City Council Minutes

Thursday, April 25,2013

APRIL 25, 2013, 4:00 P.M.

Mayor Daniel McArthur
Councilmember Gail Bunker
Councilmember Jon Pike
Councilmember Ben Nickle
City Manager Gary Esplin
City Attorney Shawn Guzman
City Recorder Gay Cragun

Councilmember Gil Almquist
Councilmember Jimmie Hughes

Mayor McArthur called the meeting to order and welcomed all in attendance. The pledge of allegiance to the flag was led by Mayor McArthur and the invocation was offered by Councilmember Nickle.

Mayor McArthur announced that this Saturday Cotton Days will be held in Washington City. Events in St. George this Saturday include the Relay for Life, the Republican Convention and an Arbor Day celebration at the Hela Seegmiller Farm.

Scott Hensley explained that he and his brother Darren Hensley represent Pathways, which is an educational foundation. The foundation has a high school in northern Utah at Thanksgiving Point which is a combination of virtual education for the core curriculum and a performing arts school. They opened their doors in August. They set up a new model using community resources to develop the arts in existing facilities instead of building new facilities. Virtual education is a key component. Professionals were hired to teach the arts. He explained that both he and Darren live in St. George and would like to partner with the St. George Musical Theater for a community arts program. The location they would like to use is the old Sunroc building. They can utilize the space in the day for Pioneer High School and in the evening for the St. George Musical Theater.

Darren Hensley stated they are talking about virtualizing the performing arts, but professionals will be on staff to teach technique.

Scott Hensley advised that they need help from the City on the build-out to make sure it is done right and in order to get the St. George Musical Theater up and running within three months.

Darren Hensely commented they want to create a model that does not require help other than to get it up and going. The cost is $600,000. The Eccles Foundation has agreed to march whatever is contributed up to $300,000, and a construction company has agreed to invest in the program and put in $150,000, leaving $150,000 remaining. He stated he was hoping the City could do $75,000 as a loan that would be paid back.

St. George City Council Minutes
April 25, 2013
Page Two

Ed Baca inquired if there had been any consideration given to issuing bonds for the project, or if it was all private resource funding.

Scott Hensley replied it is all private funding.

City Manager Gary Esplin commented the nexus the City will have, if any, is the downtown and the benefit of having something downtown related to the arts. The City is not a bank, however, based on the past approval of a request from the SGMT for $70,000 as a loan, it appears these applicants are stepping in for SGMT. The history of the SGMT and having people come to the downtown is real and helps the restaurants and the downtown as a whole. The benefits for the community probably outweigh the risk.

Councilmember Bunker agreed that this project would bring a lot of people downtown, but she expressed concern about supporting this project and not others.

Scott Hensley explained that this project is not part of Pioneer High School, but a drop-in center for education during the day with computers and tutors available and also where kids up north will be taking dance and other classes broadcast from St. George. He advised that this concept is being done in higher education, but so far not in high schools. Instructors will not be limited to one location but can be located anywhere in the world.

Darren Hensley advised that he is the Business Manager for Pioneer High School, and half of the students comes for virtual education. There are learning advocates who help the students and the social side comes from interacting with other students in the class and participating in dance classes, etc.

Councilmember Nickle expressed concern that the students be carefully monitored while on line.

Darren Hensely replied that the students are carefully monitored and they keep in touch with the parents as well. The software used is sophisticated enough to know when the work has changed or if it has been cut and pasted. Testing is done live at testing centers.

Councilmember Pike commented that the proposal makes sense if done for an economic development purpose.

Councilmember Nickle commented he would be opposed to it if not for the SGMT connection.

Mayor McArthur advised the applicants to proceed to the next step.

City Manager Gary Esplin advised that the proposal will be structured in an agreement.

Councilmember Pike commented that the applicants need the money up front.

St. George City Council Minutes
April 25, 2013
Page Three

City Manager Gary Esplin replied that this would have to be based on an agreement and the money would not be disbursed to them until an agreement was signed.

Stacy Young, representing Quality Development, presented a power point presentation covering the following topics: March 11 General Plan Amendment, Geographic Segmentation, Population Growth and Household Formation, Demographic Segmentation, Product Mix Matrix, Development of Future Neighborhoods, R-1-7 Example: Pinebrook, R-1-7 Example: Ironwood, PD Patio Home Examples, Multifamily Example: Hidden Valley Casitas, Multifamily Example: Coral Springs Condos, Summary, Questions and Discussion.

Ed Baca inquired if consideration had been given to use of a secondary water system for the parks or agricultural areas.

Mr. Young replied they had looked at that but it is not feasible at this point.

Councilmember Pike commented that he was concerned about traffic in the area and he was not a believer that St. George City needed to provide all the rentals and high density housing in the County.

Mr. Young replied that there is more in St. George per capita, but St. George is where the employment base is and mass transit.

Ross Taylor, St. George Planning Commission Member, commented that less expensive homes are often purchased by investors as rentals so rental rates rise where those in low cost housing are employed. While the City may think it is building home ownership, in most instances it is not.

Stacy Young advised there are only 900 apartments in St. George and nothing is being built with the intent to be for rent. Those households are going to be served in some way and it is through rentals in neighborhoods thought to be for home ownership.

Brett Burgess commented that their proposed rental areas are tucked into areas that are more difficult to develop and have natural terrain buffers.

Julie Hullinger, St. George Planning Commission Member, commented that she works for a rental property agency and many projects limit the number of rentals. The HOAs state what percentage of the projects can be used as rentals.

City Attorney Shawn Guzman advised that this is only enforceable by the HOAs, and only a small percentage of the HOA projects have done this.

Bob Nicholson commented that lot size averaging works in the higher zones, but it is not used in the R-1-8 zones. He advised that using lot size averaging in the R-1-8 zones would achieve the same density as an R-1-7 zone.

St. George City Council Minutes
April 25, 2013
Page Four

Councilmember Pike commented he did not see a lot of advantage or reason to do anything different than proposed on the map provided by the applicants.

City Manager Gary Esplin commented that 3000 East will be incredibly busy and from a long range planning standpoint the City needs to figure out a connection to Commerce Drive or River Road or the freeway.

Laura Taylor commented that the park proposed next to 3000 East would function much better if it was located away from the main road.

Glen Bundy commented that the south end of 3000 East needs to be developed as another access instead of all traffic going up 2450 South.

City Manager Gary Esplin advised that the City has some funding in the CDA and RDA in this area that can be used, but his concern from a planning standpoint is agreeing on the roadways. There has been no planning of roadways south into the pits of Western Rock properties and Ft. Pierce properties. He inquired who would pay for the roads, and commented that more than one access is needed and traffic needs to be planned for on the south end of 3000 East.

Mayor McArthur commented that Quality Development’s project looked good, but the City had more work to do.

MOTION: A motion was made by Councilmember Pike to adjourn to a closed session to discuss litigation.
SECOND The motion was seconded by Councilmember Nickle.
VOTE: Mayor McArthur called for a roll call vote, as follows:

Councilmember Bunker - aye
Councilmember Almquist - aye
Councilmember Nickle - aye
Councilmember Pike - aye
Councilmember Hughes - aye

The vote was unanimous and the motion carried.

The meeting then adjourned after the closed session.

Gay Cragun, City Recorder