Planning Commission offers municipal blessing for Safari Old Town development

A view of the Safari development, which just received approval from the Scottsdale Planning Commission, is destined to sprout in Old Town. (Submitted graphic)

The Scottsdale Planning Commission will recommend a zoning amendment — as well as a new development plan with specific property development standards — to the City Council, potentially making way for a five-story multi-family residential development in Old Town.

The item, titled Safari — Phase II, garnered the commissions vote for recommendation at a Wednesday, Jan. 9 regular meeting at City Hall, 3939 N. Drinkwater Blvd.

The recommended amendment would change the 2-acre site at 4735 N. Scottsdale Road from downtown/regional commercial office — type 2, planned block development, downtown overlay to downtown/downtown regional use — type 3, planned block development, downtown overlay.

A view of how the development would be used by human beings upon completion. (Submitted graphic)

The owner plans to develop the vacant lot into a 160-unit development with partial underground, structured parking and a pedestrian paseo to connect the existing paseo to the west, according to a city staff report to the Commission.

The paseo, which would run along the south side of the building, replaced the previously-planned central pedestrian corridor through the site.

City staff claim the proposed property development standards are generally the same as the downtown zoning district. There were, however, a few exceptions regarding setback and step-back standards.

The developer proposed there be a 5-foot exception for cornices, eaves, parapets, architectural elements and fireplaces. An established zoning ordinance sets that list at only cornices, eaves, parapets and fireplaces.

The developer also proposed a 15-foot exception for canopies and other covers over sidewalks, balconies and terraces. The established ordinances calls for a seven-foot exception. Some other statistics of the project include plans to make the building 75-feet tall, which includes building appurtenances. This is below the allowed 115 feet allowed.

The developer also plans to provide 228 parking spaces, a density of 77.83 dwelling units per acre and 20,283 square feet of open space. The city claims it notified property owners within 750 feet of the site as well as posted signs around the lot. The owner’s representative hosted an open house meeting on Aug. 14.

Overall, staff have received two general inquiries about the project with one expressing concern.
The project will also use the site’s existing driveway to the southwest of the site as well as the private drive to the north called Coolidge Street. Both drives exit onto Scottsdale Road, one of which is at a signalized intersection at Fashion Square Drive.

News Services Reporter Josh Martinez can be contacted at jmartinez@newszap.com or at 623-445-2738

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