Development Services Letter

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					              STAFF REPORT TO:
              YAVAPAI COUNTY PLANNING AND ZONING COMMISSION
              PREPARED ON: December 18, 2008
              STAFF PLANNER: Kelly/Link



PLANNING AND ZONING COMMISSION HEARING DATE: January 7, 2009

APPLICATION NUMBER: H8120 & H8121

ASSESSOR PARCEL NUMBER: 106-10-014J,K,L

AGENDA ITEM NUMBER: 8

SUPERVISOR DISTRICT: 1

TYPE OF APPLICATION: Major PAD Amendment & Community Plan Amendment

APPLICANT NAME: Granite Gate Land Holdings LLC

AGENT NAME: Bill Feldmeier

PROJECT NAME: Granite Gate Assisted Living Facility Expansion Proposal

PROPERTY LOCATION: Located on the south west corner of Boulder Creek Lane and
SR 89, approximately 1.3 miles north of the Willow Lake Road/SR 89 intersection in the
Granite Dells area. The property is a County island within the City of Prescott.

SIZE OF PARCEL: Approximately 22 acres in size.

PARCEL ZONING: The subject property is zoned Planned Area Development (PAD)
for the existing Granite Gate Assisted Living Facility.

ADJACENT ZONING: The subject property is bordered by the Residential PAD Granite
Park subdivision to the south and west; R1L -35 (Residential 35,000 sq. ft. minimum lot
size) and R2 (Multi-Family) to the north; and R2, R1L-35 & R1L-175 (Residential
175,000 sq. ft. minimum lot size) across Hwy. 89 to the east.

ADJACENT LAND USE: Mostly vacant single family residential lots/parcels and a few
single family residences to the north, south and west; SR 89 to the east.

FLOOD STATUS: The Flood Control District indicated that the existing main building
appears to be near the floodplain area for Willow Creek.

UTILITIES AND SERVICES:
      FIRE: Central Yavapai Fire District.
      WATER: City of Prescott
      SANITARY: City of Prescott



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             Staff Report To The Yavapai County Planning and Zoning Commission


BACKGROUND/PREVIOUS ACTION: The subject property was rezoned from single
family residential to PAD in 1985, to allow for the development of a resort hotel. In 1994
the PAD was amended to allow the resort to function as an assisted living facility.

REQUEST/DESCRIPTION OF PROPOSAL: The existing Granite Gate Assisted Living
Facility is a four-story building, approximately 102,600 sq. ft. in size, containing 119
assisted living apartment units. The applicant is proposing a 52,950 sq. ft., four-story
addition to that facility that matches the height of the existing building. The addition will
contain 55 assisted living apartment units.

The applicant is also proposing to construct two, stand-alone buildings, to house
Alzheimer’s and Dementia patients and for those in need of nursing rehabilitation care.
These stand-alone buildings are proposed to be approximately 19,000 sq. ft. and
17,000 sq. ft. in size and will be two-story buildings that will not exceed the 30 ft. height
allowed for a single family residence. Each of these buildings will accommodate 30
rooms. The applicant has indicated that rooms will likely be a mix of both private and
semi-private rooms so there will be no more than 60 beds in each of the buildings.

Seventy-eight percent of the site will remain undeveloped. The undeveloped portions of
the property will either be maintained by the Granite Gate company or portions of it may
be transferred to some conservation group that will oversee the preservation of the
undeveloped property.

There are currently 85 employees working at the Granite Gate Assisted Living Facility.
The expansion proposal will add an additional 65 employees, for a total of 150. Since
the 150 employees will work in rotating shifts, the applicant indicated the maximum
number of employees that will be on-site at any given time, should not exceed 90.

ZONING: The subject property is zoned PAD for an assisted living facility. The
proposal for an amendment to the PAD zoning is to allow for the expansion of that
existing facility, to provide additional assisted living units and to provide intermediate
care for patients in need of nursing care.

ACCESS: The Subject Property is accessed directly off of SR 89.

TRAFFIC: The additional units will generate some additional traffic, however, the
subject property is not accessed thru a residential neighborhood, since it has direct
access on to SR 89 and ADOT indicated that they have no objections to the proposed
additional traffic, accessing SR 89.

Although residents, staff and Granite Gate visitors access the facility directly off SR 89,
neighbors indicated that delivery trucks do use Boulder Lane to make deliveries to the
north side of the facility.

SIGNAGE: There is an existing identification sign at the entrance to the facility. No
additional signage is proposed.

SCREENING: The proposed expansion will need to be screened with a solid block wall
or fence or vegetative screening. The applicant proposes to install an earthen berm


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             Staff Report To The Yavapai County Planning and Zoning Commission


with trees planted on top of the berm, in an attempt to screen the proposed expansion
from neighboring properties.

FIRE: The facility will adhere to the requirements as established by the Central Yavapai
Fire District, with regards to fire safety.

WATER/SANITARY FACILITIES: Water/sewer for the existing facility is currently
provided by the City of Prescott. The City is proposing to provide water/sewer for the
proposed expansion as well.

PARKING: Parking is being provided in accordance with the County parking standards.

CITIZEN PARTICIPATION PROCESS: The applicant met with the neighbors on
November 15, 2008 to explain the project and to hear the neighbors’ comments. The
minutes from that meeting are enclosed. In addition to that meeting, the applicant’s
agent met individually with neighbors, both before and after the November 15th meeting.

Please note that the site plan that was presented at that November 15 th meeting (Dated
October 2008) was revised after that meeting. The new revised site plan (Dated
December 15, 2008) shifted the two stand- alone buildings back away from the
neighbors, in an attempt to respond to neighbors’ concerns about the buildings being
close to the creek.

CITIZEN INPUT: Generally, opposition to the proposed PAD Amendment centers
around the adjacent neighbors’ concerns that their view will be compromised by the
placement of the proposed two stand-alone buildings on the subject property.

CONFORMANCE WITH COMMUNITY PLAN: The Granite Dells Community Plan
recommends that the subject property, as well as the area surrounding the subject
property, be developed with Recreational Commercial , (resort) types of developments.

CONFORMANCE WITH COUNTY GENERAL PLAN: With regards to development
specifically within the Granite Dells area, the County General Plan refers to the Granite
Dells Community Plan.

   REVIEWING AGENCY COMMENTS:
    Customer Service and Permitting Unit: Applicant will need to apply for permits
     for any structures prior to any construction.
    Building Safety Unit: All new construction needs to be in conformance with
     appropriate codes.
    City of Prescott: The Prescott City Council approved Granite Gate’s request for
     water for the proposed expansion, based upon Granite Gate providing water
     credits to the City. If the PAD expansion amendment is approved, the applicant
     plans to acquire the necessary water credits.
    Fire District: Central Yavapai Fire District commented that they have no
     objections to the proposed expansion of the facility. The facility will need to be
     built per the current fire codes and amendments as adopted by the Central
     Yavapai Fire District.


                                    Page 3 of 5
             Staff Report To The Yavapai County Planning and Zoning Commission


      Flood Control: The applicant will need to submit a drainage report and a
       drainage and grading plan, completed by an Arizona Registered Civil Engineer,
       prior to grading or commencement of construction.
      Public Works: Public Works has no objections to this application, since the
       facility accesses directly on to State Route 89.
      Community Association: A report was submitted to Development Services by
       the Vice-Chairman of the Granite Dells Association. The report indicated that the
       majority of the Association members were not in support of the proposed
       expansion of the Granite Gate facility.
   
      STAFF ANALYSIS, SUMMARY AND EVALUATION:

POSITION OF SOME NEIGHBORS:
Some neighbors have expressed opposition to the two stand-alone buildings being
proposed. Their concerns center around the issue of perceived impacts to their view
shed. A number of neighboring properties currently view the open space portion of the
Granite Gate PAD property where the two stand-alone buildings are proposed to be
placed and feel that those views could be compromised if the proposed buildings are
allowed to be constructed on-site. Although the stand-alone buildings will not exceed
single-family residential height limitations, they will be larger than a single-family
residence (19,000 and 17,000 sq. ft.). Some neighbors expressed concerns that the
large buildings will obstruct their views of the Granite Dells boulders. The neighbors
also expressed concerns that their views may be compromised by large retaining walls
that may need to be placed close to their properties, in order to construct those two
buildings and the associated parking.

A number of neighbors indicated that they would prefer that those two buildings be
constructed in a canyon near the center portion of the Granite Gate property, that is
currently undeveloped. The applicant is currently working with conservation groups to
preserve this undeveloped portion of the property in perpetuity.

In addition to their concerns about their view shed, neighbors also expressed their
dissatisfaction with sirens from ambulances that they indicated respond to emergency
situations at the facility, and they are concerned that the proposed expansion will only
increase the frequency of those sirens.

APPLICANT’S POSITION:
The applicant indicated that there is a need for more Assisted Living and Intermediate
Care facilities in this area. The proposed expansion of the facility may, therefore, be an
asset to the quad city area. The proposed two stand-alone buildings, that some
neighbors expressed concerns about, are intended to be designed so as to not exceed
the height allowed for a single family residence and will be screened from the neighbors’
view with a landscaped earthen berm. The applicant indicated that they will make every
effort to design and landscape the buildings and parking area so as to soften the view of
the buildings and parking from neighboring properties.

The applicant indicated that constructing the two stand-alone buildings in the canyon
area, as some neighbors prefer, would be cost prohibitive due to the boulder strewn
nature of the site and steep access to the site. The applicant indicated that they may

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             Staff Report To The Yavapai County Planning and Zoning Commission


transfer ownership of that portion of the property to a conservation group, in order to
protect the land from development.

The applicant also indicated that, although the neighbors expressed concerns about
ambulance sirens at the facility, the Granite Dells Community Plan recommends that the
subject property be developed with resort type development. The applicant mentioned
that loud, vacationing, resort guests could be more of a nuisance for the adjacent
neighbors than ambulance sirens from the care facility.

LAND USE:
More facilities like the Granite Gate facility will be needed in the future to serve an aging
population and there may be some merit to expanding upon an existing, successful
facility. The proposed expansion could, therefore, be an asset to the area. The question
with the Granite Gate expansion proposal seems to be – can the facility be expanded
with adequate protections for the neighboring property owners, who own lots near to the
portion of the Granite Gate property that is currently part of the undeveloped portion of
the existing PAD.

SCREENING:
The primary issue with this application seems to be opposition from some neighbors to
the two proposed stand-alone buildings that they feel will compromise their view. If the
Granite Gate PAD amendment is approved and the proposed expansion is allowed to
move forward, the design of the proposed earthen berm and landscaping needs to be
well thought out and designed in such a way as to blend in with the natural surroundings
and to soften the neighbors’ view of those buildings as much as possible. A proposed
condition of the PAD Amendment approval, regarding staff approval of a
landscaping/screening plan is, therefore, offered for your consideration.

BOARD APPROVAL: Since there is greater than 20% by area and number of the
property owners, within 300 ft., in opposition to the requested PAD Amendment,
approval of the request will require a unanimous vote by the Board of Supervisors.




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