City Council Minutes

Thursday, May 26,2005

City of St. George Council Meeting
Work Meeting
May 26, 2005, 4:00 P.M.
Administrative Conference Room

Mayor Daniel McArthur
Council Member Allen
Council Member Bunker
Council Member Orton
Council Member Gardner
City Attorney Shawn Guzman
City Manager Esplin
Deputy City Recorder Ren? Fleming

Council Member Whatcott

Site Visit to Slick Rock Park
The council made a site visit to Slick Rock Park.

Those Present:
Mayor Daniel McArthur
Council Member Allen
Council Member Bunker
Council Member Orton
Council Member Gardner
City Manager Esplin
City Attorney Shawn Guzman
City Staff: Kent Perkins, Matt Callister

The pledge of allegiance was led by Council Member Orton; Council Member Bunker offered the invocation.

Discussion with property owners adjacent to the Bloomington Park regarding access and landscaping issues

Leisure Services Director Perkins displayed a map of the area under discussion. He detailed some changes being made in Bloomington Park. He reviewed the location of additional parking, detailed the route of the trail through the park. He indicated the council has directed that the park include ball fields of the same quality as the Canyons facility.

The group discussed possible location of volley ball courts.

An unnamed man asked about an area that can be used as buffer.

Mayor McArthur asked if the parking area was far enough away that home run balls will not hit the cars.

Leisure Services Director Perkins indicated arrangements can be made to protect the cars such as blacking out some of the stalls or adding a protective screen.

The location of the lights was discussed as was access to the equestrian park.

An unnamed man expressed concern regarding access to the equestrian facility being designed to accommodate horse trailers.

Gail Maxwell discussed the amount the equestrian park is used. He indicated prior to the flood the facility was used most evenings during the training season.

There was discussion of property possibly being sold by Lucedia which may limit access.

Gail Maxwell discussed hearings held in 1999 that included the possibility of adding tennis courts; an option opposed by the neighbors. He commented that neighbors are now asking about lighting, how tall the lights will be and how often they will be operated.

City Manager Esplin commented the lights are the same height of others in City parks. The lighting is directed down and will run dusk to dawn for the normal operation of the parks. The ball field lights run until about 10 p.m. during the summer.

Leisure Services Director Perkins indicated the parking lot lights operate at various times as set by staff. Generally they are on until 10 p.m. or 11 p.m. Staff tries to balance the need for security versus night light pollution.

Kent Peterson expressed concern over the lights installed for the basketball court which are tilted up and shine in home and about the timing of the lighting. He asked if the lights could have been lower, with the concrete post they are 28 ? 29 feet tall. He expressed concern that leaving the lights on all night will attract ball players at night and add to the noise in the park.

Kirk Bradley suggested using cypress trees as a barrier. He asked about when the ball field lights are turned off.

City Manager Esplin indicated basketball courts are lighted as a standard in all the parks. The restrooms can be locked and lights set so they can not be turned on after 10 p.m.

There was discussion regarding changing the direction or intensity of the lighting. The type of lighting was discussed. The lights are night sky friendly.

There was discussion concerning the use of security lighting. The group discussed when the park will be open. The plan is to open the park at the first of June.

The group decided to wait until the park is open and the lights are on to evaluate the situation and determine of the lighting is acceptable or not.

Access to the park was discussed as was access to the back of lots in the area. Members of the audience expressed concern regarding potential elimination of access to the back of the lots.

City Manager Esplin commented limited access would not be a problem if there were some restrictions on the uses. He recommended the back of the lots be landscaped if access continues to be allowed.

Gail Maxwell indicated in the 1999 hearings planting a hedge was discussed.

Leisure Services Director Perkins expressed the need to make sure that the home owners in the area understand that the trees may block views when they mature and damaging the trees to regain the view is not acceptable.

The date the park was built was discussed; it was built in 1976 or 1978.

Gail Maxwell asked for permission to level the equestrian field.

The council indicated the work on the equestrian field was approved.

An unnamed man summarized that the lights will go off about 10 p.m.

City Manager Esplin indicated there will be times when the lights will be on later than 10 p.m. and possibly all night. One or two tournaments a year go on all night long.

Mayor McArthur indicated access to the back of the lots will be reviewed by the Legal Department.

City Manager Esplin recommended staff draft an agreement detailing the type of access allowed. He doesn?t anticipate a problem with use that is residential in nature, but other uses for access will not be permitted.

Discussion concerning the mobile catering ordinance

Present for this discussion: Business Licensing Specialist Laura Woosley, Police Chief Stratton, City Attorney Guzman, Sergeant David Moss, Officer Loren Johnson, Director of Administrative Services Vincent, Marc Mortensen, Matt Loo, Finance Director Peterson.

City Manager Esplin updated the council on the concerns with the current ordinance. The ordinance requires that caterers be mobile rather than parked in one location, in City parks with concessionaire agreements mobile caterers are not permitted when the concessionaires are open. Other issues include proper licensing, hours of operation, specifically on Sunday. Most concessionaires don?t want to operate on Sunday so there is not a conflict of interest with the concessionaire. The stationary caterers in question are providing a needed service. Staff is considering changing the ordinance to specify that if the concessionaire is not operating then the stationary caterers can operate. The change to the ordinance would allow the City to collect a portion of the revenues and to meet the needs of the community.

Marc Mortensen indicated, Mr. St. John, a licensed mobile caterer, has expressed two concerns. One is that mobile vendors and their employees should be required to undergo a back ground check. The other is in regard to the vehicle inspection requirement for mobile caterers.

An unnamed man indicated that finger prints have to be sent in at the time of licensing.

Laura Woosley explained stationary caterer owners are required to undergo a back ground check, but not employees, she recommended employees also be required to undergo back ground checks.

Mayor McArthur agreed with the back ground checks and stated that back up alarms should be required on vehicles.

An unnamed man indicated he had a letter of permission from the principal of the school where he operates.

City Attorney Guzman commented the school district?s attorney indicated principals can not give permission for this type of activity; it has to come from the district office.

The group discussed changing the ordinance to allow stationary caterers. The need for public restrooms and litter was discussed as related to soccer events.

There was discussion as to which parks will be used for organized events on Sundays and the fees charged for use of the parks. Currently the Sun Bowl and Bluff Street Park are being used.

Finance Director Peterson indicated Lynne Scott has waived the fee for the soccer events. However, she has expressed concerned because the waiver is generally only for one time uses, the soccer league is using it 11 out of 12 months so she recommends charging a use fee.

City Manager Esplin commented some of the issues being discussed need to be addressed but are not pertinent to tonight?s discussion.

The council discussed possible changes to the ordinance including fees for stationary caters and whether to limit the amount of caterers allowed. How to make the change in the ordinance was discussed.

The council expressed agreement that the ordinance should be presented to the council with changes to include back ground checks of employees, allow caterers to be stationary if no concessionaire is open and that vehicles be inspected and have a sticker on the approved vehicles.

Council Member Allen asked how many mobile caterers are licensed in the City.

Laura Woolsey indicated five of the seven caterers are active. She asked if stationary caterers are allowed at the parks will they also be allowed at the schools and would there be an operating time limit such as 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

There was discussion regarding requiring stationary caterers to provide restrooms and other facilities needed for public events.

There was discussion regarding violations such as consumption of alcohol and sales of merchandise such as leather goods.

Laura Woolsey indicated one caterer, Mr. Flores, is required by the schools to have portable restroom facilities.

City Attorney Guzman commented for the last two Sundays he has gone to the Sunbowl and Coral Cliffs Elementary. He didn?t see any alcohol or other violations; smoking was the worst thing going on.

Mr. St. John indicated there are people from other areas that come only on Sunday with special types of merchandise to sell. These vendors don?t have a license and should not be there. He indicated another issue that needs to be addressed is the people that stand around the stable caters and conduct business that is not appropriate.

City Manager Esplin commented that if the change in the ordinance creates different problems; the council can address those issues at that time.

An unnamed man asked who is selling other types of merchandise; he stated he hasn?t seen leather goods being sold.

Mr. St. John asked for the City to designate one person that he can go do if there are problems. He asked for better enforcement to bring these community problems to a halt.

The group discussed how to solve the problem. One option is to disallow all mobile caterers.

City Manager Esplin stated Ms Woolsey has dealt with specific issues as they have come to the attention of staff. The current problem is a technical violation of the ordinance, but he doesn?t see it as a major problem for stationary caterers to be at the park one day a week. Ms. Woolsey will be the staff member to contact with regard to licensing issues and she can contact the appropriate staff member if there are other problems. As licenses are renewed vendors will have to be to meet the requirements of the ordinance.

Mr. St. John person expressed concerns with Coral Cliffs School.

City Manager Esplin commented the police should be notified of violations.

Laura Woolsey suggested the changes include a stipulation that if a specific number of violations occur the vendor will be required to go before the council and face possible revocation of their license.

Council Member Allen suggested the type of violation should also be taken into account when deciding the vendor goes to council for review.

The group discussed what has to be done to comply with ordinance while the changes are being drafted and presented to the council for approval.

City Attorney Guzman suggested allowing the caterers to continue to operate as they have been while staff drafts the ordinance.

Mr. St. John man suggested enforcing the ordinance as it stands now.

Laura Woolsey stated that in the year 2000 there was a problem with a mobile caterer operating in City parks in violation of the ordinance. Staff went to the council to ask for this to be allowed; council changed the ordinance to allow mobile caterers to operate in the parks.

Mr. St. John stated during the time it took to change the ordinance, those mobile vendors were ticketed for violating the ordinance. He thinks the ordinance has to be enforced as it is right now.

Mayor McArthur asked if the council can allow the ordinance to be violated during the time it takes to change the ordinance.

City Manager Esplin said the council can allow the ordinance to be suspended and require operation to be conducted in such a manner as agreed on until the changes are made.

Mayor McArthur and the council indicated this would be acceptable.

Discussion concerning uses in neighborhood parks

Present for this discussion: Matt Loo, Sergeant David Moss, Chief Stratton, Marc Mortensen, Leisure Services Kent Perkins

Mayor McArthur indicated the issue concerns whether or not to install a restroom in Cox Park.

City Manager Esplin explained City policy is to have restroom facilities in all neighborhood parks. There is a concern from staff that if council approves no restrooms in this park; will there be other requests for exemptions and how many parks will not have restroom facilities.

There was a general discussion concerning the policy of restrooms in parks. Funds are not always available to build restrooms at the time some parks are constructed, but as funds become available, restrooms are built.

Members of the audience raised concerns regarding crimes occurring in restrooms.

Sergeant Moss explained there are some problems in restrooms in the parks, primarily vandalism. He reviewed police reports for Snow, Vernon Worthen and Bluff Street parks. There were about 140 police calls to the parks since January 2004. Of those incidents there were two reports of problems in the restrooms and they were graffiti problems. He then ran a search of park violations back to 1987 and found only a few issues of problems in bathrooms, none of which were violent crimes.

Leisure Services Perkins explained there is only one stall on each side of the restroom (male and female side). The buildings are block constructed. The restrooms can be locked electronically or by hand. He commented the Parks Department has received a number of calls over the years concerning the lack of restroom facilities.

Members of the audience expressed concern regarding the amount of unreported crimes with respect to restrooms, troubled youth that are brought in by the van full and may use the restrooms to commit crimes.

The group discussed the possible new school that will be located in the area with soccer or ball fields and possibly constructing a restroom as part of that facility that can be used by those using the park.

Council Member Orton indicated he doesn?t know how can the City can provide a public park and not have public restrooms. He stated the council is a steward of tax payer?s money, so it can?t construct facilities that are only for use by those living on one block; it has to provide facilities for the general public.

Audience members voiced concern regarding the transient population along the river and that a restroom would lure this population in the neighborhood. The fence along the river was discussed. Audience members didn?t feel it was adequate to keep people out of the park as children climb over it. There was discussion of restrooms in the area, such as Harmon?s Grocery Store that are accessible to park users that don?t live in the area.

An unnamed woman commented she witnessed a man bathing and shaving in the water fountain.

Mayor McArthur detailed the property swap with the County, School District and City to facilitate the building of a new school and courthouse. Restrooms in schools are inside the schools. He suggested moving the restroom to another location within the park.

There was discussion of locating the restroom south of the tennis courts.

Chief Stratton commented that since the flood the area has been cleared of vegetation, the bike patrol now monitors the area to prevent the homeless from living there. He has also instructed motorcycle officers to patrol the areas along the rivers and trails. He asked the audience to call the police if they see anything of concern.

Council Member Gardner complimented the police for being so proactive in taking care of community problems. He indicated it is encouraging to see the neighborhood rallying to protect kids, however, there are times when an individual needs a restroom is needed immediately and driving to a gas station or grocery store is not an option. He indicated the City has a responsibility to provide restrooms for the public at City facilities.

Members of the audience expressed concern about inmates from Purgatory Correctional Facility using the park. The incident discussed concerned 12 inmates playing basketball with only one guard supervising.

Mayor McArthur commented the City uses inmates for public service such as trash clean up along streets. The inmates that do this have earned a right to be out, they are low risk.

Mrs. Black asked why the restroom wasn?t put in at the beginning.

Mayor McArthur commented it wasn?t used because funds were limited.

The hours the park is open was discussed. The park is open dawn to dusk. For events that happen after dark, a special permit is required. Neighbors should contact the police if the park is being used after hours.

The group discussed registered sex offenders and the Volunteer in Public Safety program that may be used to monitor the park.

There was a general discussion about the design of the restroom, watching children, concern for children?s safety. There was discussion concerning the crime rate in St. George, which is considered a very safe community.

The possibility of raising the height of the door knobs was discussed so small children could not enter the restroom without a parent/adult opening the door for them.

Marc Mortensen indicated the ADA requirements mandate many things such as height of door knobs to ensure accessibility for handicapped individuals.


Council Member Orton made a motion to adjourn the meeting.

Council Member Bunker seconded the motion.

All voted aye, motion carried.

Minutes recorded by:

Rene Fleming Deputy City Recorder