Meeting Minutes 2007






The Garden City Planning & Zoning Commission held their regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday, November 7, 2007 at the Garden City Office Building located at 145 W. Logan Rd.  Commission Chairman Jennifer Huefner opened the meeting at 7:00 p.m.


Commission Members Present:


            Jennifer Huefner, Chairman

            Pat Argyle

            Scott Gough

            Greg Bills

            Lance Bourne


Excused:  DJ Ballingham


Others Present:


            Sharlene Millard                                               Ken Hansen, Mayor

Rick and Shana Fawcett                                   Bess Huefner

            Kathy Hislop                                                    RuthAnn Jarman

            Angie McPhie                                                   McKay Jarman

            Brian House                                                     Allie Jarman

            Bobbi Coray                                                   

            Anita Weston

            John Alter





The Oath of Office was administered to Scott Gough.




The Minutes of the Public Hearing of October 3, 2007 were presented.  Commission Member Bourne made the motion to approve the minutes as presented.  Commission Member Bills seconded the motion.  All in favor and the motion carried. 


The Minutes of the Regular Meeting of October 3, 2007 were presented.  Commission Member Bourne made the motion to approve the minutes with corrections.  Commission Member Bills seconded the motion.  All in favor and the motion carried.







Rick Fawcett said the first subdivision ordinance he proposed was from Bear Lake County.  He has inserted their ordinance into ours and started with Chapter 11, General Provisions.  He has made a lot of changes to that section.  They are in addition to the definitions that support the Subdivision Ordinance.  He said tonight, we are just looking at the Subdivision Ordinance.  He will show the items that have been changed and get their opinions on the changes. 


Mr. Fawcett thinks we should leave the wording “Administrator” in the ordinance and define who the Administrator is in the definitions.  That way, if and when that changes, we don’t have to go through the whole ordinance to change it.


Everyone went over the Subdivision Ordinance and discussed any changes they felt were necessary.


Our Minor Subdivision is for 4 lots or less.  Under a Minor Subdivision, the developer doesn’t have to put in a road if the lot is accessible.  There would need to be a review before the Preliminary because a Minor Subdivision doesn’t need a final approval.


Mr. Fawcett said the wording “flood plane areas” is no longer used.  He suggested using the words “flood prone areas”.  That is a recommendation from FEMA.


If the town has a map of flood prone areas, they won’t be held liable for those who have built in those areas and water rises.


There was a question about a strip of land running alongside a road being useless.  Mayor Hansen said it could be used as part of their open space.  It could also be a planting strip or a buffer.  Commission Chairman Huefner said as they are planning roads, that may be a big problem in the future.


Mayor Hansen said we need to make it very clear that both entrances to a subdivision need to be usable entrances.  We won’t let one be left open only for emergencies.

Mr. Fawcett said we should have recorded easements on all roads.  Mayor Hansen said especially if the road goes onto someone else’s property, and it should be in their CC&R’s.


Mr. Fawcett said we should re-visit the section about width of roads.


Mayor Hansen said we now give 3 options for developers; a letter of credit, bond, or cash bond.  Each phase should be bonded. 


Kathy Hislop would like to put in that the bond or letter of credit be 125% for one year, with an extension of 6 months for 150%.  No one can go over 18 months.  Mayor Hansen would like to add that the bond could be decreased as the development is developed.


Mr. Fawcett said there is a provision to re-adjust lot lines.  If neighbors want to re-adjust a lot line within a platted subdivision to accommodate two property owners and if you’re not changing the function of the subdivision, this re-adjustment would work.  They will still need to re-file and do as-built drawings.  The Planning Commission said they would like that provision added.  There was discussion about making larger lots within subdivisions for larger homes.  It would decrease density.


Mr. Fawcett recommends that the lots be surveyed for lots splits and the deed be filed.  The Planning Commission would like the lots to have a deed restriction that it can never be split again.


Mayor Hansen suggested we state the smallest square footage a lot can be split to make it buildable.  They would still need to meet what the zone says.


Mr. Fawcett talked about allowing density credits by incentivizing affordable housing.  He talked about developers negotiating larger lots, for example, by adding affordable housing within their subdivision, or helping with the library.  He wondered how we could give the developers incentives to help the town with things they want.  This is already in action in Bear Lake County.  They are getting over 300 affordable housing credits within 5 years.  It’s not considered a taking, it’s an option.


The negotiations with developers take place through the Planning Commission with recommendations to the Town Council.


Mr. Fawcett said the ordinances need to be developed in such a way that allows the developer to make more money on the amount of land that they have.  By allowing them to make more money on that development then some of the profit is put back into the affordable housing fund.  The idea is not to penalize the developer but to allow the developer to make better use of the land he has by reducing lot sizes and open space so they can make more money.  He asked what would be the benefit for a PUD to become more profitable?  The audience said year-round livability, less open space.  Mr. Fawcett asked if we would allow a developer to add an extra story to a building within a PUD if he were willing to help benefit the town? 


Mr. Fawcett said if a second homeowner comes in and spends $450,000 for a lot.  What is another $2,000.00?  The developer just puts the cost to the homeowner.  This is about providing the services for people to be here to volunteer, i.e. fire dept., law enforcement, etc. 


Commission Chairman Huefner asked about paving roads.  She would like to see that subdivisions pave their roads.  It makes it easier to access lots.  Mayor Hansen said it raises the property value.  Mr. Fawcett said he has put that in the ordinance, also curb, gutter and planting strips.  We need to see what types of drainage we really want.


There will be a Citizen’s Input Meeting next week on November 15, 2007; everyone should bring their corrections to the ordinances.

Mr. Fawcett suggested giving the ordinance to the developers to have them look it over.  There will be less emotion at the Public Hearing.


Mr. Fawcett said you can do a PUD two ways; as a sub set of a subdivision, or a PUD can be a zone where you don’t have to worry about the conditions.  If it’s not developed, the land would revert back to the original zone.


Mr. Fawcett said he doesn’t like Conditional Use Permits.  There are too many variations with different Planning Commission members.  It’s too personality driven.




Commission Chairman Huefner handed out the zoning maps and told the Commission to look at it and decide where roads could go.




Mayor Hansen said he met with Michael Mower from the Office of the Governor.  He may be able to see if there is funding available for training of Planning Commissions.


Commission Chairman Huefner said it’s very important to understand what our responsibilities are as Planning Commissioners.  We have legal responsibilities and we don’t want to get the town in trouble, legally.  The number one thing we need to know is what our job is.  We make recommendations to the Town Council to approve, disapprove or approve with conditions.  Whenever we make a motion, the wording needs to be in the motion and we need to state why something is approved or disapproved.  We need to be specific in our findings.  Our decisions need to be legally binding.


We have to base our opinions through the ordinance, not our personal reasons.  All we can do as a Planning Commission is look at the application, gather all the information based on the information they give us, look through the ordinances where applicable and decide if the application fits the ordinance.  We then recommend that the Town Council approves, disapproves or approves with conditions.  We don’t send them to the Town Council if we don’t approve it.


We have to make findings to support our decision.  If the motion and the finding is sent to the Town Council we can do without the approval forms.  We need to realize that it isn’t just the town that can get in trouble, but an individual working in the Planning Commission or Town Council can be legally liable for wrong doing.  So it’s important that we know what we’re doing and we do it right.


Mayor Hansen said our decision needs to be based on defendable facts, not opinions.  Commission Chairman Huefner wants the Planning Commission to go through the ordinances and familiarize themselves with them.  She would also like our map to include future trails.  They’re almost as important as roads.




Mayor Hansen said we’re looking for a Santa Clause for the community Christmas party.  If anyone has any suggestions, let him know.




Commission Member Bourne made the motion to adjourn the meeting at 10:20 p.m.  Commission Member Gough seconded the motion. 





APPROVED:                                                   ATTEST:




________________________________        ____________________________________

Jennifer Huefner, Chairman                               Assistant Clerk