The Cave Creek Town Council unanimously approved the Tee Box Indoor Golf Club site plan for recreation and entertainment at its March 21 regular meeting.

The facility is located south of Blue Ridge Drive and east of Cave Creek Road.

The proposal was submitted by Rick Pennell of Deutsch Architecture Group on behalf of Jim Bucklin. Bucklin worked with city staff during the process to ensure the plan met the necessary requirements. The site plan fully complies with the city’s zoning ordinance and no exceptions were requested. The Cave Creek Planning Commission discussed and then recommended the proposal for approval in a 5-to-1 vote at a February 17 meeting.

“I think this application has been given careful consideration by the planning commission and this council,” Councilor Kathryn Royer said. “I wish the candidate the best of luck and the most successful business this town has seen in a long time. They have done their due diligence in this economy.

At the planning commission hearing, Bucklin proposed the proposal for an indoor golf club.

“Indoor golf depends on technology that basically allows you to hit a golf ball into an impact screen with a launch monitor placed behind you to measure the distance the ball has traveled and plot it on the screen, like you’re in a golf course environment,” Bucklin said.

“The technology is advanced to the point where you can have a realistic indoor golf experience to have game-improvement capabilities, so you get better by playing basically practice mode. Or, you can actually play courts golf courses from around the world.

Bucklin said an indoor golf course would allow fans to enjoy the sport during Arizona’s hot summers, as well as winter when daylight dwindles and costs rise.

The building is said to have 12 batting bays, each with partitions that can make the experience more private and immersive. It will also include a hall, kitchen, bar and patio. Bucklin emphasized that the business is not a bar; food and drinks are extra.

The one-story building would be just over 10,150 square feet and would meet height, color, landscaping and other requirements.

The applicant proposed the modification of a lane to create a second access and discussions with the city engineer have begun.

The surrounding land is zoned commercial on three sides of the site, with the east side being residential. For this reason, the applicant is required to install a solid fence 6 feet high between the lane and the adjacent residential properties.

At the planning commission hearing, noise was cited as a concern. The claimants said they were taking steps to ensure this was not an issue.

“I don’t see any situation where you hear anything outside the building,” Bucklin said. “We do a lot to minimize it, even indoors, because otherwise it wouldn’t be a very good user experience.”

Councilman Ron Sova asked if 34 parking spaces would be enough if the installation was successful. The proposal assumes several guests will carpool, but Sova said that seems unlikely. He added that with 12 bays and four people at each bay, that makes 48 people, and while a few of them are driving together, there will also be staff who will need to park.

However, planning director Luke Kautzman said while this is a valid concern, based on the zoning ordinance, the proposal meets the criteria for the minimum number of parking spaces required. .

Financially, the indoor golf club would generate additional sales tax revenue and an additional sewer customer.

Members of the Planning Commission and City Council were impressed with the Tee Box technology. Mayor Ernie Bunch said he thought it would be a great addition to Cave Creek and a place he would frequent.

“I just want to wish you luck. All the time people come up to me and tell me we need more things for families and kids to do in town, and I see this as an opportunity for kids. to get into golf,” Bunch said. “And there’s four people in this room right now who were on the tee box at the 500 Club this morning, and we would have liked to play inside because it was cold and windy.”