August 25, 2010
PLANNING COMMISSION MINUTES OF MEETING
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.
OPENING COMMENT/LEGISLATIVE PRAYER Commissioner Rasmussen
MINUTES REVIEW AND APPROVAL
Minutes of the Planning Commission meeting held August 11, 2010 were reviewed. Commissioner Rasmussen made a motion to approve the minutes as written. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Holbrook and passed by unanimous vote (4-0).
Cory Snyder, Community Development Director, reported this application was initiated by the City Council due to public concern regarding a UTA mass transit study. The South Main Street Committee (Committee) was asked to reconvene and review the South Main Street Corridor Plan (SMSCP) and consider edits to both the General Plan and the Zoning Ordinance with regard to the SMSCP. The Committee met several times, including public hearings, and has recommended changes for the Planning Commission’s review. The proposed applications will be reviewed by the City Council for final approval.
The Committee recommends all language related to “rail or mass transit” be eliminated from the SMSCP. The SMSCP is intended to be a land use plan and was never intended to encourage mass transit. Main Street is considered the heart of Centerville and the SMSCP was designed to help guide future development and provide options for viable economic growth and revitalization. The SMSCP was originally proposed because of complaints regarding the mix of old and new developments and uses. Prior to the SMSCP there was no existing plan/policy regarding future development on Main Street. The SMSCP provides flexibility in setbacks, parking, and landscaping. The SMSCP also encourages enhancement of the transit system, meaning the current bus, bike, and pedestrian traffic. This language was been construed to mean that Centerville is in favor of mass transit or a rail system. This is not the case, and the Committee recommends all language relating to transit be deleted from the SMSCP for clarity.
The Committee discussed the differences between the Core District and the Traditional District. These Districts are distinct by setback. The Committee recommends keeping this distinction between the two Districts for greater variation in buildings. The Committee also recommends the building heights for these two Districts be lowered from 4-stories to a maximum building height of 3-stories or no more then 35-feet. Originally these two Districts had separate building height allowances. The current recommendation will allow building heights that can range from 1.5-stories to 3-stories. In addition, the Committee recommends the character examples (sample pictures of possible building styles/heights) within the zoning documents be changed to better depict the ideas set forth in the SMSCP.
The Committee recommends the term “transit-oriented design” or “TOD” be replaced with “traditional neighborhood design” or “TND” throughout the documents. This will help clarify there is no intention of soliciting mass transit for the Main Street Corridor. Again, the SMSCP is intended to promote land use flexibility and not mass transit.
The Committee discussed density and residential uses. Mixed-use developments were introduced because there are not enough commercial options to keep the Main Street Corridor economically viable. There are already several commercial offices on Main Street that are vacant. The option of residential uses will provide flexibility for developers and will bring more pedestrians and activity to the businesses within the Corridor. The SMSCP permits 1-4 units per building, with a conditional use allowance of 5-8 units per building. Residential is only allowed in certain Districts and cannot be built without a commercial use being built first. Commercial uses must be built on the ground level with residential units above that. The allowance of 5-8 units per building is per conditional use only and will require stringent mitigation of negative impacts and compliance with applicable City ordinances. The Committee recommends leaving the conditional use allowance at 5-8 units per building.
The Committee recommends the maximum height allowance of buildings of the TOD lot types be lowered from 4-stories to no more than 3-stories or 35-feet. This will keep building heights consistent with the current maximum allowances throughout the city.
The Committee recommends that existing ordinance waivers or modification allowances be included in the SMSCP to clarify options for existing developments with non-conforming situations. The current “substantial alteration” definitions were transferred into the SMSCP from other current City ordinances. After further discussion it was found that these definitions may create some problems for lots that may not currently meet such requirements. The recommended changes will provide a review on a case by case basis to assure that all property owners have the tools necessary to be able to enhance their property.
Mr. Snyder explained there have been complaints that the notification of this meeting was not done appropriately. Mr. Snyder assured the Commission that this meeting was notified in accordance with State and City regulations. In addition, notices were also sent to 107 private/business owners, government agencies, and affected utility companies. Staff reports and recommendations were also sent to all City officials and Commission members in a timely manner for their review.
Chair Pedersen opened the public hearing.
Sherri Lindstrom, City Council member, explained she was a member on the Committee and assured the public the purpose of the SMSCP was to look at land use. The City has evolved in such a way that high end commercial uses have moved from Main Street in order to be closer to the freeway and businesses on Main Street no longer thrive. There have been many business owners that have come to the City for help. The SMSCP will hopefully bring activity and options so the current businesses on Main Street may be enhanced and new businesses attracted to the area. She said this will not happen overnight but will take many years and will not turn into a mass of apartments. In fact, she believes the SMSCP will help contain and minimize the massive kind of growth that could have occurred if the SMSCP was never adopted. She said it has been recently brought to her attention there are some properties on Main Street that may require a closer look before some of the recommendations are approved. More specifically, the recommended edits to the “substantial alteration” definitions may need to be tweaked just a bit. She suggested the Planning Commission table this item until further review can take place. This will help eliminate the issue being bounced back and forth between the City Council and the Planning Commission prior to adoption.
Robin Mecham, 202 North 100 East, said she represents many residents and a lot of what is in the SMSCP is not what the public wants. She asked the Planning Commission to consider tabling this item until many of these issues can be worked out. She said the notification for this meeting may have been done according to City ordinance, but there were many who did not get the information until late and were not able to attend tonight. It was understood that a notice would be posted in the newsletter and that she would personally be notified. This did not happen. It was a simple miscommunication, but in the future another method of notification needs to take place, because so many were missed. She suggested important meeting dates be posted on the utility bill, this would ensure all residents are notified. She said she is concerned with the density of 5-8 units per building. She realizes this is a “scare tactic” calculation and is not necessarily realistic, but with an allowance of 5-8 units per acre, it is possible to end up with 900 apartment units between City Hall and Porter Lane. She said the allowance of 1-4 units per building is appropriate and should be the cap. There is more money in apartments and developers will take advantage of this option and build more residential than commercial. Apartments are not what the citizens of Centerville want on Main Street. She realizes that commercial is required to be built first in a mixed-use develop, but believes the commercial units will remain mostly vacant and the apartments will be the main use. In addition, the lower requirements for parking, setbacks, and landscaping will also contribute to an “apartment haven.” She said she has also attended the UTA meetings regarding mass transit. UTA claims that mass transit is not viable in an area if there are not enough riders to utilize it. UTA calculates ridership by the number of roof tops in an area. Allowing apartments will provide the necessary roof tops and in turn UTA will have what they need to develop mass transit on Main Street. Commissioner Fillmore asked Ms. Mecham to provide a written statement of how she calculated the 900 units for the record.
Jennifer Turnblom, 249 South Main, said there are a number of historical structures on Main Street and questioned how the SMSCP affects those properties.
Michael Randall, 346 South Main, owner of the Main Street Garage (auto repair shop) questioned the rules regarding “substantial alteration.” He said he has the opportunity to purchase a dilapidated home next door to his business which has been vacant for several years. According to current ordinances the home may not be used as a residence, the “grandfathering” for that use was terminated once the vacancy reached 12 months, and single-family residential is no longer permitted in this location. He said he cannot afford to change the home into a commercial use at this time, but a residential use would make the purchase an economically viable option for him. He asked the Commission to look at options that would provide the necessary variances so he could purchase this dilapidated property and restore it.
Lucille Leonard, 53 West 550 North, said it would be helpful if a personal notice was mailed to all affected properties within a two block radius.
Chris Burningham, 39 East Bonita Way, asked why mass transit is not being discussed. She would like to know when mass transit will be discussed. She is afraid decisions regarding this issue will be made without the public’s knowledge. She is concerned that important information is not being noticed in a way that the public is made aware.
Lynn Sessions, 788 North Main, said he knows many of the persons that served on the Committee and applauds them for their work. It has been pointed out that most commercial uses and some businesses on Main Street have located or relocated closer to the freeway due to easy access. He asked why there is an insistence to keep commercial on Main Street. This may have been the heart of commercial uses 50+ years ago, but it is not the trend now. Why is it important to keep it that way? Is it possible to look at ordinances that may allow various residential options? Perhaps Main Street as a commercial center has run its course. Why is there a fight to resist this change in society? It may be sensible to provide ordinances that would allow a property to revert back to residential only, without the mixed commercial. Residential, with appropriate trees and setbacks, could provide the quaint downtown feel that seems to be the goal. He said he realizes this may have some financial impacts, but questioned if this option was discussed and/or should be allowed. He said apartments on Main Street will come at some point; it may be prudent to offer other residential options as well.
Kim Samuelson, 80 South Main Street, business owner, said he is concerned the concepts of the SMSCP will slow traffic on Main Street. Main Street is a highway and a main artery of the city. Citizens use Main Street for traveling purposes several times a day. He does not want to see the speed limit for this road diminished. He believes greater density will inhibit the flow of traffic on Main Street. People want to be able to get where they are going quickly. Main Street is a highway, not a meandering road.
Scott VanOrman, 15 Canyon Breeze Drive, asked how the strategies of the SMSCP play into UTA’s proposal for mass transit. Will the SMSCP encourage or discourage mass transit? He said the commercial hub in the city is on Parrish Lane, near the freeway, and in a new commercial development proposed for west Centerville. He asked why it is necessary to create more commercial uses on Main Street when it already exists elsewhere in the city. He also suggested the City work toward securing a parking hub for UTA’s Frontrunner instead of permitting more mass transit on Main Street.
Ruthann Fisher, 498 North Main Street, said the SMSCP will affect more than just the South Main Street Corridor. She suggested the City needs to look at how this plan will affect everyone in the city not just South Main Street. North Main Street consists of single-family homes and the impacts from the SMSCP will run over into those residential areas to the north. She asked the City to keep this in mind as they discuss options that will increase uses.
Heidi Turnblom, 249 South Main Street, said Main Street has been destroyed compared to what she knew as a kid. Bringing more people and more uses to the area will only increase that damage. She asked what restrictions, if any, have been set on the types of businesses allowed. She said she agrees with bringing back residential only. Main Street is already too busy.
Chair Pedersen closed the public hearing.
Mr. Snyder responded to questions raised by the public. Non-conformities or “grandfathered” options are allowed so properties can continue in the condition they are in. If a use requires a new certificate of occupancy or is substantially changed (30%) then all non-conformities are required to come into compliance with current applicable standards. In the case of the home that Mr. Randall discussed the SMSCP currently in place does not allow stand-alone single-family homes. The home is in need of a new certificate of occupancy and will require substantial changes due to the dilapidated nature of the structure. The Commission could change the SMSCP to permit stand-alone single-family homes, but would it be appropriate to allow a single-family home in between two commercial businesses? A residence would be permitted in this location but only as part of a mixed-use development. The home would need to be attached to a commercial use. Mr. Snyder explained the non-conforming standards in the industrial zones are a little more lenient than commercial zones. The Commission may want to discuss changing the language in commercial areas to match the industrial zone standards. However, too much leniency could contribute to perpetual non-conformities, thus hindering future growth.
Commissioner Fillmore said open market studies show that a community needs approximately 60% single-family, 26% apartment units, and 14% town homes/duplexes. Currently, Centerville has 80% single-family, 1% apartment units, and 20% townhomes/duplexes. She said Centerville is always going to be extremely lopsided in favor of single-family, and that is okay, but Centerville also needs to provide other housing options. A variety of housing options lends to a healthy community. She said a lot of the problems with the economy are a result of trying to force everyone into one life situation or mold. There are many people out there that are not in a single-family life situation and need a different option.
Mr. Snyder explained there are parameters in place to guide historical preservation for those homes/buildings that may apply. However, preserving an historical structure is voluntary. He explained notification of meetings is a large issue and has always and will always be a struggle. State law requires specific notification standards and anything beyond that is up to the discretion of the City. He realizes most people will not go to the newspaper for meeting agendas, but this is the first place that State law requires notification. Regarding this issue and this meeting the City did discretionarily notice beyond State and even City standards. However, it seems this still may not have been enough. Notification is a policy issue and a budget issue. Mr. Snyder said he has already exceeded the notification budget for this year by 50%. It is also important to weigh fairness when discussing notification. Is it fair to go beyond noticing standards for some applications and not all?
Mr. Snyder discussed the preservation of business vs. reverting back to residential. Do you want to add more residential uses? Do you want to eliminate businesses and return to single-family or duplex uses? Is it fair to allow a single-family home between two commercial uses? These are value judgments and debatable issues. However, the fundamental principle of zoning is to be fair to the investment made on a property. Zoning is designed to preserve value. If a residential use is built, then it is fair to expect a residential price for the ground and/or building and if a commercial use is built it is fair to expect a commercial price. The purpose of the SMSCP was to maintain the value of the commercial properties and increase the economic opportunity to reinvest in those properties by increasing the flexible uses. In addition, reality is that City finances are largely carried by sales tax. The commercial community carries the weight of the city. Allowing options for commercial reinvestment/enhancement is appropriate.
Commissioner Kjar questioned the protection of residential values if placed by a commercial use. Mr. Snyder said there is no evidence that the value of a residence will be penalized if placed adjacent to a commercial use. As long as the development is maintained and of good design, a residential area, regardless of location, generally maintains its value, unless there are unmitigated negative impacts, i.e., noise, odor, etc.
Mr. Snyder said there is an assumption that Centerville is supporting UTA. UTA is doing an independent study and part of that study includes UTA reviewing municipality plans. Centerville is not pushing UTA to study mass transit and UTA is not requiring Centerville to comply with recommendations. UTA has yet to release their official findings and recommendations. Centerville will review any recommendations and deal with them as they are made available in the future.
Commissioner Fillmore said UTA was not party to the studies and work done on the SMSCP. The Committee is recommending all transit language be removed from the SMSCP documents to help clarify that fact and to make the SMSCP, solely, a land use document as intended.
Mr. Snyder agreed that any development will impact areas outside its immediate area. He said it is a constant struggle to evaluate the reach of development impacts. North Main Street and South Main Street are different and have different issues, but both affect the other. The Committee tried to look at the entire corridor and make decisions accordingly. Mr. Snyder explained the SMSCP allows commercial-medium uses which is the lowest density commercial allowance. This means the businesses that will be permitted within the South Main Street Corridor include professions and personal services, i.e., dental, office, hair salon, insurance agent, etc.
Chair Pedersen made a motion to table this discussion and continue the public hearing to the next Planning Commission meeting on September 8, 2010. The motion died for lack of a second.
The Commission discussed the options for tabling this item and continuing the discussion and the public hearing to another date. Commission members discussed holding the discussion and the public hearing on separate dates. This would give the Commission time to discuss issues and provide recommendations. The public would then be able to comment on those recommendations. The Commission also directed staff to provide options for noticing the continuation of the public hearing to be discussed at the next meeting. Lisa Romney, City Attorney, recommended continuing the public hearing to a certain date so that those present may be aware and could pass the information on.
Commissioner Kjar made a motion to table this item and continue the Planning Commission’s discussion of the issues at the September 8, 2010 meeting. There will be no public comment. The Commission will discuss and may set a date for a continued public hearing at the September 8, 2010 meeting. The Commission will also decide on any noticing options at that time. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Fillmore and passed by unanimous roll-call vote (6-0).
FINAL SUBDIVISION PLAT – LEGACY CROSSING AT PARRISH LANE, A MIXED-USE DEVELOPMENT, AT THE CORNER OF PARRISH LANE & 1250 WEST - Consideration of a final subdivision plat for the Legacy Crossing at Parrish Lane, a mixed-use development, located at the corner of Parrish Lane & 1250 West, in the C-VH(PD) Zone. Dan C. Bridenstine, U.S. Development, Applicant.
Brandon Toponce, Assistant Planner, reviewed the application as written in the staff report dated August 25, 2010. The proposed Legacy Crossing development appears to meet all applicable standards and objectives within the Zoning Ordinance and General Plan. In addition, the subdivision has been shown to meet the requirements and standards of the conceptual and preliminary subdivision processes. Mr. Toponce reviewed the plat including each phase of development, easements, streets, property lines, etc. There are a few minor issues that still need to be addressed, but those items will be completed by the applicant prior to final approval by the City Council. Overall, staff recommends approval of the final subdivision plat.
Commissioner Rasmussen made a motion for the Planning Commission to recommend approval of the final subdivision plat for Legacy Crossing at Parrish Lane, located at the southeast corner of Parrish Lane and 1250 West, to the City Council with the following conditions:
1. All previous conditions of approval relating to all public and private improvements, development, site engineering and relating to the Development Agreement, shall remain in effect.
Suggested Reasons for Action:
1. A final plat application has been submitted [Section 15-3-105(1)].
The motion was seconded by Commissioner Holbrook and passed by unanimous roll-call vote 6-0.
COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR’S REPORT
a. The next regularly scheduled Planning Commission meeting will be held on September 8, 2010.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:52 p.m.