A mini-zoning case is snaking its way through the Phoenix land-use regulation process that has residents in the Pierson Place and Medlock Place Historic Districts nervous.
As has been reported on NextDoor.com and in neighborhood association e-mails, the owner of a vacant dirt lot at 3rd Avenue and Camelback Road wants a decades-old special-use-permit for auto leasing lifted from his property.
If approved by the City Council, owner Barry Chasse will then be entitled to all the uses included in the existing, underlying zoning: C2 Commercial – Transit Oriented District 1.
Lifting this permit will not, however, entitle Chasse to build a Dutch Brothers Coffee drive-through as has been rumored in neighborhood media.
“It is true Dutch Brothers has shown some interest,” said Nick Sobraske, a land planner with the law firm Gammage and Associates. “But a drive-through would require another special permit and another public hearing altogether.”
According to Sobraske, who is not an attorney himself but helps prepare public cases, lifting the special-use-permit would bring the lot into conformity with the majority of the properties on the north side of Camelback Road, in between Central and 7th Avenues.
A T.M.L. review of the Phoenix Zoning Ordinance confirms drive-through businesses would require a separate application and public hearing.
Furthermore, according to property records, Chasse does not own the dirt at the intersection itself, but rather a lot in between the corner and existing buildings.
Unless deals are made with neighboring owners, a drive-through is highly unlikely.
Those interested in this rapidly appreciating stretch of Camelback Road should keep eyes on public agendas, because, who knows what’s possible with such creative minds as neighbors?
Meanwhile, according to Sobraske, Chasse requested a continuance on his case.
City Staff confirmed Thursday night that Chasse wants to seek neighborhood support before returning to the Commission.
Unless his application is withdrawn, it will be heard at next month’s meeting.
Sobraske asked that neighborhood residents and businesses direct their concerns, support, or requests for information to Gammage and Burnham.
(Brian Mori is a Realtor (R) with a Master’s Degree in Real Estate Development. He lives in Melrose and can be reached at 602-575-1170.)