Two variances get Board of Adjustment approval in Cave Creek

The Cave Creek Board of Adjustment met Tuesday night, April 10, to hear two requests for setback variances. The five member board currently has two vacancies so the meeting was conducted with only three members hearing the cases. First of all with the previous chairman having resigned, Adam White was voted in as new chairman and Brian Sirower as vice-chairman.

Jeff Winter of Esencia Architecture and Urban Design, presented a case on behalf of BroMax, Inc., the current owners of the Chevron gas station and car wash on the southwest corner of Carefree Highway and Cave Creek Roads. The desire is to enlarge the carwash to keep competitive with other carwashes. To accommodate the increase in length, they want to move the car wash from behind the gas station, to the west side of the current building. Because of the triangular shaped lot, it is the only place the new carwash could fit.

At issue is setback requirements. Currently the property on the west side of the Chevron is shown on land use maps as Mixed Use in the anticipation that it would be rezoned to commercial. However, it still shows as Desert Rural (DR-43) on zoning maps. DR-43 zoning would require a setback of 25 feet, whereas if zoned as commercial would require only a five foot setback. The variance was requesting a 10 foot setback. The setback reduction would only effect about 100 feet of the nearly 600 foot boundary.

The second case was a residential request to decrease the minimum setback from 30 feet to 26 feet with a 2’ overhang on a home to be constructed on East Surrey Drive. Hank Zolkiewicz says he wants to build a 1750 square foot home for himself. He said there is a large ravine on the property and would have to build a retaining wall into the ravine to meet the 30 foot set back. He noted the part of the home making the encroachment would only be an open front porch.

The siting of the house also took into account an attempt to preserve large native vegetation. He said he spoke with someone about moving the vegetation and was told that likely the vegetation would not survive the relocation. Zolkiewicz said another home on adjoining property, constructed before the current zoning was in effect, only has a 25 foot setback.

There was no public comment for or against either project. The board voted unanimously to approve both variance requests.