September 22, 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 Duncan
MINUTES REVIEW AND APPROVAL
Minutes of the Planning Commission meeting held September 8, 2010 were reviewed and amended. Commissioner Fillmore made a motion to approve the minutes as amended. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Rasmussen and passed by unanimous vote (5-0).
PUBLIC HEARING – ZONING CODE TEXT AMENDMENT – SECTION 12-12-040, DEFINITIONS AND CHAPTER 12-36, TABLE OF USES ALLOWED, BY ADDING TOWING & IMPOUND YARDS - Consideration of a zoning code text amendment to adopt changes to Section 12-12-040-Definitions, by adding “Towing and Impound Yards;” and Chapter 12-36-Table of Uses Allowed, by allowing “Towing & Impound Yards” in the following zones: Commercial-Very High (C-VH) as a conditional use; and Industrial-High (I-H) & Industrial–Very High (I-VH) zones, as a permitted use. David Bell, Applicant.
Brandon Toponce, Assistant Planner, reported the applicant desires to add the use of “towing and impound yard” to his property. Currently, the use of a “towing and impound yard” is not specifically called out within City ordinances. Generally, this type of use falls under transportation services in the industrial zones. The applicant’s property is zoned commercial (Commercial-Very High) which does not currently allow a “towing and impound yard.” The applicant is requesting this use (“towing and impound yard”), along with a definition, be added to the City’s ordinances and allowed in the C-VH Zone. Staff feels this request is appropriate as a permitted use for the Industrial-High (I-H) and Industrial-Very High (I-VH) Zones. It may also be appropriate within the Commercial-Very High Zone along the south Frontage Road only, from south Market Place Drive to the southern city limit, with a conditional use permit. This area of the City is the only location within the C-VH Zone that currently has vehicle repair facilities with adequate space for temporary storage of vehicles. Staff also believes the proposed definition needs additional information in order to comply with State code (see Staff Report dated September 22, 2010).
Mr. Toponce explained that although the General Plan does not specifically call out this type of use, staff believes the proposed use is consistent with the goals and objectives of the General Plan along the south Frontage Road if appropriate buffering is established. This is why staff requests the use of a “towing and impound yard” be allowed per a conditional use permit. A conditional use permit process would ensure that all negative impacts are mitigated appropriately. Per the proposed definition no vehicle may be left on the lot for more than 90 days. Other possible negative impacts may include noise, screening, and hours of operation. These impacts may also be mitigated with a conditional use process. Mr. Toponce said he spoke with several neighboring cities; some allow towing and impound yards, some do not. Cities that allow this type of use do so within industrial or manufacturing zones and with a conditional use permit process. Overall, staff recommends approval of the proposed application.
Cory Snyder, Community Development Director, discussed the differences between a wrecking yard, a salvage/junk yard and an impound yard. A wrecking yard is prohibited within the city. A salvage/junk yard is used for the collection and storage of abandoned or demolished vehicles (unlicensed) and/or other scrap metal and material. An impound yard is a facility that temporarily holds a vehicle (licensed) to be repaired, or holds a vehicle that has been seized by police or other officials. Towing is currently allowed as an accessory use to any vehicle repair service, the question is whether the impound portion of the use is appropriate for all zones. Is the Planning Commission comfortable allowing a “towing and impound yard” as the main use on a site? Staff is comfortable allowing this type of main use in the I-H and the I-VH Zones, but is not comfortable allowing it across all C-VH zoned areas. There are some vehicle repair services in different areas of the city, but it seems contrary to the General Plan to allow vehicle storage (i.e., impound yard) in areas other than the south Frontage Road area as proposed with regard to the C-VH Zone.
Chair Pedersen said generally a “towing and impound yard” use is a 24-hour service. He questioned if this is too excessive for the Frontage Road? He asked what types of residential zones are also in the immediate area of the south Frontage Road.
Mr. Snyder said there are no residential zones immediately adjacent to the south Frontage Road C-VH Zone. However, there are some residential zones a short distance (block) to the east, this is why staff is requesting a conditional use process for this type of use. This process will help mitigate any negative effects on surrounding properties. There is also a sliver of agricultural-zoned property adjacent to the C-VH Zone, but this would also be considered during a conditional use permit process.
Mr. Snyder said any buffering/screening is done at grade on the site in question and is for the purpose of screening the use from adjacent public streets and properties. It is not possible to screen a use from all higher or distant properties/vantage points.
Dave Bell, applicant, said towing has been a part of his business for 17 years and has always been a 24-hour service. He explained the process for an impound yard. Dispatch calls a towing service and that service then removes the vehicle from the road and takes it to an impound yard. The impound yard registers the vehicle with the State tax commission and the owner of the vehicle has 30-days to remove the vehicle from the site. If the vehicle remains after the 30-days, then the State holds an auction and the vehicle is sold. Mr. Bell discussed screening. He said his business has always been well kept and he does not intend to have a junky looking impound yard, if allowed in the future. Mr. Bell said he does not feel a conditional use permit process is necessary for this type of use. He prefers government be less involved with private businesses and does not see how this type of use would negatively impact surrounding properties enough to warrant a conditional use process.
Chair Pedersen opened the public hearing. There was no comment, he closed the public hearing.
Commissioner Duncan made a motion for the Planning Commission to recommend approval of the proposed amendment to Chapter 12-36 – Table of Uses Allowed, Section 12-12-040 – Definitions, in establishing the use of a tow yard and impound yard within the city.
Proposed Uses Amendment Chapter 12-36
• Towing and Impound yards shall only be allowed along the Frontage Road between
Towing and Impound Yard: The temporary storage of vehicles that have been towed, carried, hauled or pushed from public or private property for impoundment in a public or private impound yard. This use does not include vehicle rental or sale new or used, vehicle repair, automobile wrecking yard, junk or salvage yard, or a freight terminal. No vehicle shall remain for more than 90 days on a lot. If vehicles are found on the lot for more than 90 days, the lot shall be considered an automobile wrecking yard and/or a junk and salvage yard, which is strictly prohibited in all zones. All towing and impound yards shall follow the proper screening requirements found in Section 12-51-110(b) of the Zoning Ordinance and shall follow all state requirements found in Section 41-1a-1101 and R873-22M-17of the Utah State Code, as amended.
Reasons for Action (findings):
1. The proposed zoning text appear to be in harmony with the goals and objectives of the General Plan for the I-H and I-VH Zone, and with proper screening and mitigation the Frontage Road from South Market Place Drive to the southern city limits [Section 12-480(2)(c), Section 12-480-6(1)(1.E)].
The motion was seconded by Commissioner Kjar.
Commissioner Fillmore said it seems this type of use is not in compliance with the idea of the General Plan. As stated in the Staff Report the “General Plan encourages any future development on the Frontage Road as being limited to retail commercial.” It is true that light industrial exists along the south Frontage Road, but those uses were in existence when revisions were made to the General Plan stating the limit to retail commercial. It seems “towing and impound yard” is more intense than intended by the General Plan for the Frontage Road and it seems allowing such a use in this area of the city is moving away from the direction of the current General Plan. Commissioner Fillmore also said the nature of a “towing and impound yard” is a 24-hour, 7-day a week service. It seems counterproductive to allow a use with a conditional use process which could easily bring into question its very nature.
The motion passed with a 5-1 vote. Commissioner Fillmore opposed.
PUBLIC HEARING – MUNICIPAL CODE TEXT AMENDMENT – TITLE 15, CHAPTER 9, SUBDIVISION ORDINANCE, SUBDIVISION PLAT AMENDMENTS - Consideration of adopting and changing Title 15, Chapter 9, Subdivision Plat Amendments, relating to the boundary/title exchange between adjacent properties. Centerville City, Applicant.
Cory Snyder, Community Development Director, reported this application was initiated by the City Council following a recent boundary title exchange. A boundary exchange is a simple administrative process which can include either a subdivision plat amendment or a metes and bounds adjustment. State code says that a City “shall” approve such an exchange if the exchange does not create a new lot and is in compliance with City ordinances. In the past, the City Council has been the body to approve these simple exchanges. The proposed amendments to the Municipal Code will give this approval power to the Zoning Administrator, per the City Council’s direction. This is permitted per State code. In addition, staff is also recommending the subdivision plat process be added to City ordinances. This process is one that is followed per State code, but has never been added to Centerville’s ordinances. This will help provide clarity to the Centerville’s Municipal Code.
Lisa Romney, City Attorney, explained the proposed changes require only one public hearing for subdivision plat amendments which will take place during City Council approval. These approvals will not come before the Planning Commission. State code requires a 45-day turn-around for such approvals and so the process has been simplified to meet these time restrictions.
Chair Pedersen opened the public hearing.
Robert Byrnes, Deuel Creek Irrigation, requested the Planning Commission include language within the Municipal Code requiring the City to notify “affected entities” of boundary exchanges. He explained the irrigation company charges water shares according to acreage and any boundary exchange affects the amount of water shares charged to a property owner. Deuel Creek Irrigation is currently doing an audit of their recording system and is trying to reconcile many discrepancies. It would be much simpler to keep accurate records if cities notified “affected entities.” Notification is only needed once a boundary exchange is approved.
Chair Pedersen closed the public hearing.
Mr. Snyder agreed that notification of an approved boundary exchange would be helpful for “affected entities.” However, the City and/or Zoning Administrator only approve a boundary exchange they do not convey title. Often times a boundary exchange is approved but the exchange is never finalized or recorded with the County. Mr. Snyder said the Zoning Administrators office could provide a “courtesy notice” of boundary exchanges, but does not recommend the Planning Commission make it a requirement within the City’s Municipal Code.
Lisa Romney, City Attorney, agreed that a “courtesy notice” is the best option. State code is clear that a boundary exchange “shall” be approved if the criteria are satisfied and a City does not convey property as part of this process. In addition, a “courtesy notice” would only need to go to the water company, the term “affected entity” includes all utility companies and the school district. It is not necessary to notify all affected entities with a boundary exchange.
Chair Pedersen made a motion for the Planning Commission to recommend approval of the proposed text amendments to the City Council for Title 15, Chapter 9, of the City’s Subdivision Ordinance, as submitted in the attached exhibit of the September 22, 2010 Staff Report and as prepared by the City’s Legal Staff.
Reasons for Action (findings):
a. The proposed text amendments add clarity to Centerville City’s Subdivision Ordinance to ensure compliance with State law regarding amendments to subdivision plats and the boundary/exchanges of title between adjacent property owners.
The motion was seconded by Commissioner Fillmore and passed by unanimous vote (6-0).
COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR’S REPORT
a. The next regularly scheduled Planning Commission meeting will be held on October 13, 2010.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:15 p.m.