Controversial rezoning request denied advancement
Commissioner: Proposal consistent with general plan but inadvisable
A controversial rezoning request was denied advancement to the Chino Valley Town Council after failing to gain enough votes from the Chino Valley Planning & Zoning Commission.
During the Tuesday, Dec. 4, meeting, the commission voted against a recommendation of approval for the rezoning of 2.71 acres of property at 868 E. Road 4 North to change from Single Family Residential to Commercial Light, allowing for a wholesale nursery.
Originally the item was tabled by the commission at a meeting in November.
In November, Planner Alex Lerma said the property is owned by Donald and Catherine Cox who own a wholesale nursery adjacent to the property; it is a growing facility with no outside sales or customers coming in or out, and anything ordered is sent to Prescott Valley Growers, which they also own.
They requested the Commercial Light rezoning because, looking at the code, nurseries are identified only in that specific zoning district, Lerma said, also noting it would give them the opportunity to open the nursery to the public in the future if desired, though that is not the current plan.
Residents voiced opposition to the rezoning at the November meeting because opening the property to commercial zoning means it remains commercial and things can change.
There were questions as to whether there could be limitations on the rezoning. Lerma said Tuesday that the answer to that is no.
“Zoning laws require that if you rezone a property, you do not put limitations on it,” he said. “Only if it was a conditional use permit.”
At the same time, the possibility of rezoning the property to Agricultural/Residential — Five Acre Minimum was brought up. However, a discussion with the property owners resulted in them wanting to stick with the Commercial Light zoning in order to have the option of opening up the nursery to the public in the future, Lerma said. Additionally, by rezoning it to Commercial Light, applicants would be saved the time of having to come back and get a conditional use permit of some type, he said.
Commissioner Michael Bacon brought up research he had done on regarding wholesale nurseries and retail nurseries within the Town of Chino Valley and concluded that while the rezoning is consistent with the general plan, it is inadvisable because it could allow future intensive uses on the property that the residents and town would have little to no say on.
“I’ve had experience with the City of Prescott where they wanted additional business zoning which was not really viable at that location, but it was granted. But I could alway see that there would be apartments brought in the future,” Bacon said.”That’s exactly what happened. When the residents complained because of the issuance of building permits, the city had to basically tell them ‘we already have business zoning there which allowed residential uses which weren’t really brought out during the discussion of that zoning request.’ ”
An additional request, tied to the rezoning to allow for 12.35 acres of single-family residential use within the property through a conditional use permit, was forwarded to council with a recommendation of denial.