VOL. 18  ISSUE NO. 46   |    NOVEMBER 14 – 20, 2012


Mayor bypasses P&Z on sign ordinance amendments

Schwan said, “I didn’t feel we needed to. So the answer is no and it was my decision.”
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arthur gimson and david schwanWhen Councilman Arthur Gimson (l) asked if changes to the sign ordinance had gone to the planning and zoning commission, Mayor David Schwan replied, “No,” and said it was his decision not to send the changes to the commission.
Photo by Linda Bentley

CAREFREE – With the town’s auditor appearing telephonically during Tuesday evening’s meeting, Jim Keen presented the results of the town’s 2011-2012 financial audits and stated no corrections were required on the part of the town.

Council then voted unanimously to approve the cooperative purchase of two Philips Transport EKG monitors at a cost of $40,569.11 to be placed on the fire truck and the Carefree based ambulance.

The cost of the monitors would be shared in partnership with Scottsdale Healthcare and Rural/Metro, so the town’s actual cost of the two monitors will be $13,523.04 after reimbursement from both.

The heart monitors are an upgrade to the ones currently in use in that they possess telemetry capabilities that can transmit vital information to a hospital in advance of arrival.

Councilman John Crane asked what would happen to the old monitors and who would be providing the training on the new equipment.

According to Rural/Metro Fire Chief John Kraetz, the monitor currently on the fire truck was donated to the town and would be placed in the fire station’s treatment room. He said the other monitor is the property of Rural/Metro and it would just go back to the company for use elsewhere as needed.

John Ford, director of contracts for Rural/Metro said training would be in conjunction with Scottsdale Healthcare. He said personnel was already trained on the equipment and would only require training on the telemetry capabilities.

Michelle Pabis, director of government relations, said Scottsdale Healthcare is a locally owned nonprofit hospital and said they are always looking at ways to improve patient care.

Pabis made it clear, although they are paying for one-third of the cost of the monitors, patients can choose to go to any valley hospital, all of which have the capabilities to receive the transmitted information.

Item number nine, canvass of the vote for the general election, Proposition 451, referring to the ratification of General Plan 2030 was removed from the agenda since the county had not yet completed the vote count.

Council approved road closures for the Carefree Christmas Festival and parade as well as wine festival liquor licenses for Arizona Stronghold Vineyards for the Thunderbird Art and Wine Festivals in January and March.

gary neissTown Administrator Gary Neiss (l) presented text amendments to the zoning ordinance to allow for sidewalk (A-frame) signs, which are only currently allowed temporarily via a moratorium.

The amendment does away the requirement for a permit and allows one sidewalk sign for each business located within Commercial, and Garden Office zoning districts and licensed with the town.

The ordinance restricts the sidewalk signs to being located within 35 feet from the primary customer entrance into the building or associated business.

Neiss said the amendment removes the moratorium, making the regulations permanent, which Schwan noted could always come back to council for review if there were issues.

Neiss said the ordinance was a good way of managing the sign concerns without driving businesses out of town.

During public comment, Oliver Simons from American Federal Rare Coins & Bullion at Lucky Lane and Easy Street told council 35 feet from their front door is in the middle of their parking lot and sought some sort of solution to making their business more visible. 

Mayor David Schwan said he’s at town hall every day and he receives complaints regularly about A-frame signs on arterial streets.

Councilman Arthur Gimson asked if the proposed changes to the ordinance had gone to the planning and zoning commission.

Schwan said it had not as it had already gone to P&Z twice before, stating, “I didn’t feel we needed to. So the answer is no and it was my decision.”

Before council voted unanimously to approve the text amendments, Gimson said this will give businesses, such as those in Carefree Marketplace (Bashas' center), further incentive to talk to their landlord about adding monument signs to the property.

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