City Council Minutes

Thursday, September 9,2004



ST. GEORGE CITY COUNCIL MINUTES
WORK MEETING
SEPTEMBER 9, 2004, 4:00 P.M.
CITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS

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

SITE VISIT TO ARTS CENTER:
A site visit was made to the Arts Center on Main Street to look at the renovation project.

The meeting then reconvened at the City Office.

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

PRESENTATION RE PROJECT ON WEST BLACK HILL:
Wayne Harper, former Economic Development Director of West Jordan City, introduced himself and advised that he recently formed a development company with Dee Bates. They feel they can assist the City in preserving the Black Hill without taxpayer money and also alleviate some of the scarring. He stated the proposal would improve the eastern facade of the Black Hill and support the Atkins, Stuckis, and Hepplers with their development plans. He stated he was seeking the City?s input and direction. He advised his company could provide a plan for reconstruction of the hill while building on top of the hill. He then displayed maps and slides of the area. He advised that a tunnel was proposed to the top of the hill to hide the visual impact of the roadway.

Council Member Gardner inquired which access would be primary.

Mr. Harper replied that this needed to be worked out with the City.

Mayor McArthur commented that the City has put a lot of emphasis on protecting its hillsides from scarring and as a result has acquired as much hillside property as possible in order to protect it.

Community Development Director Bob Nicholson requested more information on the tunnel.


Dee Bates replied that the roadway would be a continuation of the Flowers? scar, where the roadway is located now. The tunnel would be 80 feet long.

Mayor McArthur commented that if the tunnel were only 80 feet long, it would just be going under the basalt cap, and the hillside would still have to be cut until the basalt cap was reached.

Mr. Harper replied that they are proposing to berm the existing scar, and from the City view, it would look like a continuation of the black rock and the scar or road would not be seen.

Council Member Gardner inquired how wide the cut presently was, and how much wider the access would have to be cut to accommodate the road.

Mr. Harper replied that he did not know the road width.

Council Member Gardner commented that he would like to see a profile of what the skyline would look like.

Mr. Bates replied that they would minimize the visual impact of the homes on top of the hill.

Council Member Gardner commented that anything built on the lower levels is hidden in the backdrop, but anything built on top becomes a part of the skyline and this is a very sensitive issue. He stated that while he was sensitive to property rights, he was also sensitive to the community?s ambiance.

Mr. Harper replied that he would make sure the project was done correctly. The project consists of 114 acres with R-1-10 zoning. Most lots are a third of an acre, or half an acre, or three-quarters of an acre.

Mr. Bates commented that the ridge line would not be lined with houses. They would be set back 50 feet. There would be no fences, and natural colors and materials would be used to fit into the area.

Council Member Bunker inquired if the tunnel would be for public access.

Mr. Harper replied that it would be for public access, unless the City wanted it done differently.

Council Member Bunker inquired if the project would be multi-use.

Mr. Harper replied that it would be residential only.

Thales Derrick, a property owner on Donlee Drive, asked the developers to elaborate more on the second access.

Mr. Bates replied that the plan is to continue the road which is already cut and improve the scar on the north end as the road is brought to the top.

Mr. Derrick inquired where the roadway would exit.

Mr. Bates replied it would exit on 400 North on the north side of the hill.

Mr. Derrick commented that Donlee Drive is very narrow and was not designed correctly, especially the north end. He stated he would hope there would not be additional traffic on that segment of Donlee Drive.

Mr. Bates replied that he would do whatever was necessary to make the project work, including widening existing streets, if needed.

Jim Coleman, a resident of Donlee Drive, commented that there was not only a problem with the traffic flow on Donlee Drive, it is difficult to access Bluff Street from the north end of the hill.

Mr. Bates replied that traffic could be taken down the main road by the airport and down the hill to avoid the neighborhoods.

Lorraine Dale commented that this road is substandard and erodes constantly.

Mayor McArthur inquired if the development had access.

Mr. Bates replied that it did, except for the Flowers piece.

Public Works Director Larry Bulloch commented that the required width of the access depends on how many roads are used to access the property. Except for a collector-type road, the minimum access width is 66'.

Mayor McArthur commented that a 66' wide road would require use of a good portion of the side of the hill, well above 40% slope.

Robert Stoker, Fire Chief, explained that two accesses would be required for any project with 50 or more dwelling units. Fire engine access would require a minimum width of 26' with no parking on either side of the roadway. The Saddleback Ridge access is the maximum grade an engine can pull. If a tunnel is used, access would be needed for the height and width of the fire engine.

Bob Amarosa, a resident of Shadow Hills 4, commented he understood Mr. Flowers was in the process of zoning the property above the units, and the developers would be purchasing that property and restoring it.

Mr. Bates replied that they were in negotiations right now.

Mr. Amarosa inquired if condos similar to those already constructed would be built.

Mr. Bates replied that there would be condos.

Mr. Amarosa commented that he would like to see the roadway widened and accepted by the City, as well as the utilities. Right now it is a private road.

Mr. Bates replied that this road would be dedicated to the City.


Mr. Amarosa commented that there were two unfinished condos at the end of the property. He inquired what could be done to finish them and the culdesac.

Mr. Bates replied that this property belonged to Kevin Flowers.

Mr. Amarosa inquired if he could petition the City to have the condos completed and the culdesac and sewer manhole built.

City Attorney Shawn Guzman advised that this was a private matter between the homeowner?s association and Kevin Flowers and his brother. There may be other standards which would also have to be met in order for the City to accept the roadway.

City Manager Gary Esplin explained that the City has taken over several private sewer systems if they meet certain standards, but it has never taken over any private roadways.

Jim Coleman inquired how many unit were planned for the top of the hill.

Mr. Bates replied that it would depend on the zoning, but there would probably be around 180 homes. Their height limit would be worked out with the City.

Audrey Shumway commented that access to the airport hill is difficult, and she reiterated that trying to get onto Bluff Street from 400 North is nearly impossible because there is no light.

Council Member Gardner stated he was concerned about water pressure. He inquired if the applicants were considering a towered water tank.

Mr. Harper replied that they were looking at constructing a water tank and working with City engineers to make sure it would be sufficient, but it still had to be engineered.

Council Member Gardner inquired if fire flows could be served by pumps dependent on power.

Water Services Director Barry Barnum replied that this has been done in some areas, but staff would have to look at it carefully and work with the developers and Fire Department.

Joe Edmunds, a resident on Donlee Drive, inquired if anything would be done with the hillside which faces the condos, as it is eroding.

Mr. Harper replied that restoration would be done with stone and retaining walls.

Thales Derrick inquired about development of the airport property.

City Manager Gary Esplin replied that the City has hired a land planning firm who will be doing a redevelopment plan for the airport, including access. The City is trying to get this planning done prior to moving the airport. The City would like to sell the airport property and use the money to finance the new airport.

David Broadhead inquired if the area behind the back of the homes on the west side of the north end Donlee Drive would be developed.

Mayor McArthur replied that this area is owned by the City.

City Manager Gary Esplin advised that this property was acquired to keep as open space and it is not for sale or for development. The City also owns the horn of the Devil?s saddle which was purchased from Kay Traveller.

Julie Heppler explained that she is one of the property owners who would like to develop property on top of the hill. She stated they have waited 40 years to develop this property and it is important that it improve the area. She stated she wanted the project to be a good one and something to be proud of, and input was welcomed.

Bob Amarosa, Shadow Hills Association President, expressed concern that there was no opposition to the development. He inquired if electricity generated by solar panels had been considered for the development.

City Manager Gary Esplin replied that the City is looking at renewable energy sources.

Lorraine Dale inquired if the City was planning on burying energy lines in the existing subdivision.

Mayor McArthur replied that this is done by the developer at the time of development. The property owners would now have to bear this cost.

Lorraine Dale inquired if the City would require the Flowers to clean up their property.

Mayor McArthur advised that he would inform the zoning compliance officer.

Wayne Harper commented that if the project is approved, a commitment would be made to do everything to match the expectations of the community and City Council.

Mr. Amarosa inquired if citizens would be made aware of future meetings concerning this issue. He was advised that they would be made aware of future meetings.

DISCUSSION WITH ART MUSEUM BOARD:
Mayor McArthur invited Art Museum Board members Audrey Shumway, Janet Doxey, Gary Sanders, Kolene Granger, Marcia Stucki, and Gale Lindstrom to introduce themselves.

Kolene Granger, Chair, distributed copies of a draft mission statement and reviewed it.

Gary Sanders explained that there is no room to display the City?s entire permanent collection. Since there is no ability to display the art work, it is hard to generate interest in donations to the City. He suggested implementation of an admission fee and museum pass for both the Art Museum and Dinosaur Museum. He stated he would come back with a recommendation at a later time.

Janet Doxey explained that attendance is growing, and as more people move to the area, the interest in the arts is growing. There appears to be a slight competition with those involved in the arts in Kayenta, and she suggested that the City include them in the City?s arts programs.

Audrey Shumway advised that 2700 children have visited the museum this year.

City Manager Gary Esplin advised that the City is trying to acquire property adjacent to the museum, and has been working with the Parkinson family. The City is trying to protect the site. The City is also completing renovation of the Arts Center building and trying to figure out uses for the third floor space.

Kolene Granger suggested that perhaps it was time to discuss a county-wide recreation tax which would bring in $1-3 million dollars to create an arts center in the downtown.

City Manager Gary Esplin advised that there was no way this amount of funding could be generated from the existing structure. The City is always looking for revenue sources.

Council Member Gardner inquired about what kind of interfacing had been done with other art groups to bring a committee together to focus on art as it pertains to the museum.

Gary Sanders replied that adoption of a mission statement will help in this endeavor.

Council Member Bunker suggested that when a piece is sold from the museum, that the revenue received be earmarked for museum purposes rather then deposited into the General Fund.

City Manager Gary Esplin advised that it costs $400,000 a year to operate the museum, and it will never generate the revenues needed to cover this cost. However, the City Council can allocate from the budget whatever funds it wants for this purpose.

Council Member Gardner commented that there was the potential to display private collections and artifacts in the Arts Center building. Modern art could also be displayed and sold.

Audrey Shumway commented that ultimately it would be better to enlarge the museum and have everything under one roof.

Janet Doxey stated that the museum could be a destination museum to bring people to the downtown area if the City had the funds and space to employ someone to obtain corporate funding through grant writing. She commented there was no reason Wells Fargo could not sponsor exhibits if the facility and space were available. She commented that a museum brochure should be located in all hotel rooms. She explained that the mission statement pertains to regional art, not Indian art.


City Manager Gary Esplin advised that the matter could again be scheduled on a work meeting agenda in October.

Gary Sanders explained that the City is working on a cooperative brochure which should be in print and available in time to get it out for the marathon.

City Manager Gary Esplin stated that whatever the museum raises in private sales could be earmarked and put back in the museum?s budget. The City made a commitment to subsidize and provide operating revenues for the Art Museum within the bounds of reason. If something can be done to encourage more attendance and donations, the City will be glad to set something up.

Council Member Allen commented that the Foundation is supposed to be doing this.

ADJOURN TO EXECUTIVE SESSION:
MOTION: A motion to adjourn to an executive session to discuss a property purchase was made by Council Member Whatcott.

SECOND: The motion was seconded by Council Member Allen.

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

The meeting adjourned upon the conclusion of the executive session.



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Gay Cragun, City Recorder