City Council Minutes

Thursday, February 10,2000



ST. GEORGE CITY COUNCIL MINUTES WORK MEETING FEBRUARY 10, 2000, 4:00 P.M. ADMINISTRATION CONFERENCE ROOM PRESENT: Mayor Daniel McArthur Councilmember Suzanne Allen Councilmember Rod Orton Councilmember Sharon Isom Councilmember Larry Gardner Councilmember Bob Whatcott City Manager Gary Esplin City Attorney Jonathan Wright City Recorder Gay Cragun OPENING: Mayor McArthur invited several Scouts to introduce themselves. The invocation was offered by Craig Booth. DISCUSSION WITH WATER AND POWER BOARD RE CONSERVATION: Also present for this discussion were Water and Power Board Members Craig Booth, Shirl Pitchforth, Ross Hurst, and Randy Wilkinson. A slide presentation was made on current water conservation methods, system operating information, and a recommended future program to decrease water usage. It was the consensus of the City Council to pursue the water conservation program as presented. DISCUSSION WITH WATER AND POWER BOARD RE BACKFLOW ORDINANCE: A slide presentation was made about the history of the City?s efforts in promoting backflow prevention, implementation philosophy, non-compliance concerns, and ordinance enforcement. There are currently 2,380 testable backflow assemblies in the City on record at the water treatment plant. Concern was expressed about the City?s current method of enforcement. It was suggested that instead of requiring yearly testing of those who had the system, effort be made instead to notify those who do not have the system and require installation within six months. Water and Power staff will return with an implementation plan in the next few weeks for the Council?s review. Councilmember Whatcott recommended that the enforcement letters currently being sent out be eliminated until the new plan is implemented. A discussion was held concerning supplying a list of certified backflow testers in the City?s enforcement letter. City Attorney Jonathan Wright explained that since the City is not the certifying entity, requests for a list of certified testers should be referred to the State. ADJOURN TO EXECUTIVE SESSION: A motion to adjourn to an executive session was made by Councilmember Gardner. The motion was seconded by Councilmember Whatcott, and all voted aye. RECONVENE: A motion to reconvene was made by Councilmember Orton. The motion was seconded by Councilmember Allen, and all voted aye. DISCUSSION RE BLOOMINGTON PARK EXTENSION: A map of the proposed improvement plan and extension was presented and reviewed. Construction of an equestrian arena is being donated as a Legacy 2000 project, a trail system and beach is planned, and the restrooms and turf will be upgraded as part of the plan. An area of concern is the planned access to the arena which might be used by adjacent homeowners to access the rear portions of their lots. It was the consensus of the City Council to move forward with the plan and address any access issues later as they arise. DISCUSSION RE LITTLE VALLEY SPECIAL IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT: This discussion was held in the City Council Chambers. Stan Esplin, representing Esplin properties, advised he was not ready to subdivide, and did not want to sell or improve his property. He asked that his property be removed from this SID and included in a SID when one is established for the other side of his property. He advised he would have to sell his property if it were assessed in the proposed SID. Mayor McArthur read a letter from Alpha Engineering which advised a five year extension in payments could be given, if desired by the property owners. Kelly Bringhurst inquired why two 8" sewer lines were proposed to service 5-6 homes. She asked that one of the sewer lines be re-routed. She asked if there were any way to be assessed only for the trunkline, as she did not want sewer service at this time, but if she built and wanted sewer, it would be her responsibility to provide the sewer line to her home. Brent Gardner advised he would investigate the possibility of eliminating one trunkline, but property owners would still have to pay to connect to the trunkline. Bill McMurrin advised he was not in favor of the SID as the distribution of costs was unfair. An unidentified woman read a letter about a similar situation in Florida, and questioned the need for an SID and suggested the City borrow the funds to make the improvements. Mayor McArthur explained the City?s policy that eventually every piece of property in the City will pay to connect to a major collector road. An unidentified woman stated she felt the Little Valley area should be set aside as open space. Mayor McArthur suggested the possibility of conservation easements for those property owners who never plan on developing their property. He advised that the City?s master plan will again be reviewed, and hearings held for public input. Milt Larsen commented that the residents of Little Valley want big lots without sidewalks. He stated the SID will force the agricultural user to cave in to development sooner than planned, and is unfair. Councilmember Allen explained the City?s policy of concurrency. A discussion ensued concerning reimbursement agreements. Public Works Director Larry Bulloch advised the City has tried them in the past and they do not work. Russ Riggs explained that a majority of the property owners in Little Valley who are in favor of the SID would like to develop their property and recoup their investment of the last 100 years. He explained that 15 years ago a few property owners in Little Valley installed a water system at their expense, which now makes it possible for all the homes to have been built there. He advised that the property owners of one acre lots cannot expect the large property owners to foot the bill for everyone else. He urged the City Council to examine the assessments again for fairness, and if a majority of the property owners want an SID, the City should proceed. An unidentified man advised he was in favor of the SID. As a compromise, he suggested that perhaps land trades could be done and all property below the canal be kept agricultural and above the canal be developed. Frank Seegmiller commented that many property owners were confused about their right to contest the SID as they had signed waivers. He stated a property owner should be allowed to develop his property, but those who do not want to develop should not be forced to do so in order to survive. He explained that in his experience, reimbursement agreements do not work. An unidentified man commented that contrary to comments being made, he purchased property on the north side of 2450 South and in 1976 had it zoned for mobile homes. Kelly Bringhurst inquired at what point was the City going to enforce the master plan. Mayor McArthur responded that the master plan is a living and breathing document that changes as the City changes. Councilmember Gardner commented that the master plan tries to be sensitive to the requests of property owners, such as when some property owners in the Little Valley area requested the area be rezoned to smaller lots. He explained that the best way to formulate assessments would be by using a per half-acre of undeveloped property formula. He explained that perhaps the assessments could be looked at again, this time with a commitment from property owners who will never develop their property or request a downsizing in zoning. Ray Cox Jr. commented that no progress was being made, as the same points were being argued over and over. An unidentified woman commented that when she signed a wavier, she was led to believe she could not oppose the SID. Mayor McArthur commented that the SID is not just for improvements in front of each individual property, but also for access to the property. An unidentified woman commented that requiring the homeowners to sign waivers before they could get their building permits was unfair. She expressed concern that she would have to pay for improvements to a road that would be the major access to the new airport. She commented that the Little Valley area had no parks or recreational areas. An unidentified woman inquired how long the concurrency policy had been in place. City Attorney Jonathan Wright advised the policy has always been in place, but approximately two years ago the City Council decided it would no longer accept waivers to that policy. Mayor McArthur advised this matter will be scheduled on the March 2, 2000 City Council agenda for action. The meeting adjourned at 7:15 p.m. __________________________ Gay Cragun, City Recorder