Minutes of Sept. 6 Planning Commission Meeting

At the Planning Commission In and For Said City                September 6, 2023

Minutes of the Richfield City Planning Commission meeting held on Wednesday, September 6, 2023, at 6:00 p.m., Chairman Josh Peterson, presiding.

  1. Roll Call
  2. Conditional Use Permits/Home Occupation Permits
    a. Anne Jackson to request approval to operate a daycare at 237 W. Center Street.
    b. Rebecca Hansen to request approval to operate a micro at 794 W. 570 South.
  3. Short term rentals
    a. Drake Reynolds to request approval to operate a short-term rental out of a home located at 170 W 200 S.
    b. Ashley DeMille to request approval to operate a short-term rental out of her home at 955 N. 260 E.
  4. Public hearings –
    a. AMENDMENT – Receive comments on the adoption of a proposed new mixed-use definition to be added to the city code/zoning ordinance.
    b. AMENDMENT – Receive comments on proposed amendment to the city Subdivision Ordinance.
    c. SUBDIVISION – Receive comments concerning a subdivision application filed by TOK Development.
  5. Action on Public Hearings –
    a. Subdivision – Kendrick Thomas to request approved of phase two of the TOK Development townhouses subdivision at 1080 South between 923 West and College Avenue (a portion of parcel 1-7-100).
    b. AMENDMENT – Discussion and adoption of a new mixed-use definition.
    c. AMENDMENT – Adoption of Richfield City Subdivision Ordinance.
    d. Land Use Ordinance Work Session – Richfield City Zoning Ordinance update.
  6. Minutes Approval
    i. Consider approving minutes of Aug. 2, 2023.
  7. Other Business
  8. Adjournment.
  9. Roll Call.
    Present: Josh Peterson, Blaine Breinholt, Susan Jensen, Lisa White, Wayne Cowley.
    Excused: Wes Kirshner, Zach Leavitt.
    Others present include City Engineer Micklane Farmer, Planning Specialist Kendall Welch (via online conference video), Deputy Clerk David Anderson, Anne Jackson, Drake Reynolds, Rebecca Hansen, Kendrick Thomas, Ken Thomas and Ashley DeMille.
  10. Conditional Use Permits/Home Occupation Permits
    a. Anne Jackson requested approval to operate a daycare called Nana’s Nest at 237 W. Center Street. C-1 use in a RM-11 zone.
    There was previously a day program at this address in the past. However, the home has been a rental for the past 7 years.
    Anne Jackson said her planned operation hours are 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. She plans to have a total of up to eight children – five full-time with the possibility of three additional children after school.
    Commissioner White asked what drop off and pick up would look like? Jackson said she is going to request parents pull up to curb. She anticipates two cars at the most dropping off at the same time, with most drop-offs and pickups being staggered throughout the day.
    There is also adequate off-street parking for the owner and any possible employee.
    White asked about any potential modifications that would need to be made to the home. Jackson replied the home itself needs no modifications, but that a gate would have to be added to the yard.
    The business will have to meet state requirements, including a fire inspection and state standards for daycare food service.
    Commissioner White motioned to approve the daycare use as presented subject to the completion of all state licensing requirements. Commissioner Jensen seconded the motion. The motion passed with commissioners Josh Peterson, Blaine Breinholt, Susan Jensen, Lisa White and Wayne Cowley voting aye. Excused: Wes Kirshner, Zach Leavitt.

b. Rebecca Hansen requested approval to operate a micro school called Scion Research from her home at 794 W. 570 South. C-1 use in an R1-10 zone.
The Utah Legislature approved a scholarship fund for those who want to home school. In order to be eligible for the funding, a home school is required to have a business license, according to Hansen. At this point, she plans to home school her own children with the possibility of one other family. If there is another family, Hansen anticipates they would live nearby and walk to her home. Or the other family’s involvement could be limited to coaching parents online. Hansen said there is no plan to grow it into a large business. Under the Legislature those eligible for the scholarship are called a home school, but Hansen said she is calling this a micro school to avoid confusion as to why she is applying for a business license.
Chairman Peterson asked if it would require employees, which Hansen said it would not. She said the funding she is trying to qualify for won’t become available until the 2024-25 school year.
Commissioner Breinholt motioned to approve the school as presented. Commissioner White seconded the motion.
The motion passed with commissioners Josh Peterson, Blaine Breinholt, Susan Jensen, Lisa White and Wayne Cowley voting aye. Excused: Wes Kirshner, Zach Leavitt.

  1. Short term rentals
    a. Drake Reynolds requested approval to operate a short-term rental out of a home located at 170 W. 200 S. This is located in Short Term Rental Zone 1, an R1-10 zone, C1 use, and is number 10 of 45 allowed in the zone.
    Reynolds said he and his wife have moved out of the area, but are keeping their home here to use as a nightly rental. There is ample room for off street parking, both behind the home as well as to the side and in a carport. Any vehicles at the home can be located off of the streets. The home has four bedrooms and two and a half baths. Reynolds proposed allowing up to ten people in the home at a time, or the maximum allowed by fire code, whichever is less.
    Reynolds has some people who live in the area who will help with the cleaning following each use of the home. He also presented his transient room tax number.
    Commissioner White motioned to approve the short-term rental as proposed. Commissioner Breinholt seconded the motion. The motion passed with commissioners Josh Peterson, Blaine Breinholt, Susan Jensen, Lisa White and Wayne Cowley voting aye. Excused: Wes Kirshner, Zach Leavitt.

b. Ashley DeMille requested approval to operate a short-term rental out of her home at 955 N. 260 E, located in Short Term Rental Zone 2, an R-10 zone. This is number 10 of 38 allowed in Zone 2.
DeMille corrected the address, which is 933 N. 260 East. She said the STR would be located in the basement of her home. The basement has a separate entrance located in the garage.
DeMille said the impetus for this was to rent the space out to travelers coming to the area for the solar eclipse, which is on Oct. 14, 2023. If the rental works out well for her and her family, she said they may make the space available for rent during future bike races in the region on a limited basis.
The downstairs space includes four bedrooms, a bathroom and kitchenette. There are three queen and two twin beds. DeMille said she anticipates the space being used by eight people – essentially one family. There are two driveways, which provide more than adequate parking.
Commissioner White motioned to approve the short-term rental as proposed. Commissioner Cowley seconded the motion. The motioned passed with commissioners Josh Peterson, Blaine Breinholt, Susan Jensen, Lisa White and Wayne Cowley voting aye. Excused: Wes Kirshner, Zach Leavitt.

  1. Public hearings –
    a. Chairman Peterson opened a public hearing at 6:19 p.m. to receive comments on the adoption of a proposed new mixed-use definition to be added to the city code/zoning ordinance Hearing no public comment, Peterson closed the hearing at 6:20 p.m.
    b. Chairman Peterson opened a public hearing at 6:21 p.m. to receive comments on a proposed amendment to the city Subdivision Ordinance. The City is proposing a new section to the Richfield City Subdivision Ordinance – 600 Condominium to increase consistency and compliance with current State requirements. The proposed amendment would add new regulations to the City’s Subdivision Ordinance outlining general requirements for condominiums and condominium conversions and ensuring applications are processed in a way that is compliant with State statutes. Hearing no comment, Peterson closed the hearing at 6:21 p.m.
    c. Chairman Peterson opened a public hearing at 6:22 p.m. to receive comments on a proposed subdivision application filed by TOK Development. The subdivision is the third phase of a development, which is located on 1080 South between 923 West and College Avenue (a portion of parcel 1-7-100). Hearing no comment from the public, Peterson closed the hearing at 6:22 p.m.
  2. Action on Public Hearings –
    a. Subdivision – Kendrick Thomas requested approval of phase three of the TOK Development townhouses.
    This is the last of the eight lots of the subdivision. The development was approved by the city previously, and this is the final step in legally subdividing the lots. The plans haven’t changed, with the same lot sizes and structure. This will encompass three buildings and six lots in addition to the eight lots in the previous phases.
    Commissioner Breinholt asked about the ownership of a corner piece to the west of the subdivision. That piece is owned by someone else, and was unable to be purchased as part of development. Since the triangle piece of land is owned by someone else, the subdivision actually doesn’t extend all the way to College Avenue, Thomas said.
    Commissioner Cowley asked for clarification on which phase of the development this is. Thomas said this is the third phase of the subdivision, but the second phase of the construction. He said it should be recorded as Phase Three of the subdivision.
    Commissioner Breinholt moved to recommend approval of the subdivision. Commissioner White seconded the motion. The motion passed with commissioners Josh Peterson, Blaine Breinholt, Susan Jensen, Lisa White and Wayne Cowley voting aye. Excused: Wes Kirshner, Zach Leavitt.

b. AMENDMENT – Discussion and adoption of a new mixed-use definition.
Chairman Peterson’s comments on the new definition as well as those of Commissioner White and planner Kendall Welch were included in a worksheet sent out as part of the meeting packet.
Commissioner White said she agreed with those changes suggested by Welch. White also asked why the 50/50 split between commercial and residential was included.
Deputy Clerk Anderson said the draft he and Commissioner Zach Leavitt drafted was intended to prevent a backdoor for high density housing. The thinking behind it was to prevent a token amount of commercial use, while using it as a backdoor to create high density housing in areas where it otherwise wouldn’t be allowed.
White said she felt the 50/50 split was too restrictive. She said a three-story building with commercial on the ground floor and two floors of apartments above wouldn’t be allowed under that restriction. White said a 1/3 and 2/3 split could achieve the same goal without eliminating a use that would make sense. She said some buildings have a ground floor of commercial and two floors of apartments.
Chairman Peterson said he agrees with the 1/3- 2/3 split. He said he doesn’t want mixed used to create RM-24 type housing. He asked if there were any places in downtown that are bordered by commercial shopping or general commercial. He said it seems most of it is bordered by either R1-10 or R1-11.
The proposed definition would require any housing in a mixed-use development to fall under the contiguous residential zoning requirements. Peterson said the definition should be clear that if there isn’t a contiguous residential zone, then it would have to fall under the nearest residential zone’s requirements and meet RM-24 spacing in all instances.
Micklane Farmer asked if this means a radius would be drawn out from a mixed-use development until it touches the closest residential zone, which would be the zone the mixed use’s residential would be subject to. Commissioner White said it would be a way to space out RM-24 developments throughout the city rather than cluster them.
Commissioner White said the definition should add the phrase “generally available to the public” to stipulations as to what constitutes a mixed use.
She said it should not allow for someone to say that a third of a building is a rec center exclusive to those living in the development. Also, White suggested that ALL development in a mixed use be subject to all applicable building, fire and safety codes.
Commissioner White moved to recommend adoption with the changes discussed, including Welch’s edits, and the modifications from a 50/50 commercial/residential split to a 1/3 – 2/3 commercial/residential split, adding the terminology of closest residential zone when there is no contiguous residential zone, uses that are generally available, and noting that all development is subject to building, fire and safety codes.
Commissioner Jensen seconded the motion.
The motion passed with commissioners Blaine Breinholt, Josh Peterson, Lisa White, Susan Jensen and Wayne Cowley voting aye.
Excused: Wes Kirshner, Zach Leavitt.

c. AMENDMENT – Adoption of Richfield City Subdivision Ordinance – 600
Condominiums – Commissioners White and Jensen said they felt like the ordinance had been discussed enough and was ready for passage.
Commissioner Jensen moved to recommend adoption of the subdivision ordinance. Commissioner Breinholt seconded the motion.
The motion passed with commissioners Blaine Breinholt, Josh Peterson, Lisa White, Susan Jensen and Wayne Cowley voting aye.
Excused: Wes Kirshner, Zach Leavitt.

Minutes Approval – Item 7 was accelerated to this point in the meeting. Commissioner White asked if the commission could review the minutes of the August 2 meeting in case she needed to leave before the meeting ended.
Commissioner White had two additions to the minutes she wanted to make.
The first was in the discussion of the home occupancy permit for “A Cookie A Day,” where White said it should be noted that the option of adding an additional garbage can for a nominal fee is intended specifically for residential use, not commercial use.
The next change was in a discussion of short-term rentals, White wanted it reflected in the minutes that the city has put as many restrictions as its legal counsel would allow on them at this point.
Commissioner White then made the motion to approve the minutes with the noted clarifications. Commissioner Cowley seconded the motion. The motion passed with commissioners Blaine Breinholt, Josh Peterson, Lisa White, Susan Jensen and Wayne Cowley voting aye. Excused: Wes Kirshner, Zach Leavitt.

  1. Land Use Ordinance Work Session
    a. Richfield City Zoning Ordinance update –
    Kendall Welch said the plan was to go through the city’s zoning ordinance one last time prior to passage. She said during the previous meeting, the commission was given a 30,000-foot view of the type of changes being made.
    She said one of the primary guiding principles in this code revision was to make sure applicants are treated uniformly.
    Welch made sure there were not references specifically to The Richfield Reaper in the code. She said the noticing requirements are in the city code and state statute.

Welch said there were some items the commission should touch on specifically.
The first item to address is the land use authority chart, and making sure the commission is comfortable with where the land use decisions are being made. She said all the types of land use applications are lined out in the chart, along with the accompanying process. It is a way for the public to look at approval processes and understand them at a glance, helping with transparency.

Next, Welch wanted to make sure any changes to the land use matrix are being addressed in the zoning ordinance update.
Off street parking requirements were amended as well. Welch asked the commission to review it to make sure parking requirements are what the commission suggested.
Commissioner White asked about separating single family home, duplex and three-plex from the four-plex, condo and apartments in the chart for off-street parking in order to make it clearer.
Single family units don’t have the same parking requirements as those for larger developments, so is simplifies it to have them on their own.

The following statement was added above the land use table: Uses not shown in the Table of Uses may be ruled by the Land Use Authority to be similar to uses outlined in the Table of Uses, and may be approved in the same manner and in the same zones as the similar use is permitted. In the event the Land Use Authority determines no such similar use exists, the use is hereby determined to be a Prohibited Use within Richfield City.
This was done to protect the city from non-allowed uses from being established, but also provides some flexibility if there is a similar use on the table.

One use that was added to the land use chart is for animal grooming. Commissioner White said she wants it specifically noted that no overnight boarding or kenneling is allowed as part of an animal grooming business.
Deputy Clerk Anderson asked for the commission’s preference as far as allowing animal grooming in an industrial or manufacturing zone, as there is one that already exists in one of those zones. The consensus was that they should be allowed in the manufacturing and industrial zones as they wouldn’t be disruptive to those areas.

Deputy Clerk Anderson asked about the portable storage containers language that was added to the ordinance under 17-30. He questioned whether temporary placement of storage containers should be allowed without an active building permit. He said temporary storage containers could very easily become permanent if they are allowed at all in residential zones. He said it would be difficult to enforce.
Commissioner White felt the two sections of code should remain separate – A and B. Also, there are remodel projects that don’t require a building permit that a storage unit could be used for, such as flooring replacement. She said it is difficult to police, but at least the ordinance provides teeth for doing so.
Anderson asked if it should be a conditional use.
White said no, because it could result in a stream of people coming in for a conditional use permit when all they want to do is replace flooring. This could create an unnecessary level of administration.
Chairman Peterson asked about the status of downtown use of storage units. White said the city had modified the ordinance to temporarily allow them in commercial areas with certain constraints that essentially preclude them from being used long-term or in the downtown zone (requirements including placement with a certain distance of set-back, not in circulation paths or public areas).

The zoning ordinance update will be noticed for hearing and approval in October.

  1. Minutes Approval – This item was addressed prior to item 6.
  2. Other Business –

Chairman Peterson asked about restrictions for parking on City owned parking lots. Specifically, there is a semi-tractor that has been in the parking lot behind the Huish Theater for over a year, and Peterson asked if there is something in the ordinance that disallows that.
If it’s on a public parking lot, it’s usually treated the same as a public street, Welch said.
Any code concerning public structures, the intent would be applicable to public parking lots as well. If there isn’t already, Chairman Peterson would like to amend city code to spell out that city owned parking lots are not for the storage of vehicles in disrepair. He wants to make sure there is some iron clad amendment so that the enforcement entities will enforce it.
Welch said it is a problem every jurisdiction faces. If there isn’t something in the nuisance ordinance, that would be an area to look at.
Commissioner White said there should also be something addressing the clarity of use city owned parking lots as well. Some businesses are paying for the garbage service for the dumpsters in this city parking lots, while others are not and are using them.
Dumpsters are also being moved out of the structures, which results in parking spots being taken away, Commissioner Breinholt said.
Kendall Welch said in Title 8, property maintenance requirements, says nothing should be parked on city streets for longer than seven days, which should also be applicable to the parking lots.
Chairman Peterson said he would like an amendment that specifically states the practice of using any city property for storage of vehicles, operative or not, should be disallowed.

  1. Adjournment. Commissioner Breinholt moved to adjourn the meeting. The motion was seconded by Commissioner White.
    The motion passed with commissioners Blaine Breinholt, Josh Peterson, Lisa White, Susan Jensen and Wayne Cowley voting aye. Excused: Wes Kirshner, Zach Leavitt.