Planning Commission Minutes

Tuesday, January 23,2007



CITY OF ST. GEORGE
WASHINGTON COUNTY, UTAH
PLANNING COMMISSION
January 23, 2007 - 4:00 p.m.

PRESENT: Chairman Gil Almquist
Commissioner Ross Taylor
Commissioner Michael Nobis
Commissioner Ron Bracken
Council Member Gail Bunker
Commissioner Julie Hullinger
Commissioner Chapin Burks
Commissioner Kim Campbell

CITY STAFF: Deputy City Attorney Paula Houston
Community Development Director Bob Nicholson
Planner Ray Snyder
Planner John Willis
Engineer Jay Sandberg
Engineer Cathy Hasfurther
Deputy City Recorder Linda Brooks

CALL TO ORDER

Chairman Almquist called the meeting to order, welcomed those in attendance. Chairman Almquist led the flag salute.

CONSENT ITEMS - FINAL PLATS

Consider approval of a final plat for Chaco West Phase 1 with 22 single-family lots located at Chaco Trail and Chettro Trail (Entrada at Snow Canyon). Split Rock Development, owner, Mr. Barry Thompson, representative. Case No. 2006-FP-117

Senior Project Engineer Cathy Hasfurther said these are more than 1 acre lots and quite a few of the lots are in the no-disturb area. This phase borders the golf course. Staff recommends approval.

MOTION: Commissioner Taylor made a motion to recommend to City Council approval of a final plat for Chaco West Phase 1 with 22 single-family lots located at Chaco Trail and Chettro Trail (Entrada at Snow Canyon), and authorize Chairman to sign. Split Rock Development, owner, Mr. Barry Thompson, representative. Commissioner Burks seconded the motion. All voted aye.




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PRELIMINARY PLATS

A. Consider a preliminary plat request for The Bluffs Phase 2 with 10 single-family patio home sites located at 1039 South, 250 West. Mr. Dick Geisler, applicant - Family Limited Partnership. Case No. 2006-PP-049

Planner John Willis said this is to create a subdivision phase with 10 single-family lots. This 10-unit subdivision completes The Bluffs development. There are no significant issues. Staff recommends approval.

MOTION: Commissioner Campbell made a motion to recommend to City Council approval of the preliminary plat request for The Bluffs Phase 2 with 10 single-family patio home sites located at 1039 South, 250 West. Mr. Dick Geisler, applicant - Family Limited Partnership Commissioner Hullinger seconded the motion. All voted aye.


B. Consider a preliminary plat request for The Residences at Green Valley Spa with 14 residential units (duplexes), a club house, and a pool. Located south of Canyon View Drive and between Trend West Resorts on the south and Coyote Inn on the north with the Green valley Spa and tennis facilities on the east side. Mr. Alan Coombs, owner/applicant. Case No. 2007-PP-002

Senior Project Engineer Cathy Hasfurther said Planning Commission and City Council approved the site plan and building elevation on this project. The construction drawings were submitted and approved, and the development is under construction. The developer has since determined that he needs to subdivide the property for financing and marketing purposes. Staff recommends approval.

MOTION: Commissioner Burks made a motion to recommend to City Council approval of a preliminary plat request for The Residences at Green Valley Spa with 14 residential units (duplexes), a club house, and a pool. Located south of Canyon View Drive and between Trend West Resorts on the south and Coyote Inn on the north with the Green valley Spa and tennis facilities on the east side. Mr. Alan Coombs, owner/applicant. Commissioner Taylor seconded the motion. All voted aye.






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DETERMINE USE

Determine whether two related businesses; 1) a printing and manufacturing-screen printing and embroidery business and 2) a warehouse and distribution business are similar to other permitted uses and in harmony with the intent of the M-2 zone. Mr. Heath Burchinel of Xtreme Edge Graphix and Sneekee Inc., applicant. Case No. 2007-DU-001

Planner Ray Snyder said this is for two different businesses. This item is before you to see if it is in harmony with the zone. The existing business is on Riverside Drive. Ray presented a power point presentation of the site. The stock for their business is currently stored at 1325 South 320 East. They would like to combine the two businesses in one location. The area they are looking at is zoned M-2 and wholesale business is not a permitted use in the M-2 zone.

Council Member Bunker asked how is the product shipped? Ray understands that there are some local deliveries but most of the deliveries are out of state.

Heath Burchinal the applicant said most of the shipping is done by UPS. They dont receive any large shipments maybe once or twice a year. They have 300 locations throughout the country and they use UPS. They have grown over the last couple of years and are in need of a larger place.

Ray said the City Attorney has determined that office use and retail use shall be incidental to the primary manufacturing use. The ratio should be approximately 85% (manufacturing) to 15% maximum (retail). Staff supports the manufacturing aspect and related warehousing and distribution; however the concern is how much local retail traffic would the businesses generate in the M-2 zone.

MOTION: Commissioner Burks made a motion to find that the businesses are related and are in harmony of the M-2 zone. Commissioner Nobis seconded the motion. All voted aye.


HILLSIDE DEVELOPMENT PERMIT

Consider a request for a hillside development permit for a proposed five level climate controlled self storage building. The building includes storage compartments, an office, and a managers residence. The location is at approximately 700 South and Bluff Street. The site is on 5.02 acres (218,671.20 sq. ft.). The site is zoned C-3 (General Commercial). The owners are Mr. & Mrs. Lyman. The representative is Mr. Gerald Minich. Case No. 2007-HS-001


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Planner Ray Snyder said the board has already approved the Conditional Use Permit for the site. Tonights item is to approve the hillside development permit. Ray said the following is what has been added to staff comments since your last review;

Development Services - Reviewed the Hillside Packet and complied their comments into a memo dated January 5, 2007. A revised submittal addressing the issues was then submitted on January 11, 2007. At that point it was determined that the request was ready to proceed forward to the Hillside Review Board.

City Engineer - Worked with the applicant to revise submittal to meet City traffic standards and requirements. This was resolved prior to the Hillside Review Board.

Hillside Review Board - The Hillside Review Board reviewed the site on January 17, 2007, and recommended approval with the following conditions;
1. Only previously disturbed hillside areas may be developed per submitted plan; no more hillside excavation shall be permitted (excepting approximately two feet at toe of hill for clean-up).
2. An orange perimeter barricade/fence shall be installed.
3. The applicant shall adhere to the approved geotechnical report and on-going geotechnical monitoring shall occur.
4. All drainage issues shall be addressed to the satisfaction of the City Engineering Department.
5. All ground water encountered shall be mitigated to the satisfaction of the Engineering Department.
6. All rock walls shall comply to the City of St. George Rock Wall ordinance.

Ray said that was the end of the presentation for this item.

MOTION: Commissioner Hullinger made a motion to recommend to City Council approval of a request for a hillside development permit for a proposed five level climate controlled self storage building. The building includes storage compartments, an office, and a managers residence. The location is at approximately 700 South and Bluff Street. The site is on 5.02 acres (218,671.20 sq. ft.). The site is zoned C-3 (General Commercial). The owners are Mr. & Mrs. Lyman. The representative is Mr. Gerald Minich. Commissioner Bracken seconded the motion. All voted aye.


ZONE CHANGE - PUBLIC HEARING (5:00 P.M)

Consider a zone change request from PD-COM (Planned Development - Commercial), and R-1-10 (Single Family Residential 10,000 sq. ft. minimum lot size) to C-2 (Highway Commercial) on approximately 5 acres located at 1333 East, 100 South. Settlers RV Park Inc., applicant. Mr. Verden Hanning, representative. Case No. 2007-ZC-001
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Planner Ray Snyder presented the power point presentation of the area. There are portions of this property that is zoned R-1-10 and PD Commercial. The request is to make the entire area C-2 property.

Commissioner Nobis inquired how the strip in the middle of the property was zoned PD Commercial. Bob Nicholson said about two years ago they had come in for a request for storage units. They never got built. They are just cleaning up the zoning for this area because it is currently for sale.

MOTION: Commissioner Taylor made a motion to recommend to City Council approval for a zone change request from PD-COM (Planned Development - Commercial), and R-1-10 (Single Family Residential 10,000 sq. ft. minimum lot size) to C-2 (Highway Commercial) on approximately 5 acres located at 1333 East, 100 South. Settlers RV Park Inc., applicant. Mr. Verden Hanning, representative. Commissioner Campbell seconded the motion. All voted aye.


GENERAL PLAN AMENDMENT - PUBLIC HEARING (5:00 P.M.)

Consider an amendment to the City General Plan to include the Little Valley Sub-Area Plan. The proposed land use designations include Agriculture, Low, Medium, and High Density Residential, Commercial, and Open Space. The area encompasses approximately 3,355 acres (5.2 square miles). The area extends approximately from 700 South, southward to confluence of the airport ridge and the Ft. Pierce Wash and Schmutz Hill (Stone Cliff eastward to the Washington City boundary). Case No. 2007-GPA-001

Community Development Director Bob Nicholson said last night they had a productive open house at Little Valley Elementary with the community members. Bob said they have not had any requests for large lot development. Right now the zoning for this area requires large lots. The plan being proposed is to provide more options and create great neighborhoods. Bob went over the proposed General Land Use Map. The plan has tried to recognize horse owners and owners of large lots by promoting trail developments. There are trails along 3000 East and Seegmiller Park and along the Washington Fields canal. They would create buffers around the existing horse properties.

Jeff Winston with Winston and Associates said the Little Valley area has a great deal of varied terrain and characteristics. The Washington Canal runs through the area and subdivisions. The reason the updated plan is needed is because when the schools and parks were put in Little Valley, it changed the area. The City has received a number of requests for re-zoning in Little Valley. They felt it was important to revisit the area for these reasons:

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Jeff pointed out the following key items on the slide presentation;
Areas of existing subdivisions
Current areas being used for horses
Proposed horse subdivisions
Proposed commercial areas (mainly around major intersection sites)
Higher density around the commercial areas
Future parks and roads
Affordable housing options

Jeff said they came back with an idea to buffer the horse subdivisions and try not to put any pressure on them to leave. The plan also took into account that Washington City has already put in changes for their area. Washington City designated several different areas for neighborhood commercial and schools.

Jeff said the key part of the plan is to have a buffer zone around the horse properties which would prevent houses from being built up close to their property. They are proposing that in the buffer zone that there be a horse trail with additional landscaping. The buffer area would be around 75 to 200 ft. deep.

Jeff said they identified areas for home types with a density up to 4 dwelling units per acre. It can be higher if the TND design standards are followed. This will provide for mixed housing neighborhoods with mixed income and a variety of people in the neighborhood. Jeff presented slides of different types of neighborhoods that have been built in other parts of the country. Jeff pointed out that Commerce Drive and Ft. Pierce Drive could have the ability to become a Main Street with commercial businesses for the area. Jeff presented more slides of different types of proposed business centers. Jeff spoke on the problem with walled streets and different concepts for houses along collector streets.

Council Member Bunker asked if the buffer along streets that are 75 to 200 ft. does that include a berm for some type of screening? Jeff said they felt it should be 75 ft. to the nearest structure or the nearest part of the right-of-way.

Mike McGregor a resident of Little Valley said he has reservations about this plan. He has polled several residents around the area (about 500 ft.) and not one of them was aware of a zone change for this area. Mike read into the record his comments (on file at City office). He felt it was not wise to let the schools and parks into the agricultural area without seeing what the consequences would be. This is agricultural land and it should be left as such.

Commissioner Taylor said he can appreciate the concern with the declining of the agricultural use. Mike said every weekend that goes by people ask where they can buy property to house their horses. People who have property down there want to keep their property as is. Mike said the veterinary calls has dropped down 6% in the last three years and he attributes that to the decline of people housing horses in this area.

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Commissioner Taylor said the board has been watching the Bridle Gates development with horse rights. How has that type of development been accepted out in that area? Mike replied there is probably a need for that for people who are looking for a more economical area to build. It would be beneficial for the City to invest more into that type of subdivision.

Chairman Almquist asked Mike to comment on the plan that has been put forth. Chairman Almquist asked if he sees the plan lowering the use of the land for what is happening out there now. Mike said he sees that in the future. The homes will be smaller and tighter together. He has seen people pushed out of the area by infrastructure. They are being surrounded by a mixed use of lots.

Paul Iverson a resident of Little Valley said he advises the board to look through the proposal and not to take it all in stride because he feels there are some discrepancies. The problem with a 75 ft. buffer zone is that it does not match the City ordinance which states that no building that boards livestock can be within 100 ft. to a residential zone. He feels it will not work to have a little pocket between the homes and the horses.

Lonnie Clark a resident of Little Valley said this would be a great plan if this was a blank slate but it is not. This area will be impacted by high density problems which will bring in rentals and high crime to the area. This plan will destroy everything they currently have out there.

Austin Anderson said he and others own property at 1870 East which is about 40 acres. They would like to see that area zoned Commercial. He said the property backs up to Horsemanns Park. As soon as the flood plain study comes out they will be coming to this board for a zone change to Commercial.

Curt Gordon said first he would encourage the board to support the plan. Rejecting a plan like this will not make the problem for growth go away. There is an opportunity now to make this plan work for this area. Curt asked if this action will force people to have their property re-zoned or can they leave their property the way it is currently zoned?

Bob Nicholson replied this is not a zoning action - this is just a guide for future zoning decisions. This would not affect any large lot subdivisions nor does it prohibit developers coming in and asking for large lot subdivisions.

Curt said the intent for planning this area is to make new uses not create any friction between the neighbors. There are some things that he would like to discuss with staff. There is a great deal of pressure to have affordable housing. Curt said on the effect of values he feels even though there is not a great deal of horse property available, makes what is currently out there even more valuable.

Dave Theobald a resident of Little Valley said he has not heard anything about roads or transportation for this area. How are the roads going to fit that amount of people? This is a big concern. He would like to know what is going to be done.
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Community Development Director Bob Nicholson said the City is looking at the master plan for roads during this same time period. Horrocks Engineers is modeling the traffic in Little Valley now. Bob said 3000 East will become a five lane road, 1450 South will be a four lane road and Little Valley Road will remain a 66 ft. road. Bob said 2450 South will be a four lane road and a new road will be proposed on the west side of Horsemanns Park and that will be a major way through Little Valley area. Part of this plan is to connect streets to have many options to get in and out of the area.

Dave Theobald said if there is a master plan for the roads then he feels the roads should be in place first. Maybe this plan could be postponed for a little while until the roads are approved first.

Chairman Almquist explained how the roads are developed. He said it takes time to have a road developed. Developers generally pay for the road improvements. The pressure the City has for road building is the funding.

Jim Raines said sometimes what we want and what we can have dont always match. Washington City went through the same process we are trying to go through with Little Valley. Washington City changed their General Plan. This plan being proposed for the Little Valley area is a far more superior way than what was proposed in the Washington City area. He encouraged the board to accept this plan.

Paul Gooch a resident of Little Valley said he is here for Scout Night and also for himself. Troop 1751 members came up to the podium and introduced themselves. Paul said there is a gem there that could be preserved and not lost if they do it the right way. He hopes they dont forget the value of the culture and heritage that they have brought to this area. Please dont stomp that culture out. His suggestion is they preserve a bigger area than what is being presented here tonight. He does like the mixed use of residential use they have planned.

Joy Atkin a resident of Little Valley said she is concerned about the liability because the children dont understand they can be hurt by the animals and the animals hurt by them.

Crystal Nighter a resident of Little Valley said she is worried about the higher density and the crime rate. She feels for the safety of their animals. She feels the high density would bring down the value of their property.

Connie Bundy a resident of Little Valley said she has lived on 3-1/2 acres for 30 years. They have animals and now they are surrounded by homes. People that move into those homes do not understand the agricultural life style. She said they cant afford to move and afford what they currently have.


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Chairman Almquist said he understands the concerns from the Little Valley citizens but the City would not come forth with this plan if high density wasnt in such a demand. He pointed out when people have large acreage they sell the land so more homes can be developed.

Chairman Almquist asked about the buffers and where this type of plan has worked in other cities? Jeff Winston replied he cant give them an example immediately. He does believe that this area is unique. They have built into the plan a feathering of density which needs to be worked out. There is a demand to do other things with the properties other than agriculture and we cant control them to keep it in agriculture. This is a comprehensive 30-year plan. We will need to look at all the aspects of the different components to the area once the plan has been approved. Roads and areas will need to be reviewed as areas develop. Churches and subdivisions will develop and the buffer zone is a good way to help all enjoy the mixing of the uses. Those that have bought property for animals should stay there and it is not our intent to push them out.

Jeff said the large lots in this area would be out of range for what most people would want to pay. The other thing that was mentioned was Bridle Gate Estates. This is a good concept but who takes care of your horse, what if your horse is not compatible, or if your horse gets sick who takes care of that. This will be a different lifestyle than what is currently going on out there.

Chairman Almquist said this will not be decided tonight. This item will be heard again on February 13th as a public hearing.

Mike McGregor said this is coming about because the property surrounding this is up for development.

John Tebbs said this reminds him of West Kaysville and they tried to preserve the land as agricultural but the prices just kept going up and up. He said St. George is over priced. The blend of design in the plan is great. Your average person cannot afford land in Little Valley. The thing you dont have control over is the price of land.

Jeff Winston said there is one way to keep the land in agriculture, and that is for the owner of the property to create a conservation easement. If you take away the subdivision capabilities then it is not worth as much.

Brett Burgess said his research indicates large lots are not in demand. There are currently half-acre lots that have horse rights and they are just not selling.

Ray Cox a realtor said by a margin 100 to 1 he has had people come in to look for something more affordable. This is market driven. He applauds the City on this type of plan. He believes they should let the market determine what is needed.


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Chairman Almquist closed the public hearing at 7:35 p.m.

CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT

Consider a request for a conditional use permit to construct a Town Square Tower, which is an un-occupied architectural feature, with a height exceeding the allowed height of thirty-five feet (35'). The approximate proposed height is forty-one feet (41') to the roof mid-point. The site is the former library on Main Street (50 North, Main Street). Case No. 2007-CUP-001

Community Development Director Bob Nicholson pointed out the Town Square Block that the City has been very active in developing. Tonights request is for the town square tower. It is an architectural feature for the downtown area.

James Dobson the designer of the tower said what it will end up being is a sandstone clad like the other buildings in the area. The upper portion of the tower will have a stain glass round window that will depict the historic artifacts of the City. Around the window will be scalloped plank board. The roof will receive the same treatment as the other building in the town area. The bead board will need to be painted on occasion.

James said the height the City felt it should be there but not overpowering for the downtown area. James said it will be lit from the bottom and the top. There is acoustic equipment inside the tower. James said all four sides of the tower are open and you are able to walk through either direction.

MOTION: Commissioner Campbell made a motion to recommend to City Council approval of a request for a conditional use permit to construct a Town Square Tower, which is an un-occupied architectural feature, with a height exceeding the allowed height of thirty-five feet (35'). The approximate proposed height is forty-one feet (41') to the roof mid-point. The site is the former library on Main Street (50 North, Main Street). Commissioner Nobis seconded the motion. All voted aye.


Meeting adjourned at 7:35 p.m.