June 10, 2015

PLANNING COMMISSION MINUTES OF MEETING
Wednesday, June 10, 2015
7:00 p.m.

A quorum being present at Centerville City Hall, 250 North Main Street, Centerville, Utah.  The meeting of the Centerville City Planning Commission was called to order at 7:00 p.m.

MEMBERS PRESENT
Cheylynn Hayman
David Hirschi, Chair
Gina Hirst
William Ince
Logan Johnson
Scott Kjar
Kevin Merrill

COUNCIL MEMBERS PRESENT
Ken Averett
Tamilyn Fillmore
Stephanie Ivie

STAFF PRESENT
Corvin Snyder, Community Development Director
Lisa Romney, City Attorney
Kathy Streadbeck, Recording Secretary

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

OPENING COMMENT/LEGISLATIVE PRAYER     Commissioner Merrill

MINUTES REVIEW AND APPROVAL

The minutes of the Planning Commission meeting held May 27, 2015 were reviewed and amended. Commissioner Ince made a motion to approve the minutes as amended. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Hirst and passed by unanimous vote (6-0). Commissioner Merrill abstained from voting as he was not present at this meeting.

PUBLIC HEARING | ZONING CODE TEXT AMENDMENT, CHAPTER 12-36, TABLE OF USES ALLOWED - Consider proposed Zoning Code Text Amendment for Chapter 12-36-Table of Uses Allowed, to allow flag lots in the R-M (Residential-Medium) Zone.  Todd Huffaker, Liahona One, LLC, Applicant

Brandon Toponce, Assistant Planner, reported the Planning Commission previously accepted a conceptual site plan for a duplex on a remaining parcel of the Huffaker Dental Office property.
After further review it appears the best option for development of this property would be a flag lot scenario, as it would be more harmonious with surrounding uses. Currently, flag lots are not allowed in the R-M Zone. The proposed application requests approval of flag lots within the R-M Zone. The applicant is not requesting any changes to the flag lot ordinance itself, all flag lot requirements would be applicable as currently stated. Flag lots are used as a last resort for development on a parcel that is not otherwise buildable or where other conventional zoning would not work on the lot. All proposed flag lots within existing R-M Zones, or future R-M Zones, would be reviewed by the Planning Commission for compliance to all applicable City codes. Mr. Toponce explained the proposed application is consistent with the General Plan as it provides additional housing options and provides development opportunity for underutilized property. If approved the applicant will apply for a rezone of the remaining parcel from commercial to R-M and will also be required to apply for a small subdivision waiver.

Chair Hirschi questioned why flag lots were not allowed in the R-M Zone when the flag lot ordinance was originally passed. Commissioner Hayman asked how other cities treat flag lots. She also questioned if flag lots could be dealt with on a case by case basis. Commissioner Johnson questioned how it is determined that the flag lot scenario is a last resort option.

Cory Snyder, Community Development Director, explained the flag lot ordinance is fairly new and the City felt a cautious approach was best. Therefore, it was approved in the Residential-Low Zone only with the thinking that it could be expanded as future needs dictated. He said most cities allow some type of flag lot ordinances but explained flag lot ordinances are generally customized to fit a particular city’s own unique circumstances.  He said if the flag lot ordinance is expanded to the R-M Zone then all properties within that zone will be allowed to use the ordinance. It would be discriminatory to only allow on a case by case basis. Mr. Snyder explained a property is studied during the application process to determine if the flag lot is the best and last resort for development. A flag lot application is reviewed by both staff and the Planning Commission. He also explained there are currently very few properties within the R-M Zone that would fit the possibility of a flag lot.

Chair Hirschi opened the public hearing. Seeing no one wishing to comment; he closed the public hearing.

Commissioner Merrill made a motion for the Planning Commission to recommend to the City Council, the amendments to Chapter 12-36, Table of Uses Allowed, as follows:

Residential Uses               A-L    A-M    R-L    R-M    R-H    All PF   C-M    C-H    C-VH    I-M    I-H
Zones
Flag Lot Subdivision          N       N         P         P        N           N        N         N          N         N       N
Development

Reasons for the Action (Findings):
1.    The change is consistent to the General Plan, Section 12-420-3(2), identifying optimum locations for residential development and Section 12-490(6-D), which supports flag lots on
un-utilized properties.
2.    Under review by the Planning Commission, a property owner would be allowed to maximize the use of their property.
3.    All flag lots within an R-M Zone would be required to adhere to all applicable guidelines found in Chapter 12-36, and 12-32 of the Zoning Ordinance and Sections 15-5-102(9) and
15-2-107 of the Subdivision Ordinance.
4.    Through previous approvals, the Flag Lot Ordinance has been proven efficient in developing un-utilized land and addressing negative impacts on surrounding properties.
5.    It does not appear that amending the Ordinance will have a significant negative impact on the community.

The motion as seconded by Chair Hirschi and passed by unanimous roll-call vote (7-0).

PUBLIC HEARING | ZONING CODE TEXT AMENDMENTS, SOUTH MAIN STREET CORRIDOR OVERLAY ORDINANCE AND SECTION 12-41-040-MINIMUM AREA OF ZONE - Consider proposed Zoning Code Text Amendments as follows: 1.  Amending various Zoning Code Text Amendments in the South Main Street Corridor Overlay Ordinance, including placing density cap for the City Center and Traditional Main Street Districts; and 2. Amending Section 12-41-040-Minimum Area of Zone, reducing or eliminating minimum area requirements.  Centerville City Council, Applicant

Cory Snyder, Community Development Director, reported the City Council recently adopted a “Temporary Zoning Regulation Ordinance” (TZRO) restricting any further development within the South Main Street Corridor (SMSC) Zone in order to allow time for the City to review and make changes to the SMSC Plan. The Council is requesting amendments to the Zoning Code including a residential density cap and a reduction/elimination of the five (5) acre minimum parcel requirement for a Planned Development Overlay (PDO).

Density Cap

Mr. Snyder explained the density cap proposed is eight (8) dwellings per acre in the Residential-Medium (R-M) Zone for the City Center and Traditional Main Street Districts of the SMSC. These two districts are primarily commercial and not considered “residential.” However, the SMSC Plan does allow and encourage residential uses within these districts through mixed-use development and/or through use of medium and high densities. The Moderate Income Housing plan encourages housing variety for all income needs. The General Plan also encourages a variety of infill development and neither promotes nor discourages a density cap. Mr. Snyder explained the SMSC Plan uses form base codes to allow 2-story mixed-use buildings with main floor commercial and 2nd story residential. It is possible a density cap could stifle the usability of the 2nd floor thus hindering marketability and redevelopment. It could prove to be too expensive to purchase, demolish, and redevelop a site with the proposed density cap. However, it may be possible to tuck residential uses behind commercial uses along the SMSC which could provide variety. In addition, a density cap could bring clarity to SMSC Plan for the developers, City staff, elected officials, property owners, and residents within the area.

Mr. Snyder responded to questions from the Commission. He discussed the densities of several existing subdivisions which range from 8-10 units per acre. He further explained the City Center and the Traditional Main Street districts are zoned commercial with a residential-medium option as part of the SMSC Overlay Zone. The proposed density cap would only be applied to these two districts as part of the SMSC Overlay Zone. Residential uses are only allowed secondary to the underlying commercial zone/uses.

Chair Hirschi opened the public hearing.

Tim Hawkes said the SMSC Plan uses form base code to incentivize redevelopment and high density. He said the developers that are showing interest are proposing 12-21 units per acre developments. He said this is too high for Centerville’s Main Street. He said he is in favor of the density cap at 8-units per acre. He said if the cap proves to hinder redevelopment then it can be changed in the future, but for now low density is appropriate and desired by Centerville’s citizens.

Robyn Mecham said there is a lot of potential property for redevelopment along the SMSC. If the City allows high density it will devastate the already congested traffic on Main Street. She said the Wasatch Community Council claims on average a car makes 13 trips per day. She said under the current SMSC Plan there is potential for 600+ units. This would generate too much traffic for Main Street causing it to become too dangerous to safely travel or cross. She agrees with capping the density as suggested. She said there are plenty of existing homes, apartment, and townhomes in Centerville, there is no need for additional housing types. She said single-family homes are desired and should be permitted. She believes the SMSC should be Residential-Low (R-L) or commercial only. She said R-L is the only designation that will restore and maintain the “historic” Main Street that is desired. She also believes zoning should be by acreage and not form based standards.

Jennifer Turnbloom said she would like the zoning for Main Street to go back to R-L. She said her family has owned property in this area for 60 years and they never asked for commercial zoning, it was changed without their knowledge or consent. She said the current commercial uses on Main Street are constantly turning over or stagnant, perhaps that is because Main Street is just not a viable commercial location. She said Main Street is suited for single-family homes which should be allowed and encouraged.

Alice Roberts said Main Street should be preserved. She said the SMSC Overlay and form based zone is too intense for Main Street. She said one of the proposed redevelopments on Main Street puts a fence on Main Streets frontage. She said this is like turning your back to Main Street. She would like to preserve Main Street by allowing single-family residential lots. She is also okay with R-L behind commercial that fronts Main Street. However, she suggested a feasibility study be conducted to determine if commercial is even viable on Main Street. Perhaps, residential only would be the best fit with garages and driveways at the back. She expressed concern with the traffic on Main Street and said the current speed limit is too high. She said if Main Street were more pedestrian friendly perhaps the State would consider lowering the speed limit.

Alan Arbuckle said Main Street in Bountiful is a strip of “hobby shops” and not real commercial development. He said the SMSC Overlay Zone will create the same “hobby shop” concept along Main Street and Pages Lane. He said this is not ideal redevelopment for Main Street in Centerville. He believes the SMSC Plan is too intense for Main Street and agrees that a density cap is appropriate.

Kenny Mecham said commercial uses on Main Street are rarely utilized and that Main Street is better suited for single-family homes.

Jamison Pexton asked if there is a maximum building height for Main Street.

Ralph Sorenson questioned if there are enough services to provide for this type of intensive development. He asked if there is any land available for additional schools or cemetery plots. He said too much growth, too fast, cannot be supported. He said it is a tragedy to throw up buildings and not be able to lay our dead to rest.

Seeing no one else wishing to comment, Chair Hirschi closed the public hearing.

Councilwoman Fillmore and Councilwoman Ivie expressed concern with the application of the proposed density cap. They agreed the City Council’s intent was to extend the density cap through the entire SMSC including all districts.

Mr. Snyder said it was his understanding the density cap application was for the City Center and Traditional Districts only. If the Council intended to extend the density cap throughout the entire SMSC, then a new application can be submitted. He explained the South Gateway District of the SMSC Overlay Zone does extend along Pages Lane from Main Street to 400 East, but the density cap is not being applied to that area with this application. Mr. Snyder responded to questions raised by the public. He said the maximum building height for Main Street is 25 feet on the east side and 35 feet on the west side. He said the Davis County School District has stated there is sufficient capacity to handle additional students. He agreed the cemetery issues are a problem which the City Council is currently discussing.

The Commission agreed the City Center and Traditional Districts are the most pressing at this time with regard to density and agreed to move forward with the application as presented. If the Council would like to extend the density cap a new application may be submitted in the future.

Chair Hirschi said he agrees with much of the public comment and agrees with the density cap, but does not agree with a total of 8-units per acre. He suggested a residential cap of 4-units per acre with a conditional use allowance of up to 8-units an acre total. This will provide an opportunity for the City to review development applications requesting the 8-units.

Commissioner Kjar said he is accepting of the density cap as suggested by Chair Hirschi. Commissioner Hirst also agreed as she is concerned with traffic impacts. Commissioner Johnson believes the density cap will help reinforce the General Plan by promoting the underlying commercial zone. Commissioner Merrill said the Police Chief has stated the police department is able to handle added traffic. He said he is not opposed to a density cap but is also mindful of the need for growth.

Chair Hirschi made a motion for the Planning Commission to recommend to the City Council approval of a residential-medium cap, as follows:

Amend the text of the SMSC Overlay Zone for the City Center and Traditional Main Street Districts to cap the allowable residential density at a maximum of four (4) units per acre as a permitted use and up to eight (8) units per acre as a conditional use.

Reasons for Action (Findings):
a.    The Planning Commission finds that the SMSC Plan does allow for residential uses to be considered in this particular commercial area.
b.    The Planning Commission finds that both the Moderate Income Housing and SMSC Plans desire that such residential uses be encouraged through mixed-use development and/or through
use of medium and high densities.
c.    The Planning Commission finds that the use of medium residential densities as part of a mixed-use would facilitate the desires of the SMSC Plan and provide a definable maximum cap that
is not currently in the related Ordinances of these districts.
d.    The Planning Commission finds that a maximum density cap helps to bring greater clarity to SMSC Plan for the developers, City staff, elected officials, and for the property owners and
residents of the immediate area.

The motion was seconded by Commissioner Kjar and passed by unanimous vote (7-0).

Reduce/Eliminate five (5) Acre Planned Development Overlay Minimum

Cory Snyder, Community Development Director, reported the Planned Development Overlay (PDO) is a flexible use tool that can be applied to any residential, commercial, or industrial zoned property. The PDO allows up to a 20% density bonus provided the development provides additional enhancements. A PDO is reviewed by the Planning Commission and ultimately approved by the City Council. Current ordinances allow a PDO with no minimum acreage requirement within the Residential-Low Zone but requires a five (5) acre minimum in Residential-Medium, Residential-High, and all commercial and industrial zones. The City Council’s application requests a reduction or possible elimination of the 5-acre minimum in all zones.

Mr. Snyder said there are no specific General Plan policies related to minimums or maximums for a PDO. The concept of setting a minimum acreage is related to providing enough land area for the expected enhancements of a master planned project. In addition, too little property can render a PDO financially unachievable which leads to frustration and contention. He said the 5-acre minimum is a typical requirement for most cities. Staff is accepting of lowering the minimum to three (3) acres because Centerville has limited parcels left for development but does not recommend eliminating the acreage requirement.

Mr. Snyder responded to questions from the Commission. He said the City could consider eliminating the minimum requirement once Centerville comes closer to build out but staff does not recommend elimination at this time. He explained a PDO could also be expanded but would require an additional application and approval. He explained the 5-acre minimum is a bigger issue for the SMSC because the form based zone already requires a higher development standard. If there is not enough acreage then it makes redevelopment less likely.

Chair Hirschi asked the City Council members present if they would like to address this application. Stephanie Ivie, City Councilwoman, said the City Council had a split vote on this issue. She said she is not in favor of lowering the 5-acre minimum. She said the PDO allows for increased density and for this reason she is opposed. Tamilyn Fillmore, City Councilwoman, said she is not comfortable representing the City Council on this issue because of the split vote.

Chair Hirschi opened the public hearing.

Tim Hawkes urged the Commission to reject this application because there is not a clear reason as to why the Council is requesting the change. He is also opposed because a PDO incentivizes higher density and allowing this possibility on a smaller parcel will only increase that intensity. He said Centerville’s residents have been consistent and clear in their desire for lower density.

Robyn Mecham said residents are against high density. She is not in favor of lowering the 5 acre minimum. She said lowering the acreage will give developers a message that Centerville wants higher density, which is not correct.

Alan Arbuckle said the 5-acre minimum is adequate. He agrees lowering the minimum acreage will only increase density which he is opposed to.

Nancy Smith agreed that a PDO incentivizes high density and sees no reason to allow any PDO east of I-15. She said the underlying residential zones already provide sufficient controls to create compatible developments. In addition, the conditional use permit allowance provides for increased density, there is no reason for the PDO tool. She said the SMSC is already appropriate and the PDO only adds confusion and unrest for surrounding residents.

Seeing no one else wishing to comment; Chair Hirschi closed the public hearing.

Lisa Romney, City Attorney, said the benefit of the PDO is that it is a legislative decision which is reviewed under the reasonably debatable standard and provides the City Council increased discretion and ultimate approval authority regarding any proposed PDO. Whereas a conditional use permit or site plan approval is an administrative decision which is reviewed under the substantial evidence standard. Such administrative matters must generally be approved if the application meets the requirements of the ordinances.

Chair Hirschi agreed Centerville has limited land available for future development which makes it difficult to secure 5-acres. He said it may be beneficial to reduce the minimum acreage requirement in order to keep the PDO as an affective tool.

Commissioner Hayman clarified the PDO gives the City an extra layer of flexibility with developments. It not only provides the option for increased density but it also provides greater standards for development including landscaping, buffers, parking, etc. She also clarified that the City Council has a reasonably debatable standard with a PDO, meaning they can consider public comment and response accordingly.

Commissioner Johnson said his least favorite tool is the traditional zoning standard. He prefers the City and developers have options to produce a desirable product. He is in favor of reducing the minimum acreage requirement.

Commissioner Kjar said he agrees with both sides. He is not in favor of increased density but he understands the need for a flexible tool.

Commissioner Ince said he is not in favor of allowing a higher density on a smaller parcel.

Commissioner Ince made a motion for the Planning Commission to recommend denial to the City Council of a reduction in the minimum acreage for a PDO as there is no particular reason to lower the acreage.  Motion died for lack of a second.

Chair Hirschi made a motion for the Planning Commission to recommend approval to the City Council of a reduction in the minimum parcel size in a PDO, as follows:

Amend the text of the Planned Development Overlay Zone to reduce the minimum parcel size to three (3) acres.

Reasons for Action (Findings):
a.    The Planning Commission finds there are no specific General Plan policies related to expectation to minimums or maximums for Planned Overlay Developments.
b.    The Planning Commission finds that the concept of setting a minimum is related to providing enough land area for allowing flexible development patterns to establish open areas and
amenities to improve the design and layout of parcels.
c.    The Planning Commission finds that when parcels become too small, it is much more difficult to create needed buffers to surrounding properties or to internally create the desired common
spaces and related amenities to improve a development beyond the traditional zoning regulations.

The motion was seconded by Commissioner Merrill and passed by roll-call vote (6-1). Commissioner Ince opposed.

PUBLIC COMMENT | SOUTH MAIN STREET CORRIDOR (SMSC) PLAN  OVERLAY ZONE - Receive public comments about the South Main Street Corridor (SMSC) Plan and related Zoning Ordinance (Overlay Zone)

Chair Hirschi opened the floor for public comment regarding the South Main Street Corridor (SMSC) Plan.

Patty Kennington requested the City consider expanding the density cap to the southern and east ends of the SMSC. She said the old Dicks Market site (Pages Lane between Main Street and 400 East) is surrounded by residential uses and a residential density cap of 8 units per acre would be consistent and compatible with the area. In addition, Pages Lane is not a high traffic road and could not accommodate high density.

Dale McIntyre said the J.A. Taylor Elementary and old Dicks Market areas are not suited for high density. This is a residential neighborhood area. He said all the residents that have been coming to these meetings are against high density. He will be deeply disappointed if the City does not cap the density as it is clearly the community’s desire.

Ryan Archibald said he is against high density in Centerville. He only supports low density. He said high density will bring too much traffic which will negatively impact schools and endanger students crossing the street.

Lisa Malmstrom said she is a crossing guard on Main Street and said current traffic is too intense and dangerous for students. She said adding additional high density to the area will only compound the situation.

Jennifer Turnbloom said she too is against high density and agreed that more density will negatively impact the area. She said most of the housing for sale in Centerville are townhomes and apartments with a wide range of prices. She said there are already plenty of housing options in Centerville, additional high density options are not necessary.

Tim Hawkes urged the Commission to listen to the public and advocate for their desires for low density. He said it is clear citizens do not want high density.

Kenny Mecham said he is against high density. He said high density brings higher crime.

Carol Bake said it sounded as though the lowering of the Planned Development Overlay (PDO) minimum acreage would allow the Commission and City Council more control and discretion of those types of developments. She said this is an advantage for the City. She also agreed low density is the best option for the old Dick’s Market area. She said high density will bring too much traffic and negatively impact schools.

Bruce Roberts said he is concerned with density. He agreed traffic is already an issue in the city and more density will not help this problem. He said it takes him longer to navigate Centerville’s roads than it does to drive to another city and back. He said the old Dick’s Market site is large and could bring a large development. He said low density is a better option. He said high density will bring additional traffic problems and safety concerns for children.

Stephanie Ivie, City Councilwoman, said she avoids driving Main Street because traffic is already too intense. She said the best long-range benefit for Centerville would be to keep the SMSC at Residential-Low. She is also not convinced that high density will stimulate redevelopment.

Nancy Smith said the best solution may be to throw out the SMSC Plan and revert Main Street back to commercial only. She said if the City is going to keep SMSC Plan then a few amendments to the plan may be needed such as clarifying the half block designation, and clarifying the form base regulations or reverting back to zone based regulations. She believes the zone base format is simpler and doesn’t create expectations. She said most of the cities that she has researched allow the mixed-use option but under the zone base format, not form based. She said R-L should be the only allowance at the half block distance and beyond. She agreed traffic is an issue and said the off-set intersections on Main Street only compound the problem. She said high density will only intensify these problems. She said the traffic issues may even hinder the amount of patrons that could access commercial uses on Main thus sending patrons to other cities. She said perhaps the SMSC Plan is not the best concept for Main Street as originally thought.
Melissa Thomas said there is a not a high density shortage in Centerville. There is already a great deal of apartments and townhomes, there is no need for more. She said there are very few single-family homes for sale and there are many people that want to live in Centerville in a single-family home. She said R-L is a great option for Centerville, particularly within the SMSC. She explained she recently purchased a home in Centerville but faced many challenges securing a loan because there are too many rentals and not enough single-family owned homes. She said single-family will stabilize the community and increase property values. She said high density will only continue the decline of the area.

Alan Arbuckle said he has heard a lot of pleading for lower density. He said he is curious how passionate property owners and developers really are for high density. He questioned who is really pushing for high density, is it the City or property owners because it is clear it is not the residents.

Seeing no one else wishing to comment; Chair Hirschi closed the public comment and thanked the public for their time and comments.

Cory Snyder, Community Development Director, said the City Council will hold another public hearing for public comment re the SMSC Plan on June 16, 2015 and will hold a joint City Council and Planning Commission meeting for the property owners and businesses to give them the opportunity to comment on the SMSC Plan on June 17, 2015. The public is welcome and encouraged to attend both meetings.

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR’S REPORT

1.    The next Planning Commission meeting will be Wednesday, June 24, 2015.
2.    Upcoming Agenda Items
•    Conceptual Site Plan & Conditional Use Permit, Porter Lane Townhomes

The meeting was adjourned at 9:50 p.m.

_____________________________            ____06-24-2015______
David Hirschi, Chair                                         Date Approved

__________________________________
Kathleen Streadbeck, Recording Secretary