Planning Commission Minutes

Tuesday, December 10,2013



PLANNING COMMISSION
CITY OF ST. GEORGE
WASHINGTON COUNTY, UTAH
December 10, 2013 – 5:00 PM

PRESENT:
Chairman Ron Bracken
Commissioner Nathan Fisher
Commissioner Julie Hullinger
Commissioner Ron Read
Commissioner Ross Taylor
Council Member Jimmie Hughes (arrived at 5:08 pm)

CITY STAFF:
Community Development Coordinator Bob Nicholson
Development Services Manager Wes Jenkins
Planner I Craig Harvey
Planner II Ray Snyder
Assistant City Attorney Victoria Hales
Deputy City Attorney Paula Houston
Administrative Secretary Genna Singh

EXCUSED:
Commissioner Kim Campbell
Commissioner Ro Wilkinson
Project Manager Todd Jacobsen

FLAG SALUTE

Chairman Ron Bracken led the flag salute at 5:02 pm.


1. FINAL PLAT AMENDMENT (FPA) - PUBLIC HEARING (5:00 P.M.)

Consider approval to amend the final plat for “Sage Meadows Phase 2 - Amended” by vacating a portion of 3000 East Street by narrowing the width located between 2000 South Street and approximately 1900 South and increasing the lot size of lots 9,10,15, and 16. No other changes to this final plat amendment were made or intended. The representative is Mr. Scott Woolsey, Alpha Engineering. The subdivision property is zoned R-1-10 (Single Family Residential Estates 10,000 square foot minimum lot size) and is located at approximately 2950 East and 2000 South (east of the new Crimson View elementary School). Case No. 2013-FPA-069 (Staff –Bob N.)

*Craig Harvey approached to state that Item 1 has been pulled from the agenda.*

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

Consider a zone change request for “Pine Park Estates” from RE-20 (Residential Estate 20,000 square foot minimum lot size) to RE-12.5 (Residential Estate 12,500 square foot minimum lot size) on 10.024 acres located at approximately 2990 S Little Valley Road on the west side of the road. The applicant is Pine Park Estates LLC and the representative is Mr. Zach Renstrom. Case No. 2013-ZC-017 (Staff – Craig H.)

Staff Comments:
The density can be 34 units for the property which is roughly 3.4 dwelling units per acre. They are going from half acre lots to third acre lots.

This proposed zone change is consistent with the existing zoning of Meadow Valley Estates to the north and ‘Fields of Little Valley’ to the West. Staff finds that this proposed change is in harmony with the current General Plan for this area and Staff recommends approval.

*Craig Harvey explained the PowerPoint pictures showing the proposed change area.*

Chairman Ron Bracken opened the item to the public.

Jason Wright (citizen – Mountain Ledge Drive):
“I oppose the re-zoning. This is not part of Meadow Valley Estates. The Village has to have half acre lots per your advice. My concern is that it not part of Meadow Valley so it should stay at the .5 that it already is as you have advised The Village. I believe it will bring more value to our area. There is a lot of development in this area so the .5 acres will be better than the 12.500 that is proposed. My preference is keeping it at the .5 acres as that will do better justice for us and be more congruent with the advice you’ve given nearby developments.”

Brant Ross (citizen - Mountain Ledge Drive):
“My primary concern is that Meadow Valley Phase 4 was approved with no thought toward transportation issues in the area. This property is bordered by the Little Valley Fields. There are terrain issues on the South access. To add entrances on Little Valley I think is a tricky thing. Before we increase density in this area there needs to be some process for the platting process to consider transportation issues. The issue of having safe streets for the neighborhood does require planning. I haven’t seen it for Little Valley and I have no confidence that transportation will be considered for this project.

Ty Newman (citizen - Mountain Ledge Drive):
I second what the two gentlemen have said. I would like the neighborhood to stay zoned as is.

Zach Renstrom (Bush & Gudgell representative):
“This is compliant with the master plan. The zoning complies. We did try to match the bigger lots and stay consistent. People are concerned about traffic – the next phase of Meadow Valley will punch out to Little Valley Road. We are working with the other developer to have access with them. City of St. George is also looking at improvement. We’ve been working with Cameron Cutler to coordinate the development. We will have to improve Little Valley Road when we develop that area. That whole west side of the road will be approved for additional traffic. There is concern about kids walking through the old farm. One thing we are looking at is punching through a walking trail from Meadow Valley Estates to the existing path to the park.”

Chairman Ron Bracken closed the item to the public and opened the item to the commissioners.

There were no further questions or comments.

MOTION
Commissioner Nathan Fisher made a motion to recommend approval of Item 2 on the agenda.
Commissioner Ross Taylor seconded the motion.
AYES
Commissioner Ross Taylor
Chairman Ron Bracken
Commissioner Julie Hullinger
Commissioner Ron Read
Commissioner Nathan Fisher
NAYS
None
Motion passes.


3. ZONE CHANGE AMENDMENT (ZCA) - PUBLIC HEARINGS (5:00 P.M.)

A. Consider a request for a zone change amendment to the Planned Development Zone for “Mesa Palms Phase 5” on 5.925 acres located just north of Beehive Homes at the intersection of Mesa Palms Drive and Tonaquint Drive. The requested amendment to the planned development is to allow for development of 54 units to be built on the property rather than the approved 23 units. The owner and applicant is Mr. Kent Heideman of Professional Interchange Properties and the representative is Mr. Tyler Hoskins of Southwest Consulting Services. Case No. 2013-ZCA-019 (Staff – Craig H.)

Staff Comments:
The General Plan was changed from LDR (Low-Density Residential) to MDR (Medium Density Residential, up to 9 du/ac) by the St. George City Council on November 19, 2009.

Adjacent Zones:

North: R-1-8 (Single-Family Residential)
East: R-1-10 (Single-Family Residential)
South: PD-RES (Planned Development Residential)
West: R-1-10 (Single-Family Residential)

Project:
This is a proposal to build 54 units on the 5.925 acre parcel. The project will consist of five 8-unit buildings, three 4-unit buildings and one 2-unit building. A majority of the project will have underground parking as part of the design.

The 8-plex units are to the south and are 2 story buildings.
The 4-plex and duplex are single story.
The density is right at 9 units.

Parking:
The applicant is providing 120 underground parking spaces for the 8-plex buildings and 8 spaces for the park. The project will have 108 parking spaces for the residents and 48 spaces for guests for a total of 156 parking spaces. As per the Ord. 10-19-4(A)(4) one guest parking space is required for every three units. 18 spaces are required, 48 spaces are provided.

Landscaping:
The applicant will need to comply with the Landscape Ordinance (Ord. 10-25). As part of the geotech report they will have to go with low water landscaping because of the soil conditions.

Recreational Area:
The applicant is required to provide at least 0.24 acres (10,800 sq. ft.) of designated recreational space. The applicant is proposing to provide 13,988 sq. ft. of recreational space.

Narrative:
As per ordinance a written text is required and they have provided that.

Streets:
Mesa Palms Drive on the West side of the property is a Public Road. The two interior roads are already approved as private streets and are not changing for this proposed zoning amendment

Building Heights:
The five eight-plex buildings will be two stories and have a height of 35 feet to the top of the hip roof. The other building will be single story units right around 20 feet.

Elevations:
The single story will look similar to the four-plex units. The duplex unit will be similar to the renderings on the wall.

Staff Comments:
The applicant has submitted a colored site plan, colored elevations and a color materials board as required.

The project was previously approved for 23 single-family units. Because of soil issues (blue clay) the applicant and the applicant’s consultant has determined the single family units are not financially feasible and would significantly increase the building costs of each home due to the blue clay mitigation requirements. Multi-family units would spread out the cost of the mitigation and the building footprints would be relatively smaller for the number of units proposed.

Although the MDR (Medium-Density Residential) designation of the property allows up to 9 units per acre, that does not always indicate that 9 units per acre is appropriate for every parcel of land. The General plan designation for the surrounding/adjacent parcels is LDR (Low-Density Residential). The Planning Commission should scrutinize this project and determine if the 9 units per acre, as proposed, is justified. Due to the soil conditions and mitigation issues involved on this project, they could be a possible reason of justification for approval.

Motion Options:
Option #1: Recommend Approval as proposed
Option #2: Table to allow the applicant to provide any further information as deemed necessary or required by the Planning Commission.
Option #3: Recommend Denial as proposed

The applicant is here if you have any questions.

Chairman Ron Bracken opened the item to the public.

Commissioner Ross Taylor pointed out that this request exceeds the allotted 9 units per acre density limit. He questioned if it is appropriate to act on a project that we know is outside of the limit. He indicated that because it exceeds the limit it would have to be adjusted.

Tyler Hoskins (applicant) explained that when they originally looked at the property it was viewed as being 6 acres. We didn’t realize it was 5.9. We were too far along in the process to go back. We recognize that we are a tad bit over. I think we can remedy that by taking one duplex out. So we would have the 8-plexes and 4-plexes. We can easily do that as it is our problem. We would take the duplex out to remedy that.

Commissioner Ross Taylor added that there is not a problem with the project just the density.

*Tyler Hoskins handed out a cross section diagram to Planning Commissioners and staff*

Hoskins explained the hand out stating that the images are what you will see looking across from the properties that are already up there. We want to make sure we’re not infringing on that view. Our roof lines are below the existing line. There is some obstruction from the 8-plex for a few lots.

Commissioner Ross Taylor asked what the dark bar on the second page was.
27:00:00

Tyler Hoskins responded:
“We’re proposing to have two pickle ball courts with a landscape area and path to the playground. Craig mentioned that we’re going to have underground parking so the access comes down from the road similar to the units out at Sunbrook. We’ve graded it so there will be venting and access from the road for the underground parking. The northern properties will have driveways so there’s no underground parking on those. We also have guest parking available. There is also a cul-de-sac there for emergency vehicles. The city is looking at completing Mesa Palms Drive.”

Commissioner Ron Read questioned if the underground parking is completely enclosed or if it would have windows.

Tyler Hoskins answered stating that there will be windows in some of the underground parking. Some grades will allow us to put the windows but not all of them. The buildings are 35’ from the top of the rough to the finish grade. Then we’re going to go down about 5’ so we can punch some windows in the back side.

Chairman Ron Bracken asked if the elevations will be a bit different.

Tyler Hoskins responded yes, it will be opened and vented with natural sunlight. The other neat thing is that there will be an elevator near the staircase on at least one building. The other buildings won’t have the elevators yet but we will leave the space for it. In terms of landscaping and the blue clay; there are quite a few homes that are moving out there. Our plan is to minimize the water and zero-scape where we can and make sure we can line and cap the water. We’ll use shrubs and decorative rock.

Deputy City Attorney Paula Houston asked the applicant if there is covered parking for the other units or just driveways.
Tyler Hoskins responded that they are just driveways but they also have garages.

Commissioner Nathan Fisher asked if the elevation is uniform throughout.

Tyler Hoskins responded no, the worst case scenario is the cross section shown. Tyler explained the stepped walls that will be put up.

Commissioner Nathan Fisher then asked if the southern building would stand out more.

Tyler Hoskins responded that if you look at the site plan you can see where the walls extend. There is 16’ elevation difference between the lot and the unit.

Commissioner Nathan Fisher asked if the unit is the 8-plex.

Tyler Hoskins conceded yes, the 8-plext will stand out a little more.

Commissioner Nathan Fisher asked if the elevation of the second building would be similar or higher.

Tyler Hoskins responded that the second sheet is a worst case scenario for elevations. 34:45:00

Commissioner Ross Taylor asked what the possibility of trading the pickle ball for the second unit is.

Tyler Hoskins responded that there is too much of a grade difference there. There’s a 6’ wall there to try to get the courts level. It works better with the site plan to put it where it is because of the grades.

Commissioner Ross Taylor posed a question to the applicant asking; if I were in lot 16 and 17 what would I want you to do?

Tyler Hoskins responded stating that hopefully those lot owners are here to tell us. By the way we’ve met with most of the owners there and the consensus seemed to be that they were in favor of the project. What we heard from them was support.

Commissioner Nathan Fisher asked if there were designated areas for refuse.

Tyler Hoskins responded that there’s one double refuse with a block wall and then the driveway units will have their own. There is room for additional dumpsters if we need them.

Deputy City Attorney Paula Houston asked if this new layout has kept the same layout for the roads and utilities.

Tyler Hoskins responded that yes, it does. We can go test the sewer that is already there but we decided to start over.

Michael Eager (citizen - lot 14) stated: we are elated to have the property developed. It will reduce dust and tumbleweeds. We’re happy with it. We invested there because of the view. We’ve reviewed what the applicant has shown and there’s no way that they will obstruct our view.

Chairman Ron Bracken closed the item to the public and opened the item to the commission.

There were no further comments from the commissioners.


MOTION
Commissioner Ross Taylor made a motion to approve the proposed zone change with the stipulation that they meet the standard of no more than 9 units per acre which is the maximum allotted medium density residential.
Commissioner Julie Hullinger seconded the motion.

Discussion on the motion:
Chairman Ron Bracken stated that this is a zone change amendment so they will have to come back showing the design.

AYES
Commissioner Ross Taylor
Chairman Ron Bracken
Commissioner Julie Hullinger
Commissioner Ron Read
Commissioner Nathan Fisher

NAYS
None
Motion passes.

B. Consider a request for a zone change amendment to the Planned Development Zone for “Sunbrook Ranch” to add “RV Storage” to the list of permitted uses, and to revise the conceptual site development plan. The site is on 11.37 acres located at 415 South Dixie Drive. The changes to the conceptual site development plan also reflect the lot split separating the rear 6 acres. The owner and applicant is Mr. Marv Blosch. Case No. 2013-ZCA-018 (Staff – Bob N.)

**Deputy City Attorney Paula Houston stepped away at 5:44 pm**

Staff Comments:
The current zoning is PD-C and PD-R. The back 6 acres is separated as they are separate owners and that is part of the change tonight.

**Deputy City Attorney Paula Houston returned at 5:47 pm**

The site consists of the existing commercial/warehouse building on approximately 6 acres, and a proposed senior living housing complex with 136 units located on about 5.3 acres which is between Dixie Drive and the commercial/ warehouse building.

One significant change is the request to add RV Storage to the list of permitted uses on the north side of the property. Senior housing on the original plan was connected to the warehouse and is now detached as independent living units for seniors that have their own kitchens. The number of units would be 136 and would utilize the same design that was originally approved.

They have a near term plan and a long term plan which all depends on the rear 6 acres owned by a separate entity. As long as it is vacant, access to that rear property would be through the parking lot. If they develop the parking lot would be modified to give the property access. The original plan had a right in and right out only with a decel lane and that is still true on this plan. The warehouse building has had multiple uses. It was approved for a wide variety of uses. The original approval list is in your packet.

*Bob explained the graphics and the site plan*

The changes in the PD zone is the addition of the RV storage on the north side, the lot split making the back 6 acres no longer a part of the project, the senior housing units as 3 and 4 story buildings. Dixie Drive is higher than the property so the height elevation will be moderated that way. There are 136 senior housing units, the original approval was to have .7 parking per unit and they’re staying with that.
There are 226 parking spaces currently. The existing allowed uses require 173 including the housing parking. There are approximately 53 spaces with the exception of 46 for RV parking leaving 7 extra if all of those things are approved. If this builds out according to the long term plan there are 268 required - 95 for housing and 173 for the warehouse. The applicant is aware that at the point the vacant lot develops the permitted uses in the warehouse will need to be modified to fit the parking.

Chairman Ron Bracken asked if the road on the long term plan will take away parking and if so if those calculations were reflected in the numbers given.

Bob Nicholson answered that part of their future analysis is that when the houses are developed the permitted uses will have to be adjusted.

Chairman Ron Bracken clarified asking if the permitted uses and housing development will be adjusted at the same time.

Bob Nicholson responded that it will be adjusted with the building permits. There is also a letter from the applicant in your packet.

Chairman Ron Bracken opened the item to the public.

Marv Blosch (applicant):
“This project is in transition so things like parking we are well aware we will need to make adjustments as time progresses. We are in transition with the building itself. As we are zoned PD-C and PD-R we retain some of the manufacturing uses. We gave up the onerous ones but do maintain some of the units. When we started adding self storage units they filled up so we know there is a demand for that. I project that our building will continue to add more self storage which would give us more parking in the long term. We don’t think that parking will be a big issue. We didn’t ask for RV parking in the beginning. We found that we have an excess of outdoor area right now. If we ever need the space in the future we are willing to give that up. The other factor to consider is the effect of RV parking on our neighbors. People at Mathis Park do park in our facility and they like the idea, we’re not sure about the home owners yet. We have a picture of the parking lot. Some of the RVs don’t have engines in them. They don’t go out more than a few times in the winter and then more frequently in the summer. We think RV parking works for the neighbors. It’s quiet; it’s not business oriented. Some of our other tenants use big rigs and they come in at odd hours and almost daily. I’m sure those users are in conflict with our neighbors rather than quiet RVs. As we develop over time you’ll see less of the big trucks.”

Commissioner Ross Taylor commented that the excluded uses from September 2008 included truck terminals. How do you have warehousing but not a truck terminal? I think you’ve created a grey area.

Marv Blosch–
“You’re right. We’ve told tenants that they can’t use the parking lot for a fleet of vehicles. If you use the warehouse for storage you can deliver every once in a while. We also have U-Haul Box service that has big truck comes in stores and hauls out. We see that as compatible and not a truck terminal. It is a grey area. If you say no to RV parking we’ll find uses that will fill up the parking lot. I really think the RV parking is the way to do that. Our building is 90% full and we’re to the point that if recreational uses keep turning over we’ll switch it to storage units. We don’t have any plans today to build the front units but the new configuration is more compatible to the financial market.”

Commissioner Ron Read asked if the applicant is reducing the services to the senior housing units by detaching them from the warehouse.

Marv Blosch answered yes; we are changing it to an independent living rather than an assisted living. What we did in the initial plan was to provide some services in the warehouse. Today we are choosing to not have those services. So yes, we exclude them now.

Commissioner Ron Read asked if that would then increase demand for parking.

Marv Blosch responded no, not at all.

Commissioner Ron Read asked if the trees that separate the property from the neighbors will be lost in the long term when the access to the back is put in.

*Discussion of tree lines between applicant and commissioners*

Response was that the trees in the islands would be lost but the other trees should stay. We have met with the city to discuss the right in right out and were told that it must remain and that both accesses are required.

Chairman Ron Bracken closed the item to the public and opened the item to the commissioners.

Councilmember Jimmie Hughes asked if tonight’s request is to only amend the zone to include RV parking.

Marv Blosch responded that there are four things to look at. One is to recognize that the rear property has been separated.

Bob Nicholson inserted that we did do a formal lot split for that three months ago.

Marv Blosch continued stating that we are asking to revise the conceptual site plan. We wanted to show that we could provide the access as discussed as well as the RV parking.

Deputy City Attorney Paula Houston questioned if there is sufficient parking when the road way, housing and RV parking are all at the location.

Bob Nicholson stated that there will need to be a modification when the housing is put in. They will have to change the RV parking back to public parking. The 226 parking spaces would not accommodate all the potential uses. They know that and that is why it is indicated that prior to any building permits being issued the parking must be resolved.

Deputy City Attorney Paula Houston pointed out that once you give them the right you cannot take it away from them in the future.

Bob Nicholson countered that they have acknowledged and recognize that those 226 spaces will need to be modified in the long term.

Deputy City Attorney Paula Houston asked staff if they put in all storage spaces, which don’t need as much parking, would they have enough.

Bob Nicholson responded yes. It may not be that drastic but they do acknowledge it and it will go on record in the terms of uses that when housing comes on board something will change.

Chairman Ron Bracken added that they will make the adjustment as the housing comes on.

Deputy City Attorney Paula Houston inserted that saying they will and legally obligating them is my concern. You’re adding one more use without addressing those things at this time like the roadway.

Bob Nicholson suggested that a development agreement can be drafted to solve this.

Deputy City Attorney Paula Houston agreed that a development agreement would work.

Commissioner Nathan Fisher sought clarification asking that today we’re only allowing a permitted use, correct? We’re not approving an amendment to the conceptual plan?

Deputy City Attorney Paula Houston responded no there is a layout change too.

Bob Nicholson clarified there is a modification to the site plan because the housing units are no longer connected. The modification to the site plan is relatively minor. The main thing is the RV use.

Councilmember Jimmie Hughes asked if there is a time frame on the senior housing project.

Marv Blosch responded no.

Commissioner Nathan Fisher addressed Deputy City Attorney Paula Houston asking if we can do it this way. Doesn’t this have to be addressed as a zone change? Can it be at the stage of a building permit that we address it?

Deputy City Attorney Paula Houston clarified that this is Zone Change Amendment. However, once you approve all those things we don’t have the right to stop them saying we will not issue the permit unless we have the legal documents.

Chairman Ron Bracken inserted that we can recommend approval to City Council and by the time it gets there they will need to have dealt with it.

Commissioner Nathan Fisher asked if we would need the legal documents before approval.

Chairman Ron Bracken answered that we are only a recommending body so we can approve it and they will have to have the document in place before they get to City Council. He also pointed out that the development agreement is something between applicant and staff and that the Planning Commission does not see it.

Deputy City Attorney Paula Houston confirmed that development agreements don’t go before the Planning Commission.

Commissioner Nathan Fisher concluded that it should be recommended for approval with conditions.

MOTION
Commissioner Ron Read made a motion to recommend approval of the zone change to add RV storage and to revise the conceptual plan losing the 6 acres, change in access, moving the independent living units away from the building, with the condition that legal gets the development agreement before it goes before City Council or they make a determination that the limitation already imposed by parking would take care of it. If they have uses more than the parking they have when they come in for the building permit for the assisted living units that require .7 they should not be issued a permit for those until they have the parking for it.

Motion was edited to “recommend” that one of those things takes place before it goes to City Council by Commissioner Ron Read.

Commissioner Ross Taylor seconded the motion.

AYES
Commissioner Ross Taylor
Chairman Ron Bracken
Commissioner Julie Hullinger
Commissioner Ron Read
Commissioner Nathan Fisher
NAYS
None
Motion passes.



4. ZONING REGULATION AMENDMENTS (ZRA) - PUBLIC HEARINGS (5:00 P.M.)

A. Consider a request for a zoning regulation amendment to the City Zoning Regulations, Title 10, Sections 10-10-5.K and 10-8-7.G to allow the City Council to waive the ground floor commercial requirement in mixed-use projects for buildings with obstructed visibility from the public street. The applicant is the City of St. George and the representative is Mr. Bob Nicholson. Case No. 2013-ZRA-008 (Staff – Bob N.)

Staff Comments:
Bob Nicholson reminded the Planning Commission that this item was at the last meeting.

Chairman Ron Bracken suggested that rather than going through it all, just tell us the changes.

Bob Nicholson explained:
“We came upon a flaw which was thinking that all ground floors must be commercial. When we talk mixed use we’re talking in the building. Typically the ground floor is commercial and there is residential above. There has been a request to waiver that ground floor requirement for interior buildings. Buildings out on the public street we feel are appropriate to have ground floor commercial. However, interior buildings do not lend to commercial success on the ground floor. It is still a possibility but there is now the option to not.

There are two factors to consider:
1. The ground floor area has poor visibility from the public street due to characteristics associated with the site, such as the building’s location in the interior of the project and is obstructed from street view by other buildings, or the ground floor area is obstructed from street view due to walls, landscaping, or other structures, and,

2. The mixed-use building is all new construction (which would take care of hotels or motels trying to remodel).

The actual code language is for the C-4 zone and the PD-C. The same language would go to both. It’s a case by case basis. They would come to Planning Commission and City Council.

Deputy City Attorney Paula Houston inserted that the legal department is asking that if this passes tonight it is approved subject to legal looking at it.

Chairman Ron Bracken opened the item to the public.

Wes Davis (Commercial Real Estate Broker and Developer):
“I think a simple modification would be that major commercial fronting streets or major arterial must have commercial ground floor. I think that the modification should be major arterial roads with a certain amount of traffic would be how to fix that. Allowing flexibility would benefit the businesses downtown. I support the change to the code.

Randy Wilkinson (Dixie Sun Ventures):
As a property owner we support this recommendation. It appears to me that it will allow the city council to waive. It doesn’t state that they are required to waive it but that they can. We’re supportive of that and feel that this would enhance our potential projects.

Chairman Ron Bracken closed the item to the public and opened the item to the commissioners.

Commissioner Ron Read addressed legal stating that it seems like paragraph one is more limited than what we talked about because it’s all about obstruction. I think we should make it more flexible.

Commissioner Nathan Fisher added that if this is approved Section F needs to be adjusted as well so residences don’t have the 40% glass requirement.

Bob Nicholson inserted that there is a phrase in the code that that says unless there is residential. There is also a tweak with the parking requirement in the C-4 section: we suggest that all parking should be rear, side, or below grade underneath buildings or

MOTION
Commissioner Nathan Fisher made a motion to recommend approval to City Council of the changes suggested by staff on 4A along with the recommendation to work with legal to wordsmith section 1A with regards to visibility and perhaps expanding flexibility allowed City Council on that issue.
Commissioner Ron Read seconded the motion.
AYES
Commissioner Ross Taylor
Chairman Ron Bracken
Commissioner Julie Hullinger
Commissioner Ron Read
Commissioner Nathan Fisher
NAYS
None
Motion passes.


B. Consider a request for a zoning regulation amendment to the City Zoning Regulations, Title 10, Section 10-18-3.C to modify the corner lot fence requirements to allow a fence or wall to be built on the property line along the street side yard subject to certain standards. The applicant is the City of St. George and the representative is Mr. Bob Nicholson. Case No. 2013-ZRA-009 (Staff – Bob N.)

Staff Comments:
This was tabled at the last meeting. We are only talking about corner lot requirements.

Bob read the proposed ordinance (new language is underlined, language to remove is struck through)
Exceptions To Corner Lot Requirements: In the side setback which fronts on a public street, height up to six feet (6') is allowed provided such fence is a minimum of ten feet (10') behind the front line of the dwelling, and provided that such fence is set back at least ten feet (10') from the sidewalk for solid or opaque fences, but may be built to the property line if the portion of the fence or wall above four feet (4’) is see-through (e.g, wrought iron, or similar materials)

*Bob showed examples with a power point.*

We’re suggesting simplifying this and letting the fence stay in line with the house. We think this will be much more accepted by the community at large.

Chairman Ron Bracken opened the item to the public.

There were no public comments.

Chairman Ron Bracken closed the item to the public and opened the item to the commissioners.

Bob Nicholson added that the power department is asking that we add section 10-18-5 adding clearances for power equipment.
That new section (10-18-5:I) would read:
Clearances from Power Equipment. To promote public safety and to provide for maintenance needs of power equipment the following clearances are required for fences, walls and similar structures;
1. Five feet (5’) from pad mount transformer or 4-way vault.
2. Ten feet (10’) from the door side of pad mount switch gear, and five feet (5’) from the non-door side of the switch gear.
For any questions regarding the clearance requirement around power system facilities contact either the St George City Energy Services Department, or the Dixie Escalante Power Company (for areas south of the Virgin River).

They are trying to enforce these and have been. Any help we can give them would be good.

Chairman Ron Bracken reopened the item to the public due to the additional information shared.

No further comments were made.

Chairman Ron Bracken closed the item to the public.

No further comments were made by the Planning Commission.

MOTION
Commissioner Julie Hullinger made a motion to approve item 4B.
Commissioner Ross Taylor seconded the motion.
AYES
Commissioner Ross Taylor
Chairman Ron Bracken
Commissioner Julie Hullinger
Commissioner Ron Read
Commissioner Nathan Fisher
NAYS
None.
Motion passes.


5. PRELIMINARY PLATS (PP)

A. Consider approval of a preliminary plat for “Meadow Valley Estates Phase 4” a seven (7) lot residential subdivision. The applicant is Development Solutions Group and the representative is Mr. Logan Blake and Brett Burgess, Development Solutions. The property is zoned RE-12.5 (Residential Estate 12,500 square foot minimum lot size) and is located on the west side of Little Valley Road at the intersection of Mountain Ledge Drive. Case No. 2013-PP-041 (Staff – Wes J.).

Staff Comments:
Lots 401-403 were originally approved as a preliminary plat for Meadow Valley Estates Phase 4 in 2005. However, this preliminary plat has since expired and the applicant has added 4 additional lots. There is a road to Mountain Ledge Drive and Road A will provide future access to the Gentry property to the south.

There are 2 master plan roads that come through here. There is a trail that kids use to get across the road. Last time we brought 2 options (one with cul-de-sac and one with a road through). When the subdivision was built the power lines were put in. There is a 3 phase power line that goes through. I talked to Dixie Power today about the cul-de-sac option and the cost would be $5000-#8000 to the developer for relocation. They would also be required to have a ten foot easement on the lot in the cul-de-sac. Nothing could be built in that area because it is 3 phase power. The power was something we didn’t know about and that is why it was tabled. We also want the road to go through for connectivity so they don’t have to have access only from Little Valley Road. Staff feels like the road is necessary. The master plan roads are there to provide access and connectivity to this area.

*Commissioner Ross Taylor departed at 6:47 pm*

The applicant is here as well as the neighbors.

Chairman Ron Bracken opened the item to the public.

Brett Burgess (applicant):
We did talk to Dixie REA. I was directed to follow staff’s recommendation. We talked about the cul-de-sac; Dixie did express that the power pole would have to be connected there which would create the easement. One we have recently done wanted 25’ easements for vehicle access and then 35’ easements when there’s a power pole. This one is only requiring a 10’ easement. Wes felt that it was necessary to provide access to the southern property. We lost a lot to do that. If we went with the cul-de-sac we could get the 7 lots if we could eliminate the road. To create that easement they will not allow block walls. It gets tight on those corner lots.

*Commissioner Ross Taylor returned at 6:50 pm*

We’re stuck with a 75’ frontage with a 25’ easement on the cul-de-sac. Another question is the easement – the easement itself would have to be in the lot to maintain our lot size and the owners would need to maintain the easement. I talked to the home owners out there. They still want the cul-de-sac with the proposal to eliminate the road down. However, I have been directed to go with staff recommendation and they want to proceed. I know the neighbors want to explore the option with City Council.

Brent Ross (citizen on Mountain Ledge Drive):
“I work at a home office. I hear cars turning around all the time. That means people are trying to find a short cut. If the street goes through the traffic will triple with the ball fields and the senior games. Good planning would be to steer the traffic to Horseman Park and 2450 South, and Little Valley Road. To not do the cul-de-sac is to make that road a race track because that is a short cut. I see them trying to do that already. Also the road to the south is no kind of planning. That property needs to get its own arrangement for traffic. I think the traffic needs to go to Horseman Park Drive. It doesn’t make sense to put so much traffic in a neighborhood.”

Commissioner Nathan Fisher asked Mr. Ross to explain where the traffic is coming from. Are they coming from Little Valley to Mountain Ledge or the round about to Little Valley, or the Knolls?

Brent Ross responded that traffic related to athletics from Little Valley cutting through there. I do see other traffic. I think the main issue is people trying to get to the fields.

Commissioner Nathan Fisher asked if the street above Mountain Ledge has the same issue.

Brent Ross answered that the issue is people coming to and from the fields who are looking for that first road. The fact that it’s a dead end and gets a lot of traffic means there will be a lot more if it goes through.

Barry Brooksby (citizen on Mountain Ledge Drive):
“I am in full support of the cul-de-sac. I just want to point out that the master plan road runs north of Mountain Ledge Drive. We had great support from City Council on the cul-de-sac. This is Meadow Valley Phase 4. This vacant section has been vacant for nearly 10 years. We request that Meadow Valley Phase 4 be finished. Do the cul-de-sac and then the Gentry piece deal with access on their own. To reiterate there is a right of way for children to cross and access the school put in by the developer through the homes. There is a major issue here relative to public safety if Mountain Ledge becomes a through street. The traffic there would increase dramatically. We have kids running across Mountain Ledge to access the school and we don’t want to open this up for a public safety issue with the children. We want to continue working with the developer and want to know what it would take to make the cul-de-sac feasible and to eliminate the road to the south to allow them that lot back.”

*Commissioner Ross Taylor departed at 6:57 pm*
*Commissioner Ross Taylor returned at 6:58 pm*

Jason Wright (citizen on Mountain Ledge Drive):
I am in [agreeance] with the cul-de-sac. It is important to my family. We want to get rid of the road down to the Gentry property. I definitely prefer the cul-de-sac.

Bob Nicholson added that as a general rule we have advocated more accesses not fewer. The more streets the less traffic per street. If Mountain Ledge is not a through way it puts traffic elsewhere. The more we limit these; the remaining open streets will get that traffic. Again, more connections are better.

Jason Wright:
I agree having access is great. 2350 E is a wider street than Mountain Ledge. 2800 S is also a wider street. Jason explained the other accesses available and concluded stating that he understands access points, but there are multiple accesses in our neighborhood.


MOTION
Commissioner Ron Read made a motion to recommend approval of the Preliminary Plat as stated. I think the developer looked at what we talked about last time and I’ve always been a proponent of connectivity so I approve.
Commissioner Ross Taylor seconded the motion.
AYES
Commissioner Ross Taylor
Chairman Ron Bracken
Commissioner Julie Hullinger
Commissioner Ron Read
Commissioner Nathan Fisher
NAYS
None
Motion passes.


B. Consider approval of a preliminary plat for “Maverik” a one (1) lot commercial subdivision. The applicant is Maverik Inc. and the representative is Mr. Todd Meyers, Reeve & Associates. The property is zoned PD-C (Planned Development Commercial) and is located on the northeast corner of the intersection of 1450 South and river Road. Case No. 2013-PP-043 (Staff – Wes J.).

Staff Comments:
Originally there was a gas and water line. The gas has been relocated. This project will relocate the water. The easements will need to be abandoned by a separate document or final plat. This land sits within the erosion and 100 year flood plain. They will have to raise the site out of that plain. They will also have to have rip rap along the south side of the Virgin River. The NRCS will bring it up to a certain level. It doesn’t fully protect the Maverik it will only go part way. The city has a trail that will sit above the NRCS. The City and Sheffield will share the cost of the erosion protection up to the 100 year flood plain elevation that will protect the Maverik, trail, bridge and River Road. Access for this will come off of 1450. They have put together an access agreement with Sheffield. They also have access off of River Road as right in and right out only. They will also put in a decel lane.

Commissioner Nathan Fisher noted that generally rip rap forces the water to go to the other side. Is there something we need to do on the other side of it?

Wes Jenkins responded that they’ve analyzed it and it looks like that area is undevelopable. It shouldn’t bounce it across.

Commissioner Nathan Fisher asked if staff is comfortable with the traffic, speed and decel lane on River Road.

Wes Jenkins answered yes, that’s why we’re only allowing a right in right out. That’s also why they’re required to put in the decel lane.

Assistant City Attorney Victoria Hales asked what the access would be on 1450.

Wes Jenkins showed the accesses on the map.

Deputy City Attorney Paula Houston asked if you turn left into it.

Commissioner Nathan Fisher asked if there will also be a center turn lane.

Wes Jenkins responded that there will be because it’s a 90’ road.

Commissioner Ron Read questioned if that is why they moved it further east.

Wes Jenkins responded yes because there is such a build-up of traffic turning right.

Commissioner Nathan Fisher added that traffic through there is really bad.

Wes Jenkins conceded that yes, at certain times of the day the traffic is really bad.

Deputy City Attorney Paula Houston questioned if access is on their property.

Wes Jenkins responded no, it’s the agreement with Sheffield Co for cross access.

MOTION
Commissioner Julie Hullinger made a motion to approve item 5B.
Commissioner Nathan Fisher seconded the motion.
AYES
Commissioner Ross Taylor
Chairman Ron Bracken
Commissioner Julie Hullinger
Commissioner Ron Read
Commissioner Nathan Fisher
NAYS
None
Motion

C. Consider approval of a preliminary plat for “White Rocks” a sixty-one (61) lot residential subdivision. The applicant is Development Solutions and the representative is Mr. Stacy Young and Mr. Ryan Thomas, Development Solutions. The property is zoned PD (Planned Development) and is located on the east side of SR-18 and south of the existing round-about and south of hole 9 on the Ledges golf course. Case No. 2013-PP-046 (Staff – Wes J.).

Staff Comments:
On the master plan that was approved for this development in Dec. 2007, the area where this subdivision is being proposed was approved for 203 units over 31.5 acres, which is a density of 6.4 dwelling units per acre. So they have lowered the request. This did come in a while back but they have changed the layout which is why we’re seeing it again.

The developer is proposing to use the 45-foot roadway cross-section for the interior streets. Wes showed the various road sizes on the map.

Commissioner Nathan Fisher asked if they’ll have to do the whole road.

Wes Jenkins responded that he was not sure because it’s a master plan road. They’ll have to do enough to get traffic in and out safely.

Commissioner Nathan Fisher asked if we will regret not having a 90’ road there as there is more development to the south of there.

Wes Jenkins no, their development will extend. We believe it has the ability as a 66’ to cover the traffic.

Ryan Thomas (applicant) inserted that they are going to dedicate the road as a 90’ right of way just in case it needs to be widened. It will be built as a 66’ with landscaping in the remaining area.

MOTION
Commissioner Ross Taylor made a motion to recommend approval of Item 5C White Rocks subdivision subject to comments at the end.
Commissioner Ron Read seconded the motion.
AYES
Commissioner Ross Taylor
Chairman Ron Bracken
Commissioner Julie Hullinger
Commissioner Ron Read
Commissioner Nathan Fisher
NAYS
None
Motion passes.

D. Consider approval of a preliminary plat for “Fieldstone Ph 1” a twenty-five (25) lot residential subdivision. The applicant is Development Solutions and the representative is Mr. Logan Blake, Development Solutions. The property is zoned R-1-12 (Single Family Residential 12,000 square foot minimum lot size) and is located south of ‘The Village at Little Valley’ along the logical extension of Crimson Ridge Drive at approximately 2350 East. Case No. 2013-PP-044 (Staff – Wes J.).


Staff Comments:
They are proposing to do lot size averaging. The minimum size was 10,500 sq ft. They are proposing 45’ roads.

Commissioner Nathan Fisher asked if there are normally 50’ roads in there.

Wes Jenkins responded yes, but the amount of homes they are serving lends to a 45’.

MOTION
Commissioner Nathan Fisher made a motion to recommend approval of item 5D.
Commissioner Ross Taylor seconded the motion.
AYES
Commissioner Ross Taylor
Chairman Ron Bracken
Commissioner Julie Hullinger
Commissioner Ron Read
Commissioner Nathan Fisher
NAYS
None
Motion passes.

E. Consider approval of a preliminary plat for “Fieldstone Ph 2 & 3” a fifty-six (56) lot residential subdivision. The applicant is Development Solutions and the representative is Mr. Logan Blake, Development Solutions. The Phase 2 property is zoned R-1-10 (Single Family Residential 10,000 square foot minimum lot size) and the Phase 3 property is zoned R-1-12 (Single Family Residential 12,000 square foot minimum lot size) and is located south of Little Valley Elementary School along the south side of Equestrian / Crimson Ridge Drive at approximately 2300 East. Case No. 2013-PP-045 (Staff – Wes J.).

Staff Comments:
These phases will be to the west of phase 1. This will also have lot size averaging. The minimum lot size was 8,480 in phase 2 and was 10,200 in phase 3. This will also have 45’ with a 50’ road running north/south. The western most road master plans as a 90’ but staff feels that a 66’ road is more appropriate. There is an A-20 property bordering there that the owner plans on maintaining as agricultural property because the erosion hazard line goes through his property. Because the western most road is a 66’ we want to limit the accesses. Staff is asking that they eliminate the access on the northern east/west road. We want that to help have a buffer between that agricultural area. They will go back and look at it to change the road. We’ll also ask for a decel lane into Crimson Ridge.

Commissioner Nathan Fisher asked if there will be two access points into all three phases if they make the stated change.

Wes Jenkins said that is correct.


MOTION
Commissioner Ron Read made a motion to recommend approval of Preliminary Plat 5E.
Commissioner Julie Hullinger seconded the motion.
AYES
Commissioner Ross Taylor
Chairman Ron Bracken
Commissioner Julie Hullinger
Commissioner Ron Read
Commissioner Nathan Fisher
NAYS
None
Motion passes.

6. GUEST HOUSE (GH)
Consider a request for a guest house to exceed the maximum allowable floor area of four hundred square foot (400 sq. ft.) with approval from the Planning Commission. The request is for a total footprint of seven hundred square feet (700 sq. ft.). The guesthouse living space would include two bedrooms, a bathroom, living room, and a kitchenette (small sink, microwave, and under counter refrigerator). The actual living space area is proposed at 650 sq. ft. The property is located at 543 E 600 S. Mr. Dan Hoopes is the representative. Case No. 2013-GH-006. (Staff – Craig H.)

Staff Comments:
They are actually going to tear down the house and existing structure that is there and will rebuild a new home and the guest house as per their site plan.

Under the code guest houses are allowed on properties that are 10,000 square feet or larger. The lot size of this property is 17,424 sq. ft. or 0.40 acres in size. So they can have a guest house. The ordinance that pertains to this is 10-14-23 and states: “Requests exceeding 400 sq. ft. shall be submitted to the Planning Commission for review and consideration at a regularly scheduled meeting.”

The intent of the guest house ordinance is to provide a small temporary residence and not a large secondary dwelling unit. Additionally, the Guesthouse will be required to have all of its utilities come from the main dwelling. Electricity water and sewer will have to tie into the main dwelling.

The applicant will be required to sign the necessary deed restriction for the guesthouse indicating that it will not be rented or leased independent of the main dwelling, prior to the issuance of the building permit. The deed restriction will be recorded with the Washington County Recorder’s office.


*Craig showed the floor plan to explain the layout. He also showed the elevations and explained that the guesthouse would complement the house.*

Staff recommends approval on this. As a reference the Planning Commission has approved 12000 square foot guesthouses before.

Commissioner Ross Taylor asked staff what criteria there is for approval or denial.

Craig Harvey responded that lot sizes are a factor. It is well under 25% of the rear lot.

Commissioner Ross Taylor noted that the 400 square foot maximum was to discourage a secondary residence. I’m wondering if that’s the criteria behind this. I am aware that many casitas are used as rentals. They are already restricted per deed but they are used anyway.

Craig Harvey stated that when code enforcement sees that, violation letters are sent out.

Commissioner Ross Taylor stated that this creates more work for our code enforcement. I feel like the 400 square foot size limit was to discourage additional residences. Why extending it that size that dramatically would have justification?

Craig Harvey invited the applicant to address that and to justify construction.

Dan Hoopes (applicant) stated that basically we are 300 square feet from putting two units on there.

Commissioner Ross Taylor asked why the casita is so large.

Dan Hoopes responded that the client wants to use their lot. They have family coming to visit from Albuquerque so they want all the square footage they can. They want as many square feet as they can. It makes sense to have the bigger unit there for them. They’re only 300 square feet short of putting a duplex there. If the restriction is there anyway I don’t see that it makes a big difference.

Deputy City Attorney Paula Houston noted that this is a problem for code enforcement. The family may not be renting them out but they will have people living in them. The bigger the more apt they are to do that; maybe not by the person who built it but by the next owner. Even if the deed restriction is there it happens. We do go after them and tell them they can’t rent them but we do deal with it often and it does create problems.

Chairman Ron Bracken inserted that it looks like they want a place for extended family to stay when they visit.

Craig Harvey inserted that the guest house ordinance does not put a limit on bedrooms. That is something we can look at in the future.

Commissioner Nathan Fisher asked the applicant if it was stated that that two families will be coming up to stay in the guest house.

Dan Hoopes responded that there is a family who lives here and there are two families who live in Albuquerque. The mother who owns the property is in a care center.

Commissioner Nathan Fisher asked if the mother will live on the property.

Dan Hoopes was not sure.

Commissioner Nathan Fisher noted that we’re possibly creating what we’re trying to prevent.

Dan Hoopes responded that the one would be a residence of some kind.

Commissioner Ron Read asked what, if any, restriction there is stating that it has to be family staying in the guest house.

Deputy City Attorney Paula Houston responded that there is not.

Commissioner Nathan Fisher stated that the rental of houses without proper zoning and approval, not just guest houses but vacation rentals as well, is something that keeps our Code Enforcement very busy. I don’t know that penalizing the person who is trying to do the right thing and get the approvals now to prevent the next owner from using it incorrectly is the right way to go.

Commissioner Ross Taylor stated that he doesn’t see that there is a penalty attached we’re just asking them to stay within the ordinance.

MOTION
Commissioner Ross Taylor made a motion to not approve the request that exceeds the ordinance and will deny the request for a casita of that size.
Commissioner Julie Hullinger seconded the motion.

Discussion on the Motion:
Commissioner Nathan Fisher asked staff if there is a common size of casitas within city limits.

Craig Harvey responded that casitas are common in Sunriver. However, they have a CCR that keeps it at 400 sq ft. Other casitas use the loophole of an adjoining roof to make it an addition to the house rather than a casita.

Commissioner Nathan Fisher clarified, so that’s how they get around getting the larger is by attaching to the house. He then asked if this size is common.

Craig Harvey responded that the last time the Planning Commission saw a request for this size was in 2009.

Commissioner Ross Taylor noted that requests of this size must come before the Planning Commission and he can’t recall how many requests he has seen.

Chairman Ron Bracken asked the applicant if the client is tearing down the house and rebuilding it. He also asked the distance from the house to the guesthouse.

Craig Harvey responded that it is on the site plan. There is 15 feet from the car port to the casita according to plan.

Chairman Ron Bracken addressed the applicant stating if you built a 15 foot thing from the car port to the casita you wouldn’t need to come here. That would solve the problem.

Dan Hoopes asked if he would have to return to the Planning Commission if there was a breezeway.

Chairman Ron Bracken answered no, so all you have to do is put an attachment and then you can build it.

AYES
Commissioner Ross Taylor
Commissioner Julie Hullinger

NAYS
Commissioner Ron Read
Commissioner Nathan Fisher
Chairman Ron Bracken

Motion denied.

Further discussion:
Commissioner Nathan Fisher stated that if that is how simple it is to have him build it than what are we solving by denying it? Perhaps we need to look at the ordinance.

Chairman Ron Bracken asked the applicant if he would like to withdraw the request.

MOTION
Commissioner Nathan Fisher made a motion to recommend to City Council the approval for the enlarged casita beyond the maximum 400 square feet requirement.

Craig Harvey inserted that the Planning Commission is the final authority on this matter.

Commissioner Nathan Fisher made a motion to approve the guesthouse.
Commissioner Ron Read seconded the motion with comments: I think by this lot being this big but not quite big enough for a second residence I don’t think that the guesthouse is affecting aesthetics or access. I think due to the size of the piece I’ll second it. Otherwise we might as well just say 400 feet and you can’t go over it. We can think about every time they connect power they have to come in and tell the city. Then you can monitor how long they’re using it. Other than that I don’t know how we can watch it.

Ayes
Commissioner Nathan Fisher
Commissioner Ron Read
Chairman Ron Bracken

Nays
Commissioner Ross Taylor
Commissioner Julie Hullinger

Motion denied.

Further Discussion:
Commissioner Ross Taylor noted that the ordinance is written as the basis for it to avoid situations that are in conflict with zoning that will put more work on code enforcement. I like the idea of having them build the thing as an addition to the house. You accomplish the same thing. I think the conflict would be avoided if it was an addition.

Chairman Ron Bracken asked the applicant if the lot was too small to build a duplex and if that square footage could be purchased from a neighbor.

Craig Harvey inserted that they’re not allowed a duplex in an R-1-8. Also the lot is only 66’ wide so they can’t do a lot split.

MOTION
Commissioner Ron Read stated that we’re at an in pass and moved to table the item.
Commissioner Nathan Fisher seconded the motion.

Commissioner Ross Taylor explained to the applicant why he cannot support the oversized guesthouse.

Ayes
Commissioner Ross Taylor
Chairman Ron Bracken
Commissioner Julie Hullinger
Commissioner Ron Read
Commissioner Nathan Fisher
Nays
None
Item was tabled.


7. FINAL PLAT (FP)
A. Consider approval of a final plat of for “Stone Cliff Phase 11” a thirty-four (34) lot residential subdivision plat. The representative is Mr. Reid Pope, L.R. Pope Engineering. The property is zoned PD-R (Planned Development Residential) and is located at approximately 2600 East 1650 South (Stone Cliff Development – south of the access road). Case No. 2013-FP-051. (Staff – Wes J.)

Staff Comments:
One caveat to add is the access off of 1450. I would put a condition on the final plat that the road is dealt with prior to the final plat going forward. The city and the developer need to work out something that the road be developed or something happen with the property. If nothing happens on that property than the agreement can go away. The developer and city need to resolve what happens with that access.

There were no questions or comments from the Planning Commission.

MOTION
Commissioner Ron Read made a motion to recommend approval to City Council of the final plat with the condition that before building they resolve the access issue with the city and autho