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An Appeal of a Request For a Special Use Authorization For a Solar Energy Power Plant Docket SUA-11-13 Appeal of Rainbow Solar Facility.

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Presentation on theme: "An Appeal of a Request For a Special Use Authorization For a Solar Energy Power Plant Docket SUA-11-13 Appeal of Rainbow Solar Facility."— Presentation transcript:

1 An Appeal of a Request For a Special Use Authorization For a Solar Energy Power Plant Docket SUA-11-13 Appeal of Rainbow Solar Facility

2 Details of Rainbow Solar Facility The Applicant is Rainbow Solar Energy, LLC―represented by Josh Fields. David Bohn of Kinetix Engineering and Consultants is the project engineer. The subject parcel (Parcel No. 407-01-005) is located north of Highway 80, east of N. Central Highway―west of Douglas. The Applicants have an option to purchase 320.79 acres of a larger parcel for this use.

3 Location Map East ‘leg’ of the parcel is under purchase option Cochise College N Central Highway To Douglas Parcel No. 407-01-005

4 Planning Commission approved the Docket on January 11, 2012, with a vote of 3-2. Conditions for approval were: 1. Within thirty (30) days of approval of the Special Use, the Applicant shall provide the County a signed Acceptance of Conditions form and a Waiver of Claims form arising from ARS Section 12-1134. The Applicant shall apply for a building/use permit for the project within one (1) year of approval, such application to include a completed joint permit application and a revised site plan in conformance with all site development standards except those waived below. A permit must be issued within three (3) years of Special Use authorization, and if the Applicant does not demonstrate substantial construction progress on the project within one (1) year from the date of permit issuance, the Special Use authorization shall be considered for revocation at a public hearing before the Planning and Zoning Commission, or may be deemed void upon 30-day notification to the Applicant. Docket SUA-11-13 Appeal of Rainbow Solar Facility

5 2. It is the Applicant’s responsibility to obtain any additional permits, or meet any additional conditions, that may be applicable to the proposed use pursuant to other federal, state, or local laws or regulations; 3. Any changes to the approved Special Use (including any change to the solar energy power plant technology to be deployed) shall be subject to review by the Planning Department and may require additional modification and approval by the Planning and Zoning Commission; and 4. Prior to permit issuance, a legal means of access for the proposed solar power facility must be obtained. Docket SUA-11-13 Appeal of Rainbow Solar Facility

6 This photo shows the existing access road which runs east of North Central Highway. It will be improved with 2” gravel. Site Photos

7 Looking Northwest from North Brooks Road. The proposed facility would be located one-half mile west.

8 Site Plan

9 Shows the south portion of the parcel Concept Grading and Drainage Plan

10 Shows the north portion of the parcel Concept Grading and Drainage Plan

11 Zoning Regulations Section 1716.03C “The Concept Plan, at a minimum, shall include: 1. The type(s) of use(s) planned for the site is specified. 2. The general location, size and height of all structures, location, surface and width of driveways, general location and number of parking spaces, setbacks, proposed screening and landscaping and any significant topographical features such as washes, wetlands, cultural, archaeological or historical sites, hills, and rock outcroppings. 3. Project phasing. 4. Other information deemed necessary to effectively review the special use.”

12 Pre-permit Conditions agreed upon by Applicant 1. Land Clearing Plans - If this project is phased, the phasing and land clearing plans must be approved prior to commercial permit issuance to accurately address potential drainage issues. 2. Retain Natural Drainage Patterns - The grading and drainage design submitted with the commercial permit application will address the existing runoff and natural drainage pattern from east to west and will ensure those drainage flow patterns to the east remain intact. The proposed boundary roads will be redesigned with the natural topography to allow this flow pattern to continue. 3. Basin Perspective - The new grading and drainage design will address the runoff increase created by the grading of virgin ground and the creation of more impervious surface area. Possible design solutions include relocating or adding additional retention/detention basins along the eastern and northern boundaries to prevent flooding of adjacent properties. These basins must be maintained by the owner into perpetuity to preserve capacity. 4. All cleared areas of the site (except drainage basins) must be revegetated by approved hydro-seeding/mulching after the installation and construction work is completed (or as phased). The area surrounding the proposed buildings will still be covered with 2” of gravel, as agreed. 5. Develop and implement creative drainage solutions that would mitigate and address the increased runoff resulting from the increase of impervious surface area by constructing on-site infiltration wells and/or trenches, spreader dikes or other combination of treatments. These measures are intended to reduce the increased runoff resulting from the proposed development as well as to ensure that the natural drainage patterns are retained after development in accordance with the Cochise County, Floodplain Regulations.

13 Cochise County Community College 2 letters of support – Rainbow’s End Ranch in yellow

14 Support and Protest Staff received support letters from two neighbors, with opposition from one. Carol Riggs sent protest letter for Commission hearing Subject Parcel Mr. Noble presented his objections at the January 11 th hearing 2 Neighbors Protested

15 Factors in Favor of Upholding the Commission’s Decision (Denying the Appeal) 1.On January 11, 2012, the Commission voted (3 – 2) to conditionally approve the Special Use; 2.With the recommended conditions, the Solar Power Plant would comply with each of the seven applicable Special Use evaluation factors; 3.The Zoning District, Comprehensive Plan and Area Plan policies applicable to the property all support solar power facilities; 4.This type of land use is considered comparatively low-impact, one that can integrate with neighboring rural-residential uses provided the Applicant complies with Staff’s recommended conditions. 5.The Commission imposed a condition (#1) requiring the Applicant to mitigate all off-site impacts through the submittal of a new site plan, to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of neighboring rural-residential parcels to the greatest extent possible; 6.The Cochise County Zoning Regulations were applied to the analysis of this request through the concept plan submitted; and 7.Two neighbors have expressed support for the project from within the 1,500-foot notification area.

16 Factors in Favor of Granting the Appeal There appear to be no factors in favor of overturning the Commission’s January 11, 2012 decision.

17 Discussion

18 Staff Recommendation: Uphold the Commission’s decision of January 11, 2012 and deny this appeal.

19 Recommended Motion: Mr. Chairman, for the reasons set forth in the Staff report [&/or other], I move to uphold the Planning and Zoning Commission’s decision to grant a special use permit in Docket SU-11-13 (Rainbow Solar Facility) and deny Mr. Noble’s appeal from that decision.

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