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
November 17, 2015
Minutes of the Centerville City Council meeting held Tuesday, November 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
STAFF PRESENT Steve Thacker, City Manager
STAFF ABSENT Blaine Lutz, Finance Director/Assistant City Manager
VISITORS Chad Wilson, Department of Wildlife Resources
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
PRAYER OR THOUGHT Councilman Wright
Dale McIntyre, Centerville – Mr. McIntyre asked why two agendas (i.e. the agenda and the Summary Memo) are prepared and printed for each Council meeting, and pointed out that the two meeting agendas available to the public do not have the same business items. He expressed concern regarding the number of issues before the Council so closely following the election of a new City Council, and said it leads him to wonder if there is an attempt to push things through before the new Council has a say. He thanked the City Recorder, Marsha Morrow, for her helpfulness to him, and for the work she does behind-the-scenes.
Lee Skabelund, Centerville – Mr. Skabelund referred to the County-owned catchment basin on 100 South, and stated that since the previous Council meeting, he has obtained further information confirming the need for the property to remain a catchment basin. He said he took a survey of property owners in the surrounding streets and found a great deal of support for leaving the property unchanged.
Rick Bingham, Centerville – Mr. Bingham expressed appreciation to Councilmen Averett and Higginson for their service on the City Council, and expressed appreciation to all the candidates who ran in the 2015 election.
PUBLIC HEARING – URBAN DEER CONTROL PLAN AND MUNICIPAL CODE AMENDMENTS
As a result of significant public input about problems relating to deer residing in the city, the City Council in an earlier meeting directed staff to prepare a plan for reducing the number of deer. Bruce Cox, Parks and Recreation Director, gave a brief review of the urban deer situation in Centerville, and explained the Urban Deer Control Plan, which is based on State regulations on this subject and in consultation with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR). Centerville is within the thirty-mile radius of a site where chronic deer wasting disease (CWD) has been identified, making it unacceptable according to the DWR to relocate the deer. The Urban Deer Control Plan anticipates the use of a bolt gun or firearms for the euthanizing of deer in locations and situations approved by the City Police Department. As part of this program, Section 13-03-060 must be amended to allow an exception for the lawful use of a firearm within the City in connection with authorized and approved activities under the Urban Deer Control Program. Centerville residents interested in helping implement the plan can contact the Police Department.
DWR representative Chad Wilson explained how the trap and euthanizing process would work. He responded to a question from Councilman Wright stating that a teenager probably could get caught in one of the traps, but they should be able to get themselves out. Police Chief Child explained that the option to use frangible rounds by shotgun was added to the Plan in the interest of safety. Mr. Wilson stated the goal is to trap as early as possible before mountain deer are pushed down by snow. Bucks cannot be trapped after November 1st. Mr. Wilson said there is no way to tell the difference for sure between urban deer and mountain deer, but there are some clues, such as the sharpness of the hooves. The timeframe – August 1st to December 31st – is the best control. Mr. Wilson stated the City would probably have a high success rate even starting in December. The deer are easier to catch when temperatures reach below freezing. Mayor Cutler asked if there is a way to minimize the suffering of the deer. Mr. Wilson responded that a shot to the head should be pretty quick. Councilman Wright said he feels the Plan has been well thought through, and reflects a desire to not cause the animals any suffering. Mayor Cutler added that the hunters interested in participating who have contacted him have expressed a desire to keep the venison.
Mr. Wilson explained that the DWR does not have the man power to deal with deer problems in all cities. The pilot deer control program was implemented with the hope of helping cities take care of the problem on their own. Councilman Wright asked Mr. Wilson if he would recommend the city follow up with something that might sterilize some of the deer to minimize population. Mr. Wilson responded that success rates of sterilization have not been favorable. Ongoing maintenance will be necessary to maintain the desired level. Councilwoman Fillmore commented that Centerville has always had deer, but the population has grown exponentially in recent years. She asked what would happen if the city did nothing. Mr. Wilson responded that predictions are difficult, but it is known that deer like to return to where they were born to give birth, continuing and increasing the population. The focus would be on trapping female deer for that reason. Councilwoman Ivie said she knows there is concern regarding whether it is humane to kill the deer, and asked Mr. Wilson for feedback regarding the success of Bountiful’s relocation attempts as a contrast. Mr. Wilson responded that Bountiful released 99 deer, 48 of which were marked with a transmitter, in Duchesne County (Big Wash). As of October 19th, 21 of the marked deer were dead. Bountiful also released 94 deer in Raft Rivers. As of the same date, 21 of the 52 marked with transmitters were dead.
At 7:30 p.m. Mayor Cutler opened a public hearing.
Drew Johnston, Centerville – Mr. Johnston stated that Centerville is a natural habitat for deer, and to try to kill all the deer would be a losing battle. He said there is no way to know if the deer are resident or mountain deer, and pointed out that deer coexist in urban environments all the time without problems. The loss of a bush or a garden is a small price to pay for the charm of having the deer. Citizens can choose to plant vegetation that does not attract deer. Mr. Johnston said he can only see two possible reasons that people would have a problem with urban deer: loss of gardens and traffic safety. He said he has not heard anything about traffic safety. Mr. Johnston stated he feels it is disingenuous to call it an Urban Deer Control Plan. He said he believes more people would say no if they understood it means killing deer.
Winslow Young, Centerville – Mr. Young said deer are in his yard 24 hours a day, and his family loves them and finds them delightful. He acknowledged that there are some plants he cannot grow, but he has a fence around his large garden that keeps the deer out. Mr. Young expressed concern about the plan to euthanize, and asked what happens to the body of the deer. He said he cannot imagine anything more traumatic for a child than seeing a deer euthanized. He asked if the deer will only be shot inside the traps, and if the city will accept liability for any damage caused if they are shot outside the traps. He said he is happy in the knowledge that the deer will not continue to grow exponentially in population, and said his vote would be to leave them alone.
Christy Best, Centerville – Ms. Best stated that when she left home to come to the meeting there were seven deer in her yard. The deer destroy her grass, as well as other plants, and she is appalled by the leavings in her yard. She described safety hazards she has observed involving deer, and said she knows the resident deer by sight because they are her neighbors. Ms. Best said she is sad that the only option available is to kill the deer because she has a relationship with them, but the deer population is a danger and a health issue.
Dianne Whitten, Centerville – Ms. Whitten said she does not want to see the deer killed or removed from Centerville. Her big concern is that the Council is basing whether or not to have deer removed from Centerville on the opinions of the people who responded to the survey. She said most people who are happy do not contact the city. If 98.6% of the people who responded to the survey complained, then 58 people out of the entire city complained, and she does not feel it is right to base what is done on those complaints. Ms. Whitten stated if the Council really wants to know what the citizens want, they need to conduct an official survey. She said she loves the deer, and would hate to see Centerville become a city rather than a community.
Dale McIntyre, Centerville – Mr. McIntyre said that if he has heard the comments correctly, he can rid the deer from his yard by no longer growing tomatoes, squash, and berries, all of which he keeps because he is a bee keeper. He said he does not agree that those who responded to the survey with complaints are the only ones in the city who want to get rid of the deer, and compared the idea to eliminating the police force because only a small portion of the community are victims of crime. Mr. McIntyre insisted that the 64 people who responded to the survey are not the only citizens who do not want the deer in their yards.
Aaron Albiston, Centerville – Mr. Albiston said he is a hunter sportsman and a long-time resident of Centerville. He sacrificed his own time and resources to help transplant deer out of Bountiful in the last two years, and feels it has been a success. He said Utah is trying to grow deer, not get rid of them. Centerville is a migratory zone for deer. Mr. Albiston asked that the city not trap deer when the mountain deer are coming down from the high country. He expressed the opinion that deer are not a problem. The deer will go where they can find water and food. Coyotes and mountain lions are driving them away from the mountains. He asked the Council to please not transport or kill the deer, and said they are what make Centerville Centerville. He agreed that chronic wasting disease is a problem, but pointed out that deer are migratory and can easily cross over the city boundary into Bountiful, where transplanting is allowed. Mr. Albiston said he spoke today with the DWR biologist in charge of the Bountiful transplants, who said there is a possibility the disease was a one-shot situation. A study is being done to see if any other moose, elk, or deer in the region were affected. Depending on the study results, the 30-mile limit may be lifted, making transplanting a possibility in Centerville. He said that hunting is a driving factor for the Utah economy. He said he believes the “resident deer” migrate up and down the Wasatch Front day in and day out. To eliminate them would be to kill our own economy.
Sandy Winn, Centerville – Ms. Winn said she is a long-time resident of Centerville. In the last five years deer have become a big problem. In the past she has had big, beautiful gardens and fruit trees and could grow everything she needed, but in the last three-four years all of her plants have been eaten by deer. Even the deer-resistant plants get eaten. She said she has done everything she could find to try to prevent the problem, but nothing has worked. Ms. Winn stated she knows they are urbanized deer – she knows and recognizes them. They are not deer coming down from the mountains. The deer are comfortable and aren’t going away. As a resident of Centerville, she feels she lives in a city where she should be able to grow a garden and her children should be able to play outside, not on a ranch where deer should be allowed to roam free.
Neil Lish, Centerville – Mr. Lish said he is a long-time resident of Centerville. He commented that a spray is available that keeps deer away. He said he is more in favor of leaving the deer alone.
Gayle Christensen, Centerville – Mr. Christensen said he has lived in Centerville for 60 years and planted a garden each year. This year he planted 100 tomato plants, but returned from a vacation in June to find that all of the plants had been eaten down to two inches above the ground. He said this is the first time he has had a problem with deer. Mr. Christensen said he is not the only one – the deer seem to make a trek around his neighborhood. The deer have jumped over his seven-foot fence, and he said he does not know what the solution is.
Robert Hollist, Centerville – Mr. Hollist said he put chicken wire around his tomato plants this year, and everything inside the wire was protected. He asked what he would have to do to be able to trap the deer on his property if the Council does not pass the Urban Deer Control Plan, and was answered that trapping must be implemented by the city. He suggested the Council raise the residential fence limit from 6-feet to 8-feet.
Perry Trujillo, Centerville – Mr. Trujillo said he is an avid sportsman and was heavily involved with the Bountiful deer transplant last year. Referring to Mr. Wilson’s report regarding the Bountiful deer transplant, he clarified that the survival rate was roughly 60%. He said he has not seen as many deer in the south end of the City where he lives this year as he has in the last few years, and asked if the problem is mostly in the north end. Mayor Cutler drew his attention to a map of the City showing the locations of the resident deer herds. Mr. Trujillo stated that mature deer are seldom caught in the traps. The sportsmen will be killing does and fawns, and he said he thinks it will be difficult to find people willing to do that in front of residents. He said when they were trapping in Bountiful the residents would protest the trapping of small deer, insisting they should trap larger deer, and he predicted that Centerville would experience even greater backlash by killing the deer. He stated that summer is the best time to kill resident deer.
Rick Bingham, Centerville – Mr. Bingham said he loves the deer, and suggested the city is overreacting to a small number of complaints. He asked if there is any other solution. Mr. Bingham commented that several people have confessed during the public hearing that they have violated City statute in attracting deer to their property. He said he is a long-time resident, and there have always been deer in Centerville. He suggested an archery predation hunt to reduce the population, but said the Urban Deer Control Plan feels like an overreaction and an unjustified cost to the City and the State. Mr. Bingham said he is in favor of leaving the deer alone and finding another solution.
Doug Hancey, Centerville – Mr. Hancey stated he feels he has a right to make a living raising vegetables. He pointed out that deer are nocturnal. The deer population has increased, and he encouraged the Council to do something. He stated he represents the people who are tired of trying to keep the deer out of their yards.
Blaine Roskelley, Centerville – Mr. Roskelley stated he has a neutral position regarding the deer. He said he grew up in the Vietnam era when politicians were saying the Vietnam War was inhumane. He asked how any war is humane. He asked how euthanasia is humane.
Rhett Wilkinson – Mr. Wilkinson stated he agrees that approving the Urban Deer Control Plan right away seems hasty. He looked at the map, and stated it appears that a majority of the City does not have a deer problem. He asked about the need to change a section of the City Code to implement the Plan.
Lee Skabelund, Centerville – Mr. Skabelund said he lived in many rural areas surrounded by wildlife during his career with the Forest Service. By observation he can tell that Centerville now has more deer per acre than those rural areas ever had. He agreed that it is not a problem to those living outside the areas of concentration, and suggested the problem could be approached by zone. Mr. Skabelund described control measures he has tried, and said it is unrealistic to say the city will get rid of all the deer. He suggested a height of 10-feet is necessary for a deer fence. Properties on the east side will always have deer. The deer used to come in town and leave, but he can now tell the difference between resident deer and mountain deer. He expressed the opinion that all herds need to be managed. There is not one single solution, but the goal is to mitigate damage to a reasonable degree. The deer are a traffic safety hazard. Mr. Skabelund stated he is in favor of the use of bolt guns for mitigating the problem, and suggested the city get back to fact and objectivity.
Bill Rigby, Centerville – Mr. Rigby said he tries to farm, but deer are a problem. Something needs to be done to at least thin the herd. The deer are born in the city and stay in the city. He said he would appreciate any help given by the City.
David Youngberg, Centerville – Mr. Youngberg said he has wondered about the survey. He expressed interest in the comment regarding the DWR biologist and the new study, and asked when the study will be finalized to a point that Centerville would know if the deer can be relocated.
Marion Jenson, Centerville – Speaking to the economic impact, Ms. Jenson said she harvested far fewer apples this year because of the deer.
Bill Lawson, Centerville – Mr. Lawson said he visited with Assistant City Manager Blaine Lutz about the deer problem about three years ago. He said he respects wildlife, but the deer problem has become beyond manageable. The deer live year-round in his neighborhood and eat everything. He was told he was the only one to complain three years ago. In three years the problem has snowballed to the point that a lot of citizens are complaining. Mr. Lawson said he has tried everything to reduce the problem with no long-term effects, and is in favor of relieving the problem and eliminating the damage that is being done.
Kyle Green, Centerville – Mr. Green said he thinks if the deer were migrating a lot, the map would reflect clear paths of movement, but it does not. The map shows clusters. People do not like rats or mice in their yards and set traps all the time. It is the natural order of things. He said his family planted 500 tomato plants this year, but did not get enough produce to bottle because of the deer. More than 20 deer are in his orchard at night. Mr. Green stated it is a localized problem. He likes the deer, but the resident deer have become a problem. The Plan would focus on eliminating small pockets of deer, not removing all deer from the city. He added that he saw three deer on his way to the meeting, and listed streets in the city where deer can always be found.
Joshua Rechis, Centerville – Mr. Rechis said the deer are not a problem for his family.
Rhett Wilkinson – Mr. Wilkinson added to his earlier comments stating he is torn on the matter, and asked if there are ways to scare the deer off that the City could invest in.
Alan Winn, Centerville – Mr. Winn asked if being born in the city is what makes a deer urban. Several deer are born in his neighbor’s backyard every year. He said he feels he has a right to grow a garden, but he can’t because the deer keep taking it out. He has tried many different methods to solve the problem. Mr. Winn stated that if people want to see deer they can go to the mountains or to a zoo, but he only has one yard, and would like to be able to plant trees and have a garden.
Bryan Flandro, Centerville – Mr. Flandro said he is not concerned about the trapping of deer, but more the fact that the City seems to be in a rush to do it this year. At this point in the year the City would run the risk of trapping deer who have wandered into town because of the weather. He suggested the City find a way to scare the deer away in the short-term until the results of the DWR study are available, and start a control program next year.
Luanne Bowler, Centerville – Ms. Bowler said there are deer in her yard all the time. She lost half of her peach harvest, and the deer are constantly taking her tomatoes. She said she knows the migration path from the tracks the deer leave. Many deer have been hit by vehicles in front of her house, which is traumatic for children to see. Ms. Bowler said it is scary to go out at night in the winter because there are so many deer moving east and west.
Dale McIntyre, Centerville – Mr. McIntyre added to his previous comments stating that Utah holds annual deer hunts to manage the herd for the benefit of the herd. He suggested the City let hunters cull out the urban herd where it needs to be culled out to reduce the problem.
Mayor Cutler closed the public hearing at 8:33 p.m.
City staff and Mr. Wilson responded to questions asked during the public hearing. Chief Child explained that the Plan is designed to be selective as to location of traps, responding to property owner requests and utilizing open areas such as the debris basin on 100 South 700 East. Property owners would need to sign a waiver, and Chief Child would study the area and determine whether trapping and disposal can happen. Mr. Wilson added that the Plan requires everything to be cleaned off the site by the volunteers participating. The deer would be shot in the traps. Regarding the maturity of the deer, Mr. Wilson stated the primary targets would be does and fawns. Councilman Wright asked Mr. Wilson if he recommends including the possibility of relocating the deer in the Plan, considering the possibility that the 30-mile radius will be lifted. Mr. Wilson responded that the 30-mile radius includes all of Centerville and part of Bountiful. He has not heard anything about the 30-mile radius being lifted. The DWR is sampling CWD on all harvests. If the sample size is reached and all results are negative, maybe the radius could be lifted. The hope is to complete the sampling this year, and have results by spring. The DWR does not provide manpower for relocation efforts. The cost of transporting falls on either the volunteers or the City. Cost estimates for relocation may be available from the DWR next summer.
Councilman Averett asked if the drought has enhanced the deer problem. Mr. Wilson responded affirmatively. Deer populations have grown, and the need for water drives them down to the city and many decide not to leave. It would be unrealistic to try to completely eliminate all deer from the city. Mr. Wilson stated that the earlier in the year the plan is started the better, but it is more difficult to catch deer in a trap when the weather is warm. Centerville could consider archery or other methods in August and September, and maybe October. In the instance of a harsh winter, the DWR would suspend trapping activities. Mr. Wilson responded to a question from Councilman Averett stating that Highland City did a harvest program with archers. They harvested 70 deer in the first year, with ongoing maintenance in subsequent years. Councilman Averett asked if a trapped deer at night would be a disruption or traumatizing for the neighbors. Mr. Wilson responded that the deer tend to bed down for the night and not get upset until daylight. The traps are checked first thing in the morning.
Councilman Wright referred to the comment made during the public hearing regarding predators driving deer down into the city. He asked if having resident deer increases the potential for predators to come into the city and endanger people. Mr. Wilson responded that predators follow prey. He is not aware of a cougar attack occurring in Utah, but small children and animals would be the most likely to be attacked. Mayor Cutler explained that the proposed ordinance change on the agenda would make shooting legal within the city limits when done in conjunction with the Urban Deer Control Program, if the Council chooses to move forward with the Plan. Mr. Wilson responded to the public comments that suggested scaring the deer stating that scare methods seem to work for a short period of time, but the deer always come back. The DWR has not found an effective long-term method of scaring them away.
Mayor Cutler explained that an invitation to comment on the deer issue was included in a utility bill insert, and on the City website and social media. Councilman Wright said he thinks the City has made an effort to engage the public in providing comment, and he does not see a need for an active survey. Councilman Wright added that the Council now needs to listen to the citizens who are engaged in the political process because they are the citizens that care.
Councilman Averett expressed interest in the archery option rather than trapping and euthanizing with firearms. Chief Child responded that he would need to do research and get information from cities that have used the archery option. Councilman Averett asked if it is possible, with the proposed Plan, to ensure that the process is screened from public view. Chief Child responded that Centerville is an urban area, with very little land not surrounded by homes, particularly on the south end. He said he is not sure how to prevent residents from looking out their windows. Councilman Averett said he was thinking more of people driving or walking by in the public right-of-way.
Mayor Cutler asked if the City would need to apply for a new COR if the 30-mile radius was lifted, or the Council wanted to add archery. Mr. Wilson stated that the COR is valid for three years, and only specifies season dates and number of deer. The City could change the Plan if desired. If the DWR places a freeze on trapping activity due to extreme winter weather, the COR would be suspended for the remainder of the season. Councilman Averett expressed frustration that euthanasia is the only option available to the city. He said he would prefer relocating the deer. Councilman Averett emphasized that he feels the program should only be put into practice by request from a property owner. He commented that almost half of the comments during the public hearing were not in favor of the Plan. Staff confirmed that implementation of the Plan involves property owners submitting an application to the Police Department. Responding to the question of who submits an application for the catch basin, Chief Child agreed that the catch basin property is an option because it is not surrounded by homes, but he would be fine if the Council wants to proceed solely on an application basis. Mayor Cutler responded that, for the safety of the community, if a number of residents around the property have requested mitigation, the catch basin would be a safer environment than a backyard. Chief Child added that it would be a safer property for archery as well.
Councilman Wright stressed that the deer situation is not a single-resident problem. He said he feels the Council ought to address the problem, and he would like to see the relocation option added to the Plan because he has a feeling it will be possible when the DWR study is completed. He said he would like the ordinance to be flexible, leaving options open for the next Council. Mr. Wilson responded the Council could include the desire to relocate the deer when authorized by the DWR. Ms. Romney stated it was her understanding the option could not be included because it was not available. Councilwoman Fillmore said she would hesitate to add relocation without more research. Mayor Cutler suggested the Plan include the intention to reconsider the archery and relocation options in 2016, in conjunction with advice from the DWR.
Councilman Higginson arrived in the Council chambers at 9:00 p.m., and said he had been listening in the hall not wanting to interrupt the discussion. Councilwoman Fillmore made a motion to adopt the Urban Deer Control Plan for removal of resident deer within the city, adding the intention to reconsider the archery and relocation options in 2016, in conjunction with advice from the DWR. Councilwoman Ivie seconded the motion, which passed by unanimous vote (5-0).
Ms. Romney explained the proposed amendments to Section 13-03-060 of the Municipal Code. Councilman Wright made a motion to adopt Ordinance No. 2015-28 regarding the discharge of firearms within the city to add an exception for authorized and approved activities under the City’s Urban Deer Control Program. Councilwoman Ivie seconded the motion, which passed by unanimous vote (5-0). Councilwoman Fillmore made a motion directing staff to communicate with Davis County regarding the possibility of using the catch basin property on 100 South as a location to trap resident deer. Councilwoman Ivie seconded the motion, which passed by majority vote (4-1), with Councilman Averett dissenting. Mayor Cutler thanked members of the public who attended and spoke on both sides of the issue.
The Council took a break from 9:07 p.m. to 9:17 p.m.
CREATION OF SOUTH DAVIS METRO FIRE SERVICE AREA – RESOLUTION NO. 2015-17
Mayor Cutler reported that the County and three cities in South Davis County have approved creation of an independent fire district. The Bountiful City Council will address the issue at their next meeting. Councilman Wright made a motion to table discussion of Resolution No. 2015-17 to the next Council meeting to have a chance to review the accompanying documents. Councilwoman Ivie seconded the motion. Mayor Cutler commented that creation of a fire district has been discussed for some time, and will continue to be discussed. City Manager Thacker explained that the intent has been to create a fire service district with the power to levy a property tax to fund capital needs of fire operations and, to the extent necessary, pay debt service that cannot be paid by impact fees. The Resolution is also written to allow for the use of the property tax levy to fund additional staffing if the cities desire. In the initial year, each city will reduce property tax rates by the same amount as the Fire District levy, or 0.00001, for a neutral impact to citizens. In the second year the Fire Board would consider raising the levy to fund capital needs. The action establishing the tax levy would be an action of the Fire District Board in June of 2016, effective in July. Mayor Cutler said the dollar amount of the levy in 2016 for an average home in Centerville will be $1.44. It is anticipated the levy would increase to $12-$13 per home in 2017. The Fire Board has agreed to start with a small levy that only covers capital needs at this time. Fire Chief Bassett stated that the Centerville station and a ladder truck are priorities for the service area. Councilwoman Ivie asked if the Council will have the opportunity to review the Bylaws before they are adopted. Chief Bassett responded the Bylaws will be sent to each Council for review, but will be approved by the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors will remain the same with the creation of a district. Chief Bassett expressed willingness to attend a work session or meet individually with Council members to discuss the Bylaws.
Councilman Wright withdrew his motion to table, and made a motion to approve Resolution No. 2015-17 creating the South Davis Metro Fire Service Area. Councilwoman Ivie seconded the motion. Councilman Averett disclosed that his son is a firefighter with the South Davis Metro Fire Agency. The motion passed by unanimous vote (5-0). Chief Bassett expressed confidence that Bountiful City will approve the resolution, thanked the Council for their support, and acknowledged the work that has been done by Mayor Cutler, City Manager Thacker, and City Attorney Romney.
RAP TAX – REAUTHORIZATION AND MUNICIPAL CODE AMENDMENTS – ORDINANCE NO. 2015-29
On November 3, 2015, a majority of the City’s registered voters voted in favor of reauthorizing the RAP Tax. Based on such election results, the City Council may impose the RAP Tax by a majority vote of its members and shall by ordinance provide for the distribution of the revenues collected from the RAP Tax. Ordinance No. 2015-29 has been prepared for this purpose, and includes a broad definition of what the funds may be used for, in accordance with State law, with the intent that future city councils will decide the specific projects or purposes for which the funds will be used. The current Council has expressed the intent that most of the funds will be used for the repair, replacement and construction of park facilities. Councilman Wright asked about the use of RAP Tax funds for the Whitaker Museum. Ms. Romney explained the distinction between recreational facilities and cultural facilities set by the State, and their eligibility for RAP Tax funding. She said it is her interpretation that RAP Tax funds could be used for the Museum facility, but not ongoing operations, and expressed willingness to look into the legal issues further. Councilman Wright agreed that it would be helpful for Ms. Romney to do further research.
Councilman Higginson made a motion to adopt Ordinance No. 2015-29 reauthorizing a one-tenth of one percent (0.10%) local sales and use tax on taxable transactions within the city to fund recreation, arts and parks (RAP Tax) and enacting Title 5, Chapter 11 of the Centerville Municipal Code providing for the imposition, collection and distribution of the RAP Tax. Councilman Averett seconded the motion, which passed by majority vote (4-1), with Councilman Wright dissenting.
MINUTES REVIEW AND ACCEPTANCE
The minutes of the October 29, 2015 work session, and the November 4, 2015 work session and regular Council meeting were reviewed. Mayor Cutler and Councilwoman Fillmore requested changes to the October 29 work session minutes. Councilman Wright made a motion to table the minutes of the October 29th work session and direct staff to identify which Council members made individual comments. The motion was seconded by Councilwoman Ivie and passed by unanimous vote (5-0). Councilman Wright made a motion to approve the minutes of the November 4, 2015 work session, which was seconded by Councilwoman Ivie and passed by unanimous vote (5-0). Mr. Thacker and Council members Ivie and Fillmore requested changes to the November 4 Council meeting minutes. Councilwoman Fillmore made a motion to approve the November 4, 2015 Council meeting minutes as amended. Councilwoman Ivie seconded the motion, which passed by unanimous vote (5-0).
SOUTH MAIN STREET CORRIDOR (SMSC) OVERLAY ZONE – RECONSIDERATION OF ORDINANCE NO. 2015-25
On November 4, 2015, the City Council approved Ordinance No. 2015-25 by a 3-2 vote amending various sections of the SMSC Overlay Zone. As part of the action to approve Ordinance No. 2015-25, the Council directed staff to bring back visuals and new proposed text amendments for the Public Space Plan portion of the SMSC Overlay Zone to address UDOT requirements within the lateral offset and clear zones for Main Street and to address input from the City Council. In order to make the additional amendments to the SMSC Overlay Zone, staff recommends the City Council reconsider its previous action regarding Ordinance No. 2015-25. Councilwoman Fillmore made a motion to reconsider the Public Space Plan portion (Section 5) of Ordinance No. 2015-25. Councilman Averett seconded the motion, which passed by unanimous vote (5-0). Councilman Wright said he feels, with the approval of the election canvass, that the Council should honor the will of the people and allow the new Council to deal with the issue. Councilman Higginson responded he does not believe it is the will of the people that the current Council not do any more work. Councilwoman Fillmore agreed that the new Council will be fully capable of revisiting any portion of the Plan they wish, but it is the City’s responsibility to put the most complete Public Space Plan possible in place for protection. It was one of this Council’s goals for 2015 to put the Public Space Plan in place. Councilman Wright said he has a feeling there is another agenda in pushing this forward. Councilwoman Fillmore said there is no ulterior motive, and she does not know when any specific application will be submitted. Mayor Cutler commented that the Council hired a landscape architect and directed staff to come back with answers. He expressed a desire to listen to the prepared presentation. Councilman Averett stated that he was elected for a four year term, not for 3 years and 10 months, and said he is going to continue doing the people’s work until the end of the year.
Cory Snyder, Community Development Director, explained that the Public Space Plan included in the staff report provides a framework without specific design details. City specifications have not been set. Mr. Snyder stated the proposal prepared by the landscape architect, Dan Sonntag, includes the potential for a lot of hard surfacing, which would probably double the usable space for parade watching – an aspect discussed by the Council at the November 4th meeting. Mr. Snyder said the prepared ordinance differs from Mr. Sonntag’s proposal by including the possibility of lawn in addition to hard scape in the park strips outside of the AB pattern for more flexibility.
Mr. Sonntag briefly reviewed the presentation he gave to the Council at the November 4, 2015 work session, and presented a Pedestrian Plan with a repeating AB pattern to enhance the Corridor as it redevelops. Councilwoman Ivie asked if the pavers proposed for the B pattern meet the current park strip ordinance requirements. Mr. Snyder responded that removable pavers would be debatable. He said he suspects the Public Works Director would consider the labor cost of replacing pavers to be greater than the cost of replacing gravel or lawn. Councilwoman Ivie pointed out that the Public Works argument in favor of pervious materials in the park strip has to do with preventing run-off into the street. Councilwoman Fillmore commented that the AB pattern would provide a lot of permeable ground. Mr. Sonntag added that a lot of material options are available.
Councilwoman Fillmore commented that the “C” section is in line with comments from the Council regarding allowing flexibility for building owners. Mr. Snyder stated that the current Plan is symmetrical, with four-foot park strips, and encourages landscaping around utility poles. The front setback is a flexible performance standard. The proposed Plan does not necessarily meet all UDOT standards. Mr. Snyder stated the proposed Plan would be a test of what UDOT will allow. He said he still thinks the Main Street Plan was a long-shot in its original form. Some of the form has been changed, and it is unclear how things will play out. He said the long-term viability of either Plan is unclear. Councilwoman Fillmore said it is better to have a higher level of protection in place that can be changed if needed, than to regret a lighter level of protection down the road. Mayor Cutler stated that, although the proposed Plan is beautiful and nicely done, he feels it is quite intensive and would be a fairly significant burden in terms of cost. Councilwoman Fillmore responded that, in her opinion, it is not out of the ordinary to design a downtown core neighborhood that defines the city and its quality. She suggested moving forward with the proposed Plan, with specifications to be worked out later.
Mr. Snyder stated that the proposed Ordinance is written to specifically apply to the Traditional and City Center Districts. Councilwoman Fillmore said she feels it would be safer to put the Plan in place for the entire Corridor and state exemptions for other districts. She said the big remaining question is whether the Council prefers to specify colored concrete and pavers, or simply specify a texture difference. Councilwoman Fillmore made a motion to replace the Public Space Plan section of Ordinance No. 2015-25 with the Plan presented in the staff report, including visuals provided by the landscape architect, with the change that the Plan applies to the entire corridor minus the Residential and Civic Districts. Councilman Averett seconded the motion. Mayor Cutler said he is in favor of having requirements and beautifying the area, but would prefer to allow more flexibility in the space between the back of sidewalk and the buildings. Councilwoman Ivie said she is not sure she likes the AB pattern, considering the Council is already looking at exceptions. She said she would prefer green space in the park strips. Councilman Wright stated that beautification is a good thing, but questioned whether it is the Council’s purpose to get into the details. Councilwoman Fillmore agreed, but stated the alternative is to leave a plan in place that is too sparse and would leave the Corridor vulnerable. Councilman Wright said the proposed Plan does not make sense as a parade route. Councilwoman Fillmore responded that the two Districts are a small portion of the parade route, and added that the vertical plant height could be restricted. Staff discussed how setbacks are measured. The motion passed by majority vote (3-2), with Council members Averett, Fillmore and Higginson in favor, and Council members Ivie and Wright against.
REVIEW AND DISCUSS POSSIBLE REZONE OF PROPERTY NEAR MAIN STREET FROM R-M TO R-L
At the November 4, 2015 Council meeting staff was directed to place discussion of the potential rezone of various properties near Main Street from R-M to R-L on the November 17th agenda. City Manager Thacker summarized rezoning actions affecting the Centerville Elementary area prior to 2003 up to December 2, 2003. A copy of his summary is attached. Staff stated the zoning map that has been on the City website is inaccurate. An accurate zoning map was presented. Councilwoman Fillmore asked if the Council wants to consider rezoning the various properties near Main Street from R-M to R-L, considering six months was just spent trying to limit density along Main Street in response to citizen concern. She said it seems reasonable considering public comments regarding the impact of density on nearby R-L neighborhoods. Councilman Averett said it is hard to understand why the areas would have anything other than single-family homes, and the zoning needs to be changed to be consistent. Councilman Averett made a motion directing staff to start the process to rezone the R-M properties near 100 East and 100 North, and on Parrish Lane between 100 East and 400 East, to R-L. Councilwoman Fillmore seconded the motion. Responding to a question from Councilman Wright, Mr. Snyder stated that property values for taxation purposes are set by the County. Appraisals are not done on potential future development. Councilman Wright pointed out that the Council would be considering taking away potential property value. Mr. Snyder clarified that zoning only guarantees what is in place today; it does not guarantee speculative value. Although a property may have potential value, that value is only applicable at the time development right is secured. Based on a Conservation of Uses provision included in the Zoning ordinance approved in December 2003, ten property owners (with two units already on their lots) exercised the right to register their properties and preserve the right to have two units within the R-L Zone.
Councilwoman Ivie pointed out that the areas of R-M in question border areas of higher intensity, and asked Mr. Snyder about buffering between public space and R-L. Mr. Snyder responded that a buffering requirement is only specified for the City’s northwest quadrant. However, it is a general planning principle that it is undesirable to have a high-intensity zone neighboring a low-intensity zone. Referring to Main Street, Mr. Snyder stated that traditional buffering for C-M is R-H, with R-M and R-L following in incremental steps down. The east side of Main Street goes directly from C-M to R-L. He said R-M could be considered an appropriate buffer between the civic buildings and the R-L. Councilman Higginson asked, and Mr. Snyder responded, that the R-M properties could potentially have eight units per acre. Councilman Higginson stated he heard from the citizens that residents in the area do not want that density. He said he is not vindictive, but it seems hypocritical to him that some of the citizens most vocally against density are not willing to address density on these properties as well. Councilwoman Fillmore said she heard a lot of input regarding land-use planning. She would like the inconsistency explored, and does not see further exploration as vindictive. She said she feels it is a worthwhile discussion to send to the Planning Commission. Councilman Higginson asked Council members Wright and Ivie how they feel about the potential for eight units per acre on the parcels in question. Councilman Wright responded he feels the next Council should be allowed to consider the issue. Councilwoman Ivie responded that Main Street is different because pressure of redevelopment was felt. She said she does not see redevelopment as a pressing issue on the properties in question. She said she does not want eight units per acre on those properties, but acknowledged that those homeowners deal with the light from City parking lots every day and night, and she is reluctant to reconsider the zoning with no redevelopment pressure.
The motion passed by majority vote (3-2), with Council members Averett, Fillmore, and Higginson in favor, and Council members Ivie and Wright dissenting.
• Mr. Snyder expressed a preference for separating accessory buildings from the proposed ADU Ordinance. A public hearing regarding ADUs will be held on December 15th.
The Council chose to table the financial report.
CITY MANAGER’S REPORT
• Notice may be given in December regarding the public bid process for the County property on 100 South.
• Councilman Wright made a motion to not respond to the Utah Transit Authority (UTA) 2016 Tentative Budget. Councilwoman Ivie seconded the motion, which passed by unanimous vote (5-0).
The Mayor recommended the Council appoint Mark Oligschlaeger to the Trails Committee. Councilman Higginson made a motion to appoint Mark Oligschlaeger to the Trails Committee. Councilwoman Fillmore seconded the motion, which passed by unanimous vote (5-0).
At 12:00 a.m. Councilman Wright made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Councilwoman Ivie seconded the motion, which passed by unanimous vote (5-0).