‘I think it’s important to get out of the car and go inside’

Cave Creek sticks to its guns on slower-paced lifestyle

By Linda Bentley | September 24, 2008

‘I think it’s important to get out of the car and go inside’
CAVE CREEK – Parkway Bank didn’t fare much better than the previous applicant during Thursday night’s planning commission meeting with its renewed request for a special use permit (SUP) to allow drive-through customer service.

Planning Director Ian Cordwell noted during his introduction, “The building was originally designed to have a drive-through facility as an integral part of the structure. Even though the use was denied, the structure was built as planned.”

On behalf of the applicant, Robin Lorenz brought some renderings to illustrate how “unobtrusive” the drive-through would be.

During public comment Anna Marsolo said she had the minutes from 2001, and stated, “The concerns then should be the same as now. The main concern was the precedent it would set for drive-throughs. Vice Mayor Mozilo said it was a life-style choice.”

Referring to the fact the SUP had been previously turned down, Charlie Spitzer said, “This reminds me of when my kids were little. They’d go ask mom if they didn’t like the answer they got from dad.”

Shea Stanfield said, “I was on the council that voted this down in 2001. Most of us were committed to no drive-throughs. We wanted a walking kind of town.”

Implying the bank was employing an “if we wait long enough faces change” strategy, Stanfield deadpanned, “If we wait long enough there won’t be any more banks,” and said, “I hope we can hold the line on this one.”

Herb Natker said, “I’d like to reiterate what the speakers said before me. It would set a precedent. We don’t need it … I hope you deny this.”

Kathryn Bosco, Parkway Bank’s branch manager, said, “There’s no one left waiting for faces to change.”

Citing Cave Creek was Parkway’s busiest branch with the largest number of transactions each month, Bosco stated more pollution is created by starting and stopping a vehicle than by idling for a few minutes.

Bosco stated her concerns were for Parkway’s customers, being able to provide them with this service, and said she has a petition people have signed in support of a drive-through.
Commissioner Steve LaMar moved to approve recommendation for the SUP, but only “for the sake of discussion,” and said, “As far as drive-throughs go, I don’t have a problem with the design or function. The problem I have is the same as in 2001. There are a lot of national corporations wanting to locate in Cave Creek that all want drive-throughs.

“It’s the difference between Cave Creek and other towns,” said LaMar, adding, “I wish we were more unique.”

Commissioner Bill Allen said, “I’ve banked at Parkway Bank since it opened. I think it’s important to get out of the car and go inside … The bank is an important contribution to the town, but I don’t support a drive-through.”

Commissioner Reg Monachino said, “If we grant this we’d have to grant it to others. We’d be no different than Bell Road.”

“I have mixed emotions,” said Chairman Ted Bryda. Even though the town has the right to turn down others on a case-by-case basis, he said, “We can still end up in litigation.”

The commission voted 1-4 against the SUP with Commissioner Dan Baxley voting in favor.
Cordwell announced there will be four major general plan amendments reviewed during the Oct. 16 planning commission meeting. The rezoning of approximately 11 square miles of state land within the proposed annexation area is scheduled to be heard on Nov. 6 and a nonconforming use case scheduled for Nov. 20.


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