March 25, 2015 Joint City Council/Planning Commission Work Session

Minutes of the Centerville City Council/Planning Commission joint work session held Tuesday, March 25, 2015 at 5:10 p.m. in the City Hall Training Room, 250 North Main Street, Centerville, Utah.

MEMBERS PRESENT

Mayor                           Paul A. Cutler (arrived at 5:45 p.m.)

Council Members        Ken S. Averett
Tamilyn Fillmore (arrived at 5:20 p.m.)
John T. Higginson
Stephanie Ivie (arrived at 5:30 p.m.)
Lawrence Wright (arrived at 5:40 p.m.)

PLANNING COMMISSION    David P. Hirschi, Chair
PRESENT                               Gina Hirst
William Ince
Scott Kjar (arrived at 6:00 p.m.)
Kevin Merrill
Debra Randall

COMMISSIONER ABSENT    Logan Johnson

STAFF PRESENT        Steve Thacker, City Manager (arrived at 5:45 p.m.)
Blaine Lutz, Finance Director/Assistant City Manager
Lisa Romney, City Attorney
Cory Snyder, Community Development Director
Katie Rust, Recording Secretary

PRESENTATION REGARDING REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY

Blaine Lutz, Finance Director/Assistant City Manager, briefed members of the Planning Commission and City Council on how the RDA works and can assist in achieving community development goals.  He also outlined obstacles and increased value estimates for redevelopment of the Page Lane business area.

At 5:45 p.m. the group paused for dinner, and resumed discussion at 6:00 p.m. with Mayor Cutler leading the discussion.

DISCUSSION OF COMMUNITY PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT GOALS AND WORK PROGRAM PRIORITIES

Planning Commission Chair Hirschi outlined four projects the Planning Commission feels are top priority.

a.    West Centerville Neighborhood Plan (high priority) – a plan should be developed and adopted to guide the future land use for the area.
b.    Re-development of Pages Lane (old Dick’s Market area) – the Zoning for the area should be assessed to identify opportunities to facilitate more immediate reuse.
c.    Comprehensive City Trails & Pathways Element – ensure that such facilities are developed and implemented in a coordinated manner.
d.    Re-write of the City’s Subdivision Ordinance (a staff recommendation) – the State has made several significant amendments to subdivision law and other changes are needed to bring the regulations up to date, as previously done with portions of the Zoning Ordinance.
Chair Hirschi mentioned two other goals identified by the Planning Commission as lower priority: determine what would be appropriate in the Main Street area, especially in the Old Town district; and consider zoning changes regarding infill development.

Chair Hirschi stressed that he feels the City needs to be aggressive in developing a plan for future land use on the west side.  He said he would hate for the existing residential units on the west side to remain isolated, and suggested a plan should be developed to allow for synergies between what is there now and what will be there 20 years from now.  Cory Snyder, Community Development Director, stated that the recently completed planning process looked at a very specific set of questions centered on public transportation.  He said the City now needs to decide whether to keep the zoning as it is, or look at a new set of questions.  Mr. Snyder said he thinks the complaints regarding traffic voiced during the recent public hearing process are valid.  Councilman Wright expressed the opinion that the City should first look at what could occur in the area with current zoning and determine if change is warranted.  Councilwoman Fillmore said she would not want the City to underestimate the amazing potential of the area, considering the prime location between two freeway/highway exits.  She suggested that a plan could include lower intensity on the south end next to West Bountiful, with something more intense on the north side of Parrish Lane that would be supportive of the Shorelands Commerce Park, and create synergy for the west side in the long run, including the possibility of improved transit options.  The group discussed development demographics and a desired approach moving forward, and seemed to be in agreement that real estate experts and current property owners and other stakeholders should be involved.

Regarding the redevelopment of Pages Lane, Mr. Lutz stated that not a lot can be done if the property owners are not interested.  Chair Hirschi stated that the area as it is has outlived its usefulness, and suggested the City find a way to encourage other types of development.  Mayor Cutler asked which of the remaining two Planning Commission goals is higher priority.  Mr. Snyder responded that addressing the City’s Subdivision Ordinance is the higher priority, and Councilman Wright and Chair Hirschi expressed agreement.  At 6:55 p.m. the Planning Commission, Mr. Snyder, and Ms. Romney left the work session for the regular Planning Commission meeting.

The City Council discussed possible goals suggested by Council members, beginning with goals that received the highest combined priority ranking (see attached compilation of ratings).

•    Continue/complete land use planning process for west side – There was strong support for this. As noted above, the Council generally agreed to create a small working group of City officials who will meet with the real estate professionals, property owners and other stakeholders to discuss development options.
•    Evaluate the cost/benefit to Centerville of expanding Justice Court to service other cities – City Manager Thacker reported that the County Court cannot discontinue court service to cities before 2018, but West Bountiful is still interested in moving its cases to the Centerville Court.  Mr. Thacker stated that staff will develop an analytic framework and involve the West Bountiful City Manager in continued discussions.  It was agreed that the option would only be considered if it meant a net savings to Centerville.
•    Relocate overhead utility poles to underground – Councilman Wright pointed out that downed utility lines prevent access to first responders during an emergency.  Councilwoman Fillmore repeated her desire to have a strategic plan in place.  She pointed out that putting utility poles underground could be included in the South Main Street plan.  Staff will put together a preliminary high-level cost estimate with the help of Rocky Mountain Power.
•    Create a long-term plan for cemetery expansion, either at Island View Park or other location – The Council discussed the limited space available at the Centerville Cemetery, and whether or not the City should find a way to continue providing that service.  Councilman Higginson noted that even if more cemetery land is developed, eventually the City will be at this same point again—i.e., facing the question of whether to develop more land for cemetery use.  He said providing a cemetery is not a necessary function of government. It was agreed that the Council would ask the Parks and Recreation Committee to examine and generate ideas for updating Island View Park, including the possibility of converting a portion for cemetery use.  Councilwoman Ivie commented that the Committee should involve the neighborhood in discussions.
•    Budget for and implement pedestrian safety improvements each year – The Mayor expressed his desire to improve pedestrian safety in some way every year.  It was mentioned that pedestrian safety improvements could be discussed within the context of a Complete Streets Policy.
•    Adopt a Complete Streets Policy – The Council discussed different goals that could all be included in a Complete Streets Policy.  Mr. Thacker stated that staff will schedule time on an upcoming agenda to present a draft.  He added that a Complete Streets Policy is a statement of intent to accommodate and improve use of roadways for all users.
•    Construct bus shelter on north end of Post Office property – Mr. Thacker reported that the City is waiting for UTA to approve the proposed location.
•    Revitalize Pages Lane corridor, including potential creation of RDA project area/Study potential creation of RDA project area for South Main Street corridor – The earlier discussion regarding the Pages Lane corridor was continued. The City Council agreed with the Planning Commission’s recommendation to review the zoning for this area as a way to possibly encourage re-use. The Planning Commission will be asked to do that.  Councilwoman Fillmore suggested looking at the possibility of combining the Pages Lane corridor and South Main Street into one project area.  She said she feels the first major goal of the Complete Streets Plan should be the South Main Street corridor—i.e., prepare a public space plan for this corridor.
•    Develop a plan to make Centerville a debt-free city – Mayor Cutler stated that he is not aware of any city that is or has been debt free.  Councilman Wright said he would like to put a plan in place that could make Centerville debt-free.  Councilwoman Fillmore commented that becoming debt-free sounds like a great principle, but pointed out that bonding can enable improvements to be made and enjoyed sooner, with repayment taking place over the lifetime of the applicable fee or tax (i.e., RAP Tax).  It was also mentioned that, considering inflation, bonding can save money by allowing a project to be completed sooner.

ADJOURNMENT

The City Manager suggested the Council could continue the goal-setting discussion at a future meeting, if they wish.  Mayor Cutler adjourned the work session at 7:55 p.m.

_____________________________        __04-07-2015______
Marsha L. Morrow, City Recorder               Date Approved

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Katie Rust, Recording Secretary