CITY OF RICHFIELD
At the Planning Commission
In and For Said City
September 7, 2016
Minutes of the Richfield City Planning Commission meeting held on Wednesday, September 7, 2016, at 6:00 p.m., Chairman Brion Terry, presiding.
1. Roll Call.
2. Minutes Approval: Consider approving minutes of July 6, 2016, and August 3, 2016.
3. Public Hearing:
Receive comments concerning a proposal to revise the zoning Code as it pertains to allowing
new residential uses in the Downtown and Commercial Shopping Zones.
4. General Plan and Zoning Code:
Consider motion recommending to the City Council whether or not to revise the Zoning Code
as it pertains to new residential uses in the Downtown and Commercial Shopping Zones.
5. Nonconforming Use:
Judy Stewart to discuss continuation of nonconforming use at 400 East 300 North (CS zone).
The property is used as an area for manufactured homes and is commonly known as the Frye
6. Conditional Use Permit:
Consider Glen Thomas Torgersen’s request to conduct a business called Torgersen
Engineering, Inc., at 567 East 200 North (R1-8 zone).
7. Other Business:
A. Set time for Training/Planning Meeting with City council and Rural Community
B. Discuss General Plan and Master Transportation Plan.
C. Other Items. Lisa White to discuss historical preservation.
8. Adjournment .
1. Roll Call. Roll call was answered by Brion Terry, Steve Kunzler, Jeff Albrecht, Monte Turner, David Mower, and Lisa White. Greg Bean was not present
City Staff Present: Zoning Administrator Gaylen Matheson and Deputy City Recorder Michelle Curtis.
Others present: Judy Stewart, Larry Blake, Perry Gardner, Tom Torgersen.
2. Minutes Approval. The minutes of July 6, 2016, and August 3, 2016, were reviewed. In the minutes of July 6, 2016, page 3 line 21, remove the word “to.” There are no changes to the minutes of August 3, 2016. Jeff Albrecht motioned to approve the minutes of July 6, 2016, as amended, and the minutes of August 3, 2016. David Mower seconded the motion. The motion carried.
David Mower wondered why issues come to the Planning Commission from the Zoning Enforcement Officer. He doesn’t feel like the Planning Commission is a group that should listen to witnesses testify and then the Commission makes a decision. It was explained that one of the duties of the Planning Commission is to act as the appeal authority for administrative decisions of the Zoning Administrator.
3. Public Hearing: 6:09 p.m. A public hearing was opened to receive comments concerning a proposal to revise the Zoning Code as it pertains to allowing new residential uses in the Downtown and Commercial Shopping Zones.
Chairman Terry explained that the Code does not currently allow new construction for residential uses in the D or CS zones. There is a party interested in constructing a building for multi-family use at the corner of 100 North 100 West. If it is decided to allow new construction, the Commission felt like it would be better to change the Use Table rather than spot zone.
Perry Gardner asked if there has been any response to the advertisement of this public hearing. The Commissioners have not had very much feedback. Mr. Gardner said the feedback he has had has been positive. Lisa White said she did have a neighbor say he didn’t want to live next door to a quadriplex, but he will be moving out of that neighborhood. Chairman Terry said that the Council seemed favorable when he gave the Planning Commission report to the City Council.
There being no other public comments, the public hearing was closed at 6:11 p.m.
4. General Plan and Zoning Code: Consideration is given to making a motion to recommend whether or not the City Council should revise the Zoning Code as it pertains to new residential uses in the Downtown and Commercial Shopping Zones.
Chairman Terry said it needs to be determined whether or not the Commission wants to allow this in all commercial zones or just the Downtown zone. Lisa White said initially she would have agreed to have it in both D and CS zones, but after thinking about it, she believes it should be allowed only in the D zone because downtown is more contained and more compatible. She is afraid that allowing it in the CS zone will open a can of worms.
Jeff Albrecht’s opinion is that it is hard to foresee what might happen on every lot along Main Street. In the three years he has been on the Commission, this is the first time someone has come in and requested this. He is not sure that maybe it isn’t better to do the spot zoning on a case-by-case basis because of unforeseen circumstances. He doesn’t have a problem with allowing a multi-family on the corner of 100 North 100 West, but he isn’t sure that every lot on Main Street would be a good place for multi-family dwellings.
David Mower said when he first came to Richfield, he had a law office located on North Main. Now there is a business which seems to be a decline in use. He wondered if that building became vacant, what if someone wanted to convert it to an apartment? Chairman Terry said he thinks the building code would control that and also parking requirements. Mr. Mower wondered if “new” means new construction or changing a use? Steve Kunzler said this would only apply to new construction, not changing a use.
Steve Kunzler said there are already a number of apartments located above buildings in the D zone and it doesn’t seem there has been a problem with them so why would the Commission not allow for new construction? He said he thinks that since there are already a number of apartments above buildings and there doesn’t seem to be a problem with them, why not go ahead and allow new construction? As far as CS zones, maybe that could be looked at on a case-by-case basis.
Gaylen Matheson reminded the Commission that there was a gentleman who lives on 100 East in the CS zone. He would like to tear down the house and rebuild. As a legal non-conforming use, they wouldn’t be allowed to tear it down and rebuild.
There was a question as to whether these could be handled as variances. The Commission was advised that variances cannot be granted for use issues. There was also discussion about allowing new construction of apartments as a conditional use rather than a permitted use.
Chairman Terry would like to see multi-family allowed in the D zone but not in the CS zone.
Tom Torgerson wondered why the Commission wouldn’t want to allow it in commercial zones? Lisa White expressed her opinion that on a case-by-case basis, it might be allowed, but as a general rule in the commercial shopping district, it could cause more negative interactions and more problems. Steve Kunzler expressed his agreement with Mrs. White’s comments.
Lisa White motioned to recommend that the Use Table in the Zoning Code be modified to allow new construction of single family, duplexes, 3-plexes, and 4-plexes as a C1 use in the Downtown Zone. David Mower seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.
5. Nonconforming Use: Judy Stewart is present to discuss continuation of a nonconforming use at 400 East 300 North (CS zone). The property is used as an area for manufactured homes and is commonly known as the Frye Trailer Park. Ms. Stewart said that her dad started the park in 1970. He passed away in 1988. He was told that he could have 5th wheel trailers with skirting, heat tape on their water pipes, and they would be ok to live there. That doesn’t happen on a regular basis, but it does happen. The reason this came to the attention of the Planning Commission is because there was a gentleman who put his camp trailer in the lower portion of the trailer park. It was all he had. She hadn’t rented that space for such a long time that the power company had taken the power meter out. In order to put the meter back in, she had to have Gaylen Matheson inspect the new meter. There was a question as to whether or not the nonconforming use applies to the number of mobile homes on the property or the use of the entire property. .
Ms. Stewart does have people come in with RVs and rent on a month-to-month basis. They put skirting around their trailers. This is not an RV park.
This mobile home park is considered a legal non-conforming use. Generally, a non-conforming use becomes invalid after 365 days of non-use. The question is where there are 10 connections, if a trailer has been gone for more than 365, does that spot lose its status as a non-conforming use, thus reducing the number of mobile homes that are allowed.
The DRC has met with Attorney Richard Chamberlain and discussed this matter. Jeff Albrecht was present at that meeting and explained that it is Mr. Chamberlain’s opinion that the non-conforming use applies to the use of the property and whatever number of spaces exists should be able to be kept. However, he also advised that whatever number of spaces currently exists should not be allowed to be expanded. Any manufactured homes that are brought onto the property should not encroach into property setbacks.
Chairman Terry reiterated that the non-conforming use is for the entire property and not on an individual space basis and she should be allowed to continue doing what she has been doing.
6. Conditional Use Permit: Glen Thomas Torgersen is present to request approval conduct a business called Torgersen Engineering, Inc., at 567 East 200 North (RM-11 zone). It was pointed out that the zoning map shows this property as being zoned R1-8. (It was confirmed after this meeting that the property is zoned R1-8.)
Mr. Torgersen will be living in the home and would like to use the attached garage for an engineering business. He will have one employee, a drafter/surveyor, who mostly works out of his truck. There is a driveway which vehicles will be able to use to drive back to the garage/office. Also, there will be parking back there. The lot is 214 feet deep. He might use the detached garage to store lumber for stakes.
Mr. Torgersen was advised of the sign regulation which allows a sign that is no larger than 2 square feet in the window of the home. He agrees that he would put that in the front window of the home and then a sign on the door of the garage that says “enter.” He was told that the Commission is mostly concerned with the view from the street so the sign on the garage would be ok.
Monte Turner motioned to approve a Conditional Use Permit allowing a home occupation permit for Glen Thomas Torgersen to conduct a business called Torgersen Engineering, Inc., at 567 East 200 North. Lisa White seconded the motion. The motioned carried unanimously.
7. Other Business:
A. Set time for Training/Planning Meeting with City council and Rural Community Consultants. The Commission would like to meet with the Council on October 11, 6:00 p.m.
B. Discuss General Plan and Master Transportation Plan. This was not discussed at this meeting. The Commission is still very concerned about the second phase of development for Eagle View Townhomes to be located between 800 South and 1000 South and 100 and 200 East. It is felt that it is absolutely necessary that 800 South continues east from 100 East to 200 East. The Commission feels like the completion of that street should be a requirement of development, including the purchase of property and installing the street.
C. Other Items. Lisa White to discuss historical preservation. Lisa White said she thinks the City should establish a historic district for Richfield. She doesn’t know exactly what that entails. Blythe Ogilvie and Elaine Wayland went to City Council and talked about establishing an historic commission for document preservation and to write grants for the library and other buildings.
One reason she started thinking about this is because some of the homes that would be historical, do not comply with zoning codes. She points out that if an older home were to be condemned and torn down, it would be difficult to build a home in its place because they couldn’t comply with the Zoning Code. It would then become a vacant lot because the size of the lot would not allow for new construction and compliance with setbacks. She wonders about having different zoning requirements for historic aesthetics. She isn’t sure exactly what that entails, but wanted to bring it up to see how the Commission feels about it. Most cities have a historic district.
Jeff Albrecht asked if she would want to have a historic district that is a contiguous area or would she have to sit down and look at every house and see when and where historic homes are located. She believes there is a chunk located just outside of the Downtown Zone and maybe some in outlying areas.
Lisa white will do some more homework concerning this and bring her findings back to the Commission.
8. Adjournment. The meeting adjourned at 8:30 p.m.
PASSED AND APPROVED on the 5th day of October, 2016.
/s/ Michelle Curtis
Deputy City Recorder