Chapter 18.91


18.91.010    Purpose.

18.91.020    Definitions.

18.91.030    Application.

18.91.040    Acceptance of rezoning requests.

18.91.050    Staff review.

18.91.060    Public review, notice and comment.

18.91.070    Planning and zoning commission review.

18.91.080    Town council review.

18.91.090    Certificate of compliance.

18.91.100    Special procedures.

18.91.010 Purpose.

A. Purpose. As authorized by ARS 9-462, this chapter establishes a public process for zoning district changes and amendments, upon recommendations by the planning and zoning commission and adoption by the town council, that:

1. Implement the general plan; and

2. Are consistent with the other policies, plans or codes adopted by the town. [Ord. 2011-048 § 1; Ord. 1995-06 § 2.]

18.91.020 Definitions.

A. Certain terms used in this chapter shall be defined, for purposes of this chapter only, as follows:

1. “Agent” means an individual, corporation or partnership with written authorization to represent a property owner in the rezoning process.

2. “Applicant” means a property owner or agent making application and representing a subject property for rezoning.

3. “Certificate of compliance” means a document signed by the planning and building director certifying that all rezoning conditions which are prerequisites to issuance of building permits have been satisfied.

4. “Condition” means a performance requirement of rezoning.

5. “Condition, special” means a condition relating to development impact mitigation.

6. “Condition, standard” means a condition relating to subdivision, transportation, flood control or wastewater management facilities or policies.

7. “Substantial change” means a change in a:

a. Density special condition, if the number of residences per acre (RAC) changes by:

(1) Ten percent or greater; or

(2) Fifty or more units; or

b. Policy special condition, when the condition is a policy or a variation of a policy contained in a land use plan; or

c. Design special condition; that is, when change is to be made to quantified physical dimensions which were established in a special condition to adapt to specific site characteristics or mitigate development impacts on the site and surrounding neighborhood. Examples of such dimensions include setbacks, heights, natural areas, or areas to be disturbed, when these are stated in a special condition; or

d. Use special condition which states that only a specific set of uses of the zone are permitted on the site.

8. “Zoning district” means any portion of the town of Sahuarita in which the same set of zoning regulations apply. [Ord. 2015-098 § 1; Ord. 2011-048 § 1; Ord. 1995-06 § 2.]

18.91.030 Application.

A. Scope.

1. A zone change or amendment may be requested by filing a rezoning application with the planning and building department;

2. Application for rezoning may only be made by the following:

a. The property owner of the subject property; or

b. An agent for the property owner; or

c. The town of Sahuarita, upon initiation by the planning and zoning commission.

B. Restriction on Application. Applications shall not be considered on property denied rezoning by the town council within the previous 12 months, if the request is for zoning equal to or less restrictive than that previously denied (refer to STC 18.05.010(B), Zones).

C. Presubmittal Neighborhood Meeting. The applicant is encouraged to offer to meet with persons within the notice area and neighborhood associations at least two weeks prior to the submittal of the application at a specified date, time and place. The applicant should describe the substance of the application and discuss concerns of neighboring property owners regarding the proposal.

D. Preapplication Staff Consultation. The applicant is advised to consult with town staff concerning potential requirements prior to submittal of the application.

E. Application.

1. The completed rezoning application shall include, at a minimum:

a. A legal description of the property;

b. A list, by name and title, of all ownership interest in the property (e.g., individual, corporation, trust or limited partnership), in accordance with ARS 33-506;

c. A letter of authorization for an agent;

d. A precise plan showing the area of proposed zoning district changes and land use intensity categories as shown on the general plan land use plan;

e. Applicable rezoning fees, in accordance with the adopted rezoning fees schedule;

f. A site plan or preliminary development plan (refer to subsection F of this section);

g. Site analysis, when required (refer to STC 18.90.050(A)(1)) or an impact report;

2. Refer to written departmental policies for application specifics, which may require additional submittals;

3. Incomplete applications shall not be processed;

4. Hearing notification maps shall be prepared only by the planning and building department.

F. Plan Submittals.

1. Site Plan.

a. Scope. A site plan which illustrates the basic features of the proposed development shall be submitted for rezoning of any parcel that is:

(1) Less than or equal to one acre in size; or

(2) Greater than one acre but less than or equal to five acres in size, to be developed at a residential density of less than four residences per acre;

b. Specifications. A site plan shall contain the following applicable elements:

(1) Parcel boundaries and dimensions;

(2) Approximate location and size of all structures;

(3) Points of ingress and egress;

(4) Adjacent public rights-of-way;

(5) Building setbacks; and

(6) Parking areas;

2. Preliminary Development Plan.

a. Scope.

(1) A preliminary development plan and support data, which illustrate and describe the proposed development, shall be submitted for rezoning of any parcel that is:

(a) Greater than one acre in size, to be developed for nonresidential uses; or

(b) Greater than one acre in size, to be developed at a residential density of four or more residences per acre; or

(c) Greater than five acres in size;

(2) A plan to be developed in accordance with CPI (Chapter 18.49 STC, Campus Park Industrial Zone), GC (Chapter 18.59 STC, GC Golf Course Zone), cluster development option (STC 18.09.040, General Residential and Rural Zoning Provisions) or the site analysis policy may serve as the required preliminary development plan; provided, that all other conditions of this subsection are met;

b. Specifications. A preliminary development plan shall be drawn on a topographic map at a scale which is adequate to show all necessary details clearly. It shall contain, at a minimum, the following applicable mapped elements and supporting information:

(1) Map elements:

(a) Parcel boundaries and dimensions;

(b) Approximate location and size of all structures, or lots in the case of single-family detached lot sales developments. On project sites over 100 acres, lots and structures within 150 feet of the boundary of the property including the rezoning and proposed lots and structures on visually prominent portions of the property shall be indicated. Additionally, the project site may be divided into planning units, the total number of which shall not exceed one per each 10 acres of land in the proposed rezoning area. Within each planning unit no more than three alternative configurations depicting structures and/or lots may be proposed;

(c) Existing and proposed adjacent public rights-of-way;

(d) Points of ingress and egress, and internal streets and circulation features, including bicycle and pedestrian paths;

(e) Parking areas;

(f) Existing and proposed utility and sewer easements;

(g) Buffers, screening and walls;

(h) Landscaped areas;

(i) Recreation areas, common areas, open spaces and natural areas;

(j) Natural drainage features and proposed drainage improvements;

(k) Significant physical features such as restricted peaks or ridges;

(l) Areas where the natural grade of the site will be changed by more than five feet;

(m) Wells or well sites within 100 feet of the site;

(n) Land uses and height of buildings within 300 feet of the site; and

(o) Proposed trail right-of-way determined in consultation with the town of Sahuarita parks and recreation division based upon the “Eastern Pima County Trail System Master Plan” and other available information.

(2) Written Support Data. The following data shall also be provided:

(a) Gross floor area of commercial and industrial structures;

(b) Building heights;

(c) Total number of dwelling units;

(d) Maximum residential density of each planning unit;

(e) Total number of parking spaces;

(f) Type of landscaping and screening;

(g) Pertinent preliminary hydrologic data, and a statement if natural drainage courses are to be obstructed or disturbed or if regulatory natural floodplains are to be altered or filled;

(h) Statement of water service provision and availability; and

(i) Any other illustrative information which cannot be depicted on the preliminary development plan map;

c. Effect. The site plan or preliminary development plan shall be presented at public hearings. Adherence to the applicable plan, as may be amended, is a special condition of rezoning approval, unless the condition is specifically deleted by recommendation of the planning and zoning commission and/or action of the town council.

G. Site Analysis Requirements. The site analysis consists of specific written and graphic requirements for inventory and analysis, and the subsequent preliminary development proposal for a site. [Ord. 2015-105 § 1; Ord. 2015-098 § 1; Ord. 2011-048 § 1; Ord. 1995-06 § 2.]

18.91.040 Acceptance of rezoning requests.

A. Applications for rezoning requests will be reviewed by staff for completeness within five working days of submittal, at which time the applicant will be advised whether the application is accepted. Complete submittals must include all applicable fees.

B. Conformance with the General Plan. Rezoning requests must be in conformance with the general plan.

1. The director of planning and building shall determine if rezoning requests are in conformance with the general plan.

2. A determination as to whether or not a rezoning request is in compliance with the general plan may be appealed to the town council, provided such an appeal is requested in writing within 30 working days from the date of the determination.

3. Rezoning requests determined to not be in compliance with the general plan shall not be set for a public hearing until the applicant has submitted, and the town council has taken final action on, an application to amend the general plan land use plan, in accordance with STC 18.89.080. If the town council approves the general plan amendment, upon request by the applicant the rezoning request shall be set for a public hearing in accordance with STC 18.91.070.

4. The planning and building director shall notify the applicant of the determination regarding compliance with the general plan within 10 working days of submittal of a complete application. [Ord. 2015-098 § 1; Ord. 2011-048 § 1; Ord. 1995-06 § 2.]

18.91.050 Staff review.

A. Staff Report. The planning and building department shall prepare a report on the rezoning request which, at a minimum:

1. Discusses and determines the extent to which the proposed rezoning is in conformance with the general plan map and policies;

2. Assesses the site analysis (when required) or impact report;

3. Analyzes the expected impact of the proposed development on the site and surroundings;

4. Contains a departmental recommendation to the planning and zoning commission;

5. Includes the comments and standard conditions of other affected town departments and other public agencies, including any applicable review entities, such as utilities;

6. Recommends special conditions which would mitigate any adverse impacts the proposed zoning would have on the surrounding property owners or the community as a whole.

B. Public Information.

1. The applicant shall be provided an opportunity to discuss staff recommendations prior to public availability of the report.

2. The staff report shall be available to the public seven days prior to the date of commission public hearing.

3. The case file, including all elements of the application, correspondence and comments from the public and agencies, shall be available to the public once the rezoning request is accepted. [Ord. 2015-098 § 1; Ord. 2011-048 § 1; Ord. 1995-06 § 2.]

18.91.060 Public review, notice and comment.

A. Public Notice.

1. Planning and zoning commission public hearing: A minimum of 15 days prior to the hearing, the planning and building department shall provide notice by:

a. Publication once in a newspaper of general circulation in the town; and

b. The applicant for rezoning is also required to post the property to be considered at the hearing with one four-by-eight-foot sign with public hearing and project information as approved by the planning and building department. In addition to this minimum requirement, parcels with more than one street frontage shall require one additional four-by-eight-foot sign for each adjacent street frontage exceeding 300 feet in length. All signs shall be placed parallel to the roadway and in the most visible location available. The applicant shall be responsible for all costs associated with the posting requirements as well as coordinating the posting. The sign(s) shall be installed on the property no more than 30 days nor less than 15 days prior to the public hearing and the applicant must remove the sign no sooner than 15 days nor more than 30 days after final disposition of the case; and

c. Mailing written notice to all property owners within the proposed zoning district and all property owners within 300 feet of the proposed district;

2. Town council public hearing: The same notice as required for the commission;

3. Expansion of Notice. The commission or town council may expand the notification area to greater than 300 feet, which shall be noticed prior to a public hearing;

4. Failure of Notice. The unintentional failure to give written notice or the unintentional omission of the name of a property owner shall not invalidate an action of the commission or town council.

B. Public Comment.

1. Neighborhood associations and other interested parties may register for notification of public hearings in accordance with written departmental policy;

2. Rules of procedure shall be in accordance with adopted written commission or town council policies;

3. Interested parties may provide written comments to the planning department, commission and town council in addition to public hearing comments. [Ord. 2015-098 § 1; Ord. 2011-048 § 1; Ord. 2008-12 § 3; Ord. 1995-06 § 2.]

18.91.070 Planning and zoning commission review.

A. Hearing.

1. After proper public notice, the planning and zoning commission shall hold a public hearing on the application, at which all interested parties may appear and shall be heard;

2. The commission may recommend amendments or additions to staff-recommended rezoning conditions;

3. The commission may continue the public hearing, for a definite time not to exceed 90 days, on its own initiative or at the request of the applicant or affected property owners.

B. Transmittal of Findings to Town Council.

1. After the public hearing, the planning and building department shall transmit the findings and recommendations of the commission to the town council, except as provided in SMC 18.90.060(E);

2. Planning staff may also transmit alternative recommendations when staff and commission opinions differ. [Ord. 2015-098 § 1; Ord. 2011-048 § 1; Ord. 1995-06 § 2.]

18.91.080 Town council review.

A. Hearing.

1. After proper public notice, the town council shall hold a public hearing on the application, at which all interested parties may appear and shall be heard.

2. The town council may continue the public hearing, for a definite time not to exceed 90 days, on their own initiative or at the request of the applicant or affected property owners.

B. Protest Petition and Voting Requirement.

1. A three-fourths vote of all members of the town council shall be required for approval if written protest submitted to the town council prior to the start of the public hearing totals at least 20 percent of the owners of property either of the area of the lots included in a proposed change, or of those immediately adjacent in the rear or any side thereof extending 150 feet therefrom, or of those directly opposite thereto extending 150 feet from the street frontage of the opposite lots. If any members of the town council are unable to vote on the application because of a conflict of interest, then the required number of votes for approval shall be three-fourths of the remaining membership of the town council; provided, that such required number of votes shall in no event be less than a simple majority of the full membership of the town council.

2. Protest shall be evaluated in accordance with town of Sahuarita rezoning and specific planning protest petition guidelines, as may be adopted. In calculating protest by area, only that portion of a lot or parcel of record situated within 150 feet of the rezoning shall be included and public property and public rights-of-way shall not be included.

3. Written withdrawals of protest to a rezoning may be submitted until the close of the town council public hearing.

C. Approval by the Town Council.

1. The town council may amend commission recommendations or approve additional rezoning conditions.

2. The decision by the town council involving rezoning of land which is not owned by the town and which changes the zoning classification of such land may not be enacted as an emergency measure and such change shall not be effective for at least 30 days after final approval of the change in classification by the town council.

D. Denial by the Town Council. Future applications for rezoning are restricted by STC 18.91.030(B). [Ord. 2011-048 § 1; Ord. 1995-06 § 2.]

18.91.090 Certificate of compliance.

A. Determination of Conformance. During satisfaction of the conditions of a rezoning, if a subdivision plan (Chapter 18.69 STC, Subdivision Standards), development plan (Chapter 18.71 STC, Development Plan Standards), landscape plan (Chapter 18.73 STC, Landscaping, Buffering and Screening Standards) or other submittal does not substantially conform to the site plan or preliminary development plan as approved, staff review shall cease and the planning and building director shall recommend that the applicant revise the submittal.

B. The applicant may request a waiver of rezoning conditions (refer to STC 18.91.100(A)).

C. No permits based on the adopted rezoning ordinance shall be issued until the director of planning and building has determined that the conditions of rezoning have been met, except as otherwise provided in this code. [Ord. 2015-098 § 1; Ord. 2011-048 § 1; Ord. 1995-06 § 2.]

18.91.100 Special procedures.

A. Amendment or Waiver of Rezoning Conditions.

1. The owner of a property may submit to the planning and building department a written application to amend or waive one or more of the conditions of the rezoning;

2. The request shall be accompanied by documentation of unforeseen changes in the marketplace, governmental regulations or natural conditions that have occurred since the approval and that create special hardship due to unique circumstances of the subject property;

3. All requests for the amendment or waiver of approved or adopted rezoning conditions shall require a noticed public hearing and action by the town council;

4. If the planning and building director determines that the amendment or waiver would result in a substantial change in rezoning conditions, the director shall refer the request to the planning and zoning commission for noticed public hearing and recommendation prior to public hearing by the town council;

5. For all hearings, the department shall prepare a staff report in accordance with STC 18.91.050(A);

6. In addition, the town council may refer any amendment or waiver request to the commission for its recommendation prior to taking action. If they determine that an amendment or waiver would result in a substantial change in rezoning conditions, they shall refer it to the commission;

7. Any amendment or waiver of rezoning conditions shall be approved by adoption of an ordinance by the town council.

B. Site Plan or Preliminary Development Plan Changes.

1. The applicant is encouraged to submit a revised site or preliminary development plan based on staff or the planning and zoning commission’s recommendations during the public hearing process.

2. Subsequent to Approval.

a. Once a rezoning based on a site plan or preliminary development plan has been approved by the town council, only nonsubstantial changes which do not change the intent of the plan can be made with the approval of the planning and building director. The director may, however, recommend that any nonsubstantial change be referred to the commission or the town council as a waiver request.

b. Any substantial change to an approved site plan or preliminary development plan shall be considered as an amendment request (refer to subsection A of this section).

C. Closure of Rezoning Cases. The planning and building department shall close rezoning cases:

1. Upon written request of the applicant made prior to adoption of a rezoning ordinance by the town council for the entire property;

2. After the effective date of annexation for the entire property;

3. Upon denial of the rezoning request by the town council;

4. Upon issuance of a certificate of compliance by the planning and building director for the entire property. [Ord. 2015-098 § 1; Ord. 2011-048 § 1; Ord. 2006-06 § 14; Ord. 1995-06 § 2.]