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REGULAR MEETING OF THE COMMON COUNCIL

OF THE CITY OF EL MIRAGE

EL MIRAGE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

12308 W. THUNDERBIRD ROAD, EL MIRAGE

6:00 P.M., THURSDAY, May 13, 2004

 

Minutes

 

CALL TO ORDER:   Mayor Robert Robles called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m.  Council led the public in the Pledge of Allegiance.  Mayor Robles called for a Moment of Silence.

 

ROLL CALL:  Present were:  Mayor Robert Robles, Vice mayor Norma Valdez, Councilmembers Almond Cutright, Jr. (Arrived late), Alice Ortiz, Bruce Baker, Michele Kern and Tensi Reed, City Manager B J Cornwall, Attorney Fredda Bisman, Police Chief Dick Yost, Fire Chief Roy Levenda, Finance Director Diana Betancourt, Community Services Director Ramon Leon, City Clerk Edith Hoover.

 

CONSENT AGENDA:

 

Consideration and action regarding resolution number R04-05-24, authorizing the City of El Mirage, through appropriate staff, to submit application for technical assistance to the Water Infrastructure Finance Authority to provide assistance for the Water Rate Study.

 

Consideration and action regarding resolution number R04-05-23, designating the election date and purpose of election; designating the deadline for voter registration; and designating the place and last date for candidates to file nomination papers for Councilmember.

 

Councilmember Baker made a motion to approve all items listed on the Consent Agenda; seconded by Councilmember Ortiz.

 

VOTE:            Yea:                Baker, Ortiz, Reed, Valdez, Kern and Robles

                        Nay:

                        Absent:           Cutright

                        Motion:           Carried

 

MAYOR’S COMMENTS:  No comments were made.

 

REGULAR AGENDA:

 

Presentation of award to Officer Heather House from the VIPs (Volunteers in Police Service) and Chief Yost for her dedication and hard work in promoting volunteerism in the Police Department.

 

Police Chief Dick Yost stated Heather House is always happy and has an unusual laugh.  She will be moving back to Michigan for family reasons.  She is currently on reserve status.  Heather was instrumental in the organization of the volunteer program and has motivated and expanded the group.  He and the rest of the staff do not want Heather to leave.  She will be greatly missed.

 

Also, presentation of an award to Officer A.J. Calderon for his relentless efforts in solving a murder that occurred in 2002.  Officer Calderon’s efforts have lead to the arrest and indictment of two suspects for First Degree Murder.

 

Police Chief Dick Yost stated Officer Calderon, even though he is no longer a detective, pursued evidence on a September 28, 2002 drive-by shooting.  His investigation led to the arrest of a suspect in California.  Ultimately, two people have been charged in the murder.

 

Consideration and action regarding approval of an Intergovernmental Agreement with Arizona State University in the amount of $5,000 for the provision of consulting services under a grant received from the Arizona Community Foundation.

 

Community Services Director Ramon Leon reported the Arizona Community Foundation granted the City of El Mirage a planning grant for $9,000 for the Communities for All Ages Initiative.  The City’s Community Services Department, in collaboration with Arizona State University, Partnership for Community Development proposes a scope of work that includes; the production of a community services needs assessment and the community services distribution network.  Staff recommends approval.

 

Councilmember Kern made a motion to approve an Intergovernmental Agreement with Arizona State University in the amount of $5,000 for the provision of consulting services under a grant received from the Arizona Community Foundation; seconded by Councilmember Reed.

 

VOTE:            Yea:                Baker, Ortiz, Reed, Valdez, Cutright, Kern and Robles

                        Nay:

                        Motion:           Carried

 

Consideration and action regarding Ordinance No. O04-05-14, amending the Pueblo El Mirage Planned Area Development at 11201 N. El Mirage Road to allow manufactured homes.   (Verbatim minutes have been requested for this agenda item.)

 

Senior Planner Mark Smith:  “Mayor, Vice Mayor and Council I am Mark Smith the Senior Planner.  This is a request to amend the plan for Pueblo El Mirage which is predominantly an RV Resort at the present time.  This would amend 341 of their spaces to allow manufactured housing on them instead of park models and RVs.  It happens that the manufactured homes they are planning to put here will still have the 5-foot setbacks that they have at the present time on these lots.  There will be no change in the density of the resort on these spaces.  We have recommended approval of that and the Chairman of the Planning and Zoning Commission, David Shapera, is present.  Bob Dubsky of Luke Air Force Base is present also if you have any questions of them.  I’ll entertain any questions of staff.”  Councilmember Kern:  “I do have some questions but I am not sure who is the best to address them.  Probably the gentleman from Luke Air Force Base is because I do want to understand what their…I know they have had some concerns in regards to this project so I would like to understand what those are and make sure we are all on the same page.”  Bob Dubsky:  “Yes, can I answer any questions…or”  Councilmember Kern:  “Well, what is Luke’s position on this project?”  Bob Dubsky:  “I talked with Mark Smith earlier today about it, our concern was we thought that the RVs parked there would be coming in temporarily and they’d be leaving; in which case, it would be a density that would be reduced because sometimes it would vacant.  Mark Smith is telling me that this wasn’t the case that these are RVs that would be trucked in and set up without wheels, in which case, they would be the same as a manufactured home.   That wouldn’t make any difference to us at that point.  We would like to see less density in there but it has been approved previously so we can’t do anything about it on that.”  Councilmember Kern:  “I just wanted to make sure and have it on the record.  Okay, thank you.”  Mayor Robles:  “Anymore questions? No more questions.”  Councilmember Baker:  “Mark, is this going to change anything regarding the tax base out there, do you know?  Because manufactured homes fall under the personal property tax under which the County assesses.”  Mark Smith:  “They do, yes.”  Councilmember Baker:  “If these are owned by the park, presently and shown by the park, is that doing to change any of our tax base for the City?”  Mark Smith:  “Actually, they will be selling these manufactured homes to the people living there.  So there will be a sales tax because they are sold on the site and there will be a personal property tax assessed to the individual property owners on each space.”  Councilmember Baker:  “So it will add income, then, to the City coffers.”  Mark Smith:  “It should, yes.  These units will be more valuable than the park models that are there presently in most cases.”  Mayor Robles:  “Anymore questions on Item C?”  Councilmember Kern:  “No.”

 

Councilmember Baker made a motion to approve Ordinance No. O04-05-14, amending the Pueblo El Mirage Planned Area Development at 11201 N. El Mirage Road to allow manufactured homes; seconded by Councilmember Kern.

 

VOTE:            Yea:                Baker, Ortiz, Reed, Valdez, Cutright, Kern and Robles

                        Nay:

                        Motion:           Carried

 

Consideration and action regarding convening into Board of Adjustment AND Public Hearing for hearing public comment regarding a variance request by Juan Herrera of Erik’s Automotive for an 8’ high wall adjacent to residential zoning for an auto repair facility at 13813 N. Primrose St.

 

Councilmember Kern made a motion to convene into Board of Adjustment AND

Public Hearing for hearing public comment regarding a variance request by Juan Herrera of Erik’s Automotive for an 8’ high wall adjacent to residential zoning for an auto repair facility at 13813 N. Primrose St.; seconded by Councilmember Kern.

 

VOTE:           Yea:                  Baker, Ortiz, Reed, Valdez, Cutright, Kern and Robles

                      Nay:

                      Motion:             Carried

 

Senior Planner Mark Smith reported this variance request will provide for an 8’ wall adjacent to residential zoning for an auto repair facility at 13813 N. Primrose St.  The normal requirement is any wall adjacent to residential be 6 foot.  This does not give much of a buffer.  This would be a block wall all the way around.  Juan Herrerra was present to answer any questions.

 

Public Comment:

 

Roy Delgado, 11204 N. 125th Ave. – Mr. Delgado asked if any research had been done regarding legal precedence would be if someone wanted to put a business in a residential area.  Was that done?  Attorney Bisman stated this would not set precedence and it would be against the law.  She is not sure why it is being done because of the history of this location.  Mr. Delgado asked if neighbors on the street had been contacted by Council.  What is their reaction?  Councilmember Kern reported she had and they are not happy.  Mr. Delgado stated if anyone on the Council had free gratis work done by this gentleman he requests they not vote on this item. 

 

Marianne DelDebbio, 12810 W. Willow – She does not understand why if this business is not allowed and do it anyway, why is this being allowed to exist.  Just because they are doing it does not mean they should be allowed.  Will the zoning on that street be changed?

 

Rebecca Thomas, 12045 W.  Flores Drive – Asked Council how this will affect the Police Department and the duties they need to perform.  It is too difficult to jump over a fence that high.

 

Consideration and action regarding closing the Public Hearing and reconvening into Board of Adjustment.

 

Councilmember Reed made a motion to close the Public Hearing and reconvene into Board of Adjustment; seconded by Vice Mayor Norma Valdez.

 

VOTE:            Yea:                Baker, Ortiz, Reed, Valdez, Cutright, Kern and Robles

                        Nay:

                        Motion:           Carried

 

Consideration and action regarding a request by Juan Herrerra of Erik’s Automotive for an 8’ high wall adjacent to residential zoning for an auto repair facility at 13813 N. Primrose St.

 

Councilmember Kern made a motion to DENY a request by Juan Herrerra of Erik’s Automotive for an 8’ high wall adjacent to residential zoning for an auto repair facility at 13813 N. Primrose Street; seconded by Councilmember Reed.

 

VOTE:     Yea:                  Kern, Reed

                   Nay:

                   Motion:           Failed

                 (Baker, Ortiz, Valdez, Cutright and Robles failed to designate their intent)

 

Mayor Robles asked for a motion and a second for approval.

 

Councilmember Cutright made a motion for approval; no second.  Motion dies for lack of a second.

 

Consideration and action regarding closing the Board of Adjustment and reconvening into Regular Session.

 

Councilmember Kern made a motion to close the Board of Adjustment and

reconvene into Regular Session; seconded by Vice Mayor Valdez.

 

VOTE:     Yea:      Baker, Ortiz, Reed, Valdez, Cutright, Kern and Robles.

                 Nay:     

                 Motion:   Carried

 

Consideration and action regarding Resolution number R04-05-25 authorizing the Mayor to sign a development agreement with Juan Herrera of Erik’s automotive Repair at 13813 N. Primrose.

 

Councilmember Kern made a motion to DENY Resolution No. R04-05-25, authorizing the Mayor to sign a development agreement with Juan Herrera of Erik’s Automotive Repair at 13813 N. Primrose; seconded by Councilmember Reed.

 

VOTE:            Yea:                Reed, Kern

                        Nay:

                        Motion:           Failed

                      (Baker, Ortiz, Valdez, Cutright and Robles failed to designate their intent.)

 

Mayor requested a second and motion for approval.  No motion and no second.  Dies for the lack of a motion and a second.

 

Consideration and action regarding the second reading of Ordinance No. O04-02-04, amending the zoning of three lots at 13818 N. Primrose Street from R-1a (Single Family Residential) to B-3 (General Services) and amending the Official Zoning Map.

 

Councilmember Kern made a motion to DENY the second reading of Ordinance

No. O04-02-04, amending the zoning of three lots at 13818 N. Primrose Street

from R-1a (Single Family Residential) to B-3 (General Services) and amending

the Official Zoning Map; seconded by Councilmember Reed.

 

VOTE:            Yea:                Baker, Reed, Kern

                        Nay:                Cutright

                        Motion:           Failed

                        (Ortiz, Valdez, Cutright and Robles failed to designate their intent.)

 

Consideration and action regarding Ordinance No. O04-05-13, amending the Planned Area Development on the south portion of The Palms of El Mirage at 16101 N. El Mirage Road to allow single-family residential development.

 

Senior Planner Mark Smith reported the new plat contains the required 7% of open space with a proposed pool and tot lot in the southwest corner.  Perimeter walls existing, but will be replaced by wrought iron near the park area.  Roadways are standard width for local streets, but the right-of-way were reduced to 45’ to allow 110’ depth on lots to suit the products of valley homebuilders that the owners hope to market the property to.  All lots will be at least 50’X110’ and 5,500 sq. ft. as opposed to the usual 45’X112’.  Councilmember Kern asked Bob Dubsky of Luke Air Force Base if he would like to make a statement for the record.  Mr. Dubsky responded: “I could make a comment.  We submitted a letter at the Planning and Zoning meeting.  We did present the letter.  It is in the graduated density area where we would go along with up to 4 units per acre and this is showing 5.8.  So…it doesn’t fall within the guidelines of the graduated density concept that we use.  That is what I would like to let be known here.”  Councilmember Kern:  But, the density is less than what has already been approved for if we did nothing.”  Bob Dubsky:  “Yes, that is correct.”  Councilmember Kern:  “So, if we did nothing today, they would put more houses there.  If we approve this, they will put less houses there.  Unfortunately, you would like to see there be less houses there.”  Bob Dubsky:  “That is correct.”  Councilmember Kern:  “That is pretty much what the position is.”  Bob Dubsky:  “That is correct.”  Councilmember Kern:  “So…wouldn’t it be in your best interest, even though it is not as small as you would like it to be for us to approve and still have less homes there then?  Maybe it is not the ideal amount but it is less than what’s going to be there if we do nothing as a Council?”  Bob Dubsky:  “That is correct, it is.  However, all we are doing is making a statement that it does not fall within the guidelines of the graduated density concept that we have.  It is strictly up to you how you want to handle it from there.  Since there is no statute that goes along with giving us enforcement on the graduated density concept.”  Councilmember Kern:  “Right…right…and I have a couple more questions or comments.  First, I would like just confirm with staff, did we in any way as part of this change that they wanted to make, make an attempt to get them to, what is the word I am looking for, take a look at your concerns with any kind of discussions like that with the developer to see if they would be willing to scale back a little bit to try to please the base?”  Bob Dubsky:  “I did talk to the developer and he said he did cut it down but that was all he could cut down.  I was suggesting he could put in a few more open spaces in there and he said back to the profit margin on it.”  Councilmember Kern:  “Okay, then I just have one question for you.  I just want to make sure I understand this.  So the circumstance we have attempted to work with the developer to meet the needs of the base.  However, the developer is unwilling to go as far as the base would like to see the change be.  In other words, less density.  However, the developer has, I hate to use this, come to the plate a little bit, so to speak, but to be honest with you, I think they could have been a little bit better as well.  But, it is going to be less density and there will be less homes there if we do this and I am under the impression that, other than approving this, we have no legal anything to require them to drop it to the density that you want.  So, I guess I wouldn’t understand although circumstances why the base wouldn’t say considering all that, yeah, we would like to see the other, we would like to actually see the City do this because there will actually be less homes.  It is not the ideal circumstance.  We know that you have no enforcement authority to require him to do anything at this point.  If we sit back and do nothing, we all end up with more homes there.  So I guess I am missing why, considering all that, you’re not saying, you know what, reluctantly we don’t want to see it but we recognize that it is the right thing to do, considering the circumstance the City finds itself in.”  Bob Dubsky:  “Well, that is all correct.  But, all we are making is a statement again saying that it does not fall within the guidelines of graduated density concept.  Then we are putting it back in your court to decide how you want to handle it from there.”  Councilmember Kern:  “Right.”  Bob Dubsky:  “We are not going to make a statement on…that it is….that an already decreased density is good.  We can’t make that statement.”  Councilmember Kern:  “If I can only confirm, the only two choices we have is to not to approve this or to approve this.  We have no other legal standing to require the developer to do anything more than they have already offered to do.  Is that correct?”  Attorney Bisman:  “Mayor, Vice Mayor and Council, that is correct.”  Councilmember Kern:  “Okay.”  Bob Dubsky:  “Okay, thank you.”  Mayor Robles:  “No more questions then?  Then I will ask for a motion and second for approval or not to approve.”

 

Councilmember Kern made a motion to approve Ordinance No. O04-05-13, amending the Planned Area Development on the south of The Palms of El Mirage at 16101 N. El Mirage Road to allow single-family residential development; seconded by Vice Mayor Valdez.

 

VOTE:            Yea:                Baker, Ortiz, Reed, Valdez, Cutright, Kern and Robles

                        Nay:

                        Motion:           Carried

 

Consideration and action regarding Resolution No. R04-05-26, declaring as a public record that certain document titled “Amending and Codifying Chapter 4 of the City Code of the City of El Mirage, Arizona, concerning the Police Department, the Fire Department, International Fire Code, and Alarm System.

 

Fire Chief Roy Levenda reported this is a cleanup item.  We no longer have a volunteer fire department.  The International Fire Code will update what we currently use.

 

Councilmember Kern made a motion to approve Resolution No. R04-005-26, declaring as a public record that certain document titled “Amending and Codifying Chapter 4 of the City code of the City of El Mirage, Arizona, concerning the Police Department, the Fire Department, International Fire code, and Alarm System; seconded by Vice Mayor Valdez.

 

VOTE:            Yea:                Baker, Ortiz, Reed, Valdez, Cutright, Kern and Robles

                        Nay:

                        Motion:           Carried

 

Consideration and action regarding Ordinance No. O04-05-15, amending and codifying Chapter 4 of the City Code of the City of El Mirage, Arizona, by adopting by reference that certain document titled “Amending and Codifying Chapter 4 of the City Code of the City of El Mirage, Arizona, concerning the Police Department, the Fire Department, International Fire Code, and Alarm System.

 

Councilmember Kern made a motion to approve Ordinance No. O04-05-15, amending and codifying Chapter 4 of the City Code of the City of El Mirage, Arizona, by adopting by reference that certain document titled “Amending and Codifying Chapter 4 of the City Code of the City of El Mirage, Arizona, concerning the Police Department, the Fire Department, International Fire Code, and Alarm System; seconded by Vice Mayor Valdez.

 

VOTE:            Yea:                Baker, Ortiz, Reed, Valdez, Cutright, Kern and Robles

                        Nay:

                        Motion:           Carried

 

Consideration and action regarding the appointment of three to five volunteers to participate in the City Hall Advisory Committee to exchange ideas and concepts regarding the new City Hall Complex.

 

Mayor Robles reported Rick Monzon, Tonya Anderson, Ralph Reasor and Terry Brown have all requested to be on the committee.

 

Councilmember Baker made a motion to appoint Tonya Anderson, Terry Brown, Rick Monzon and Ralph Reasor to the City Hall Advisory Committee to exchange ideas and concepts regarding the new City Hall Complex; seconded by Council-member Ortiz.

VOTE:            Yea:                Baker, Ortiz, Reed, Valdez, Cutright, Kern and Robles

                        Nay:               

                        Motion:           Carried

 

Consideration and action regarding Stipulation and Order Cause No. 04-8346, Public Water System.

 

City Manager BJ Cornwall reported this stipulation and order allows us to come in compliance with the Notice of Violation that we were served in June 2003.  It allows us to continue allowing building permits and certificates of occupancy based on the County signing off on our master water plan.

 

Councilmember Baker made a motion to approve the Stipulation and Order Cause No. 04-8346 between the Maricopa County Department of Environmental Services and the City of El Mirage; seconded by Councilmember Ortiz.

 

VOTE:            Yea:                Baker, Ortiz, Reed, Valdez, Cutright, Kern and Robles

                        Nay:

                        Motion:           Carried

 

COUNCIL SUMMARY OF CURRENT EVENTS:

 

No comments were received.

 

CITY MANAGER SUMMARY OF CURRENT EVENTS:

 

BJ Cornwall reported on:  Officer Calderone arrived to receive his plaque.  Mayor Robles read the plaque and presented it to Officer Calderone.  Regional Park, Dysart School survey to assist with YMCA; grocery store oral agreement; picnic on May 22 to say goodbye to the old school and hello to the new school; Channel 11 is down for a week to improve the system; introduced Patricia DeRoss of the Qwest Community Affairs Department.

 

CALL TO THE PUBLIC:

 

Randy Thomas, 12045 W. Flores Drive – Commented on the quotes of Thomas Jefferson which have appeared in the newspapers recently.  He had a few quotes of his own:  In 1788 he said, “My confidence is that there will for a long time be virtue and good sense enough in my countrymen to correct abuses.”  In 1789 he said, “Whenever our affairs go obviously wrong, the good sense of the people will interpose and set them to right.”    In 1791 he said, “More attention should be paid to the general opinion.”  In 1816 he said, “Public opinion is a censor before which the most exalted tremble for their future as well as their present fame.”  A quote from Randy Thomas, “If you believe in the law and uphold it, you do not interfere with it.”  Thanked Councilmember Kern.

 

Kathy White, 12629 W. Myer Lane – Thanked Councilmembers Kern and Reed for doing what was best for the City.  If employees hear anything about what she may or may not do when she takes her seat on the Council, unless they call her at 602-628-4480 to clarify what they hear, it is a rumor or a lie.  She would like to have the lies stop and work together for the better of the City.

 

PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENTS:

 

No Public Announcements

 

EXECUTIVE SESSION:

 

No Executive Session

 

ADJOURNMENT:

 

Councilmember Kern made a motion to adjourn at 6:55 p.m., seconded by Councilmember Reed.

 

VOTE:            Yea:                Baker, Ortiz, Reed, Valdez, Cutright, Kern and Robles

                        Nay:

                        Motion:           Carried