|Zoning – City of Flagstaff Zoning Code
If this Concept Zoning Map Amendment request is approved, approximately 63.18 acres will be rezoned to the Highway Commercial (HC) zone and approximately 35.21 acres will be rezoned to the Public Facility (PF) zone. Of the 14 parcels included in this request, all but three (APN 112-10-036, 112-10-037, and 112-05-125) are currently within the Resource Protection Overlay (RPO). These remaining three parcels will be added to the RPO as part of this request. Development of the site will be conditioned to the approved Specific Plan, concept zone plan, and a development agreement. Proposed development that is in accordance with the approved Specific Plan will not require future modification of this zoning map amendment. The Concept Plan provided includes the general site layout, open space areas, general circulation, general building locations, and sample architectural renderings.
Site Planning Standards
In accordance with Section 10-30.60.030 of the Zoning Code, a site analysis was completed in conjunction with the concept plan for this project that examines the topography of the site, solar orientation, existing/native vegetation types, view corridors, climate, subsurface conditions, drainage swales and stream corridor, and the built environment and land use context. The slopes on the subject property are less than 17 percent, so building foundations do not need to be designed to step with the terrain which is difficult for medical facilities. Solar orientation has been considered but the use of solar panels or other renewable energy sources on site has not been determined. The building has been oriented to provide patient rooms with the primary views to the north. The existing built environment is primarily rural in nature with large lot residential properties. The Property is adjacent to a regional park facility under the operation of Coconino County which holds large events, but development on the site remains at a rural intensity. The Forest Resources are addressed below in accordance with the provisions of the Resource Protection Overlay.
The Specific Plan that accompanies this rezoning provides alternative building placement standards for the Hospital, ACC, and associated medical offices. The Zoning Code places a significant importance on building placement 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 is the preferred design scenario for Flagstaff which requires that the building front is located at or near the sidewalk edge. In this case, the Hospital and ACC are proposed to be located several hundred feet away from Beulah Boulevard with parking fields located in front of the buildings. The primary purpose for this placement is to avoid noise impacts from the adjacent highway and airport. While the medical buildings may be located further from the sidewalks’ edge, other surrounding commercial and residential development will be required to comply with the building placement standards as found in the Zoning Code. Of note, the applicant has agreed to locate transit stops within the Hospital development as the building placement makes transit serving the site more difficult for riders to access the facility (would need to traverse large parking fields to access building).
The applicant has provided a concept plan that considers the key contextual influences including the sensitivity of adjacent land uses; location of property boundaries and setbacks; location of adjacent roads, driveways, pedestrian ways, and bicycle facilities; location of proposed transit facilities; as well as the existing built environment.
There is a Resource Protection Overlay zone on 14 of the 17 parcels subject to this request. The three remaining parcels will be added to the Resource Protection Overlay as part of this request. There are no floodplain or steep slope resources to preserve within the planning area. The only existing resource that will fall under the RPO requirements are forest resources. The Zoning Code requires 30 percent of the tree resources to be saved within both proposed zoning categories. A high-level resource protection plan indicates that the proposed development will have little problem attaining this preservation rate.
Open Space & Civic Space
None of the proposed zoning districts (Highway Commercial or Public Facilities) require the provision of open space as is typically required for residential developments. The primary purpose of the area zoned Public Facilities is to fill the need for developed open space with the greater Health Village as well as provide a buffer between the Hospital and adjacent residential development. Section 10-30.60.060.B.1.b of the Zoning Code requires the development of each site over 20,000 square feet or developments with 50 or more dwelling units to provide a total of 5 percent of the gross site to be used as civic space. These civic spaces will be required at the time of site plan approval for each portion of development.
Pedestrian and Bicycle Circulation Systems
Most of the Property is undeveloped or consists of limited rural residential development with no existing bicycle or pedestrian transportation improvements other than the existing Sinclair Wash FUTS trail that traverses the Property from north to south. Improvements to support both bicycle and pedestrian transportation will be required internal to the site, surrounding the property as part of the adjacent roadway improvements, in addition to off-site network improvements. Each are described in detail below.
Internal to the Property
This rezoning is focused on the development site that will encompass the Hospital and ACC buildings. This site is larger than most development sites and includes structures that are moved inward from the adjacent streets requiring special consideration and care to ensure that bicycles and pedestrians can safely and efficiently maneuver the site. This is a concept rezoning and therefore does not include the high level of detail that would be provided in conjunction with a site plan. It is extremely important that all surface parking areas provide safe pedestrian ways outside of vehicular lanes to move people through the large fields of parking. There also needs to be continuous sidewalks along the main north/south driveway as this area is also intended to support transit on the site. Bicycle specific access also needs to be provided from Purple Sage Trail to the parking garage where enclosed bicycle parking is provided. This access should be clearly defined as a multi-modal path (at least 10 feet wide). A series of multi-modal paths are proposed within the Wellness Retreat for both circulation and recreational needs.
Within the Specific Plan Area
As previously stated, most of the infrastructure improvements are required with this first phase of development consisting of the Hospital and ACC buildings. The Property is proposed to be subdivided into several parcels including a 59.8-acre site that will encompass these buildings, a 20-acre wellness retreat, and at least 10 acres of open space adjacent to the Sinclair Wash FUTS trail. These parcels will be adjacent to two minor arterial roadways including Beulah Boulevard, Woody Mountain Road, and a major collector roadway (Purple Sage Trail). Currently, portions of Beulah Boulevard and Purple Sage Trail are existing within the proposed Planning Area. Woody Mountain Road is intended to connect with Purple Sage Trail when future development occurs on parcels adjacent to the Project. This area of intersection is currently located outside the Planning Area. The applicant proposes to end each street with a temporary cul-de-sac until such time as adjacent development is required to extend the roadways. This will create an incomplete transportation network adjacent to the Planning Area which may impact the movement of bicycles and pedestrians within the area and limit access to the Sinclair Wash FUTS trail from Woody Mountain Road. This will limit access to the Sinclair Wash FUTS trail. The following is a list of bicycle and pedestrian facilities located within the Planning Area.
- Beulah Boulevard – a minor arterial roadway with a 10-foot concrete FUTS on the west side of the roadway adjacent to the Property with on-street buffered bike lanes. An Engineering Standards modification has been requested to waive the requirements of a sidewalk on the east side of Beulah Boulevard adjacent to I-17 as no properties exist on this side of the roadway. The eastern side of this road would maintain a rural edge with no curb and gutter as is shown on the rural arterial cross section within the Engineering Standards. Staff requested that this edge be completed with curb and gutter but NAH would prefer the rural edge. It may be a required of the required modification to include curb and gutter.
- Woody Mountain Road – a minor arterial roadway will include two concrete 11-foot multimodal paths with a 5-foot parkway on either side of the roadway. The multimodal path will include a 6-foot sidewalk and a 5-foot directional separated bike lane. No on-street bicycle facilities will be provided.
- Purple Sage Trail (west side of Property) – a major collector that runs along the western portions of the site will include 5-foot sidewalks and 5-foot parkways on both sides of the roadway and on-street bike lanes. A bicycle/pedestrian street crossing will be provided at Getaway Trail to access the Sinclair Wash FUTS trail and adjacent residential neighborhoods.
- Purple Sage Trail (south side of Property) – a major collector that runs east and west along the southern edge of the Property will include a 16-foot concrete multimodal path and 5-foot parkway on the north side of the road adjacent to the Property just east of the parking garage entrance (about mid-block) continuing to the intersection of Purple Sage Trail and Beulah Boulevard. A bicycle/pedestrian street crossing at parking garage driveway will be provided. The south side of the road will have an 11-foot multipurpose path from Beulah Boulevard to the crossing. From the crossing going west there will be a 10-foot FUTS trail along the Fort Tuthill property connecting with the Sinclair Wash Trail. This portion of Purple Sage Trail will not have on-street bike lanes.
One of the primary off-site transportation improvements required to support the development of the Hospital and ACC includes the expansion of Beulah Boulevard between Woodlands Village and John Wesley Powell Boulevard from a two-lane roadway with no edge improvements to a four-lane roadway with center median. The bicycle and pedestrian improvements identified above need to be included within this roadway improvement. As this roadway is improved, special consideration needs to be given to the Cosmic Ray Tunnel at Sheep Hill Trail to ensure functionality. Protected intersection designs are encouraged along this corridor.
Compatibility and Architectural Design Standards
Compatibility does not mean “the same as” but rather it refers to how well a new development is sensitive to the character of existing development. The Zoning Code breaks down compatibility into three categories: Patterns of Development, Scale, and Continuity.
Patterns of Development include streetscapes, site relationships, signage, and landscape features. The proposed development has been laid out to conform with the Regional Plan roadway alignment. This roadway alignment was modified through a Minor Regional Plan Amendment and the new roadways are required to be designed to accommodate a future underpass under I-17. The applicant proposes to delay constructing the roadway to comply with the full standards for the future underpass until such time as the project is funded and scheduled for construction. The proposed streetscapes are designed in accordance with Engineering Standards based on the designated roadway classification (arterial or collector). These roadways are drastically different from existing conditions but are what was anticipated for future development. The applicant is proposing to make the Hospital and ACC buildings the center of the overall Planning Area and the core of the activity center with a main entrance located on Beulah Boulevard. For the most part, adjacent parcels to the Hospital and ACC site are under the control of NAH and are planned to be developed as a Health Village with supporting uses complimentary to Hospital and ACC uses. Where the site abuts other private property, open spaces areas have been incorporated to help buffer and mitigate impacts from the Hospital and ACC uses. Signage and landscaping have not yet been reviewed for this development but will be required to conform with existing zoning regulations. Overall, the pattern of development is aligned with the Suburban Activity Center Table of Characteristics as described in the Regional Plan.
Scale refers to similar or harmonious proportions, overall height and width, the visual intensity of the development, and the building massing. The applicant is proposing to rezone the Property from a zoning district with a maximum height limit of 35 feet to a zoning category with a maximum height limit of 60 feet with a modification through the Specific Plan to allow a maximum building height of 160 feet. The 160-foot height allowance would be limited to patient towers. The primary purpose of this increased building height is to achieve greater efficiencies within the interior operations of the patient bed tower. The bed tower will consist of 276 beds which is slightly higher than the existing Hospital at 242 beds. Additionally, hospitals have taller floor heights than other traditional buildings adding to the need for higher maximum building height. The building has been sited to reduce the impacts of the proposed building height by locating the building interior to the property with significant buffers from adjacent properties and by limiting the height to the portions of the building that need the increased efficiency. The proposed building height of 160 feet is much taller than any other building in Flagstaff, including the NAU campus which is exempt from local zoning requirements. The proposed height exceeds the standards of what is considered Suburban development as described in the Regional Plan even within a Regional Activity Center. Future rezonings in the area could allow buildings of up to 60 feet, but it is unlikely that there will be any development within the immediate vicinity outside the hospital building and future expansions that would exceed 60 feet in height. The applicant states that future surrounding development will be consistent with the planned Hospital.
Continuity encompasses patterns of development and scale, but also site development, building forms, texture, materials, details, and colors. Specific Architectural Design Standards have been provided for the Hospital as part of the Specific Plan. These design standards call out “Mountain Modern” as the primary architectural design theme for the Hospital and ACC. The applicant is proposing to allow secondary building materials such as stucco and their derivatives in combination with other secondary materials such as shiny metal panels to act as the primary materials for the Hospital and ACC. Additionally, large expanses of glazing are anticipated to treat the proposed building architecturally. A more in-depth analysis of the proposed Architectural Design Standards is provided in the Specific Plan staff report.
Landscaping plans are not required in conjunction with a Concept Zoning Map Amendment application. If this rezoning is approved, Staff will review the required landscape plans and ensure compliance with the Zoning Code during site plan review. Firewise landscaping is recommended for areas in and around the Hospital which requires moving foundation landscaping further away from the building. A condition of approval has been added to this application in support of the guidance provided as part of the Wildland Fire Analysis.
Outdoor Lighting plans are not required in conjunction with a Concept Zoning Map Amendment application. The subject property is located within Lighting Zone 2. The Outdoor Lighting Standards were recently updated to include provisions specific to LED light sources. These new standards will become effective prior to the approval of this rezoning and will be required to be met as part of the development approvals for the site. The Outdoor Lighting Standards do not include requirements to address impacts from internal illumination sources. Because of the proposed height of the Hospital bed tower, it was requested that windows visible from the Naval Observatory be treated to reduce potential impacts. The applicant intends to provide shades on each of the windows on the North and East elevations that will operate on a timer to reduce these impacts. Additionally, architectural elements have been added to the building to help screen these windows from the direction of the Observatory.
The new Outdoor Lighting Standards does place strict limits on the type of white light that may be used on a property. The Hospital will likely request a variance from these standards in relation to the lighting of the entrance to the emergency room. These lights are located under a canopy and are not likely to cause a significant impact to the Observatory who will be consulted on any such request. A final lighting application will be required at the time of building permit submittal.
The Zoning Code provides unique parking standards for each land use category. Hospitals are required to provide 1 parking space per 3 employees plus 2 parking spaces per 3 patient beds. The applicant identifies a total of 898 employees at peak capacity and a total of 276 patient beds. This would require 483 parking spaces. The ACC would be parked as a medical office requiring 1 parking space per employee and 5 parking spaces per doctor. There are 282 employees and 80 doctors which would require 682 parking spaces. The Hospital and the ACC together require a total of 1,165 parking spaces. The applicant is proposing to provide 2,355 parking spaces. This is 1,190 more parking spaces than are required by code or a 50 percent increase in the total amount of required parking. The site is allowed to exceed maximum parking requirements because a parking garage is provided. A total of 1,350 parking spaces are provided within the proposed garage with over 1,000 parking spaces provided in a large parking field located between the building and Beulah Boulevard. The applicant states that this parking is necessary to accommodate shift changes. Exceeding minimum parking standards can encourage induced demand for vehicle trips. There will be less of an incentive for employees of this location to utilize other modes of transportation.
Bicycle parking is also required to be provided. The applicant intends to provide both customer and employee bicycle parking spaces including indoor spaces with the garage. The applicant is also exceeding the requirements for bicycle parking and has included additional standards within the Specific Plan.
A Cultural Resource Report has been prepared by the applicant. The report has been reviewed and approved by the Heritage Preservation Commission with the following condition that the identified stone piers/fence resource and rail alignment be avoided if possible. Most of the features are on the west side of the existing FUTS trail which is proposed to be preserved as part of the overall development plan. The other feature is located outside this proposed rezoning area but within the larger Specific Plan area. If these features cannot be avoided the applicant is required to mitigate the loss.
|Zoning Map Amendment Findings
An application for a Zoning Map Amendment shall be submitted to the Planning Director and shall be reviewed and a recommendation prepared. The Planning Director’s recommendation shall be transmitted to the Planning and Zoning Commission in the form of a staff report prior to a scheduled public hearing. The recommendation shall include: an evaluation of the consistency and conformance of the proposed amendment with the goals and policies of the General Plan and any applicable specific plans; the grounds for the recommendation based on the standards and purposes of the zones set forth in Section 10-40.20 (Establishment of Zones) of the Zoning Code; and whether the amendment should be granted, granted with conditions to mitigate anticipated impacts caused by the proposed development, or denied.
Zoning Map Amendments shall be evaluated based on the following findings:
The proposed amendment must be found to be consistent with and in conformance with the goals and policies of the General Plan (Regional Plan) and any applicable specific plans. If the application is not consistent with the General Plan, and any other applicable specific plan, the applicable plan must be amended in compliance with the procedures established in Chapter 11-10 of the City Code (Title 11: General Plans and Subdivisions) prior to considering the proposed amendment.
NAH Health Village Specific Plan Process and Analysis Summary If the Specific Plan is approved, it will include the following goals and objectives for the development of the Planning area.
These goals and objectives support the proposed Concept Zoning Amendment for the Hospital, ACC and open space areas. A future rezoning will be required for the remaining areas with the Specific Plan. That rezoning will also be reviewed for conformance with the Specific Plan.
- Implement goals and policies of the General Plan.
- Establish a new regional hospital and ambulatory care facility, and provide for compatible clinical partnerships, retail and commercial, residential, and research uses.
- Develop a planned activity center integrating employment and residential opportunities while providing open space and preserving significant natural features and resources.
- Provide for pedestrian and bicycle networks throughout the Planning Area to interconnect all land uses, create a unifying element within the project, and reduce the need for automobile trips.
- Develop land uses across the Planning Area to achieve appropriate intensity and scale as well as continuity of design and landscaping, to establish a sense of identity.
- Assure compatibility of new development with existing surrounding uses through regulation of land uses, creation and preservation of open space, density transitions, variation in building height, and design of vehicular, bicycle and pedestrian linkages.
- Create a functionally and aesthetically integrated development that enhances the image of the City of Flagstaff.
- Ensure coordinated, responsible planning and development using cohesive regulations, standards, and guidelines.
- Provide a backbone infrastructure system and public facilities to support development in an efficient and timely manner.
Applicable General Plan Goals and Policies
As part of its review, staff identified relevant Regional Plan Goals and Policies that could be applied to support or not support the proposed Zoning Map Amendment. The following is a discussion of how the project generally meets or conflicts with goals and policies in each chapter of the Regional Plan.
Environmental Planning & Conservation
Policy E&C.1.4. Maintain air quality through pursuit of non-polluting industry and commercial enterprises.
Hospitals are not considered a major cause of air pollution.
Goal E&C.2. Achieve carbon neutrality for the Flagstaff community by 2030.
Policy E&C.2.1. Encourage the reduction of energy and material consumption.
Policy E&C.2.2. Promote investments that create a connected and efficient community, decrease emissions from transportation and building energy, and strengthen climate resiliency.
Policy E&C.2.4. Promote developments that help the community achieve carbon neutrality through strategies that reduce the projects emissions from transportation, energy, and consumption.
Goal E&C.3. Prepare Flagstaff’s community systems and resources to be more resilient to climate change impacts, and address climate change in a manner that prioritizes those most impacted and ensures the costs and benefits of climate adaptation and mitigation are equitably distributed.
NAH has expressed a desire to promote sustainable design, reduce carbon emissions through efficient design, enable long-term carbon planning, and minimize the development’s environmental footprint while providing critical services to the Flagstaff community. Pursuant to that commitment, NAH submitted a sustainability proposal within the associated Specific Plan. NAH has detailed ways in which the development has the potential to contribute to the Flagstaff Regional Plan’s carbon neutrality and resilience goals. The sustainability proposal contains paths that can contribute to high building performance, energy efficiency, partial building electrification, and reduced embodied carbon. The projected reduction (or increase) in greenhouse gas emissions remains highly uncertain due to the proposal’s many different options and suggestive language, and the lack of greenhouse gas emissions projections or goals for the Hospital relocation.
Accessible and convenient transportation to the new Hospital remains an unaddressed service. The current location provides multiple frequent transit lines and nearby access (resulting in shorter trips) from the most populated and highest density areas of Flagstaff. NAH has indicated some form of transit will be provided, whether through Mountain Line or privately provided by NAH.
As of the writing of this report, Mountain Line is not able to provide transit to the Property without additional financial resources. In the interim NAH has committed to providing 20-minute shuttle service. Concerns remain for how underserved members of our community will access the Hospital, and how the relocation may affect greenhouse gas emissions from transportation. Staff requested that NAH develop a Transportation Demand Management (TDM) plan or strategy for their Project. To date, the City has not yet development standards or requirements for TDM plans and was not able to require a plan. TDM strategies and policies work to reduce travel demand, or to redistribute the demand which can be a cost-effective alternative to increasing capacity. These strategies should focus on reducing the need for trips, the length of trips, and providing alternatives for travel choices.
Goal E&C.5. Preserve dark skies as an unspoiled natural resource basis for an important economic sector, and core element of community character.
As described within this report, NAH has provided a plan to address light pollution from the Project site.
Goal E&C.6. Protect, restore, and improve ecosystem health and maintain native plant and animal community diversity across all land ownerships in the Flagstaff region.
NAH has worked with local Forest Restoration groups to thin the Project site in preparation for future development.
Goal E&C.10. Protect indigenous wildlife populations, localized and larger-scale wildlife habitats, ecosystem processes, and wildlife movement areas throughout the planning area.
Map 8: Concentration of Natural Resources identifies a riparian corridor following the eastern reach of the Sinclair Wash which closely aligns with the Sinclair Wash FUTS trail. Riparian corridors can provide connectivity for small mammals and birds within the built environment. There are no perennial waters along this riparian corridor and the presence of riparian vegetation is sporadic. NAH is preserving approximately 10 acres of land around the FUTS trails which will help to preserve this corridor. The use of reflective glass on the tallest portions of the proposed building is discouraged to avoid bird strikes.
Goal OS.1. The region has a system of open lands, such as undeveloped natural areas, wildlife corridors and habitat areas, trails, access to public lands, and greenways to support the natural environment that sustains our quality of life, cultural heritage, and ecosystem health.
The Sinclair Wash FUTS trail currently traverses the Property. This trail will remain in its current location and will be supported with additional open space on either side of the trail. As discussed above, this trail is the general location of an existing riparian corridor providing additional protections. This trail provides access to the County-operated Fort Tuthill Regional Park. Additionally, the Project includes a “Wellness Retreat” intended to provide respite and recreational opportunities for patients as well as the general public.
Policy WR.4.3. Development requiring public utility services will be located within the Urban Growth Boundary.
As shown on Map 21 of the Regional Plan, the Property is located within the Urban Growth Boundary. There is existing water infrastructure within the Project area that can support the proposed development with an extension of the line north to University Heights Drive. Additional water storage is necessary to adequately serve the Project. New sewer infrastructure has been installed that will support the development of the site. These improvements will be required prior to the occupancy of the project. The proposed development complies with the findings of the Drainage Impact Analysis discussed in the Public Systems Impact Analysis section of this report.
Efficient Use of Energy
Goal E.1. Increase energy efficiency.
Policy E.1.1. Promote and encourage innovative building practices through instruction on efficient building materials and methodology.
Policy E.1.4. Promote cost-effective, energy-efficient technologies and design in all new and retrofit buildings for residential, commercial, and industrial projects.
Policy E.1.5. Promote and encourage the expansion and use of energy-efficient modes of transportation: a. Public transportation b. Bicycles c. Pedestrians.
Policy E.1.13. Promote and encourage the use of fuel-efficient vehicles that use renewable fuels.
Goal E.2. Expand production and use of renewable energy.
Policy E.2.2. Preserve opportunities for development of renewable energy resources in the planning process.
Policy E.2.4. Encourage small-scale renewable energy production and use on the local level on appropriate residential, commercial, and industrial parcels.
NAH states that all buildings developed on site shall use best practices in high performance design, with the intent of limiting energy and water use during operation. The following are the baseline systems that will be required:
Efficient lighting – LEDs, daylight dimmers, and occupancy sensors
HVAC – heat pumps with back up, or heat recovery chillers, or a fully electric building
Domestic Hot Water – heat pump, or heat recovery, or high efficiency natural gas heaters
There are many recommendations for design elements and certifications but none that are identified as requirements.
The building will include emergency power generation from a diesel generator capable of maintaining emergency building operations for 96 hours. The hybrid gas and electric central plan will prioritize low carbon and high-performance heat recovery and heat pumping during normal operation but maintain resilient heating capacity with natural gas during extreme cold or emergency power events.
NAH further states that renewable energy will play a critical role in the eventual carbon neutrality of the site and that they will perform an economic analysis to determine the cost feasibility of renewable energy and storage systems. Rooftops and/or parking lots will be made PV ready.
NAH commits to providing 20 electric vehicle charging stations and further states that the hospital will provide 8 on-site EV stalls for visitors with infrastructure to accommodate an additional 12 visitor charging stations in the future and 12 EV stalls provided in the garage for staff.
Goal CC.1. Reflect and respect the region’s natural setting and dramatic views in the built environment.
Policy CC.1.1. Preserve the natural character of the region through planning and design to maintain views of significant landmarks, sloping landforms, rock outcroppings, water courses, floodplains, and meadows, and conserve stands of ponderosa pine.
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 CC.1.3. Design development patterns to maintain the open character of rural areas, protect open lands, and protect and maintain sensitive environmental areas like mountains, canyons, and forested settings.
The project site has been laid out to reduce the impacts of the portion of the building (patient tower) that will project above the tree line. This portion of the building has also been aligned to take advantage of the dramatic views to the north of the site to assist with patient healing and well-being. NAH has prepared a visual assessment of the building to depict how the building will be seen from surrounding areas, including Fort Tuthill, Mountain Dell, and Ponderosa Trails as well as the adjacent residential areas. The patient tower will be most visible from I-17, Beulah Boulevard, and the surrounding streets as well as from the residential areas directly to the west and undeveloped areas directly to the north.
The Property falls within the Resource Protection Overlay (RPO) except for three parcels which will be added to the RPO as part of this application. Parcels with the PF and HC zones are required to preserve 30% of the tree resources on-site. There are no floodplains or steep slopes located within the Property. Most of the tree preservation will occur on the Wellness Retreat which is located behind the Hospital from Beulah Boulevard but adjacent to the adjoining residential areas providing a visual buffer between uses.
Goal CC.2. Preserve, restore, and rehabilitate heritage resources to better appreciate our culture.
The Property was evaluated as is required by the Zoning Code with a Cultural Resource report. The report indicated portions of a historic fencerow and an old rail line. The study recommends avoiding these areas. Both are located within the vicinity of the Sinclair Wash FUTS and will be encompassed with the adjoining open space areas.
Goal CC.3. Preserve, restore, enhance, and reflect the design traditions of Flagstaff in all public and private development efforts.
Policy CC.3.1. Encourage neighborhood design to be respectful of traditional development patterns and enhance the overall community image.
Policy CC.3.2. Maintain and enhance existing buildings and blend well-designed new buildings into existing neighborhoods.
Policy CC.3.3. Emulate the most celebrated design traditions of Flagstaff, particularly the pre-Route 66 and early Route 66 eras.
Goal CC.4. Design and develop all projects to be contextually sensitive, to enhance a positive image and identity for the region.
NAH has developed architectural standards for the Property that are intended to reflect design characteristics of “Mountain Modern” architecture which juxtaposes rustic elements of traditional vernacular architecture with the clean lines of contemporary architecture. The development location, while previously consisting of residential dwellings, is considered greenfield development. The existing design patterns that could be followed at this location are not appropriate due to the proposed development being a much different scale and intensity than the adjacent undeveloped, rural residential, or Regional Park development pattern. NAH has sited the proposed buildings to reduce impacts to surrounding properties but the new development will be a dramatically different scale than existing or future development in the area.
Policy CC.4.4. Design streets and parking lots to balance automobile facilities, recognize human-scale and pedestrian needs, and accentuate the surrounding environment.
NAH is requesting to modify site planning design standards for the Hospital and ACC buildings in regard to building placement. The Regional Plan and the Zoning Code both state a preference to locate buildings closer to the street, especially in activity centers, to provide greater accessibility to those traveling without the use of a vehicle and to create a comfortable and safe pedestrian environment. In this case, the proposed buildings need to be set back to avoid the noise generated from I-17 and the airport. A large parking field with approximately 1,000 parking spaces is located between the building and the main transportation corridor (Beulah Boulevard) is not in conformance with this principle. NAH is working through site plan design to incorporate adequate bicycle and pedestrian accessibility through the site.
Policy: CC.4.9. Develop appropriate tools to facilitate the undergrounding of existing overhead utility lines, especially in established viewsheds and in reinvestment areas.
Three 69KV and 12 KV overhead electric lines are located within the planning area. Two of the 69KV lines run northeast to southwest along the northern boundary of the planning area. The other 69 KV line runs north-south through the Property. This line is proposed to remain in place and will be located adjacent to the new Hospital building just to the west or behind the building from Beulah Boulevard. The 12KV line runs north-south near the eastern boundary of the planning area and will be relocated and buried in connection with improvements to Beulah Boulevard.
Growth Areas & Land Use
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.
Policy LU.5.3. Promote compact development appropriate to and within the context of each area type: urban, suburban, and rural.
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.5.6. Encourage the placement of institutional and civic buildings centrally within a neighborhood to promote walkability and multi-use recreation spaces.
The new NAH Health Village will not be located within the urban core of Flagstaff. The expansion of this planning area into the city peripheral increases the cost of providing infrastructure and services to the site. These costs are substantial and require support from the City. NAH states that redevelopment at their existing location is not a viable option due to the existing road network that divides the current campus. There are no other reasonable options for a large development site within the urban core of Flagstaff that would meet the needs of the Hospital and ACC. Without this option NAH chose a location within a future activity center with the intention of developing a fully functioning core for what will likely become a much larger neighborhood. This core includes open space, office, commercial and residential development as part of Phase 2. The Regional Plan amendment approved by City Council increased the intensity and scale of the activity center in anticipation of the Specific Plan and Zoning Map Amendment applications. In this previous decision, the appropriateness of regional travel being located close to the interstate interchanges and connected to the Woodlands Village Activity Cres was deemed an appropriate adjustment to the Regional Plan. The proposed development, specifically the patient tower, does exceed the context provisions of the suburban area type especially regarding building height. However, NAH has worked to design a building that limits the overall height of the facilities while keeping the tallest portions of the building to those that gain the greatest efficiencies (i.e., the patient bed tower).
Goal LU.6. Provide for a mix of land uses.
Policy LU.6.2. Consider commercial core areas, corridors, activity centers, employment centers, research and development parks, special planning areas, and industrial uses as appropriate place types and area types for employment opportunities.
Policy LU.6.3. Encourage new mixed-use neighborhoods in appropriate locations within the growth boundary.
Policy LU.6.4. Provide appropriate recreational and cultural amenities to meet the needs of residents.
The current proposal is for the rezoning for Phase 1 of the future NAH Health Village which includes the Hospital and ACC and affiliated open space areas. NAH intends to move forward with a Phase 2 rezoning that incorporates a larger mix of uses including residential development. The Wellness Retreat is intended to provide amenities to serve the patients, visitors, and general public. The specific amenities have not yet been programmed for this area, and NAH has agreed to evaluate options for active recreational amenities at the request of our Parks, Recreation, Open Space, and Events (PROSE) Division.
Goal LU.7. Provide for public services and infrastructure.
Policy LU.7.1. Concentrate urban development in locations that use land efficiently, and are served by roads, water, sewer, and other public facilities and services, and that support transit, reduced vehicle trips, and conservation of energy and water.
Policy LU.7.3. Require development proposals to address availability of adequate public services.
The Property is located within a future activity center primarily because of the lack of infrastructure, public facilities, and services required to serve the density and intensity of uses that are anticipated within an activity center. NAH has performed several analyzes to determine the required level of service necessary to serve the proposed development. These topics are covered in greater detail above in the Public Services Impact Analysis portion of this report.
Goal LU.15. Plan for and encourage employee-intensive uses throughout the area as activity centers, corridors, research and development offices, business parks, and light industrial areas to encourage efficient infrastructure and multimodal commuting.
Policy LU.15.1. Encourage the grouping of medical and professional offices, light industrial, research, and skill training with other necessary workforce services and transportation options.
Policy LU.15.2. Consider the compatible integration of residential uses and proposed employment centers to reduce vehicle trips and commute times.
Policy LU.15.3. Incorporate neighborhood/support retail and other commercial uses, including childcare facilities, within new and renovated employment centers.
Policy LU.15.4. Accommodate safe and convenient walking, biking, and transit facilities in existing and proposed employment centers.
The existing Flagstaff Medical Center is considered a major employer within the Flagstaff community. While employment opportunities are not expected to greatly expand with this first phase of the Health Village, the core of this activity center will be occupied by a major employer. The larger Health Village attempts to group medical and professional offices, and research and development uses with supporting services including restaurants, retail, residential, and hotels.
Goal LU.18. Develop well designed activity centers and corridors with a variety of employment, business, shopping, civic engagement, cultural opportunities, and residential choices.
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.18.5. Plan for and support multi-modal activity centers and corridors with an emphasis on pedestrian and transit friendly design.
Policy LU.18.7. Concentrate commercial, retail, services, and mixed use within the activity center’s commercial core.
Policy LU.18.9. Plan activity centers and corridors appropriate to their respective regional or neighborhood scale.
Policy LU.18.13. Promote higher density development in targeted areas where economically viable and desired by the public.
Policy LU.18.14. Endorse efficiency of infrastructure with compact development within targeted activity centers.
Policy LU.18.19. New development in future activity centers should create street patterns that implement the characteristics of urban and suburban place-making within a functional transportation system that minimized dead ends and offset street and driveway connections.
The NAH Health Village concept is the definition of an activity center in terms of intended uses. It will be based around a common theme which will characterize this activity center as distinctive and supportive of health-related resources. The overall layout of the Health Village is intended to support multimodal transportation opportunities. This activity center would be most successful if it were accessible via public transit ensuring the broader community access to this important site. The transportation network within the Health Village will include two dead-ends until such time as future development is required to complete road infrastructure on both Purple Sage Trail and Woody Mountain Road. These two roads will end in cul-de-sacs and will hopefully in the future connect at an intersection that will allow all modes of transportation greater access to the surrounding neighborhoods.
Policy T.1.2. Apply Complete Street Guidelines to accommodate all appropriate modes of travel in transportation improvement projects.
Policy T.1.3. Transportation systems are consistent with the place type and needs of people.
Policy T.1.5. Manage the operation and interaction of all modal systems for efficiency, effectiveness, safety, and to best mitigate traffic congestion.
Policy T.1.6. Provide and promote strategies that increase alternate modes of travel and demand for vehicular travel to reduce peak period traffic.
Policy T.1.8. Plan for development to provide on-site, publicly owned transportation improvements and provide adequate parking.
A Transportation Impact Analysis has been completed as part of the review of this application. The goal of that impact analysis is to ensure that all transportation infrastructure requirements are consistent with and further the goals and policies of the Regional Plan including enhancing complete street design options, design infrastructure in accordance with the appropriate place type, promoting opportunities to increase the use of multiple modes of transportation, and to mitigate traffic congestion. All new transportation improvements will focus on the redevelopment of the existing road network including Beulah Boulevard, Woody Mountain Road, and Purple Sage Trail. These streets all include features for bicycles, pedestrians, and motorized vehicles. No specific transit facilities beyond bus stops have been contemplated at this time, but if public transit is able to extend to this site in the future, the City can re-evaluate best options for providing additional resources to assist with the provision of this service.
Goal T.3. Provide transportation infrastructure that is conducive to conservation, preservation, and development goals to avoid, minimize, or mitigate impacts on the natural and built environment.
Policy T.3.2. Promote transportation systems that reduce the use of fossil fuels and eventually replace with carbon neutral alternatives.
Policy T.3.8. Promote transportation options such as increased public transit and more bike lanes to reduce congestion, fuel consumption, and overall carbon emissions and promote walkable community design.
As previously stated, all the transportation improvements involve the reuse of existing roadways within the community except for a portion of Purple Sage Trail that will be relocated to provide better intersection design. The redesign of existing transportation improvements is more conducive to conservation and preservation and reduces the impacts to the natural environment. The proposed transportation improvements will not necessarily reduce the use of fossil fuels. The Hospital will be relocating out of the urban core and will increase the vehicle miles traveled within the city to access the site. The Property is more efficiently located for visitors traveling from outside of the city limits. Infrastructure is being developed to support carbon neutral alternatives.
Goal T.5. Increase the availability and use of pedestrian infrastructure, including FUTS, as a critical element of a safe and livable community.
Policy T.5.1. Provide accessible pedestrian infrastructure with all public and private street construction and reconstruction projects.
Policy T.5.4. Design streets with continuous pedestrian infrastructure of sufficient width to provide safe, accessible use and opportunities for shelter.
Pedestrian infrastructure includes both on-site and off-site improvements and will complete gaps within the existing transportation network for both bicycles and pedestrians. This includes the completion of a FUTS along Beulah Boulevard from the existing FUTS at University Heights South.
Goal T.6. Provide for bicycling as a safe and efficient means of transportation and recreation.
Policy T.6.2. Establish and maintain a comprehensive, consistent, and highly connected system of bikeways and FUTS trails.
Policy T.6.4. Encourage bikeways and bicycle infrastructure to serve the needs of a full range of bicyclist experience levels.
Policy T.6.5. Provide short- and long-term bicycle parking where bicyclists want to travel.
Bicycle infrastructure includes both on-site and off-site improvements, including the extension of the FUTS as described above, and the addition of buffered bicycle lanes on Beulah Boulevard will connect with the larger shoulders provided on Highway 89. These are much needed improvement within the existing bicycle infrastructure network. The Hospital and ACC site will provide both short- and long-term bicycle parking including indoor spaces within the parking garage. NAH intends to exceed the minimum requirements for bicycle parking on this site.
Policy T.7.3. Support a public transit system design that encourages frequent and convenient access points, for various transportation modes and providers, such as private bus and shuttle systems, park-and-ride lots for cars and bicycles, and well-placed access to bus, railroad, and airline terminal facilities.
Policy T.7.4. Support mobility services for seniors and persons with mobility needs.
Policy T.7.5. Incorporate adopted plans and policies for non-motorized and public transportation in the permitting process for all development or land use proposals, including provisions for efficient access and mobility, and convenient links between pedestrian, bicycle, and transit facilities.
The Hospital and ACC site has been designed to include bus stops internal to the site that meet the minimum standards of Mountain Line for serving the property. These stops have been accommodated so that when public transit is able to serve the site additional infrastructure will not be necessary. In the interim, before public transit will be able to serve the location, NAH will provide a private shuttle service that will be available to the general public including visitors, patients, and employees.
Goal T.8. Establish a functional, safe, and aesthetic hierarchy of roads and streets.
Policy T.8.1. Promote efficient network connectivity to and within major trade corridors, employment centers, and special districts that enhances the region’s standing as a major economic hub.
Policy T.8.2. Maintain the road and street classification system that is based on context, function, type, use, and visual quality.
The Regional Plan identifies the hierarchy of roads necessary to serve the Project. Beulah Boulevard and Woody Mountain Road are classified as minor arterial roadways. Purple Sage Trail is classified as a minor collector street. The agreed upon cross sections for these roadways deviate from the current Engineering Standards to better accommodate bicycle and pedestrian facilities as indicated in the Active Transportation Master Plan. This is in anticipation of future code amendments that will incorporate these facilities into the existing street cross section standards.
Cost of Development
Policy CD.1.5. Require that new development pay for a fair and rough proportional share of public facilities, services, and infrastructure.
The applicant will be responsible for their proportional share of public facilities, services, and infrastructure. Improvements required to be completed prior to the opening of the Hospital or ACC will need to be funded in full by NAH unless the City agrees to cover costs outside of the required proportional share. The City has committed to assisting NAH with grant applications that can assist with the provision of infrastructure for this project.
Public Buildings, Services, Facilities, & Safety
Goal PF.2. Provide sustainable and equitable public facilities, services, and infrastructure systems in an efficient and effective manner to serve all population areas and demographics.
Policy PF.2.2. Require new developments to pay their fair share toward the cost of additional capital improvements, infrastructure, and public service needs created by the development.
Goal PF.3. Provide high-quality emergency response and public safety services including law enforcement, fire, medical, and ambulance transport service.
Policy PF.3.1. Maintain high-quality effectiveness and efficiency in law enforcement, fire, and emergency services to the extent that is consistent with governmental operations, plans, public policies, population served, and monies available.
Policy PF.3.2. Locate City of Flagstaff and rural fire districts within the optimal response time for new and existing development.
As discussed in the Specific Plan staff summary, a Fire Impact Analysis was required in conjunction with that application. This analysis recommended that given the expansion of the urban core of Flagstaff to the South, that an analysis of 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. In response to this recommendation, a Standard of Cover Analysis for the Property was completed. This analysis includes a discussion of fire protection requirements for the Project and concludes that a fully staffed ladder company should be relocated to Fire Station #6 located on Lake Mary Road. This Fire Station is unable to accommodate the required equipment on site and a new station within the immediate vicinity is required to accommodate the ladder company in this area.
The City will need to acquire a new quint (ladder truck), engine, and Battalion Chief SUV as well as a new fire station to house the resource previously located at Fire Station #6. Additionally, to serve the new hospital the City will need to hire nine full-time fire personnel to staff an additional ladder company. As a result of expanding the total number of companies within the City, an additional Battalion Chief (BC) per shift is required plus three additional fire personnel who will serve as back up and coverage throughout the system to ensure minimum staffing, for a total of 15 full-time employees. The total estimated additional Operation & Maintenance costs are $2.4 million annually.
Neighborhoods, Housing, and Urban Conservation
Goal NH.1. Foster and maintain healthy and diverse urban, suburban, and rural neighborhoods in the Flagstaff region.
Policy NH.1.3. Interconnect existing and new neighborhoods through patterns of development, with complete streets, sidewalks, and trails.
Policy NH.1.4. Foster points of activities, services, increased densities, and transit connections in urban and suburban neighborhoods.
Policy NH.1.6. New development, especially on the periphery, will contribute to completing neighborhoods, including interconnecting with other neighborhoods; providing parks, civic spaces, and a variety of housing types; and protecting sensitive natural and cultural features.
Most existing activity centers within the City of Flagstaff lack the fundamental core of employment opportunities. The proposed NAH Health Village will not only provide the core use of supporting a viable activity center, but the future surrounding development to be included within the overall Health Village will foster a diverse suburban neighborhood. The central employment core being established first will allow supporting uses including residential development to be guaranteed an interconnected development pattern with services and resources designed to support a healthy viable neighborhood. The design of the site will also foster points of bicycle and pedestrian connectivity to Mountain Dell, University Heights, and Ponderosa Trails via FUTS trails.
Goal ED.3. Regional economic development partners support the start-up, retention, and expansion of existing business enterprises.
Goal ED.8. Promote the continued physical and economic viability of the region’s commercial districts by focusing investment on existing and new activity centers.
NAH is in need of a new location where they will be unencumbered by their current circumstances including insufficient parking, limited areas for growth, and outdated facilities. The Hospital and ACC are regional facilities that serve most of Northern Arizona. Retaining a hospital with level 1 trauma facilities keeps Flagstaff a center for economic growth and development within the region. NAH found mostly vacant land in what the Flagstaff Regional Plan identified as a future activity center, a place where high intensity and density development is encouraged. Additionally, this activity center is located within proximity to the airport and both interstates that serve Flagstaff which is favorable for serving the larger regional clientele of NAH.
This Concept Zoning Map Amendment request attempts to address or mitigate impacts of the majority of the goals and policies in the Regional Plan. There is uncertainty about the proposals pertaining to transit, transportation demand, and public safety that need further resolution to be fully in conformance with the Regional Plan’s goals and policies. Staff has paid attention to these concerns in negotiating the development agreement and crafting the proposed conditions of approval.
To meet the finding, the proposed amendment must be determined not to be detrimental to the public interest, health, safety, convenience, or welfare of the City of Flagstaff (the “City”), and will add to the public good as described in the General Plan.
Staff believes that the proposed project will not be detrimental to the public health, safety, or welfare so long as it is developed in accordance with the provisions discussed in both the Specific Plan report as well as this report.
The applicant has identified the following Community Benefits and Public Good:
- The existing Hospital cannot adequately serve the community’s needs in future years. A new hospital expands capacity to meet those needs and to implement best practices in patient care.
- Retain top talent within the medical field.
- Preservation of open space for the benefit of patients and for use by the community.
Staff identifies the community benefit of this project to include contributions to the improvement of the overall transportation system, and improvements to the existing water system that will support the greater area and not just the proposed development.Staff believes that the project intends to contribute to the community by exceeding the basic requirements of the Zoning Code and providing resources that will support the greater community as well as mitigate impacts of the proposed development.
To meet the finding, the affected site must be determined to be physically suitable in terms of design, location, shape, size, and operating characteristics; and the provision of public and emergency vehicle access, public services, and utilities to ensure that the requested zone designation and the proposed or anticipated uses and/or development will not endanger, jeopardize, or otherwise constitute a hazard to the property or improvements in the vicinity in which the property is located.
A significant investment is necessary to provide the Project site with the required public services and infrastructure as addressed in the Specific Plan staff summary and within the Public Systems Impact Analysis review within this report. Staff believes that the proposed application meets this finding with these required improvements. The Inter-Division Staff (IDS) reviewed the application and concluded that the site was suitable for the proposed development with the improvements as identified in the Specific Plan staff summary and within this report. The IDS team based its conclusion on the review of all applicable codes and requirements as well as impact analysis for the site.