Tag Archives: development

June 8, 2017 • Newsletter

City Council Work Session

Community Development User Fee Discussion

The current FY18 budget is supported in part by direct charges for services provided by the city. These charges for services fall into three broad groups including utility rates, development impact fees, and user fees. With that being said, the revision of utility rates and development impact fees is highly regulated by state law. Though less regulated, user fees do have state mandated posting requirements and Comprehensive Financial Management Policies call for a periodic examination of user fees to determine an acceptable rate of cost recovery. In order to ensure compliance with state mandates and to facilitate a more consistent user fee policy process, a consolidated user fee schedule was adopted by City Council in FY16. User Fees make up $9.8 million of the estimated User Fee Revenue for FY18. Community Development fees are $2.4 million of that amount. The Community Development Department has not conducted a formal overhaul of the Community Development User Fees since 2010, under Resolution 2010-23, which had an effective date of April 1, 2010. There have been subsequent minor modifications in 2012 and 2016 but not a thorough review of the fees. The Department’s goal is to recover all or part of program costs associated with development; some of which include various other departments.

Community Outreach consists of a written notice of the proposed fee schedule on our city website, distribution of information via the city’s social media outlets with a notice of intent and the potential City Council adoption on August 15, 2017.


Special City Council Meeting

Public Hearing on Budget, Truth in Taxation and Property Tax Levies

The city is required to hold a public hearing on proposed expenditures and tax levy in which any taxpayer may appear and be heard in favor of or against any proposed expenditure or tax levy. Pursuant to Arizona Revised Statute 42-17107, any increase in the primary property tax levy, exclusive of new growth, must go through a Truth in Taxation hearing. Statute requires that a public hearing is held prior to the levy of property taxes for street light improvement districts (SLIDS). A public hearing was conducted with no comments from the public.

The resolution adopting the FY18 final budget and the notices of intent to levy primary and street light improvement districts property tax levies were adopted as part of this meeting. The resolution was passed unanimously.

The FY18 Budget, approved at $275.8 million, maintains city services and the primary property tax rate of $0.7591 per $100 of assessed property valuation. Due to new construction and higher property valuations, as assessed by Maricopa County that would generate approximately $380,100 in new money.

The property tax levy adoption is scheduled for discussion and action for the City Council meeting on June 20.


City Council Meeting

Mattamy Preliminary Plat Discussion

Community Development Director Eric Fitzer provided an overview of the preliminary plat for City Center, a 56.38 acre property located along Statler Boulevard west of Litchfield Road, which included a multi-phased, attached and detached, single-family lot subdivision. The applicant proposed a total of 369 residential lots on 50.7 acres for a density of 7.28 dwelling units per acre. The lots would consist of a combination of 50 foot by 60 foot detached, 46 foot by 80 foot detached, and 50 foot by 60 foot duplex parcels. The plat also included 9.9 acres of land that would provide 17.6 open space for the development.

City Council voted to deny the approval of the Mattamy preliminary plat by a 4-3 vote.

City Council Approves Bond for November Ballot

City Council unanimously approved sending three General Obligation Bond questions in the areas of Public Safety, Traffic Congestion Mitigation and Pavement Preservation to the ballot in a Special Election on November 7, 2017. All registered voters in Surprise will receive a ballot by mail. Residents are invited to learn more about the projects, costs and voter information at a specialized website Decide Surprise www.surpriseaz.gov/decidesurprise.

The projects included in the following questions were based on community needs, comments received from residents during the 2016 bond election outreach process, and input received during and after the Surprise Capital Improvement Funding Exploratory Committee’s meeting that was held on April 19.

Question #1: Voters in Surprise are asked to consider a $34 million public safety bond proposal to: build a Public Safety Evidence & Readiness Center; renovate an existing city facility into a Police Training Facility; acquire Land for Future Fire Station/Police Substation & Park; build a new Fire Station at Cactus and Litchfield roads; build a new Fire Station along 163rd Avenue, south of Happy Valley Road, to replace the current temporary station; and build a Public Works Operations Facility to centralize operations. The annual cost for a homeowner would be approximately $26 per $100,000 in Limited Property Value (LPV).

Question #2: Voters in Surprise are asked to consider a $15.5 million street bond proposal to provide funds to plan, design, construct and improve Waddell, Greenway and Litchfield roads. The annual cost for a homeowner would be approximately $12 per $100,000 in Limited Property Value (LPV).

Question #3: Voters in Surprise are asked to consider a $10 million street pavement preservation bond proposal to plan, design, construct, replace and improve deteriorated street pavement citywide. The annual cost for a homeowner would be approximately $8 per $100,000 in Limited Property Value (LPV).

General Obligation Bonds are sold to investors who are repaid with interest. The repayment comes from a secondary property tax, which Surprise does not currently have. If all three questions are approved, the annual secondary property tax could be up to $46 per $100,000 in Limited Property Value, or approximately $4 per month. ($92 per $200,000 in Limited Property Value, or approximately $8 per month). You can determine the exact cost to your property by following the steps listed at www.surpriseaz.gov/decidesurprise.

Educational public meetings will be scheduled ahead of the November 7 Special Election. Meeting dates and locations will be posted at www.surpriseaz.gov/decidesurprise.

Voter registration for this election closes on October 9. You can register online by visiting: https://recorder.maricopa.gov/elections/registrationform.aspx, or stop by the Surprise City Clerk’s Office in person Monday thru Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

City Clerk Employment Contract

At the request of the Performance Evaluation Leaders Committee consisting of Councilman John Williams and myself, an employment contract for City Clerk Sherry Aguilar was drafted. Her former contract was set to expire on June 30, 2017. Her employment contract is now in harmony with the other Council appointed positions and it was approved unanimously.


Events & Meetings

Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission Meeting

The Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission met on Monday, June 5. Several items were discussed including the Arts & Culture Master Plan that will set the standard and strategic direction for how the city will continue to implement and enjoy arts and culture. Planner Joshua Mike and Designing Local consultant Josh Lapp provided an overview of their current community outreach plans that consists of several roundtable discussions with arts and cultural stakeholders. The discussions were held this week.


Mark Your Calendar

Valley Metro to Host Dial-a-Ride Transition Public Meeting

The city of Surprise, in partnership with Valley Metro, will host a public outreach meeting on Wednesday, June 14 to provide current Northwest Valley Dial-a-Ride passengers an opportunity to learn about the new transportation service models prior to the July 1 transition of Dial-a-Ride to RideChoice and Valley Metro Paratransit.

The outreach meeting will be held in the Surprise City Hall Community Room, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza, on June 14 from 4:00-5:30 p.m. A brief presentation will begin at 4 p.m. Customers unable to attend the meeting can stay informed about the Dial-a-Ride service changes by visiting www.surpriseaz.gov/transportation.


Did You Know?

Surprise Named National Finalist for 2017 Best Intergenerational Community Award

The City of Surprise has been selected as a National Finalist for the 2017 MetLife Foundation/Generations United America’s Best Intergenerational Communities Awards. Since 2012, the awards program has recognized 24 innovative communities across America that are leading the way by incorporating intergenerational solutions that engage the wisdom and vitality of all generations. Surprise was recognized for its intergenerational workforce development partnerships that promote a greater sense of community while establishing and tapping into our current and future talent pool.

Those programs include:

Surprise City Court Explorers Program – an interactive worksite-based career education program affiliated with the Boys Scouts of America that introduces high school students to career opportunities in the judicial and legal lines of work

Helping Partners Program – a vocational training program for adults with cognitive and developmental disabilities that is offered by nonprofits Benevilla and One Step Beyond in partnership with the city

Summer Youth Employment Program – a summer jobs program for teens where they to receive professional development training through city internships; from shadowing a building inspector to working with seniors

Other programs and services included the Surprise Citizen Patrol, Surprise Community Pride Day, Crisis Response Team and the Block Party Trailer Program.

The award entry also cited how volunteerism in the city engages all generations to share their time and talent to maintain and grow community vitality. Our volunteers assist our police and fire-medical departments, beautify the community through clean up events, help raise money for college scholarships and more.

The winning community is Two Harbors, Minnesota. The other National Finalists are: Jenks Public Schools in Jenks, Oklahoma, and the Town of Yarmouth, Massachusetts. A blue-ribbon panel of judges selected the winning entries from among a host of applicants from across the country. Presentation of this year’s awards will occur at the 2017 Global Intergenerational Conference on June 14 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

The Best Intergenerational Communities awards program is made possible with a grant from MetLife Foundation.

Surprise Community Outreach Grant Program Application Opens

A City Council-led initiative to assist community organizations in providing programs and events that benefit City of Surprise residents is now accepting applications. Council set aside $65,000 for FY2017-2018 for the Surprise Community Outreach Program in an effort to support and grow qualified local programs and events to improve the health and welfare of Surprise residents.

To be considered, applicants must be a 501(c)3 organization or partner with a 501(c)3 verified agency. The maximum award per applicant is $10,000. According to program guidelines, funds are distributed by reimbursement through an invoice process. The application, complete program details and eligibility requirements are available online at: www.surpriseaz.gov/communityoutreachprogram.

Applications will be accepted until Friday, August 11 and should be post-marked to:

Human Service & Community Vitality Department
City of Surprise
Attention: Jodi Tas
16000 N. Civic Center Plaza
Surprise, AZ 85374

A pre-application meeting that will include information about the program and the application process will be held on Wednesday, July 12, at 11 a.m. at Surprise City Hall- Overflow Room, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza. For more information, please contact Jodi Tas at 623.222.1330 or jodi.tas@surpriseaz.gov.

Contact Me

Office: 623.222.1325
Mobile: 623.451.3975
Email: skip.hall@surpriseaz.gov

Ask a Question

June 1, 2017 • Newsletter

City Updates

Truth in Taxation Notice

Many of you have been inquiring about the recent press release pertaining the Truth in Taxation Hearing Notice that was distributed on Friday, May 26 (See Press Release). The city is required by state law to post annually a Truth in Taxation Notice. The verbiage is very specific and may lead to confusion. To clarify, the city is not raising property taxes. The City Council can only set the property tax rate, which we have agreed will remain at $0.7591 per $100 of assessed limited property value for the upcoming year.

The Truth in Taxation statement is showing the results of applying the same rate to the latest assessed limited property values for the city. The average assessed limited property value, as determined by the Maricopa County Assessor, increased by 3.7%. Applying this same rate to the new assessed limited property values results in the 3.7% increase in the amount referred to the aforementioned statement. While the rate is not increasing, the assessed property values are.

You are invited to attend and speak at the June 6 Regular City Council Meeting, 6 p.m. at Surprise City Hall, should you have any comments on this topic. At that meeting, Council will vote on our intention to levy primary property taxes in the amount of $0.7591 per $100 of assessed valuation and set the property tax levy adoption for the June 20 Council Meeting.

City Development

I have also been receiving inquiries about the construction occurring at Bell Road and Civic Center Drive. The property is known as Thompson Thrift which consists of a 9-acre small retail center that will include Raising Canes and In & Out Burger.

Civic Center Drive Expansion

Road construction to extend Civic Center Drive to one lane in each direction between Paradise Lane and Bell Road is scheduled to begin next month. When complete in September 2017, the much anticipated roadway will provide direct connection to Surprise City Hall from Bell Road. As development occurs adjacent to the roadway, there are plans to fully build Civic Center Drive to two lanes in each direction with a center median and sidewalks.


Events & Meetings

Memorial Day Activities

Last weekend, I was honored to participate in multiple Memorial Day events including the following:

  • Wreath laying ceremony at the WWII Memorial outside the Northwest Regional Library coordinated by the City of Surprise Community and Recreation Services Department in partnership with American Legion Post 96 and the Marine Corps League White Tank Mountain Detachment #1246
  • Wreath laying ceremony at the Nick Bacon Memorial located at City Hall that was hosted by VFW Post 285 led by Commander Glen Stark
  • The Sun Village Memorial Day Remembrance led by resident Tomas Garcia and a host of volunteers
  • 6th Annual Memorial Day Ceremony at Radiant Church organized and coordinated by the Veterans Memorial Hall Committee led by Larry Brown and George Van de Langeryt. This particular ceremony included a tribute to Bill Lipscomb who was instrumental in the planning of ceremonies in years past.

Review of Appointed Officials’ Goals

Councilman John Williams and I met to review and discuss the FY18 goals of the City Manager, City Clerk and City Attorney. The final edition of said goals will be forwarded to the rest of City Council for review and discussion in Executive Session at the City Council meeting scheduled for Tuesday, June 6.

Surprise Police Department Celebration of Gail Kuhn

image of Officer Gail Kuhn
Community Services Officer (CSO) Gail Kuhn

The Surprise Police Department hosted a retirement celebration honoring Community Services Officer (CSO) Gail Kuhn on Wednesday, May 31. CSO Kuhn began employment with the Surprise Fire Department in January 2005 and joined the Surprise Police Department in June 2009. CSO Kuhn received many commendations throughout her employment and also received the Police Department “Civilian of the Year” award in 2012.


Mark Your Calendar

Valley Metro to Host Dial-a-Ride Transition Public Meeting

The city of Surprise, in partnership with Valley Metro, will host a public outreach meeting on Wednesday, June 14 to provide current Northwest Valley Dial-a-Ride passengers an opportunity to learn about the new transportation service models prior to the July 1 transition of Dial-a-Ride to RideChoice and Valley Metro Paratransit.

Information about the shared route Senior Bus will also be presented at the meeting. Following the presentation, city and Valley Metro representatives will be available to answer questions about the transportation services.

Individuals needing reasonable accommodations should contact the ADA coordinator at 623.222.3531 (Voice); or 623.222.3503 (TTY) at least three (3) business days prior to the meeting so arrangements can be made.

The outreach meeting will be held in the Surprise City Hall Community Room, 16000 N. Civic Center Plaza, on June 14 from 4:00-5:30 p.m. A brief presentation will begin at 4 p.m. Customers unable to attend the meeting can stay informed about the Dial-a-Ride service changes by visiting www.surpriseaz.gov/transportation.

Share Your Thoughts on Arts & Culture Master Plan

The city in the process of developing an Arts and Culture Master Plan that will set the standard and strategic direction for how we continue to implement and enjoy arts and culture. We are asking for your help in shaping that plan, and there are several opportunities to do that!

Please take our online survey, available at www.surpriseartsplan.com/survey, and join us for one of the following roundtable discussions:

Tuesday, June 6
1:30-3:30 p.m.
Marley Park Heritage Club, 15210 W Sweetwater Avenue

Tuesday, June 6
5:30-7:30 p.m.
Surprise City Hall – Community Room, 16000 N Civic Center Plaza

Wednesday, June 7
1:30-3:30 p.m.
Sonoran Plaza at Sun City Grand – Palms Room, 19753 N Remington Drive

Thursday, June 8
2:30-4:30 p.m.
Surprise City Hall – Community Room, 16000 N Civic Center Plaza

The survey results and public input meetings will help us create a draft Arts and Culture Master Plan that will be presented to the community, the Surprise Arts and Cultural Advisory Commission and the Surprise City Council for review and feedback.

For more information on the plan, process and timeline, please visit our Arts and Culture Master Plan webpage at www.surpriseaz.gov/artsplan. For questions, please contact Joshua Mike at joshua.mike@surpriseaz.gov or 623.222.3134.


Did You Know?

Surprise Joins Heat Relief Network

The city of Surprise is a Heat Relief Network partner, providing hydration and refuge stations for those in need of a place to cool off during the hot summer months. The Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) coordinates mapping of the Heat Relief Network – a network of service providers, faith-based groups, municipalities, businesses, and caring citizens mobilizing to provide hydration and heat refuge for people in need. The ultimate goal of the Heat Relief Network is to help prevent heat-related deaths. The Heat Relief Network will run from May through September.

Designated hydration stations in Surprise include the Surprise Resource Center, 12425 W Bell Road Building A Suite 124, and Surprise Fire-Medical Station #301 (FS 301), 16750 N Village Drive East. FS 301 is also a place of refuge to cool off during the day. You can help those in need of relief by donating water bottles, sun screen, sun glasses and hats at either of the heat relief locations.

City Seeking Donations for Homeless

Surprise has partnered with the Valley of the Sun United Way, the Salvation Army and Rio Salado Community College to bring Project Connect to Surprise on Wednesday, July 26 and we need your help to make this humanitarian event a success! Project Connect works with organizations to provide a broad range of vital health and human services such as applying for birth certificates, getting social security cards, haircuts, bicycle repair, and meals, in a single accessible location.

You can help by donating items listed below in one of the designated boxes at City Hall, 16000 N Civic Center Plaza; Surprise Police Department or Surprise Fire-Medical Department, 14250 W Statler Plaza; or at the Surprise Senior Center, 15832 N Hollyhock Street, by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, July 25.

Here are the requested donations:

  • New underwear & new socks
  • Shirts
  • Pants/shorts
  • Granola bars
  • Water bottles
  • Dog food
  • General hygiene products (toothpaste, toothbrush, combs, brushes, soap, deodorant)

Are you interested in volunteering at this deserving event? Volunteers will serve as Guest Guides and will be partnered with homeless individuals and families to lead them to and from each service professional. View the United Way Project Connect Volunteer Overview video to learn more about being a volunteer.

Guest Guides must be at least 18 years old. Morning, afternoon or full-day shifts are available; volunteers will be asked to report to the Salvation Army, 17420 Ave of the Arts, Surprise. Select a shift and sign up on the United Way Project Connect Surprise event page. Please contact Jason Hughes, jason.hughes@surpriseaz.gov if you have questions about the event.


Contact Me

Office: 623.222.1325
Mobile: 623.451.3975
Email: skip.hall@surpriseaz.gov

Ask a Question

Mainstreet to develop a new transitional care center in Surprise, AZ

Mainstreet®, the nation’s largest developer of transitional care properties, will open a Next Generation® property in Surprise in the fall of 2016. The transitional care center will provide post-acute care and recovery services to patients following hospital interventions or surgeries.

The new Surprise development will be approximately 70,000 square feet and located on five acres just south of Grand Avenue at the northwest corner of Parkview Place and Parkwood Drive. This physician-based health care property will have up to 100 patient rooms with a focus on the patient experience.

“From day one, the community of Surprise welcomed Mainstreet with open arms,” said Chris Alexander, Mainstreet’s senior development director. “We’re excited to be developing our latest transitional care center in this location, and look forward to being part of this community for many years to come.”

City of Surprise Mayor Sharon Wolcott says the project will be beneficial in several ways.

“Mainstreet aligns with the Council’s strategic plan of attracting specialty medical services as well as more jobs to Surprise that enables residents the opportunity to work in their hometown,” said Wolcott. “This project also represents a tremendous private capital investment in our community that positively impacts the growth and development of our city.”

The Mainstreet project was a lead provided by the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC), the regional economic development organization for Greater Phoenix that works with its 23 member communities, Maricopa County and more than 170 private investors to attract quality businesses to the region. With this project, Mainstreet is projected to create 100 new jobs and bring approximately $20 million of capital investment to Surprise. The company is headquartered in Carmel, Indiana with ongoing development in Texas, Kansas and Colorado as well as 20 properties currently operating in Indiana.


About Mainstreet

Mainstreet is a national company specializing in real estate development, value investments and health care. As the nation’s largest developer of transitional care properties, Mainstreet has been recognized by Senior Housing News, winning the Architecture & Design Award in 2013 and 2014, and has been named to the Inc. 500l5000 five times since 2010. For additional information, visit www.mainstreetinvestment.com.