Town Planning Commission reviews first version of Ritz-Carlton plans

0624TPV RItz Rendering

A rendering of the Paradise Valley Ritz-Carlton provided in documents at the Planning Commission study session on June 16.

The Paradise Valley Planning Commission held its first study session Tuesday, June 16 on proposed plans for a Ritz-Carlton resort community on 82 acres of land at about Scottsdale and Lincoln roads.

At the study session, Paradise Valley commissioners were presented revisions from representatives of the developer of the project — Five Star Development Inc. — to the already submitted plans to the municipality.

Paradise Valley Town Council approved a Statement of Direction June 11 on proposed plans, which is an official municipal document dictating the scope of scrutiny members of the Planning Commission are to use when evaluating a development proposal.

This particular SOD comes with an amendment allowing the applicant and Planning Commission flexibility when evaluating the 25 percent lot coverage charge of all non-resort attached structures throughout the entire project, Independent archives state.

Resort plans include 160 typical guest rooms, 40 additional suites, resort villas that can be privately owned or included in the Ritz-Carlton rental pool, 250 single family detached residential homes that may or may not include the Ritz-Carlton brand, 250 attached units, two restaurants and a “mixed-use” area that would be made up of retail space, residential space and a grocery store, according to Eva Cutro, community development director.

0624TPV Ritz Rendering1 copy

According to the SOD, the Planning Commission is requested to review items such as density, residential lot size, heights, retail use, perimeter setbacks/open space and rights-of-way/traffic/parking.

Some of the recommendations in the SOD include:
• Residential and retail density exceed the Resort Guidelines 25 percent lot coverage. Resort lot coverage is currently at 28.5 percent.
• Resort lot (Areas A and A1) coverage shall not exceed 30 percent and 700,000 square feet.
• Residential detached areas (Areas B and C) have an average of two dwelling units per acre, progress from larger lots on the north, south, and west perimeter to more dense lots in the center and eastern perimeter.
• Detached residential product shall be a mix of one and two story homes.
• Attached residential product as proposed is disfavored and alternate uses for Area D shall be explored.
• Heights far exceed Resort Guidelines’ 36-foot maximum for principal structures and 24-foot height for accessory structures.
• It is recommended that all four-story elements be eliminated and three-story maximum height be considered for principal structures only.

Revisions for the plans included altering heights of the four-story buildings, changing the lot sizes on the residential land parcels and the density of the property, according to the June 16 study session discussion.

“I think we’re all in agreement, what we see before us today is not in accordance with the Statement of Direction. We would be wasting time if we went into any great detail,” said Ms. Cutro.

The Planning Commission agreed changes proposed by the town council in the Statement of Direction were crucial enough to deter the group of being able to make any serious decisions about the property.

“There is no reason for us today, to look at B and C in detail because it doesn’t even come close to what the Statement of Direction wants,” said Commissioner Dolf Strom.

“The applicant now knows what the town council is going to expect. So I think from a process point of view, because the resort part of it is not really being seriously questioned by town council, that it’s a really good idea for us to start dealing with the resort because we can deal with it,” said Commissioner Richard Mahrle.

The group was able to have preliminary discussion on the main hotel building and address some of the lobby and main building dynamics, which includes two ball rooms, the lobby, spa and fitness areas and two restaurants.

The next planning commission meeting is 6 p.m. on Tuesday, July 7, at Town Hall, 6401 E. Lincoln Drive.

News Servcies Editor Melissa Fittro can be contacted at 623-445-2746 via e-mail at or follow her on Twitter at

News Editor Melissa Rosequist can be reached by e-mail at or follow her on Twitter at

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