City Council Minutes

Thursday, June 26,2008



ST. GEORGE CITY COUNCIL MINUTES
WORK MEETING
JUNE 26, 2008, 4:00 P.M.
ADMINISTRATION CONFERENCE ROOM

PRESENT:
Mayor Daniel McArthur
Council Member Gloria Shakespeare
Council Member Gil Almquist
Council Member Gail Bunker
Council Member Suzanne Allen
Council Member Jon Pike
City Manager Gary Esplin
City Attorney Shawn Guzman
City Recorder Gay Cragun

OPENING:
Mayor McArthur called the meeting to order and welcomed all in attendance. The pledge of allegiance was led by Shawn Guzman and the invocation was offered by Gail Bunker.

Council Member Allen reported on the dedication of the Cottonwood Cove Park.

Larry Shane advised that the pickleball courts and Middleton Park will be dedicated soon.

Council Member Almquist advised a trail in the Bloomington Hills area will also be dedicated soon.

Mayor McArthur announced that anyone wishing to offer an invocation at a City Council meeting should contact the City Recorder to be scheduled.

PRESENTATION FROM SHELDON WITTWER REGARDING SIGN ISSUES:
Sheldon Wittwer distributed an e-mail he had earlier sent the Mayor and City Council. He advised that on his way to work he counted 23 sign violations. He advised his business, Boulevard Furniture, was fined $2,600 for use of pennants. He suggested the City?s ordinance should prohibit people walking with signs. He suggested a form be created which lists dates businesses would like to use streamers, pennants, and temporary signs, up to 60 days per year.

Mayor McArthur commented that the ordinance was put in place for worst case scenarios.

Mr. Wittwer suggested the ordinance provide more flexibility and that banners not be required to be flush against a building.

Mayor McArthur suggested that perhaps they could be allowed to not protrude past the building.

Council Member Bunker commented the reason they had to be flush against the building was to prevent sagging and tearing due to wind. She commented there has

never been a problem with the Boulevard?s signs. She suggested that banners be
allowed within the footprint of the building.

City Attorney Shawn Guzman commented that whatever decision is made, it should be legal and easy to enforce.

Mayor McArthur commented the goal is have permanent signs rather than banners.

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June 26, 2008
Page Two

Royden Wittwer expressed frustration at the $2600 fine for flying banners on their own property.

Council Member Almquist expressed concern that the ACE court is assessing large fines and upsetting people.

Mayor McArthur replied that notice is always given first, and some people choose to defy the law.

City Attorney Shawn Guzman advised the ACE court system is the same system as that set up for traffic tickets. The goal is compliance. The rules and ordinances of the City must be enforced.

Sheldon Wittwer suggested that the ?holiday? period contained in the ordinance begin November 1.

Mayor McArthur commented he felt there was room for change in the ordinance to make it better for businesses.

Council Member Pike commented that this is a complicated issue and is one of the issues which propelled him to run for office. He stated he was frustrated with the ordinance as member of the Chamber of Commerce, and it seems the Council is now unclear on how the ordinance is to be interpreted and its intent.

Royden Wittwer commented he felt there was unequal enforcement of the ordinance.

Council Member Bunker commented it was difficult to come up with something that applies to all businesses. She inquired of Mr. Wittwer if he could build a structure in which to locate his temporary signs, rather than having a banner in front of the business in the landscaped area.

Mr. Wittwer replied that they were looking at a sign but it will cost $50,000. He inquired if the Council would consider having a group of retailers involved in reviewing the wording of any ordinance changes.

City Attorney Shawn Guzman commented that if there is uneven enforcement, it is because not everyone breaking the law can be caught.

Jason Griffiths commented he felt there were several over-zealous code enforcement officers and that there was no discretion in code enforcement.

Council Member Shakespeare inquired if there was a way to let the retailers do what they wanted until the law is changed.

City Attorney Shawn Guzman replied that the code enforcement officers have previously been directed to not take any action unless a safety hazard exists.

Council Member Almquist commented that prohibiting all banners except those flush on the building was too extreme, yet at the same time he did not want to be so free-wheeling in its ordinance that the City would look trashy.



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June 26, 2008
Page Three

Council Member Allen commented the problem of signage for strip malls has not been solved.

Mayor McArthur commented that the ordinance will not be satisfactory to everyone.

Sheldon Wittwer suggested that a purpose statement might help code enforcement officers decide if a violation exists.

DISCUSSION ON CITY-OWNED PROPERTY IN THE LITTLE VALLEY AREA AND THE BONNEVILLE BUILDERS PROJECT:
City Manager Gary Esplin explained that the City owns property in the Little Valley area, two acres of which Bonneville Builders would like to add to their project to meet housing needs of the community. They are willing to work with the City on a partnership basis or purchase it outright from the City.

John Fleming, Senior Project Manager for Bonneville Builders, reviewed the concept plan. He inquired if the City was willing to sell it its leftover property in the area.
He explained that he met with the Workforce Housing Committee and the intent is to hit the median range or below, somewhere in the $220,000 range. The intent is to satisfy that need in the marketplace. He advised that the proposed project meets density guidelines. The site is located within a medium density overlay zone which allows seven units per acre. The project is 6.45 units per acre and lies between two schools. It will be marketed for younger families and school teachers, etc.

City Manager Gary Esplin commented it made no sense for the City to develop the two acres itself and the property should go to the adjacent owner. The question is whether the City wants to be a partner in the affordable housing portion, or sell it with stipulations that some of the units be reserved for affordable housing, or sell it for full market value and use the funds to do its own affordable housing project down the road. He stated selling the property for full market value would be the cleanest and easiest option.

Mr. Fleming advised the units will be between 1,450 and 1,800 sq. ft. The units will not have basements as there is a rock ledge running underneath the property. He stated he was fine with an outright purchase of the property.

It was the consensus of the Mayor and Council to move forward with a sale of the property.

City Manager Gary Esplin inquired of Mr. Fleming if water was purchased with the property.

Mr. Fleming replied that it was not.

DISCUSSION ON THE LANDSCAPE ORDINANCE:
Community Development Director Bob Nicholson distributed the draft landscape ordinance and reviewed several issues:

Section 10-25-3 applies to new and remodeling of existing commercial developments where a building permit would be required. He advised it does not apply to single family homes. He inquired if the Council felt comfortable with the language and if it should apply just to expansion or all remodeling. He recommended that the City Manager or his designee would have to approve any landscape change involving a non-conforming use.

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June 26, 2008
Page Four

Deputy City Attorney Paula Houston clarified that this would apply to minor changes only.

Mr. Nicholson advised that with regard to a change of use on an existing property, there is currently no requirement to install landscaping; only a building permit or remodel would trigger the requirement to install landscaping. He explained that there is currently no restriction in the ordinance when culinary water may be used for outdoor watering during May to September. The restriction is, however, contained in the City?s conservation plan and policy.

City Manager Gary Esplin suggested it not be included in the ordinance.

Conservation Coordinator Ren? Fleming commented this requirement does get press coverage each year when the plan is presented to the City Council.

City Manager Gary Esplin suggested that a something be included in the ordinance encouraging best efforts in water conservation, but not make it mandatory.

Section 10-25-4 currently requires landscaping of the front 25' in PD Commercial zones. The proposed standard would be a minimum average of 15' along front property lines with a minimum of 6'. Mr. Nicholson advised there is concern how this requirement impacts small parcels, but using an average will allow flexibility.

Section 10-25-6 proposes that all new single family homes must install front yard landscaping within one year of the Certificate of Occupancy and have an automatic irrigation system, and existing homes must have front yard landscaping, but hose dragging is allowed.

Council Member Allen inquired if a tree was required.

Mr. Nicholson replied that a tree is not required.

Council Member Bunker inquired how the ordinance would be enforced.

Mr. Nicholson replied it would be enforced by Code Enforcement.

City Manager Gary Esplin commented the issues needing addressing are how to enforce the ordinance, whether on a complaint basis, what happens if the ordinance is not enforced, how it is implemented, and if it is even going to be implemented.

Council Member Shakespeare advised she had material from Louisiana State University on other landscape ordinances implemented by cities throughout the United States.

Conservation Coordinator Ren? Fleming advised she also had similar material but from cities throughout the State of Utah.

Mayor McArthur inquired if the ordinances addressed retroactive enforcement.

Ms. Fleming replied that most of the cities do not retroactively enforce the ordinance, but only enforce them for new construction or remodeling.

Mayor McArthur commented that a problem exists across the nation with homes sitting vacant with dying landscaping.
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June 26, 2008
Page Five

Carol Sapp distributed a handout with SUHBA?s comments to the proposed landscape ordinance. She advised that a committee has been working approximately two years on the ordinance, with a lot of input from developers, engineers, landscape architects, and residents. She stated she was not comfortable that there was no quantifier for triggering the landscaping requirement for remodels. She stated it was important that the City not do anything to inhibit the desire for people to improve their facades and the appearance of their buildings, and this requirement could make it too difficult and expensive. She stated the requirement for 50% landscaping on existing properties could create the opposite effect desired. She suggested a percentage be used, or changing the footprint of the building, or square footage. She stated it has never been defined why 50% is the right number.

Laura Taylor explained that while it is hard to quantify, it is believed Dixie Regional Medical Center has 50% landscaping.

Craig Harvey explained a new concept of planting on roofs to help eliminate heat islands is desert communities. On new construction, this could be considered into the 50% landscape requirement, especially when the lot is small and there is not a lot of space for landscaping.

Jay Sandberg explained the 50% landscaping requirement is only 50% of the minimum required landscaping.

An unidentified gentleman commented that palm trees and shade trees are not part of the landscaping requirement.

Community Development Director Bob Nicholson explained that the 50% landscape requirement has been on the books for ten to fifteen years, and is only 2.5% of the lot area.

Carol Sapp stated she believed that removing the incentive for people to plant trees by not allowing them to fulfill some part of the required percentage would hurt the City. Something should be allowed for the right trees, but not, for instance, one mulberry tree that would take up a whole yard. She inquired if the landscaping ordinance would supercede any development agreement entered into.

City Attorney Shawn Guzman replied that a development agreement will supercede the ordinance.

Carol Sapp commented that occupying vs. owning property is problematic and the ordinance will create a hardship on those leasing. The same thing applies to residential.

City Manager Gary Esplin stated that someone?s business license would not be taken away for violations of the ordinance.

Ms. Sapp replied that this is what the business license ordinance says.

Jason Griffith commented that who has responsibility for landscaping depends on the lease agreement.

Deputy City Attorney Paula Houston advised that the City has the discretion to take away the business license or not.

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June 26, 2008
Page Six

City Manager Gary Esplin commented the City needs the right to revoke the business license.

Ms. Houston clarified that the City wants the ability to go after the landowner, as it cannot record against a lessee.

City Manager Gary Esplin stated he did not see this as a big issue as the City Council and Mayor have the discretion to do lots of things.

Carol Sapp suggested that the City Council should decide what will trigger the landscaping requirements for modifications to buildings. She stated she had significant issues with not doing anything that would hurt the housing market, such as requiring landscaping for ownership changes.

Council Member Bunker suggested that one of the triggers for commercial should be if there is no landscaping at all.

Ben, a designer with Bush and Gudgell, explained the committee selected areas it would bring up as concerns with regard to what is required when a remodel is done without being an undue hardship.

Community Development Director Bob Nicholson advised the draft ordinance reads that if a business with no landscaping wants to remodel or expand, this would go to the City Manager for approval.

Carol Sapp asked what is being done to address small parcels in the downtown that are narrow and deep as far as the 15' averaging requirement.

Mr. Nicholson replied that unique situations that are non-conforming will go to the City Manager or his designee to see what can be done. It may not be brought up to conformance, but perhaps something could be done.

Deputy City Attorney Paula Houston inquired about vacant lots.

Mr. Nicholson replied that averaging would be the solution on vacant lots.

Mayor McArthur commented that whatever is done has to be compatible with the surroundings.

Carol Sapp commented that the alternate option for adoption is a better choice and does not impact existing residential.

Deputy City Attorney Paula Houston advised the proposed ordinance creates a provision that requires residential to have landscaping, as it exists.

Carol Sapp commented she disagreed with the provision regarding occupying vs. owning property.

City Attorney Shawn Guzman commented that the rental ordinance would apply if the property is a rental.



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June 26, 2008
Page Seven

Carol Sapp commented that the ordinance says an occupant will be charged with a Class C misdemeanor for violation of the ordinance, and this is unfair.

Julie Breckenridge, Washington County Water Conservancy District, advised the WCWCD has a concern with requiring 50% landscaping. The WCWCD requires people to sign a conservation easement which prohibits them from landscaping more than 5000 sq. ft.

City Manager Gary Esplin replied the 50% requirement is for the front yard only.

Mayor McArthur commented the next step is to schedule the ordinance on an agenda.

Council Member Bunker commented she still had concerns about the residential portion of the ordinance. She inquired if portions of the ordinance could be scheduled on the agenda, rather than the entire ordinance.

City Manager Gary Esplin recommended that the commercial and multiple family portions of the ordinance be scheduled while still looking at the residential portion, funding, documentation, etc.

Mayor McArthur called for a brief break. Upon conclusion of the break, the meeting continued.

UPDATE AND DISCUSSION ON THE REPLACEMENT AIRPORT AND RELATED ISSUES:
Public Works Director Larry Bulloch introduced Kristin Hartman, FAA Utah Engineer; Steve Domino, Jacobs PM Team; Mary Ortega-Itsell, Jacobs PM Team; Richard Slayden, Sala & Associates; Elisabeth Whitlock, Jacobs PM Team; and Tammy Schouten, Jacobs PM Team.

Steve Domino presented a power point presentation covering Program Update, Land Acquisition, Proposed Airport Layout, Grading and Drainage, Landside and Parking, Airside and Lighting, Utilities and Roadways, Schedule, Program Budget, Minimum Standards, and Future Issues.

Mayor McArthur and Kristin Hartman advised that the airport boundary can always be added to.

Public Works Director Larry Bulloch advised that he would have proposals with regard to regulations for the Mayor and Council to consider within a few weeks. He advised that with regard to commercial service, what presently exists at the old airport will be moved to the new airport.

City Manager Gary Esplin advised that there will be room in the new terminal for another airline. He advised that the City needs to be in negotiations now in order to meet minimum standards, and finalize design now in order to get bids.

Steve Domino advised the tenants need to know now as well.

Kristin Hartman advised the FAA supports the airport and is proud to have a new one in St. George which will increase safety. She advised she was available to help balance the budget and support all projects within the budget. She stated that decisions needed to be made in a timely manner and that there are a lot to make.
She advised that currently the FAA is considering a straight-in approach, as well as a GPS approach. The VOR is outdated and probably will not be moved to the new airport.

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June 26, 2008
Page Eight

Mr. Bulloch explained that access for general aviation will have to come in from the west or east. There is no funding for public perimeter roads. A site for fueling services will be refined in the layout plan. He advised he will be meeting with the FBOs who may want to provide fueling services.

Glen Bundy inquired about a fuel farm.

Mr. Bulloch advised it would be located south of the terminal.

City Manager Gary Esplin advised there is no money in the budget for a fuel farm, and this will have to be undertaken by the private sector.

Mr. Bulloch recommended paid parking at the new airport.

City Manager Gary Esplin advised there is no money in the budget for a paid parking system, however, without revenues from parking one cannot be implemented.

Mr. Bulloch advised that paid parking is the largest single revenue source an airport has. He advised that a parking fee of $3 per day could generate several hundred thousands of dollars in revenue each year.

Glen Bundy inquired about a time frame for the FBOs.

Mr. Bulloch replied he has already been meeting with the FBOs and will have another meeting with them after the standards are developed. He stated he will try and integrate the FBOs into the design process.

City Manager Gary Esplin recommended approval of an emergency change order to install lighting on Brigham Road. There is money in the budget to provide street lights.

It was the consensus of the Mayor and Council that Mr. Esplin proceed with the change order.

ADJOURN TO EXECUTIVE SESSION:
MOTION: A motion was made by Council Member Almquist to adjourn to an executive session to discuss land purchases.
SECOND: The motion was seconded by Council Member Pike.
VOTE: Mayor McArthur called for a roll call vote, as follows:

Council Member Almquist - aye
Council Member Bunker - aye
Council Member Allen - aye
Council Member Shakespeare - aye
Council Member Pike - aye

The vote was unanimous and the motion carried.

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

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June 26, 2008
Page Nine

MISCELLANEOUS DISCUSSIONS:
Police Chief Marlon Stratton advised that the Moab Chief of Police requested the help of ten St. George police officers because 500 to 800 Banditos will visit Moab in August. The City will have to take care of salaries while they are gone, but Moab will take care of other expenses.

Gloria Shakespeare inquired about the desert reserve ordinance.

Support Services Manager Marc Mortensen advised that it is still in draft form and not yet ready for cities to review. The County wants each city to adopt it.

Council Member Shakespeare inquired if the City had an evacuation plan.

Police Chief Marlon Stratton advised that the City has an emergency operations plan which works in conjunction with the Red Cross and School District. Fire stations will be staffed in the event of an emergency. There is no plan, however, for a mass evacuation as there are too many variables.

Council Member Shakespeare inquired who to contact to rent the Dixie Center for a high school dance. She was advised to contact the WCIA board.

The meeting then adjourned.



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Gay Cragun, City Recorder