March 24 2009 Planning Commission Minutes

PLANNING COMMISSION
CITY OF ST. GEORGE
WASHINGTON COUNTY, UTAH
March 24, 2009 4:00 P.M.


PRESENT: Acting Chairman Ron Bracken
Councilwoman Gloria Shakespeare
Commissioner Ross Taylor
Commissioner Michael Nobis
Commissioner Julie Hullinger
Commissioner Ron Read
Commissioner Kim Campbell



CITY STAFF: Assistant City Attorney Joseph Farnsworth
Community Development Director Bob Nicholson
Planner II Ray Snyder
Planner I Craig Harvey
Development Services Manager Jay Sandberg
Development Director Matt Loo
Secretary Gail Williams

EXCUSED: Commissioner Chapin Burks




1. PRELIMINARY PLAT

Consider a preliminary plat request for “Blackberry Court Phase 2” to create a seven (7) lot residential subdivision. The site is on 4.61 acres. Located at 1090 West Baneberry Drive. The zoning is R-1-10 (10,000 square feet minimum lot size). The owner is Black Diamond Holdings LLC, Mr. Austin Anderson representative, and Rosenberg Engineering is the representative. Case No. 2009-PP-003.

Jay Sandberg presented this request. In November of 2008 the City approved this zone change and they are now following up with the preliminary plat. Lot sizes vary from 0.272 to 1.069 acres. Erosion protection was installed in this subdivision in 2007 and therefore the total set back is 30 ft.

The plat on the wall shows a landscape area labeled “remainder” on the northwest corner of the subdivision. The parks department is concerned that this area be some type of maintained area, not necessarily fully landscaped, but that it not become a weed patch. There is some property to the west, where they made an agreement with the owner to extend the cul-du-sac out and even though this is still flood plain now, it would provide access for some type of use such as horses in the future.

Commissioner Read asked the question why the remainder piece is not included in the lot. Commissioner Taylor also asked about the property that backs between lots #13 & 14 and the Bloomington Gardens subdivision, the open space, and what are the plans for that?

Alan Hall with Rosenberg Associates came to the podium and said the remainder piece on the south side is not under control of this developer and was not included in the zone change. It is still zoned open space. It is owned by the gentleman who owns the lot where the cul-du-sac is. He said they may come up with an agreement in the future to come back and rezone that little space. For now it is not under their control. Alan Hall responded that the plan with the remainder piece is to add it to the existing lot in the existing subdivision and sell it as a whole parcel.

Assistant City Attorney Joseph Farnsworth said if you included the remainder within this plat you are setting yourself up for two plat amendments. If you decide not to include it in this plat, you only need to do one plat amendment in the future.

MOTION: Commissioner Read made a motion to recommend approval of the preliminary plat, with an adjustment to the plat as it is today, that the parcel to the west of the drive labeled “remainder” is removed from the plat so there will not need to be two plat adjustments when and if they join that piece up with Bloomington Gardens #2 subdivision vacant lot. Also put in a provision in that the remainder parcel until it changes ownership is to be maintained by the subdivision owner, clear of weeds using some kind of ground cover that would do that, rather than maintain it. Motion was seconded by Commissioner Nobis. All voted aye. Motion passes .

2. CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT

Consider a request for a conditional use permit to establish and operate a Type 1 Assisted Living Care facility out of a single family residence for a maximum of two (2) elderly persons. Located in Quail Valley Estates, Lot 14, at 1485 East 1850 South. The applicants are Mr. and Mrs. Mass. The zoning is R-1-10 (Single Family Residential 10,000 square foot minimum lot size). Case No. 2009-CUP-004.

Craig Harvey presented this request. An aerial view of the property was shown as well as a floor plan of the home drawn up by the applicant. A narrative had also been given to Craig as to her intent. The applicant proposes to operate a Type 1 assisted living facility in a single family residence. The applicant is proposing to have a maximum of four elderly persons, which is different from what was on the agenda originally because he made a mistake on that, so he needs it added to the record that it is for a maximum of four elderly persons. The State has inspected her home and determined that her home is adequate to handle four people. The State rule which governs assisted living facilities, which is R432-6 requires that there is a minimum of two persons to have a Type 1 Assisted Living facility. She has to have at least two people anyway.

The hours of operation will be seven days a week, twenty four hours a day. The applicant does have adequate parking however the applicant would need to pave the gravel area shown on the plan to accommodate three cars.

The adjacent residences are all single family residences. Ordinance Title 10, chapter 7 Article B was read for the audience. “H” states that it is not operated as a “business” as defined in section 3-1-3 of this code; provided, that any fee charged for food or for actual or necessary costs of operation and maintenance of the facility shall not by themselves cause it to be considered a business”. There is a conflict with the current State Licensure requirements R432-6 regarding Assisted Living Facilities. Assistant City Attorney Joseph Farnsworth is looking into this conflict for the City.

Under the safety category of the findings, she will need to meet all the current fire codes. There will be no increase in traffic because these individuals will not be driving; if they do they may have just one car. There are no similar facilities within ¾ of a mile. For public health, she will have to meet all of the state requirements.

There had been no comments from neighbors until a letter was received today from Mr. and Mrs. Blake. This was read into the record. It stated: “We purchased a home in this single family neighborhood two years ago. We are now faced with a neighbor who wants to turn her home into a business. We feel that allowing this change will open the neighborhood to many changes in the future that would not be desirable. We would like to see this area stay a single family residence. We hope this change is not permitted.”

Comments from staff included the client complying with all fire department regulations including escape routes, paving of the gravel area to complement the paved service existing and also recommends that the service be limited to four persons and staff recommends approval.

Acting Chairman Ron Bracken mentioned that the gravel area appears to be in the front set back area and that would not be allowed for workers parking. Craig stated that there is additional room for parking in the rear of her property; there is a concrete pad they could park cars on. Acting Chairman Ron Bracken asked how many parking spaces would be required totally.

Joseph Farnsworth, Assistant City Attorney, said that in section 10-19-5 it says for nursing homes, care centers and assisted living, one parking space for each 3 beds except where skilled care is provided the requirement is one parking space for every two beds. Where there is staff, it would be one space for every two beds.

Bob Nicholson, Community Development Director, came to the podium and said that per Code 10-14 Section 21, Residential Facilities for Persons with Disabilities, the minimum number of parking spaces required shall be the same as those required for a dwelling (that would be 2) plus one for each support staff employed on the premises of the facility.

Acting Chairman Ron Bracken questioned whether it is the support staff hired or the support staff on duty.

Bob Nicholson thinks that would mean whoever is there at that time. Acting Chairman Ron Bracken said that would come to 6 spaces.

Commissioner Read asked what the State staff requirements are for four beds. He also asked if this needs to be re-advertized again since the change is for four clients instead of two.

Assistant City Attorney Joseph Farnsworth said he will look into whether it needs to be re-noticed since he was only notified of this change a few moments before this meeting.

Craig Harvey stated that this is not a public hearing and it shouldn’t need to be noticed, other than letters to neighbors. Commissioner Read asked if adjacent property owners had been sent letters. Craig said yes, letters had been sent out. Joseph Farnsworth said his initial reaction would be that it would need to be re-noticed, he will look into that.

The applicant Diana Mass came to the podium and said the staffing will be 12 hour shifts with two people during the day and one at night. She said she has parking already for her personal caregivers. She also said that she has a gate and two cars could park there very easily and there is still room for them to pull out and another car to still be there. Diana stated that when the State came and talked to her, they did not make requirements about her parking. Acting Commissioner Bracken said that would be for the City to determine. She said staffing requirements are according to the State.

Commissioner Read asked what the evening hours would be. Diana Mass said it would be from 8 pm to 6 am. There would be two staff up to 8:00 p.m. Once the clients go to bed, they have two hour checks. Commissioner Read also asked the state requirement ratio and she said it is one staff to four beds. Her intent is to do two beds. The reason she put in for four is because the bedroom size according to the State allows for a married couple or two men or two women to share a room. This is why it had to be stated four individuals. Commissioner Read asked how many bedrooms she has opened and the answer was two.

Commissioner Read also asked about her many years of experience listed in her narrative. Diana stated that she owned and operated her own business since she was 24 yrs of age until 58 years of age, which she is now. It was in construction and health care. She was also care giver for her daughter for 23 years. She also sat on many different boards in Colorado.

Commissioner Read asked who lives in the house at this time. She stated that she is the only occupant; however the house is owned as joint tenancy with her ex-husband. Her ex-husband is aware of her plans for the business.

Acting Chairman Ron Bracken stated that he assumes she wants to do this as a good way to supplement the income plus she already had staff there to help her out and her facilities are already there to make it more economical and feasible. Diana stated that is part of the reason. She doesn’t have anyone in her family who lives near her. She spends all of her time either at school or home alone. She would like to have other people in her home for company. She also enjoys her volunteer work in acute rehab at the hospital. She has room in her home and the staff and she said she would really enjoy doing this. She even looked into being a director. She doesn’t need to do be a director to do this, but her qualifications would allow that. She has management skills and had up to three hundred employees in her own business at one time. Staffing and managing a business would not be a problem for her.

Diana explained that assisted living type 1 people are people who can come and go on their own. They can in the case of a fire crawl out the window or come out the front door. She even has automatic door openers on her front door. They just need limited assisting, this is the in between stage where you may just need someone to oversee what you are doing, help with dressing, bathing, have nutritious meals, etc. Many times people with disabilities are left alone and isolated. This would give them an opportunity to have other people around as well. Diana stated that it’s been a proven fact that it helps with their mentality, how they feel emotionally and gives them a sense of belonging by being in a home.

Craig Harvey came to the podium with the staff idea that perhaps the Planning Commission could recommend approval for two individuals tonight and waive the fee for coming back at a later time, once we resolve the parking issues, for two additional clients at a later time.

Acting Chairman Ron Bracken said that might be the way to approach this. That way she would not be held up due to the advertising.

Craig Harvey said then a letter could be sent out saying four individuals. Diana is the home owner and would not be counted in the staff needed for clients. She has her own personal staff member.

Assistant City Attorney Joseph Farnsworth stated that the staffing requirement would be dictated by the state, but it is still something the Planning Commission can require because you’re looking at how many occupants would be in there, how many cars are going to be there and what kind of impact it will have on the neighborhood.

Tonight’s application is for two elderly clients and one staff member during the day for them and one staff member during the evening.

Commissioner Taylor asked if it would be acceptable to the applicant if they act tonight on what was placed before them for two clients and see how that works out for her with parking and all, and if she feels she needs to make an adjustment return and make an adjustment.

Diana said this would be fine to go ahead tonight, it would just mean if two people wished to share a room they wouldn’t be able to.

Acting Chairman Bracken said that staff said that they would waive her coming back the second time because they had the wrong number to start with. She can go forward with that and then a month or two or three or four down the road if she decides to, she can come back and ask for the other two.

Assistant City Attorney Farnsworth stated that to clarify, tonight is just for two and if the applicant wants to add to that number she can later on.

Commissioner Nobis said it could be tabled tonight and she could come back later once it is re-noticed at four clients.

Attorney Farnsworth said it could be tabled to further adjust the residency issue as well as the parking issues It sounds like there is confusion amongst the Planning Commission and possibly the city staff too. That might be the best course of action if the applicant is agreeable to table it to revise things and re-notice it properly.

Audience members were invited to come forward.

Kit Vowles came to the podium. He is here with his wife, Valerie Vowles, and they live at 1482 E 1850 S, directly across the street from Diana. They want to go on the record as being opposed to allowing an assisted living center at this location. They are not opposed to Diana personally, or her living in her own home as long as she desires. They are only opposed to the proposed change.

23 yrs ago, the Vowles purchased lot # 23 in Quail Valley Estates. They could have purchased in a similar size lot in Bloomington Hills for ½ the price. They were attracted to the fact that this was a nice neighborhood that had covenants and restrictions that governed the use of the property and protected the rights of all of the residents in the neighborhood. He read from paragraph one in the covenants which describes the use of the land; “Use of land: No lot shall be used except for single family residential purposes and no lot shall contain more than one habitable structure. No building shall be erected, altered, placed or permitted to remain on any lot other than one detached single family dwelling”. They do not feel that this CUP complies with the covenants.

Kit Vowles wanted to address the parking. Paragraph #3 in the covenants states: “Driveways shall be constructed of cement or other approved hard materials. Driveways consisting of cinder, sand, gravel or dirt shall not be permitted on any lot”. Currently Diana parks her car in her garage and her caregiver parks on the landscaped cinders. He thinks that with her caretakers and clients with their potential vehicles and guests, this could involve 5 to 7 cars. He doesn’t feel that there is adequate parking available.

Mr. Vowles further commented on Diana’s personal physical status.

Mr. Vowles also questioned if her current 1700 sq. ft. 2 bathroom home where Diana intends to house 5-7 unrelated people is in compliance with ADA standards. If it is not, what is necessary by way of additions, remodeling and changing the appearance of the home to bring it into compliance? She has a nice master suite, which leaves 5-6 other people to share one small bathroom. He questions if she would have on hand 24-7 competent, trained, certified staffing ready to administer medications and to handle medical emergencies or will she rely on neighbors in an effort to cut costs and make this a profitable business venture for her. Diana has from time to time put her house on the market for sale. He questioned what guarantees they have as neighboring property owners that would prohibit this house from becoming another business venture that is even less desirable than the one proposed.

Mr. Vowles concluded that they are not against Diana, nor are they against her living in her home. They are against this CUP. He asked if we’d like a copy of the covenants.

Assistant City Attorney Joseph Farnsworth stated that was not necessary, but thanks for supplying the information.

Terry Hawks came to the podium. He is a disability advocate and has known Diana for several years. He wants to speak on her behalf and said that she a very capable individual and is in her third year of going to Dixie College in drafting. She is a very ambitious person. He has worked with Diana on this project for a couple of years. She always was talking about having two individuals. She never spoke of having a large operation. There was some talk about the medical, and he said they will need to develop a medical plan. They are working with another home agency that was successful in getting the same type of request approved. Diana is a conscientious and caring person and would not go into this in a haphazard way. They have been working on this for some time now.

Diana Mass came back to the podium. She said the covenants that were mentioned for Quail Valley have been expired for several years. There are other people in her community, in that little niche, that have many home based businesses as well. Many neighbors have large families and have many cars. Her cars are the least amount in the neighborhood even if she had four cars. She said that if her clients had guests visit, they would just park on the street, like a normal visitor would for anyone else in the community.

She went on to say that this is an emotional thing for the neighbors and a business side for her. She stated that she loves her community as well as they do and she wouldn’t do anything to change that.

Her home just happens to be very handicapped accessible because she remodeled it and made it so. Diana went on to say that her health is not part of this issue, it is about whether she is qualified and meets the guidelines through the State and the City. The State does many checkups and she must meet all the requirements every time. This is why she has been working on it for two years. When the health care plan is done, all must be in place. Scheduled meals and scheduled activities are part of the requirements. It is very structured and well run if you do what you are supposed to do. She will be under scrutiny. The fire department has come to her home and checked things out. The bathroom they will be using is shared by the two clients and the care giver. They could use her master bathroom in an emergency. She thinks she has meet all of the requirements for the city and she is not the only person in her neighborhood that has three cars.

Commissioner Read questioned the overnight person. Diana said that the overnight staff person can not go to bed, must be awake, must make rounds every two hours to be sure they are still breathing and to check if they need anything. She has intercom systems set up where the caregiver is and the people have one in their room. It is monitored at all times.

Commissioner Taylor said there are some things they need to be aware of in this consideration. One is what would happen to the property if it came up for sale. He said a conditional use permit goes with the property, not the owner. If the CUP is granted for the property and the property comes up for sale, the CUP continues to be in force. Commissioner Taylor stated that is something that needs to be considered. Another thing that would need to be considered would be the traffic situation, the amount of automobile traffic that may be created. He said that will increase some, however he doesn’t think it would be an alarming issue. His biggest concern is the conditional use permit going with the property.

Commissioner Nobis asked Diana Mass if she wanted the Planning Commission to table it for four or to try to approve it for two people tonight.

Diana said she would just go with the two people tonight.

Joseph Farnsworth, Assistant City Attorney, want to ask a question before the motion as to whether the parking requirements have been established and if they are satisfied for this type of use.

Craig Harvey said that city staff has determined that a residence would require two spaces and two spaces would be required for the staff. You would have to condition it for four spaces.

Joseph Farnsworth referring back to the issue of the subdivision’s CCR’s, stated that CCR’s typically do run with the land and are recorded and stay with the land forever. If that is an issue with the residents, it will not be something the City enforces. It is something that as property owners they have the right to enforce their CCR’s and the City does not get involved in this.

Diana Mass stated that her CCR’s were to run for 20 years and the 20 year time period is over.

Assistant City Attorney Joseph Farnsworth stated he wasn’t giving an opinion on the CCR’s, he just wanted to bring that issue up.

MOTION: Commissioner Taylor said that although he is empathetic with the desires and purposes of Diana Mass in making this request, he finds that this use is inconsistent with the neighborhood and would be a departure from the environment of the neighborhood; for that reason he moves that the Planning Commission deny the request for this conditional use permit.

Assistant City Attorney Joseph Farnsworth asked Commission Taylor to please go over the factors and elaborate a little more on that, the seven factors in the “findings” on pages 2 and 3 in the report.

Commissioner Taylor stated that his primary concern is the twenty four hours of operation and that this becomes a business use in a residential area. To the extent feasible, non-residential uses or business uses allowed in residential areas conditional uses, this is not consistent. The character and purpose of the zone is not consistent with the character and purpose of the neighborhood in which it’s located. For that reason, he would find that it would not meet the conditions required of the conditional use permit.

MOTION SECONDED by Commissioner Campbell.

DISCUSSION: Commissioner Read asked if he is basing it on the number of parking and traffic.

Commissioner Taylor said no, it was for the character of the residence. It does not comply or fit in well with the character of the neighborhood.

VOTING: Acting Chairman Ron Bracken asked for a vote. A roll count was taken with Commissioner Hullinger voting aye, Commissioner Taylor voting aye, Commissioner Campbell voted aye. Commissioner Read voted nay, Acting Chairman Ron Bracken voted nay and Commissioner Nobis voted nay. It was three aye’s to three nay’s and the motion does not pass.

DISCUSSION: Bob Nicholson, Community Development Director, came to the podium and said we may need to take some more time on this matter. He said there is a section in the City Code, that has to follow the Utah Code, that says you cannot discriminate against the disabled. He further said that there are some provisions in the zoning code and a provision that defines various definitions of the “family”, one of which is up to four unrelated persons who may live together as a housekeeping unit. He said we may need to see with our provisions for the disabled on whether or not a CUP is even required, especially if we are only talking about up to two additional people.

Assistant Attorney Joseph Farnsworth said that with Bob Nicholson bringing this up tonight, his personal feeling is that this application may not have gotten some of the scrutiny it needs to, to have gotten to this point. It seems that it would be wisest to have it reevaluated to see what needs to happen. Tabling it would be his recommendation.

Commissioner Read thinks the license requirement is the key, because you can have up to four people in your home, but this requires a business license, which changes the whole flair for that.

Bob Nicholson said there is a provision in the section for residential facilities for the disabled that says if it is licensed under the State of Utah, State Code says it shall be a permitted use in all residential zones. This is a state law.

Commissioner Taylor then asked if that means that there is not a need for a conditional use permit.

Assistant City Attorney Farnsworth said that potentially a CUP may not be necessary; however it needs to be scrutinized more.

Commissioner Taylor stated that would relieve the obstacle that he is concerned about here, that once it’s established as a conditional use, that conditional use stays with it beyond the owner. That was his biggest obstacle to approving this CUP.

Acting Chairman Ron Bracken said sounds like it might pay for the applicant to ask for this to be tabled until further things can be checked out. It can then be brought back at some point if it needs to be or to go in some other direction.

Diana Mass commented that you could put in the motion that the next person who buys her home would have to reapply, because the state would not allow for a new owner to come in and just take over. It would have to be under the name that’s under the business. The only reason she calls it a business is because that’s the way it’s stated when it’s a caregiver, even though you’re providing services for these people. There is another assisted living called Elderberry Care, which is in the City and it is in a neighborhood just like hers, and it was ok’d with them to do theirs .Their parking is even less than Diana’s and she has far more people in her home than Diana does. Diana said she has met the criteria.

Regarding the flavor of the community, Diana said she understands the emotional part of that, but it is no different than her having her grandparents there or fixing up her basement and having her grandmother move in. Cattycorner from her house, this is what they did. Other people in the area have casitas where someone lives in it and it is an aunt or a grandmother. She wonders if that makes it any different. She doesn’t feel that this changes the flavor of the neighborhood unless the whole front of the house gets changed to look like a medical building. Even if the clients sat on the porch it should not change the neighborhood. She sits on the porch and doesn’t think this detracts from the neighborhood. She doesn’t see how they can say the flavor of the neighborhood would be changed by assisting two elderly people in a home, rather than having to go straight into a nursing home. That is her concern, that she doesn’t understand “the flavor of the neighborhood”.

Acting Chairman Bracken asked what staff suggests at this point.

Bob Nicholson said he suggests this be continued until the next meeting.

MOTION: Commissioner Read suggested this be tabled for two meetings out and the reason for tabling this is to address the legal issues and staff concerns. It has nothing to do with the application or Ms. Mass. Staff is trying to look at the vote and help her saying we’re three and three and not going anywhere tonight, let’s see if we can resolve the issues brought up tonight.

Motion was seconded by Commissioner Nobis. All voted aye and motion passes.


3. ZONE CHANGE REQUEST – PUBLIC HEARING (5:00 P.M.)

Consider a zone change from MH6 (Mobile Home zone 6,000 square foot minimum lot size) to PD-RES (Planned Development Residential) on 2.62 acres. Located in the Dixie Downs area of the city, bounded by Dixie Downs Drive on the east, 1425 North Street on the north, Vista Ridge Estates on the south, and residential property to the west. The property includes all of Lot 6 and 7 of Racing Ranch Estates and would become “Vista View Subdivision”. Case No. 2009-ZC-005.

Bob Nicholson presented this project. This encompasses 2.6 acres requesting to become PD-Residential. This property has been leveled out flat, although it is higher than the property to the South. This will accommodate 21 units, which includes 17 single family homes and four twin-home units. The density is 8 dwelling units per acre, which is in line with the General Plan for that area. Each home has a 2 car garage with a 20 ft. long driveway in front of the garage. When we met with the applicants about parking, they tried to get some guest parking included. There are hammerhead turnarounds; in reality you could designate one side of that for parking for guests. There is a green court area in the middle and along the back. Vista Ridge is the development directly to the south.

The homes will range in size from 1,124 sq. ft. up to 1,318 sq. ft. They will contain three bedrooms and a double garage. The exterior will be stucco with tile roofs.

This project removed a dilapidated , deteriorated mobile home park in the city and applicant is to be applauded for taking steps to clean this up and in benefiting the neighborhood.

The applicant’s engineer, Rick Rosenberg with Rosenberg Associates, came to the podium as the representative for Terry Monson and the developer. He stated that this project does comply with the development agreement between the developer and the City, which stated the number of units and the size restriction of the units. There are some requirements in the development agreement about the number of units that are to be used for qualified workforce housing with deed restrictions. This will be part of the CCR and deed restrictions that would come along with the final plat.

The exterior of the homes are stucco with tile roofs. It is a fairly simple project. There is a landscape common area in the center of the project. The site is rather tight as far as moving stuff around to achieve the number of units required by the development agreement and it does not allow for much flexibility to achieve the number of units required by this development agreement. This site does grade above the properties to the south and also to the west. They will grade the site to lower it so it matches up better with the street with the adjacent properties to the south and the west. This will eliminate some of the taller retaining walls that are out there now.

Commissioner Read asked about the color chart for the homes and roofs. Rick said it will be general earth tone colors. There will be nothing to contrast dramatically with each other or the adjacent properties. However he is not aware of a color pallet being put together. Commissioner Read asked if he could have the colors before it gets to City Council. Rick said he will do so.

The hearing was opened to the public.

Ed Smith came to the podium. He is a trustee with Vista Ridge Estates, which is the adjacent south property owner. They wholeheartedly support the zoning change. He does have a question about the adjoining property line and fence line. The ugly looking fence on the left side of the property is about 12 ft higher than Vista Ridge Estate’s concrete wall which is on the property line. Their concrete wall is 8 ft. high. The bottom of the slope is about the same as the top of their concrete wall, which is their north property line. He said there is a huge difference in elevation. According to the plat, the hammerhead turn around is almost up to the property line. He said it looks like the intention is to put a block wall around the complex, and the block wall would be right on the south property line. That would put it right on top of their existing concrete wall on their north property line. He thinks they would need to set back some distance to get a good footing under the new retaining wall. He questions what would happen to their wall and where they are going to put their wall. He would like to see a profile of the two properties.

Rick Rosenberg came to the podium and said that the adjacent grade is being lowered and material moved from the site and hauled away to a different location. The new grade will then be down close to the white columns shown. They have lowered the entire site and changed the drainage and sewer to go out to the road on the north side.

Rick went on to say that the block wall would be a privacy wall and they anticipated coming to Vista Ridge Estates to be able to remove the interesting fence thing they have going and replace it with a block wall. Geotechnical engineering is being done now, the foundation of the block wall will extend underneath the hammerhead turn around. Rick said he thinks it will be a 6 ft. privacy wall that will sit next to their fence. No one will be able to see into their backyards.

Lois Smith came to the podium. She lives in unit #40. She is down about 25 feet from the photo shown. She gets bottles, screwdrivers and bats thrown into her yard from children. She is hoping that the wall built will be high enough that things don’t get thrown over the fence. Four or five units in their development have been in danger from throwing objects. She said it would be nice if they had room to put trees behind their parking pad.

Commissioner Campbell asked if they can question the materials and styles. Bob said yes they can.

Commissioner Read asked if they can put trees into the backyard to protect the backyards of the neighbors adjacent to this project. Rick Rosenberg said the issue is the watering. He said if you saturate the soil behind the wall, it will lead to problems as well. They did have trees planned for the open space area. He would highly discourage any trees planted adjacent to the hammerhead, it would ruin the road and probably the wall at the same time. With the heat generated in the narrow plant strip, the trees probably wouldn’t survive anyway. There are trees proposed within the project.

Commissioner Campbell commented that the garage dominated architecture is the product of the number of units.

Rick Rosenberg said that the City’s Development agreement said they can’t have less than 21 units. They would have to go two story or more attached product to achieve the 21 units and avoid the garage door front door architecture. That is why they have the two duplex units.

Bob Nicholson asked where this came from.

Rick Rosenberg replied that it was the development agreement between the City of St. George and Dixie Downs Development LLC. Paragraph 1 section A says: “Developer will submit plans to develop property by applying for zone change, preparing preliminary and final plats to subdivide property into not less than 21 individual residential units”.

Assistant City Attorney Joseph Farnsworth asked when the development agreement was signed. Rick stated that the agreement was signed on Jan 12, 2009.

MOTION: Commissioner Nobis made a motion to approve the zone change in item # 3. Commissioner Hullinger seconded the motion.

DISCUSSION: Commissioner Taylor asked if it was subject to staff comments.

Commissioner Read said he would request staff comments including the elevation drop, that the wall beset back and replaced with a block wall no taller than 6 ft. and a color pallet to be shown by the time it gets to City Council meeting.

Commissioner Nobis asked if that was not all part of the PD design.

Commissioner Read said it wasn’t in there now even though they talked about it, it’s not in the paperwork. He said this is the PD zone change. He said that he would also like included that the hammerhead stay unencumbered by guest parking unless they get approval of Kevin in traffic engineer that it’s acceptable; otherwise there is no guest parking.

Commissioner Nobis said he would add those comments.

VOTE: All voted aye. Motion passes.

4. ZONE CHANGE AMENDMENT – PUBLIC HEARING (5:00 P.M.)

Consider a zone change and zone amendment to rezone approximately 79 acres from OS (Open Space) to PD (Planned Development) on land that is contiguous to and southwest of the existing Hidden Valley Master Plan and to consider a request to amend the existing PD zoning on approximately 585 acres of the Hidden Valley Master Plan. The amendment to the existing Master Plan consists of the realignment of Hidden Valley Road, the location of a school site, the addition of a church site, the addition of an RV site, the replacement of one club house with three smaller ones distributed throughout the development, and the renumbering of several P.A. (Planning Areas). There will not be an increase in the number of units in the original Master Plan area, but there will be 90 units added in the 79 acre addition. Case No. 2007-ZCA-017.

Ray Snyder presented this item. This application has two parts: to rezone appropriately 79 acres from OS to PD and also to consider amending the existing PD zoning on approximately 585 acres of the Hidden Valley Master Plan.

In 2007 this Planning Commission saw the original master plan and recommended it for approval at that time. If you compare 2007 with 2009, there are a few things that have been moved around. They are now showing a church site and a school site. Only one of those was shown in 2007. In 2007 the school district had questioned why their school site was taken out. Ivory Homes worked with them, but the economy became difficult, so it had been on hold. They are now coming back and saying they’ve worked it out with the school district, they are showing a conceptual site for the school and the church.

The RV will be in the middle of the site, down toward the southern end and it would be just for the homeowners. In 2007 they were showing one large clubhouse with a pool. They would now like to have three clubhouses spread out to better the residents.

Staff comments are that these requests are consistent with the General Plan density of Medium Density Residential. The realignment of Hidden Valley Drive is supported by staff. The number of dwelling has increased by approximately 90, but this is reflected in the addition of Planning Area 5.1 and 5.2 which staff supports. The applicant shall demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Planning Commission the design for Planning Areas, the clubhouse, school and the RV storage area. As required by the City ordinance a hillside review shall be required for any proposed hillside development over 20%. The street radius in Planned Area 4.1 and 5.1 shall be to the satisfaction of the City Traffic Engineer and meet City street design standards.

Brandee Walker from Bush & Gudgell came to the podium. She said the three clubhouses are actually amenity areas. Rather than do one big one, they wanted to do three to accommodate the economy and build out. There will be recreational areas, but they not necessarily a clubhouse building. In an effort to be more cost effective, the pools will be smaller in size than previously planned and will be at each of the three locations.

The hearing was opened to the public.

No one came up to the podium, so the hearing was closed.

MOTION: Commissioner Hullinger made a motion to approve item #4 and include staff comments. Motion was seconded by Commissioner Campbell. All voted aye. Motion passes.

5. ZONING REGULATION AMENDMENT – PUBLIC HEARINGS (5:00 P.M.)

Consider a zoning regulation amendment to the City Zoning Regulations, Title 10, Chapter 10 Commercial
10-10-2 “Permitted Uses” to amend uses in the C-1, C-2, C-3, and C-4 zones. Case No. 2009-ZRA-003

Bob Nicholson, Community Development Director, presented this amendment. He began by highlighting some of the updates. He addressed Councilwoman Shakespeare’s question regarding car lots in a C-4 zone. The ordinance today states that in a C-4 zone a car lot would be a conditional use. They are also subject to some new proposed standards which will severely limit the number. Also in a C-4 zone trailer sales are not permitted. There had been concern about the one located at 1st West and St. George Blvd. When that came in, the area was zoned C-3. A few weeks ago the Council did expand the downtown C-4 zone and now C-4 goes from 5th East almost to 4th West. The uses now are a little more restrictive in the C-4 zone.

Bob said that storage rental units now have a definition. This will be a conditional use in a C-2 and C-3, which it is today, but now they propose to add design standards. Mini-storage units shall be limited to 12 ft. overall height for the storage unit portion. The site location shall be behind a retail, office or similar storefront and other appropriate mixed uses which effectively screen the storage units from public street views. They shall be located to the rear of existing commercial developments so they are not the dominant view from public streets. When they are located adjacent to a residential zone, they shall have the front of the storage units screened behind a front façade typical of a commercial, retail or office building. They can be constructed of prefabricated metal building provided the exterior of the facility is covered with 50% of the building in decorative material. Colors are to be earth tone. Lighting will be required to be constructed and shielded. Individual storage units shall not be used for manufacturing, retail or wholesale selling, office functions or human habitation. No hazardous, flammable or explosive materials are permitted. Main access shall be allowed only from a public street. Facilities located next to a residential zone shall be screened with a solid block wall no less than 6 ft. in height and landscaping placed close together to effectively screen and shield the storage units from public view.

In the manufacturing zone there will be no change, design standards are not needed except the normal landscape requirements.

Towing is a new additional use. In the C-2 and C-3 zones it is permitted. No on-site vehicle storage or impound yard is permitted.

Wind turbines, power generation is not permitted in any commercial zones. This was just added.

Bob talked about site setback standards in the C-4 zone. They will require parking to be in the rear or side of a building and not in front of it unless access to the side or rear is not feasible. All buildings shall be built within 10 ft. of the front property line.

Bob Nicholson said tonight is not an ordinance form, they will have to work with the attorneys to put this in ordinance form. This is just to show the things they are trying to accomplish.

Craig Harvey presented the building design standards for residential units above commercial/retail/offices in the C-4 zone. Maximum density shall be determined by the City Council upon recommendation of the Planning Commission. Min. height shall be 12 ft. floor to ceiling. Min. building frontage for new construction shall not be less than 150 ft for mixed use buildings. Buildings located on corners shall have the front façade wrap around the corner to the full depth of the building. Underground parking will be permitted provided that such parking is accessible from the side or rear of the development and not from the primary street.

Commissioner Campbell discussed balconies which is item V-5E. He sees that balconies can be an eyesore, depending what is actually put onto the balcony.

Craig Harvey said this could be addressed with CCR’s.

Commissioner Campbell also said that regarding # 7, fabric for awnings, the fabric should be fire resistive. They cost more, but look the same and to be pedestrian friendly, it should be fire resistive.

Commissioner Taylor asked about item #13. He wanted to clarify that the historical preservation could waive some criteria/requirements, for example the minimum height of ground level retail/office space requirement of 12 ft. ceilings on the first floor.

Craig Harvey said yes, because those buildings would be existing and therefore they would be remodeling the building. Most of these guidelines being discussed are for new construction.

Regarding automobile, sales and service and lot standards, Craig pointed out that this is for all of the commercial zones. The minimum lot size shall be one acre or larger and shall not exceed fifteen acres. Minimum lot width for one side shall be one hundred feet of frontage on a public street. Display pads for cars may project into the 15 ft. landscaped area up to 10 ft. and shall be limited to two display pads, in any directional orientation, no larger than necessary to accommodate one car per 100 feet of display frontage. Landscape square footage removed for the display pads shall be replaced with the same square footage elsewhere on the site and noted on the plans.

Commissioner Taylor wanted to discuss item 4-I, shielding storage units in a residential zone, he is thinking they are located in a commercial zone, so what is the implication? Are you talking about if it backs up to a residential zone?

Bob Nicholson, Community Development Director, responded by saying the intent is where you are adjacent to a residential zone. Commissioner Taylor asked if that wording could be added so it would not be quite as vague, and the answer was that they would add the word adjacent.

Public hearing was opened.

Torgie Gelmore came to the podium. She thinks the regulation for storage sheds should have the words no animal or human habitation allowed.

MOTION: Commissioner Campbell made a motion to approve item # 5 zoning regulation amendment with the modifications suggested this evening. Commissioner Taylor seconded the motion. All voted aye. Motion passes.

6. DISCUSSION

Discuss a proposal to modify Section 10-11-4 (A) “Storage Enclosed” in the manufacturing zones. The current M-1 and M-2 zones have a provision that requires the solid visual screening of outside equipment or materials. This exists as an aesthetic issue. Vehicles that are in running order do not have to be screened. This provision has been a source of debate by developers. Case No. 2009-DI-002

Bob Nicholson presented this proposal. In the commercial zones and the manufacturing zones, the same language is used; Ordinance 10-11-4 Special Provisions states all storage except vehicles in running order shall be stored in an enclosed building or within an enclosure surrounded by a solid fence or wall of not less than 6 ft. in height, and no material or merchandise shall be stored to a height greater than that of the enclosing fence or wall (chain link fencing with slats is not considered a solid fence for purposes of this section. In the commercial zone, the wording would be left as is without any changes, but in the industrial zone such as Ft. Pierce, he thinks it has caused alittle bit of problem. People put up chain link fence and slats without permits and then we try to enforce it. Bob said more flexibility may be needed in the industrial zone. The newer chain link and slats is a better product today than it used to be. Wood is not really wanted, as it doesn’t last very long.

Bob Nicholson would like to have the commissioners input and four options were presented. The first option is to leave ordinance as is. The second option would be to delete the last phrase. The third option would be to add the phrase “chain link fencing with slats, shall not be used to screen materials stored on property fronting River Road or 3050 East Streets. Chain link with slats is permitted for enclosing materials storage when not fronting on and visible from River Road and East Street. The fourth option would be to require that a solid wall shall be parallel with any public street, except that movable gates may be see through.

Bob went on to say that these are different options and that option # 3 came about because River Road is the main arterial corridor and today dead ends in the Ft. Pierce Industrial Park. In the near future it will be the gateway to a whole new community out on the South Block. River Road will be a primary access point to the South Block development. 3050 East is another arterial street. If you go down past Costco, it actually becomes Riverside Drive and is also a major corridor. Item # 3 of the discussion shows that along these roads the wall would need to be solid.

Councilwoman Shakespeare asked about the chain link slats and said it would be good to add that it be kept in good repair. Bob said it would be possible to add that language.

Matt Loo, Development Services Director, is involved with the Ft. Pierce area, therefore Bob Nicholson invited him to come to this meeting to give his insight and thoughts.

Bob said that Ray Snyder went out to take some pictures for this presentation. There is some conflict in that the property owners deal with the property owners association out in Ft. Pierce and they are more flexible than the City. Bob stated it would be good to be more uniform.

Commissioner Campbell asked what the ordinance is about barbed wire and razor wire on top of a block wall.

Bob replied that it is allowed in the industrial zone. The ordinance says that barbed wire must be pulled straight. It is against the code to have the coiled razor ribbon.

.Joseph Farnsworth, Assistant City Attorney, read code 10-18-6 and said it is allowed in the agricultural, manufacturing and certain commercial zones.

Bob said some coil is seen in the Dixie Downs area; however it existed prior to this ordinance.

Commissioner Campbell said that block walls look the best, however they are subject to graffiti. The chain link fence, even as ugly as it is, does have some flexibility to change the graffiti or avoid having it put on in the first place.

Matt Loo, Development Services Director, came to the podium. He said that some of the things they face as far as challenges is that it is probably easier to swallow when it is an acre lot, but when you have a 10 acre lot, and you throw in a solid cinder block fence it becomes very expensive. He suggested putting in Mondale pines, some trees especially in Ft. Pierce because if you drive around there, you will see cinderblocks, chain links and that is pretty much all you’ll see. It may be a decent option to save the money you spend on cinderblock and beef up the landscaping.

Commissioner Campbell said he likes the idea of the trees because it softens the monotony of a big chain link fence. He also said they do make about 6 colors for slats, many are bright and circus colors and then there are some tan and chocolate, which would not be as dominate with our colors here in southern Utah. Overall the tan and chocolate can give an earthy look.

Matt Loo said if you’ve seen St. George Truss , they’ve done cinderblock , but they’ve also done slats, and the slats match the color of the cinderblock. It makes it a little more uniform and cleaner looking.

Ray Snyder showed photos of the River Road Corridor staring at one end and going to the other end. Ray stated that staff through the last few years has put as a requirement that if you are in Ft. Pierce you must have a solid block wall. They have tried to be sensitive to really large acreage, because it is not cost effective to have a block wall all around a property. He and Bob discussed this and concluded that from the street they should have a solid wall. He said the code is such that if they don’t have anything in a storage yard and don’t have any equipment, then they don’t have to have a wall. Walls are only necessary as you are covering or hiding something. Gates have been a problem through the years; solid metal gates are very heavy and fail at times.

Commissioner Campbell said block walls are more in cost, but probably wouldn’t make or break the businesses. Paint stays on a long time because it is so porous. He thinks we should continue the way we have as he sees the fruits of prior ordinances taking place. He said there is a way to provide gates with screening. He has seen a metal mesh in Phoenix and it blocks at about 70 percent of the vision and is lightweight. Usually storage is not right behind the entrance.

Bob Nicholson said what we do by practice is somewhat like option #4. He said that now we are asking them to screen with solid along the public streets and then back in the interior but that is not exactly how the code reads. He said that we need to change the practice or make the code in line with our practice. Matt Loo’s point is that we do have some tenants out in the industrial park with large acreage, and to try to ask people to fully enclose those in solid masonry walls is a big cost.

Commissioner Nobis said what if we define it that if you are over a certain amount of frontage, there are options but if chain link is used there has to be more landscaping out front. He thinks Bob’s concerns are very valid about the large parcels.

Bob said you could add if the enclosure area is over x size, then chain link with slats is a permitted screening material.

Commissioner Campbell asked that you encourage them to put their storage in the side yard and the secondary street. He thinks you need to protect the main corridors.

Bob Nicholson said he will come back with more recommendations. This was a discussion item.

7. MINUTES

Consider approval of the Planning Commission minutes for February 24, 2009.

MOTION: Commission Hullinger made a motion to approve the minutes with a minor correction. Commissioner Campbell seconded the motion. All voted aye. Motion passes.


Motion to adjourn was made by Commissioner Read. The motion seconded by Commissioner Nobis. The time was 6:50 p.m.