Wed, Feb. 19

Commission considers open space ordinance

The Yavapai County Planning and Zoning Commission Wednesday will vote on whether to continue hearings indefinitely on its proposed Open Space and Sustainable Development subdivision ordinance.

The commission appeared ready to adopt the ordinance July 23 and forwarded it to the Board of Supervisors until more than a dozen members of the public, including District 3 Supervisor Chip Davis, spoke against the ordinance as it then read.

Those opposed to the ordinance said that their main opposition was its lack of required public hearings, the increased housing density allowed and the ability for a developer to have Yavapai County Development Services staff approve a subdivision by administrative review and without public scrutiny.

Those in favor of the proposed open space ordinance say it would encourage subdivisions and discourage lot splits by rewarding developers with a higher density of homes compared to the current subdivision ordinance that allows one home per two acres of land. Developers could build more homes on less space by preserving more land as open space within a subdivision.

Commissioners and supervisors met Oct. 29 in a joint study session and discussed the pros and cons of the current version of the amendment.

Development services staff already had amended the previous draft ordinance to include some requirements for public participation and further explained the reward system for trading open space for increased housing densities.

As a result of that meeting, commissioners and development services staff are reviewing the proposed amendment and will submit a new version at a later date.

In other business:

• Commissioners will consider a zoning ordinance to allow as a matter of right property and business occupants in residential zoned districts to park on the property one commercial vehicle weighing as much as five tons or one vehicle weighing as much as seven tons. Development Services staff would require an administrative review and notify adjacent property owners before the property occupants could store vehicle weighing more than five tons. If commissioners approve the application, it goes to the Board of Supervisors for a final decision.

• Commissioners re-consider an application from Page Springs Cellars in Cornville to expand its wine tasting room and to allow for two acoustic concerts per year and other special events throughout the year.

The commission previously approved the application and forwarded it to the Board of Supervisors July 21.

They in turn returned it to the commission with two additional stipulations. The board added that the ordinance would allow tent camping only during the special events and a full service food restaurant could not be open.

The commission meets at 9:30 a.m. in the county hearing room, 10 S. Sixth St., Cottonwood. The meeting is open to the public.

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