February 4, 2004 Minutes

PLANNING AND ZONING COMMISSION

REGULAR MEETING

FEBRUARY 4TH, 2004

MEMBERS PRESENT:

Ms. Ginna L. Sanders, Chairman.

Mr. Jack M. Glahn, First Vice-Chairman.

Mr. Richard M. McCracken, Member.

Mr. Michael M. O’Hara, Member

Mr. Mark S. Urey, Ex-Officio Member.

MEMBERS ABSENT:

Mr. Mark S. Goga, Second Vice-Chairman.

STAFF PRESENT:

Ms. Sharon L. Few, City Planner.

Mr. J. Gregory Garcia, Recording Secretary.

OTHERS PRESENT:

Mr. Michael Drunzer; Mr. Klad Zimmerle, PLS; Mr. Paul Jackson.

1. CALL TO ORDER. Chairman Sanders called the regularly scheduled February 4th, 2004, meeting to order at approximately 1:30 p.m. Chairman Sanders noted that a total of five (5) items were to be considered, three (3) under Public Hearing. Recommendations to the City Commission are to be made by the Planning and Zoning Commission for approval or denial of the requests. The City Commission will consider these requests at its meeting of February 24th, 2004, to render final decisions.

2. APPROVAL OF AGENDA. Commissioner Glahn made a motion "TO APPROVE THE AGENDA, AS WRITTEN". Seconded by Commissioner McCracken. All voted "AYE", passing the motion by a vote of 4-0-0.

3. MINUTES OF JANUARY 7TH REGULAR MEETING, 2004. Commissioner Glahn made a motion "TO APPROVE THE MINUTES, AS WRITTEN". Seconded by Commissioner McCracken. All voted "AYE", approving the motion by a vote of 4-0-0.

4. PUBLIC HEARING.

A. CASE: V-04-0468(A). PETITIONER: OHHO Limited, Inc., owner, Charles Herrell, President. REQUEST: Approval of variances of five feet (5') and ten feet (10’) from Section 29-03-020, of the Code of Ordinances of the City of Alamogordo, New Mexico, governing front setbacks; which, if approved, would allow the twenty foot front yard setbacks in all of Cottonwood Heights Units 5 and 6 **(see note) save and except Lots 391, 392, 410 and 411 of Unit 6, rather than the twenty-five foot (25') front setback required by Code. TOTAL AREA: ±22.737 acres. LOCATION: A tract of land in the Southeast quarter of Section 6, T16S, R10E, NMPM, Alamogordo, Otero County, New Mexico, described by metes and bounds as follows: Starting at the East one-quarter corner of said Section 6 and going North 89 degrees 14 minutes 37 seconds West along the East/West centerline of said Section 6 a distance of 415.17 feet to the place of beginning of the tract of land herein described; thence South 00 degrees 33 minutes 40 seconds West a distance of 1058.38 feet; thence along the arc of a curve to the left whose central angle is 00 degrees t4 minutes 56 seconds and whose radius is 670.55 feet and whose chord bears South 68 degrees 53 minutes 08 seconds West an arc distance of 10.72 feet; thence along the arc of a curve to the right whose central angle is 13 degrees 31 minutes 48 seconds and whose radius is 572.45 feet an arc distance of 135.18 feet; thence North 00 degrees 33 minutes 40 seconds East a distance of 10.00; thence North 89 degrees 26 minutes 20 seconds West a distance of 50.00 feet; thence South 00 degrees 33 minutes 40 seconds West a distance of 15.33 feet; thence along the arc of a curve to the right whose central angle is 03 degrees 34 minutes 08 seconds and whose radius is 572.45 feet and whose chord bears South 88 degrees 46 minutes 36 seconds West a distance of 35.66 feet; thence North 89 degrees 26 minutes 20 seconds West a distance of 1154.37 feet; thence North 00 degrees 33 minutes 40 seconds East a distance of 10 feet; thence North 89 degrees 26 minutes 20 seconds West a distance of 50.00 feet; thence South 00 degrees 33 minutes 40 seconds West a distance of 10.00 feet; thence North 89 degrees 26 minutes 20 seconds West a distance of 121.25 feet; thence North 00 degrees 33 minutes 40 seconds East a distance of 1109.81 feet; thence South 89 degrees 14 minutes 37 seconds East a distance of 15551.21 feet to the said place of beginning. CURRENT LEGAL: Cottonwood Heights Units 5 and 6 ** (See Note). CURRENT ZONE: District "A" (Single Family Dwelling).

Mr. Few Reported that OHHO, Ltd., owns Cottonwood Heights Units 5 & 6**(See Note), north of Scenic Drive. They want to develop the lots within these units of the subdivision with smaller front yards. The property is zoned "A" (Single Family Dwelling) District. The 2000 Comprehensive Plan designates this property to be developed as medium density (single family urban). A front yard having a depth of not less than twenty-five feet (25') is required. The twenty-foot (20’) front yards are planned for the majority of the subdivisions. Fifteen-foot (15’) front yards are planned for Lots 391, 392, 410 and 411. Therefore a variance of ten feet has been request for Lots 391, 392, 410 and 411 and a variance of five feet (5’) has been requested for the balance of the lots. There is concern regarding the conflict of pedestrian traffic and overhanging vehicles (trucks, RV’s, full size sedans, etc.) parked in the front yards. Similar variances have been granted elsewhere in town only with the condition that side-entrance garages be provided. The recommendation is continued with this subdivision. An alternative and preferred solution would be to allow a smaller rear yard and require the standard front yard setback. A variance to dimensional regulations may be granted where: (1) such action will not be materially detrimental to the public interest; and (2) such action, will not grant a discriminatory benefit to the land owner and/or harm neighboring properties; and (3) such action, owing to conditions peculiar to the property or the neighborhood and not the result of actions or the situation of the applicant, a literal enforcement of the Code of Ordinances of the City of Alamogordo, New Mexico, and not in conflict with any other adopted code, would result in practical difficulties or unnecessary hardship. No justification of hardship, beyond the control of the applicant, accompanied the application to support the requested variance. Pursuant to Section 29-01-070(c), of the Code of Ordinances of the City of Alamogordo, New Mexico, notice of the time and place of the public hearing was advertised January 18, 2004, in the Alamogordo Daily News, and seventy (70) notices were mailed to property owners within the 200 foot legal protest area on January 16, 2004. No protests to the requested variance were received. Staff recommends approval of the requested front yard setbacks with the requirement that side entrance garages be provided, or approval of rear yard variances of ten feet (10’) [which would provide rear yards on average fourteen feet deep].

Mr. Klad Zimmerle, PLS, was available to speak for the petition. Mr. Zimmerle handed out maps to the Planning and Zoning Commission in order to help better explain the request. Mr. Zimmerle stated that the maps were a basic layout showing different sized vehicles parked in the driveway at house constructed at a twenty-foot (20’) building setback. Mr. Zimmerle stated that a lot of people have a common misconception that the sidewalk, or the back of the curb is the property line, when the actual right-of-way extends up into the yard. On a thirty-two foot (32’) street, we would have sixteen feet (16’) from the center to the back of the curb, and four more feet to the back of the sidewalk—leaving an addition five feet (5’) of right-of-way. The vehicles that were chosen for the example were a full-size extended cab pick-up, Lincoln Towncars, and compact cars. Mr. Zimmerle stated that all of these vehicles will fit in these driveways leaving a minimum of four feet (4’) between the rear of the vehicle and the sidewalk. Mr. Zimmerle went on to say that one of the problems with side-entrance garages, is that the lots that are to be built on in Northpark and Cottonwood Subdivisions, are too narrow to accommodate a side entrance garage because of the approach. Mr. Zimmerle stated that the Sedona Ridge example won’t work here because the lots on Sedona Ridge were much larger than these.

Chairman Sanders asked about the option of having a smaller rear yard area. Mr. Zimmerle answered that the rear yard area will be considered living area for these owners. The additional room in the rear will give them more "buildable" area, but also rear yard for privacy. One of the interesting things about the new lot layouts, Mr. Zimmerle stated, is that the owners don’t want yards that face West. The lots are oriented so that the rear yards are North/South, primarily, and also slightly larger.

Commissioner Glahn asked what the depths of the lots are. Mr. Zimmerle stated that the most of the lots are 120 feet deep, except for some that are on curves. The average lot size is 8,400 square feet.

Commissioner McCracken asked if DPS have any concerns about the setbacks and public safety. Ms. Few stated that DPS continues their comments about opposing small front yards. Mr. Zimmerle stated that it was his understanding that it was the encroachment into the pedestrian way that was the primary problem, and the example demonstrates that there will be an extra four to five feet left. Ms. Few also stated that it is the fact that most people do not pull all the way up to the garage door when parking on the drive. Also, the length of the vehicle can go to twenty feet when bumpers and trailer hitches are counted—which eventually do stick out into the sidewalk/ public right-of-way area.

Ex-Officio, Mary Urey asked if there are wheel stops in the garage, and if the garages are limited to the size of vehicle that can fit inside. Mr. Drunzer was available to answer questions in regard to building for this petition. Mr. Drunzer stated that most of these garages are anywhere from twenty-two to twenty-six feet (22’-26’) deep. The curb stops are set about eighteen to nineteen feet (18’-19’) back to accommodate any large pickup. Mr. Drunzer stated that he has never seen that size garage not have enough room to park a large pickup truck. Mr. Drunzer went on to say that they want to use the front yard is primarily landscaped with rock because of the water restrictions, so they want to have a larger back yard area for the owners for flower gardens, grass, etc.

Commissioner Glahn asked how big the houses will be. Mr. Drunzer answered that most homes will be from 1,500 to 2,300 square feet for the living area and have a total square footage of 2,600 to 2,800 square feet—including the garage.

The item, as it concerned side entrance garages, was discussed further between the Commission and Mr. Zimmerle as he approached the Commission and explained using the example map provided. The Planning Commission also discussed among themselves the differences in similar cases voted upon in the past. Ms. Few also explained Staff’s recommendation options of the side entrance garage, or a smaller rear yard area.

Mr. Drunzer spoke again on behalf of the petition, stating that the larger rear yard is what the customers are asking for as well as helping in the children’s safety by keeping them out of the front yard with a larger rear yard to play in. Mr. Zimmerle also explained why they were asking for the front yard setback variance rather than a rear yard setback.

Commissioner McCracken made a motion to "RECOMMEND APPROVAL OF CASE V-04-0468(A) FOR THE VARIANCE AS REQUESTED" Seconded by Commissioner Glahn. All voted "AYE", passing the motion by a vote of 4-0-0.

B. CASE: Z-03-0628(A). PETITIONER: Michael Drunzer and Jane Danley Drunzer, owners. REQUEST: Approval of an ordinance to amend the official zoning map of the City of Alamogordo and change the zoning to District "A-1" (Townhouse), or a more restrictive classification; which, if approved, would allow the property to be used/developed for detached and attached single family dwelling units. TOTAL AREA: ± 14.569 acres. LOCATION: South of Robert H. Bradley Drive. CURRENT LEGAL: A tract of land in Lot 2, North Park Unit 4, Alamogordo, Otero County, New Mexico, described by metes and bounds as follows: Starting at the North one-quarter corner o Section 7, T16S, R10E, NMPM, and going South 89 degrees 26 minutes 20 seconds East along the North line of said Section 7 a distance of 190.17 feet; thence South 18 degrees 49 minutes 30 seconds East a distance of 1063.56 feet; thence South 00 degrees 33 minutes 40 seconds West a distance of 175.82 feet; thence North 89 degrees 26 minutes 20 seconds West a distance of 256.16 feet; thence South 18 degrees 49 minutes 30 seconds East a distance of 63.61 feet to the place of beginning of the tract of land herein described; thence South 89 degrees 26 minutes 20 seconds East a distance of 335.05 feet; thence along the arc of a curve to the left whose central angel is 13 degrees 07 minutes 25 seconds and whose radius is 470.00 feet an arc distance of 121.40 feet; thence along the arc of a curve to the right whose central angle is 13 degrees 07 minutes 23 seconds and whose radius is 470.00 feet an arc distance of 107.65 feet; thence South 89 degrees 26 minutes 20 seconds East a distance of 602.91 feet; thence south 89 degrees 45 minutes 24 seconds East a distance of 50.20 feet; thence South 75 degrees 34 minutes 25 seconds East a distance of 109.14 feet thence South 14 degrees 25 minutes 35 seconds West a distance of 1.29 feet; thence South 11 degrees 41 minutes 23 seconds West a distance of 503.97 feet; thence South 89 degrees 57 minutes 00 seconds West a distance of 162.25 feet; thence South 00 degrees 03 minutes 00 seconds East a distance of 14.24 feet; thence South 89 degrees 57 minutes 00 seconds West a distance of 874.94 feet; thence North 18 degrees 49 minutes 30 seconds West a distance of 560.49 feet to the said place of beginning. CURRENT ZONE: District "E" (Light Industrial).

Mrs. Few reported that Michael Drunzer and Jane Danley Drunzer own approximately fourteen acres in Section 7, T16S, R10E, NMPM, on Robert H. Bradley Drive. The proposed rezoning will allow the property to be developed and used for either attached or detached single family dwelling units. The property, south of Robert H. Bradley Drive, is zoned "E" (Light Industrial) District. The proposed rezoning will continue like zoning from the north. The 2000 Comprehensive Plan designates this property to be developed as high density residential and offices. The change will reduce the allowed uses and density on the property. Pursuant to Section 29-01-020, of the Code of Ordinances of the City of Alamogordo, New Mexico, notice of the time and place of the public hearing was advertised on January 18, 2004, in the Alamogordo Daily News, and thirteen (13) notices were mailed to property owners within the 200 foot legal protest area on January 16, 2004. No protests to the requested rezoning were received. Staff recommends approval of the rezoning to District "A-1" (Townhouse).

Mr. Zimmerle was available to answer questions on this request. Mr Zimmerle stated that this rezoning will bring the Northpark Subdivision into total conformity and protect the subdivider by eliminating the possibility of there being any commercial activity and keeping it completely residential.

Commissioner McCracken made a motion to "RECOMMEND APPROVAL OF CASE Z-03-0628(A) AS PER STAFF RECOMMENDATIONS." Seconded by Commissioner O’Hara. All voted "AYE", passing the motion by a vote of 4-0-0.

C. CASE: V-04-0469(A). PETITIONER: Michael Drunzer and Jane Danley Drunzer, owners. REQUEST: Approval of variances of five feet (5') from Section 29-03-020, of the Code of Ordinances of the City of Alamogordo, New Mexico, governing front setbacks; which, if approved, would allow the twenty foot front yard setbacks in all of North Park Units, rather than the twenty-five foot (25') front setback required by Code. TOTAL AREA: ±30.944 acres. LOCATION: South of Yellowstone and East of Sequoia. CURRENT LEGAL: North Park Units 5 and 6. CURRENT ZONE: District "E" (Light Industrial).

Mrs. Few reported that Michael Drunzer and Jane Danley Drunzer own approximately fourteen acres in Section 7, T16S, R10E, NMPM, on Robert H. Bradley Drive. The proposed variance will allow the property to be developed with twenty foot (20’) front yards. The property, south of Robert H. Bradley Drive, is zoned "E" (Light Industrial) District. The 2000 Comprehensive Plan designates this property to be developed as high density residential and offices. A front yard of not less than twenty-five feet (25') is required. The requested variance will allow all homes in these subdivisions to be constructed with a front yard setback of twenty feet (20’). Therefore a variance of five feet (5’) has been requested. There is concern regarding the conflict of pedestrian traffic and overhanging vehicles (trucks, RV’s, full size sedans, etc.) parked in the front yards. Similar variances have been granted elsewhere in town only with the condition that side-entrance garages be provided. The recommendation is continued with this subdivision. An alternative and preferred solution would be to allow a smaller rear yard and require the standard front yard setback; however, the proposed zoning on the property requires only a ten foot (10’) rear yard setback. A variance to dimensional regulations may be granted where: (1) such action will not be materially detrimental to the public interest; and (2) such action, will not grant a discriminatory benefit to the land owner and/or harm neighboring properties; and (3) such action, owing to conditions peculiar to the property or the neighborhood and not the result of actions or the situation of the applicant, a literal enforcement of the Code of Ordinances of the City of Alamogordo, New Mexico, and not in conflict with any other adopted code, would result in practical difficulties or unnecessary hardship. No justification of hardship, beyond the control of the applicant, accompanied the application to support the requested variance. Pursuant to Section 29-01-070(c), of the Code of Ordinances of the City of Alamogordo, New Mexico, notice of the time and place of the public hearing was advertised January 18, 2004, in the Alamogordo Daily News, and forty (40) notices were mailed to property owners within the 200 foot legal protest area on January 16, 2004. No protests to the requested variance were received. Staff recommends approval of the requested front yard setbacks with the requirement that side entrance garages be provided. Ms. Few also stated that staff has not offered a reduction in rear yard because there is only the ten foot (10’) requirement for this A-1 zoning district.

Mr. Zimmerle was also available to speak on behalf of this petition. Mr. Zimmerle stated the plot plans seen here are similar to the situation that is seen in Northpark. The lots there are slightly narrower in that they are down to between sixty-five to sixty-seven feet (65’ to 67’) in width. This basically allows for no room to have a side entrance garage. Mr. Zimmerle also stated that the purpose of this is to increase the rear yard area. He stated that they realize that the zoning will allow them to build within ten foot (10’) of the fence, but the zoning was taken in that direction to be the same as the previously zoned area and match.

Chairman Sanders asked for confirmation that there will be no alleys. Mr. Zimmerle stated that she was correct. They will be back yard to back yard type lots and they will not be Townhouses, they will be single family detached type homes with back yard to back yard orientation to allow more rear yard area.

Mr. Zimmerle stated that the lots will be running between 115’ to 120’ deep. The total square footage on these lots will be approximately 1,400 to 1,500 square feet for each home.

The Planning Commission discussed this case with Staff, Mr. Zimmerle and Mr. Drunzer for some time before coming to a decision to make a motion on this case. One of the problems discussed with this item is the narrow lot size for the side entrance garages. Mr. Zimmerle approached the Commission to sketch out an example of a side entrance garage and explain the difficulty involved.

Commissioner McCracken made a motion "TO RECOMMEND APPROVAL OF CASE V-04-0469(A) AS REQUESTED." Seconded by Commissioner Glahn. Commissioner O’Hara voted against the motion. Commissioners McCracken, Glahn, and Chairman Sanders voted "AYE", passing the motion by a vote of 3-1-0.

D. Close Public Hearing. Chairman Sanders declared the Public Hearing closed.

5. SUBDIVISIONS.

A. CASE: M-04-0307(A). PETITIONER: French Brothers, Inc. REQUEST: Approval of a resolution to change the street name of Short Cut Court to Sierra Vista Court. CURRENT LEGAL: Western Acres, Replat B. CURRENT ZONE: District "D" (Business).

Mrs. Few reported that The City of Alamogordo has received an application from the owners of Western Acres, Replat B, to have the name of Short Cut Court changed to Sierra Vista Court. The street abuts Lot 1B, Western Acres, Replat B. No street names shall be used which will duplicate or be confused with the names of existing streets. Street names shall be subject to the approval of the planning commission. It appears that there will be no conflict with any existing street names. At the time of filing an application for change of street name, the applicant shall pay the city a nonrefundable filing fee in the amount of one hundred dollars ($100.00) to cover the costs of publication, administration and other expenses. If the application is approved, the applicant shall pay an additional nonrefundable fee of thirty dollars ($30.00) for each intersection of the street, the name of which is changed, within thirty (30) days after final approval by the city commission. Failure to pay the additional fee will result in automatic revocation of approval by the city commission. A minimum of one (1) street sign will need to be amended. No public hearing is required on the request. Staff recommends approval of the street name change.

Nobody was available to represent this petition.

Chairman O’Hara made a motion "TO RECOMMEND APPROVAL OF CASE M-04-0307(A) FOR THE NAME CHANGE. Commissioner Glahn seconded the motion. All voted "AYE", passing the motion by a vote of 4-0-0.

B. CASE: M-04-0308(A). PETITIONER: City of Alamogordo, applicant. REQUEST: Approval of an ordinance amending Section 2-01-030, of the Code of Ordinances of the City of Alamogordo, New Mexico, relating to administrative fees.

Mrs. Few reported that Several times this last year, the city has had to act on cases (variances, temporary structure, etc.) after the fact. Examples of these types of cases may be a construction change contrary to adopted code after a building permit was legally issued, or construction without benefit of a required permit from the city. In response, staff was requested to draft an ordinance for discussion. The fee for a summary subdivision is being suggested for increase, to bring it in-line with the other fees. Staff recommends approval of the proposed ordinance amendment.

Chairman Sanders asked for more explanation as to what type of violations would be covered and how they would be collected. Ms. Few answered that this would include variances, special permits, vacations, and even rezoning where someone has established a use in a zoning district that wouldn’t allow it, then come back to request a rezoning for that use. She also stated that the fees would be collected at the time the corrective application is submitted.

Chairman Sanders asked if the fees would be in addition to Court fees. Ms. Few stated that any judicial actions are completely separate from the Municipality and more of a State function, so we are not in a position to set fees for the courts.

Commissioner McCracken made a motion "TO RECOMMEND APPROVAL OF CASE M-04-0308(A) AS PRESENTED BY STAFF." Seconded by Commissioner Glahn. All voted "AYE", passing the motion by a vote of 4-0-0.

6. REPORTS.

A. City Planner.

(1) March Agenda. Ms. Few reported that there are four (4) items for the March agenda, including a subdivision, a zoning, and an annexation.

(2) PZC 2003 Annual Report. Ms. Few apologized for any omissions in the annual report as there have been some virus attacks on the computer system and MIS have been doing major clean-up work on the system. Ms. Few explained to the Planning Commission that the numbers on the report are all accurate except for the activity by case type—which will be filled in if approved by the Planning Commission and forwarded to the City Commission.

Commissioner O’Hara noted that he would like to see a report from the Building Official concerning the ordinance of fencing and screening by junkyards.

Commissioner O’Hara made a motion "TO APPROVE THE ANNUAL REPORT." Seconded by Commissioner McCracken. All voted "AYE", passing the motion by a vote of 4-0-0.

(3) Election of Officers. Chairman Sanders requested that this item be tabled until the March 3rd Planning and Zoning meeting, because Commissioner Goga was not present to vote.

(4) City/Department Re-organization. Ms. Few reported that the City of Alamogordo has gone through some rather major reorganization. There is now a new Community Services Department, which includes Parks and Recreation, Leisure Services, Zoo. The Community Development Department has reallocated the Planning, GIS, Engineering, Code Enforcement, and Building Department and all of those functions into two separate divisions, a part of the Community Development Department. Ms. Few stated that there may be other organizational changes forthcoming, and staff will keep the Commission apprised as we learn of them.

(5) Other. Ms. Few explained to the Planning Commission that there has been a vacancy at the front counter in the Community Development office. Everyone in the Department has been working very hard and trying to cover a larger workload. She also stated that once the position is filled, however, there will not be any additional staff support, so she asked the Planning and Zoning Commission to please bear with us and she thanked the Commission for their patience.

B. City Attorney.—None

C. Chairman.—None

D. Commissioners.—None

7. PERSONS TO BE HEARD.—None

8. ADJOURNMENT - There being no further business to come before the Commission, Commissioner O’Hara made a motion "TO ADJOURN". Seconded by Commissioner Glahn. All voted "AYE", passing the motion by a vote of 4-0-0. The meeting adjourned at approximately 2:50 p.m.

Approved: March 3, 2004

/s/ Ginna L. Sanders, Chairman

ATTEST:

/s/ J. Gregory Garcia, Recording Secretary

**Note: On February 10, 2004, the City Commission approved Resolution No. 2004-03 which renamed Cottonwood Heights Subdivision Units 5 & 6 as follows: Cottonwood Heights Unit 5 has been changed to Cottonwood Heights, Unit 5, Phase 1; and Unit 6 has been changed to Cottonwood Heights, Unit 5, phase 2.