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  9.B.       
Meeting Date: 06/15/2021  
From: Dan Symer, Zoning Code Manager

TITLE:
Consideration and Adoption of Resolution No. 2021-33 and Ordinance No. 2021-17: A Resolution of the City Council of the City of Flagstaff, Coconino County, Arizona, declaring as a public record that certain document filed with the City Clerk and entitled "Case No. PZ-19-00123 Updates to Zoning Code 2019 – Neighborhood Community Commercial;" and, an Ordinance of the City Council of the City of Flagstaff, Coconino County, Arizona, amending the Flagstaff City Code, Title 10, Flagstaff Zoning Code, to modify the Zoning Code to include a new zone called Neighborhood Community Commercial (NCC).
STAFF RECOMMENDED ACTION:
At the June 15, 2021 Council Meeting:
1) Read Resolution No. 2021-33 by title only
2) City Clerk reads Resolution No. 2021-33 by title only (if approved above)
3) Read Ordinance No. 2021-17 by title only for the first time
4) City Clerk reads Ordinance No. 2021-17 by title only (if approved above)
At the July 6, 2021, Council Meeting:
5) Adopt Resolution No. 2021-33
6) Read Ordinance No. 2021-17 by title only for the final time
7) City Clerk reads Ordinance No. 2021-17 by title only (if approved above)
8) Adopt Ordinance No. 2021-17
Executive Summary:
The proposed amendment (Exhibit A to Resolution No. 2021-33) modifies the Zoning Code to create a new zone Neighborhood Community Commercial (NCC). This zone is to provide the City Council and property owners a zone to implement the High Occupancy Housing Specific Plan’s implementation strategy (Strategies to be implemented by 2019, bullet 5, page 102) and the Southside Community Plan’s policy (Policies SMS 1.2. and SLW 1.2.) to lower the building height in the Community Commercial (CC) zone in the North End and Sunnyside Neighborhoods, and in the Southside Main Streets and Live/Work Neighborhood areas from 60 feet to 45 feet.  The proposed Neighborhood Community Commercial (NCC) is identical to the Community Commercial (CC) zone, except that the maximum building height is limited to 45 feet.

The Planning and Zoning Commission reviewed and provided a recommendation of approval at the May 26, 2021, Planning and Zoning Commission meeting.
Financial Impact:
There are no anticipated financial impacts affiliated with the proposed Zoning Code Text Amendment.
Policy Impact:
The proposed code amendment to create a new Neighborhood Community Commercial (NCC) zoning district implements policies and strategies adopted in the High Occupancy Housing Plan and the Southside Neighborhood Plan.  Rather than change the permitted height in the existing Community Commercial zone, which would impact a much larger part of the community, the creation of the new district allows it to be requested by property owners.  Staff will be completing additional public outreach to determine if there are areas recommended for city-initiated rezonings.  However, the creation of the new NCC district does not rezone anyone's property.   
Connection to PBB Key Community Priorities/Objectives & Regional Plan:
Priority Based Budget Key Community Priorities and Objectives
  • Implement innovative local government programs, new ideas & best practices; be recognized as a model for others to follow.
  • Achieve a well-maintained community through comprehensive & equitable code compliance, & development that, is compatible with community values.
  • Enhance community involvement, education & regional partnerships to strengthen the level of public trust.
City Council Goals
  • Revise the Zoning Code to remove ambiguities, and ensure it is consistent with community values and with the Regional Plan.
The proposed Zoning Code Text Amendment is intended to implement the public's input and the High Occupancy Housing Specific Plan’s implementation strategy (Strategies to be implemented by 2019, bullet 5, page 102) and the Southside Community Plan’s policy (Policies SMS 1.2. and SLW 1.2.) to lower the building height in the Community Commercial (CC) zone in the North End and Sunnyside Neighborhoods, and the Southside Main Streets and Live/Work Neighborhood areas from 60 feet to 45 feet.  The current ordinance will create the new NCC district, but does not rezone anyone's property.

Regional Plan
Below is a list of the Goals and Policies that the proposed Zoning Code Text Amendment complies with.

Chapter IX - Growth Areas & Land Use
  • Policy LU.2.2. Design new development to coordinate with existing and future development, in an effort to preserve viewsheds, strengthen connectivity, and establish compatible and mutually supportive land uses.
  • Goal LU.3. Continue to enhance the region’s unique sense of place within the urban, suburban, and rural context.
  • Policy LU.3.1. Within the urban, suburban, and rural context, use neighborhoods, activity centers, corridors, public spaces, and connectivity as the structural framework for development.
  • Policy LU.5.3. Promote compact development appropriate to and within the context of each area type: urban, suburban, and rural.
  • Policy LU.10.3.Value the traditional neighborhoods established around downtown by maintaining and improving their highly walkable character, transit accessibility, diverse mix of land uses, and historic building form.
  • Policy LU.10.5. Consider vacant and underutilized parcels within the City’s existing urban neighborhoods as excellent locations for contextual redevelopment that adds housing, shopping, employment, entertainment, and recreational options for nearby residents and transit patrons.
  • 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.
  • Policy LU.19.2. Establish the context and regional or neighborhood scale of each corridor prior to design with special consideration for those intended to remain residential or natural in character.
Chapter XIII - Neighborhoods, Housing, & Urban Conservation
  • Policy NH.1.2. Respect traditions, identifiable styles, proportions, streetscapes, relationships between buildings, yards, and roadways; and use historically appropriate and compatible building and structural materials when making changes to existing neighborhoods, especially in historic neighborhoods.
  • Policy NH.1.8. Prioritize the stabilization of a neighborhood’s identity and maintain cultural diversity as new development occurs.
  • Goal NH.6. Neighborhood conservation efforts of revitalization, redevelopment, and infill are compatible with and enhance our overall community character.
  • Policy NH.6.1. Promote quality redevelopment and infill projects that are contextual with surrounding neighborhoods. When planning for redevelopment, the needs of existing residents should be addressed as early as possible in the development process.
Staff's analysis of the Regional Plan's goals and policies is included below under the Zoning Code Text Amendment Criteria heading, Finding #1 of the report.  In addition, the staff's narrative and Regional Plan and Specific Plan analysis are included as Attachment 2.
Has There Been Previous Council Decision on This:
There has not been a previous City Council decision on this ordinance.

Options and Alternatives:
  1. Approve the amendment with no changes;
  2. Approve the amendment with modifications; or
  3. Deny the amendment. 
Proposed Amendment:
The proposed amendment (Exhibit A to the Resolution No. 2021-33) incorporates a new zone called Neighborhood Community Commercial (NCC). The Neighborhood Community Commercial (NCC) zone is identical to the Community Commercial (CC), except that the allowed building height is 45 feet.  

The primary purpose of the Neighborhood Community Commercial (NCC) zone is to provide the City Council and property owners a zone to implement the High Occupancy Housing Specific Plan’s implementation strategy (Strategies to be implemented by 2019, bullet 5, page 102) and the Southside Community Plan’s policy (Policies SMS 1.2. and SLW 1.2.) to lower the building height in the Community Commercial (CC) zone in the North End and Sunnyside Neighborhoods, and the Southside Main Streets and Live/Work Neighborhood areas from 60 feet to 45 feet.  Since the Neighborhood Community Commercial (NCC) zone would be a new zone, it will allow the City Council the flexibility to determine which areas of Flagstaff with the Community Commercial (CC) zone should maintain the currently allowed maximum building height of 60 feet, such as certain properties adjacent to commercial corridor streets, and which areas should have a maximum building height of 45 feet.

It should be noted that no property will be rezoned to the Neighborhood Community Commercial (NCC) with this application.

Zoning Code Text Amendment
The Planning Director shall provide a recommendation to the Planning and Zoning Commission for its review. The 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 the following: 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 Division 10-40.20 (Establishment of Zones) of the Zoning Code; and a recommendation on whether the amendment should be granted or denied.

A Zoning Code Text Amendment shall be evaluated based on the following findings:

A.    Finding #1:
The proposed amendment is consistent with and conforms to the objectives and policies of the General Plan and any applicable specific plan;

The amendment's primary purpose is to implement the High Occupancy Housing Specific Plan and the Southside Community Plan to limit the allowed building height to 45 feet on properties currently zoned Community Commercial (CC) and in the Southside Main Streets and Live/Work Neighborhood areas of the Southside in accordance with the strategy and policies referenced in Section I of this report. Furthermore, the adoption of the amendment would address multiple goals and policies of the Regional Plan and related specific plans. Staff’s narrative and comprehensive Regional Plan and Specific Plan conformance analysis is included as Exhibit A to Resolution No. 2021-33.  A summary of the goals and policies that the proposed Zoning Code Text Amendment is consistent and conforms with include:
  • Providing a building height of 45 feet that is compatible with the older and historic neighborhoods and building forms, consistent with traditional development patterns of the “Historic” activity centers, assists in mitigating new development impacts on heritage resources, promotes compact development appropriate to the neighborhood framework and scale, and preserves viewsheds  (Goals CC.3., LU.3., NH.6., S 2., and S 4. and Policies CC.2.3., CC.2.7., CC.2.8, CC.3.1., CC.3.2., LU.2.2., LU3.1, LU5.3, LU 10.3, LU18.9, LU19.2., N.H.1.2., NH.1.8., NH.6.1., HOH.1.2., HOH.2.1., S 2.4., SMS 1.2., and SLW 1.2.); and
  • Providing a mix of residential and non-residential land uses that are compatible, mutually supportive, and assist in promoting a walkable environment that is derived from traditional and historic land use patterns that contribute to the overall community character (Goal LU.3., NH.6., and S 4. and Policies LU.2.2. LU.10.3., LU.10.5., and LU.18.2).
B.    Finding #2
The proposed amendment will not be detrimental to the public interest, health, safety, convenience, or welfare of the City;

The provisions of the amendment are not anticipated to be detrimental to the public interest, health, safety, convenience, or welfare of the city.  With the exception of the allowed building height, the proposed Neighborhood Community Commercial (NCC) zone is identical to the existing Community Commercial (CC) zone. The allowed building height in the proposed zone is 45 feet.  The purpose of the 45-foot building height of the proposed Neighborhood Community Commercial (NCC) zone is to implement the public’s interest identified in the High Occupancy Housing Specific Plan and the Southside Community Plan’s goals, policies, and strategies.  

C.    Finding #3
The proposed amendment is internally consistent with other applicable provisions of this Zoning Code.

The amendment is internally consistent, utilizes the existing format, and does not conflict with other Zoning Code provisions. It maintains the Zoning Code’s purpose as a comprehensive contemporary set of land uses and requirements that are straightforward, usable, and easily understood.

Citizen Participation
Public outreach was conducted in August 2019 as it pertains to modifying the Community Commercial (CC) zone building height from 60 feet to 45 feet, and additional public outreach was conducted in July 2020 pertaining to the proposed Neighborhood Community Commercial (NCC) zone.  Over 210 people, including emails, letters, meetings, and visits to the Flagstaff Community Forum topic web page, have participated. The public comments on the Community Forum web page were split up by general public comments and property owner comments. In summary, approximately 83% of the general public that responded to the Community Forum topic supported the 45-foot building height. If the proposed Neighborhood Community Commercial (NCC) zone is adopted, it will allow the City Council and property owners to rezone areas of the North End, Southside, and Sunnyside neighborhoods to the proposed zone. 

At the May 26, 2021 Planning and Zoning Commission meeting, a member of the public expressed opposition to proposed amendment since it has a lower building height (45-feet).  An additional detailed summary of the public outreach and separate email messages received are included in Attachment 3.

Planning and Zoning Commission Work Session
On August 12, 2020, the Planning and Zoning Commission reviewed the proposed Neighborhood Community Commercial (NCC) zone and supported its creation.  At the time, the Commission had general questions and comments regarding the locations where the proposed zone could be implemented.

City Council Work Session
At the City Council Work Session of August 25, 2020, the City Council reviewed the proposed Neighborhood Community Commercial (NCC) zone and requested staff conduct additional public outreach as it pertains to the locations that the zone would be applied.  On April 27, 2021, the City Council reviewed and supported creating the Neighborhood Community Commercial (NCC) zone and the methodology to conduct a neighborhood-by-neighborhood public outreach strategy after the zone’s adoption to determine the locations and support to rezone areas of the North End, Southside, and Sunnyside neighborhoods to the proposed zone.  At the April 27, 2021 City Council meeting, a member of the public expressed opposition to proposed amendment since it has a lower building height (45-feet).  An additional detailed summary of the public outreach and separate email messages received are included in Attachment 3.

Planning and Zoning Commission Hearing
On May 26, 2021, the Planning and Zoning Commission reviewed the application and had general questions. A summary of the questions specific to the proposed Zoning Code Text Amendment include:
  • Is the proposed amendment just adding a new zone to the Zoning Code, or does it include the rezoning of the property at this time?
  • The amendment is only to create the new Neighborhood Community Commercial (NCC) zone. No property’s existing zoning will be affected by the adoption of the proposed Zoning Code Text Amendment to add Neighborhood Community Commercial (NCC) zone.
  • Will the comments received pertaining to the rezoning of the properties to the Neighborhood Community Commercial (NCC) zone be carried over to future discussions to amend the Zoning Map to incorporate the zone?
    • Yes.  The comment’s received regarding property rezoning will be carried over.
  • What is the process to implement the Neighborhood Community Commercial (NCC) zone?
    • After the Zoning Code has been adopted and effective, additional public outreach will be conducted regarding the possible rezoning of property.  The findings of the public outreach will be presented to the City Council for direction as they pertain to a potential City initiated rezoning application.
Two public comments were received in opposition of the proposed Zoning Code Text Amendment.  The Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously recommended approval of the proposed Zoning Code Text Amendment (Motioned by Commissioner Jones, and seconded by Commissioner Paul).
Attachments
Res. 2021-XX
Exhibit A to Res. 2021-33
ORD2021-17
2. Narrative and Regional Plan Conformance Analysis
3. Public Comments
Staff Presentation


    

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