City Council Minutes

Thursday, October 12,2000



ST. GEORGE CITY COUNCIL MINUTES WORK MEETING OCTOBER 12, 2000, 4:00 P.M. ADMINISTRATION CONFERENCE ROOM PRESENT: Mayor Daniel McArthur Councilmember Sharon Isom Councilmember Suzanne Allen Councilmember Rod Orton Councilmember Larry Gardner City Manager Gary Esplin City Attorney Jonathan Wright City Recorder Gay Cragun EXCUSED: Councilmember Bob Whatcott Mayor Pro Tem Sharon Isom called the meeting to order and invited a Scout in the audience to introduce himself. STANDARD SPECIFICATIONS FOR DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION: City Engineer Dave Demas distributed street cross section configurations, attached hereto as Exhibit "A." Carol Sapp, representing the Southern Utah Home Builders Association (SUHBA), distributed comments on the City’s proposed standards and specifications, attached hereto as Exhibit "B." The first issue addressed was street widths. Ms. Sapp advised that SUHBA does not want "cookie cutter" development and encourages adoption of standards and specifications that will make the community special without affecting its health, safety or construction product. She advised that flexibility of ordinances and standards is a major concern. She then listed the proposed specifications supported and/or accepted by SUHBA, as follows: asphalt depth increase, modified asphalt material design, fire flow velocities, culverts, warranty bonds, and changes in concrete specifications. She advised that SUHBA was previously in agreement with the City on asphalt roadway widths and optional street cross sections until Fire Chief Stoker provided information concerning the State Code that would prohibit the City from reducing its roadway width requirement to 26’. She advised that Sear Brown conducted a study in Utah County which addressed roadway width issues. She then distributed a copy of the study presentation, attached hereto as Exhibit "C." Fire Chief Robert Stoker advised the State Code requires a 20’ clear space for emergency vehicles on roads where parking is allowed on both sides of the road. If less than this is provided, maintenance and enforcement problems exist. He advised that if the City allowed a 26’ wide roadway and prohibited parking on either side of the street, enforcement would become a problem. Ms. Sapp advised that SUHBA is not requesting anything unusual, as City staff previously agreed that 26’ cross sections would be permitted on local access streets, as proposed in the option street cross sections. She read from an American Planning Association publication entitled "Best Development Practices" which stated that most communities design for worst case scenarios. She recommended the City adopt the 26’ cross section for local access streets. Paul Jensen commented SUHBA recommends adoption of standards which provide an option for a 26’ wide street to serve ten units or less. A greater width would be required for a street serving ten units or more. Gail Maxwell commented a 26’ wide street is really 30’ wide because of the extra 4’ provided by the gutters. City Engineer Dave Demas explained he was contacted by Sear Brown who wanted to make sure the information provided to SUHBA was used in a proper context. Sear Brown advised the presentation was put together for a large development in the Provo foothills - a condo development with double car garages and long driveways for additional parking. Sear Brown advised that a lot of off-street parking was provided in this particular project, and these standards could not be used in context with an R-1-10 subdivision. Mr. Demas advised that a bare minimum travel way is 20’, whether parking is allowed or not. City Manager Gary Esplin inquired as to who would enforce the no parking standards if the City chose to reduce the required width of asphalt and prohibit parking along these streets. He advised his family had six vehicles, and there would be no place for them to park if they could not park on the street in front of his home. City Engineer Dave Demas advised staff would like to have self-enforcing streets without red curbs or "no parking" signs. Staff would like streets narrow enough to serve their purpose while still meeting all standards. Carol Sapp remarked it was important the specifications reflect flexibility and contain progressive development standards to better the community. Paul Jensen commented if streets are single loaded, there is no need for them to be too wide. Ms. Sapp commented that requiring a right-of-way larger than what is necessary is excessive. Mr. Demas explained the City’s philosophy of alternate street design and displayed street cross section configurations, standard and optional sections, and advised the options include moving sidewalk away from the curb to allow for a reduction of asphalt. He explained that after Fire Chief Stoker contacted him with concerns about reducing asphalt width, City staff agreed to eliminate the residential access cross sections. Fire Marshall Kevin Taylor explained the legitimacy of the Fire Department’s concerns, and advised that roads must maintain themselves and not become enforcement problems. He advised the requirement of 20’ of free space contained in the State Code was not negotiable, and had to be unobstructed for access. He advised the Fire Department receives a complaint each week about narrow street widths in private developments and requests for help in enforcing no parking requirements. He advised that roads, once built, will be used for 100 years, and the Fire Department’s concerns should be addressed and access guaranteed. He commented that as common practice buildings are also designed for worst case scenarios. Mr. Demas reminded that facilities on each side of a road affect road widths, and the lowest section recommended is 29" and 32’ with a planter strip to allow cars to park closer to the curb. He advised that a roadway with a width of 29’ would only be acceptable on lower levels of traffic - 500 cars per day. Councilmember Allen advised that currently mailboxes obstruct sidewalks in some areas, and placement of mailboxes in planter strips instead would solve this problem. Carol Sapp explained that SUHBA did not request the 26’ optional cross section - it was presented to them by staff in an attempt to alleviate concerns, and before Fire Department staff expressed concern about it, Engineering staff was satisfied with it too. Mr. Demas advised Engineering staff wants to meet the concerns of Fire Department staff, but the biggest problem with using standards and cross sections is that they are dependent on traffic numbers, and a reduced width street cannot be used everywhere in town. He used the example of Donlee Drive which when constructed met specs for a residential street, but has since become a residential collector road. Milo McCowan, representing the Southern Utah Homebuilders Association, distributed a memo concerning the City’s recommendation to increase sidewalk width from 4’ to 5’ (attached hereto as Exhibit "D") and reviewed it with the Mayor and Council. Carol Sapp distributed a hand-out listing regulations which make new homes more expensive, attached hereto as Exhibit "E." City Engineer Dave Demas distributed a memo concerning sidewalk widths (attached hereto as Exhibit "F") and advised if sidewalks are placed next to a curb, street width should be increased one to two feet. Linda Kirkpatrick, representing the Southern Utah Homebuilders Association, gave a presentation concerning curb specifications and advised she as a developer was concerned about safety and cost in connection with the proposed curb specifications. Kerry Blake, representing the Southern Utah Homebuilders Association, advised the barrier curbs now required by the City present safety and water retention problems and are expensive. $667 is the minimum which could be eliminated on each lot with use of a modified curb. Carol Sapp commented the barrier curb required by the City does not preclude a pedestrian from being injured. Milo McCowan advised the type of modified curb used in the Paradise Canyon project is the type being recommended by SUHBA for adoption by the City. Linda Kirkpatrick commented that her Fox Cove project had modified high back curbing, and she proposed City staff consider alternatives in some cases. Drainage concerns could be mitigated through use of additional curb inlet boxes. Milo McCowan commented he felt safety was enhanced through use of a modified curb, rather than use of a barrier curb which abruptly drops off. Linda Kirkpatrick commented that a high back curb is not a cure-all for drainage purposes, and cost and waste could be reduced through use of a modified curb. She proposed that modified curbs be allowed as part of the design specifications in certain circumstances. City Engineer Dave Demas distributed a memo concerning specifications for modified curbs vs. standard curbs, and reviewed its content with those present. A copy of this memo is attached hereto as Exhibit "G." Mayor McArthur questioned why a 6" sidewalk thickness is required when only a 4" driveway thickness is required, and commented the drive approach should be 6", with the driveway and sidewalk both 4". Wayne Rogers, representing the Southern Utah Homebuilders Association, explained that concrete on most commercial drives is 5" thick with 4" of roadbase under that. He requested the specification for drive approaches, sidewalks and driveways be 4" as 6" is not needed and creates a cost issue. City Engineer Dave Demas replied the City’s standard has always been 6". Carol Sapp expressed concern with proposed language in the General Requirements Section of Drainage and Flood Control Design section of the proposed Specifications, and distributed recommendations to the drainage policy, a copy of which is attached hereto as Exhibit "H." She requested a change be made to clarify that it is not the responsibility of a developer to mitigate preexisting deficiencies in upstream drainage facilities, or to subsidize or solve problems not created by the new development. She advised clarification of this language would prevent misinterpretation in the future and would not hurt the City in any way. Ms. Sapp commented that if the City’s present policy of every development taking care of their own drainage were enforced, this language would not be necessary. Assistant City Engineer Jay Sandberg commented that the City’s goal is to try and have as much upstream detention as possible but construction of new streets creates more drainage. City Engineer Dave Demas advised that 100% drainage retention is not possible, especially in single family developments, and this must be taken into account by the City and the developer when designing new projects. City Manager Gary Esplin advised that with regard to items on which no consensus can be reached between City staff and developers, the City Council will make the final determination as to what will be included in the specifications. He commented that the City must be careful in allowing flexibility in its specifications so as not to seem arbitrary or capricious in its application, and unless there is something to base the flexibility on, it then becomes a subjective decision. Mayor McArthur advised the issue of road cross sections will be addressed at the regular City Council meeting to be held October 19, 2000, remaining specification issues will be addressed at the City Council work meeting to be held October 26, and policy issues will be addressed at the City Council work meeting to be held November 9, 2000. WEST CITY SPRINGS IRRIGATION: City Manager Gary Esplin advised a working committee comprised of West City Springs and East City Springs irrigation users and a member of the Water and Power Board will be formed to make a recommendation to the City Council for final action on conversion of the West City Springs to culinary use. MISCELLANEOUS: Miscellaneous item discussed briefly included placement of "No Littering" signs throughout the City, tracking of plats, and abandonment of unused easements in the area of the Sun River Golf Course. APPOINTMENTS TO WATER AND POWER BOARD: Mayor McArthur suggested that Dan Derrick, Marge Shakespear, and Ed Bowler be considered for appointment to the Water and Power Board. Councilmember Isom advised that Mona Given is also interested in serving on the Water and Power Board. Councilmember Gardner suggested that Scott Gubler be considered for appointment to the Water and Power Board. Mayor McArthur suggested that Rod Savage be considered for appointment to the Water and Power Board. City Manager Gary Esplin suggested that a notice be published in the paper soliciting interested parties to apply for the positions. Councilmember Orton suggested that Craig Hammer and Laina Frasier be considered for appointment to the Water and Power Board. It was decided that each Councilmember will submit five names for consideration at the next City Council work meeting. SCHEDULE SPECIAL CITY COUNCIL MEETING: A special City Council meeting will be held Monday, October 23, 2000 at 1:00 p.m. to meet with Steven Olson and discuss downtown issues. The meeting then adjourned. _______________________________ Gay Cragun, City Recorder