertainment and cultural amenities, and public spaces that serve both regional residents and visitors. Block sizes within a Regional Suburban Activity Center typically range from 600 feet to 1,000 feet by 600 feet to 1,000 feet with variable lot sizes. Bicycle and pedestrian connectivity are generally 300 x 300 to 600 feet. Floor Area Ratios are in the 0.5+ range. While uses located in this category typically tend to be auto oriented, the regional commercial category emphasizes safe and convenient personal mobility in many forms, with planning and design for pedestrian, bicycle, and transit access. The Regional Plan under Goal LU 4 and LU 10 calls for the development of specific plans in activity centers to support the balance of employment and housing needs and to foster desired scale and form as well as support distinctive identities. Activity centers may be balanced with open space resources. FUTS and open space areas should create connectivity to and from the activity center as well as buffer future and existing employment and housing uses.
The Employment Area Type can include mixed-use; research and development offices; medical offices; office space; business park; retail, restaurant, and tourism centers; light-industrial; heavy-industrial; and live-work spaces. Employment Research and development parks, business parks, and associated services within the suburban context should provide context with surrounding neighborhoods in campus settings. The Employment Area Type is intended to provide locations for a variety of workplaces that develop as a business park setting or integrate into a commercial mixed-use project as part of an activity center. These projects are to be designed and developed as buildings with attractively landscaped outdoor spaces and continue the vitality and quality of life in adjacent residential neighborhoods. Other supporting uses can be included which complement the primary workplace uses, such as restaurants, hotels, childcare, and convenience shopping, if included as part of an overall planned development. Sites designated for this category should have good access to existing or planned transportation facilities and be compatible with adjacent land uses.
Applicable General Plan Goals and Policies
In general, the proposed specific plan creates a Regional Suburban Activity Center with a core use that will support a regional level of activity, a road network that is appropriate to the scale and type of activity center and a mix of compatible uses and architectural styles that creates a distinctive sense of place. The specific plan proposed ensures conformance with the following Community Character and Land Use goals and policies:
- Policy CC.1.2. Continue to define and further develop the community character by incorporating the natural setting into the built environment at all design scales.
- Policy LU.2.1. Design new neighborhoods that embody the characteristics of Flagstaff’s favorite neighborhoods – that is, with a mix of uses, a variety of housing types and densities, public spaces, and greater connectivity with multimodal transportation options.
- Policy LU.4.1. Develop neighborhood plans, specific plans, area plans, and master plans for all neighborhoods, activity centers, corridors, and gateways as necessary.
- Policy LU.5.5. Plan for and promote compact commercial development as activity centers with mixed uses, allowing for efficient multi-modal transit options and infrastructure.
- Policy LU.6.1. Consider a variety of housing types and employment options when planning new development and redevelopment projects.
- Policy LU.6.4. Provide appropriate recreational and cultural amenities to meet the needs of residents.
- Policy LU.13.6. Include a mix of uses and access to surrounding neighborhoods in new suburban commercial development.
- Policy LU.13.7. Include employment opportunities in all suburban activity centers.
- Policy LU.18.2. Strive for activity centers and corridors that are characterized by contextual and distinctive identities, derived from history, environmental features, a mix of uses, well-designed public spaces, parks, plazas, and high-quality design.
- Policy LU.18.9. Plan activity centers and corridors appropriate to their respective regional or neighborhood scale.
Policies that conflict with this specific plan include:
- Policy LU.5.2. Promote infill development over peripheral expansion to conserve environmental resources, spur economic investments, and reduce the cost of providing infrastructure and services.
A more detailed review and analysis is included in the Concept Zoning Map Amendment staff summary.
|Applications for Specific Plans are required to meet the Citizen Review requirements set forth in City Code Section 11-10.10.020.D. and are required to follow the procedures applicable to major amendments to the General Plan (Regional Plan). Major amendments are required to have two Planning & Zoning Commission Hearings, and the applicant is required to hold a neighborhood meeting and provide a record of proceedings. At least 60 days before notice of the first hearing of the Planning & Zoning Commission on a Specific Plan, the proposal shall be submitted for review and further comment to all government agencies listed in A.R.S. Section 9-461. The Specific Plan was transmitted for this 60-day review on June 3, 2022. To date, staff has only received formal 60-day review comments from Coconino County, FUSD, and Friends of Flagstaff’s Future, all of which are attached to this report for the Commissions review.
Public hearings before the Planning and Zoning Commission and City Council are conducted in conjunction with the Regional Plan Amendment request. In accordance with Arizona Revised Statutes and Section 10-20.30.080 (p. 20.30-9) of the Zoning Code, notice of the public hearings were provided by placing an ad in the Arizona Daily Sun, posting notices on the property, and mailing a notice to all property owners and homeowner’s associations within one half mile of the subject property, consisting of 900 property owners.
The applicant held three neighborhood meetings for this application in addition to a proposed Specific Plan and Concept Zoning Map Amendment. These meetings were held on January 6 and January 18, 2022, at 5:30 p.m. and October 10, 2022, at 6:00 p.m. via Zoom. The January 6, 2022, meeting had approximately 70 attendees, and the January 18, 2022, meeting had approximately 100 attendees. The October 10, 2022, meeting had approximately 154 attendees. Common themes of support included economic development impacts, better access to care and new clinical services, and the overall health and wellness vision. Common themes of concern included transit and bus service, access to the new campus, traffic, re-use of the existing NAH campus, helicopter/ambulance noise, and building height.