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The preparation and filing of applications for land use permits, entitlements, amendments (e.g., general plan, zoning map, and zoning code), and other matters pertaining to this chapter shall comply with the following common procedures, unless an exception to the common procedure is expressly identified in subsequent sections of this chapter. Subsequent sections include additional provisions that are unique to each type of application, including staff and review board assignments and approval criteria.
(A) Pre-application conference.
(1) (a) A pre-application meeting to discuss the nature of the proposed application, application submittal requirements, the procedure for action, and the standards for evaluation of the application shall be required for all proposed:
1. General plan amendments;
2. Zoning text amendments;
3. Zoning map amendments (rezone);
4. Planned area developments;
6. Conditional use permits;
7. Site plan review; and
(b) An applicant for a project not requiring pre-application review may request, in writing to the Zoning Administrator, such review.
(2) Pre-application filing. Before filing any applications described by this section, the applicant shall submit a preliminary description of the proposal, accompanied by a fee specified by the adopted fee schedule, for review and comment by the Zoning Administrator and any other persons the Zoning Administrator deems appropriate. This preliminary description shall include, at minimum, a site plan and project narrative; both of sufficient scope and detail so as to allow a basic review of location, land area, land use, land use intensity, traffic generation and adjacent streets, stormwater drainage, utility service, and previous case history.
(3) Pre-application conference.
(a) After receipt of a proper preliminary description of the proposal, the Zoning Administrator shall schedule a pre-application conference. At the conference, the applicant, the Zoning Administrator or designee, and any other persons the Zoning Administrator deems appropriate to attend shall discuss the proposed development.
(b) Based upon the information provided by the applicant and the provisions of this code, the parties should discuss in general the proposed development, the applicable submittal requirements and standards of this code, and conditions that may be appropriate to meet the purposes and requirements of this code.
(4) Pre-application waivers. The Zoning Administrator may waive the requirement for a pre-application review based on a determination that no purpose will be served by the review. In such cases, the Zoning Administrator shall prepare a written statement setting forth the reasons for approving the waiver.
(5) Pre-application completeness review meeting. Following the mandatory pre-application conference, but prior to filing any application described by this section, the applicant may request in writing a pre-application completeness review meeting with Community Development staff. Although not required, this meeting is recommended to allow staff the ability to complete a cursory review of the planned submittal material and identify if any required items are missing that may prevent an application from being accepted. This meeting should be scheduled several working days prior to the submittal deadline.
(B) Application submittal (administrative completeness review).
(1) Applications. Completed applications shall be submitted to the Community Development Department on a form and in such a manner as established by the Zoning Administrator.
(2) Application schedule. In accordance with A.R.S. § 9-835, the Community Development Department shall publish an application schedule, which prescribes the necessary deadline for submitting specified application types in advance of being reviewed by the appropriate decision-making body pursuant to this chapter or the A.R.S.
(3) Authority to file applications. Any of the following persons or entities may submit an application:
(a) The owner of the property;
(b) An agent representing the owner, duly authorized to do so in writing by the owner.
(4) Payment, waiver and refund of application fees.
(a) Schedule of fees. The city shall establish fees for all application and permit types. The fee schedule shall be adopted by resolution of the Council. Payment of the fee is required in order for an application to be complete. No application or permit shall be processed without payment of the applicable fee.
(b) Fee waiver or deferral. No fee shall be required when the applicant is the city.
(c) Refund of fees.
1. Recognizing that filing fees are utilized to cover city costs of public hearings, mailing, posting, transcripts, and staff time involved in processing applications, no refunds shall be issued due to a disapproval of an application.
2. In the case of an application withdrawal, the Zoning Administrator may authorize a partial refund based upon the costs incurred to-date and determination of the status of the application at the time of withdrawal.
(5) Application completeness review. Each application filed with the Community Development Department shall be initially processed as follows:
(a) Completeness review. The Zoning Administrator shall review an application for completeness and accuracy before it is accepted as being complete and officially filed. The Zoning Administrator will consider an application complete when:
1. All necessary application forms, documentation, exhibits, materials, maps, plans, reports and other information specified in the application form, and any additional information required by the Zoning Administrator have been provided and accepted as adequate.
2. All necessary fees have been paid and accepted.
(b) Notification of applicant. If the application is determined to be complete, the application shall then be processed according to the procedures set forth in this chapter. If an application is determined to be incomplete, the Zoning Administrator shall provide written or electronic notice to the applicant along with an explanation of the application's deficiencies. No further processing of an incomplete application shall occur until the deficiencies are corrected in a resubmittal.
(c) Expiration of application. If a pending application is not deemed complete within six months after the first filing with the Community Development Department, the application shall expire and be deemed withdrawn. Thirty days prior to that date the planning staff shall notify the applicant in writing that the application will become inactive. Any refunds of fees shall be processed according to § 152.086(B)(4).
(d) Extension of application. The Zoning Administrator may grant one six month extension upon written request of the applicant. After expiration of the application, and extension, if granted, a new application, including applicable fees, plans, exhibits and other materials will be required to commence processing of a new project application on the same property.
(6) Additional information. After the application has been accepted as complete, the Zoning Administrator and/or any decision-making body may require the applicant to submit additional information in order to evaluate fully whether an application complies with the requirements of this chapter, state, or federal law.
(7) Concurrent applications. When a project requires approvals under more than one section of the zoning code, the individual applications may be processed concurrently at the option of the Zoning Administrator and with the approval of the applicant; provided, however, rezoning applications may not be approved simultaneously with major general plan amendments. Rezone applications can only be approved sequentially after major GPA adoption; the rezone application will be cancelled if the major GPA is not adopted. Minor GPAs may be processed concurrently with other applications. The concurrent processing of applications shall be in all cases at the applicant's risk.
(8) Referral of application. At the discretion of the Zoning Administrator, or where otherwise required by this chapter, A.R.S., or federal law, an application filed in compliance with this chapter may be referred to any public agency that may be affected by or have an interest in the proposed land use activity.
(C) Citizen review process.
(1) Purpose. The purpose of the citizen review process is to provide a means for the applicant, surrounding residential neighbors, and registered neighborhood and homeowner's association representatives to review a preliminary development proposal and solicit input and exchange information about the proposed development. This citizen review process is intended to result in an application that is responsive to neighborhood concerns and to expedite and lessen the expense of the review process by avoiding needless delays, appeals, remands or denials. The applicant is responsible for all costs associated with the citizen review process.
(2) Applicability. In accordance with A.R.S. § 9-462.03, all of the following application types shall conduct a neighborhood meeting, unless as may be otherwise specified in this section, the city code, or A.R.S.
(a) General plan amendments;
(b) Zoning text amendments;
(c) Zoning map amendments (rezoning);
(d) Conditional use permits (optional);
(e) Variances (optional); and
(f) Major modification to an approved plan or condition of approval (when original approval requires neighborhood meeting).
(3) Meeting schedule. The applicant shall be responsible for scheduling and facilitating the meeting. The applicant is required to hold one meeting, prior to the first public hearing on an application for a specific project, but may hold more if desired. The required meeting shall be held at least 15 calendar days before the first public hearing on the application. Attendance at the meeting by Community Development Department staff is not required and will be determined by the Zoning Administrator on a case-by-case basis.
(4) Meeting location. Neighborhood meetings shall be held at a location near the subject property. The meeting shall be held on a weekday evening, or weekends at any reasonable time and in a publicly accessible location.
(5) Notification requirements.Notice of the meeting, which shall state a brief description of the application and include the date, time, and place of the meeting, shall be provided by the applicant as follows:
(a) Mailing a notice not less than ten calendar days prior to the date of the neighborhood meeting to:
1. All real property owners, as shown on the latest Coconino County assessment records, within 300 feet of the outer boundary of the subject property. This notification area may be expanded if the general plan or other policy adopted by the City Council requires notification within a larger area or the Zoning Administrator determines the potential impact of the project extends beyond the required notification boundary;
2. Residents, registered neighborhoods, and homeowners associations that may be impacted as a result of the application, and other neighborhood entities identified by the city;
3. Interested parties which have requested that they be placed on a contact list for this application; and
4. Potentially interested parties that have been identified by the city.
(6) Meeting summary. The applicant shall submit to the Community Development Department seven calendar days before the first public hearing on the matter a written summary of the meeting. The following information shall be included in the meeting summary, at a minimum: date, time, and location of the meeting; a copy of the mailing list and meeting sign-in sheet, a summary of how the applicant has addressed or proposes to address the issues, concerns, and objections identified during the meeting.
(D) Application review and report (substantive review). After determining that a development application is complete, the Zoning Administrator shall refer the application to the appropriate review agencies and city staff to review the submitted materials, and provide written review comments to the applicant if necessary. Upon receiving the applicant's final response to review comments, the Zoning Administrator or designee shall prepare a staff report. The staff report shall be made available for inspection and copying by the applicant and the public prior to the scheduled public hearing on the development application. The staff report shall indicate whether, in the opinion of the staff, the development application complies with all applicable standards of this chapter. Conditions for approval may be recommended to eliminate any areas of noncompliance or mitigate any adverse effects of the development proposal.
(E) Public notice requirements. Public notification required under this chapter, shall be subject to the following requirements, unless as may be otherwise specified in the city code or as set forth in A.R.S. Any changes to Arizona Law notice requirements shall have control over this provision in the manner of providing notice.
(1) Summary of notice requirements. The following Table 6.2-1 summarizes the notice requirements of the procedures in this chapter.
Type of Notification Required
Major General Plan Amendment
Per A.R.S. § 9-461.06
Minor General Plan Amendment
Amendment to Zoning Code Text
Per § 152.089(C)
Amendment to Zoning Map
Conditional Use Permit
Temporary Use Permit
Sign Permit, Comprehensive Sign Plan
Master Sign Program
Sign Plan Review
Site Plan Review - If referred to Planning and Zoning Commission
(2) Content of public notice. All required notifications as specified in Table 6.2-1 shall include; the date, time, and place of the hearing; a general explanation of the matter to be considered; a general description of the area affected; and indicate where additional information on the matter may be obtained. If the matter to be considered applies to territory in a high noise or accident potential zone as defined in A.R.S. § 28-8461, the notice shall include a general statement that the matter applies to property located in the high noise or accident potential zone.
(3) Specific notice requirements. Notice as specified in Table 6.2-1, shall be provided as follows:
(a) Published notice. A public hearing display ad (per A.R.S. § 9-462.04) shall be placed by the city, at least once in a local newspaper of general circulation within the city. The advertisement shall be published at least 15 calendar days prior to the public hearing.
(b) Mailed notice. A notice of public hearing shall be sent by the city, via U.S. first class mail, at least 15 calendar days prior to the public hearing. The applicant shall be responsible for providing the city with mailing labels containing the names and addresses of:
1. The applicant or representative and owners of the subject property;
2. All real property owners, as shown on the latest Coconino County assessment records, within 300 feet of the outer boundary of the subject property. This notification area may be expanded if other policy adopted by the City Council requires notification within a larger area or the Zoning Administrator determines the potential impact of the project extends beyond the required notification boundary;
3. Residents, registered neighborhoods, and homeowners associations that may be impacted as a result of the application, and other neighborhood entities city as determined by the Zoning Administrator;
4. Interested parties which have requested that they be placed on a contact list for this application;
5. Interested parties that have been identified by the city;
6. If the proposed project involves land that abuts other municipalities or unincorporated areas of Coconino County or a combination thereof, notice of the public hearing shall be sent to the planning agency of the adjacent governmental unit.
7. If the proposed project involves land that is located within the territory in the vicinity of a military airport or ancillary military facility as defined in A.R.S § 28-8461, notice of the public hearing shall be sent to the military airport.
(c) Posted notice. A notice of public hearing shall be posted by city on the lot, parcel, or tract of land that is the subject of the application. A minimum of one posting shall be placed in a manner that is clearly visible from the most heavily traveled public right-of-way adjoining the subject property and shall be placed at least 15 calendar days prior to the public hearing. Such notice shall be composed of weatherproof materials and shall be printed so that the following are visible from a distance of 100 feet: the application type, the application request (i.e. for a zoning map amendment display the present zoning district classification and the proposed zoning district classification) and the date, time, and location of the hearing. The city shall update the sign as needed and maintain the sign in good condition throughout the required posting period. The posting shall be removed no later than ten days after the public hearing and final action.
(d) Neighborhood meeting. A notice of neighborhood meeting shall be provided as specified in § 152.086(C)(5).
(e) Multiple notices. When multiple applications are under review for the same project, the responsible noticing body as specified in this section may simultaneously issue notice for multiple applications.
(f) Validity of notice. The validity of the public hearing proceedings shall not be affected by the failure of any person to receive notice or by the presence of minor defects in the notice. Minor defects in notice shall be limited to errors in a legal description or typographical or grammatical errors that do not impede communication of the notices' primary intent to inform affected parties of the project and the time, date, and place of a public hearing or meeting.
(F) Public hearing. A public hearing, if required under this chapter, shall be conducted in accordance with the requirements of this chapter, unless as may be otherwise specified in the city or as set forth in A.R.S.
(G) Written decision. The decision to approve or approve with conditions or deny shall be communicated in writing to the applicant within 15 days from the decision. All decisions shall include a statement of approval, approval with conditions, or denial, whichever is appropriate.
(H) Limitation on reapplication. In the event that an application is denied, an application that is substantially the same project or request will not be considered for a period of one year from the date the initial application was denied, except as follows;
(1) A substantial change in circumstances relevant to the issues and/or facts considered during review of the application that might reasonably affect the decision-making body's application of the relevant review standards to the development proposed in the application;
(2) A new application is proposed to be submitted that is materially different (e.g., proposes new uses, or a substantial decrease in proposed densities and intensities) from the prior application; or
(3) The final decision on the application was based on a material mistake of fact or the foregoing.
(I) Reconsideration or rehearing of decisions.
(1) Decisions of any appointed body under this chapter may be brought up for reconsideration or rehearing only if:
(a) There was substantial procedural error in the original proceeding;
(b) The Zoning Administrator or body acted without jurisdiction in the original proceeding;
(c) The original decision was based upon fraud or misrepresentation;
(d) Reconsideration is appropriate to avoid delay or hardship that may be caused by an appeal; or
(e) As requested by a member of the body whose vote was included in the side that prevailed in the motion to be reconsidered.
(2) Any person seeking reconsideration or a rehearing must file a request with the Zoning Administrator, together with materials supporting one or more of the grounds stated in this section, within 15 days of the original decision, or within the timeframe established under state law if applicable. The appointed decision-making body, by majority vote, may decide to hold a rehearing if the rehearing request meets requirements of divisions (I)(a) through (e) of this section. A rehearing shall be conducted in the same manner as the original proceedings before the Zoning Administrator or appointed body.
(J) Amendments to permits or other forms of approval. An approved development or new land use shall be established only as specified by the approved land use permit, and subject to any conditions of approval. An applicant may request, in writing, to amend the approved permit, and shall furnish appropriate supporting materials and an explanation of the reasons for the request.
(1) Minor changes may be approved, modified, or denied by the Zoning Administrator. Major changes shall be approved, modified or denied by the original review authority.
(2) The Zoning Administrator shall determine whether a proposed change is major or minor. The determination that the change is major depends on whether the proposal may result in:
(a) Significant impacts to the surrounding neighborhood;
(b) Significant environmental impacts;
(c) A change to the approved use or a significant change in conformance to the original plan or intent; or
(d) A change to the basis upon which the review authority made the findings for approval of the project.
(3) A major change request shall be processed in the same manner as the original permit or entitlement.
(K) Appeals. This section sets forth the procedures for appeals except for appeals filed pursuant to division (L) of this section. Any decision within the authority of the decision-making body may be appealed, unless the zoning code provides that the decision is final.
(1) Applicability. The appropriate decision-making body for each appeal type is identified in §§ 152.088 through 152.096. General appeals in which it is alleged there is an error in an order, requirement or decision made by the Zoning Administrator in the enforcement of this zoning ordinance shall be made to the Board of Adjustment pursuant to the provisions of this division (K).
(2) Appeal process.
(a) Filing of appeal.
1. Appeals to the Board of Adjustment may be taken by persons aggrieved or by any officer, department, board or bureau of the municipality affected by a decision of the Zoning Administrator. An appeal shall be filed with the Community Development Department on a form established by the Director. Within five working days after the appeal is filed, the Zoning Administrator shall transmit all records pertaining to the action appealed from to the Board. The appeal shall set forth the decision or decisions being appealed and the grounds upon which the appeal is based. The appeal shall be accompanied by any applicable fees.
2. A person aggrieved by a decision of the legislative body or Board of Adjustment or a taxpayer who owns or leases the adjacent property or a property within 300 from the boundary of the immediately adjacent property, an officer or a department of the municipality affected by a decision of the legislative body or Board, may file a complaint for special action in the superior court to review the legislative body or Board of Adjustment decision.
(b) Appeal period. All appeals shall be filed within 15 calendar days of the decision, except for appeals from decisions of the Board of Adjustment or City Council. An appeal from any decision regarding a City Council or Board of Adjustment action (e.g., variances, text or map amendments) shall be filed with the Superior Court within 30 days of the decision. If no appeal is filed in writing within the relevant 15 or 30-day protest period, the decision shall be considered final.
(c) Proceedings stayed by appeal. The timely filing of an appeal, except for appeals related to the Zoning Administrator's interpretation or enforcement of this chapter, shall stay all proceedings in the matter appealed.
1. Appeals made to the Board of Adjustment in regard to the Zoning Administrator's interpretation or enforcement of this chapter shall stay all proceedings in the matter appealed from, unless the Zoning Administrator certifies to the Board that, in the Zoning Administrator's opinion by the facts stated in the certificate, a stay would cause imminent peril to life or property. Upon such certification, proceedings shall not be stayed, except by restraining order granted by the Board or by a court of record on application and notice to the Zoning Administrator.
2. Filing a complaint in Superior Court does not stay proceedings on the decision sought to be reviewed, but the court may, on application, grant a stay and on final hearing may affirm or reverse, in whole or in part, or modify the decision reviewed.
(d) Public notice. Prior to consideration of any appeal for which state law or the zoning code requires a public hearing, the city shall provide public notification in compliance with § 152.089(E) or as required by state law, whichever requires the most notice.
(e) Standards. When reviewing any decision on appeal, the decision-making body shall use the same standards for decision-making required for the original decision.
(f) Hearing body action. Public hearings shall be conducted in accordance with the requirements of this chapter, unless as may be otherwise specified in this city code or as set forth in A.R.S. The decision-making body for the appeal shall deny or grant the appeal or the decision-making body may remand the matter to the original decision-making body for reconsideration, for additional information or to cure a deficiency in the record or proceeding. The decision-making body shall render its decision within 30 days of the date the hearing is closed unless state law requires a shorter deadline.
(L) Appeals of dedications or exactions to hearing officer.
(1) Any requirement of a dedication or exaction as a condition of granting approval for the use, improvement, or development of real property may be appealed to a hearing officer appointed by the City Council. This division shall not apply to legislatively imposed dedications or exactions in which no discretion by the Zoning Administrator or administrative officer to determine the nature or extent of the dedication or exaction was exercised. In the event of such an appeal, the Zoning Administrator shall prepare a takings impact report. No fee shall be charged for filing an appeal under this section and such appeal shall be conducted as required by A.R.S. § 9-500.12.
(2) Appeal of decision of zoning hearing officer. A property owner aggrieved by a decision of the zoning hearing officer to modify or affirm a dedication or exaction requirement or to affirm a zoning regulation may file within 30 days after the decision a complaint in Superior Court, pursuant to A.R.S § 9-500.12G.
(M) Effective date and exercising approval at risk.
(1) A final decision on an application for any discretionary approval subject to appeal (e.g., a conditional use permit, variance, or site plan approval) shall become effective after the expiration of the appeal period following the date of action, unless an appeal is filed. No building permit or business registration shall be issued until the day following the expiration of the appeal period, unless, in accordance with division (M)(2) below, the applicant signs a waiver explaining that they understand and accept the risk of proceeding before the appeal period ends.
(2) An approved conditional use permit or variance or an interpretation favorable to the applicant may be exercised at the applicant's sole risk, and a building permit (if required) may be issued subsequent to approval by the city Building Official. However, if an appeal of the decision is filed in accordance with the provisions of this chapter that reverses in whole or in part or modifies the decision and that causes any construction or use commenced as a result of exercising the decision to be in conflict with the appellate body's decision, then such building permit may be revoked in accordance with the appellate body's decision and any such construction or use may constitute a violation of this chapter and may be subject to removal or cessation by the applicant, property owner, or his or her agent.
(Ord. 648-18, passed 11-28-2018)