Centerville City Hall
250 N. Main Street
Centerville, UT 84014
(801) 292-8034 fax
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Monday - Friday
July 7, 2015
Minutes of the Centerville City Council meeting held Tuesday, July 7, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. at Centerville City Hall, 250 North Main Street, Centerville, Utah.
Mayor Paul A. Cutler
Council Members Ken S. Averett
John T. Higginson
STAFF PRESENT Blaine Lutz, Finance Director/Assistant City Manager
Lisa Romney, City Attorney
Randy Randall, Public Works Director
Cory Snyder, Community Development Director
Jacob Smith, Management Assistant
Katie Rust, Recording Secretary
STAFF ABSENT Steve Thacker, City Manager
VISITORS Interested citizens (see attached sign-in sheet)
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
PRAYER OR THOUGHT Councilman Higginson
Blaine Lutz, Finance Director/Assistant City Manager, announced that Centerville has received a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for the sixteenth consecutive year. He explained the criteria, and recognized Jeannine Teel for her significant contribution to the most recent Financial Audit.
No one wished to comment.
MINUTES REVIEW AND ACCEPTANCE
The minutes of the June 16, 2015 work session and regular Council meeting, and the June 17, 2015 joint Council/Planning Commission meeting were reviewed. Councilwoman Fillmore made a motion to approve all three sets of minutes. Councilman Averett seconded the motion, which passed by unanimous vote (5-0).
FRONTAGE ROAD SIDEWALK PROJECT
Randy Randall, Public Works Director, explained that earlier this year UDOT Region One awarded Centerville $50,000 in Federal Transportation Assistance Program (TAP) funding for construction of a sidewalk along the east side of the Frontage Road, which would complete the current gap in the sidewalk between the Woods Park PDO and the Lexington Subdivision. The cost above $50,000 will be paid from two other sources – the City’s street maintenance budget and a contribution from Abraham & Emily Millet. The Millets have an obligation to pay for the portion in front of their home because of a sidewalk deferral agreement executed when they developed their property. Easements are needed from Mabel Devore and Christopher and Hermila Cutler to accommodate the sidewalk and the slope on the east side down to natural ground elevation. Lisa Romney, City Attorney, provided further details regarding the proposed actions.
Councilman Averett made a motion to accept Public Sidewalk and Slope Easements from the Cutlers and Mabel Devore. Councilwoman Ivie seconded the motion, which passed by unanimous vote (5-0).
Councilman Higginson made a motion to approve an Installment Payment and Security Interest Agreement for Sidewalk Improvements with Abraham & Emily Millet with changes to Section 1 regarding payment obligations and use of existing cash bond recommended by the City Attorney. Councilwoman Fillmore seconded the motion, which passed by unanimous vote (5-0).
Councilwoman Fillmore made a motion to award construction contract to Bowen Construction in the amount of $64,492 based on the base bid, with the option of an additional $265.50 for upgraded fencing, subject to obtaining signed easements from Mabel Devore and the Cutlers and execution of the Millet Agreement. The motion was seconded by Councilman Wright and passed by unanimous vote (5-0).
PUBLIC HEARING – PLAT AMENDMENT TO FORD CANYON SUBDIVISION – REDUCING SETBACK TO 20 FEET
Eric Beard with Beard Construction answered questions from the Council regarding the application to reduce setback, and stated that many of the lots on Ford Canyon Drive have 20-foot setbacks.
At 7:22 p.m. Mayor Cutler opened a public hearing for the proposed plat amendment, and closed the public hearing seeing that no one wished to comment. Councilman Higginson made a motion to approve the plat amendment for Ford Canyon Estates Phase 4 Subdivision, reducing the front-yard setback from 25 to 20 feet for Lots 408 and 409, subject to the following conditions and findings. Councilman Wright seconded the motion, which passed by unanimous vote (5-0).
1) Preparation and submittal of a final linen subdivision plat to the City Recorder’s Office to reflect the lot combination and reduction of the front yard setback to 20 feet.
2) Review and acceptance of the final plat by the Fire Marshall and Public Works Director, in accordance with applicable regulations or written agreement requirements for fire
3) All original subdivision plat notes and the slope stability easement are also provided on the linen of the new plat to be recorded.
a. The City Council finds that the amendment is consistent with the original plat’s expectation to maintain a slope stability easement to mitigate the risk of slope failure.
b. The City Council finds that to meet the City’s standard level of service needs and expectations for constructing homes adequate fire protection must be deemed acceptable by the Fire
Marshall and Public Works entities.
c. Therefore, the City Council finds that the public interest will NOT be materially injured by the proposed plat amendment.
d. Therefore, the City Council finds that there is good cause for the plat amendment.
PUBLIC HEARING – REQUEST TO ADD STREET NAME ALIAS TO 1250 WEST
Mr. Randall explained the request to add the alias “Child Lane” to 1250 West between Porter Lane and Parrish Lane, and recommended the applicant pay the cost of street sign changes. Robert Child, applicant, described his family’s history on 1250 West, and stated that West Bountiful acknowledges the road as “640 West/Child Lane”.
Mayor Cutler opened a public hearing at 7:30 p.m.
Dale McIntyre – Mr. McIntyre expressed his love and respect for Robert Child’s father, Brandt Child.
Logan Breck – Mr. Breck asked who would pay for the new street signs. Mayor Cutler responded that, by Ordinance, the applicant is responsible to pay for new street signs. Councilman Higginson added that the Ordinance requires applicants to obtain 75% of area property owner signatures agreeing to the change.
The Mayor closed the public hearing at 7:34 p.m. Councilwoman Fillmore stated she would not be anxious to entertain a lot of street name changes throughout the City, but she feels there is a strong argument, in this case, to have continuity between West Bountiful and Centerville. Councilman Wright made a motion to approve the request, subject to staff verifying that all conditions are met, and suggested that, given the historic nature of the situation, the City bear the cost of the sign change from Council Contingency. Councilman Higginson seconded the motion, but stated that he would not want this to set a precedent of the City paying for sign replacement. Councilman Averett stated that he suspects it was common long ago to name streets after prominent community members or property owners, and said he feels this sets a dangerous precedent. Councilwoman Fillmore said she agrees with Councilman Averett, but in this situation she feels the continuity between the cities is a strong argument. The motion passed by majority vote (4-1), with Councilman Averett dissenting.
PUBLIC HEARING – CONSIDER ZONING CODE TEXT AMENDMENT – CHAPTER 12-36 (TABLE OF USES) – FLAG LOTS
Flag lot development is currently only allowed in Residential-Low (R-L) Zones. Cory Snyder, Community Development Director, explained the request to permit flag lots in Residential-Medium (R-M) Zones, generated by an earlier request to build a duplex behind the Huffaker Dental building on Main Street on under-utilized land that is part of the same parcel on which the dental building is located, currently zoned Commercial, but adjacent to R-M. Mr. Snyder emphasized that a flag lot is a last resort land-use tool in Centerville. The Planning Commission is the land use authority designated to consider flag lot applications. The Planning Commission and staff have reviewed the current application and recommend approval of an ordinance allowing flag lot development as a last resort tool in R-M Zones.
Jeff Cook, applicant, showed the property in question on a map, and explained that the neighboring dental office would still have sufficient parking. He said he believes the property could accommodate two or three townhome-type units. Councilwoman Fillmore asked if there are other properties in R-M Zones that would have potential for flag lot development. Mr. Snyder repeated that in order for a property to qualify as a flag lot, an applicant would have to prove that no other option is available for the property. He said he feels the current flag lot ordinance is fairly strong. The Council discussed how the change could potentially affect other R-M areas in the City. Councilman Averett stated he is more concerned about the impact of flag lots in R-L Zones, and he thinks the application seems like a good use of the subject property. Councilwoman Fillmore agreed with Councilman Averett regarding the subject property, but said she was on the Planning Commission when the flag lot debate occurred, and she has serious concerns about the impact flag lots could have on neighboring properties. The ordinance approved by the Council did not include many of the considerations recommended by the Planning Commission. She recommended not approving the amendment until the ordinance is revisited. Staff cautioned that it would be problematic to allow a flag lot for this one property and not for others in the same zone. Ms. Romney agreed that text amendments should apply to an entire zone. Councilwoman Fillmore pointed out that a flag lot is not allowed if subdivision is possible.
At 8:07 p.m. Mayor Cutler opened a public hearing, and closed the public hearing seeing that no one wished to comment. Councilwoman Fillmore made a motion to approve Ordinance No. 2015-13 amending Chapter 12-36 (Table of Uses Allowed) of the Centerville Zoning Ordinance to permit the use of flat lots in the Residential-Medium (R-M) Zone, with the note that she feels the Council should revisit some of the details in the existing flag lot ordinance. Councilman Averett seconded the motion, which passed by majority vote (3-2), with Council members Ivie and Wright dissenting.
PUBLIC HEARING – ZONING ORDINANCE TEXT AMENDMENTS – SOUTH MAIN STREET OVERLAY ZONE AND PLANNED DEVELOPMENT OVERLAY ZONE
Ordinance No. 2015-14 – Maximum Density Cap – The City Council and Planning Commission accepted public comment regarding the South Main Street Overlay Zone during the month of June. Mr. Snyder stated that the Planning Commission noticed and debated adopting maximum density caps for residential development in the Traditional and City Center Main Street Districts. Staff found that a density cap of eight units per acre is consistent with both the General Plan and the South Main Street Plan. The Planning Commission debated and held a public hearing, and decided to recommend a two-tiered process: 1-4 units per acre permitted, with 5-8 units per acre by conditional use. Conditional use is an administrative decision, considered approved unless impacts or findings cannot be mitigated. Councilman Wright stated he does not see the proposed amendment as a solution to the density problem. He said it was his impression that residents want a cap at R-L rather than R-M. Mayor Cutler pointed out that the Council could approve a cap of less than 8 units per acre. Councilwoman Ivie agreed that the residents want R-L. Mayor Cutler commented that most citizens would want R-L next to their property, but the Council also heard from property/business owners who asked for flexibility. He stated the Council needs to find a balance between personal property rights and the desires of the community. Councilman Wright stated that it does not make sense to pass the amendment before more discussion has occurred. Councilwoman Ivie said she feels all regulations should be grouped in one place to be easily understandable.
Councilwoman Fillmore commented that the Main Street Corridor is made up of lots in varying sizes. The intent of the SMSC Plan was to encourage positive redevelopment, without so many restrictions that redevelopment is not viable. Placing a density cap on smaller parcels may make redevelopment more difficult on those smaller parcels. Councilwoman Fillmore added that she feels a density cap on the larger parcels would be appropriate. Mr. Snyder explained the history and basic intent of form-based code – to provide a framework for Main Street, letting the market determine the use.
At 8:36 p.m. Mayor Cutler opened a public hearing for the proposed maximum density caps for residential use.
Dale McIntyre – Mr. McIntyre stated he is concerned about the difference between theory and reality. He showed a diagram of proposed development on the Hafoka property on Porter Lane just west of 400 West, and stated that the developer can say the development is 8 units per acre, but the reality is closer to 11 units per acre. He said he does not want that reality for Centerville.
Nancy Smith – Ms. Smith said that in her opinion density is not the number one question. She believes the more important question is whether mixed-use is viable. If commercial is not viable, property owners have the ability to request a rezone. Ms. Smith said she is not opposed to R-M if it is done appropriately. The mixed-use concept in the R-M context is completely different than a purely R-M development. She stated that most of the Corridor has developed R-L, and she would love to see an R-L designation. Ms. Smith said she has a problem with conditional uses throughout the community, and encouraged the Council not to approve the conditional use of 5-8 until they have looked at some of the criteria for the conditional use permits. She added that Layton does not allow any development with less than a 26-foot road for emergency services access. She feels the City needs to retain quality of life, and asked the Council not to lift the TZRO until they have looked at issues that pertain to quality of life, and whether or not mixed-use is really viable on Main Street.
Tim Hawkes, Utah House of Representatives – As a Centerville resident, Representative Hawkes said he feels it is unfortunate that the Council is looking at this specific tool the night before the joint discussion between the Planning Commission and the City Council. He agreed with Mayor Cutler that it was a mistake to shift to an overlay without caps on density. However, he pointed out that prior to 2010 the residential option was not available whatsoever. He said he feels it would be fair to place caps as long as expectations are clear to developers. Representative Hawkes stated that he feels 8 units per acre is high, and agreed with Mr. Snyder that caps can be set low, and the City can incent higher if desired. He said he believes the residents are more concerned with quality of life than form. He suggested setting the cap at 4 units per acre, with conditional use at six units per acre, and stated that, since the Walton development is an existing application, he does not feel it should be subject to the new restrictions. Representative Hawkes added that he hopes the Council is discussing density caps in the Pages Lane area as well.
William Ince, Centerville Planning Commissioner – Commissioner Ince commented that there had been discussion in the Planning Commission meetings of 16 units per acre on the Walton property, and he feels the cap of 8 units per acre is an improvement, but not one that satisfied a vast majority. He said he thinks something less than eight solves more problems, and it would be worth it for the Council to pass something, even if it is not a final step.
Robyn Mecham – Ms. Mecham said it is unfair to developers to be unclear, and she thinks the cap should be as low as possible and clearly stated for builders and developers. She said she does not believe the Commissioners really understood that they were voting for more than 1-4 units per acre. She cautioned the City to be careful with conditional use, and start with a base of 1-4 units per acre. She stated there are 638 condos or apartments between Pages Lane and Parrish Lane on Main Street, and the City needs to keep the density lower. More family homes are needed. She said it is hard to find a single-family home for sale in Centerville. She passed on a comment made by the CEO of Brighton Homes that this is a different community because the citizens care more about the quality of life than the property values. She added that property values in Centerville are high because of the high quality of life. Higher density brings crime. Ms. Mecham asked the Council to consider R-L for now.
Mayor Cutler closed the public hearing at 8:57 p.m.
Councilman Higginson stated he is moving towards favoring a maximum of 4 units per acre. Councilman Averett expressed a desire to table further discussion until after the joint discussion with the Planning Commission, and added that, as a realtor, he checked the MLS and found many single-family homes for sale in Centerville. Councilwoman Fillmore agreed with the idea of waiting until after the meeting with the Planning Commission. She commented that Main Street is a commercial corridor, and the Council often hears that citizens want the corridor redeveloped to be a benefit to the community. It is easy to ask for lower density, but at some point redevelopment becomes economically impossible. Councilwoman Fillmore stated she feels a fairly intensive study would be needed to be respectful of the property owners if the Council were to change the SMSC Overlay drastically.
Councilwoman Fillmore made a motion to table discussion of Ordinance No. 2015-14 regarding maximum density caps for residential development within the Traditional and City Center Main Street Districts. Councilman Higginson seconded the motion. Councilwoman Ivie made a substitute motion to approve Ordinance No. 2015-14 approving R-L (maximum of 4 units per acre) in the Traditional and City Center Districts, with no conditional use. Councilman Wright seconded the substitute motion. Councilwoman Fillmore stated she would be open to considering Councilwoman Ivie’s suggestion, but said she feels making such a drastic change without further study would be disrespectful to the long and intensive process originally gone through to put the SMSC Plan in place. Councilmen Averett and Higginson stated they feel it would be premature. The substitute motion to adopt with a density cap at R-L failed (2-3), with Council members Averett, Fillmore, and Higginson dissenting. The motion to table Ordinance No. 2015-14 passed by majority vote (4-1), with Councilman Wright dissenting.
Ordinance No. 2015-15 – Planned Development Overlay (PDO) – Mayor Cutler stated that PDOs are currently allowed in every district on a minimum of five acres, with the exception of single-family development, which does not have a minimum acreage requirement. The Mayor sought clarification of this issue. Mr. Snyder expressed the opinion that the minimum is not applicable in a single-family residential zone, but would apply to a single-family development within the SMSC zone. Mr. Snyder explained that a minimum acreage requirement is standard, particularly in Utah. Reducing the minimum can begin to compromise the space required for infrastructure. However, Mr. Snyder stated that PDOs are a flexible tool, and a minimum of three acres may work for planned developments. He added that the PDO is not meant to be a free-for-all, nor is it meant to be too stringent. The objective is to look at the intent of an area in the General Plan and determine how a PDO could accomplish it better. Mr. Snyder said he feels it would be a mistake to use a PDO to solve any issues in the SMSC. The SMSC already has an enhanced overlay, and putting an overlay on top of an overlay would be going beyond the purpose of a PDO. Mayor Cutler asked for clarification on 12-41-040 of the proposed Ordinance, and the Council discussed desired wording with staff. Councilman Wright said he does not think the City will ever need the change from five to three acres. Mayor Cutler pointed out that there may at some point be a situation on Main Street when the reduced acreage requirement would allow a PDO to facilitate a better development. Councilman Wright cautioned that things can change, and a few people with power can make a decision counter to what citizens would want or expect.
Mayor Cutler opened a public hearing at 9:23 p.m.
Dale McIntyre – Mr. McIntyre stated that many citizens have asked the Council to not increase density. The citizens want R-L. He said he was extremely disappointed that six of the seven Planning Commission members listened to the citizens in public hearings and still lowered the threshold from five to three acres. Mr. McIntyre said he hopes the Council will not do the same.
Travis Davis – Mr. Davis thanked the Council for taking the time to listen to the public. He said it is not a good idea to lower the acreage requirement for a PDO. He stated that residential works better than anything else on Main Street. He asked that the Council maintain the density cap at 1-4 units per acre if they do decide in favor of the PDO, possibly allowing 5-6 units per acre if they are going to incent. Mr. Davis expressed the opinion that the SMSC Plan needs to be completely reworked, or at least put a density cap in place that would maintain the integrity of the community.
Robyn Mecham – Ms. Mecham agreed with Mr. Snyder that a PDO is a bonus to density, and would be going the wrong direction. A vote for reducing the acreage for PDO would be going against 99% of the residents who have stated they do not want higher density. She said it would also be sending the wrong message to builders, because residents do not want higher density.
At 9:30 p.m. Mayor Cutler closed the public hearing. Councilman Wright made a motion to reject Ordinance No. 2015-15 reducing the minimum acreage required for planned developments. Councilwoman Ivie seconded the motion. Councilwoman Fillmore said that, at face value, reducing the acreage requirement for a PDO city-wide is fine, because a PDO is a good tool to ensure a quality product. However, in the Main Street Corridor it could be problematic and she has reservations. Councilwoman Fillmore stated she would vote against taking action to reduce at this time because it has been mixed up in the SMSC issue. The motion to reject Ordinance No. 2015-15 passed by unanimous vote (5-0).
At 9:33 p.m. the Council took a break, returning at 9:41 p.m.
CONTINUE PUBLIC HEARING – ZONING ORDINANCE TEXT AMENDMENT, CHAPTER 12-60, ACCESSORY DWELLING UNITS (ADUs)
Jake Smith, Management Assistant, reported on the varied impact fee policies regarding ADUs in other cities. Mr. Snyder recommended separating any ADU impact fee from the ordinance with a reference to the City Fee Schedule. He commented that an ADU is intended to be secondary to the primary dwelling unit. Councilwoman Fillmore stated that her greatest concern about the proposed ordinance is the setbacks and how they affect neighboring properties. She said she would want the ordinance to clarify that a detached ADU must be built within the remaining buildable area of the lot. The Council and staff discussed setbacks and ADU size, and it was suggested that setbacks could vary based on the square feet of the structure.
At 9:56 p.m. Mayor Cutler opened a public hearing regarding ADUs.
Spencer Summerhays – Mr. Summerhays showed photographs of a large accessory structure that has been constructed on the property adjacent to his backyard. He stated that the definition of ADU is ambiguous regarding whether an accessory dwelling unit can be part of a larger accessory building, and expressed the opinion that the two should not be mingled. He said the ordinance needs clarification regarding size and height of structure. The ordinance is close to what it needs to be, but there are still pieces that remain to be figured out. He asked the Council to be careful with setbacks in terms of relationships with other buildings.
Mr. Snyder clarified that the ordinance allows an existing accessory building to be converted to an ADU. Councilman Wright said it sounds like the accessory building ordinance is a companion to the ADU ordinance. Councilwoman Fillmore agreed that the ordinances are related, and suggested the Council discuss general concerns to direct back to Planning staff or the Planning Commission. Mr. Summerhays recommended the Council ensure that an ADU, whether stand-alone or part of another structure, meet some measure of size restriction in relationship to nearby structures. He suggested increasing setback with increasing height.
Mark Briggs – Mr. Briggs said one of his neighbors built an ADU on top of their garage, which does not work in his type of neighborhood. The deck of the ADU can look down on everyone’s backyard taking away privacy. He suggested the Council restrict the height of ADUs to be level with the existing primary dwelling.
William Ince, Planning Commission – Commissioner Ince strongly encouraged the Council to reconsider the restriction that an ADU cannot exceed 25% of the size of the primary dwelling. He said he suspects most citizens who take advantage of the ADU ordinance will convert their basement, which could easily exceed 25% of the primary living area. Commissioner Ince stated he supports the 25% restriction for a separate structure, but equal size allowance for upstairs and downstairs makes sense to him. He recommended the Council send the ordinance back to the Planning Commission for further consideration.
At 10:14 p.m. the Mayor closed the public hearing. Councilman Wright stated he is in favor of ADUs. The Council needs to look at balancing one person’s property rights against another’s. He said the Council needs to look at the accessory building ordinance again, and pointed out that changes can be made as issues arise. Councilwoman Fillmore and Mayor Cutler expressed a desire to refer the ordinance back to the Planning Commission with clear guidance. Councilman Wright suggested eliminating the 25% size restriction. Mayor Cutler expressed the concern that equal size opens up the possibility for duplex situations. Councilman Wright stated he is resistant to sending the ordinance back to the Planning Commission. Councilwoman Fillmore said she feels there should be more clear distinction between ADUs in an existing home versus a separate structure, and said she would like to see a dual-track ordinance. Mr. Snyder cautioned the Council that it is more difficult to decrease than to increase size allowance, and said he feels it would be a mistake to try to accommodate individual scenarios with an ordinance that would apply city-wide. He added that the size restriction is related to density – 800 square feet can accommodate up to four residents, with an additional resident allowed with each additional 200 square feet.
Mr. Snyder explained the complications involved in calculating building height. Councilwoman Fillmore agreed with Mr. Summerhays’ suggestion that the relation to other buildings needs to be considered. She said the basement ADU issue could be solved easily if the two types of ADUs are separated in the ordinance. Mr. Snyder said the separate structure issues could probably be solved with the accessory building ordinance. Mayor Cutler and Council members Higginson, Ivie, and Fillmore indicated support for separating the two types of ADUs in the ordinance. Councilman Averett stated that he does not personally like ADUs, and has been asked by some of his constituents to not support ADUs. He said it is a density issue that deteriorates a single-family neighborhood, and he will not vote in favor of ADUs. Councilman Wright said he understands Councilman Averett’s point of view, but pointed out that ADUs can be appropriate, and can be an opportunity to provide accommodations for an aging population.
Councilwoman Fillmore made a motion to separate the ADU use in existing structures from detached ADU structures, table the ADU use in existing structures to another Council meeting, and direct Planning staff and the Planning Commission to revisit separate accessory buildings when they have time on their schedule. Councilwoman Ivie seconded the motion. Councilman Wright made a substitute motion to table discussion of the proposed ordinance to a Council meeting in August, and ask staff to make a recommendation that reconciles some of the issues. Mr. Snyder pointed out that the Council has made the Main Street issue a priority. Councilman Wright amended his substitute motion to table discussion of the property ordinance until the TZRO on the SMSC is lifted or expires. Councilwoman Ivie seconded the substitute motion, which passed by majority vote (4-1), with Councilwoman Fillmore dissenting.
• Mayor Cutler reported that the Chair of the UIA called a special meeting to discuss starting the process of issuing the remaining authorized UIA bonds for the purpose of continuing construction. The Mayor said he sent a letter stating he thinks they should wait until the Macquarie situation is ended and a new executive director is hired. It has been recommended that the bonds be issued in two traunches. He reported that a vigorous discussion occurred regarding whether assessments should continue to be levied for a couple more months to provide a financial buffer and avoid assessments in the future. Mayor Cutler said he argued that assessments should end if cash flow is positive. He expressed a desire for Centerville to be current with the assessments. The Council discussed UTOPIA’s construction goals moving forward. Mayor Cutler expressed the opinion that Centerville may have been able to influence ending the Macquarie situation sooner if the City were current with assessments. Councilman Higginson stated that Centerville agreed to be a partner, and UTOPIA needs to be whole at some point. He added now that UTOPIA is cash flow positive it should never go back to levying an assessment. Councilman Higginson said he believes a lot of Centerville residents really don’t know about UTOPIA. Mayor Cutler said he would like to have a flier included in the utility bill notifying residents what is available (without advocating any specific service provider).
CITY COUNCIL LIAISON REPORT
Councilwoman Ivie reported that the Landmarks Commission is scheduled to host a social in September, and is eagerly waiting time on the Council agenda to discuss the historic district. She reported on the success of the historic home tour held on June 6th. She also reported that the June community hike scheduled by the Trails Committee was postponed to July 8th.
CITY MANAGER’S REPORT
Mr. Lutz explained the calculation of property tax valuation, and explained his frustration with the values determined by the County. Mayor Cutler suggested he meet with the County Assessor and County Clerk.
Councilman Wright made a motion to approve commencement of the warranty period for The Pasture commercial project, effective July 7, 2015. Councilwoman Ivie seconded the motion, which passed by unanimous vote (5-0).
At 11:08 p.m. Councilman Wight made a motion to move to a meeting of the Redevelopment Agency of Centerville. Councilman Higginson seconded the motion, which passed by unanimous vote (4-0). In attendance were: Paul A. Cutler, Chair; John T. Higginson, Vice Chair; Directors Averett, Fillmore, Ivie, and Wright; Blaine Lutz, Finance Director; Lisa Romney, City Attorney; Jacob Smith, Management Assistant; and Katie Rust, Recording Secretary.
The Council returned to regular meeting at 11:11 p.m.
At 11:13 p.m. Councilman Wright made a motion to move to a closed meeting to discuss the character and competency of an individual. Councilman Higginson seconded the motion, which passed by unanimous vote (5-0). In attendance were: Paul A. Cutler, Mayor; and Council members Averett, Fillmore, Higginson, Ivie, and Wright.
When the Council returned to regular meeting Councilman Wright made a motion to authorize a “meets expectations” salary increase of 2% for the City Manager. Councilwoman Fillmore seconded the motion, which passed by unanimous vote (5-0). Councilman Wright also expressed a desire to further show appreciation to the City Manager with a gift card, and the rest of the Council indicated agreement. The Mayor will meet with the City Manager to pass on the comments of the Council.
At approximately 11:45 p.m. Councilman Wright made a motion to adjourn. The motion was seconded by Councilman Higginson and passed by unanimous vote (5-0).
Marsha L. Morrow, City Recorder Date Approved
Katie Rust, Recording Secretary
July 7, 2015 Work Session
Minutes of the Centerville City Council work session held Tuesday, July 7, 2015 at 5:30 p.m. at the City Hall Council Chambers, 250 North Main Street, Centerville, Utah.
Mayor Paul A. Cutler
Council Members Ken S. Averett
John T. Higginson
STAFF PRESENT Blaine Lutz, Finance Director/Assistant City Manager
Lisa Romney, City Attorney
Katie Rust, Recording Secretary
STAFF ABSENT Steve Thacker, City Manager
VISITORS Jeff Bassett, South Davis Metro Fire Chief
Dave Powers, Deputy Fire Chief
Karl Hendrickson, Fire Agency Attorney
Gary Hill, Bountiful City Manager
WORK SESSION – SOUTH DAVIS METRO FIRE AGENCY
Councilman Averett disclosed that his youngest son is a part-time fire fighter for the South Davis Metro Fire Agency. Chief Bassett briefly explained the history of the South Davis Metro Fire Agency, and stated that the intention from the beginning had been to eventually become a district. The current movement toward creating a district at this time is driven by a need to meet existing debt, and begin specific capital projects. The Centerville Station needs a remodel/rebuild, and the Mueller Park and Foxboro Stations have issues that need to be addressed. Councilman Averett commented that one of the City Council candidates has claimed that the Fire Agency is planning to leave Main Street in Centerville, and asked Chief Bassett to respond. Chief Bassett stated that the Agency has looked, but not found a better location. They are working with architects to find a solution at the present location. Karl Hendrickson, Fire Agency Attorney, added that it is very difficult for an interlocal entity to sell bonds in the market. The Agency would not be able to finance the needed capital.
Councilman Wright expressed concern that voters would no longer have any control over the taxes with a special district. He stated it is his understanding that a referendum is not possible at the district level, and asked Mr. Hendrickson if any mechanism for citizen control would be put in place. Mr. Hendrickson explained that the Board of Trustees is required to be made up of elected officials. The District would need to follow the Truth-in-Taxation process just like cities. Each city council chooses which official represents them on the Board. Mr. Hendrickson added that he suspects the Supreme Court would probably allow a referendum in a special district in matters of a tax increase, although the matter has not been fully addressed. Percentages required for a referendum would apply across the entire district rather than just a municipality.
Councilman Higginson asked how the Agency would raise capital if a district is not created. Chief Bassett responded that many options have been researched, and the only option available would be to assess the cities. He added that not every city in the Agency could afford the necessary assessments. Gary Hill, Bountiful City Manager, stated that the Bountiful City Council’s greatest concern regarding a taxing district has been ensuring that there be more financial oversight and accountability. With the inclusion of a Budget Oversight Committee, made up of city managers, the Bountiful Council agreed with the creation of a district. Chief Bassett would present his proposed annual budget to the Budget Oversight Committee, and the Committee Chair, as Budget Officer, would present the budget to the Board. If the Fire Chief and the Oversight Committee were ever to strongly disagree over a budget issue, the Chief would have an opportunity to present his point of view to the Board. Mr. Hill stated that the Bountiful City Council is reluctant to limit property tax to capital use in the resolution, suspecting that the limitation would be regretted down the road. He said the Bountiful Council feels that between the Budget Oversight Committee and the Fire Board there would be enough accountability. Chief Bassett added that he already meets with the city managers regarding the budget, but the proposed process would be a little more formal and begin earlier. The budget year would change from a calendar year to a fiscal year to be more in line with the cities.
Councilman Wright stated he is sensitive to giving appointed officials any more authority than they already have. He compared the situation to UTOPIA, and suggested the Budget Oversight Committee could provide recommendation without statutory authority. He recognized that fire services need to be funded, but since the money will come from the people either way, he feels it should remain as an assessment to the cities, with the cities increasing taxes if necessary.
Mayor Cutler pointed out that the proposed resolution does not specify assessment values for levying city assessments, and asked if the values would be clearly stated in the bylaws. Mr. Hendrickson said he anticipates that the new interlocal agreement and bylaws would specify the assessment values. The Mayor asked for clarification regarding the protest period for creation of a district. Mr. Hendrickson stated that protest by 25% or more of the registered voters would stop the action, and added that he suspects the protest level would apply individually by city. Mr. Hendrickson and Ms. Romney were in agreement that the second Resolution, not the first, could be subject to referendum. Councilman Wright pointed out that this process will be simultaneous with the City’s Council election period, and expressed concern about citizen information overload. The new district would begin to collect taxes in November of 2016. Any subsequent tax increase would require a Truth-in-Taxation process. Mayor Cutler and Mr. Hill explained that the cities can currently choose to pay the Fire Agency assessment from any city revenue source. To protect the property tax revenue source for the cities, the initial property tax amount levied by the district would take into account that the cities will have to proportionately reduce their property tax revenue.
Mr. Hendrickson read aloud from the current Interlocal Agreement that failure to pay any assessment within 90 days may be grounds for expulsion. It was pointed out that the Centerville Station building belongs to the Fire Agency, and the land belongs to the City. Councilman Higginson asked if the end result would be the same if the Board chose to remain an Agency and the cities were assessed the amount needed for capital projects. Mr. Hill responded that the situation would be worse as an Agency, because the Agency would not be able to spread the finances over time by bonding. All construction would have to be put off longer than would be feasible. The current Interlocal is a difficult tool for what needs to be accomplished because bonds cannot be issued, and not all of the cities would be able to contribute what is needed. Councilman Wright said he would like to see another course of action for comparison. Chief Bassett responded that they have looked at numerous other funding mechanisms, and none are feasible. Mayor Cutler added that the other cities have evaluated various courses of action and would like to move forward with a district. Bountiful was the only other city to hold out, and is now willing to move forward with the addition of the Oversight Committee.
Councilwoman Fillmore asked Chief Bassett how much the proposed process would be an additional drain operationally on his time and resources. Chief Bassett responded that it would be similar to what he does now. He expressed a desire to make sure South Davis can afford needed improvements as all of the cities continue to grow. Chief Bassett stated that evaluating and meeting needs is a priority for him. Mayor Cutler commended the Chief for his willingness to change from traditional methods to meet the needs of the cities. Councilman Wright clarified that his hesitation in approving a district is related to removing the rights of citizens. Chief Bassett asked if the citizens that would oppose creation of a district truly understand the situation and the needs of the firefighters. Councilman Averett agreed that everyone needs a better understanding of what the Agency has been up against for the last several years. Councilman Averett repeated that he feels citizens deserve better emergency services than have been possible in the past, and acknowledged that paramedic services cost money. Councilman Wright agreed that a presentation should be made to the citizens. Councilwoman Ivie expressed appreciation for what Chief Bassett has accomplished, but stated that in a transition of leadership she would not have assurance that the processes and same level of integrity would be continued. She expressed concern with the reduced ability of the citizens to say “no”. Chief Bassett agreed that a succession plan is important, and he likes to think he has passed his vision on to his Assistant Chiefs. Councilman Wright added that the ability of the City to leave the district should be articulated to the citizens. It was also discussed that the advantages of a district versus the Agency should be presented to the citizens. Councilman Wright asked what advantage is gained by having an appointed official serve as Budget Officer versus a member of the Fire Board. Mr. Hill responded that the point is to put a check on the ability of the Chief to set the budget.
Regarding the 1250 West Parrish Lane intersection, Mayor Cutler reported that UDOT will require the City to pay for the addition of an Opticom system as a betterment. Chief Bassett stressed the value of an Opticom system in ensuring the safety of civilian drivers and Fire Agency staff. Chief Bassett offered to obtain an independent bid from an approved contractor. Councilman Wright expressed a desire to look at including an Opticom system in all of the intersections on Parrish Lane. Councilman Wright repeated his recommendation that the City or the Fire Agency invest in a drone.
Mayor Cutler adjourned the work session at 6:55 p.m.
Marsha L. Morrow, City Recorder Date Approved
Katie Rust, Recording Secretary