Saturday, June 25, 2011

Planning panel OKs hike in building height, density for Safari's Phase 2

The Scottsdale Planning Commission has endorsed ST Residential's proposal for the second phase of the Safari Drive condominium complex along the Arizona Canal north of Camelback Road.

The proposal seeks amended development standards under the city's downtown infill-incentive district and plan. Those include:

- An increase in maximum building height to 105 feet from 65 feet.

- An increase in overall density to 55 units per acre from 50.

- An increase in the floor area of the buildings.

The proposed height increase would make Phase 2 substantially higher than the first phase, which is approximately 60 feet. However, it would be hidden from Scottsdale Road behind Gray Development Group's Blue Sky apartment complex, which will have a maximum building height of 128 feet.

The Safari Drive Phase 2 building heights would be 63 feet and 68 feet nearest the first phase and then would reach 105 feet next to Blue Sky.

The commission unanimously recommended Wednesday that the City Council approve the changes. The council will consider the proposal when it returns from its break in August.

Commissioner Jay Petkunas, a Safari Drive resident, wasn't at the meeting, while Commissioner Michael Edwards, an architect, recused himself from considering the case because he is working for ST Residential on the second phase.

Commission Chairman Michael D'Andrea supported the proposal, saying he liked the transition in building heights and that it would be "relatively obscure" compared with Blue Sky.

The seven-building first phase includes 89 units on about 3 acres. The second phase would include 160 units in two buildings on 1.87 acres.

Commissioner Michael Schmitt said he was "pleasantly surprised" by the proposal and likes the spacing of the buildings and the transition in building heights.

"It does get lost behind Blue Sky," he said.

The infill-incentive district and plan established a building-height maximum of 150 feet north of the Arizona Canal and surrounding Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn Medical Center.

In April, the council approved Blue Sky, the first proposal filed under the district and plan and is set to consider the second proposal, Scottsdale and Angus, at its meeting Tuesday. That proposal seeks a maximum building height of 90 feet at Scottsdale Road and Angus Drive.

by Edward Gately The Arizona Republic Jun. 24, 2011 12:52 PM

Planning panel OKs hike in building height, density for Safari's Phase 2

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