A. Purpose: The Council may, from time to time as public necessity, convenience, general welfare, and/or good zoning practice requires, change the district boundaries or amend, change, repeal or supplement the regulations herein established. Such change or amendment may be initiated by the Council or the Planning and Zoning Commission or by petition of one or more owners of real property within the area proposed to be affected by the change.
B. Petitions for Amendments:
1. Petitions for change of district boundaries or amendments of regulations shall be filed with the Community Development Office by an owner of real property within the area proposed to be changed, or by the Council or Planning and Zoning Commission. In the case of the petition filed by a party other than the Council or Commission requesting a zoning district change, which includes other property in addition to that, owned by the petitioner, the petition shall include the signatures of the real property owners representing at least seventy-five (75) percent of the land in the area proposed to be changed. All such petitions shall be filed on a form provided for the purpose and shall include:
a. A map showing the particular property or properties for which the change of zone is requested and substantially the adjoining properties and the public streets and ways within a radius of three hundred (300) feet of the exterior boundaries thereof.
b. A tentative development plan, which shall show the following:
(1). Topographical description showing existing and proposed grades and drainage systems, and natural and manmade features with indication as to which are to be retained and which are to be removed or altered.
(2). Proposed street system.
(3). Proposed block layouts.
c. Reasons justifying the petition.
d. A true statement revealing any conditions or restrictions of record (if any) which would affect the permitted uses of the property if rezoned as requested and the date or dates (if any) of expiration thereof.
e. Such photographs, drawings, and other supporting documents (if any) as the applicant may desire to present.
f. Payment of a filing fee in an amount established by a schedule adopted by resolution of the Council and filed in the offices of the Town Clerk. No part of the filing fee shall be returnable. Payment of filing fee shall be waived when the change or amendment is initiated by the Council or the Commission or when the petitioner is the Town, school district, special purpose district, county, state or federal government.
2. Under certain circumstances where the Community Development Director finds that the nature of the permitted or special use is such that it would be unnecessary or economically unfeasible for the applicant to prepare a plan in accordance with above stated requirements, the Community Development Director may waive certain of the above requirements, but in all cases the applicant will be required to prepare and submit some type of site plan drawn to scale.
4. Any plan approved by the Community Development Director under the provisions of Section 2.04, which requires a zoning change, must substantially conform to the tentative plan submitted as part of the petition for a change of district boundaries.
C. Hearings: When the Planning and Zoning Commission holds a public hearing concerning the zoning ordinance, notice of the time and place of the hearing including a general explanation of the matter to be considered and including a general description of the area affected shall be given at least fifteen (15) days before the hearing in the following manner:
1. The notice shall be published at least once in a newspaper of general circulation published or circulated in Fountain Hills. A posted notice shall be printed so that the following are visible from a distance of one hundred (100) feet: the word "ZONING", the present zoning district classification, the proposed zoning district classification and the date and time of the hearing.
2. In proceedings involving rezoning of land, which abuts other municipalities or unincorporated areas of the county or a combination thereof, copies of the notice of public hearing shall be transmitted to the planning agency of such governmental unit abutting such land. In addition to notice by publication, a municipality may give notice of the hearing in such other manner, as it may deem necessary or desirable.
3. In proceedings that are not initiated by the property owner involving rezoning of land which may change the zoning classification, notice by first class mail shall be sent to each real property owner, as shown on the last assessment of the property, of the area to be rezoned and all property owners, as shown on the last assessment of the property, within three hundred feet of the property, to be rezoned.
4. In proceedings involving one or more of the following proposed changes or related series of changes in the standards governing land uses, notice shall be provided in the manner prescribed by Subsection (C)(5) of this Section:
a. A ten percent or more increase or decrease in the number of square feet or units that may be developed.
b. A ten percent or more increase or reduction in the allowable height of buildings.
d. A ten percent or more increase or decrease in setback or open space requirements.
e. An increase or reduction in permitted uses.
5. In proceedings governed by Subsection (C)(4) of this Section, the municipality shall provide notice to real property owners pursuant to at least one of the following notification procedures:
a. Notice shall be sent by first class mail to each real property owner, as shown on the last assessment, whose real property is directly governed by changes.
b. If the Town issues utility bills or other mass mailings that periodically include notices or other informational or advertising materials, the municipality shall include notice of such changes with such utility bills or other mailings.
c. The Town shall publish such changes prior to the first hearing on such changes in a newspaper of general circulation in the Town. The changes shall be published in a "display ad" covering not less than one-eighth of a full page.
6. If notice is provided pursuant to Subdivisions (b) or (c) of Paragraph (5), the municipality shall also send notice by first class mail to persons who register their names and addresses with the municipality as being interested in receiving such notice. The municipality may charge a fee not to exceed five dollars per year for providing this service and may adopt procedures to implement this provision.
7. Not withstanding the notice requirements set forth in Subsection (C)(4) of this Section, the failure of any person or entity to receive notice shall not constitute grounds for any court to invalidate the actions of a municipality for which the notice was given.
D. Commission Action:
1. Upon receipt of any complete application for amendment, the Community Development Director shall fix a reasonable time for the hearing of the proposed zone change, amendment, or addition and shall give notice in accordance with the Public Notice Requirements Deadline in Section 2.01(C) of this ordinance. The Commission may for any reason, when it deems such action necessary or desirable, continue such hearing to a time and certain place. Within sixty – (60) days after the date of the original hearing, the Commission shall render its decision in the form of a written recommendation to the Council. The recommendation shall include the rationale for the recommendation. However, if the Commission is not able to make a recommendation to the Council at the continued meeting and the applicant does not consent to a further continuance, the matter shall be automatically forwarded to the Council with a recommendation for denial.
2. Prior to publishing a petitioned zoning map change, the Commission may, on its own motion, delimit or extend the boundaries of such area, so as to constitute a more reasonable zone district boundary.
E. Council Action:
1. Once the Commission has held a public hearing, the Council may adopt the recommendations of the Commission without holding a public hearing if there is no objection, request for public hearing, or other protest. The Council shall hold a public hearing if requested by the party aggrieved or any member of the public or of the Council. Notice of the time and place of the hearing shall be given in the time and manner provided for the giving of notice of the hearing by the Commission as specified in Subsection C). In addition, the Town may give notice of the hearing in such other manner, as it may deem necessary or desirable.
2. If the owners of twenty (20) percent or more either of the area of the lots included in a proposed change, or of those immediately adjacent in the rear or any side thereof extending one hundred and fifty (150) feet therefrom, or of those directly opposite thereto extending one hundred and fifty (150) feet from the street frontage of the opposite lots, file a protest in writing against a proposed amendment, it shall not become effective except by the favorable vote of three-fourths (3/4) of all members of the Council. If any members of the Council are unable to vote on such a question because of a conflict of interest, then the required number of votes for passage of the question shall be three-fourths (3/4) of the remaining membership of the Council, providing that such required number of votes shall in no event be less than a majority of the full membership of the Town Council.
4. The Council shall not make any changes in any proposed zoning district boundaries or zoning district classification recommended by the Commission until such proposed changes have been referred back to the Commission for a report. Failure of the Commission to file a report back to the Council within a specified time response period shall be deemed to be approval of the proposed changes. The specified time period for a Commission response shall be fifteen (15) days from the date of receipt of the recommended change(s), unless the Commission requests and the Council grants an extension of an additional fifteen (15) days.
F. Reconsideration of Denied Amendments: In the event that a petition for an amendment is denied by the Council, or is withdrawn after the Commission hearing, the Commission shall not consider the petition or any other petition for the same amendment of this ordinance as it applies to the same property described in the original petition, or any part thereof, within a period of one (1) year from the date of such denial action, or withdrawal unless the conditions, upon which the original denial or withdrawal was based, have changed.
G. Exceptions: In the event that a request for amendment concerns only the amendment of general requirements of this ordinance, no signature of affected property owners or posting of property shall be required; however, there shall be compliance with all other provisions of this section.
H. Exceptional Procedures for Rezoning Land to the Open Space Recreational (OSR) or Open Space Conservation (OSC) or Open Space Preservation OSP Zoning Districts: In addition to the procedural regulations contained in this Chapter, all of the following procedures are required to be met prior to rezoning land to the OSR or OSC or OSP Zoning Districts:
1. The property owner(s) and any lienholders of record shall specifically request, in writing, that the zoning district designation be applied to their property.
a. If the property is to be rezoned to the Open Space Recreational Zoning District, that the owner has voluntarily requested a zoning district designation that provides for little economic use of the property and that the owner is fully informed and aware of this fact.
b. If the property is to be rezoned to the Open Space Conservation Zoning District, that the owner has voluntarily requested a zoning district designation that provides for no viable economic use of the property and that the owner is fully informed and aware of this fact.
c. If the property is to be rezoned to the Open Space Preservation Zoning District, that the owner has either voluntarily requested, or has agreed to, a zoning district designation that provides for little economic use of the property and that the owner is fully informed and aware of this fact.