Meeting Minutes 2009
MINUTES OF THE
PUBLIC HEARING OF THE
PLANNING COMMISSION OF
GARDEN CITY, UTAH
The Garden City Planning Commission held a Public Hearing on Wednesday, January 7, 2009 at the Garden City Conference Center located at 69 N. Paradise Parkway. Commission Chair Huefner opened the meeting at 7:00 p.m.
Commission Members Present:
Excused: DJ Ballingham
Commission Chair Huefner stated that she would like these meetings to be combined and be a discussion.
The meeting closed at 7:00 p.m.
Jennifer Huefner, Chair Assistant Clerk
MINUTES OF THE
MEETING OF THE
PLANNING COMMISSION OF
GARDEN CITY, UTAH
The Garden City Planning Commission held a regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday, January 7, 2009 at the Garden City Conference Center located at 69 N. Paradise Parkway. Commission Chair Huefner opened the meeting at 7:00 p.m.
Commission Members Present:
Excused: DJ Ballingham
The minutes of the Public Hearing of December 3, 2008 were presented. Commission Member Gough made the motion to accept the minutes of the December 3, 2008 Public Hearing of the Planning Commission with the exception to include Commission Member Argyle as being present. Commission Member Bills seconded the motion. All in favor and the motion carried.
The minutes of the regular meeting of December 3, 2008 were presented. Commission Member Gough made the motion to accept the minutes of the Planning Commission meeting of December 3, 2008 with the exception of having Commission Member Argyle as present. Commission Member Bills seconded the motion. All in favor and the motion carried.
The minutes of the special meeting with the Planning Commission and the Town Council were presented. Commission Member Gough made the motion to accept the minutes of the special meeting of the Planning Commission dated December 23, 2008 as drafted. Commission Member Bills seconded the motion. All in favor and the motion carried.
CONFLICT OF INTEREST
No Conflict of Interest was stated.
ORDINANCE #09-01 – Bonding for Amenities
Commission Chair Huefner invited those in the audience to come to the table for the discussion.
Commission Member Gough gave a brief summary explaining this ordinance. He said when he started his development; Lance Bourne came to him upset with things not happening in town. He wanted to make sure things that were promised, got done. He didn’t know Mr. Bourne and got upset thinking that he didn’t think he’d get his amenities done. Since then, he’s thought about it and feels it made a lot of sense. If something is promised within a subdivision, we need to be sure it gets done. He decided to check into other cities that are similar to ours. He gathered the information and would like to see that things that are promised should have a letter of credit or some way ensuring that the amenities will be finished.
A ski resort is big and it would be hard to get that kind of money up front. He met with Kathy Hislop and they created this ordinance.
Commission Member Gough said the Planning Commission has gone through this before. It just needed to be put in jargon we understand.
Commission Chair Huefner said she has talked with the Mayor and he, and Council Member Huefner, have a whole different perspective on this. They are here tonight to share this perspective.
Mayor Hansen said he thinks this is an admirable project. He doesn’t disagree that people should be protected. He is here not speaking as a developer or owner in Shundahai, but strictly as a Mayor. When he looks at a development, he sees essential and non-essential services that are built in each development. The essentials are road, power, water, sewer, etc. He did not agree that Mr. Gough needed to have a bond for the pool and he should have stood up and said so. He felt we were going into a territory that we were not prepared to do.
A Letter of Credit is simply a letter from the bank stating that the developer has credit. As soon as he doesn’t have credit, the letter of credit is no good. A lot of things that are done in communities – are done by a leap of faith. A bond is better than a letter of credit, but is nothing more than an insurance policy. Companies will fight you to collect bonds.
He talked about when Foothill Estates went bankrupt. There was supposed to be a tank there. It didn’t get done and they came to the town expecting them to put it in because they signed the plat. The attorney agreed. Since then, we’ve put in a 14” line and with Frank Smith’s tank on Elk’s Ridge, that has helped to solve the problem with water pressure. -Page 2-
Mayor Hansen said he sees all amenities as non-essential. They are not public. They are owned by the Homeowner’s Association who are bound by their CC&R’s and covenants. He said the town doesn’t require people to put in phones, cable TV, etc.
He used Shundahai as an example; It’s very unlikely they could get a bond or letter of credit for $10,000,000. If they would have built half the golf course last year and this ordinance was in place, with the economy the way it is, even if they had a letter of credit or bond, he doesn’t know how they could collect on it. Everyone could come to the town and expect the town to put in the golf course and all the other amenities that were promised at the cost of the citizen’s and their posterity.
He talked about the town building a water treatment plant. He’s concerned that the way it will be paid is through impact fees, but there’s no building right now. We’re going to be facing some serious problems paying for it. It may come down to an increase in our water rates.
Commission Member Gough asked if the town has a letter of credit, then the town is bound to make sure things are done when the plat is signed? Mayor Hansen said absolutely and also because we signed the plat.
Commission Member Argyle asked why the town would sign any plat then? Mayor Hansen said history shows that if someone won’t get a project done, someone else will stand up and do a better project. The best thing we can do is work with the developers. It’s hard for them to come up with a lot of cash. The best thing he has found to do is to work tightly with developers and allow them to record the plats so they can sell lots so more money is generated to put the developments in. If we put heavy restrictions, then it will separate the people out and let the outsiders come in and take over.
Commission Member Bills said he’s seen both sides of the fence. He doesn’t care what the impact fees were, because they get passed on. He is sympathetic of the problems and
The difficulties everyone has in this town. He said when times are good and money is being made, there’s a time for this type of ordinance. In this last year, everyone in this room realizes the economy has been challenged. He thinks we should make this a more inviting place for developers.
Commission Member Argyle said knowing about the responsibility, she will look at the projects totally differently now. With the way the economy is now, our hands would be bound by the approvals. Our responsibilities would be horrendous.
Mayor Hansen said you don’t really have any choice. You are bound by the ordinances. The economy will dictate whether some of the developments will be started or not.
Commission Member Argyle was concerned with the responsibility of the town approving developments.
Mayor Hansen said he’s glad that Raspberry Ridge was approved when it was. They are now struggling for financing, but hasn’t started yet.
Council Member Huefner said this would be a good time to step back and look at things.
Commission Member Gough compared St. George to Garden City. Building in St. George was easy. Everything sold fast. When he came here, it started being that way. They got everything in fast and up front and he feels that it goes smoother that way. If a buyer comes in and buys without all the amenities done, they don’t have to pay the higher price and the developer doesn’t get as much money. It’s a hard way to build. It’s not good for the town. If the essentials don’t get done, the town will be responsible.
Mayor Hansen believes that Bear Lake is a whole different animal than anywhere else that’s being developed. He’s no stranger to this cycle.
Mayor Hansen said if we were a town with a larger budget, it may be easier, but things are so tight right now.
Commission Member Argyle said she is concerned with developer’s making promises and making premium money and the buyer could be left with nothing. Also developers buying more land for more phases and they don’t even have the first phase done yet. There’s got to be something saying we can’t approve the next phase for the protection for the public.
Mayor Hansen feels the first phase should be finished before the approval of the second phase.
Commission Member Bills feels the economy will police itself.
Council Member Huefner thinks we should put a safety net that developments are done in phases. Mayor Hansen said there is only one economy in this valley. It’s what we’re doing. In reality, larger companies won’t be coming here. We can’t even get a grocery store. Commission Member Bills said they wouldn’t survive the winter.
Mayor Hansen said it’s the mom and pop stores that help keep this place going. He would like the Planning Commission to look over the architectural standards, the sign ordinance and the affordable housing ordinance. We’ve got to do whatever we can to give people every opportunity to make their money.
There was discussion about an open space ordinance. Mayor Hansen would also like to see a multiple housing ordinance.
Mayor Hansen thanked the Planning Commission. There are no easy answers. He wants them to think if there’s some things they could do concerning phasing. He feels the sign ordinance is the most complicated.
There was discussion about working on these ordinances at a workshop at the Town Council meeting. They felt the short-term rental ordinance ended up being so good because everyone was able to come and give their input and help create it.
Commission Member Bills said he’s proud now to have people come up and get what they pay for while renting. They have to charge more in tax, but they’re happy the money is going where it is.
There was discussion about a ski resort. Mayor Hansen said the motions of the Planning Commission and the Town Council are tied to the plat.
Commission Member Gough said it makes it hard to accept anything now. Mayor Hansen said he doesn’t live in fear. We’ve gotten this far. If you look at the developer’s around here now, they’re all pretty good people. He feels good about them. They’ve got a big investment and they don’t want to see it fail. They don’t want to be a black mark on the community.
Commission Chair Huefner wondered about the use of development agreements. She wondered how that would impact the town. It may give us more flexibility as the time changes. Mayor Hansen said the Planning Commission can waive some conditions. But you’ll have to be careful about creating a precedence and make it very clear why you’re doing it.
Council Member Leonhardt thinks the architectural standards, even on commercial, need to change. He built an addition to his building in Montpelier and he didn’t even have to go to the Planning Commission or Town Council. We need to make it more affordable for more mom and pop shops. That’s about all that will really be here.
Commission Chair Huefner said training is part of what we’ve been doing tonight.
Commission Member Argyle would like to have Marilyn Adams come back for another session. Commission Chair Huefner agreed.
Commission Member Bills made the motion to adjourn the meeting. Commission Member Gough seconded the motion. All in favor and the meeting closed at 8:10 p.m.
Jennifer Huefner, Chairman Assistant Clerk