City Council

Thursday, April 3,2003
Minutes



ST. GEORGE CITY COUNCIL MINUTES
REGULAR MEETING
APRIL 3, 2003, 4:00 P.M.
CITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS

PRESENT:
Mayor Daniel McArthur
Council Member Rod Orton
Council Member Sharon Isom
Council Member Bob Whatcott
Council Member Larry Gardner
City Manager Gary Esplin
City Attorney Shawn Guzman
City Recorder Gay Cragun

EXCUSED:
Council Member Suzanne Allen

OPENING:
Mayor McArthur called the meeting to order and welcomed all present. The pledge of allegiance was led by Council Member Orton and the invocation was offered by Mayor McArthur.

CONSENT CALENDAR:
Consider approval of the financial statement for February, 2003.

A motion was made by Council Member Isom and seconded by Council Member Gardner to approve the financial statement. Mayor McArthur called for a vote, and all voted aye. The motion carried.

Mayor McArthur invited a Scout in the audience to introduce himself.

AWARD OF BID:
Consider award of bid for golf cart batteries.

Purchasing Agent Sue Swensen presented the two bids received:

Parts Plus $35,288
Dixie Battery $36,800

She recommended award of a blanket purchase order to the low bidder, Parts Plus, in the amount of $35,288.

A motion was made by Council Member Gardner and seconded by Council Member Isom to award the bid to the low bidder, Parts Plus, in the amount of $35,288.
Mayor McArthur called for a vote, and all vote aye. The motion carried.

AWARD OF BID:
Consider award of bid for a new pump, pipe, and well head to equip well #3 to City standards.

Purchasing Agent Sue Swensen presented two bids received:

Anzalone Pump $59,000 with a trade-in of $12,000
Total bid $47,000

Gardner Brothers Drilling $44,052.69 with a trade-in of $16,000
Total bid $28,052.69

She recommended award of the bid to the low bidder, Gardner Brothers Drilling, in the amount of $28,052.69.

A motion was made by Council Member Orton and seconded by Council Member Whatcott to award the bid to the low bidder, Gardner Brothers Drilling, in the total amount of $28,052.69. Mayor McArthur called for a vote, and all voted aye. The motion carried.

AWARD OF BID:
Consider award of a blanket contract for asphalt, sand, gravel, concrete, etc, for the Streets, Water Services, and Energy Services Departments.

Purchasing Agent Sue Swensen advised that five bids were received, and she recommended that blanket contracts be set up with all five vendors (Western Rock, Sun Roc, Interstate Rock, Quality Excavation, and Southern Utah Asphalt) in an

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amount not to exceed $75,000. Staff will use the lowest bid for whatever item is needed.

Council Member Whatcott expressed concern that one of the bidders may be experiencing some financial problems and wondered if this needed to be addressed before the blanket contract was established.

City Attorney Shawn Guzman commented that the award of bid could be made conditional upon receiving additional information to make sure the bidder is responsible.

A motion was made by Council Member Gardner to award the bid as recommended by the Purchasing Agent and conditioned upon making sure all bidders are responsible. The motion was seconded by Council Member Whatcott. Mayor McArthur called for a vote, and all voted aye. The motion carried.

AWARD OF BID:
Consider award of bid for the Tuweap Drive sewer line project.

Purchasing Agent Sue Swensen presented three bids received:

Dennett $62,135
Blackmore $77,965
L&M $89,876

She recommended award to the low bidder, Dennett, in the amount of $62,135.

A motion was made by Council Member Orton and seconded by Council Member Isom to award the bid to the low bidder, Dennett, in the amount of $62,135. Mayor McArthur called for a vote, and all voted aye. The motion carried.

AWARD OF BID:
Consider award of a blanket contract for Badger meters and miscellaneous parts for meters for the Water Services Department.

Purchasing Agent Sue Swensen explained this is a sole source purchase of Badger
meters from Hydro Specialties, the manufacturer?s representative for the area. The estimate for the year is $75,000.

A motion was made by Council Member Whatcott and seconded by Council Member Orton to award the bid to Hydro Specialties in an amount not to exceed $75,000. Mayor McArthur called for a vote, and all voted aye. The motion carried.

Council Member Orton commented that it would be interesting to see a list of all the City?s sole source vendors and talk about it so that the Council has a better understanding of sole source bids. He inquired how the City could be sure the vendor is bidding competitively if it is a sole source bid.

Ms. Swensen replied that sometimes staff will negotiate with a sole source vendor if he or she feels the bid is not good enough.

ASSESSMENT ORDINANCE:
Consider adoption of an assessment ordinance confirming the assessment rolls and levying an assessment against certain properties in the City of St. George, Utah Special Improvement District 99-3 (Little Valley), Utah for the purpose of constructing improvements within said municipality consisting of right-of-way, easements, earthwork, sidewalks, street paving, curb and gutter and storm drainage improvements, the installation of water and sewer lines, including hydrants and manholes, and all other miscellaneous work necessary to complete the improvements in a proper workmanlike manner; and related matters.

Mayor McArthur commented that the City Manager feels all the outstanding issues with regard to this SID have been resolved. Those who feel there are still issues remaining have the option of filing a civil suit.

City Attorney Shawn Guzman commented that while the City Council could have more discussion on this matter, the issue is now at a point where the City should move forward.


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Deputy City Attorney Ron Read advised that the City committed funds to build a wall along Dick Warren?s frontage, but this would not change the previous recommendation from the Board of Equalization. Funds for this wall would come from the City, and not the SID. Six out of 12 have executed agreements with the City for a reduced assessment.

Council Member Gardner inquired what would happen to those who might have second thoughts and would like to sign an agreement with the City.

Mr. Read replied that this could still be done outside of the SID, as the SID amounts would be set.

Mayor McArthur commented that this assessment ordinance has been put off many times in an attempt to accommodate everyone, and the City Council can put it off again if it feels it needs to.

Council Member Orton commented that after months of meetings the City has done all it can to try to accommodate everyone. He then made a motion to approve the ordinance. The motion was seconded by Council Member Isom.

Council Member Whatcott inquired how the City deals with those who have been assessed, like Glen Bundy, who want to come in and visit with the City Council and look at the City?s records, as the City has never given Mr. Bundy a forum to discuss his issues.

City Attorney Shawn Guzman replied that Mr. Bundy is now represented by counsel,
but his attorney gave the City the go-ahead to discuss anything with Mr. Bundy until notified differently. He stated that staff has spoken with Mr. Bundy directly many times, and everything he has requested has been made available to him through G.R.A.M.A.. Staff has always been open to Mr. Bundy and has met with him often. However, it is the City Council?s decision if they would like to meet with him again.

Council Member Orton commented that Mr. Bundy has had more opportunity than any others to discuss this special improvement district.

Council Member Gardner commented he was not sure he would agree with Council Member Orton, as some of the times Mr. Bundy has been present it has not been in a public hearing setting, and Mr. Bundy has been frustrated the City did not give him any time to speak. Perhaps Mr. Bundy was not given enough time in the Board of Equalization setting as well.

Council Member Isom suggested a work meeting be scheduled with Mr. Bundy.

Council Member Gardner inquired how the City Council could give an ear to Mr. Bundy?s concerns after the fact. The City Council has bent over backwards to meet the requests of individuals within this SID and to be equitable. Part of Mr. Bundy?s concern is that he does not feel that equity has been achieved.

City Attorney Shawn Guzman commented that staff has addressed most of the concerns raised in Mr. Bundy?s letter to the Council many times.

Council Member Gardner commented that Mr. Bundy is seeking reassurance from staff that his concerns have been looked at and the City?s obligations have been met. The City has tried to be equitable, but Mr. Bundy differs with the way the properties have been assessed, however, the City cannot go back at this stage. Mr. Bundy is seeking reassurance from Brent Gardner with regard to inconsistencies in the way the assessments were made.

Brent Gardner replied that with regard to Mr. Bundy?s concern that a subdivision and the church were not paying its fair share, the Foothills Subdivision was not assessed because it completed all its improvements on 2450 South and its sewer system. This sewer system is not part of the Little Valley sewer system. The church also installed its own sewer line, and is not served from the SID. They also installed their own improvements on 2450 South. With regard to the handicap ramp, this ramp was not built as part of the SID, and while it does not meet new standards, it met the applicable standards at the time it was constructed. With regard to easements, Mr. Gardner stated he was not aware of any easements which had not been acquired for the project, except from Denice Hughes, and his is being acquired through condemnation. With regard to the assessment difference

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between the north and south sides of 2450 South, and as been discussed previously, the north side has a higher assessment because it has already developed. Improvements on the south will be completed as the property is developed and will be paid for by the developers. Mr. Gardner stated staff feels all these issues had been resolved previously through the review process, and he was not aware of any new issues Mr. Bundy might have.

Council Member Whatcott commented that even after numerous visits with Mr. Bundy, he is still frustrated, and even though Mr. Bundy has taken a lot of staff?s time, the results of these meetings do not get back to the City Council.

Mr. Gardner advised that Mr. Bundy has set up several meetings with staff and then has not shown up. Staff has endeavored to communicate with Mr. Bundy, and all the issues addressed in his letter have been covered.

Council Member Whatcott commented that he was not being critical of staff or Mr. Bundy, and he thought staff had bent over backwards to accommodate Mr. Bundy, but he inquired how a person could rationally discuss these issues, as the City Council has not heard the conversations with staff and has only seen the letters from Mr. Bundy. If staff does not tell the City Council the result of these conversations, the City Council does not know and hears the frustrated side and not both sides of the picture.

Brent Gardner replied that there were many people in this SID and the City has tried to be as equitable as it could to everyone.

Council Member Gardner inquired if there were merit to delaying the adoption of the ordinance in an effort to further resolve outstanding issues in order to avoid a lawsuit.

City Attorney Shawn Guzman commented it appeared from Mr. Bundy?s letter that he would like an opportunity to talk about it, and his attorney asked that the matter be tabled. He advised that he informed Mr. Bundy?s attorney that the City would work with Mr. Bundy to give him all the information it could to answer his questions. However, it is staff?s opinion that any issue raised now would not change the assessments.

Deputy City Attorney Ron Read advised that at the last work meeting he prepared a memo which addressed every issue raised by Mr. Bundy. Issues raised by Denice Hughes for which staff did not have an answer at the time have now been answered. The City?s overhead percentage on the SID was 9.2% while it could go to 15%. The other issue raised had to do with different assessments for different zones, and this has been looked at and addressed. Another issue brought up by both Mr. Bundy and Mr. Hughes concerned when the church and subdivision were completed, and the SID was put in, the grades did not match up so some of the asphalt was removed and redone, and the costs were included in the SID. The estimate is less than $20,000, but a majority of this has been eaten up by the $150,000 the City put into the SID, and there might be a remaining $1,000-$2,000 the SID is paying for.

Mr. Gardner advised the cost of this reasphalting was $25,000, and the City contributed $110,000 to the project.

City Attorney Shawn Guzman commented that staff feels confident the SID is legally sound and the assessments are correct. If the City Council wants to hold off knowing that it is bearing interest costs while waiting to finalize the SID, he would be glad to provide whatever information is needed.

Mayor McArthur called for a roll call vote, as follows:

Council Member Orton - aye
Council Member Isom - aye
Council Member Gardner - aye
Council Member Whatcott - aye

The vote was unanimous and the motion carried.

A meeting will be scheduled with Mr. Bundy.



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RESOLUTION:
Consider approval of a resolution abandoning portions of existing public utility easements around building pad #70 of Emerald Springs, Phase 2, to adjust the pad location.

Public Works Director Larry Bulloch explained that easements are being rotated to accommodate building design. Staff recommends approval.

A motion was made by Council Member Isom and seconded by Council Member Orton to approve the resolution. Mayor McArthur called for a roll call vote, as follows:

Council Member Isom - aye
Council Member Orton - aye
Council Member Whatcott - aye
Council Member Gardner - aye

The vote was unanimous and the motion carried.

RESOLUTION
Consider approval of a resolution abandoning an existing public easement between Lots 76 and 77 of the St. James Subdivision Phase 4.

Public Works Director Larry Bulloch explained that new easements will be granted.
A motion was made by Council Member Gardner and seconded by Council Member Isom to approve the resolution. Mayor McArthur called for a roll call vote, as follows:

Council Member Gardner - aye
Council Member Isom - aye
Council Member Whatcott - aye
Council Member Orton - aye

The vote was unanimous and the motion carried.

RESOLUTION:
Consider approval of a resolution abandoning a public utilities and drainage easement located along the westerly line of Lot 3, Trebruk Estates Subdivision, Phase II.

Public Works Director Larry Bulloch explained that new lot lines and easements will be established.

A motion was made by Council Member Gardner and seconded by Council Member Orton to approve the resolution. Mayor McArthur called for a roll call vote, as follows:

Council Member Gardner - aye
Council Member Orton - aye
Council Member Whatcott - aye
Council Member Isom - aye

The vote was unanimous and the motion carried.

RESOLUTION:
Consider approval of a resolution changing the park fee structure.

Leisure Services Director Kent Perkins explained that the new park fee structure was approved at the last meeting, but it has since been determined that this must be done by resolution.

A motion was made by Council Member Whatcott and seconded by Council Member Orton to approve the resolution. Mayor McArthur called for a roll call vote, as follows:

Council Member Whatcott - aye
Council Member Orton - aye
Council Member Isom - aye
Council Member Gardner - aye

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The vote was unanimous and the motion carried.

SET PUBLIC HEARING:
Associate Planner Mark Bradley explained that the Planning Commission, at its meeting held March 25, 2003, recommended that a public hearing be scheduled for May 1, 2003 at 5:00 p.m. to consider approval of a zone change from R-1-10 to PD Residential for nine townhome units on .99 acre located at the southeast corner of the Valley View Drive and Indian Hills Drive Intersection. Vince Clayton is the agent.

A motion was made by Council Member Isom and seconded by Council Member Orton to schedule the public hearing as recommended by the Planning Commission. Mayor McArthur called for a vote, and all voted aye. The motion carried.

PRELIMINARY PLAT:
Associate Planner Mark Bradley explained that the Planning Commission, at its meeting held March 25, 2003, recommended approval of the preliminary plat for Jedora Estates as submitted with 97 single family lots in an R-1-10 zone located at 2450 South 2000 East. Russell Riggs, applicant. He explained that the density is 2.56 units per acre, well under the low density residential zoning regulations. Roads throughout the project are 50'. The overall site layout provides reasonable connectivity, but staff recommends that the central part of the development have another connection for pedestrian access and into the future development to the west. The General Plan policy on street patterns is that the City will avoid culdesacs where possible unless there are physical constraints of the land, and local streets will be arranged in a modified grid to provide multiple routes through a neighborhood.

Rick Rosenberg, representing the applicant, advised that the property owner and developer feels adequate connectivity has been provided and culdesacs are preferred due to marketing issues. Further, the streets have good connectivity in all four directions.

Council Member Gardner expressed surprise that the General Plan recommends that culdesacs be avoided as many people prefer to live on them. In his opinion the plan is a nice blend and has good connectivity. He then made a motion to approve the preliminary plat as submitted. The motion was seconded by Council Member Isom.

Mr. Bradley explained that it is staff?s responsibility to point out the requirements of the General Plan with regard to long range planning so that all areas have good connectivity.

Mayor McArthur called for a vote, and all voted aye. The motion carried.

AMENDED PRELIMINARY PLAT:
Associate Planner Mark Bradley explained that the Planning Commission, at its meeting held March 25, 2003, recommended approval of the amended preliminary plat for seven lots in an M-1 zone located at 770 North 1080 East with the stipulation that the road alignment of the master planned road be worked out with City staff. Bush & Gudgell is the agent. He explained that the original plat with four lots was approved by the City Council on December 12, 2002 subject to details of the 1080 East Street alignment being worked out with City staff.

A motion was made by Council Member Gardner and seconded by Council Member Whatcott to approve the amended preliminary plat as recommended by the Planning Commission.

Council Member Whatcott inquired if a 35' road was adequate for semis and big equipment.

Mr. Bradley replied that without doing a traffic study, this could not be answered. However, improvements were needed as far as the thickness of the existing asphalt.

Mayor McArthur called for a vote, and all voted aye. The motion carried.

AMENDED PRELIMINARY PLAT:
Associate Planner Mark Bradley explained that the Planning Commission, at its meeting held March 25, 2003, recommended approval of the amended preliminary

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plat for The Estates at Bloomington with 25 single family lots in an R-1-10 zone north of Bloomington Country Club Phase 7 between Los Padres Drive and Kolob Drive. Frank Lindhardt is the applicant. The original preliminary plat was approved by the City Council in February, and the area with the three additional lots was recently rezoned.

A motion was made by Council Member Orton and seconded by Council Member Gardner to approve the amended preliminary plat as recommended by the Planning Commission. Mayor McArthur called for a vote, and all voted aye. The motion carried.

PUBLIC HEARING:
Public hearing to consider approval of an application for federal Community Development Block Grant funds for a housing assistance fund to assist low and moderate income persons purchase a home in the central City area of St. George. City of St. George, applicant.

Ty Tippetts, Executive Director of Color Country Community Housing, explained that the concept behind the application is to establish a revolving loan fund for low and moderate income first-time home buyers. Applicants will be certified to meet income criteria. When a home is resold or refinanced, that money is recaptured and brought back into the loan fund to assist others. The target area is between Bluff Street and 700 East and from 100 South to 700 South. $5,000 is available, with $2,000 to help with closing costs and the down payment, and the remaining $3,000 for basic home repairs. The program will be administered by Color Country Community Housing at very little, if any, cost to the City. The final application is due May 1.

Mayor McArthur opened the public hearing.

Lucia Christensen expressed concern with bringing low income residents to the historical area of the City.

Mayor McArthur explained that this program is designed to assist low and moderate income persons purchase single family residences and upgrade some of the older homes.

Council Member Isom explained mixing different income levels is more desirable than setting one area aside for low income housing.

Council Member Gardner explained that this program is designed to help more young people get into a home and keep the community vibrant.

Ms. Christensen replied that the only way to measure the success of the program is to see if the price of homes in the area go up or down, and whether crime increases or decreases.

Mr. Tippetts explained that those with income levels meeting the guidelines of the program include firemen, school teachers, police officers, bankers, and others who are the backbone of the community.

Miriam Palma commented that $5,000 was a very small amount and inquired if this amount could be increased.

City Manager Gary Esplin replied that in the future the City will be adding about $500,000 annually when it becomes an entitlement city, hopefully next year.

Gordon Dunn inquired if it would be possible to have a standard of upkeep, and if not, the money would have to be returned.

Council Member Isom replied that if the City did that, it would have to do so for the entire City.

There being no further public comment, Mayor McArthur closed the public hearing.

PUBLIC HEARING/AMEND FINAL PLAT/ORDINANCE:
Public hearing to consider a request to amend the final plat for Emerald Springs Townhomes Phase 2 located at 100 North between Valley View Drive and Dixie Drive to readjust and enlarge building pad #70. Doug Campbell, applicant.
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Associate Planner Mark Bradley explained this item was procedural in nature. Easements had to be abandoned in order to readjust and enlarge the building pad. The Planning Commission recommends approval.

Mayor McArthur opened the public hearing. There being no public comment, he closed the public hearing.

A motion was made by Council Member Orton and seconded by Council Member Gardner to approve the ordinance amending the final plat. Mayor McArthur called for a roll call vote, as follows:

Council Member Orton - aye
Council Member Gardner - aye
Council Member Isom - aye
Council Member Whatcott - aye

The vote was unanimous and the motion carried.

PUBLIC HEARING/ZONE CHANGE/ORDINANCE:
Public hearing to consider approval of a zone change from R-2, R-3, and PD Residential to R-1 Conservation from Main Street to 400 West and from 100 South to 600 South (Plat A, Blocks 3, 4 and 5, less and excepting C-1 property; Blocks 6, 8, 9, 10 and 11; and the south portion of Blocks 17 and 18; Plat C, Block 16 and portions of Blocks 5, 6 and 15). Downtown Neighborhood Committee, applicant.

Associate Planner Mark Bradley explained that the proposed rezone involves a complete nine block area and remnant parcels totaling another block. The Planning Commission recommended approval on a six to one vote.

Gloria Shakespeare, representing the applicant, presented a power point presentation explaining the purpose of the committee, definition of the R-1 conservation zone, and a preview of historical homes within this area.

Jim McArthur explained that he owns a home in this area. He explained the history of the Committee, and its interest in maintaining the value of homes in the area. He explained that the past rezone to multiple family degraded the value of the area because of the high transient nature taking place in the 15 block area on the west side of the City. There are 638 single family homes or apartments, with 50% of them owner-occupied, which is not enough to maintain a good neighborhood. In the last 25 years, of the 265 condos and townhomes in the area, 50% have gone from owner occupied units to rental units. The overall density of the area is already at the high end of medium density. The positive effect of this zone change would be to freeze the density level at where it now is. There are a few parcels which could still be turned into single family developments, and zoning and rental enforcement is critical to stabilizing the area.

Ms. Shakespeare commented that the decline in single family homes is also having a serious impact on area schools and neighborhoods.

Craig Seegmiller, representing the Washington County School Board, commented that a few years ago the decision was made to rebuild Dixie High School where it presently exists, as well as locating the new Washington County School District office downtown. He commented that every time a family with children moves into the downtown area, the schools celebrate, but if they own a home, they celebrate doubly, as this has a major impact on the three downtown schools- West Elementary, Dixie Middle School, and Dixie High School.

Melanie Olson, Principal of West Elementary School, commented that her school has an 83% turn-over or mobility rate, and lack of a stable mix in the school causes problems. Of the 26-28 students a teacher may have in his or her class each year, only six of that original group remains at the end of the school year. This changes how the teacher teaches and the climate in the class.

Ms. Shakespeare commented that the Committee supports minimum property standards.

Ross Taylor, a resident of the downtown area, urged adoption of the ordinance, and commented that the CDBG grants go hand in hand with the proposed zone change, because without stabilization of the neighborhood, the program will be diminished

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considerably. He then displayed a video of homes in the area which have deteriorated. He stated that the deterioration has been more rapid in the last three years due to neglect of the structures and yards, parking on lawn areas, and flagrant violations of ordinances. Homes are being rented by room, exceeding occupancy standards, and garages and sheds are being converted into apartments without the knowledge of City inspectors. Stable families are moving out and giving way to less stable investors whose strategy is simply to increase their income. He commented that adoption of the ordinance aligns with the General Plan and will make a strong statement that neighborhoods are important and worth preserving, and will strengthen the efforts of enforcement officials. The General Plan is well designed and should be followed. A neighborhood?s life compares to a person?s life - when it is young it is vibrant and growing, but the time comes when one must pay attention to symptoms of disease and minimize the effects of aging. The central City area is to that age, and the Council must act for the benefit of the future and present residents. He urged adoption of the ordinance which is in compliance with the General Plan.

Ms. Shakespeare commented that the community is only as strong as its weakest link. She urged adoption of the ordinance.

Mayor McArthur commented that the City has made great effort to work with the Neighborhood Committee and enforce ordinances in the downtown area as it has become aware of violations. He then opened the public hearing.

Edward H. (Ted) Everett advised that he represented the estate of Edward Everett and was opposed to the zone change. Historic homes can be protected by declaring them historical landmarks, and violations of City codes can be enforced. If the ordinance is passed it will render the back half of his property useless, and there are only two homes on his entire block which have historical value. There would be more value to the City and schools if something were done with the older homes by putting them to a different use. If the City approves the ordinance, he will file an appeal to have his property value reduced.

Lila Larkin commented that she has been investing in property in the area proposed for rezone for the last 15 years for her retirement. She suggested the zone change end at 300 West in order to help preserve the value of her property.

Bruce Jensen explained that he and his family moved to St. George from California to a historic house at 306 South Main. As his family grew, he moved to another historic home at 143 South 200 West which has been appraised at over $325,000. He stated he has a financial interest in staying in the area. Two nights ago neighbor children from a family of renters asked to have dinner at his house, and while he has no problem with feeding someone in need, he worries about feeding scores more moving in and causing devaluation of the area.

LeGrand and Jeff Fawcett explained they own property at 262 South 100 West, and have lived there for 40 years. They have plans to build in the center of the block, and have been many years acquiring this property for retirement. Jeff Fawcett stated that when he returned from college he could not afford to purchase a home so he rented three houses in the area. Renters are not bad people, and the zone change request is not right.

Dave Mollner, a resident of South Main, explained that he planned on building two handicapped units for his retirement, and he purchased the property with this intention.

Jay Melling, a property owner on 100 West, advised that most of the lots are long and skinny, and he questioned the authenticity of the signatures on the petition for rezoning.

James Haskell, a resident at 164 West 100 South, advised that he has a company operating crime-stopping units across the nation. He explained that across the country people are selling drugs within neighborhoods, and most of these people are in rental units. He stated that the proposed zone change will maintain the stability of the historic homes, and he did not want to see the area deteriorate.

Larry Bundy, a property owner at 176 West and 190 West 400 South, objected to the zone change, and asked the City Council to table the request and consider alternatives to benefit smaller single family lots sizes by changing the setbacks, frontage widths, and reduce the lot square footage of all lots fronting on public

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streets in the downtown area. If the proposed zone change takes place, there will be a lot of area between the older homes which may not have the footage or frontage to meet City standards, and no one will be able to build on these parcels. He stated he was not opposed to lowering the density, and encouraged enforcement of ordinances.

Connie Mayer, a resident adjacent to the Hackwell Apartments, commented that it has been a nightmare since the Hackwell Apartments were built, and she was recently advised that townhomes will be built on the other side of her. She stated she was in favor of the proposed zone change.

Tom Bayles advised that he purchased his home from his grandfather, and all of his children attend West Elementary. He advised he was in favor of the zone change. He advised he was planning on adding to his home, but because of the neighborhood will never get this investment out of his home. The home is in a nice location, but there are many ordinance violations which hurt the community and has affected his decision to not add onto his home.

Selena Gaskill advised that she purchased a pioneer home last August as it has always been her dream to live in St. George, and encouraged the City Council to approve the proposed zone change.

Rachel Riggs advised that she was also speaking on behalf of her mother, and they were both residents of the downtown area. She then read a letter written by her mother in favor of the proposed zone change. Ms. Riggs advised she worried about the safety of her children.

Miriam Palma advised that she lives in the downtown area and is one of the few under the age of 70 in her neighborhood. She said she had spent a lot of time trying to decide if she were for or against the proposed zone change, but it came down to stability, and stability will be provided by single family homes. She urged adoption of the proposed zone change.

Matt Gardner, a resident of a pioneer home in the area, advised that if there aren?t some changes made in the area, he will move in spite of any loss he has to take on his home. He stated this zone change request was initiated by reasonable and respectful people who would not have acted if it were not necessary. He encouraged the City Council to support the recommendation of the Planning Commission and approve the zone change.

Christine Hansen, a resident of the downtown area, expressed hope for more urban renewal in the area, and advised that she will not let her second grader walk to school because it is not safe. She urged adoption of the proposed zone change.

Vardell Curtis, Executive Officer for the Washington County Board of Realtors, advised that he did not live in the area proposed for the zone change, or in any of the downtown areas proposed for zone changes, and while it is a worthy goal to make neighborhoods clean, quiet, and safe places to live, the real issue was vested private property rights. While both sides have merit and should receive equal consideration, one should not take precedence over the other. Rental properties fill a niche in society, and renters may feel offended to hear how they have been portrayed as they are not second-class citizens. He instead urged enforcement of ordinances which are already on the books and can address violations as they are noticed and reported. He stated the ten block area was significant in size, and he suggested the City Council walk the area and table the matter until they had a chance to more thoroughly review the request as there was not a one-size-fits all solution.

Sam Haslam advised that he did not live in the area, but owns a condo his mother-in-law lives in. He stated that not all landlords are slumlords, and while he has not had a chance to study the issue in depth, he would probably support it, but thought the Council would be remiss to think this would solve all the problems in the downtown area. He suggested subsidizing families to help them move into the area and own their own homes, as something happens to a person when they own their own home - they take care of it. However, people who rent cannot afford to buy, and they will be pushed elsewhere.

Stan Everett commented it was a mistake to suggest that the only place drugs exist is in rental homes as not all people who rent homes are bad. He stated the comments made by School District personnel seemed discriminatory, and he was

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not sure that fair housing would exist if all the less expensive housing were taken away. He advised he was opposed to the proposed zone change.

Gloria Shakespeare commented she did not know how this zone change matter turned into an affordable housing and rental issue. She then read sections from the General Plan. She advised that the area in question is already 50% rentals, and if the present zoning is left in place, the rental rate will rise and the City will have an enclave of poverty, experience problems, and lose its single family homeowners in this area. This decision is vitally important and will determine the quality of life in this neighborhood today, tomorrow and for many years to come. The Council?s decision will determine the character of the community when it is given to the next generation. She asked the Council to remember the people who paid the price and laid the foundation of this community, and years from now the next generation will not know who made a substantial profit on their property, but they will know what they inherit, and this zone change request is a density issue, a balance issue, and a quality of life issue. It is not a rental and affordable housing issue.

Carol Sapp, a resident of Sand Town, advised that she would no doubt be affected by the City Council?s decision at some point, and when the City looks at affordable housing, it counts rental housing in as well as those who bought. It is important to understand that when the General Plan says the City has adequate affordable housing, it does not say there is an adequate amount of people living in homes they own- just that there is adequate shelter and housing in the City, and this includes rentals. She said she was bothered by the statement that the School District doubly appreciated children from families who own their homes. She stated she thought the matter was one of low and moderate income housing and is discriminatory. She stated she felt the answer was enforcement of the City?s current codes and ordinances, and this is owed to the residents in order to maintain the quality of life here, and if this means putting on additional Code Enforcement Officers, then she as a taxpayer was willing to step up to the table and do it.

Francell Staheli, a downtown area resident for 30 years, advised that she has watched the inside of her block be used up by three different condo projects, and while all are good, there is a lot of turnover. There are not a lot of families left on the block. In the last 15 years she has filed 10 police reports for theft and harm to her property, and while she is not saying that all people who live in rentals are bad, they do not contribute the same amount of pride and care to the neighborhood that owners do. Landlords are not around to see what is happening, and to say that those who are in favor of the zone change are discriminating are wrong. In fact, it is those who live in the area who are being discriminated against because it is their residential areas which are overburdened by a larger population that it should and could support.

Dorothy Norton, a resident of the downtown area, advised that when she purchased her home she did not think to ask what the zoning in the neighborhood was because she incorrectly assumed it would be zoned the same as her home. In her neighborhood where there used to be two homes, there is now a four plex, and four units were tacked onto the back of an older home after the elderly resident died. She stated that her rights have been violated by having these thing encroach into her neighborhood when she did not expect them. New areas have covenants and restrictions to protect them and residents of the downtown area are asking the City Council to protect them, not to make the density larger than can be supported or larger than the Master Plan specifies, and to bring balance back to the neighborhoods and schools. While this is not the solution to all the problems, it is a first step toward the solution.

There being no further public comment, Mayor McArthur closed the public hearing.

Council Member Isom commented that violation of City ordinances can happen anywhere in the City, whether by renters or home owners, and she felt there was a property rights issue and the zone change should not be forced on those who do not want it.

City Attorney Shawn Guzman commented that in Utah there is no vested right in zoning. The courts have said that to have a vested property right a person must have relied on specific zoning and made a substantial effort in applying for a building permit and put money into the project based on the current zoning, not just in purchasing the property. The courts have also said that communities have


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a substantial interest in changing zoning when doing so will have a significant impact on the city.

Council Member Gardner suggested that by allowing different size lots, such as R-1-6 or R-1-7 zoning, property owners could still develop and get an adequate return on their investment.

City Manager Gary Esplin commented that many variations could be looked at, but a person?s right to use their property and receive a return on their money is the real issue. There is no guaranteed right to make money on property, but as long as the owner is able to develop and make a return of some kind would satisfy a lot of these problems. In this case there are a lot of areas in the middle of blocks with narrow frontages which do not meet current requirements in the R-1-10 zone. Single family owners may not be able to afford the cost of a big interior lot, and perhaps some combination of smaller lots with less frontage would work while still retaining single family ownership. There are ways to resolve this issue and still address private property rights, and there is a need to stabilize the downtown area. If it continues the way it is now going, it could be 90% rentals in a few years, and the City certainly does not want to see this happen to its downtown. If the City Council is not comfortable passing the ordinance tonight, it could invoke the pending ordinance doctrine and prohibit any future project not already in the process. This would give the City Council an opportunity to walk the blocks while stopping anyone from coming in and rezoning or taking out a building permit while the Council ponders reducing lot widths and looking at alternatives to make the older part of town a better place to live.

City Attorney Shawn Guzman commented that in this case and the other request for rezoning in the downtown area, because public hearings were held, this would serve as notice under case law that the City is in fact considering changing the ordinance, and it can hold off on any further actions on development.

Council Member Orton commented he felt it would be premature to make a decision, and he had many questions for staff. He stated he felt the City could do a better job in enforcing the ordinances it has in place, and to make any decision would be unfair to both sides without having remaining questions answered.

Council Member Whatcott commented he also felt a decision tonight would be premature, although there definitely is a problem in the downtown area and he did not want to see 20 years from now 100% rentals in the core of St. George. There are issues to be addressed, such as creation of minimum size lots so that the middle of blocks can be accessed and many single family homes can be built within them. All these options have not been explored. He the made a motion to table any action. The motion was seconded by Council Member Orton.

City Manager Gary Esplin commented that the City is doing the best job it can with the number of enforcement staff it has.

Council Member Isom inquired if someone who has been to planning staff with their project would be allowed to move forward.

City Manager Gary Esplin replied that there is a legal definition which must be defined and a blanket statement cannot be made. Each case will have to be considered individually to see if it meets the merits of a vested interest.

City Attorney Shawn Guzman asked the City Council to take into consideration the other down zone request in the downtown area, and because it has gone through the public hearing process, it is also pending and covered by the pending ordinance doctrine.

Mayor McArthur called for a vote, and all voted aye. The motion carried.

Mayor McArthur called for a five minute break.

PUBLIC HEARING/ZONE CHANGE/ORDINANCE:
Public hearing to consider approval of a zone change from R-3 and C-3 to PD Residential for 146 apartment units on 9.6 acres located at 360 No. Dixie Drive. International Development Group, applicant.

Associate Planner Mark Bradley explained that the project will consist of 108 units in three story buildings and 38 units in two story buildings. There is adequate

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parking, and the applicant agreed to eliminate an RV maintenance area and replace it with a park. The applicant is also willing to change the roofing material to tile rather than shingles. Concerns raised by adjacent Emerald Springs property owners include requiring a wall between the projects, however, this is not technically required by the Zoning Ordinance.

Brent Hilton, architect of the project, explained that the property abuts the Emerald Springs project with the elevation tapering from a story on the north end to only a few feet on the south end. From the grade of the driveway the townhouse-style units will be two story but on the north end they will appear to be one story. There will be no buildings at the extreme south end. Areas between the buildings have been opened in order to provide vistas. The project will be less dense and the units will have less height than Emerald Springs. The units in the central core of the project will be 2.5 stories, not three. The project will be very upscale. A blended density of R-3 and a commercial equivalent will be used. It is felt that the concessions made with regard to the park, and opening up spaces between the buildings were very respectful of Emerald Springs? position yet still retaining the rights and zoning of the site.

Council Member Gardner commented that the applicant could have a density of 13.5 units per acre on the property zoned R-3, and could put 17-22 units on the property zoned C-3 without seeking a zone change.

Council Member Whatcott replied that the applicant would have to obtain a conditional use permit on the C-3 property. Additionally, the applicant could not have three stories in an R-3 zone, but can in a PD zone.

Mr. Hilton advised that the tallest units are 2.5 stories, not three, and in a compromise to the adjacent project agreed to put the 1.5 story units against the abutting property.

Mayor McArthur opened the public hearing.

Jeff Limb, a resident of Emerald Springs, stated he was misled by the first letter sent out notifying him of the zone change. The letter said a request had been made for a zone change from R-3 and C-3 to PD Residential, and not for 146 apartments. He assumed the PD project would be similar to Emerald Springs, and he did not understand that a PD would allow anything but single family dwellings.
He inquired how far from the back property line the units would be located, and expressed concern that 146 units is a density of almost 15 units per acre. He inquired how high the 2.5 story units would be from the ground level.

Mr. Hilton replied that the units will be located 20' from the back property line, which is more than Emerald Springs, and the 2.5 story units will be a total of 35' high. The pitch of the roof will be 6:12.

Bill McNair explained that when he purchased his home in Emerald Springs he understood the adjacent property was zoned C-3, and he could live with commercial zoning. He stated there were already problems with other developments in the area due to loud music, cars, and kids throwing rocks. He suggested the number of apartment units be reduced to 110 and that the City Council not allow the merging of zones to allow another 36 units to be built. He also suggested the units all be two stories. He commented there was no pride of ownership among renters, and if the project is not fully rented in three years, luxury will go out the window and the owner will be doing anything he can to rent the units. He also suggested that planning be done to improve Dixie Drive. He requested the project be denied to force the developer to do something special to the area.

Fred Montmorency advised that he had a strong interest in how the property was developed, and expressed concern about drainage that is being dammed up on the north end of the development. He advised there is a natural drainage which caused flooding around the north wall of Emerald Springs. He also expressed concern about the sea of autos that will be in the view of many Emerald Springs residents with a west exposure. He suggested that the density be reduced to enhance the quality of the entire neighborhood. He also inquired if a turn lane could be built as part of Dixie Drive improvements. He stated he did not think the renderings provided depicted the real profiles and elevation of the buildings.



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Mr. Hilton replied that as the property slopes from north to south, the developer has a responsibility to pick up the drainage in the northeast corner, and the project has been engineered this way. Engineered fill will be brought in to bring the property up to grade. He suggested that the form of any demarcation between property lines of the two developments be left to the deference of the individual property owner. A berm will be placed along the street scape, and there will be good curb appeal all along Dixie Drive. The density will be about the same on the southwest, 13.5 units per acre. Improvements to Dixie Drive are required by the City.

Gordon Dunn, a resident of Emerald Springs, commented he did not see how luxury apartments could be half underground, and he suspected the roofs of the apartments would block the views of Emerald Springs owners. He stated he also thought the high density of the project would change the character of the neighborhood.

Council Member Isom temporarily left the stand.

Ed Grover, a resident of Emerald Springs, commented that the project would equate to 400 new cars, and he expressed concern with the condition of Dixie Drive and traffic in the area. He stated that the additional traffic would slow the response time of the nearby fire station, and suggested that signals at Dixie Drive and Valley View and 100 North would help alleviate traffic problems.

Mayor McArthur commented that when Dixie Drive is fully built it will be an 80' road.

City Manager Gary Esplin explained that the project will require a traffic impact study and the developer will be required to widen his frontage to comply with the recommendations of the study.

Rick Rosenberg advised that a TIS for the project was provided to the City Traffic Engineer which addressed the level of service at the intersections in question, and the level of service was not reduced by the additional traffic from this project. The TIS did recommend that Dixie Drive be restriped to three lanes, and this will be provided as part of the project. The project will provide a balance of street improvements on Dixie Drive through its frontage.

Council Member Isom returned to the stand.

Mr. Rosenberg advised that the traffic study was reviewed and accepted by the City.

John Whatcott, a resident of Emerald Springs, expressed concern with the height of the proposed units. He stated that the term ?luxury? did not mean much to him until he could see the product, but more important was how things fit in and the continuity of how the area would look. He stated he would prefer to see another PD project like Emerald Springs which could carry on the same theme.

Steve Terry, one of the owners of the company developing the project, advised that he was sensitive to and aware of the concerns of the neighbors, and this project has gone through several revisions hoping to find a way to make it work. The original project consisted of 14-15 four plexes which would be purchased by individual investors, but over time this would become something no one would want to live next to. By combining the commercially zoned piece with the R-3 zoned property, the density was able to be increased to get enough money to purchase 150 tall palm trees to line the entrance drive and to pay for the debt to build something very nice. He advised that he has been in this business for 27 years and has managed 250,000 apartments from New York City to Hawaii. He stated that the luxury apartments would beautify the community and make it a place people would want to come home to. A park will also be built. There is 700 feet of green frontage and a 5000 sq ft. amenity center with a huge pool and deck, jacuzzi and game room. The average cost of rental will be $750 to $800 per month. The project plan has been modified to locate the taller units in the center of the project, and it was his intent to make the project a show place.

Associate Planner Mark Bradley explained that a PD requires a 25' front setback landscaped area, and the previously planned four plex project in a C-3 zone would have fewer requirements. He stated the proposed project is a quality project

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compared to what could come in under R-3 zoning. A PD also allows the City Council to have more control over the project.

City Manager Gary Esplin clarified that the definition of a townhome in St. George is a detached owner-occupied unit.

Mr. Hilton clarified that the two story units will have parking on the lower level with some living space on the lower level and on the upper level. They will not be owner-occupied, but rentals, and each unit will have its own garage. There will be four units to a building.

There being no further public comment, Mayor McArthur closed the public hearing.

Council Member Gardner inquired about the number of units that could be built with the present zoning.

Council Member Whatcott replied that 129 units could be built on the R-3 property, and 33 units could be built on the C-3 property with a conditional use permit, which is pretty close to the same number of units proposed. He inquired if walls would be required along the Dixie Drive frontage.

Mr. Hilton replied that the developer would like the area to remain open.

A motion to approve the zone change was made by Council Member Gardner.

Mayor McArthur inquired if a wall would be required along the back lot line to separate the two projects.

The motion was seconded by Council Member Isom.

Rick Rosenberg replied that the terrain varies, but the wall could be built on the toe of the slope, then transition to the top. He suggested that the City Council may want to leave some flexibility and have each individual property owner decide if he or she wants a wall.

Council Member Gardner advised that his motion would include a provision for flexibility in placement of the wall.

Rick Rosenberg again suggested that the City Council allow flexibility with regard to the placement of the wall and not mandate its placement. He suggested that the applicant meet with the property owners to review the design and set the grade and determine where the wall will stop and start.

City Manager Gary Esplin suggested that in order to determine whether flexibility has been met, the developer should meet with the adjacent property owners so that they may approve the plan for the wall. One adjacent property owner may want a wall, and another may not. The final design can then be brought back to the City Council for approval.

Council Members Gardner and Isom agreed to include this provision in their motion and second. Mayor McArthur called for a roll call vote, as follows:

Council Member Gardner - aye
Council Member Isom - aye
Council Member Orton - aye
Council Member Whatcott - aye

The vote was unanimous and the motion carried.

CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT:
Consider a request for a conditional use permit for the Beehive Family Learning center, a private school in a C-3 zone located at 700 South in the Morningside Professional Plaza. Mary Kessler, applicant.

Associate Planner Mark Bradley explained that the Planning Commission, at its meeting held March 25, 2003, recommended approval for up to six students at any given time. Mary Kessler is the applicant. Students will be in grades 7th through 12th, and two sessions will be held each day. The site has been inspected by the Fire Marshall who limited the number of students to six. The school will be close


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to a convenience store with an existing beer license, however, this will not affect the store?s license.

A motion to approve the conditional use permit for up to six students was made by Council Member Gardner and seconded by Council Member Isom. Mayor McArthur called for a vote, and all voted aye. The motion carried.

REQUEST TO CLOSE STREET:
Consider a request to close one half of 200 North Street between 200 West and 300 West for the Cinco de Mayo Festival on May 3, 2003. Nathan Silvestri, applicant.

City Manager Gary Esplin advised that the City granted this request last year with no resulting problems. Staff recommends approval.

A motion was made by Council Member Orton and seconded by Council Member Whatcott to approve the request. Mayor McArthur called for a vote, and all voted aye. The motion carried.

APPROVE APPLICATION:
Consider approval of an application to establish a local Neighborhood Reinvestment Corp for the purpose of soliciting grants and loans for affordable housing programs. St. George City/Color Country Community Housing, applicant.

City Manager Gary Esplin expressed concern with creating another entity. He inquired why the existing St. George Housing Authority could not perform the same function.

Ty Tippetts advised that April 15 is the deadline for the application to deal with blight and inner city issues. Last year the allotment was over 100 million dollars, and there are now 220 Neighborhood Reinvestment Corps nationwide, and only two in Utah. Advantages of becoming a member of this entity include help with acquisition of conventional loans, a revolving loan fund for housing rehabilitation, multi-family housing, mutual self-help housing, purchase of rehab homes for resale programs, assistance with bids, costs, estimates, and insurance, and sponsorship of youth and neighborhood beautification programs. The program will infuse capital into the area, but without the full support of the City and community, this designation will not be received. Other benefits include the diffusion of up to 1.5 million dollars for low interest loans for the revolving loan program to help families get into homes. The major push is to help cities revitalize their downtown areas.

City Manager Gary Esplin inquired who controls the grant once it is awarded.

Mr. Tippetts replied that the entity controlling the funds can be an alliance between the City and Color Country Community Housing.

City Manager Gary Esplin inquired if the St. George Housing Authority could be the