City Council Minutes

Thursday, March 27,2014




ST. GEORGE CITY COUNCIL MINUTES
REGULAR MEETING
MARCH 27, 2014, 4:00 P.M.
ADMINISTRATIVE CONFERENCE ROOM

PRESENT:
Mayor Jon Pike
Councilmember Gil Almquist
Councilmember Jimmie Hughes
Councilmember Michele Randall
Councilmember Bowcutt
Councilmember Bette Arial
City Manager Gary Esplin
City Attorney Shawn Guzman
City Recorder Christina Fernandez

OPENING:
Mayor Pike called the meeting to order and welcomed all in attendance. The Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag was led by Councilmember Arial the invocation was offered by citizen Tim Martin.

PRESENTATION FROM ART SIEMENS:
Support Services Manager Marc Mortensen introduced Mark Cram with Siemens. He explained that Siemens looks at ways to improve efficiency in facilities. Mr. Cram performed a feasibility to see if there are ways to improve the efficiencies in City facilities. The savings will be used to fund improvements.

Mark Cram, with Siemens, presented a powerpoint presentation which covered the following topics: Agenda; Your Challenges: Resources, Equipment, Mandates; The Performance Contracting Process; Understanding the Performance Contract Cash Flow; Relevant Legislation; Our Process - Road Map to Success; Our Proficiencies - Broad Range of Innovative Solutions; Buildings To Be Reviewed; Project Financial Summary; Feasibility Study; Lighting (Building and Streets); Upgrade Building Automation Systems (BAS); Advanced Control Strategies; Re-Commissioning; Boilers; Domestic Water and Irrigation Opportunities; Improve Maintenance Capability; Weatherization; Pool Opportunities; Variable Flow; Other Opportunities; Our Promise - Experience in Delivering Successful Projects; Utah References and Performance Contracting Process Overview.

City Manager Gary Esplin advised there is no financial obligation to the City.

Mr. Cram explained that typically, there is a 3rd party lending institution is involved. The lending institution sets up an escrow account and submits an invoice to the City. At the end of construction, the savings shift from an operational or expense budget to pay the lending institution back.

City Manager Gary Esplin stated that the risk will be, if the savings does not service the bond. Siemens guarantees that the savings will be there. He sees no real downside other than the strength of a company. Siemens has experience and a good track record.

Support Services Marc Mortensen advised that the next step would be for the Council to approve a letter of intent. A good example of how this would work well, is with the Water Treatment Plant. There are some serious improvements that can be made to the facility to extend the life of the plant.

The Consensus of the Council is to move forward.

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PRESENTATION FROM ART AROUND THE CORNER:
Stefanie Bevans, Chairperson for this year’s Art Around the Corner Foundation, explained that the foundation started in approximately 1988 to restore the Opera House, Social Hall and Museum. Their goal is to bring arts to the community as well as sustain art in the community. They would like to assist the City in obtaining pieces of art in addition to working with the Arts Commission. She presented a powerpoint presentation which showed the following pieces: Art Around the Corner Foundation Outdoor Sculptor Exhibit 2014; Jericho II; The Color Guard; Summertime; Setting Free; Flight of the Zephyr; Billy; Contemplation; Ready to Play; The Matriarch; Fish Tales; Together; Potato Bug Predicament; Abraham Lincoln; Mama Crusty the Desert Crab; Savanna Sunset; Last Love; Alex; Position the Stitches; Playmates; Hawker Hurricane; Beacon of Light and Guidance.

Councilmember Arial stated that she believes there is an opportunity for the media to help the community know what is going on in the arts. Also, it is great for people to know what Art Around the Corner is up to.

Ms. Bevans stated that several newspaper agencies and radio stations are getting involved.

Mayor Pike advised that the previous Council has approved using the revenue received from the carousel toward purchasing pieces of art. Staff will work with the Arts Commission and Art Around the Corner to determine which pieces to purchase.

Danielle Larkin stated that without artists, this show would disappear. For them, they are doing the City a giant a favor by being a part of the show. In exchange, the artists believe the board will do their best to promote the artist as well as their pieces. She asked the Councilmembers to have anyone looking for a piece, to contact their board so that they can promote all of the artists involved in the show.

Ms. Bevans stated that if the Councilmember gave them a list of what historical events they would like to depict, they would be happy to find an artist.

Leisure Services Kent Perkins stated as the City moves toward the concept of the arts district downtown, pieces can find homes. He believes this board does an outstanding job.

Ms. Bevins stated that they do tours and asked if the City can get the word out that pieces are for sale.

Support Services Manager Marc Mortensen stated that the pieces can be advertised on the City’s Facebook page as well as the City’s website.

DISCUSSION REGARDING PARKING REQUIREMENTS FOR STUDENT HOUSING:
City Manager Gary Esplin stated that staff was approached by Dixie State University with regard to student housing. They are looking to build student housing on their campus. Staff met with them and talked about their concept. While City ordinance requires so many parking stalls per bed, the University stated that makes it impossible to have a housing project around the campus. The University’s goal is to have student housing as part of the campus which helps students be more involved. By contract, they can limit the number of cars each resident can have. The location of the proposed student housing is inside the freeway. They believe the project can move forward if they can get a parking reduction similar to what has been done at other Universities. He proposes to consider


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reducing the parking, if the University can show the contracts with the students and enforce that they will not rent to students with vehicles.

Councilmember Hughes stated there may be an issue with neighboring complexes using their parking.

Councilmember Almquist stated the University will not police the parking, the owner will.

Mr. Nicholson stated that he spoke with a gentleman from Rexburg, they rely on the property owner to enforce the parking. Additionally, they have a pedestrian emphasis zone around the campus and require a conditional use permit. He thinks the City can accomplish this with an agreement.

City Manager Gary Esplin advised there would have to be a limit the number of residents. Staff would have to review the contracts to see that they are abiding by the agreement.

Bob Nicholson stated that the University is requesting .75 parking stalls per bed.

Councilmember Almquist would like to see the owner label the vehicle somehow to show that they are a resident.

City Manager Gary Esplin stated this project showed underground parking for the site. There will be very little parking on the surface. He stated that he does not want to enforce parking on the street; however, the road around the campus is still a City road.

Mayor Pike commented that the University is getting an incredible amount of students from outside Utah. He inquired if staff can make sure this stays student housing.

City Manager Gary Esplin replied yes, the development agreement can state that. Since the University owns a portion of the property, this project will not go forward unless the Board of Regents approves the project. If the Council chooses to consider this request, the next step is to go to the Planning Commission and amend the ordinance.

Councilmember Almquist stated that he would like to see an additional paragraph that states that more stringent parking could be considered.

City Manager Gary Esplin commented that he does not think the intent is to have less
parking, he believes it will allow a reduction in the parking in an area based upon an application and individual development agreement.

City Attorney Shawn Guzman advised there could be a list of factors to consider.

The consensus of the Council is to move forward.

PUBLIC HEARING/ZONE CHANGE/ ORDINANCE:
Public hearing to consider a request for a zone change from Mining & Grazing and A-1 to R-1-10 on 29.97 acres generally located southeast of the intersection of Crimson Ridge Drive and 3000 East Street, and east of the Sun Valley Estates subdivision. Development Solutions, Inc., applicant.

Craig Harvey presented the request for a zone change on a 29.97 acre parcel. The property is generally located at 3000 East and Crimson Ridge Drive. The general plan was changed to low density residential. If the zone change is approved, it will allow the


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applicant to continue with what they are currently doing. Planing Commission recommends approval. The parcel is mining and grazing, but it has not been irrigated or used for crops in the past 30 years. Staff received two letters of opposition.

Councilmember Arial stated that she has been getting comments from residents that this area is too dense.

Councilmember Hughes stated he would like to have some balance. Since there are only two ways to get around, he believes the traffic issues have to be addressed. It will be interesting to see how much the Mall Drive Bridge will help.

City Manager Gary Esplin explained that the same problem exists to the east and west black hill; there is only Sunset Boulevard and Dixie Drive. He stated that there will be traffic, but the density will not make much difference.

Mr. Nicholson advised that there is a proposal for an area that is currently zoned A-1, which is under irrigation, that can remain zoned as such. The existing homes are on 1 acre lots.

Councilmember Hughes stated that he has seen that proposal and would like it brought to the Council. If the roads were complete and when the bridge is done, things may be better.

City Manager Gary Esplin advised that with regard to Seegmiller Drive, if the Council wants to, they can include that project in the next year’s budget.

Brett Burgess, applicant, stated that in addition to this parcel, they are planning a 4 acre park within the proposed area. The first phase will be approximately 77 units. He explained that SITLA owns the adjacent property, however, they have a joint development agreement with for the rest of the hillside. They are proposing cluster development in the areas that are not so unique and to develop a natural park in the areas that are unique. As they develop, they try to be sensitive for what has been developed in the area. With regards to Commerce Drive, they do not control the access. All of the road improvements that the City is making will help to alleviate a big portion of the traffic issues.

Councilmember Hughes inquired if there a plan for a pedestrian trail.

Mr. Harvey advised there will be a pedestrian trail on the west side of the road which then switches over to the other side.

City Manager Gary Esplin explained that the trail switches over because of the big ditch on the east side of 3000 East. The applicant has always built trails exactly the way the City has asked them two.

Councilmember Almquist just because something is zoned A-1, if they cannot grow anything, the idea of just leaving it alone is unfair to the landowner. Things were learned from issues with Bridle Gate. Areas that are land-locking areas, which can be permanent open space should also be considered.

Mayor Pike opened the public hearing.

Audrey Taylor, a resident of Little Valley, stated that she is happy to hear Mr. Burgess say


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that he respects the native qualities of the land. She and her family love this area because there are great locations for hiking and rocks for climbing. There are native petroglyphs that she does not want to be disturbed which she suggests be worked into into the park. She has read a lot of emails from residents to the Mayor and City Council.
Their biggest concerns are the amenities in the area. She would like to see crosswalks and a small grocery store.

City Manager Gary Esplin advised that he has seen a conceptual plan for a small commercial center in the area. There are some incredible open areas. He would love to have a park in that area.

Ms. Taylor stated that she wants to see the natural beauty of the area preserved. In addition, she would like to make sure the Council is not handing out zoning changes faster than stop signs, crosswalks and walk round-abouts are installed to make the area safer.

Mayor Pike advised there will have a 4 way stop at Crimson Ridge and Little Valley Road.

City Manager Gary Esplin commented that crosswalks sometimes give a false sense of security. Having the four way stop and a crossing guard is a much better option. He is not arguing for or against the zone change; however, this area conforms to the General Plan.

Bradley Johnson, resident of Little Valley, stated he and his family moved to the Little Valley area because it is a beautiful area. He is worried about the area becoming Southern California and does not want the natural landscape to go away. Additionally, he understands that although the area was once agricultural, it will never be so again.

City Manager Gary Esplin stated that it is important to point out that there has never been any agriculture on the lot because there is no irrigation water.

Councilmember Almquist commented that the City has an overlay zone. A developer cannot just take the ridge and eliminate it. This is the most logical place to have a natural park. Even if there was a cluster development, there is a limit of how close they can cut into the hillside.

City Manager Gary Esplin stated that the Burgess’ developed Tonaquint Terrace and donated 4 acres to the City.

Mr. Burgess explained that they have a development agreement with SITLA to purchase the property and will donate a portion to the City. He is very well aware of the beauty of southern Utah as he was born and raised here.

Ed Baca, citizen, stated that he is pleasantly surprised at the way the Burgess’ were working with the City.

Ms. Taylor asked if any of the area is planned to stay zoned agriculture.

City Manager Gary Esplin replied not in this area since there isn’t any water.

Councilmember Bowcutt commented that one thing everyone mentions are the traffic concerns. There will always be some sort of traffic problem because there will never be another crossing over the Virgin River.



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City Manager Gary Esplin stated the City has committed to spend approximately $15 million to improve transportation in the area, which is more than has been spent on any other part of the City.

Josh Taylor, Little Valley resident, states that he appreciates what the City is doing to keep the traffic flowing. He would like preserve the area’s natural beauty.

Mayor Pike closed the public hearing.


Councilmember Hughes commented that Quality has always done what they have said
they would do. He wants to maintain the natural beauty while maintaining the rights of
the property owner to develop their property as they would like to. He noted that was
discussion regarding a 4 acre parcel in this zone change for a park.

MOTION: A motion was made by Councilmember Hughes to approve the zone change to R-1-10.
SECOND: The motion was seconded by Councilmember Arial.

Councilmember Almquist stated he believes the park should stay in as mentioned.
Additionally, if there is flexibility with the parcel below, he would like to see a natural park.

Mr. Burgess advises as part of their agreement with SITLA, as they develop, not only do
they take down developable acreage, they also take down native or natural acreage. Their
next take down with SITLA will be in September.

City Manager Gary Esplin stated that he wanted to clarify that there are always trade offs.
SITLA sells property to developers and want to maximize the money they get from the
sale to get as much money as they can for schools.

VOTE: Mayor Pike called for a roll call vote, as follows:

Councilmember Almquist- aye
Councilmember Hughes - aye
Councilmember Randall - aye
Councilmember Bowcutt - aye
Councilmember Arial - aye

The vote was unanimous and the motion carried.

REPORT FROM COUNCILMEMBERS:
Councilmember Arial stated that there is not much going on with her boards. She recently attended the MPO and WCIA board meetings.

Councilmember Randall stated that she will attend her first Arbor Day celebration on April 26th. Judge Walton will oversee Veteran’s Calendar which will help veterans with regard to bad behavior. The gala for the Doctor’s Volunteer Clinic raised approximately $18,000. Monday at 5:00 p.m. there will have a short ceremony and unveiling of the monument at the Tonaquint Cemetery to honor Lee Warren.



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City Manager Gary Esplin commented that Matt Loo is working with owners and the trees in parking lots near Lowes and Target will be taken care of.

Councilmember Almquist stated that the Dino Track Advisory board met on Tuesday. The Mosquito Abatement board will meet once mating season has begun. He would like to see the CAT teams start up again.

Chief Stratton advised it would help if each Councilmember would contact their neighborhood representative.

Councilmember Bowcutt stated he missed the last Planning Commission meeting.

Councilmember Hughes advised he attended the Animal Shelter Board meeting. The board discussed creating a “Friends of”. They would like to get involved with fundraising for the City Animal Shelter in addition to the City taking donations. He missed the last Housing Authority meeting. The Local Homeless Coordinating Committee met today. He learned that IHC has a new department whose sole focus is to quit losing money on the emergency room calls. They are working on helping people get the help they need.

Mayor Pike stated that UDOT was in town last week. As they get down the road on the Sunset/Bluff intersection and the St. George Boulevard/Bluff, they determined that they will not need to do U-turns at 200 North and Tabernacle. Doing some free right turns and widening Bluff Street will be better and much less worrisome.

ADJOURN TO CLOSED SESSION:
MOTION: A motion was made by Councilmember Almquist to adjourn to a closed session to discuss property and litigation.
SECOND: The motion was seconded by Councilmember Bowcutt.
VOTE: Mayor Pike called for a roll call vote, as follows:

Councilmember Almquist- aye
Councilmember Hughes - aye
Councilmember Randall - aye
Councilmember Bowcutt - aye
Councilmember Arial - aye

The vote was unanimous and the motion carried.

RECONVENE AND ADJOURN:
MOTION: A motion was made by Councilmember Almquist to reconvene and adjourn.
SECOND: The motion was seconded by Councilmember Hughes.
VOTE: Mayor Pike called for a vote, as follows:

Councilmember Almquist- aye
Councilmember Hughes - aye
Councilmember Randall - aye
Councilmember Bowcutt - aye
Councilmember Arial - aye

The vote was unanimous and the motion carried.
_____________________________
Christina Fernandez, City Recorder