City Council Minutes

Thursday, December 4,2003



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

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

EXCUSED:
Council Member Sharon Isom

OPENING:
Mayor McArthur called the meeting to order and welcomed all present. He then led the pledge of allegiance, and the invocation was offered by Bill Given.

City Manager Gary Esplin advised that Item 6E, to consider approval of a construction management services contract for the Canyons Softball Maintenance Facility, would be tabled from the agenda.

RECOGNIZE EMPLOYEES:
Josh Olmstead introduced the maintenance crew at the Canyons Complex and presented several plaques awarded to the facility for excellence. He advised that over 8,000 games were played at the facility in 2003.

Bill Given, Utah Director of the National Softball Association, congratulated the maintenance crew on their outstanding achievement.

RESOLUTION:
Consider approval of a resolution approving a Snow Canyon Boundary Annexation.

City Manager Gary Esplin explained that when the Ledges property was annexed to the City, there was some property owned by State Parks which was not included in the annexation. An agreement between the property owners and State Parks has been reached for an exchange of property, and the owners would like to annex the property formerly owned by State Parks.

Council Member Gardner declared a conflict of interest.

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

Council Member Orton - aye
Council Member Whatcott - aye
Council Member Allen - aye
Council Member Gardner - abstained

The motion carried.

MEDIANS ON ST. GEORGE BLVD:
Consider approval of the installation of raised medians on the St. George Blvd.

City Manager Gary Esplin advised that over the last several months several public hearings had been held on this matter, a committee was formed of property owners along the Blvd. and interested citizens to discuss the matter, and open houses were held with ample opportunity for public comment. A public hearing was held and closed at the last City Council meeting.

Mayor McArthur advised that UDOT is going to install medians for today?s traffic flow, but the City Council must decide if it wants to plan for the next 20 years by extending the medians and beautify them.

Council Member Gardner commented that when the process began, the City Council believed there were more options than it has ended up with, and the City?s decision really boils down to whether or not it wants to beautify the medians and do what it can to take advantage of the project to enhance the community. The issue of whether 18" high or low profile medians are desired must also be decided.

City Manager Gary Esplin explained that the planning process is not yet that far along in order to determine what type of barrier to install. The size of the trees will dictate the size of the curb and height, but this decision will be made at a later date.

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December 4, 2003
Page Two

Council Member Allen commented the decision before the City Council has to do with the City?s long term vision for the entire downtown area, not just St. George Blvd.

Council Member Gardner commented that during the discussions concerning the street scape and landscaping, he did not think there was enough emphasis on landscaping the sides of the Blvd.

City Manager Gary Esplin replied that anything outside the curb is the City?s responsibility, and it is the City?s intent to fully landscape both sides of the Blvd.

The City Council expressed its desire to have success with secondary accesses to businesses.

Council Member Orton made a motion to instruct UDOT to install raised, landscaped medians the entire length of St. George Blvd. The motion was seconded by Council Member Whatcott. Mayor McArthur called for a vote, and all voted aye. The motion carried.

TRANSPORTATION IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM PROJECTS:
Consider approval of Transportation Improvement Program projects for submittal to the Dixie Metropolitan Planning Organization.

Public Works Director Larry Bulloch reviewed the following projects for submittal to the MPO:

1. Valley View bridge over the Santa Clara River
2. Southern Corridor
3. Red Hills Parkway
4. Dixie Drive widening
5. Tonaquint Drive reconstruction
6. Brigham Road widening
7. Bluff Street widening from Diagonal to Main
8. Virgin River Bridge at Mall Drive
9. 1450 South
10. 3000 East
11. Regional Traffic Operations Center and Synchronization

The projects will then be prioritized regionally and submitted to the State for incorporation onto the State-wide transportation improvement program for funding.

A motion was made by Council Member Allen and seconded by Council Member Gardner to approve the projects for submittal to the MPO. Mayor McArthur called for a vote, and all voted aye. The motion carried.

City Manager Gary Esplin commented that the only money the City will be able to get for these proejcts will be given to the region, and the City may have to fund many of them itself if funding is not received.

Public Works Director Larry Bulloch commented that the City will receive only $650,000 in funding, yet it has $30,000,000 worth of projects. The MPO is a planning mechanism, not a funding mechanism.

INTRODUCTION OF SCOUTS:
Mayor McArthur invited several Scouts from Troops 417 and 486 to introduce themselves.

REPAINT GUNLOCK WATER TANK:
Consider approval to clean and repaint the Gunlock Water Tank.

Water Services Superintendent Frank Kell explained that the water tank is located on the Shivwit Indian Reservation. Due to water demand, the painting has been postponed and there is only a certain window of opportunity to get the project done. There will be a 45 day construction period. The outside of the tank will have to be sandblasted and completely repainted. The inside of the tank will be power-washed and repainted.

City Manager Gary Esplin recommended approval of a contract with Golden West Painting the amount of $188,500.

A motion was made by Council Member Gardner and seconded by Council Member Whatcott to approve a contract with Golden West Painting in the amount of $188,500. Mayor McArthur called for a vote, and all voted aye. The motion carried.



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December 4, 2003
Page Three

INSTALLATION OF REUSE PIPELINE:
Consider approval of installing a segment of the reuse pipeline through Stonebridge.

Water Services Director Barry Barnum explained that the City has been working with the developers of Stonebridge as they are preparing to install road improvements along the alignment of the reuse line. City staff advised them that when they are ready to pave, the City would like to install the reuse line at the same time and possibly use the same contractor if the bid is satisfactory. The developers of Stonebridge are now ready to install 700' of roadway, with Jason Rogers as the contractor. Staff is seeking approval to authorize installation 700' of the reuse line at $16 per foot.

City Manager Gary Esplin explained that the City will be receiving a lump sum of $15,000,000 to do the entire reuse project, and it can reimburse itself for this expense if it chooses to do so.

Mr. Barnum advised that it now looks like the reuse line will not be fully installed until the summer of 2004.

City Manager Gary Esplin stated the City?s goal is to have the reuse line on-line for the 2005 irrigation season.

A motion was made by Council Member Whatcott and seconded by Council Member Allen to approve installation of a segment of the reuse line as requested. Mayor McArthur called for a vote, and all voted aye. The motion carried.

CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT SERVICES:
Consider approval of construction management services for the Canyons Softball Maintenance Facility.

The item was tabled.

PLANNING SERVICES CONTRACT:
Consider approval of a Planning Services Contract with the Five County Association of Governments for assistance with the preparation of the Comprehensive Consolidated Plan.

City Manager Gary Esplin explained that a Community Development Block Grant requires a lot of paperwork and extra effort in order to qualify for the program. It is recommended that the City contract with the Five County AOG to assist it with this process. The cost will be $26,000, which will be reimbursed through funds received through the Community Development Block Grant Program.

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

PUBLIC HEARING/ZONE CHANGE/ORDINANCE:
Public hearing to consider a zone change from R-2 , R-3 and R-4 Multiple Family Residential to Residential Central City (RCC) zone in areas of the downtown from 400 East to 400 West and from 100 South to 600 South.

Community Development Director Bob Nicholson explained a citizens committee came forward with a series of problems and issues in the downtown area, including a high percentage of rentals, unkept properties, parking problems, etc. The City heard presentations from the City of Provo on their solution to this problem. The Mayor appointed a committee which met and recommended the establishment of a Residential Central City zone, which was recommended by the Planning Commission and approved by the City Council. The issue now is where it should be applied in the downtown area. Staff mailed 680 letters to downtown property owners advising them of this public hearing. The Planning Commission recommended that the area indicated on the map be rezoned to RCC, excluding existing PD and C-1 zones.

Mayor McArthur opened the public hearing.

Edward Everett explained that property boundaries run to the middle of the blocks, as the properties in the downtown area were once used to house animals and for gardens. The area is currently in a state of transition and as the area matures, it has begun to decline. The area is underutilized and not being put to the highest and best use. He distributed a hand-out depicting several homes in the area. He stated that if the zoning was changed, it will kill any incentive owners have to upgrade their properties. A zone change is not needed to upgrade standards. He requested that any zone change granted exclude property belonging to the Everett family, and stated there was no consistent criteria for what was being included and excluded in the zone change.


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December 4, 2003
Page Four

Ralph Lamoreaux commented it was his understanding that this zone change would not include homes on the north side of 100 South between 100 and 300 West. He protested the zone change.

Greg Stevens, a resident at 255 South 100 West, commented that he was against the zone change, and requested that the City Council consider another zone for the area on the west side of Main Street to Bluff as historically there has been a mixed use in this area. He stated the zone change would cause property values to decrease. His block also has many multi-family units, and he requested that it be excluded from the zone change.

Jeff Lane, a resident at 528 South 100 West, commented that he supported the zone change. The Committee is trying to preserve the community. He has reinvested money in the neighborhood, but the issue is not about money but about a neighborhood and feeling safe. He requested the City?s help to rebuild the neighborhood.

Matt Gardner advised that he also added onto his home and has invested a significant amount of money in it knowing there would be a negative return. He is comfortable, however, with his decision to remain in the neighborhood. He is not looking to the City to guarantee him a windfall profit on his investment, but looks to them for leadership and to make decisions which will promote the quality of life for all residents of the neighborhood whether they rent or own. He urged approval of the zone change so others will have confidence to invest in their homes. He commented that City government has a significant role in the formation of perceptions of the downtown area and now has the opportunity to help preserve a neighborhood and change the perceptions which affect buying and investing behavior.

Gerald Bryant commented that he was in favor of the zone change as it is necessary to maintain the historical integrity of the neighborhood and to set limits on the density of housing and reverse non-owner occupancy. He advised that he purchased a historic home twenty years ago, and even after renovation, it appraises for no more now than it did then. If he had approached his home ownership from a strictly financial perspective, he would have divided the home into apartments but this would have contributed to the same trend which is threatening historic structures.

Francell Staheli advised that she lives in the area considered for the zone change, and those seeking the zone change do not dispute anyone?s right to invest in their property, but at the same time property owners who do not live in the community are not concerned about how their development will affect the neighborhood, as their main concern is profit. These owners are not affected by the large turnover in rentals, or fewer number of single family homes, or large enrollment turnover in the schools, or less stable neighborhoods. Investment in property is a risk like any other kind of investment, and there is no guarantee on how land may be developed. She urged adoption of the zone change to help the neighborhood remain a stable, family area.

Susie Treadwell, a resident at 200 South between 100 and 200 West, expressed support for the zone change. She stated she was not opposed to development, but there needed to be restraint and judgment on how this development occurred. She stated that she has invested her retirement funds in the area, and since she has moved here she now has rentals on both sides of her which are in shambles, with landlords who don?t care. She stated that the proposed zone change would hopefully benefit the neighborhood and help maintain its integrity.

Phil Packard, a resident at 178 West 100 South, advised that he has two young children and wants to live in the downtown area. The downtown has the potential for wonderful growth, and while he is a builder, he would rather have neighbors who will stick around so that his children can develop relationships. The downtown is a great, historical area, and while it has diversity, single family homes are also needed.

Jim McArthur commented that in his neighborhood he has watched the slow deterioration of home values, and while for the owners the greatest yield would be from multi-family housing, this is not the highest and best use. The proposed zone change may put a few restrictions on a few owners, but the zone change is needed to revitalize the area. If the Council does not approve the zone change, the area will continue with its current trend. While the proposed zone change may not be the best approach, it is the best recommendation that has been made, and it may need future tweaking, but it is in the best interests of St. George overall.

Dorothy Norton commented that the Committee has made some concessions as it felt it was the best interests of the overall plan to make the area a more viable place to live. She expressed appreciation for the candidates? commitment to the General Plan made in their campaign speeches. She urged adoption of the zone change.



St. George City Council Minutes
December 4, 2003
Page Five

Ross Taylor advised that he lived within the area proposed for the zone change, and applauded the Council?s concern for the downtown. He stated that were a lot of personal historians who have lived long enough in the area to track the history of the area, and it is this tracking that has generated concern. He urged adoption of the zone change ordinance and stated that by doing so it would underscore the General Plan and a commitment to support it.

Joe Vincent requested clarification that the proposed zone change would allow higher density housing if it met certain qualifications. He was advised that this was correct.
Mr. Vincent commented that he was not opposed to the zone change unless it allowed for single family dwellings only, as there are areas in the downtown which are good for higher density housing, particularly if the downtown is revitalized.

Bill Cobb, a resident at 300 South 300 West, commented that he enjoyed living in the downtown area and appreciated the Council?s efforts to reduce density in the area.

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

City Manager Gary Esplin commented that a rental ordinance is also needed, as well as providing rental units in other areas of the City.

Council Member Gardner inquired what Mr. Everett would be able to do with his property.

Community Development Director Bob Nicholson replied that Mr. Everett?s property is zoned for up to seven units per acre under a conditional use permit.

Council Member Gardner inquired if CDBG funds would be available in January.

Community Development Director Bob Nicholson replied that there are CDBG funds available now for down payment assistance in the downtown area. Color Country Housing is now taking applications for this money.

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

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

The vote was unanimous and the motion carried.

PUBLIC HEARING:
Public hearing to receive public comment on a Transportation Enhancement Grant for Mile Post 4 right-of-way landscaping.

Parks Superintendent Lynne Scott explained that when the map of the area was produced, she thought there would be enough money to landscape six panels. The state will only match up to $500,000, and the rest of the expense will be the City?s. If the scope of the project was reduced to less than six panels, the City?s corresponding cost would be less.

Mayor McArthur advised that money would be found to improve all six panels. He then 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 authorize the Mayor to sign the grant application for improvement of all six panels. Mayor McArthur called for a vote, and all voted aye. The motion carried.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
Consider approval of the minutes of the City Council work meeting held October 23, 2003.

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

ADJOURN TO EXECUTIVE SESSION:
A motion to adjourn to an executive session to discuss a property purchase was made by Council Member Whatcott and seconded by Council Member Orton. Mayor McArthur called for a vote, and all voted aye. The motion carried.
St. George City Council Minutes
December 4, 2003
Page Six

RECONVENE AND ADJOURN:
A motion to reconvene and adjourn was made by Council Member Whatcott and seconded by Council Member Allen. Mayor McArthur called for a vote, and all voted aye. The motion carried.



______________________________
Gay Cragun, City Recorder