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January 24 2012 Planning Commission Minutes

PLANNING COMMISSION
CITY OF ST. GEORGE
WASHINGTON COUNTY, UTAH
January 24, 2012 – 5:00 p.m.



PRESENT: Chairman Ron Bracken
Commissioner Kim Campbell
Commissioner Ross Taylor
Commissioner Julie Hullinger
Commissioner Ron Read
Commissioner Ro Wilkinson
Commissioner Nathan Fisher

CITY STAFF: Assistant City Attorney Joseph Farnsworth
Development Services Manager Wes Jenkins
Planner II Ray Snyder
Planner I Craig Harvey
Administrative Professional Linda Brooks

EXCUSED: Community Development Coordinator Bob Nicholson
Council Member Jimmie Hughes


CALL TO ORDER

Chairman Bracken called the meeting to order and welcomed those in attendance. Chairman Bracken led the flag salute.

FINAL PLAT / REDUCED SETBACK

Consider approval of a final plat along with a reduced setback request for “Ence Executive Towers” a two (2) lot commercial subdivision. The applicant is Bluff Towers LLC, the representative is Mr. Troy Ence, and the engineer is Reid Pope. The property is zoned C-2 (Highway Commercial) and is located at the southeast corner of 600 South Street and Bluff Street. Case No. 2011-FP-029

Todd Jacobsen Project Manager said this is a request for a 2-lot commercial subdivision final plat and an associated reduced setback. As part of the request, the applicant is asking for a reduction of the twenty-foot front/street side setback and of the ten-foot side and rear yard setback requirements. Todd quoted Section 10-10-4 in the zoning ordinance regarding Area, Setback, and Height requirements. These two buildings are existing and are being turned into an association type situation with private areas and common areas. This is to help Ence Homes with financing with the banks to get more favorable terms of the loan.


Assistant City Attorney Joseph Farnsworth said under Section 10-10-4 of the code the Planning Commission can elect to eliminate the setbacks where the Planning Commission deems it is unnecessary. Joseph said he has worked with the Ence’s attorneys and their attorneys have drafted CC&R’s and adequately addressed the parking and access issues. He said there is only one sewer and waste water line going to the buildings. The City would prefer there be separate lines but at this point the City’s Water Dept. is fine with having one line as long as the CC&R’s address each owner of both buildings will work together and have the utilities maintained equally.

There was discussion on the way the setback was laid out in the past.

MOTION: Commissioner Wilkinson made a motion to recommend to City Council approval of a final plat along with a reduced setback request for “Ence Executive Towers” a two (2) lot commercial subdivision located at the southeast corner of 600 South Street and Bluff Street and authorize Chairman to sign. Commissioner Hullinger seconded the motion. All voted aye.

ZONE CHANGE – PUBLIC HEARING (5:00 P.M.)

Consider a zone change request from R-1-10 (Single Family Residential 10,000 square foot minimum lot size) to RE-20 (Residential Estates – 20,000 square foot minimum lot sizes) on 64.305 acres located at approximately 4050 South and Little Valley Road, south of the Rancho Verde estates subdivision. The applicant is Quality Development. Case No. 2012-ZC-002

Craig Harvey Planner I said this is to rezone an R-1-10 to RE-20. The property is located at approximately 4050 South and Little Valley Drive. They are proposing 77 single-family lots. The density would be 1.2 units per acre. Half of the lots will be a1/4 of an acre or larger.

Stacy Young the applicant said they are trying to create a critical mass of lots. Altogether there is 100 acres that will be changed to RE-20 or larger. He spoke on the feathering concept ranging from larger lots to smaller lots.

MOTION: Commissioner Hullinger made a motion for a zone change request from R-1-10 to RE-20 on 64.305 acres located at approximately 4050 South and Little Valley Road, south of the Rancho Verde estates subdivision. Commissioner Campbell seconded the motion. All voted aye.

PARKING REQUEST

Determine whether adequate parking exists at 155 W St George Blvd to permit a private practice eye doctor and eye glass laboratory in the former Downtown Furniture site. Parking may be permitted with less parking spaces than the standard parking ratio based upon unusual conditions or circumstances unique to the specific site that may be considered in accordance with the last paragraph of Section 10-19-5 which begins as “Notwithstanding all provisions of this section…” Case No. 2012-PRKG-001

Ray Snyder Planner II said this is a parking request. The Focus Eye Center is requesting permission to relocate to 155 West St.George Blvd. to the former Downtown Furniture site. Approval of the existing non-conforming parking by the Planning Commission is required to obtain permission to conduct business at this site. The building is approximately 15,000 to 16,000 sq. ft. The applicant proposes that 3,500 sq. ft. would be used for office and 1,500 sq. ft. would be used for a laboratory. The remaining area of approximately 10,000 sq. ft. would be used for storage of humanitarian projects, conference area, flex, and general storage.

Ray said the applicant proposes an extensive exterior remodel if the parking is deemed sufficient and the business is approved to occupy the building. The existing dome roof would be hidden with architectural/cosmetic walls around the upper level.

The applicant calculates that the business will need no more than four (4) parking spaces at any given time, which includes scheduled and un-scheduled patient needs.

Ray said the Planning Commission needs to focus on whether or not 8 parking spots are sufficient for this type of business.

Chairman Bracken said he agreed and that it should be heard as what they are proposing tonight and will that type of business work. The applicant owns the down the center of that property.

Commissioner Campbell asked about the L-shape of the building in the south part of the parking. Is that part of this request?

Ray replied that section of the building is occupied as an auto repair shop.

Commissioner Campbell asked where their parking is.

Ray Snyder Planner II said the total sixteen parking spaces are shared. So they each have 8 parking spaces.

Commissioner Taylor asked if there are two overhead apartments over the auto repair shop.

Ray replied he did not know.

There was discussion of whether they would need a shared parking agreement or a cross access agreement.

Commissioner Read asked what the distance is between the parking stalls.

Ray said that is something they will need to look at. The parking spaces have been there for a long time.

Assistant City Attorney Joseph Farnsworth asked where the property line is located between 155 West and 165 West St. George Blvd. He said by the aerial map page it looks like the parking stalls for 165 West are not on their property.

Josh Leishman the property owner pointed out his property line which included the 8 parking stalls. He said that he has a shared agreement with the auto repair shop. He said he has access to the 8 parking spaces and the auto repair has 8 parking spaces. There is a verbal agreement on the parking and has been in place since he purchased the building back three years ago. The auto repair shop is a one man operation and he works only on exotic cars. Josh said there are two apartments on this site.

Commissioner Campbell said there are two separate parcels sharing the same parking lot which Planning Commission needs to determine if there is sufficient parking for both businesses.

Chairman Bracken asked if the property to the east of this building was available for purchase.

Josh said right now the original owners are in litigation and cannot sell the property at this time.

Commissioner Fisher asked, have you had the property surveyed so you know specifically where your property line is?

Josh replied he has.

Commissioner Fisher asked if the auto repair shop owns that parcel.

Josh replied they do not; they lease the land and building.

Commissioner Taylor said usually automotive repair business stores or parks cars in the parking spaces.

Josh said yes, in the first three years he did use that area for stock parking but lately he hasn’t been there due to the business slowing down.

Assistant City Attorney Joseph Farnsworth said even though the property owner is not using the auto repair very much someone else may come in and put in an active business that will need the 8 parking spaces.

Assistant City Attorney Joseph Farnsworth read in the ordinance Section 10-19-9 talks about shared parking stating: “shared parking facilities may be used jointly with parking facilities for other uses when operations are not normally conducted during the same hours, or when peak uses vary.” They will need to show that their peak time hours would not be in conflict with the other business. They will need to have a written agreement and he has done a quick look on the Washington County website and he does not see any agreement online and that will need to be in place to run with the land.

Ray said this request could be conditioned to have a shared parking agreement in place before it goes to City Council.

The parking requirements for the apartments were discussed.

Dr. Adam Lofgran the applicant said he understands the challenges this space has but he feels the 8 parking spaces would be satisfactory for their needs. Long term should they ever need to grow into the building they have spoken to three adjacent parcels to see if they could be purchased in the future. The reality is the 8 parking spaces will be enough. Dr. Lofgran said the building will have 5,000 sq. ft. which breaks down to 1,500 sq. ft. of lab space and 3,500 sq. ft. for patients.

Commissioner Campbell said the parking ratio for office space is 1 space per 250 sq. ft. of gross floor area. That would mean you would need 10 parking spaces for 2,500 sq. ft. of office space. You are not even close to that.

Chairman Bracken said there is no way they are going to qualify for normal parking, what the Planning Commission needs to determine is the use that is going in there.

Assistant City Attorney Joseph Farnsworth said the commission is not approving a non-conforming use; it will be a shared parking agreement between them and the auto repair center and apartments. The question Planning Commission needs to address is what their main hours of operation are for the eye center and the auto repair shop. Also, how many staff members they will have.

Ray said the Planning Commission needs to determine if the 8 parking spaces will work for this site and this business. It is not an issue of shared parking as the hours are not different. Ray read Section 10-19-8 pertaining to shared parking and emphasized this is only when peak uses vary.

Assistant City Attorney Joseph Farnsworth said the issue is the shared parking agreement or a cross access agreement. He spoke on the section 10-19-5.

There was discussion on the parking, access, and shared parking and how the motion should be made.

Commissioner Campbell asked how many patients are at the business at one time.

Dr. Lofgran said they see 1 patient ever ½ hour.

Commissioner Taylor said the parking is overly tight. Have you looked at beyond shared parking where people could walk about ½ block?

Dr. Lofgran said he feels his business would be a better fit than the downtown furniture store that is currently in there. He spoke about the adjacent parcels and how if they could acquire those parcels and it would improve parking.

Commissioner Taylor asked if they would consider tabling this item and see if they could come back with some alternatives.

Dr. Lofgran said they have explored potential opportunity but right now they are not available. He feels this would not be an option to table this.

Ray said they have had the auto repair shop there for 20 years. He feels this would be less intrusive. The applicant can provide to the City Council that they will have an agreement on the access and shared parking.

Josh said he could get that done by tomorrow for the access parking agreement.

Commissioner Fisher said they need to look at the future use of that building.

Commissioner Read said this is a unique building and a unique type of business coming in. There are not many businesses that could come in and fit into that building.

Commissioner Wilkinson asked would it be possible to have the employee’s park on the street side so that will free up the full 8 parking spaces.

Ray said the language could be changed to ‘should’ instead of ‘shall.’

MOTION: Commissioner Fisher made a motion to recommend to City Council approval for adequate parking at 155 W St George Blvd to permit a private practice eye doctor and eye glass laboratory in the former Downtown Furniture site conditioned that the applicant obtain a shared access agreement and have that presented to Legal Department prior to being heard at the City Council. Commissioner Wilkinson seconded the motion.

DISCUSSION ON THE MOTION

Commissioner Campbell asked if they want to condition this approval on the owner recommending to their employees to park off site on the street (250 West cul-de-sac) and limit this for this use only and any other uses would have to be revisited.

Ray recommended they be conditioned that they cannot sublease to anyone else.

Assistant Attorney Joseph Farnsworth stated that if both property owners are in agreement to do that then that would be beneficial.

Both would agree as they exist right now and there would not be any change to it.

There was continued discussion on the wording of the motion.
Commissioner Fisher withdrew the first motion. Commissioner Wilkinson seconded withdrawing the motion

2ND MOTION
Commissioner Fisher made a motion to recommend to the City Council that a determination be made that parking per the provision in Section 10-19-5 and will accommodate the eye business as described subject to an agreement to be obtained for access and use all 16 parking spaces and retain the use by the adjacent land owner and as the applicant has suggested in his application for this property.

The employees are encouraged to use off-site parking, as for the storage area that is limited to after business hours. There will be no-sub leasing allowed on this property and that this approval is limited as to this use only as described by the applicant and if there are any changes to that use that it be required to return to the Planning Commission to address the parking issue once again. Commissioner Hullinger seconded the motion

The following vote is:

Commissioner Read and Commissioner Campbell voted nay
Chairman Bracken, Commissioner Taylor, Commissioner Hullinger, Commissioner Wilkinson, and Commissioner Fisher all voted aye.

Motion passes 5 to 2

Meeting adjourned at 6:30 p.m.