City Council Minutes

Thursday, July 13,2006

JULY 13, 2006, 4:00 P.M.

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

Council Member Larry Gardner

Mayor McArthur called the meeting to order and welcomed all present. The pledge of allegiance was led by Council Member Whatcott and the invocation was offered by Pastor Heuring of St. George Community Church.

Presentation concerning an affordable housing project. Cowboy Partners, applicant.

Ross Hurst, a member of the State Housing Commission, introduced Dan Lofgren of Cowboy partners, who was a member of the same Commission when Mr. Hurst was the chairman. He explained that Mr. Lofgren and his associate Mark Cornelius have done tremendous housing projects throughout the state, including the Liberty Metro Apartments in Salt Lake City which is a superb project. Liberty Metro consists of 100 units on a half acre with the highest rent being $499 a month and the lowest rent at $299 a month.

Dan Lofgren explained that he could provide a successful concept to implement income targeted housing in St. George, with specific emphasis on workforce housing which is defined as those people earning an hourly wage who do not have the opportunity to acquire housing at the market rate because it is too expensive for them. He explained that he has been in the housing business for many years and income targeted housing is a big part of his business. He stated he has identified a possible site in St. George, but the City does not have an ordinance which would allow him to do the project.

City Manager Gary Esplin commented that the City does currently have a PD residential zone.

Mr. Lofgren explained that with regard to affordable housing, there is usually apprehension about who is moving in and the impact the project will have on the neighborhood and density. The concept is a lodge-style apartment complex, with small units to help achieve affordability.

Community Development Director Bob Nicholson inquired if college students would be able to rent the units.

Mr. Lofgren replied that he cannot rent to college students because tax credits are being used, but 15 units will be reserved to rent at the market rate. The units are designed for a one person household. There are strict guidelines about overnight guests, and no exceptions are allowed. There will be a full-time professional manager on site and maintenance staff. The company has a strong track record of proper management. He proposed 100 units, some with a full one bedroom for two people and possibly some two bedroom units for a three to four person household. Rent includes all utilities. Credit, character and capacity are three main requirements. A clean prior rental history is required, as well as a clean criminal background check for all occupants. There will be an in-house management team. The Anderson Lumber property on the Main Street side has been identified as a possible site, consisting of an acre and a half. Mr. Lofgren explained that the complex is targeted at workforce housing, but is not a family community. The rent will not float to the market and is most closely tied to CPI which is a federally derived indicator and will remain in place for 99 years. Mr. Lofgren explained that periodic inspections of every unit will be made and while they are not bullies or houseguest police, there will be no tolerance if the rules are broken. This particular site was targeted because of its proximity to the bus route. He stated he envisioned a three story building with some small element up to four stories for architectural relief. Parking will not spill out onto the neighborhood and there will be 1.25 parking stalls per person.

City Manager Gary Esplin inquired if the rental project would be compatible with the proposed use of the remaining property.

Mr. Lofgren replied that the new owners have seen the community in Salt Lake City, and nothing in their proposed use would inhibit the apartment project. Most of the parking will be surface parking with some tucked under the building.

City Attorney Shawn Guzman commented that there was no on-street parking near the proposed site.

Mr. Lofgren commented that the project will be well landscaped so that everyone who lives there will be proud.

Council Member Orton inquired if rents would be set.

Mr. Lofgren replied that one of the key drivers in the rent equation is the low income housing tax credit program. The next round of tax credits come up in October, and in order to have a shot at them, he has to have control of the site and an appropriate zoning designation. He stated he did not know if this would even be possible, but he would like to proceed if possible.

City Manager Gary Esplin advised that a zone change with a development agreement could be done.

Community Development Director Bob Nicholson commented that an amendment to the zoning ordinance could be done by October.

City Manager Gary Esplin commented that the use would limit itself to commercial zones, and the City could identify those.

City Attorney Shawn Guzman advised that a minimum size could be required.

Discussion concerning sewer concurrency in the Bloomington area.

City Manager Gary Esplin explained that the City has had a request from a Bloomington resident to hook to the City?s sewer without doing improvements through a special improvement district. In the past the City has denied these requests because it would not be fair to those who paid for improvements through a SID.

Mayor McArthur commented stated he felt the City should continue to deny these requests and stick with its current policy.

Council Member Orton commented that there is one section left to do in Bloomington and he felt the City should proceed with an SID in this area.

City Manager Gary Esplin recommended that the City make an effort to form an SID in this area.

Mayor McArthur invited a Scout in the audience to introduce himself.

MOTION: A motion was made by Council Member Allen to adjourn to an executive session to discuss litigation.
SECOND: The motion was seconded by Council Member Whatcott.
VOTE: Mayor McArthur called for a roll call vote, as follows:

Council Member Allen - aye
Council Member Whatcott - aye
Council Member Orton - aye
Council Member Bunker - aye

The vote was unanimous and the motion carried.

Council Member Orton was excused upon the conclusion of the executive session.

MOTION: A motion was made by Council Member Whatcott to reconvene.
SECOND: The motion was seconded by Council Member Bunker.
VOTE: Mayor McArthur called for a vote, and all voted aye. The motion carried.

Council Member Whatcott advised that he informed Mark Peterson that the City will not delay destruction of the building currently occupied by the St. George Musical Theater, and that they will have to vacate the building in January, 2007.

A brief discussion was held about a code enforcement issue with Darrel Anderson.

Council Member Whatcott advised that he is getting complaints about the horses near Christensen Park. City Attorney Shawn Guzman advised that Gary Kuhlmann has requested time on a work meeting agenda to discuss the matter. He advised that the area is zoned open space and can be used for horses, as long as there is not a commercial use. The nuisance caused by flies is something that can be addressed by the City.

Council Member Whatcott advised that the appraisal of Steve Sheffield?s property came in at $10.57 a sq. ft. for mixed uses. Mr. Sheffield was told that there would be no title to the property until the road is completed within a time certain. Council Member Whatcott recommended that a general plan amendment be made to change the back five acres of Mr. Sheffield?s property to low density residential. It was the consensus of those present to make this general plan amendment.

Council Member Whatcott reported on a recent meeting with the Water and Power Board, who have agreed to meet quarterly.

A brief discussion was held on the Planning Commission?s action to deny a conditional use permit for a three story commercial building along Bluff Street. A meeting with the Planning Commission will be scheduled for the last work meeting in August to discuss conditional use permits.

The meeting then adjourned.

Gay Cragun, City Recorder