Apr 3, 2012
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The Planning Commission voted Wednesday to recommend City Council approval of two applications to develop Scottsdale Retail Plaza on the block that now houses Myst nightclub on Shoeman Lane and Suede restaurant/bar at Indian Plaza.
One application is to rezone two strips of land within the site from parking to commercial use, while the other is to abandon a public alley right-of-way to remove one of two alleys on the site.
If all goes as planned, construction could be completed by the end of the year, said Jason Morris, a zoning attorney representing Yari’s Triyar Entertainment.
The complex would encompass an entire block with the exception of the southwestern corner, which now houses the Swiss Consulate.
Commissioners only had positive things to say about the proposal.
“I think the applicant has a great project,” said Commissioner David Brantner.
According to the development plan, the complex would include the indoor/outdoor pool club in the center, a separate building with restaurant and bar space on the western side, and a three-tenant building intended for restaurant and bar use on the eastern side. Morris said the center also would include retail.
No other rezoning is required because all of the proposed uses already are permitted for existing buildings, Morris said.
“We will have created a better use, but the exact same use,” he said. “The applicant has properties east and west of the property (W Scottsdale to the west, Downtown Entertainment Plaza to the east). The W is probably the most impacted property.”
The applicant will be returning to the commission and council to request conditional-use permits for the individual uses in the complex, Morris said.
Commission Vice Chairman Ed Grant said noise containment will be an issue when considering the conditional-use permits.
Morris said the project meets the city’s parking requirements through the accumulation of parking credits, which are not actual parking spaces.
The credits have come from entitlements granted before the city required businesses in the area to provide actual parking spaces. They also are acquired when a business opts to pay a city fee for use of public parking spaces as an alternative to providing its own parking spaces.
“The city requires 398 parking spaces for the proposed complex, and Triyar has 410 parking credits for the site,” he said.
There are currently 57 parking spaces on site, and planning staff is requesting those remain on site unless a development agreement is approved by the council to relocate those spaces. Some parking will be retained in the alley that will remain as part of the new development, Morris said.
Bill Crawford, president of the Association to Preserve Downtown Scottsdale’s Quality of Life, said the current configuration of the complex doesn’t work for downtown and that much of it faces the nearby residential area, adding to the noise already present.
“This takes inside bar uses and puts them outside where we already have problems today,” he said.
Crawford has been an outspoken critic of Yari and his developments.
Tenants of the nearby Galleria Corporate Centre have expressed concerns about having an outdoor bar area that’s open during the day, said zoning attorney Lynne Lagarde. She represents JEMB Realty, which owns the Galleria.
Lagarde also said the city shouldn’t be approving projects that allow parking credits in lieu of actual parking spots when “everyone knows there’s not enough parking in the area.”