December 8, 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.
At 5:00 p.m., Commissioners participated in a field trip around the city to visually review and discuss site triangles at various intersections. Commissioners viewed the difference between the current 30-foot triangle and the proposed 50-foot triangle (see “Park Strip” Zoning Code Text Amendment below) and how this could affect properties. In attendance were: Brandon Toponce, Assistant Planner; Neal Worsley, Police Chief; Ken Williams, Streets Department Supervisor; Lisa Romney, City Attorney; Commissioners Fillmore, Holbrook, Kjar, Merrill, and Pedersen; Kathy Streadbeck, Recording Secretary.
OPENING COMMENT/LEGISLATIVE PRAYER Chair Pedersen
MINUTES REVIEW AND APPROVAL
Minutes of the Planning Commission meeting held November 10, 2010 were reviewed. Commissioner Merrill made a motion to approve the minutes as written. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Kjar and passed by unanimous vote (6-0).
Chair Pedersen made a motion to approve the Planning Commission Meeting Schedule for 2011. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Rasmussen and passed by unanimous vote (6-0).
PUBLIC HEARING – CONTINUED FROM NOVEMBER 10, 2010 MEETING – SILVER OAKS SUBDIVISION – 740 WEST CHASE LANE – Applicant has not made a decision on the conditional use permit amendment request. This item will be tabled to the first meeting in January, 2011. Tom Henriod, Rockworth Company, applicant.
The applicant is not ready at this time.
Commissioner Pedersen made a motion to table this item and continue the public hearing until the next Planning Commission meeting on January 12, 2011. The motion was seconded by Commission Kjar and passed by unanimous roll-call vote (6-0).
PUBLIC HEARING – ZONING CODE TEXT AMENDMENT – FLAG LOTS – Consideration of the allowance of building on “flag lots” within the city, by adding new text to Title 12, Zoning Ordinance; and Title 15, Subdivision Ordinance in the Centerville Municipal Code. Alice & Kyle Roberts, applicants.
Cory Snyder, Community Development Director, reported the applicants’ desire to build a home on a flag-lot shaped parcel. Currently, City ordinances do not allow the construction of homes on lots that do not comply with the frontage and area requirements of the Zoning Code. City ordinances define flag lots but set no parameters for the creation or use of flag lots. The applicants have submitted a flag lot ordinance to be considered. Flag lots have been permitted in the past, but were disallowed with the new code that was adopted in 2003. If the applicant’s proposed ordinance is approved it would reinstate flag lots within the city.
Staff has provided their comments and recommendations regarding the application and the use of flag lots in the staff report dated December 8, 2010. Flag lots are used in many cities and can be a good way to develop under-utilized properties, but they can also bring complications and concerns including; fire protection, utility services, building placement and orientation, building height, setbacks, buffers, etc. Staff believes the applicants’ proposed flag lot ordinance is a good start, but there are still many issues that need to be discussed and addressed if the ordinance is to represent Centerville and its unique circumstances. Centerville’s density is based on gross calculations, not strict minimum lot sizes. This is something that is not addressed in the proposed ordinance. The proposed ordinance does not discuss density, appropriate or inappropriate areas for flag lots, or limitations on properties that may be reconfigured into a conventional subdivision. These are all important components that should be part of any flag lot ordinance. Staff is willing to work with the applicants in drafting a new flag lot ordinance that would address all concerns, but it would take a few months to study and complete. If the applicants are amenable to this scenario, then staff recommends the Planning Commission table this application. If the applicants are not willing to wait for staff, then staff recommends the Planning Commission deny the application and send it on to the City Council for final review.
Alice Roberts, applicant, said the proposed flag lot ordinance is allowed per a conditional use permit process only. This would allow the City and Planning Commission to review each application and approve it on its own merits dealing with its individual challenges. This is why the proposed ordinance is somewhat vague, so it can be tweaked to each unique application (i.e., density, building height, and neighborhood compatibility). She said the proposed application does address setbacks and building orientation. Any home should adhere to current setback standards and should be oriented to the nearest public street. She said they are aware of the fire protection concerns and they are prepared to install a fire hydrant on their property, within 250 feet of their future home. She said she is willing to work with the City in drafting a more specific ordinance, but would like it to happen as soon as possible. She said they will be ready to build on this lot within the next few months and do not want to have to wait too long. She said there is not much land left in Centerville to be developed, but there are many buildable lots similar to theirs that could be developed. A flag lot ordinance would be beneficial for many who, too, would like to reside in this great city. She also said the staff report mentioned a concern regarding the legality of their lot. She presented the Commission with the Quit Claim Deed for their lot dated 1983.
Chair Pedersen opened the public hearing.
Blair Furner, 501 North 100 East, says he is a resident in the same area as the applicants’ property. He said he is not opposed to flag lots and believes they should be allowed within the city. He said Centerville used to allow stacked or flag lot parcels (before subdivisions were popular) as long as they were within 150 feet of a public road and there was a 25-foot access to that public road. This is why there are so many properties in the city that could be developed if flag lots were allowed. He said his property has a potential for two flag lots and he would like to see an ordinance passed so he is able to develop his property as desired. He said this is an issue that needs to be addressed and allowed in Centerville.
Chair Pedersen closed the public hearing.
Mr. Snyder said it may be possible the applicants do not need a flag lot ordinance to build their home. If the Quit Claim Deed dated 1983 included an approval from the City for a building lot then the lot would be considered legally non-conforming and would be an eligible building lot today. If a City approval was not granted in 1983 then the applicants will need to wait for a flag lot ordinance to be passed. This will take some more research to determine. Mr. Snyder also explained there are about 100+ properties with the potential of constructing 500+ dwellings within the city under a flag lot ordinance. This is why it is important to ensure any ordinance is appropriate for Centerville.
Commissioner Fillmore said it is clear this type of ordinance could impact a large portion of the city. She said she is generally an advocate of infill development, but flag lots can be problematic. There is always an expectation from neighbors that these types of properties will stay the way they are. She said she has seen too many terrible examples of flag lots and she is inclined to deny this application and keep flag lots prohibited within Centerville. She believes these types of parcels can be used in other ways such as for accessory buildings. She would like to see an ordinance allowing accessory buildings on these types of parcels.
Commissioner Kjar said he is in favor of flag lots if there is an orderly and constructive way to implement them. Centerville is close to build-out and infill opportunities are needed. Commissioner Merrill agreed.
Chair Pedersen made a motion for the Planning Commission to table this item and direct staff to study flag lots and bring back a possible ordinance for such at a later date. Chair Pedersen encouraged the applicants (Alice & Kyle Roberts) to be a part of this process. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Kjar and passed by a 5-1 vote. Commissioner Fillmore opposed.
Commissioner Holbrook said he would like to see the proposed flag lot ordinance, once staff is finished, before a public hearing is held. This will allow the Planning Commission an opportunity to work with the ordinance and have a better understanding of its contents.
Commissioner Holbrook made motion for the Planning Commission to hold a work session regarding any flag lot ordinance at least one meeting prior to the commencement of a public hearing on the same matter. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Fillmore and passed by unanimous vote (6-0).
PUBLIC HEARING – LOT 5 OF THE LEGACY CROSSING AT PARRISH LANE SUBDIVISION – MULTI-FAMILY HOUSING – 1175 WEST LEGACY CROSSING BLVD – Consideration of a final site plan for the Legacy Crossing Parrish Lane development, Lot 5, 1175 West Legacy Crossing Blvd (300 North); which consists of multi-family housing (3 buildings, 168 units), and a clubhouse. Danny Bridenstine, US Development, applicant.
Cory Snyder, Community Development Director, reported the applicants are seeking final site plan approval for Lot 5 of the Legacy Crossing development at Parrish Lane. The majority of the details have been completed with the Planned Development Overlay (PDO) agreement and the Development Agreement. This process is a review of the parameters that have been previously set to make sure they are still in compliance. Overall, staff found the application to be complete and compliant with applicable ordinances and recommends approval. The plan was approved with five (5) residential buildings, but the applicant is only proposing three (3) with a total of 158 units. The overall landscaping percentages are met, but the individual lot calculations are lacking in the number of trees for the residential lots and the 200 North road frontage. It is difficult to include the required number of trees in the court yard area of the proposed residential buildings without obstructing the open space. An excess of trees in the common areas of the entire development may be more appropriate. The applicant may revise their plan to include the missing trees, the applicant may request a landscape waiver, or a fair share credit may be granted because the overall site has an excess of trees.
Mr. Snyder said a few outstanding engineering issues are being addressed and the City Engineer is supportive of the plans. The applicant has decided to change the fence height on the north side of the residential buildings from 6 feet to 3.5 feet to match the same fence on the opposite side of Legacy Crossing Boulevard. Staff is supportive of this change. Staff is also supportive of a proposed reduction in the parking area for the smaller residential building to accommodate a larger detention basin. Overall, the entire site has enough parking to comply with City ordinances, but the plans are short of parking for the residential use on its own. Staff recommends limiting the occupancy of the residential units up to the amount of parking available. Once additional portions of the site are built out, then needed parking will become available then the applicant may occupy the remaining units.
Craig Widmier, US Development, said as of today the landscape percentage for the entire site is 45%. They chose to eliminate some parking in order to accomplish this. However, there are still trees missing from the residential lot and 200 North. He said they can make up some of the missing trees on 200 North, but would like to get a fair share credit for the rest. He also explained the fence will be lowered to 3.5 feet for symmetry and aesthetics. He explained they have also decided to increase the amount of parking to be initially constructed; this will allow greater initial occupancy in the residential units.
Eric Tuttle, Architect with Tuttle and Associates, reviewed the amenities of the residential units, i.e., club house, pool, hot tub, fitness room, and green space. He explained the decrease in fence height should not affect security of the residential units because the units are key card accessible only and all stair and elevator accesses are located indoors. He also said this configuration is more disability friendly. He said 2% of the residential units are fully handicap accessible and even more units are adaptable to become handicap accessible. He discussed affordable housing. They hope the proposed apartments will qualify as affordable housing for Centerville, but they cannot make those calculations until market rates are established. The proposed residential buildings are modern style and will share color and materials of buildings throughout the development.
Commissioner Fillmore made a motion for the Planning Commission to approve the final site plan for Lot 5 (i.e., multi-family component) of the Legacy Crossing at Parrish Lane project, located at the southeast corner of Parrish Lane and 1250 West with the following conditions:
1. All professional services fees shall be paid and all necessary bonding shall be posted prior to construction permit or as deemed at an acceptable time by City staff.
Reasons for Action:
a. The Planning Commission finds that final site plan approval complies with the submittal procedures of Section 12-21-110(e)(2) of the Zoning Ordinance.
The motion was seconded by Commissioner Holbrook and passed by unanimous roll-call vote (6-0).
ZONING CODE TEXT AMENDMENT – “PARK STRIPS” (Tabled from October 27, 2010 meeting) - Consideration of modifying the Zoning Code in regard to “Park Strips” and what is allowable in the public right-of-way. Changes are proposed for Section 12-12-040, Definitions; Sections 12-51-070(a)(6) & 12-51-070(f)(2), Landscaping Requirements; Section 12-63-070(c), Parrish Lane Streetscape Standards; and Section 12-55-230, Visual Obstructions. Centerville City, applicant.
Cory Snyder, Community Development Director, explained the expectation for the Planning Commission is to address the proposed amendments to the Zoning Code. The proposed amendments to the Municipal Code are included in the staff report (dated December 8, 2010) for the Planning Commission’s review, but it is the City Council’s responsibility to approve those changes. If any member of the Planning Commission wishes to address the proposed changes in the Municipal Code, they will need to do that during the public hearing at the City Council meeting. Mr. Snyder said this application was initiated by a Committee of staff members because of complaints regarding trees in the park strip areas. This issue mushroomed as each individual department brought their unique complications regarding street trees to light. The Planning Commission initially reviewed this application on October 27, 2010, where again many more issues were raised, including the suggestion of creating a larger Urban Forestry program to deal with all street landscaping issues. Staff took these issues back to the original Committee and they are not interested in pursuing a larger Urban Forestry program at this time. The Committee requests the Planning Commission approve the suggested minimum standards and forward those onto the City Council for final approval. This will help solve some of the complications at this time, in the short term. In the long term, perhaps a larger Urban Forestry program could be implemented.
Neal Worsley, Police Chief, explained the current 30-foot measurement for an intersection site triangle is not sufficient for public safety. The proposed 50-foot site triangle would be sufficient and would greatly increase public safety. He explained there were some Committee members that felt 50-feet is not large enough, but the majority of the Committee was supportive of the 50-foot proposal for all areas of the city. As the Planning Commission viewed this evening during their earlier field trip, there are many problematic intersections within the city. It is not the City’s intention to take away private property rights, but there is a concern and a responsibility to protect the safety of drivers and pedestrians. It is not possible to see a car, biker, jogger, or other oncoming pedestrian with the current 30-foot site triangle. If passed, this ordinance will be enforced as needed. Chief Worsley feels that most residents will be amenable to the proposed ordinance and happy to comply if asked.
Chair Pedersen asked if the proposed text amendments allow a property owner to trim up trees and trim down bushes in order to create the needed site triangle or is it mandatory for landscaping to be removed.
Commissioner Fillmore said, since the field trip, she is not as concerned about the distance of the proposed 50-foot triangle; however, the proposed ordinance states that no trees shall be planted within the 50-foot triangle. She feels trees should be allowed. There are many trees that are smaller in caliper or can be trimmed up so the canopy does not greatly disrupt the 50-foot site triangle. Trees should be encouraged. Disallowing trees in this large of an area will have a negative aesthetic affect on our neighborhoods.
Lisa Romney, City Attorney, explained the proposed Section 11-373(b)(3)(E) of the Municipal Code provides discretion for vegetation that is within the visibility standard. It is the discretion of the City to allow a property owner to trim rather than remove landscaping. The City has no intention of requiring the removal of existing landscaping unless absolutely necessary for public safety.
Mr. Snyder explained that enforcement takes place based on complaint or life safety. Once a complaint is received staff may issue a warning notification or can perform the necessary actions if there is an immediate threat. If this ordinance is passed there will not be a city-wide rush to fix all the problems. This will happen slowly over time. However, the new parameters will most likely be sent to all citizens via the City newsletter, special mailing, and/or the City website. This will provide education and will also encourage many to fix existing problems on their own.
Chief Worsley said this is an issue that needs to be addressed and he feels strongly about the need for a 50-foot triangle. If public safety is going to be addressed appropriately then the 50-foot triangle is necessary. In many cases, the current 30-foot triangle doesn’t go beyond the sidewalk. Drivers cannot see the roadway or any oncoming traffic. He said the public works department is committed to helping residents comply and will be willing to help citizens make any necessary changes to their landscaping.
Commissioner Rasmussen said she visited the field trip sites on her own and was amazed at how many safety concerns there are. There is definitely a need to remedy these public safety issues. She feels the proposed 50-foot site triangle is reasonable and she trusts the Police Chief’s recommendation. She said the proposed ordinance provides the ability to install trees with a smaller caliper or high canopy. This is appropriate as the majority of the safety issues have to do with hedges or evergreens.
Commissioner Holbrook agreed that certain trees could be allowed within the 50-foot triangle, perhaps not on the park strip, but on the private property. Mr. Snyder said it is possible to modify the ordinance to allow for trees in the 50-foot triangle on private property, but not in the park strip.
Commissioner Fillmore made a motion for the Planning Commission to recommend approval for the proposed amendments to Section 12-12-040–Definitions, Section 12-51-070(a)(6) and Section 12-51-070(f)(2), Landscaping Requirements; Section 12-55-230, Visual Obstructions; and Section 12-63-070(c), Parrish Lane Streetscape Standards as listed in the staff report dated December 8, 2010 with the following change. In addition, the Planning Commission recommends the City Council begin researching and working on an Urban Forestry program.
Section 12-55-230(b) Clear View of Intersection Street. In all zones, no fence, wall, sign, or similar structure or landscaping which
Reasons for Action:
1. The proposed changes meet the criteria found in Section 12-21-080(e)(1-4) of the Zoning Ordinance in regard to a zone text amendment.
The motion was seconded by Commissioner Kjar 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 January 12, 2011.