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A. Purpose And Application: The purpose of this section is to describe alternative residential subdivision options that address particular situations and offer some flexibility of design. For some low impact developments, density bonuses, exceptions to the general submittal and review process and alternative requirements are provided.
B. Minor Expedited Residential Subdivisions:
a. Provide a more cost effective option for property owners creating small subdivisions.
b. Encourage landowners to participate in the subdivision process by minimizing processing costs and streamlining the review and approval process.
c. Provide density bonuses for subdivisions that access directly onto city or ADOT maintained paved streets or construct off site streets that meet city or ADOT standards.
2. Description Of A Minor Expedited Residential Subdivision: A minor subdivision is a subdivision that meets the following criteria:
a. The subdivision consists of twenty (20) lots or less without the density bonus or a maximum of twenty seven (27) lots with the density bonus.
b. Lots sizes are flexible so long as health and safety issues, including water and sanitation are properly addressed.
c. Except for road crossings, construction is not proposed within a designated floodplain.
d. A thirty four percent (34%) density is allowed in zoning districts with a minimum lot size of thirty six thousand (36,000) square feet or greater if access to the subdivision is or will be from a paved road.
3. Density Bonus For Minor Expedited Residential Subdivisions:
COMPARISON OF MINOR EXPEDITED SUBDIVISIONS
WITH AND WITHOUT THE DENSITY BONUS:
RU-4 ZONING DISTRICT
Without Density Bonus
With Density Bonus
27 lots (80 acres + 4 acres)
27 lots (20 x 1.34)
15 lots (60 cares + 4 acres)
20 lots (15 x 1.34)
10 lots (40 acres + 4 acres)
13 lots (10 x 1.34)
5 lots (20 acres + 4 acres)
7 lots (5 x 1.34)
4. Exceptions To The General Submittal, Review Procedures And Requirements: As noted below, certain general submittals, review procedures and requirements do not apply to the minor expedited residential subdivisions.
a. No processing fee is charged.
b. The tentative and final plat submittals are combined into a single plat. The plat can be scheduled for review and approval by the city council at the next available meeting after approval by the planning and zoning commission.
c. A drainage report, rather than a hydrology study is required, as defined in the floodplain regulations for Cochise County.
d. A traffic analysis report is not required.
e. Where the subdivision connects to a city maintained or ADOT paved road, off site road improvements are not required, except that the apron connection(s) of any subdivision streets to public roads serving the subdivisions shall be improved to Cochise County road construction standards and specifications for public improvements or ADOT requirements.
f. On site streets can be built to the Cochise County road construction standards and specifications for public improvements, low volume road standards.
g. A second means of access from a public road is not required.
h. Lot sizes are flexible. The minimum lot size is one acre (43,560 square feet) unless lots are connected to an approved water and sewer system or some other ADEQ approved alternative wastewater treatment system other than a septic system.
C. Residential Conservation Subdivisions:
1. Purpose Of A Residential Conservation Subdivision: Development under this provision is optional. It is intended to encourage: a) an innovative site planning design in harmony with the natural features and historic uses such as ranching and compatible with constraints of specific sites; b) more cost effective development due to decreased grading and more efficient servicing of the subdivision with utilities, streets and other essential services; and c) conservation areas for subdivision or public purposes.
2. Description Of A Residential Conservation Subdivision:
a. A minimum of fifty percent (50%) of the site shall be conservation areas. If the subdivision is proposed to be done in phases, conservation areas for each phase shall be fifty percent (50%). Conservation areas are intended to conserve, in perpetuity, resources that might otherwise be permanently altered by development. These areas shall comprise no less than forty (40) acres for one subdivision.
b. In zoning districts with a minimum lot size of thirty six thousand (36,000) square feet or greater, a thirty four percent (34%) density bonus is provided so long as the subdivision complies with the design and improvement requirements of this section.
c. In zoning districts with a minimum lot size of thirty six thousand (36,000) square feet or greater, a fifty percent (50%) density bonus is provided, so long as the subdivision is provided with: a water utility company; a sewer system designed for effluent recharge and/or reuse; fire protection, and complies with the design and improvement requirements of this section.
d. Lot sizes are flexible and do not need to meet the minimum lot size of the zoning district except that the minimum individual lot size must conform to requirements for sewage disposal, water distribution systems and fire protection described in section 13-1-8 of this chapter.
e. Density bonuses cannot be applied to areas within a previously approved master development plan.
3. Density Bonus:
EXAMPLE OF DENSITY BONUS FOR A
1,000 ACRE PARCEL, ZONED RU-4
Number Of Lots
And Density Bonus
Maximum 250 lots (may be less after calculating roads) (no density bonus)
50% conservation areas = 500 acres
335 lots (34% bonus: 250 lots x 1.34)
Conservation with sewer, water and fire protection
50% conservation areas = 500 acres
375 lots (50% bonus: 250 lots x 1.5)
4. Conservation Area Definition And Design:
CONSERVATION AREA: That area of land not occupied by buildings, towers, walls, billboards, or manmade impervious surfaces that is set aside or reserved in perpetuity for historic ranching use and/or public or subdivision residents' enjoyment or use. It shall be an integral part of the design within the boundaries of the subdivision and under common ownership or easement.
a. The following categories generally should be included in the conservation area:
(1) Wetlands and cienegas;
(2) Wash corridors, including a minimum of fifty feet (50') from the primary banks;
(3) FEMA designated flood zone A and other special flood hazard areas;
(4) Hillsides with slopes greater than thirty percent (30%);
(6) Significant wildlife habitat areas and corridors;
(A) Cultural or archaeological sites listed on the national or state register or in local land use plans; and
(B) Significant stands of predominantly unspoiled native and other historically adapted vegetation.
b. The conservation area calculation may include:
(1) Other cultural or archaeological sites;
(2) Paths or trails not intended for vehicular access within the public right of way and to and through the conservation area;
(3) Historic ranching and grazing areas other than irrigated agricultural fields (accessory ranch structures or service streets may also be included);
(4) Community gardening;
(5) Passive outdoor recreation such as hiking, bicycling or equestrian trails; or
(6) Other similar compatible uses.
c. The conservation area calculation shall not include:
(1) Any public or private streets accessing the lots;
(2) Outdoor storage areas and junkyards;
(3) Golf courses; and
(4) Other uses or structures incompatible with the intent of conservation areas.
d. Conservation Area Design Considerations:
(1) Conservation areas should be as accessible as feasible through direct access or provision of a trail system.
(2) Conservation areas should be used to provide access to adjoining public lands where historic access exists. This access may be limited to subdivision residents, except where historic public access exists, in which case it shall be public access. Access may be limited to unmotorized travel only.
(3) Conservation areas can be used to buffer the subdivision from adjoining uses, especially higher density or higher intensity uses.
(4) The utility of conservation areas shall be determined by the size, shape, topographic and location requirements of the particular purpose proposed for the conservation areas and shall be integrally related to the development and of such a size and slope as to make it useful for its intended purpose.
a. Preliminary Meeting, Existing Resources And Site Context Drawing: A preliminary meeting will be held to familiarize staff with the project and the applicant with the conservation subdivision process. An existing resources inventory and site context drawing is needed at this meeting to show how the new subdivision fits into the surrounding landscape and show features that cross parcel lines or should be extended through the subject parcel to maintain existing circulation patterns, trails, significant water recharge, vegetation or conservation areas and corridors. This drawing is an informal drawing that serves as the first step in determining the areas to be maintained as conservation areas. Ten (10) copies of the site context drawing shall be submitted ten (10) days before a preliminary review meeting to be scheduled by the planning director. The drawing must be drawn to scale and clear and legible, but does not need to be drawn by an engineer (an aerial photo can be used).
The applicant should be prepared to discuss the following information about the site and the surrounding area within three hundred feet (300') from the boundaries of the site:
(1) Adjacent development and zoning.
(2) Existing road circulation system in areas adjacent to the site.
(3) Existing circulation systems for alternative modes of transportation such as pedestrian, bicycle and equestrian trails or sidewalks in areas adjacent to the site.
(4) Existing watercourses, stream corridors, floodplains, ponds and wetlands on site and adjacent to the site.
(5) Existing areas conserved as part of adjacent developments.
(6) Public land adjacent to the site.
(7) Ridgelines on site and adjacent to the site.
(8) Meadows on site and adjacent to the site.
(9) Significant stands of drought tolerant vegetation, native or historically adapted to Cochise County on site and adjacent to the site.
(10) General topography.
(11) Significant water recharge areas.
(12) Hillsides with slopes thirty percent (30%) or greater.
(13) Existing cultural, archaeological or historic sites.
(14) Scenic corridors identified in adopted city land use plans if any.
b. Site Visit: After the existing resources inventory and site context drawing have been reviewed with the subdivision committee, the subdivider shall arrange a staff visit to the site to familiarize those reviewing the application with the property. This visit provides an informal setting to discuss preliminary site design and location of conservation areas. The visit should include, but is not limited to, staff from the planning and highway and floodplain departments, a planning and zoning commissioner if possible, the subdivider, the property owner or seller if available or someone else familiar with the property and the subdivision engineer.
c. Site Layout Meeting: Based on the existing resources inventory, site context drawing and the site visit, the next step is to develop a preliminary site layout. This can be done as an overlay(s) to the existing resource/site analysis map. It is to be done in conjunction with the subdivision committee at a working meeting.
Step 1: Identify Significant Conservation Areas: Sketch in the significant areas listed in 603.04 that shall remain as mandatory conservation areas. The existing resources inventory and site context drawing and site visit provide the information needed to identify these areas.
Step 2: Draw In Remaining Interconnected Conservation Areas: It is likely the conservation areas defined in step 1 will not make up the required fifty percent (50%) of the site. The next step is to draw in the remaining conservation areas. These conservation areas shall be designed as described in section 603.04.
Step 3: Locate Housing Sites: Once steps 1 and 2 are completed, the area remaining is developable area. In this step, housing sites are located in the developable areas. Locating conservation areas first makes it possible to select housing sites with the best views and access to the conservation areas.
Step 4: Locate Streets And Trails: Once the conservation areas and housing locations have been identified, streets and trails are more easily sited with less impact to the terrain and special features of the site.
Step 5: Draw In Lot lines: The final step is to draw in the lot lines. Lot sizes are flexible, with a minimum lot size of one acre (43,560 square feet) if individual septic systems and wells are used on individual lots.
d. Conformance With Site Layout Plan; Formal Tentative And Final Plat Process: The remaining process follows the requirements described in sections 13-1-6 through 13-1-9 of this chapter. Additionally, along with these general requirements, the tentative and final plats must be in substantial conformance with the site layout agreed upon by the subdivision committee in the previous steps. Conservation areas as agreed upon in the site layout meeting must be depicted on the tentative and final plats with a note calculating the percentage of conservation area provided.
Example: Residential Conservation Subdivision:
(Ord. 2005-01, 2-8-2005)