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home : latest news : local August 1, 2014


9/12/2012 9:35:00 AM
P&Z to recommend revocation of Windmill House permit
Review/Matt SantosJudge Charles Merritt
Review/Matt Santos

Judge Charles Merritt
Matt Santos
Reporter

Citing an "impasse," the Chino Valley Planning and Zoning Commission approved a recommendation to revoke Windmill House owner Joe Cordovana's Conditional Use Permit during its Sept. 4 meeting.

A Public Hearing regarding Cordovana and the Windmill House took place in response to an item from the Aug. 7 commission meeting, where the commission discussed possible clarification of the Conditional Use Permit that Cordovana had renewed in November 2011.

According to the minutes of the Nov. 8, 2011, council meeting, one of the requirements of the CUP renewal was the dedication of a 25-foot right- of-way to the town that would allow for future development, as outlined in Cordovana's CUP application.

When Cordovan's new tenant, Perfect Events Catering of Prescott Valley, applied for a business license in August, they were denied on the basis that Cordovana had failed to fulfill this right-of-way requirement.

Soon after, Cordovana announced that he would not comply with the town's request and instead close the event center located on West Road 4 North.

"We (Nicolella and Town Manager Robert Smith) met with Mr. Cordovana on Aug. 16 and he said he was willing to dedicate the right-of-way, however the town needs to process a new rezoning application and assure him that he gets approval of the new zoning. Once he gets that, he will dedicate," Nicolella told the commission. "We informed him that staff is not able to do that."

Nicolella said he explained to Cordovana that he would need to fulfill the dedication requirement and follow the rezoning application process, which requires public hearings and presentation to commission and council for approval.

"He clearly stated that he was not willing to do that," said Nicolella. "Staff typed up a letter to reiterate what was stated in that Aug. 16 meeting, saying that 'Your signing of this letter confirms that you will not dedicate the right-of-way.' He asked to receive that letter certified mail and he (Cordovana) later informed me that he threw that letter away. Based on this we recommend that the commission recommend to council that the current CUP be revoked."

"This isn't a situation where a property owner is being singled out? This is something that will be required from everybody that does development along this road?" asked Merritt.

"That is correct," said Nicolella. "It is a standard practice to request right-of-way dedication through this process, through these public hearings."

Cordovana, who was not present for the meeting, said earlier in the day that before the Aug. 7 meeting he was not aware of the right-of-way dedication requirement and that he had never wanted to obtain a CUP. He stated that his intent had always been to zone the property as commercial.

"I never wanted a CUP," said Cordovana. "They (Development Services staff) did that on their own. I need this property commercial, I always did."

According to Nicolella, the town has on file the original CUP application that Cordovana filed.

"I had really hoped he would be able to open and stay in business," said Smith after the commission meeting. "We have worked with him, walked him through what he needs to get it done; unfortunately we have hit an impasse. The only way we can go forward is to do so in the proper manner, through public meetings. No one on staff can guarantee his rezoning; it has to go through the proper channels."

The commission approved the recommendation to revoke the CUP and expects to present the recommendation to council at the Sept. 25 meeting.

The commission also approved a waiver of parking area chip seal requirements for property owned by Keith Bunker and his Bunker Sawmill Trucking Co., which topped the Chino Valley Planning and Zoning agenda on Sept. 4.

Bunker had requested a change of zoning for his property, located just south of Road 5 North and Highway 89, from commercial light to commercial heavy. The change was needed, according to Associate Planner David Nicolella, for Bunker to begin operation of a contractor's yard where Bunker would be able to store trucks and transfer cargo.

Originally presented at the Aug. 7 P&Z meeting, commission members recommended that the request for re-zoning be presented to council for approval.

In the weeks since, Bunker has requested a waiver of section 4.22.4 of the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) for parking design standards, which would require a chip seal to be placed on the yard.

According to Nicolella, staff members including town engineer Ron Grittman, agree that the waiver should be allowed on a temporary basis, suggesting that the commission forward the waiver request to council.

"The town engineer holds this standard of chip seal for parking areas, but in this particular situation staff is in support of temporarily waiving requirement," said Nicolella. "This waiver is only requested until he (Bunker) does do something more with the site, which would be to build a building for a repair facility, which he plans to do in the future. At that time he would be asked to fulfill the chip seal requirement."

According to Nicolella, the suggested waiver is based on the fact that the connecting roads, Staley lane and Durham drive, are currently covered with an ABC compound, as is Bunkers property.

The ABC ground cover is made up of crushed block waste material. Both Staley and Durham are town maintained roads.

"It seems kind of hypocritical to force this guy to put chip seal down when the town hasn't been able to do that themselves," said commissioner Charles Merritt. "It doesn't seem to be a huge benefit to anyone until the property is further developed."

The commissioners present, Merritt, Michael Edmonds, Gwen Rowitsch, and chair Phil Rice voted unanimously to forward the zone change, with the waiver of parking design standards, to council. The earliest it can be presented would be the Sept 25 meeting, according to Nicolella.

A full listing of all public meeting agendas and minutes is available on line at www.chinoaz.net or by calling 928-636-2646



Related Stories:
• Cordovana to quit, close Windmill House Event Center
• Windmill House proprietor re-opens in new location


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