Meeting Report from 2nd Hearing on Fenn Rezone – Nov 21, 2017
Victor P&Z Reluctantly Recommends Approval of Fenn Short Term Rental & Hotel Rezone
Just like the first hearing, this second hearing was well attended with approximately 25 people. It began with the Victor Planning & Zoning Commission (P&Z) expressing the community’s strong displeasure with The Meadows project and the concern that the Fenn project would be more of the same. They called on Victor City Planner Josh Wilson to assist in rewriting Victor Cottage Court ordinances to prevent this type of unsightly development from occurring elsewhere. (See our section on What Happens Next below)
Developer Jon Fenn then presented his revised application for a rezone which would enable him to build around 50 short-term rental cabins on foundations, 5-8 four-plexes, self-storage units, and a 3-story hotel with 46-68 rooms – all about 1/2 mile north of downtown Victor.
Location of the proposed project site.
The big surprise was that Fenn then announced to the P&Z that without the rezone, the current Victor zoning would allow him to put 108 Cottage Court type homes (just like The Meadows) on the property. He indicated he would do it with more architectural style than The Meadows – but that he would do it nonetheless. Seen as a threat, this was met with frustration by the P&Z and they were put in a position of making a decision as to what was the best of two evils.
P&Z ultimately decided they would have more control over the undesirable aspects of the Fenn project if they approved the rezone because Victor could then enforce design regulations and use restrictions through a development agreement. Put another way, Victor would gain control over Fenn via contract.
Thus, at the end of the 3-hour meeting, the Victor P&Z reluctantly voted unanimously to approve the rezone with these conditions:
- The city will approve the phase in of the site plan
- Require traffic study and access on 500 West as well as the proposed roads with the development
- Required approval of the design and architecture of the entire project
- A table of proposed use for each element of the project
- CCR’s to be approved by the city
- Increasing the RM1 zoning to 12 acres ( from 8) and decreasing the IX to 4 acres ( from 7.9) to basically eliminate the short term rental cabins and only allow storage for the court units in a effort to try and keep the place from looking like some of the valleys finest currently look
- Changed the zoning on the north side of the project, fronting the highway, so as to have more control over any future retail type development
What Happens Next:
- Hearing before City Council: P&Z’s recommendations will now go to hearing before the Victor City Council. We’ll keep you posted when the hearing is scheduled and our specific position on the issues therein. You can learn more about the Fenn Hotel proposal in our previous emails here.
- Cottage Court Ordinance Cleanup: Victor is also working hard to quickly amend its Cottage Court Ordinance to address the current deficiencies that have allowed The Meadows and the Fenn Rezone. The first hearing will be held at 7PM on Tuesday December 19th before the Victor Planning & Zoning Commission. We’ll post the proposed changes as soon as they are available from City staff. If all goes well, these amendments could be finalized in January.
- Creating Design Standards for Commercial Buildings in Victor: At their upcoming work session on on December 13th, Victor Staff will seek direction from Victor City Council on establishing a working group to draft design standards for commercial buildings in Victor. For over a decade now, Driggs has had formal standards for ensuring quality downtown construction. Victor staff see a pressing need to follow suit in light of the controversial design of the recent proposals for the Cobblestone Hotel and The Meadows in Victor.