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P&Z sends approved Park Place site plan to Council | Local News

By February 23, 2022Site plan

The Planning and Zoning Commission voted unanimously to approve a site plan for the proposed Phases II and III of the downtown development known as Park Place.

The 6-0 vote came after a lengthy discussion of the plan with several caveats added to the recommendation.

In his presentation to the commission, Director of Development Services John Wesley identified some of the specific issues that he believes can be resolved during the construction plan review process. These include relocation of an SRP electrical box, size and location of solid waste enclosure, access around a water feature/pool (this will need to meet building code requirements ) and all required site plan pages will need to be resubmitted for plan approval.

Wesley said the plan appears to meet the technical requirements of applicable regulations. However, he said there are concerns about meeting the intent of the City’s ordinances and plans for the streetscape of Avenue des Fontaines.

During the discussion, the members of the commission added stipulations related to the creation of continuity with phase I of the project along the avenue of the fountains. Developer Bart Shea said he intended to maintain this continuity by repainting all buildings to look the same.

Commissioners also requested that a “green space” or art walk at the south end of Phase III allow for a large open space extension of the Centennial Circle into the Community Center, Library/Museum Campus. It was suggested that a shared parking arrangement with existing features be explored to allow for expansion of open space.

The overall development of Park Place was approved in 2016 by the city council with a development plan that includes three construction phases. The plan consisted of five buildings with up to 420 units and 43,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor.

The first phase of the plan was completed in late 2017 and includes two four-story buildings with 230 residential units (apartments) and 35,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor.

The proposed total number of residential units has been reduced to approximately 380 and 41,000 square feet of retail space.

The envisioned Phase II would run east along Avenue des Fontaines from the eastern end of Phase I to the Saguaro Boulevard intersection. Building E would be to the west with Building F around the corner and south on Saguaro. There should be around 72 residential units included in the second phase. There would be underground parking accessible from the west end. An entrance on Fountain Avenue would separate Buildings E and F with an amenity area passing over the driveway connecting the buildings. Current plans show that the amenity area will include a lounge area with a covered balcony overlooking Avenue des Fontaines, a fitness area and a yoga room.

At this stage, it is unclear how the additional 6,000 square feet of commercial space required by the development agreement will be accommodated.

Phase III is a single residential unit building located off Verde River Drive behind the existing West Phase I building. It is also behind the Community Center.

The building is three stories high and originally planned for 102 units. However, the new plan incorporates two-story apartments for the second and third floors of this building.

The original development agreement calls for Phase III to include 130 additional public parking spaces for the city. This would be at the south end of the site with easy access to the community center campus. The Planning and Zoning Commission has expressed a willingness to relinquish a portion of this parking lot to allow for the expansion of a linear park between Centennial Circle and the intersection of Verde River Drive and Paul Nordin Drive. The council, however, had previously refused to consider a development amendment that would have allowed changes to this public parking requirement.

The site plan will be on the agenda of the municipal council at its regular meeting on Tuesday, March 1.