City Council Minutes

Thursday, April 24,2008

APRIL 24, 2008, 4:00 p.m.

Mayor Daniel McArthur
Council Member Jon Pike
Council Member Gloria Shakespeare
Council Member Gail Bunker
Council Member Gil Almquist
City Manager Gary Esplin
Assistant to City Manager Marc Mortensen
Deputy City Attorney Paula Houston
City Recorder Gay Cragun

Council Member Suzanne Allen
City Attorney Shawn Guzman

Mayor McArthur called the meeting to order and welcomed all in attendance. He then led the pledge of allegiance and the invocation was offered by Council Member Bunker.

Consider approval of a hillside development permit for rough grading for the future alignment of the airport access road (west side) and the construction of a water line to provide construction water for the airport grading project.

Cathy Hasfurther explained that the permit includes realignment of the road and two water tank sites to serve the lower area of the valley and the new airport. The Hillside Board recommends approval subject to (1) from the radius on the proposed roadway that is close to the hillside, cut slopes can be steepened to 1:1 instead of 1.5:1 to provide a 10' shoulder for rock fall potential; and (2) each tank site needs to mitigate the fill slopes and provide a natural look by painting and stacking rock. She advised that the new road will serve as a secondary access to the new airport. The right-of-way width is 60' but asphalt width will be 42'. The road will eventually have curb on both sides, but not until development occurs. It will not be completely built at this time.

Council Member Almquist expressed concern that the road was being designed to go up the hillside when it currently exists closer to the flat ground to the north.

Ms. Hasfurther replied that the current radius does not meet City standards and the road is being tucked up against the hill so the developers can develop the property between the road and the ridge to the north.

Council Member Bunker suggested a field trip be taken to the site.

Council Member Almquist provided a drawing of suggested road placement to Ms. Hasfurther and asked that she review it to see if it would work. He commented that if the only reason the hill is being cut into is so the property can be developed, this is setting an awful precedent.

Curt Gordon, representing Desert Canyons, advised they have the property under contract with SITLA to develop. They are also partnering with the City to build a water line to the new airport. He stated the way the road is now designed is optimum for

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everyone as it responds to traffic criteria, design speed of the road, is single loaded, and from their analysis cuts to the hillside will not be seen from the valley. The road is located down in a valley. If the road is placed as proposed by Council Member Almquist, a larger cut will have to be made on the east side. He clarified that they do not intend to align the road all the way up, but just grade it to what is planned as a future rock park and then it will transition into the existing road.

MOTION: A motion was made by Council Member Pike to approve the hillside development permit subject to a City Council field trip to the site so Council Member Almquist?s concerns are met.

Council Member Almquist clarified his concern stems from the fact that everyone will want an exception to the hillside ordinance if one is made in this case. Additionally, Council Member Shakespeare has stated that she would like the hillside ordinance to be looked at. Cuts and fills also need to be reviewed. He stated he was in favor of the road to the airport and would vote in favor of it, but his opposition is to the giant cuts in some places which are not acceptable. He recommended the City Council proceed with the motion subject to the recommendations discussed by Ms. Hasfurther.

Council Member Pike suggested that the City Council move ahead with the motion, as long as staff approves the plan.

SECOND: The motion was seconded by Council Member Bunker.

Mayor McArthur advised that a site visit will be scheduled for Tuesday, April 29 at 4:00 p.m.

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

Consider approval of a hillside development permit for the future construction of the Flying J frontage road.

Cathy Hasfurther explained the property is located at Exit 4 in Bloomington. She advised that the Hillside Review Board recommended approval subject to (1) removal of the knob to expose the natural hillside look in the area, (2) staff to review and address the drainage from the hillside area, and (3) round all cut slopes at the top and sides to blend back into the natural hillside slopes.

Aron Baker explained that the current intersection will be right-in right-out only. The new truck access will be pushed up 200 feet to help solve the interchange issue. He explained the applicant is still working with the BLM and Fish and Wildlife on mitigation. An environmental document is being prepared right now. A fence along the preserve at the top of the cut will likely be part of the mitigation.

Council Member Almquist requested that the road profiles be fixed with regard to slope cuts so they were not so misleading.

MOTION: A motion was made by Council Member Bunker to approve the hillside development permit subject to the recommendations of the Hillside Review Board.
SECOND: The motion was seconded by Council Member Pike.

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

Mayor McArthur announced that this Saturday is Arbor Day. He invited citizens to attend the festivities at the Tonaquint Nature Center. Free trees will be given away from 9:00 a.m. to noon.

Assistant to the City Manager Marc Mortensen advised that this Saturday is also the Second Annual Don?t Waste Dixie Day. City crews will be assisting residents on the east side of Main Street from 7:00 to noon with clean-up.

Tracy Ence advised he represented a group of businesses who are having problems in the down market and need help and understanding from the City. He stated they spent a long time going through the Sign Ordinance and there are areas within it which have problems and are affecting them.

Scott Leishman, architect and marketing manager for Ence Homes, advised that a banner advertising the Seven Hills project was taken down and in a short time drive-by attendance dropped 50%. He advised he was elected by a committee to help draft changes to the ordinance.

Steve from Rainbow Signs advised there are gray areas in the ordinance subject to code enforcement interpretation, and they would like these eliminated as much as possible. He requested that promotional development sign be defined, open house sign be defined, lot sign defined and allowed, two signs allowed for residential development with a maximum of 48 sq. ft. of signage, etc. He requested that 4 x 8 or smaller signs be allowed without a permit, fence and wall signs and banners limited by the size of the wall, action flags allowed in front of developments, and one off-premise sign allowed. He requested that lot signs in commercial or residential areas be allowed without a permit, as well as action flags without a permit. He suggested that only one generic real estate off-premise directional sign be allowed per corner.

Assistant to the City Manager Marc Mortensen commented that most people now sell their homes on-line and using signage is antiquated.

Mr. Leishman replied that advertising sales is still driven by drive-by advertising.

Steve from Rainbow Signs advised the realtors would like five open house signs to be allowed.

Community Development Director Bob Nicholson commented that the Sign Review Board has not seen these suggestions. He advised while there is room for change, he suggested some of the suggestions go too far.

Mayor McArthur commented he felt the changes should first go to the Sign Review Board for their recommendation.

Scott Leishman advised that time is of the essence as the selling season is drawing to a close.

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Deputy City Attorney Paula Houston expressed concern with the proposed off-premise signs. This is a slippery slope and if one type of business is allowed to have them, all businesses will want them. Enforceability is a big issue.

Council Member Jon Pike commented that realtors have to have off-premise directional and open house signs.

Deputy City Attorney Paula Houston explained the City now allows off-premise signage if it is located on property that is owned by the sign owner and is part of and contiguous to the development. She advised that having one generic realtor sign at a corner would create mass confusion and she was not sure this was a workable solution.

Steve Leishman advised the suggestion for open house signs came from the Henderson, Nevada sign code.

Council Member Bunker suggested that Code Enforcement go easy on residential development until the sign ordinance changes are reviewed and approved.

Council Member Shakespeare agreed.

Tracy Ence commented that the Code Enforcement Officers are doing their jobs, but commercial developments have more opportunity to sell than residential developments because of the sign ordinance.

Deputy City Attorney Paula Houston commented that Code Enforcement has tried to be careful and has allowed some signs to remain as long as they pose no threat to safety. It is hard for Code Enforcement Officers to know what the City Council wants them to be flexible on.

Council Member Shakespeare and Mayor McArthur commented they would like action flags to be allowed and signs at each residential development entrance until the sign ordinance is finalized.

Deputy City Attorney Paula Houston advised that Code Enforcement will hold off unless there is a safety issue or the sign or flag is falling apart.

Community Development Director Bob Nicholson advised the Sign Review Board will meet May 14. He suggested that promotional signs be limited to two for the next 30 days or until the ordinance is finalized as long as they are on premise.

Deputy City Attorney Paula Houston replied that she will direct Code Enforcement to not take action at this point, except for safety, until the ordinance is finalized.

Code Enforcement Officer Joe Van Huss advised that City Manager Gary Esplin already advised him to back off on developments and only enforce safety issues.

The meeting then adjourned to the Administration Conference Room.

Life Scout Branden Clark advised he has received approval from the Parks Department to build a ?step and run trail? made out of railroad ties for his Eagle Scout project. He

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presented a power point presentation including recommended width, materials, donations, and items needed from the City.

Deputy City Attorney Paula Houston advised that waiver forms will be needed for anyone working on City property. Her office will provide the forms.

MOTION: A motion was made by Council Member Pike to approve the project and provide the funds requested up to $340.

Mayor McArthur advised Branden and his father to contact the City if they need assistance getting the railroad ties to St. George.

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

Laurie Bowes, a Desert Hills resident, requested that the sidewalk be finished.

Laura Taylor explained that the initial master plan for the area included a sidewalk, but when the construction drawings were approved, the sidewalk was not included and the developer was not willing to include street improvements for the park construction.

Mayor McArthur advised that this could be considered as part of the budget process.

Ms. Bowes advised a man in the subdivision submitted a bid of $15,000 to complete the sidewalk if manpower is donated.

Laura Taylor advised her original estimate for this portion of sidewalk was $42,000 including earthwork.

Ms. Bowes advised the man?s bid included excavation.

Mayor McArthur advised the City?s philosophy has been that the City will maintain landscaping only within 80' rights-of-way.

Laura Taylor explained that maintenance costs for street landscaping are skyrocketing and a consistent policy for which rights-of-way the City will maintain needs to be adopted. Desert Canyons wants the City to take over maintenance of the rights-of-way in its Meadow Valley Farms development in the Little Valley area which include medians on 3000 East and Crimson Ridge Road. She requested the Council make a decision on which rights-of-way it wants to maintain. She advised that Park Planning, Community Development, Development Services and Public Works met to determine criteria for a policy. She then presented a power point presentation.

Larry Shane advised that City crews currently maintain 35 parks and 81 non-park sites, and are committed to taking care of 43 miles of landscaping. Of that 43 miles, 25 is already installed and maintained. The cost estimate is $440,000 a year for the 25 miles the City is currently maintaining. The community has a misconception that the City will take care of the landscaping along any 80' roadway, yet staff cannot do this. He suggested that a criteria be set - that property owners provide maintenance up to the back of the curb, and the City will take care of any medians on streets 80' or wider. It is also recommended that not all medians be landscaped.

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Curt Gordon commented that Desert Canyons has three miles within the Southern Parkway that it wants to landscape. The right of way is 300' wide and is 600' at the intersections. UDOT won?t let them landscape within the right-of-way unless the City agrees to maintain it. It will be paid for, however, by the HOA.

Assistant to the City Manager Marc Mortensen advised that this could be done through a separate agreement.

Council Member Gil Almquist said he applauded the new plant selection, but it should also include native cactus which does not require water.

Laura Taylor advised that the City needs to respond to Desert Canyon?s request to maintain landscaping in the Meadow Valley Farms development.

It was decided that adoption of a policy would be decided at the next City Council meeting.

Laura Taylor presented a Splash Pad Master Plan. She advised that each splash pad costs approximately $150,000. The neighborhood in the area of the Firehouse Park would like a splash pad, but additional funds would be required.

Mayor McArthur suggested that the 2450 East Park be designated as a community park and a splash pad built there in the future.

City Manager Gary Esplin arrived.

Mayor McArthur suggested that the Firehouse Park would be a more appropriate location for a splash pad than the Sand Hollow Aquatic Center.

Laura Taylor advised she would update the master plan with these suggestions, however, there is not enough parking at Firehouse Park.

City Manager Gary Esplin suggested that perhaps another recreation bond issue could be considered. A committee would need to be formed to explore this possibility.

MOTION: A motion to adjourn to an executive session to discuss a property purchase and sale was made by Council Member Almquist.
SECOND: The motion was seconded by Council Member Pike.
VOTE: Mayor McArthur called for a roll call vote, as follows:

Council Member Almquiste - aye
Council Member Pike - aye
Council Member Bunker - aye
Council Member Shakespeare - aye

The vote was unanimous and the motion carried.

MOTION: A motion was made by Council Member Almquist to reconvene.
SECOND: The motion was seconded by Council Member Bunker.

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

Council Member Shakespeare advised she met with Mr. Kelsch and he suggested that the City should speak with Mr. Burgoyne about the possibility of purchasing his home for use as a community garden. Mr. Kelsch will sell his back lot for $40,000, but would like to build a casita in his backyard for his mother-in-law.

Deputy City Attorney Paula Houston advised that casitas are not allowed as permanent residences.

Council Member Shakespeare advised that she would schedule a meeting with Mr. Burgoyne.

City Manager Gary Esplin advised that this area would qualify for CDBG funding

Council Member Bunker advised that the Washington County Arts Council would like each community involved to donate based on its population. They are asking St. George to donate $2,500.

Council Member Almquist advised there is a conflict between those who give tennis lessons at the Tonaquint tennis courts and those who just use the courts for play. The City currently allows instruction on only one court. He suggested that two courts be allowed to be used for instruction. He advised a long term solution would be to build more courts to be used exclusively for teaching.

City Manager Gary Esplin advised he would have Kent Perkins present a proposal for the City Council?s consideration.

Mayor McArthur advised he received a request to use the old CAA airstrip on May 3 for a jet rally and to have the City sweep off the runway. It was the consensus of the City Council to allow this use.

Council Member Bunker advised that some kind of modular walkway is needed at the dinosaur museum across the fossil finds to the area of the tail drags. SUHBA has offered to provide the material and labor for this project, but the City stopped them from doing the project.

City Manager Gary Esplin advised he would research the issue and if it could not be resolved, a meeting will be scheduled with all interested parties.

The meeting adjourned at 8:20 p.m.

Gay Cragun, City Recorder