Minutes – 4.7.2021

COUNTY OF SEVIER 

CITY OF RICHFIELD

                                                                                    At the Planning Commission

                                                                                    In and For Said City

                                                                                    April 7, 2021

         Minutes of the Richfield City Planning Commission meeting held on Wednesday, April 7, 2021, at 6:00 p.m., Chairman Kendrick Thomas, presiding.

1.      Roll Call

2.      Conditional Use Permits

            A.         Consider approving a Conditional Use Permit allowing Justin Zenger to conduct

                        a business at 820 South 100 East.  The purpose of the business is for the rental

                        of compact equipment.  (CS zone, C-2 use). 

3.         Action on Request for Rezone

            A.         Discussion and motion to City Council concerning request for rezone of property

                        located at approximately 1000 West Center.  It is proposed to change the zone

                        from the F-1 to the R1-10 zone.   (Public hearing was held on March 3, 2021.) 

4.         Other Business.

            A.     Preston Harward to request that the Commission consider revising the Zoning               

Code to allow short-term rentals in the R1-6 zone. 

B. Consider approving Baldauf Exacavating’s application requesting the approval of

the construction of a metal buliding at 3045 South Mulberry Lane (south of

business park) (MD zone, C1 use).

            C.      Dan Farley to discuss possibilities for rezoning and use of property located at

                     1050 West 530 South (old church dairy farm property located between the

                     canal and the freeway).  The property consists of two lots.  Discussion to include                       

changing the zone of one lot from RM-11 to RM-24 and changing the zone on

                      the other lot from RM-11 to CG to allow for self-storage units. 

5.         Minutes Approval:

            A.       Consider approving minutes of March 3, 2021.

6.        Adjournment

1.          Roll Call.  Roll call was answered by Kendrick Thomas, Greg Bean, Lisa White, Susan Jensen, Blaine Breinholt, and Josh Peterson.

City Staff Present:   Deputy City Recorder Michelle Curtis and Building Official Rick Robinson.    

Others present:  Steve Waite, Sharon Waite, Dan Farley, Honey Farley, Justin Zenger, Preston Harward, and  Kelly Crane.

2.          Conditional Use Permits

             A.  Consider approving a Conditional Use Permit allowing Justin Zenger to conduct a business at 820 South 100 East.  The purpose of the business is for the rental of compact equipment.  (CS zone, C-2 use). 

Justin Zenger was present.  The property was previously used by Boyters for a U-Haul rental business.  He plans to rent out compact equipment such as skid steers, mini excavators, trenchers, flatbeds, and smaller equipment such as compactors, and jumping jacks.   

Greg Bean asked what volume does he expect to have.  Mr. Zenger will open the business with about a dozen pieces of equipment.  He has a lease agreement with the property owners, Boyters.  He will use about one-third of the property and then use more of the property as the need arises.  There are billboard signs on the property, and the Boyters do not want Mr. Zenger’s business to impede those signs.  Therefore, he will mostly use the back (west) one-third of the lot.  He will have to redo the water line and put in electricity.  He plans to place crushed rock to provide some sort of a base.  He has a one-year lease with Mr. Boyter.  He won’t be putting in capital improvements other than general clean up and organization.  Initially, his office will be a construction trailer, like a site manager trailer.  He needs to talk with Building Official Rick Robinson about that.   He also needs to discuss signage with Mr. Robinson. 

The business will be conducted mostly by appointment but hopefully it will become busy enough for a 40-hour week. 

It was explained that this property was previously used for a rental business which is a conditional use.  Mr. Zenger’s business is also a rental business; however, a conditional use does expire after 365 day of non-use.  It is unknown when the prior rental activity went out of business; therefore, it was felt that it would be best to have this business go through the approval process.

Mr. Zenger has provided a signed lease agreement showing that the property owner approves of this use.    

Lisa White motioned to approve a Conditional Use Permit allowing Justin Zenger to conduct a business at 820 South 100 East for the rental of compact equipment, as presented.  Greg Bean seconded the motion.  Those voting aye:  Kendrick Thomas, Lisa White, Susan Jensen, Blaine Breinholt, Greg Bean, Josh Peterson.  Those voting nay:  None.  The motion carried unanimously. 

3          Action on Request for Rezone

            A.         Discussion and motion to City Council concerning request for rezone of property located at approximately 1000 West Center.  It is proposed to change the zone from the F-1 to the R1-10 zone.   (Public hearing was held on March 3, 2021.)   

Kelly Crane was present.  Chairman Thomas stated he knows that Kelly Crane and Richard Chamberlain were frustrated last month because the Planning Commission tabled this matter.  City Manager Michele Jolley gave him counsel and guidance to remember that the Commission does not actually approve a rezone, but rather makes a recommendation to the City Council.  The other thing to remember is that it is the responsibility of the Planning Commission to determine if the zone change is appropriate.  He added that typically the Commission votes unanimously, but it is alright to disagree and have a healthy debate.  It is ok if members vote differently on things.    

Rick Robinson said he did some studying and the Planning Commission recommendation would be for a zone change in the Land Use Code.   The issues with water, soil compaction, etc., come with the development when they begin a subdivision.  If the zone is changed and the developer spends money but can’t make it work, then it is their problem. 

Greg Bean said his concern was if the soil is no good.  He has seen developments build on soil where they have nothing but trouble, and then the City gets sued for allowing a project in the first place.  He would like to avoid that for the City.  He believes that has happened elsewhere in the past.  He thinks the soil could be bad because it is in the foothill areas, and he thinks there are gypsum deposits around here.  Gypsum is notoriously bad for the foundation of dwellings.  He learned that because of his experience in Cedar City when they put a power substation in the foothills in the southeast part of town.  They had to over-excavate to a depth of 20 feet to make the property suitable for a big transformer.   There were other developments in the eastern foothills where people had problems. 

Rick Robinson said if you have an engineer that has enough confidence, and a homeowner who has enough money, you can build on the side of a cliff or you can build on a sand pit.  When he issues a building permit, he has to ensure that the soil will hold a home.

Blaine Breinholt said last year he did a soil sample at the Cowley home which is north of this property.  It was sand and gravel, no gypsum. 

Kelly Crane said he wasn’t here last month, but he heard about the discussion concerning soils reports and heard that the Commission said “don’t let what happened in Santaquin happen here.”  That was flabbergasting to him because this land is not anything like Santaquin where there was a fire that contributed to landslides.  Different circumstances, different lands, different soils.  He is also very familiar with Cedar City as he worked there for 15 years.  He knows about the collapsible soil on the east side of Cedar City, but they still built on it and homes had problems.  He doesn’t want to do that.  He has not done the full investigation on this land to determine that it is not collapsible soil because he wants it rezoned so that he knows he can move forward with the project before he runs extensive testing and expense.    

Lisa White said last month there was concern with infrastructure.  She also feels like it is concerning to change the use of the property from what is basically a 4-wheeler trail to homes.  Mr. Crane said he knows how far he will have to run utilities.  He knows the distances and has verified the grades and water pressure that he will need to supply the houses.  He knows what the power costs are going to be.  He hasn’t followed up with natural gas.     

Lisa White wondered about transportation access.  Mr. Crane said they will tie onto the City road that runs right in front of their property.  The road is rotomill from 300 North to just south of the Cowley home.  Beyond that he knows they will have to do an asphalt road to the centerline plus 6 feet.  Josh Peterson said he has been looking at right-of-way plans in connection with the old dairy farm which is across the freeway and south of this property.  In the right-of-way plans, the City road is labeled as a dike.  It is within the UDOT right-of-way.  They will need to do further investigation.  He assumes they would want to wipe out the berm do their road.  UDOT has a right-of-way and allows local government to govern.   That will need to be investigated.  Maintenance of the road is up to the City, but it is owned by UDOT.  If I-70 were ever widened, UDOT could take the property.    

Lisa White expressed her opinion that she does not believe this area is an appropriate area to be rezoned to residential.  She thinks it’s a bad idea, infrastructure being one of her concerns.  Mr. Crane said as he explained above, he knows what the costs are for infrastructure.  Mrs. White is concerned with flooding issues and access for garbage trucks, fire trucks.   She feels like the whole area is a flood plain.  Blaine Breinholt said he does not believe the whole area is a flood plain.  Chairman Thomas said it is not a flood zone.  To Josh Peterson’s point regarding the dike, he assumes that would be to protect I-70 from flash flooding that could occur from the canyons.  Lisa White said she has seen flooding at the garage of the home north of this property.  More than anything, she feels like putting a subdivision in the foothills changes the character of Richfield.

Greg Bean motioned to recommend that the City Council approve the request for the rezone of property located at approximately 1000 West Center from F-1 (Forestry) to the R1-10 (Residential) zone.  Blaine Breinholt seconded the motion.  Those voting aye:  Greg Bean, Josh Peterson, Susan Jensen, Blaine Breinholt.  Those voting nay:  Kendrick Thomas and Lisa White.  The motion carried.    

4.         Other Business.

            A.         Preston Harward to request that the Commission consider revising the Zoning Code to allow short-term rentals in the R1-6 zone.   

Preston Harward was present.  He owns property located at 615 West 860 South which is in the R1-6 zone.  He purchased the home thinking he would make a rental property out of it.  After he fixed it up and put in a nice yard, he thought he would like to try using it for a short-term rental rather than have it destroyed by renters.  As he was checking into the short-term rentals, it was brought to his attention that short-term rentals are not allowed in the R1-6 zone. 

Mr. Harward wondered why short-term rentals are not allowed in this zone and is it possible to change that.  He believes many times short-term rental properties make better neighbors than long-term rentals.    

Greg Bean said short-term rentals were discussed one or two years ago.  It was a new concept and the Commission felt like it should allow short-term rentals in one zone and see how it worked out. It has since been revisited and the Code changed to allow short-term rentals in the RM-11 and larger zones. 

Lisa White feels like there are enough requirements in the Zoning Code that a lot of the concerns have been alleviated.  There is verbiage in place to where it seems like maybe it could be opened up to all residential zones. 

Josh Peterson said the insight he has gained from other cities in southern Utah is that the Airbnb industry has taken over their towns and it does affect long-term rentals that are available.  Perhaps the City will need to limit how much is allowed so the rental crisis isn’t added to.  Some of those small towns were unable to get employees to operate seasonal businesses because there was nowhere for their employees to live. 

Chairman Thomas attended the housing summit that was sponsored by the County.  One of the things they discussed was the effect of vacation rentals and that it drives house prices up and it can drive away hotels. 

Greg Bean thinks the City could go further in allowing short-term rentals in residential zones, but should have a discussion about some of the remedies that other towns have taken. 

Josh Peterson said Moab requires that any new business or hotel has to supply housing for their employees.  Lisa White said the Town of Laverkin only allows 10% of any given subdivision that can be used as a vacation rental.  Regulations may have to be looked at in the near future. 

The Commission would like to hold a public hearing next month to consider allowing short-term rentals in all residential zones. 

            B.         Consider approving Baldauf Excavating’s application requesting the approval of the construction of a metal building at 3045 South Mulberry Lane (south of business park) (MD zone, C1 use).

Chairman Thomas advised that the DRC reviewed this project.  Building Official Rick Robinson stated that this will be a shop where they can service their vehicles.  The building will be situated such that they can drive their equipment through the building from west to east.  It is large enough to accommodate doubles. 

Rick Robinson discussed the DRC notes which are as follows:

            1.         Utilities, etc.  This property has previously been used by other occupants.  Therefore, improvements have already been addressed, i.e., sewer, water, fire hydrant, drainage. 

2.         Landscaping.  Landscaping was installed by a prior occupant.   This applicant should maintain the landscaping. 

3.         Trash Enclosure.   It is assumed the trash receptacle will be maintained behind the fence.

4.         Building Elevation and Finishes.  The building will be metal.  Colors are as follows:  Roof: Galvalume; Rake trim and eave trim:  Desert Sand; Wall and base color: Polar White.

The Zoning Code requires that 30% of street-facing side shall be finished with a finish other than metal.

Rick Robinson said the building is metal with the colors as set out above.  The applicant wondered why they need to have 30% of the street-facing side to finished with a material other than metal.  Blaine Breinholt said the reason for the different product is aesthetics, but this will be behind the fence and set back quite a distance from the road.  The garage doors are metal.  Rick Robinson said if you create an industrial park but don’t allow metal buildings, you’re shooting yourself in the foot.  Blaine Breinholt pointed out that the County Road building across the road is all metal.  Mr. Robinson said if the garage doors are a different color, that provides visual relief.  The requirement is for material other than metal for 30% of the street-facing side of the building.  He could put that over the doors.  Chairman Thomas said if there were another building on site, this could be called an accessory building and then the Zoning Ordinance wouldn’t require the different finish.  The Commission tries to maintain consistency and adhere to what the ordinance says.  They do make panels for metal buildings that look like stucco or a different material. 

Lisa White pointed out that the City has an ordinance for a reason.  The requirement was previously more restrictive and was reduced to the 30% requirement.  She understands what they are saying, but thinks there are options available. 

Blaine Breinholt said wainscoting would solve it.  Rick Robinson said they don’t want to do that because they might hit the building.  Mr. Breinholt said if they are going to hit the building, they will still hit it if it is metal.  If the front is another material, that will be easier to repair or replace than metal.    

Greg Bean thinks the Commission should be consistent with everyone.  The Commission really doesn’t have the authority to override the Code.     

5.         Signs.   Any signs will need to be approved by Building Official Rick Robinson. 

6.            Address.  3045 South Mulberry Lane.

Lisa White motioned to approve this request for construction of a metal building for Baldauf Excavating at 3045 South Mulberry Lane as laid out in the DRC recommendations.  Josh Peterson seconded the motion.  Those voting aye:  Kendrick Thomas, Lisa White, Susan Jensen, Greg Bean, Blaine Breinholt, and Josh Peterson.  Those voting nay:  None.  The motion carried unanimously

            C.         Dan Farley to discuss possibilities for rezoning and use of property located at 1050 West 530 South (old church dairy farm property located between the canal and the freeway).  This property consists of two lots.  Discussion to include changing the zone of one lot from RM-11 to RM-24 and changing the zone on the other lot from RM-11 to CG to allow for self-storage units. 

Dan Farley, Honey Farley, Steve Waite, and Sharon Waite were present.  Mr. Farley lives in Colorado and has developed a storage unit facility in Farmington, New Mexico.  They have been watching the growth in Richfield.  They have done early investigations and believe that demographically this area is going to grow more.  They found this property and thought it might be a good location for some storage units and apartments.  They are early on in the process and doing due diligence.  In looking at the property today, they have found that it may be more difficult to develop than they initially thought. Therefore, they may withdraw their offer. 

He thinks it would be better to place the storage units on the south side of the property and the multi-family apartments on the north.  They walked the property and it is going to be tough to develop it because of the way the property is laid out and the contour of the property.   

He does have some questions for the Planning Commission.  Their storage unit will be aesthetically pleasing with different colors.  They will not be climate controlled.  His research has shown that all of the storage unit facilities, except U-Haul, are full. 

They wanted to do apartments on the north end of the property but it looks like that won’t work for them.  It appears there are two large easements, one by the freeway which is 50 feet wide, and the other one by the canal is 30 feet wide.  That takes away 80 feet of useable land.  The 50-foot easement next to the freeway is called a private access and public utility easement.  He is not entirely sure what that is.  His nephew works with UDOT here in Richfield and he thinks maybe the easement went away after the freeway was put in because it is from their old map.  He has seen properties where easements are able to be used for roads.  He would have to find that out. 

Josh Peterson said as far as the easement by the freeway, it is unlikely the freeway will be expanded.  He believes in the past that Kay McIff had asked if UDOT would entertain the possibility of an interchange at this overpass and the answer was no.  Mr. Peterson said it does say the easement is private and so they would have to look at the deed or do a title search to see what the easement says.    

There is another little easement that is a lot of concrete going east and west in the middle of the property.

If they do decide to use this property, the one lot would have to be changed to RM-24 and the other lot to CG to allow for the storage units.  Lisa White said one thing that is hard with changing the zone to commercial to allow for storage units is that there is no other commercial property around there.  The surrounding property is either residential or institutional.

As far as changing the zone to the RM-24 zone, Mr. Farley clarified that it would be lot 2 which is the northern lot.  It is Lisa White’s opinion that it would be a  good spot for RM-24.  Greg Bean agrees.  It could potentially be housing for students with the college.  Mr. Farley said this property is on the map showing it as a qualified opportunity zone which is land designated for development of low-income housing and benefits the developer. 

Rick Robinson expressed his opinion that there would be support if the property were all residential rather than commercial.  Mr. Farley believes the property is not as useful as a residential property because of the freeway and the noise.  He thinks a commercial development could be done that would look nice and not take away from the value of other properties.  It seems to him as though the property is somewhat separated from the residential areas so that a commercial project could be done and not take away from the residential area.    

It sounds like there would probably be decent support for a change to the RM-24 zone, but maybe not a change to commercial.  He wondered if drainage could go in the canal.  He was told that drainage has to be retained on site.     

5.         Minutes Approval:

            A.         Consider approving minutes of March 3, 2021.   On page 4, line 31, the word “and” will be removed so the sentence reads “The City trimmed…”.  Page 4, line 33 the word “do” will be added so the sentence reads “City would have to do that.”  Josh Peterson motioned to approve the minutes of March 3, 2021, as amended.  Susan Jensen seconded the motion.  Those voting aye:  Kendrick Thomas, Lisa White, Susan Jensen, Greg Bean, Blaine Breinholt, and Josh Peterson.  Those voting nay:  None.  The motion carried unanimously. 

6.         Adjournment.  The meeting adjourned at 7:20 p.m.

PASSED AND APPROVED on the 5th day of May, 2021.

/s/ Michelle Curtis

      Deputy City Recorder