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Paradise Valley Town Council unite around Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Bungalows development case

photo of Andaz Scottsdale Resort project at the Town of Paradise Valley
One of several of the latest overview design documents provided to Paradise Valley Town Council as the pending development at Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Bungalows continues to move through the municipal vetting process. (File Photos/
Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Bungalows application set for May 11 public hearing
By Terrance Thornton | Digital Free Press

Paradise Valley Town Council was presented the latest development preparations afoot at the Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Bungalows during an April 27 work study discussion where local leaders are lockstep on two general ideas as municipal negotiations unfold.

The elected leaders of the Town of Paradise Valley all say they are grateful for the investment being made at the Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Bungalows commercial property but existing proposals do not meet local development standards in certain instances.

What is pursued by the owner of the property — Gary Stougaard, principal of PV Hotel Venture SPE LLC — is an intermediate special use permit allowing for 10 luxury single-story guest units approximately 2,853 square feet to 5,410 square feet with private pools on a 5-acre plot of land found along Quail Run Road.

The zoning in the Town of Paradise Valley is relatively simple as the majority of the dirt is zoned residential meanwhile a handful of commercial properties exist — resorts, houses of worship and educational entities — and are regulated through what locals call “The Special Use Permit.”

Town officials report the 5-acre plot of land in question carries a residential zoning component and found part of the Andaz Scottsdale Resort campus, which is 22 acres and accessible from Scottsdale Road.

“My concerns are the same they were at the beginning, but it is a great project and Andaz has done a great job thus far on their design and implementation of the hotel,” Paradise Valley Vice Mayor Scott Moore said during the work study discussion.

Town Council deliberations revolve primarily around noise and what are the right design considerations to mitigate noise that could impact the surrounding neighbors who surround the resort property.

“The overall scope of the work is the applicant seeks to develop a 5-acre parcel that is next to the resort and turn (that land) into resort adding 10 single-story guest units,” said George Burton, Paradise Valley senior planner.

Mr. Burton provided the local governing board with an update to what may emerge as stipulations tied to final approvals of the project. Part of the April 27 report to Town Council includes items of consideration:

Guest unit utilities;
The southern wall;
Potential deed restriction prohibiting sale of the guest units;
Noise mitigation;
Lot combination; and
Landscape plans.

Mr. Burton explained to Town Council the application now spells out the dimensions of the southern wall and changed pool configurations of five of the proposed structures.

“In response to council concerns round potential noise from the pools the applicant has added 4 to 5 feet wall to provide noise attenuation,” Mr. Burton said. “The applicant has also reverse loaded the five eastern guest units where they are placing units in front of the event law. The pool is in front of the unit, and this was done to add more sun to the pool area.”

According to Mr. Burton, the lot combination provision whereas the applicant will combine all lots into one parcel is now agreed upon, but noise concerns continue to the chagrin of Paradise Valley Town Council.

“The applicant was initially hesitant to do the lot combination they wanted to delay it due to financing reasons, but the applicant is now in agreement with stipulation to combine lots prior to issuance of first building permit. Since it is an SUP property the lot combination will come back to Town Council for approval,” Mr. Burton said of lot combination provisions, but noise mitigation remains a focal point of discussions.

“They are still researching what is on the market. They are working with the acoustical engineer and the acoustics to find an exterior noise monitoring system. Because of this staff is recommending a stipulation to provide information to staff in the noise monitoring system prior to issuance of the first building permit.”

Of Note: Town code states allowable noise is 56 decibels during the day and 45 decibels at night for all SUP properties.

Mr. Burton explained to Town Council the SUP application is slated for a May 11 public hearing at Town Hall, 6401 E. Lincoln Drive.

Town officials report the 5-acre plot of land in question carries a residential zoning component and found part of the Andaz Scottsdale Resort campus. (File Photos/
Paradise Valley Town Council deliberations

Paradise Valley Councilwoman Ellen Andeen began discussions confirming reconfiguration of proposed structures and emergency vehicle access along Quail Run Road.

Vice Mayor Moore offered a detail account of where his concerns are found within the proposal.

“I am still confused on what the details are,” he said.

“We are being asked to look at this as a site plan review process. I looked at the home plans and I looked at all the additional landscaping plans and everything else. Right above in the backyard there I understand that to be some kind of covered patio … then it goes out to a sidewalk [and] that goes even further back and then is that an entire slab of concrete?”

Mr. Moore explained of what he saw in the plans providing logic for his stark concerns around noise mitigation.

“The updated noise study doesn’t talk about this project at all — all it really says is the noise from the lawn event space will be diminished because of the home units that are being put here, but it doesn’t take into account any of the activity that is going to be happening in the backyard,” he said. “I think that becomes something that is irresponsible for me to support for our constituents who are constantly concerned about the noise coming from this event space.”

Mr. Moore expressed dismay at more changes not being illustrated in what was presented at Town Hall.

“I don’t see where the applicant has mitigated, through his design, how this is not going to be a huge noise issue that our police and residents are going to being dealing with,” he said. “I don’t see anything in this work study packet that we haven’t seen before. What we were told before doesn’t hold water. I am confused. I have great concerns about what is being designed here.”

Paradise Valley Councilwoman Christine LaBelle pointed out a question of clarification.

“If the whole configuration of the property was turned around and the pools were to the front and the patio to the front is that something we are going toward?” she asked of her colleagues. “Is that what my colleagues are going toward. If so, I would agree.”

Paradise Valley Mayor Jerry Bien-Willner says at this stage of municipal deliberations the local policymakers could consider stipulations to avoid neighborhood consequences of a vote at the local dais.

“I am hearing my colleagues saying we don’t want to get to the point of having consequences,” he said. “I am hearing that loud and clear. Consistent with comments that have been made. My view is there should be no amplified music … I don’t know that there needs to be amplified music at all.”

Paradise Valley Councilwoman Julie Pace echoed similar comments regarding noise concerns.

“I like the mayor’s idea with the no amplification. It isn’t just playing Van Halen, there are a few more issues around it,” she said noting Councilman Mark Stanton’s well received quip regarding concerns around amplified music in Paradise Valley air space.

“There are solutions that allow the Andaz to market the space, but it is a privilege to use it, right? There needs to be restrictions. My goal is we should try to avoid conflict. To me there is some kind of stipulations that are right. But I do agree with the mayor. You can use the space, but it comes with certain restrictions.”

Paradise Valley Community Development Director Lisa Collins says stipulations may be measurable solutions for the local governing board struggling with development proposals.

“If you are interested in approving the project but you want certain stipulations like no pools back there, that can be stipulated,” she said. “The applicant will not like that or accept it, but I would say that is the way to go. Just impose those conditions that you think are necessary to protect the neighborhood and take it from there.”

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