City Council Minutes

Thursday, December 9,1999



ST. GEORGE CITY COUNCIL MINUTES SPECIAL MEETING DECEMBER 9, 1999, 4:00 P.M. CITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS PRESENT: Mayor Daniel McArthur Councilmember Bob Whatcott Councilmember Rod Orton Councilmember Suzanne Allen Councilmember Larry Gardner Councilmember Sharon Isom City Manager Gary Esplin Deputy City Attorney Ron Read City Recorder Gay Cragun FIELD TRIP TO CORNER OF BRIGHAM ROAD AND FT. PEARCE DRIVE: Present at the site were Mayor McArthur, all Councilmembers, Roger Bundy, Dave Demas, Judd Burgess, Mr. and Mrs. Adams, Aron Baker, and Gay Cragun. Various sight distances were examined. Staff reviewed their recommended wall placement and associated sight distance. A discussed ensued about moving the design vehicle location (driver?s eye position) on Bloomington Hills Drive to the 15' offset point which moves the wall approximately 1-1.5 feet closer to Mr. Adams? property line at the critical sight position. After discussion, a motion was made by Councilmember Orton to erect the 6' block wall per the location associated with the 15' offset position, with the City landscaping and maintaining the portion of Mr. and Mrs. Adams? property which will remain outside of the fence, and with Mr. Adams providing input as to the type of landscaping used. The motion was seconded by Councilmember Allen, and all voted aye. PUBLIC HEARING TO CONSIDER CREATION OF PROPOSED SPECIAL IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT 99-3 IN THE LITTLE VALLEY AREA: Mayor McArthur briefly outlined the City?s policy with regard to creation of SIDs. Brent Gardner reviewed a letter he previously distributed to City Council members responding to concerns expressed by residents of the Little Valley area. He suggested that a credit of $1,000 could be given to homes presently having a septic tank, at a cost of approximately $40,000 to the City. He suggested formation of a committee made up of Little Valley residents to work with Bob Nicholson and master plan the area for equestrian trails, parks, etc. He advised he went to great lengths to assure the developers were paying their fair share and that costs were assessed on a benefit basis, and that is the reason there are so many districts. The developers were not given any special favors or consideration. He stated that several residents are protesting the amount of their assessment and their inability to pay. He stated that for every $1000 of assessment, the annual payment would be $135 at 6% interest. The first payment would not be due until one year after completion of the project, with a ten year pay-out. Councilmember Gardner inquired if any consideration had been given for greenbelt land or farmland, and if an attempt was made to be sure that anything under irrigation was not included in the district. Brent Gardner replied that if the property owners were willing to sign an agreement stating their greenbelt area would remain such perpetually, the assessment could be assumed by the City. If at any time the greenbelt area were developed, the property owner would then pay the City the cost of the SID assessment, plus interest. However, this would require the City to come up with more money up front for the SID. City Council Minutes December 9, 1999 Page Two Public Works Director Larry Bulloch commented that the Seegmillers protested their portion of the road improvements, and after looking at the design of the project, their property is at the easterly end of the project and does not have to be improved through the SID. The Seegmillers will improve the road themselves when they develop their property. Floyd Helm, owner of a parcel in the proposed SID, spoke in favor of the SID as it would greatly enhance the value of his property, however his parcel may become landlocked due to the layout of the development. He stated for the record that he would require adequate access from the City and wanted to be able to get his building permit without needing approval from any third party. He currently has access to his property though a 50' easement, 25' of which is on his property. Derrill Larkin spoke from the audience and assured Mr. Helm his property would not be landlocked. Bill McMurrin inquired who the landowners were who petitioned the City for creation of the SID. Brent Gardner replied the Larkins, Bundys, and Riggs were a few of the 5-6 property owners listed on the petition. Mr. McMurrin replied his assessment is over $11,000, and the definition of concurrency means property is developed in an orderly manner and does not jump across large vacant areas of land, as proposed by the developers. He stated his two acres are used as pasture for his horses, and he and neighbors got together several years ago and paved the road in front of his property. The Blakes and Garry Pearce also installed a water line in this area, and other property owners have participated in improvements in the area. He suggested the SID not be approved, that the policy of concurrency be adhered to, and the developers who are asking for the SID install the improvements themselves. He suggested the City determine a suitable density for septic systems, and if a developer needed a higher density than that, utilities would then be installed in a systematic manner. Mr. McMurrin stated he was not receiving any benefit from the proposed improvements. Brent Gardner advised Mr. Murrin his assessment would be $9,800, not $11,000. Will Powell advised he lives on a private lane in the proposed SID area, and is completely landlocked as far as development. He stated his septic system is perfect, and his proposed assessment is in excess of $7,000. He opposed paying for the main sewer trunkline which has nothing to do with his property, in addition to paying for another sewer line. He stated he was totally opposed to the SID. He stated he did not need the improvements and could not afford them. He stated that the developers who will profit from the sewer system and road improvements should pay for them. Lisa Swejkoski state she was happy with her septic system, and already helped pay for the road at 2350 East. She stated the developers should have to pay for the improvements. Dennis Hughes advised his assessment is over $25,000, and he does not plan on developing his acreage as he is a rancher. He stated he was concerned that many residents were made to sign a waiver before they could get building permits and they feel they now do not have a right to oppose the district, and this has taken away their constitutional rights. He suggested the developers pay for the road and sewer, and those who want to hook to the City Council Minutes December 9, 1999 Page Three sewer can help pay for it. He stated the SID will not benefit his property. He stated the City will benefit more than it is contributing to the project because of the proposed new airport. Mayor McArthur inquired of Mr. Hughes if he would be willing to sign an agreement that his property would remain open space, but if were ever developed, the City would be reimbursed for its SID costs. Mr. Hughes replied he would not sign an agreement, but he would pay his fair share if he ever developed. Gerald Schaefer advised he was not against the district, but was concerned with the fairness of the assessments. He stated he wanted to be treated fairly and be assured that others would not benefit at his expense. Councilmember Isom left the meeting. Ed Bundy, owner of four acres in the area, stated he had to pay for water and power to his home when he built, and no one helped him pay for these. He stated the developers should pay, however he would be willing to pay something, but the proposed assessments were too steep. Janice Hummell, owner of two acres in the area, stated the sewer would not benefit her at all as her septic tank is working fine. She advised the City Council she could not afford any extra payments, and she chose to locate in Little Valley because of its country environment. Her assessment would be $11,000. Gary Rink stated that if the developers were requesting the improvements, they should pay for them. If others choose to hook to the sewer, then they could pay for that service too. However, if the developers are making a profit as a result of the improvements, they should pay for the improvements. He inquired if a nearby property owner, Lucky 5, was also being assessed. Brent Gardner replied that Lucky 5 was not being assessed as their property would not drain into this particular outfall line. They did pay $300,000 toward another main outfall line, and will be building a new 80' right-of-way to their property. Kelly Bringhurst advised her land is also landlocked. She inquired if only the acreage where a house is located could be assessed, and the farmland exempted because it would never be developed. She advised her property is being irrigated. She stated that the two proposed sewer trunklines to her area needed to be combined into one, or eliminate entirely, as she is being assessed for two trunklines. She said sewer service was unnecessary, and she will not benefit from the improvements. Garry Pearce advised when he moved to the Little Valley area, he and four other property owners put in a water line. He suggested the Schmutz family be required to pay for sewer improvements, as they will hook to the line and should help pay for it. He stated that if he were going to be assessed $18,000 for sewer and streets, he would expect a lateral to each of his acres and one to his house at no extra charge. He stated he was retired and living on a fixed income. He stated his septic tank worked fine, and the sewer and road improvements should be separated and installed and paid for separately. Dave Church inquired about the required distance between wastewater and drinking water lines, and said they must be a certain distance apart because City Council Minutes December 9, 1999 Page Four of possible contamination. He stated a sewer line crosses his front yard, yet there is no easement for it. The easement is to the State for the road, not for utilities. Brent Gardner replied that rights-of-way for the project will be acquired. Mr. Church asked why the trunk line was being run in front of the houses on River Road, instead of behind the homes. Brent Gardner replied that access for maintenance crews is usually easier from the street. Julie Powell stated the assessment for sewer was not split fairly, and should be assessed per household, not per acre. Jeremy Peterson expressed concern that just because a developer wants to develop, others can be forced to help pay for their project. He stated he did not think he signed a waiver, but if he did, it was not made clear at that time. Dale Cox stated he could see that the City was trying to be fair, but disagreed that only irrigated land is considered greenbelt, and all agricultural uses should be considered greenbelt. He advised a fair approach would be to consider the land greenbelt until it was developed, and at that time the City would be repaid for the SID plus interest. He expressed concern that development of nearby properties would put children at risk as they could drown in existing irrigation canals. Natalie Larsen stated she assumed when she built in the subdivision in Little Valley that all improvements had been paid for and everything had been approved by the City, yet she is now being assessed for frontage on 2450 South. City Manager Gary Esplin replied Ms. Larsen had not paid for sewer improvements, or for 2450 South improvements at the time of building her home. He stated that each development should pay its fair share. Mayor McArthur advised Ms. Larsen that the assessment is for access off 2450 South to the subdivision. He explained that the City?s policy is for every property to pay a portion of a major collector road. Ms. Larsen stated the hay fields and agriculture should be protected, and the City should not create a burden for farmers wishing to keep their farmland. She asked the City Council to take into consideration the lifestyle of the area. Allison Peterson stated she did not think the assessment for 2450 East was fair because the road is used by everyone to access the raceway, and will be used to access the new airport. An unidentified man advised that he never signed a waiver to his knowledge, and if he did, did not understand what he was signing. He advised the SID was premature, and development will bring denser housing to the area. He advised the City?s policy of considering the absence of a protest as a vote for the SID was unfair. Frank Seegmiller stated he agreed the user of the sewer system should pay for the improvement. With regard to the road assessment, 50% of the traffic using 2450 South is not local residential traffic. He requested that if possible, federal funds be used to improve 2450 South. He also expressed concern about the high cost of sewer improvements and the low number of residents City Council Minutes December 9, 1999 Page Five to pay the cost. He stated he made a commitment to participate in sewer improvements, and he will honor that commitment. He has been working with City staff and commends them for their attitude. Public Works Director Larry Bulloch advised that with regard to sewer improvements in the area north of the canal, if property owners do not want to develop their land, the City would be willing to consider some sort of an agreement, however, the specifics of such an agreement, and other options, would need to be worked out. Mr. Seegmiller commented he would like to pursue the perpetual greenbelt option. Jerry Riggs explained the history of installation of a water line years ago in the area, and commented that if it were not for that water line, many of the residents opposed to the SID would not even be living there. He advised the residents of Little Valley would be using the new roadway, and a little from a lot of people will go a long way. Mr. Seegmiller inquired why the south part of the Little Valley area is not being assessed for improvements to 2450 South. Mayor McArthur responded that they will be assessed for another new beltway. Julie Powell inquired about the possibility of the City evaluating the maximum number of septic tanks to be allowed in the Little Valley area, and then placing a moratorium on building until the developer pays the cost, or wait until the new airport is built and use federal funds to improve 2450 South. She said she could not afford another $100 a month payment, and residents of Little Valley have covered their needs for now. Brent Gardner advised that large landowners are not forcing the SID on the smaller landowners, as only 29 of 92 landowners are against the SID, or 25% of the landowners based on acreage. He advised that when the developers originally looked at bringing the sewer line and road to their project, City staff advised that after improvement of the road, and when the septic tanks fail, it would be much more expensive to redo the roads. City staff felt that while construction was occurring, the sewer lines should be installed under the road. There are 40 homes in Little Valley now, but in a few more years there could be 100, and things will not improve. Public Works Director Larry Bulloch advised the City did not consider any waivers in the calculation of protests. If the waivers had been considered, the number of protests would be below 25%. He stated the City was trying to be as objective as possible. He advised the City was spending $1.8 million to improve River Road from the Virgin River bridge to 2450 South, and is contributing $335,000 to the cost of improving 2450 South (30 feet of pavement), plus providing construction of the intersection at 2450 South and River Road. Councilmember Gardner inquired if consideration could be given for treating a five acre parcel as one parcel, as opposed to a five acre parcel that is going to be divided into many lots. Public Works Director Larry Bulloch stated that all zoning would be considered equal, but adjustments would be given for terrain. City Council Minutes December 9, 1999 Page Six City Manager Gary Esplin suggested the public hearing be continued to the work meeting of February 10, 2000, and scheduled for action at the City Council meeting of February 17, 2000. ADJOURN TO EXECUTIVE SESSION: A motion to adjourn to an executive session was made by Councilmember Allen, seconded by Councilmember Orton, and all voted aye. RECONVENE: A motion to reconvene and adjourn was made by Councilmember Allen. The motion was seconded by Councilmember Orton, and all voted aye. DISCUSSION CONCERNING SOB ORDINANCE: A discussion took place concerning the recently passed Sexually Oriented Business Ordinance and misconceptions by the public about its passage and purpose. ADJOURN: A motion to adjourn was made by Councilmember Whatcott. The motion was seconded by Councilmember Allen, and all voted aye. The meeting adjourned at 8:45 p.m. ___________________________ Gay Cragun, City Recorder