June 17, 2015 Joint City Council/Planning Commission meeting

Minutes of the joint meeting of the Centerville City Council and Planning Commission held Tuesday, June 17, 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
Tamilyn Fillmore
Stephanie Ivie
Lawrence Wright

MEMBER ABSENT        John T. Higginson

PLANNING COMMISSION    David Hirschi, Chair
PRESENT                               Gina Hirst
William Ince
Logan Johnson
Scott Kjar

COMMISSIONERS        Kevin Merrill, Vice Chair
    ABSENT                       Cheylynn Hayman

STAFF PRESENT        Steve Thacker, City Manager
Lisa Romney, City Attorney
Cory Snyder, Community Development Director
Katie Rust, Recording Secretary

STAFF ABSENT        Blaine Lutz, Finance Director/Assistant City Manager

VISITORS            Interested citizens (see attached sign-in sheet)


At 7:12 p.m. Mayor Cutler opened a public comment period to receive comments from business and property owners regarding the South Main Street Corridor (SMSC) Plan/Overlay Zone.  Responding to a request from the audience, Mayor Cutler explained that the SMSC Plan was created to provide design standards to improve the commercial viability of Main Street.  The Plan encourages developers to put buildings close to the street with parking lots behind.  Cory Snyder, Community Development Director, read the main goals of the SMSC Plan aloud, and described the separate zones designated within the SMSC.  Mayor Cutler stated that the Council has received feedback centered overwhelmingly on density.  The Plan does not have a maximum density cap, and could, in theory, be exploited to have more density than intended.  David Hirschi, Planning Commission Chair, explained the Planning Commission’s recommendation for a maximum density of four units per acre, with up to eight units per acre on a conditional use permit basis, for residential in a commercial zone.

Ed Schirner – Mr. Schirner owns a home on Porter Lane just east of Main Street.  He said his main concern is potential development of the Walton property.  Mr. Schirner commented that he has seen in Clearfield what happens in schools when high density is allowed.  He stated that location contributes to the success of a business, and he feels that small business would probably not survive on the Walton property.  He suggested that about 15 homes would be appropriate on that block, and added that it would be beautiful if the homes faced Main Street.  Mr. Schirner said building homes and putting a fence around them would be the worst thing that could be done.  He said he moved to Centerville for the small town feel, and he would like to see drawings of a desired street view.  The City needs to plan for 20 years down the road.

Ann Fadel – Ms. Fadel owns a business on Main Street.  She stated she thinks three-story buildings at the sidewalk would be a mistake.  South Main Street is not the commercial heart or gateway of Centerville anymore.  She said she loves having the parking in front of her business, and she feels the setback is customer friendly.  Ms. Fadel commented that the new building on Main Street next to her business is too large and ostentatious, and is not vibrant.  She said she feels vibrant local business includes guardianship, camaraderie, and watchfulness.

Andy Bavelas – Mr. Bavelas said that Main Street is a beautiful place, and he values a small town feeling.  He believes memories play an important part in the lives of people of all ages - more important that shopping.  A small town feeling means security, serenity, peace and beauty.  Mr. Bavelas said that people come to his farm and compliment Centerville.

Gary O’Brien – Mr. O’Brien owns O’Brien Glass Products on 55 East 400 South.  He is monetarily impacted by the discussions and decisions that will be made.  He said he was told by the previous administration that the City wants the SMSC improved.  He purchased the corner lot on Main Street and Porter Lane and has paid commercial property tax for a few years with that assumption.  Mr. O’Brien said he does not know what people want done.  He stated he has acted in good faith based on the stated goals for the Corridor.  He said he feels that it would not be fair or right to build a house on the property after he has paid commercial rates for so many years.

Marv Blosch – Mr. Blosch stated he represents the former Dick’s Market properties on Pages Lane.  He pointed out that the former Dick’s Market building has sat vacant for three or four years, and traffic and shopping trends have moved closer to freeway exits.  Mr. Blosch asked that the City not limit what can be done on Pages Lane in terms of flexibility and providing for the future.  He said he can see potential in a higher-density residential development, and he would hope the City would be sensitive and not make arbitrary restrictions.  He stated that parking behind is good, and mixed-use is good, and he would want to keep the commercial zoning alive.  He said he will continue to try to bring another grocery store to the area, but he does not feel it is very likely.  Mr. Blosch said that four houses per acre would not work financially on that property.  He suggested Riley Court, an independent senior living development in Bountiful, as a positive example of what could be done.  He mentioned that an RDA is probably out of the question on Pages Lane.  The area needs innovative concepts for fresh, new growth to carry it through the next 20 years.  Mr. Blosch emphasized that flexibility in zoning is the key issue.

Jennifer Turnblom – Ms. Turnblom stated it needs to be clarified that the Planning Commission’s recommendation is not for the whole Main Street Corridor.  She has both a residence and a family business on Main Street, and she has been involved with both successful and unsuccessful business on Main Street.  Ms. Turnblom said she was under the impression that new businesses on Main Street would have an appearance similar to Cutler’s Cookies.  She would not want to take commercial away completely, but she would not want the commercial overshadowing everything else.  She said she would love to eventually be able to put some nice houses on her property that would blend with the neighborhood.  She does not think high-density is what is needed on the Walton property.

Michael Randall – Mr. Randall expressed appreciation for the opportunity to speak, and stated that he has a home and a business on the Main Street Corridor.  Mr. Randall said he does not think there was enough public input at the time the SMSC Plan was put together.  The economy was strong at that point, and it may have seemed more appropriate to plan the Corridor the way it was at that time.  He said he is not against development, but the City needs to do things that make sense on Main Street.  Centerville still has a hometown feel.  Mr. Randall expressed sympathy for Mr. O’Brien, but stated that there is risk involved in buying property.  He likes that his customers are able to park at the front of his store.  He said he agrees with lower density, and does not have a problem with changing zoning to allow single-family homes.  Mr. Randall said he enjoys being able to live next door to his business.

Sharman Smoot – Mr. Smoot stated he is involved in management and ownership of three properties in the Parrish Lane/Main Street area.  He suggested it would be valuable to look at what is feasible and what would really happen, and said that some of the properties will continue to be eye sores unless vision is part of the planning process.  He said he has been involved in many projects along the Wasatch front, and he feels it is good to recall what works and what doesn’t work in terms of planning.  There are pockets where commercial will continue to struggle.  He said he does not believe Pages Lane will grow commercially because it is not near the freeway or big box stores.  He would love to see a nice, quality development along Pages Lane, but the City would be dooming the property if it is limited to 4 units per acre.  Mr. Smoot stated that infrastructure concerns can be mitigated, and it would not hurt the City to add a little higher density.  He said he does not think 25 units per acre is very high density because those numbers are necessary for really quality projects.  He also said height restrictions limit the ability to make a development project look better. The Pages Lane area needs flexibility.  Mr. Smoot agreed that buildings close to the street with parking behind adds to a nice feeling.  Some restrictions negatively affect what a project will look like.

Councilman Averett asked for Mr. Smoot’s opinion of the viability of commercial mixed-use on the O’Brien property.  Mr. Smoot said he suspects there is not a lot of demand, and commercial space would frequently be vacant.  He suggested some nice looking, high-end town homes.

Responding to a previous comment, Mayor Cutler clarified that the SMSC Plan allows for different types of mixed-use.

Marv Blosch – Mr. Blosch pointed out that Bountiful did not want apartments along Main Street until it realized that residents are necessary to make commercial viable.  The small businesses will not be viable without residents.

Andy Bavelas – Mr. Bavelas stated the City needs to consider the residents on the south end that will be affected by what is done.  He said it is always a concern that Centerville will feel as though it is separated into a north side and a south side.  The rights of the residents need to be considered.

Mayor Cutler closed the public comment period at 8:25 p.m.  He showed on the City website where minutes and agendas can be found, and stated that recordings can be obtained from the City Recorder.

Councilwoman Fillmore pointed out that the Council has invited public comments regarding the SMSC Plan through June 30th, and stated she would be reluctant to engage in Council and Planning Commission discussion until after the public comment period has ended.  Chair Hirschi agreed, and said he has been pleased with the comments received so far.  He clarified that the Planning Commission recommendation regarding density restrictions applies to the City Center and Traditional areas.  Councilman Wright also agreed with Councilwoman Fillmore, and encouraged citizens to resubmit emails if their emails were originally submitted when the email address was not working correctly.

Commissioner Ince asked for clarification regarding comments made at the June 16th meeting regarding a wall along Main Street on the Walton property.  Mayor Cutler responded that the wall refers to a specific proposal shown by Brighton Homes to residents.  The City has not received an official application for that proposal.  The Mayor explained the TZRO currently in place, and the Council’s desire to expedite the planning process to be able to lift the TZRO as soon as possible.  Councilman Averett expressed a desire for the Council to meet with the Planning Commission for joint discussion and goal setting after the public comment period is over to speed up the process.  Chair Hirschi agreed, and encouraged citizens and members of the Council and Planning Commission to read through the SMSC Plan again to provide a foundation for discussion.


Mayor Cutler adjourned the meeting at 8:44 p.m.

____________________________        __07-07-2015_____
Marsha L. Morrow, City Recorder            Date Approved

Katie Rust, Recording Secretary