Tag Archives: zoning

October 5, 2017 • Newsletter

City Council Work Session

Public Safety Retirement System Financial Status

Staff presented an update on the status of the Arizona Public Safety Personnel Retirement System (PSPRS). The system was established on July 1, 1968 to provide a uniform, consistent, and equitable statewide retirement program for Arizona’s public safety personnel. Due to several depressions in the economy during the 2000’s the fund went from being fully funded in 2000 to having only half the money needed to pay its obligations in 2010. This led to a number of reforms intended to help ensure PSPRS can and will exist for future generations of public safety employees. This was the first installment in a multi-chapter discussion on the status of the system, future outlook, and action plan for the statewide system and for the city of Surprise.


City Council Meeting

Domestic Violence Awareness Proclamation

Mayor Wolcott officially proclaimed October “Domestic Violence Awareness Month” Tuesday evening. In honor of this issue, purple lights will shine from Surprise City Hall and the city’s public safety building to help raise awareness about domestic violence. Purple is the nationally-recognized color signifying domestic violence awareness. Residents can help raise awareness by joining city of Surprise employees in wearing purple clothing or a purple ribbon throughout the month of October. This year, national wear purple day is Thursday, October 19. Help “Paint Surprise Purple” and show your support via social media using the hashtags #PurpleThursday #PaintSurprisePurple.

Surprise City Hall at night lite with purple light

Millions of men and women are victimized by domestic violence each year. If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, you are encouraged to call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE or visit www.TheHotline.org. Additionally, Eve’s Place provides mobile advocacy services for victims of domestic and sexual abuse weekly at the city’s Surprise Resource Center. Individual appointments and support groups are available for adults and teens. The Surprise Resource Center also partners with New Life Center, Sojourner Center, Hope Women’s Center and New Leaf’s Faith House to support victims of domestic violence.

The Surprise Resource Center is located on the city’s AZ TechCelerator campus at 12425 W Bell Rd. Suite 124. For more information, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/resourcecenter or call 623.222.1600.

Public Hearing

City Council approved a zone change request for ten acres located at the southeast corner of 175th Avenue and Sweetwater Avenue. The approved zoning will allow up to 50 single-family residential lots with a minimum lot size of 4,000 square feet; however, a separate Preliminary Plat is currently under review, which anticipates 44 lots. The developer of these ten acres will be responsible for completing street improvements along 175th Avenue adjacent to the site, in addition to half-street improvements along Sweetwater adjacent to the site. The city has also received development applications for additional properties located north of Sweetwater, one of which was the subject of a neighborhood meeting being held by the applicant at Paradise Honors High School earlier this week.

FY2017 Financial Status Report

During the FY2018 budget process, estimates of FY2017 expenses and revenues were presented. These FY2017 estimates helped define the available funds for FY2018. The staff presentation gauged the FY2017 estimates against actual financial performance. As the annual financial audit is currently underway, the amounts presented are not yet final for FY2017. Total FY2017 resources were greater than estimated by $1.9M and total expenditures were less than expected by $3.6M which led to an ending balance of $3.3M greater than expected. The balance will be applied to public safety personnel retirement system employee refunds made earlier this fiscal year.


Events & Meetings

Bloomberg Philanthropies “Idea Accelerator” Workshop

Mayor Sharon Wolcott, Vice Mayor Todd Tande and I joined 12 others including two Planning & Zoning Commissioners and the minority partners who own the land outside City Hall (known as SCDC) on Thursday, September 29 as part of the Bloomberg Philanthropies “Idea Accelerator” workshop. Unfortunately, the majority partner was absent due to illness. The purpose of the workshop was to provide city officials, developers, and local business stakeholders with strategies and tools to identify and address issues as related to building the city’s downtown. All present agreed that the current state of land is not delivering.

Benevilla Professional Friends Luncheon

Councilmembers Roland Winters, Ken Remley and I attended Benevilla’s Professional Friends Luncheon on Friday, September 29 at Rio Salado Community College. Together, we honored the awardee, Amber Hughes from Ryley, Carlock & Applewhite, with their esteemed Professional Friends recognition for outstanding work supporting our community. We were also provided with important updates on the fantastic programs and services Benevilla offers.

Dick McComb City Park Ceremony

Most of City Council joined Community and Recreation Services staff and the Community and Recreation Advisory Commission members on Saturday, September 30 when the City officially renamed Surprise Farms Community Park to Dick McComb City Park. Mr. McComb was our city’s longest-tenured City Manager (1990-2000) who played an instrumental role in the success of our city.

Love Our Schools Day

On the morning of Saturday, September 30, the Surprise Youth Council (SYC) led a service initiative for Love Our Schools Day. This annual event, which is dedicated to organizing community volunteers to perform meaningful acts of service at local schools, was a perfect opportunity for our SYC members to show their heart and character. Eleven SYC members and more than a dozen community members recruited by SYC, worked inside and outdoors at Thompson Ranch Elementary School where 80% of the school’s students reside in Surprise. They cleared and repaired an overgrown garden that will now be used by 1st and 2nd graders to grow vegetables and learn about science. They painted large outdoor learning tools for math and reading that teachers can use to teach students outside when they’ve been cooped up indoors for too long during the cooler months. Additionally, they performed much needed maintenance tasks in the school’s classrooms and cafeteria, where they scrubbed tables, desks, and walls. Councilmen Remley and I were on hand to support this initiative, passing out supplies to volunteers and encouraging their commitment to community stewardship. Thompson Ranch Principal Rachel Saunders and Assistant Principal Casey Kuhn offered their own skills to each task and expressed their great appreciation for the impact these services will have on their students.

Councilman Hall, SYC and community members

STEAM Showcase at Thompson Ranch Elementary School

I was invited to participate in the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Mathematics) Program at Thompson Ranch Elementary School on Monday, October 2. Throughout the tour, we visited pre-school through 8th grade classes as the students were learning about these subjects. Thank you to Thompson Ranch administration for hosting us!

STEM Council Meeting at Canyon Ridge Elementary School

Canyon Ridge STEM Council met on Monday, October 2 at Canyon Ridge Elementary School. Discussion items included Canyon Ridge Continuous Improvement Plan, the focus of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) work across grade levels and 2017-2018 STEM projects and initiatives such as iExplore and outdoor classroom.

Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission Meeting

The city’s Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission met on Monday, October 2. West Valley Arts HQ Director Bernadette Carroll presented on the Arts and Economic Prosperity report. This report is conducted by Americans for the Arts, a non-profit organization aimed at advancing the arts in our country. The report provides evidence that the non-profit arts and culture sector is a significant industry in the West Valley region, one that generates $23 million in total economic activity. Other items of discussion included the Veterans Art Show that will be held in conjunction with the Veterans Day Parade on November 11, the Public Art Bus tour that will be held on October 19 and other events held during Art week (October 14-23).


Mark Your Calendar

Join Us at Art Week Events

From October 14 – 23, the community is invited to participate in ‘Art Week’ – a collection of fun, family-friendly events designed to gather public input on the Surprise Arts & Culture Master Plan. There will be chances to help create a community art piece and win art too! Your input will help set the standard and strategic direction for how we continue to implement and enjoy arts and culture in the city of Surprise.

Find the Arts & Culture Master Plan booth at the following Art Week events, where you can fill out a short survey, collaborate on the community art piece and be entered to win a variety of art pieces donated by WHAM and the West Valley Arts Council:

Surprise Fiesta Grande

October 14, 3-9 p.m.
Villanueva Recreation Complex, 15660 N Hollyhock

Street Street-style festival featuring live music, authentic Mexican food, dancing, car show and kid zone. www.surpriseaz.gov/fiestagrande

Portrait Sessions & Outreach

Event October 16, 6 – 8 p.m.
Asante Community Park, 16763 W Vereda Solana Drive

Professional photographer will be available to take family portraits and provide the digital prints. Plus, other family fun activities will be available while you wait!

Public Art Bus Tour

October 18, 9 a.m. – noon
Meet at City Hall, 1600 Civic Center Plaza

See art galleries and public art installations around Surprise. Reserve your spot by calling Susan deJong at 623.214.7537. www.surpriseaz.gov/arts

West Valley Arts Council Block Party

October 19, 5-9 p.m.
West Valley Arts HQ, 16126 N Civic Center Plaza

Watch artists create art in real time and enjoy live music, a professional art gallery, local food trucks and more. www.westvalleyarts.org


Did You Know?

Greenway Road Improvements

Pavement preservation work on Greenway Road, Reems Road to Sarival Avenue, will begin Friday, October 6 and continue through Tuesday, October 17. Traffic will be reduced to one lane in each direction. Left turns will be restricted during work hours, 6 a.m. to 5 p.m.

This project is part of the city’s annual Pavement Preservation Program which identifies city streets that need treatment to rejuvenate, rehabilitate, and lengthen the life of the roadway. Learn more about the city’s Pavement Preservation Program at www.surpriseaz.gov/ppp.


Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

May 4, 2017 • Newsletter

City Council Work Session

Potential Renaming of Surprise Farms Park to Dick McComb City Park

Last year, the city lost a true icon…Mr. Dick McComb. Mr. McComb was hired as the Surprise Town Manager in November of 1990 and served through June 2000. He was instrumental in so many of our city’s successes. Mr. McComb is the longest tenure Town or City Manager for Surprise to date. After a few years of retirement, Mr. McComb went on to serve as Executive Director of Sun Village from February 1, 2007 through 2013. The communities of Arizona Traditions and Surprise Farms were developed in Surprise because of the relationships he built.

In recognition of his insurmountable achievements and in his loving memory, we had a discussion at the May 2 Work Session about the potential of renaming of Surprise Farms Park to Dick McComb City Park. All Council Members expressed that they were in favor of the renaming and gave consensus for the City Manager to direct staff to research how other cities address the naming of buildings, parks, etc. Once the research is completed, the policy and potential renaming of the park will be brought back to Council for consideration and possible action.

Library Feasibility Study Discussion

The City of Surprise is currently conducting a Library Feasibility Study. Surprise currently has two libraries, Northwest Regional Library (located on Bullard, near the Surprise Stadium) and Hollyhock Library (located in the Original Town Site). The city has an intergovernmental agreement with Maricopa County Library District to operate those facilities.

Orcutt Winslow, an architecture and planning firm, has been hired as the consultant to complete the study. The results of the study will guide future library operations, library renovation projects, and potential new library/libraries in the future. The results of the study will be completed in August and will be presented at a City Council meeting late August or early September.

Orcutt Winslow will be hosting several focus group meetings with stakeholders, city staff, teens, and Maricopa County library staff, as well as a community meeting, to obtain information for the study. There will be a survey on the city’s website that we would like all residents to take beginning May 8. I also invite you to attend the community meeting on May 11 in the Surprise Room of the Northwest Regional Library at 7 p.m. to provide your input on Surprise libraries today and your vision for the future.


City Council Meeting

New Surprise Youth Council Members Sworn In

Fifteen new members of the Surprise Youth Council will be joining fourteen returning members, creating our largest youth council yet. The new members are a diverse group and a direct result of deliberate recruitment efforts aimed at broadening our scope, diversity and reach.

Please join me in congratulating and welcoming our newest member members:

Tyrah Davis, TommiAnn DiCapo, Thalia Flores, Isabelle Hunsaker, Illona Illya, Gideon Kariuki, Joshua Laguit, Kaylena Madrid, Daryian Matthews, Cristian Moga, Elona Ogbaudu, Zoey Plytas, Andrea Soliz, Jade Stanton, Emilie Weston

New SYC members

Paradise Acres Rezoning

For many years, the residents of the 75-acre rural residential neighborhood located on Reems Road just south of Bell Road, commonly known as Paradise Acres, have struggled with developers, speculators, and even the City to maintain their rural lifestyle. Staff, as directed by City Council, set out to provide a solution that will benefit and appease all parties involved. The City Council approved a Rezone for approximately 16 acres of the 75-acre Paradise Acres area from Rural Residential and Medium Density Residential to Neighborhood Commercial with a PUD Overlay defining allowable land uses and dimensional standards. The Rezone with PUD Overlay demonstrates an opportunity for limited commercial development along Reems Road in accordance with the Surprise Unified Development Code and the General Plan. This solution should address concerns shared by all parties.

Preliminary Plat Approval for Altamira

Altamira is a new Master Planned Community consisting of 178 acres that will be located west of the Reems Road alignment and north of Pinnacle Peak Road. This new residential community will include 178 single-family residential lots consisting of three lot sizes on five development parcels, together with abundant neighborhood amenities including 59 acres of open space. City Council unanimously approved the Preliminary Plat for Altamira following the Planning Commission’s recommendation. It is envisioned that the developer will submit their Final Plat and engineering drawings in the near future.

Tentative FY18 Budget Adoption

City Council adopted the tentative budget for the upcoming fiscal year (FY) 2018 in the amount of $336.9 million. This includes $276.2 million of expenses and $60.7 million of transfers between different funds within the City. This represents an increase of $0.4 million from the City Manager’s recommended budget presented on April 18.

Operating expenses account for $162 million or 48% of the total budget. This includes a Peak Time Response Unit to strengthen Fire response times and two community policing officers, both programs partially funded by grants. A third ambulance will be brought into service funded through transport revenues. Capital Improvement expenses total $49.7 million, a large portion of which is dedicated to maintaining or replacing infrastructure and equipment.

The FY2018 tentative budget also includes $56.6 million in contingency that is set aside for future planned or potentially unforeseen purposes. In addition to the budgeted amounts, the City will have $37.2 million held in reserve. The budget is balanced, meaning that the sources of funds is greater than or equal to the uses of funds for FY2018. This is the first step in adopting the fiscal year budget and sets the maximum expenditure limit for the upcoming fiscal year that starts on July 1. The Council will look to finalize the process by adopting the final budget on June 6 and the property tax levy on June 20.


Events & Meetings

Kingswood Parke Block Party

District 5 HOA Kingswood Parke hosted their annual Spring Fling Block Party on Saturday, April 29. Almost 200 residents attended the fun event. Thank you to Kingswood Parke for the invite and opportunity to engage with you!


Mark Your Calendar

Surprise Safety Day

Join us for Surprise Safety Day on Saturday, May 6! It’s a fun, interactive and educational event focused on the city’s public safety services, water safety and more! The event will be held from 8-11 a.m. at the Surprise Aquatic Center, 15831 N Bullard Avenue, and will showcase emergency vehicles and equipment and feature interactive exhibits and live demonstrations on water safety, CPR and the city’s public safety services.

The Surprise Aquatic Center will be conducting free swim lesson assessments and swim team tryouts during the event. Participants are encouraged to bring a bathing suit and towel; the pool is heated.

Surprise Safety Day is hosted by the Surprise Aquatic Center in partnership with the Surprise Police and Fire-Medical departments and is presented by Banner Del E. Webb Medical Center. For more information about Safety Day, swim lesson assessments or swim team tryouts, please contact the Community and Recreation Services office at 623.222.2000.

Surprise Talent Show

Come see our local stars shine at the Surprise Talent Show on Friday, May 12! The performance begins at 6 p.m. at the Valley Vista Performing Arts Center, located at 15550 N. Parkview Place.

Tickets can be purchased in advance for $3 at the Community and Recreation Services office, 15960 N. Bullard Avenue, or at the door for $5.

Performances will include a variety of acts within three talent categories: youth, teens and adults. For more information, please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/specialevents or call 623.222.2000.


Did You Know?

Valley Metro Shares Dial-A-Ride Transition

Surprise Dial-a-Ride customers have more information about the July 1, 2017 Northwest Valley service model changes now that Valley Metro has released new ADA Paratransit Frequently Asked Questions and a customer outreach timeline.

Valley Metro, in partnership with Surprise, is contacting current Dial-a-Ride customers directly to inform them of the upcoming changes:

Riders in Surprise will receive an initial letter from Valley Metro introducing them to the new services the second week of May.

The city and Valley Metro staff will host a public meeting late May to discuss the changes and answer questions.

Surprise Dial-a-Ride customers will receive a second letter with additional information, including an updated Ride Guide, in mid-June.

Beginning July 1 Valley Metro’s contracted service provider Transdev will operate shared “Paratransit” and senior bus transportation services for Surprise and Northwest Valley customers; Valley Metro is also transitioning the Surprise taxi service model from Dial-a-Ride to RideChoice.

In addition to a new fleet that features mini-vans and cutaway vans, the vehicles will have paint schemes that incorporate the Valley Metro logo to make them more recognizable.

Information about the service model changes will continue to be shared at www.surpriseaz.gov/transportation as it becomes available.

Residence Inn Wins Hotel of The Year

The Residence Inn by Marriott in Surprise recently received the prestigious Hotel of the Year award for the second year in a row at the 2017 General Managers Conference in New Orleans. Receiving a total of three awards, the Residence Inn Surprise is thrilled to share this remarkable achievement with the Marriott International and Residence Inn community, as well as all of Surprise.

In addition to the Hotel of the Year, the Residence Inn Surprise also won the prestigious Diamond Hotel Award and the enthusiastic breakfast staff received a Best Service Award.

Congratulations to General Manager Samantha Callahan, Director of Sales Dawn Crider and their great team!


Contact Me

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

Ask a Question

December 8, 2016 • Newsletter

Bell Road/Grand Avenue Update

The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) continues to issue project updates for the Bell Road/Grand Avenue bridge project. Please note that the project has entered the third and final stage through late February 2017.

Work continues on the following:

  • Reconstructing eastbound Grand Avenue
  • Paving Grand Avenue ramps

City, County, and State law enforcement will be patrolling the area. Please obey all traffic signage and posted speed limits.


City Council Work Session

Chance Shelter Presentation

Representatives from Chance Shelter provided an overview of their non-profit organization located in Surprise. This no-kill animal shelter provides compassionate care to animals through adoptions, education, crisis intervention and community involvement. Some of their future endeavors include kindergarten-12th grade summer camps and classes, an alliance with West-MEC in addition to internships. They are hoping to get a facility to expand their services and enhance the community.


City Council Meeting

Public Hearing for Rezoning of Property

Community Development staff presented on a request for rezoning from rural residential (RR) to business park (BP) of approximately 8.1 acres located on the west side of Litchfield Road, ½ mile north of Peoria Avenue. The designation does not allow for residential uses in the area that is located beneath the Luke AFB 65 Day-Night Average Sound Level noise contour. Staff indicated the proposal is consistent with the Surprise General Plan 2035.

rezoning from rural residential (RR) to business park (BP) of approximately 8.1 acres located on the west side of Litchfield Road, ½ mile north of Peoria Avenue.

The Planning and Zoning Commission recommended approval of the rezoning request. City Council unanimously approved the request after no public comment.

2016 State Legislative Agenda

Deputy City Manager Nicole Lance discussed the City’s 2017 Draft Legislative Agenda for the first session of the 53rd Arizona State Legislature. This year’s agenda focuses on economic development, land use planning, public safety, transportation, environmental resources and military preservation. City Council agreed with Mrs. Lance’s approach of utilizing partnerships and intentional engagement as well as the agenda which was unanimously approved.


Events & Meetings

Surprise Police Department Promotion Ceremony

The Surprise Police Department held a promotion ceremony on December 1, 2016 honoring the promotions of Sergeant Adam M. Brown and Sergeant Garrick “Rick” Boxberger. Sergeant Brown began employment with the Police Department in 2005 and Sergeant Boxberger joined the Department in 2011. Both Sergeants served in the Field Operations Division, are members of the SWAT team and have served as Field Training Officers. Prior to joining the SWAT team, Sergeant Boxberger served as a negotiator for SWAT and is trained in Crisis Intervention and as an Evidence Tech.

Congratulations on your well-deserved promotions, and thank you for all you do to keep Surprise a safe city!

15th Annual Surprise Party

The 15th Annual Surprise Party was held last weekend. The annual celebration has become a fantastic holiday tradition for many of our Surprise families. The tree lighting ceremony kicked off the weekend festivities and was followed by live musical performances, great food, fireworks and visit from Santa!

Surprise City Council with members of the Surprise Youth Council
Surprise City Council with members of the Surprise Youth Council

Surprise Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission

The Arts & Cultural Advisory Commission met on Monday, December 5. Agenda items included, but were not limited to, a review of their budget and approval of a partnership with Friends of the Library for a bookmark contest.

Prior to the meeting, I attended a reception hosted by the Commission that showcased the amazing artwork of our charter school students. If you have an opportunity, I would encourage you to visit the art hallway at City Hall to personally see the admirable artwork of our creative students.


Mark Your Calendar

Surprise Shops hosting “A Rockin’ Holiday & Santa Too” Event

Surprise Towne Center and Surprise Marketplace are hosting “A Rockin’ Holiday & Santa Too” event this Saturday, December 10 from 12 noon until 3 p.m. at Surprise Towne Center located at 13716 W. Bell Road. The family-friendly event includes a free live concert featuring 80’s cover sensation Rock Lobster. In addition, there will be free photos with Santa, many giveaways, festive face painters, balloon artists, holiday arts & crafts and much more.

In the spirit of the season, guests are encouraged to bring a can of food or non-perishable food item that will be donated to St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance of Surprise. I hope to see you there!

Spring Training 2017

The 15th annual Surprise Spring Training Season will kick off on Saturday, February 25 at the Surprise Recreation Campus – Surprise Stadium featuring Surprise’s home teams: the Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers.

The Surprise Stadium will host 33 games this season, including two World of Baseball preparatory games against Team Venezuela on Wednesday, March 8 (1:05 p.m.) and Thursday, March 9 (1:05 p.m.).

There will be a special online pre-sale at www.surprisespringtraining.com starting this Saturday, Dec. 10 at 8 a.m. (MST). Tickets can also be purchased over the phone with Tickets.com at 888.755.2583. Service charges may apply to online and phone orders.

The Surprise Recreation Campus Box Office will open for ticket sales on Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017 beginning at 7 a.m. (MST). The box office is located at 15960 N. Bullard Avenue.


Did You Know?

Surprise Police Awarded GOHS Grants

The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS) recently awarded the Surprise Police Department with several grants totaling $44,665. A majority of the funds granted, $30,000, will pay for overtime costs involved in DUI investigations and aid in the completion of many scheduled DUI Task Force operations throughout the West Valley.

The additional money from the GOHS grant will be used to purchase new equipment to assist officers in the area of DUI/Impaired Driving Enforcement and for the Surprise Police Department’s participation in the “Know Your Limit” campaign. Click here to learn more about the “Know Your Limit” campaign: http://ow.ly/lsYJ306Dibe


Contact Me

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

Ask a Question