Proposed ordinance would create new zoning designation for Cannon housing

Kevin Wilson

If an ordinance is approved next month by the Clovis City Commission, the community could see Mission Homes work on its mission to aid Cannon Air Force Base’s mission.

The ordinance is up for approval in the Oct. 21 commission meeting creating planned unit development designation in the city building and zoning codes.

A vote in favor of the PUD designation would help Mission Homes of Tucson, said developer Robert Seal, who hopes to tailor homes toward the need of Cannon Air Force Base airmen and their families.

“We’ve done some pretty extensive market studies to find what the airmen need out here,” Seal said.

“It’s a procedure for allowing a real estate developer to propose a unified plan of development that allows more creativity and flexibility than just fitting compliance with current zoning and subdivision regulations,” City Attorney David Richard said. “A planned unit development would allow a developer to say, ‘In one quarter, I’m going to have higher density and smaller lots, but I’m going to space out that density with a park elsewhere.’”

The PUD ordinance, introduced in last week’s commission meeting, doesn’t change zoning laws for residential, commercial or mixed development, but instead adds the PUD as its own class. Any proposed development would require individual approval.

“We’re bringing some homes out here that are described as single-family attached. They’re one- and two-story townhomes,” Seal said.

“We have a whole project surrounded by parks, and there’s a central park area that has a 14,000-square foot clubhouse with a resort and spa area. The clubhouse will include meeting rooms and workout areas. People that live in the community can have a wedding reception, an anniversary party, a graduation party. They can have a nice place to do family events.”

Seal said he had a brief, but positive meeting on the proposed site with Col. Steven Kimball, the commander of the 27th Special Operations Mission Support Group.

Kimball confirmed he had met with Seal a few weeks ago, and that Cannon is always pleased to see developers stepping up to fill housing needs for the base’s personnel.

However, Seal can’t build it because Clovis deleted its PUD regulations when it rewrote zoning laws in 1996. Though Richards said there are still references to PUDs throughout the code.

The Planning and Zoning commission has looked through codes of similar-sized cities, and modeled theirs after Farmington, according to committee minutes.

With the designation, Richards said, developers could change the width of streets from the required 36 feet or eliminate alleyways and set up garbage collection points.

Whatever the decision, it’s a balance, Richards said.

“You’ve achieved a traffic control objective without speed signs and police officers (because drivers navigate narrow roads slowly),” Richards said. “Narrow streets means it’s harder for fire trucks (to respond to emergencies).”

Seal said his development has received positive reviews, but he needs the OK to build a model home before he could sell. And for that, he needs the PUD distinction back in city code.

“We could start building within a week and we could have the first models up in 75 days,” said Seal, who said the development has a proposed 528 homes. “And once we have models up, we could keep building from there (as we sell them).”

Ordinances require public notice and a vote cannot be taken until two weeks after the publication date.