COUNTY OF SEVIER
CITY OF RICHFIELD
At the Planning Commission
In and For Said City
February 4, 2009
Minutes of the Richfield City Planning Commission meeting held on Wednesday, February 4, 2009, at 7:00 p.m., Chairman Blake Zobell, presiding.
1. Roll Call
2. Approval of Minutes
3. Review and consider approving site plan and exterior
elevations for Aron’s Rents and another commercial building to
be located at Hwy 89 and 800 South (C-1).
4. Consider approval of Mike Turner’s request for an additional
5. Discuss Mt. Catherine affordable housing project to be located
at the northwest corner of 530 South College Avenue.
Consider recommending approval of Mt. Catherine’s request
for a reduction of Off-street Parking in accordance with Section
1912 of the Richfield Zoning Code. The proposal is for 2.25
spaces per unit for Mt. Catherine Apartments and 1.5 spaces
per unit for the north portion of the property to be occupied by
Vesper Hills, a senior complex.
6. Review and discussion concerning proposed CC&Rs for the
Richfield C ity Business Park.
7. Discuss Chapter 19 – Off-street Parking and Loading:
Consider visitor parking for all multi-family developments
(including all housing structures larger than a single family
8. Appointment of Planning Commission Chairman and Vice-
Chairman for 2009.
9. Items for Next Agenda.
1. Roll Call. Roll Call was answered by Blake Zobell, Steve Kunzler, Pat Hansen, Stan Poulson, Eugene Beck, and Stan Chappell.
Others Present: Building Official Paul Hinrichs and Deputy City Recorder Michelle Curtis.
2. Minutes Approval. The minutes of January 7, 2009, were reviewed. Eugene Beck motioned to approve the minutes of January 7, 2009. Stan Poulson seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.
3. Review and consider approving site plan and exterior elevations for Aron’s Rents and another commercial building to be located at Hwy 89 and 800 South (C-1). Chris Forsyth is present. Mr. Forsyth said the site plan has been changed slightly since he was last here. The placement of the larger building and smaller building have been reversed. He is proposing that the smaller building will be placed on the south rather than the north. He anticipates the smaller building will be a restaurant. That will flow better for the delivery area for Aron’s and the proposed restaurant. There will be a small outdoor dining area as well. Aron’s is a rent-to-own business where they rent things like furniture, appliances, and computers. This is their corporate prototype building. There are thousands of these across the country. They are very competitive in pricing. They are the number one Phillips Electronics dealer in the nation. They will be a good neighbor and a good addition to the community.
Mr. Forsyth said the building discussed at the last meeting was a steel structure building. The Zoning Code requires a certain percentage of a metal building to be faced with something other than metal. In looking at the AutoZone, which is masonry, and looking at the requirements of the proposed restaurant, it would have been difficult to mate a steel structure building to a restaurant that needed to be block and have a different roof system. So they have elected to go with a block building for Aron’s. The building will be cultured stone with gray stucco. The side facing the canal will be gray. The south side of the restaurant will be brown cultured stone and the rest of the stucco features will be a contrasting brown color called Cottonwood.
The mechanical equipment will be on the roof. The parapet walls on the front and on the south side will cover the equipment from view. The equipment will be seen from Cove View Road. Paul Hinrichs said those could be screened with a type of metal screening that is similar to a fence. It could be in an L shape so it would not be seen from the DI side or Cove View Road side. The roofs will be a white rubberized roof system. The units are usually off-white or ivory.
Sue Southwick arrived.
As far as parking is concerned, 100 parking spaces were required originally but if the one building is going to be a restaurant, the site will require 116 spaces. That is with parking calculated at 1 space per 200 square feet for the retail businesses and 1 space per 100 square feet for the restaurant. The plan shows 106 spaces so it is ten spaces short. Mr. Forsyth would ask for some leniency in parking. He was asked if the restaurant is the type of place that would be busier in the evening, because that would help with parking when the other businesses are closed. Mr. Forsyth said they are busy for the dinner hour, but also draw a good size lunch crowd. However, it is not the type of place where you would go in and sit for a long time. Mr. Forsyth said there might be another alternative where he could pick up a few more parking spaces at the southwest corner of the property. There is a very small space that is owned by the City. It sits between this property, 800 South, and the canal. Even though he doesn’t own it, he has agreed to landscape that property, maintain it, and take care of it which benefits his development. If the City is agreeable, he could adjust the parking lot and pick up a few more parking spaces there.
Another alternative would be numbering the parking spaces according to how many seats are in the restaurant. The Zoning Code requires one space per four seats. Mr. Forsyth does not know how many seats there will be. When he has that figure, it may be that parking will be adequate based on the number of seats. Mr. Forsyth also stated that the plan shows 3250 square feet for the restaurant, but it is actually only 3000 square feet. Mr. Forsyth will be meeting with the restaurant tomorrow so he can get a count at that time.
Eugene Beck wondered if Mr. Forsyth has had discussion with Aron’s and Auto Zone and how they feel about having a restaurant located next to their businesses. Mr. Forsyth said Aron’s is very happy with it. Auto Zone is aware that there is a possibility this could occur. Their concern is somewhat different. They are not worried about parking. They like certain restaurants. They don’t want large trucks delivering or parking there. That would not be the case with this restaurant. The other thing they don’t ever want to be around is a restaurant that serves alcoholic beverages with people sitting there for a long time drinking. This restaurant is not that type of establishment.
If the restaurant turns out to have 100 seats or less, then the site plan as drawn will meet required parking as per the Zoning Code. The Commission could approve the site plan assuming there to be 100 seats or less. If the seating turns out to be 100 or more, then Mr. Forsyth will have to come back to adjust the parking.
Paul Hinrichs comments as far as signage is concerned, this site is just under 2 acres so the Commission doesn’t have the flexibility that is provided in the Code for larger properties. He notices that Aron’s has five small wall signs which say “Furniture”, “Electronics”, etc. Those are stick-on letters. The Sign Ordinance allows two wall signs. Mr. Hinrichs thinks those five small wall signs will go over the square footage limit. Mr. Hinrichs said those would be considered separate signs. At the shopping center by Wal-Mart, it was decided each business could have two wall signs of 25 square feet or less. The two signs depicted on the restaurant will be alright as long as they don’t go over the square footage. The signage on Aron’s Rents will probably not exceed the square footage, but it will exceed the number of signs. If the Commission wants to allow them to do signage like this, then the Sign Ordinance will have to be revised.
Mr. Forsyth said Mr. Hinrichs has been very clear about the Sign Ordinance with regard to each street. Highway 89 and 800 South would each be able to have one pole sign and one monument sign on each frontage. Auto Zone, which signed their lease first, has a pole sign that sits on Highway 89 near their building. Mr. Forsyth anticipated they would need another sign that could advertise the other tenants that would come later. On the property line just inches into this property is the Tack Shack pole sign. He has checked on the engineering of the sign and it is fine. He hoped he could just change the cabinet and then advertise the new Aron’s and/or the other restaurant or whatever might go there. As he learned just a week ago, that could be a violation of the Sign Ordinance. He thinks the property is actually 2.04 acres. Mr. Hinrichs said the plan says it 86,840 which is just under 2 acres at 1.994 acres. Mr. Forsyth said that is because they gave up property for the street. That is what dropped the acreage below 2 acres. He wonders if it would matter if he had 2.04. Mr. Hinrichs said that would make a difference because then the Planning Commission would have some flexibility, but it still doesn’t change the number of signs, just the area of signs. What Mr. Forsyth is hoping is that the Tack Shack pole sign could be grandfathered in as a sign that was purchased with the property. There is another pole sign which he would propose to remove and put the Auto Zone sign there, and then be allowed to utilize the sign that is already standing. He would propose not to put a monument sign on Highway 89 and put a small monument sign by the entrance off of 800 South. Otherwise, he isn’t sure what procedures are in place for a variance to be able to utilize the old sign. He will need something to advertise these businesses. He can’t put the other signs advertising other businesses on the Auto Zone pylon because it was engineered at maximum size for the pole. He hopes there is a legal way to grandfather in the existing pole sign that came with the property.
Chairman Zobell said the Commission will have to start doing its homework on that and can address it when Mr. Forsyth comes back in. The Commission would also like to address those other signs that are on the building face of Aron’s and determine a definition for those. The letters over the signs are individual and at maximum a foot tall. Mr. Forsyth again reiterates the reason the acreage dropped below 2 acres is because of the sliver that was dedicated to the City for the new street.
Steve Kunzler motioned to approve the site plan and elevations for Aron’s Rents and another commercial building to be located at Hwy 89 and 800 South (C-1 use), contingent on Mr. Forsyth bringing back information on the maximum seating of the restaurant so that the parking requirement can be met. Signs on the face of the Aron’s Rents building will have to be considered. Pat Hansen seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Forsyth again explained that Auto Zone will place their sign on a pole that will be installed on the corner. There is already a pole sign there which will be removed. The Tack Shack sign is fairly large and is already there on the north side of the property. They would propose to be able to use that and put a new cabinet on top which advertises the other two businesses. The small monument sign would go on 800 South.
4. Consider approval of Mike Turner’s request for an additional sign. Mike Turner is present to request permission for a sign at Mike’s Auto Clinic at 75 East 1075 South. Paul Hinrichs has told Mr. Turner that because of the existing signage he has, he won’t be able to install another sign because there are too many signs. There is a monument sign on the curb. He would like to put a lighted sign on the building that says Mike’s Auto Clinic. It would fit within a 100 square foot box. Mr. Turner said Mr. Hinrichs has told him that because of the signage on the awnings and the existing wall signs, he would have too much signage. There are four wall signs on the building currently. There is also a sign on each side of the gated fence. Mr. Turner said the two signs on the fence are required by law for the impound yard. They are 32 square feet and that is the exact size they are required to be. Mr. Turner said he has no problem taking down the four 4x8 signs. He also pointed out that page 24 of the Sign Ordinance has an error where it states that the total area of all wall signs shall be “more than 100 square feet.” The correct wording should state that a sign shall be “no more than 100 square feet.”
Mr. Turner communicated he does not like the new Sign Ordinance. He is very disappointed in it. He thinks it is so restrictive and micro-managing. It’s ridiculous that Aron’s can’t have lettering on their building or a business like Big O Tire wouldn’t be able to have words over the service bays.
Chairman Zobell told Mr. Turner the Commission has studied this for years and has invited comments from the public. The Chamber was given several months to review it and give their comments. The Commission tried really hard to listen to their comments and tried really hard to create an ordinance that would work. Mr. Turner agrees there are some good things in it but when it comes to wall signage, if you drive around town and look at the wall signage, it appears to him there are a lot of businesses that are out of compliance. Chairman Zobell advised that the Commission looked at the existing signs and feels like most of those are in compliance with the new Ordinance. The sign at State Bank is 100 square feet and that appears to be plenty large.
Mr. Turners agrees the Sign Ordinance might be great for a business right on Main Street that is not on a corner. But if a business sits off Main Street a little bit or is on a corner, then they need to be able to have more signage. He would propose the bigger the building, the bigger the sign.
Back to the issue at hand, Mr. Turner would like a 100-square foot sign because he thinks it will help his building to look like it is more than just a metal building. His building isn’t noticed from Main Street. He is willing to take off the four small signs because it is starting to look cluttered. He thinks the monument sign is probably going to come down as well. He will place canopies with lettering stating the service to be performed and then “Mike’s Auto Clinic” across the front.
Mr. Turner said Richfield Sales and Leasing rents an office in the side of the building and they would like to have a sign for that. He can have signage for that on the awning.
Pat Hansen motioned that Mike Turner be allowed to install a sign that is 100 square feet provided he removes the four signs on the building. (The two 4x8 signs on the fence have to remain in order for the impound yard to comply with law.) Sue Southwick seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.
5. Mt. Catherine Affordable Housing Project. Doug Crowther is present to discuss the Mt. Catherine affordable housing project to be located at the northwest corner of 530 South College Avenue. He is requesting a reduction in the requirement for Off-street Parking in accordance with Section 1912 of the Richfield Zoning Code which states as follows:
Requests to reduce off-street parking requirement(s)
or reduce parking space size may be granted by the
land Use Authority with Application approval, if the
1. A unique nature of the specific existing or proposed
land use or due to an unusually large number of
pedestrian or transit trips, below-normal parking
demands will be generated, or
2. Reduced number of off-street parking spaces will
meet the demands of the proposed use without
increasing traffic or on-street parking problems
in adjacent areas and neighborhoods.
The Zoning Code requires apartments to have 1.5 parking spaces per bedroom which would require Mt. Catherine to have 201 parking spaces for 134 bedrooms. Mr. Crowther is requesting that the Commission approve a reduction to 2.25 spaces per unit for Mt. Catherine which would be 108 parking spaces. He is also requesting a reduction to 1.5 parking spaces per unit for the north portion of the property to be occupied by Vesper Hills which will be a senior housing complex.
Mr. Crowther said he tried to compare Mt. Catherine with a similar project in Logan. It is a very unofficial tally, but he had the manager count the number of cars at random times. That site, which has 2.5 parking spaces per unit, averaged about 85 to 90 spaces being used on Sunday evenings which would probably be the time of highest parking they have. There were a lot of excess parking spaces left.
Mr. Crowther did ask their architect to come up with an alternate site plan that would conform to the Zoning Code. A draft of that plan which shows one large, 3-story building with a giant parking lot and aesthetically, it doesn’t seem that is the best way to go. When they applied for their funding, it was based on a certain number of units and they cannot change that number.
One thing Mr. Crowther said is if they are allowed to reduce the parking, they would additionally deed restrict the property so that it could not become student housing. Their commitment under the tax credits is 99 years. They would have to come to the City and request removal of the deed restriction so the City would be able to decide whether or not the use is ever changed.
Mr. Crowther said he thinks the biggest issue is that they can satisfy the ordinance. They can make it work but in doing so, they will have a big giant parking lot next to a great big building. He doesn’t think that is the type of development the City would want in comparison to having something that is more pleasing aesthetically.
Mr. Crowther has addressed the roadway. He asked the architect to make sure they can actually get a private street on the west side that will meet all of the City ordinances. There will not be any parking along the road, and it will have good traffic flow through it. This will be the only road into the senior housing complex.
Stan Chappell wonders if anybody really knows that it will be a vacant parking lot? Isn’t that just a best estimate? Mr. Crowther said he asked for the counts on the apartments in Logan because it was a college town and because of the description of how students can lease an apartment. He can’t guarantee that a family won’t have three cars, but some families will have only one car. Stan Poulson asked if they assign specific parking stalls for each unit. Mr. Crowther said they don’t usually assign spots, but they could. That is a management choice.
If the Planning Commission and Council determine this situation is unique and lower the requirement to 2.25 spaces per unit, they will be able to meet the parking requirement.
Chairman Zobell restated the request made by the petitioner. The question that needs to be answered is whether or not this is a unique situation that justifies reducing the parking requirement. CDI is saying this is a unique development because it is a 99-year lease and because of the type of tenants and use, it will not need 1.5 parking stalls per bedroom. Does the Planning Commission agree with that? Paul Hinrichs commented that 99 years is probably the lifetime of the building.
Mr. Crowther asked how many other developments in the City have been required to comply with the standard of 1-1/2 spaces per bedroom. He was told there is only one and that is Willow Creek. That is the only development that has been built since the Zoning Code was adopted. However, it does make sense for them to comply with that standard because when everything was said and done, they said it was intended to be used for student housing. If CDI is required to meet that parking standard, the units will have to be housed in one large building that is three stories high.
Chairman Zobell points out the City has gone to all the work to make sure that things look nice with more green and landscaping. So if the parking is not reduced, CDI is prepared to go through with the larger building. There has been concern expressed about how things look from I-70. A large 3-story building would be unattractive and that doesn’t accomplish the purpose of the Code.
Eugene Beck said in looking over the market feasibility study, it validated the representations as to who it is rented to. The biggest concern of those studies seemed to be concerned with protection from I-70 and screening for noise and safety. Mr. Crawford said the trees in the landscape will help to accomplish that and also that is why the buildings sit towards the east side of the property. Mr. Beck said the other thing that is provided in the market feasibility is the amount of restriction as to who can be leased to. It validated for him the things that Mr. Crawford had been saying.
Mr. Crowther said they are trying to present the reality of the parking situation. If they don’t have enough parking for their tenants, it won’t be good for them either so he has consciously looked at other projects to feel good about providing enough parking.
Chairman Zobell said in his mind there are projects and there are developments. If the Commission takes into consideration some of the concerns expressed by citizens about crime, it seems like when people are congregated that close together, that gets more police activity than a development. It is his opinion that it is better to have some separation between the buildings. Another concern was safety of children. Where will children play with the larger parking lot. There is no interior sidewalk or anywhere for the kids to play other than the parking lot.
Again the question is, does the Planning Commission believe the development is unique based on the type of tenants, the 99-year lease, and a deed restriction that they are willing to put on it. If the Commission believes it is unique, then should they be required to have 2.25 parking spaces per unit which would require 108 spaces or should they be required to provide 2.5 parking spaces per unit which requires 120 parking spaces
Paul Hinrichs told Mr. Crowther that the deed restriction should be worded that Mt. Catherine can’t be converted to student housing without the approval of Richfield City.
Mr. Crowther is also asking for a reduction in parking for the Vesper Hills project because it is senior housing. They are requesting that only 1.5 parking spaces be required. After some discussion, the Commission wants to require 2 spaces per unit. It seems if the Commission wants to grant a unique-nature interpretation of this, then parking still shouldn’t be reduced to lower than what the minimum standard is for a single-family residence. That would be spaces two spaces per unit.
Stan Poulson motioned to recommend that the Council approve the request of the applicant for a reduction in the number of required parking spaces because of the unique nature of the developments based on Section 1912. Mt. Catherine Apartments shall be allowed to have 2.5 parking spaces per unit and Vesper Hills shall be allowed to provide 2 parking spaces per unit. The unique nature of Mt. Catherine is that there is a 99-year lease for affordable housing and provided a deed restriction is recorded so that the development cannot be changed to student housing without the approval of Richfield City. Vesper Hills is unique because of it being a senior citizen complex. Stan Chappell seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Crowther will bring a site plan back for consideration. This is a C2 use so the City Council will have the final approval. Mr. Crowther said he will go to City Council to request a reduction in parking. The Council also needs to approve the subdivision. He will then bring a site plan back to the Commission when he knows which direction to go.
6. Review and discussion concerning proposed CC&Rs for the Richfield City Business Park. This matter was tabled because the draft of the CC&Rs is still being worked on. The Commission will review it at a later time.
7. Discuss Chapter 19 – Off-street Parking and Loading: Consideration is given to how many spaces should be required for multi-family developments (including all housing structures larger than a single family residence.) Paul Hinrichs said at the last meeting, the Commission decided there should be an extra .25 space per unit for apartment complexes of five units and larger. However, it wasn’t specified whether there should be a requirement for visitor parking for apartments that are 4-plexes and smaller. Was it the intent of the Commission to require an extra .25 parking space for all residences larger than single family? Having no extra parking for visitors at a 4-plex might be worse than having no visitor parking for a larger apartment. The Commission feels like that extra space should be included on all multi-family units.
Eugene Beck motioned to recommend to the Council that the Code should be changed to require an extra .25 parking space per unit for all residential units over a single family residence. Steve Kunzler seconded the motion.
The following points were discussed:
Currently, the Code requires 1.5 parking spaces per bedroom for apartments five units and over. In last month’s meeting, Brayden Gardner indicated that he wished he had more parking for his apartments; however, he only has two spaces per unit for a total of 32 spaces. Carole Breinholt had stated that she was short of parking also; however, her apartments have 27 parking spaces for 24 units. Both of these people indicated they needed a few more parking spaces. If Mrs. Breinholt’s Armstrong Apartments were required to comply with the existing Code plus another .25 space for visitors, they would be required to have 78 parking spaces as compared to the 27 spaces they have. Mr. Gardner would be required to have 49 spaces compared to the 32 that he has. The Zions Way apartments have 44 parking spaces. Under the new Code they would be required to have 81 parking spaces.
It was pointed out the Code requirement of 1.5 spaces per bedroom is a new requirement and there has only been one development where that standard has been applied. The City has not yet seen if that is adequate parking or if it falls short. When 1.5 spaces per bedroom was discussed, it was anticipated there could be apartments with students and assuming there would be two students in each bedroom with most of those students each having their own car. It seems like it is becoming more rare for students to share a bedroom and so there will likely be many cases where there will be only one student per bedroom. The suggestion concerning visitor parking came about when Mt. Catherine wanted to reduce the parking to 2 spaces per unit and it was suggested if the parking is reduced for a situation like theirs, it might be wise to have a requirement for extra parking for visitors.
There is a question that if visitor parking is added on top of the student model of parking at 1.5 spaces per bedroom, it might kill some projects and make it difficult to use their property. The City is almost forcing them to be in violation of our own zoning by not allowing them to use the property at the density that we said they can by forcing them to put in all that parking. If it turns out that developers are asking for a variance continually, then there is something wrong with the ordinance.
Chairman Zobell recommends the Commission should slow down on this matter because there is not a big time crunch to change this. He suggests this be tabled until some more homework can be done. He would encourage everyone to really study it, think about it, and look at the language and see if there is another way to make it work without killing projects but still providing enough parking without forcing the construction of 3-story buildings.
Stan Chappell motioned to table the issue to rescind the decision last month requiring the extra .25 space for visitor parking. That recommendation will not be sent to the City Council until it can be given more thought. Eugene Beck seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.
8. Appointment of Planning Commission Chairman and Vice-Chairman for 2009. Blake Zobell was appointed as Chairman for 2009. Steve Kunzler was appointed to act as Vice-Chairman for the 2009 year.
9. Other Business. Kelly Magleby is present on behalf of Magleby Mortuary. The mortuary purchased the property across the street from the mortuary for parking. The property is located on the east side of 100 West between 100 and 200 South. They have graded the property and would like to install a cinder block fence. There is at least a 2-foot difference in the grade from north to south. They would like to build a fence that is 6 feet tall and will be as tall as 8 feet as it goes south because they would like to keep the top of the fence level.
Chairman Zobell read page 99, section 5.11 where it says that “commercial property sharing a common lot line with property used for residential property shall require the construction of a site-obscuring fence with a minimum height of 6 feet.” The Planning Commission can allow a fence up to 9 feet. If the Planning Commission allows them to do this, it will be in full compliance with the ordinance; however, they will have to maintain the setback on the south end with the fence dropping to 3 feet tall for 10 feet.
10. Items for Next Agenda. Mt. Catherine site plan.
11. Adjournment. The meeting adjourned at 9:05 p.m.
PASSED AND APPROVED this 4th day of March, 2009.
/s/ Michelle Curtis
Deputy City Recorder