LA VERKIN CITY PLANNING COMMISSION

Regular Meeting

Wednesday, February 8, 2017 6:00pm

City Council Chambers, 111 South Main Street

LaVerkin, Utah 84745

 

Present:  Chair Anna Andregg; Commissioners: Allen Bice, Hugh Howard, and Karl Benson; Staff:  Derek Imlay, Kyle Gubler, Kevin Bennett and Christy Ballard; Public: Rich Murset, Richard Hirschi, John & RoseValenti, Patty Wise, David Whitehead, Larry Pugh, Charles Simmons, Shirl & Deborah Morrill, Rose & Humberto Alba, Kevin Allen, Maxwell Durham, Alyss Johnson, Ray Justice, Robert Jahns, Jim Soria, Naomi Wright, and Rose Cowan.

 

Commissioner Sherman Howard has been excused.

 

I.             Call to Order:  Chair Anna Andregg called the meeting to order at 6:00pm.  The Invocation and Pledge of Allegiance was given by Humberto Alba.

 

II.           Approval of Minutes:

Commission may approve the minutes of the January 25, 2017 regular meeting minutes.

 

Motion was made by Commissioner Allen Bice to approve the January 25, 2017 regular meeting minutes as written, second by Commissioner Hugh Howard.  Howard-yes, Andregg-yes, Bice-yes, Benson-yes.  Motion carried unanimously. 

 

III.        Approval of the Agenda

        

Motion was made by Commissioner Hugh Howard to approve the agenda as written, second by Commissioner Karl Benson.  Bice-yes, Howard-yes, Andregg-yes, Benson-yes.   Motion carried unanimously.

                      

IV.              Reports:

1.       Beautification/Trails Committee-Commissioner Bice reported the yearly agenda was discussed along with several new items the Committee may want to undertake.    

2.       City Council-Councilman Hirschi reported the Councilmembers look forward to discussing the items from the following Planning Commission meeting.    

3.       Director of Operations-The crack seal portion of the 2017 Road Maintenance Project has begun.  The City purchased a crack seal machine.     

Irrigation will be back in the system March 1st to get the lines ready for the contracted date of March 15th

Sunset View Estates is moving forward.  They have passed the sewer, water and irrigation pressure test.  They will be getting ready for the asphalt within the next two weeks. 

 

V.          Public Hearing:

1.      An ordinance amending the La Verkin City Code to provide for recreational vehicle resorts and small transient living quarters, as permitted uses in the Tourist/Resort Commercial Zone, subject to certain limitations and restrictions, and providing for their licensing and regulation.

Kevin explained there is property located along SR9 toward Zion National Park just east of the La Quinta Hotel.  The soil has some issues with what it can hold as far as large buildings.  There has been a proposal come to the City for an RV Resort.  There was some concern from both the City Council and the Planning Commission about the location of such projects as well as unease about allowing them again based on the City’s previous experience.

The Planning Commission has spent some time in creating an ordinance to provide for additional limited use within the Tourist Commercial Zone for an RV Resort.  The definition for an RV Resort is not cut and dried.  The Commissioners have put provisions in place to ensure any RV Resort that came into the City would be more upscale.  The ordinance also addresses smaller buildings not previously mentioned in the City Code such as yurts and small cabins. 

The ordinance changes the definitions in the Tourist Commercial Zone of the City Code to allow, under limited circumstances, RV Resorts.  It also includes the licensing and regulation of the operation of the facility.  This will give the City the ability to shut it down if those requirements are not being met. 

 

The public hearing opened at 6:14pm

 

Patty Wise-Lives in Zion View Estates.  She feels the citizens need a lot more information before any decision is made.  She has a hundred questions about it.  She is not strictly opposed to the idea but feels the implementation of it needs to be so that it is a very high end resort that complements her neighborhood.  She doesn’t think Zion View Estates should suffer by having so much commercial in it.  At the last City Council meeting she saw a map showing the new Tourist Commercial Zone and her neighborhood takes the impact of all of it.  Right now, they have the Best Western, which to her knowledge has not been a problem, the La Quinta is four story and she is nervous about the noise.  She is concerned with traffic coming in at all hours, motor homes are very noisy.

There are approximately 165 homes in Zion View Estates and she feels the City needs to think about the residents here while planning for this commercial use.  She feels the City needs to enhance their neighborhood specifically the beautification end of it especially where it parallels the properties.  It would be very wrong to not take that into consideration.  

If it is a good tax revenue for the City she thinks it is wonderful.  She doesn’t have a problem with it if it is very well regulated. 

She does worry about the traffic coming into the La Quinta at all hours of the night and the headlights shining directly into the neighbors.  Motorhomes and yurts, it sounds like late-night parties to her.  The residents want to sit out on their patios and enjoy their evenings just as much as the commercial use does. 

Those are her concerns.

 

Robert Jahns-Lives at 125 N Main.  He has some questions he would like answered.  First, were there any financial incentives that the City offered the developer, including tax relief for a period of time.  Second, will the developer or owner pay for the; a) waste water hookups b) utilities used at the site to the City or will the City assume that responsibility.  c) will they pay for the police, fire, and water along with other services because it will certainly drain or have an effect on the culinary water supply. d) will the guests obey the noise ordinance and the pet ordinances.  Will they be subject to the adjacent residents’ standards or will they be held responsible to the commercial ordinances?  Third, is in relation to the water park that was a business item in another location.  Is there a water park provision in this ordinance and would that be enough for the developer to install water features or a water park?  If so would those water features be available to the residents of La Verkin?  

 

Humberto Alba-Lives at 180 E 615 N, right behind this facility.  He would become very angry at the noise level or any other nuisance that Mr. Jahns spoke of.  Zion View Estates does not have enough water pressure right now.  If this subdivision will be providing water to the La Quinta, the Best Western and now this facility, the water pressure will go down even more.  He would like the Commissioners to consider how they would feel if it was being built in your back yard.  This is right behind where he lives.

 

Rose Alba-She lives exactly behind where this RV park is being proposed.  She feels robbed of her safety and security with all the vacation rentals going in and all the people coming in and out of the neighborhood, the RV Resort will also do this.  She has researched things on the State’s website.  The road going to Zion is a State road and they will not put another main entrance in so the main will probably be right behind her back yard.  She feels like her safety and security are at hand. She feels there are a lot of other issues in the City and a lot of other places that need to be developed.  If you really want to cater to the tourists like the agenda says, there are a lot of other issues besides an RV park.  There are hotels, if people can afford to come here they can afford to stay in a hotel.  There are three within five miles of each other, one in Hurricane and two in La Verkin.  Why do we need an RV park?  She wants a legitimate, logical reason we need an RV park.  It takes away from her privacy. 

She knows something will go in eventually but it does not need to be an RV park.  It affects her privacy and security, she doesn’t know who is going to jump over her block wall.  She worries about that now let alone when there is an RV park back there.  It is a privacy issue, a security issue and it’s tearing down our community.  Neighborhoods need to be secure and stabilized and not have the City come in with all this tourist stuff.  There are plenty of places they can go, don’t put it right in a little community with children and families that are trying to grow and want to stay there.  It feels like they are being robbed of their future.

 

Kevin Allen-Lives on 615 N.  Paragraph F of the RV Resort ordinance section 1.  It deals with setbacks.  It has the RV unit spacing as 10 feet both long ways and side by side.  How is that considered a resort, it sounds like high density housing to him.  It sounds to him like both the developer and the City are looking for nothing but making money and are not worried about anyone that lives here.

 

Debra Morrill-Lives in Zion View Estates.  This will affect her also, it is right up against her back yard.  Over the past week she talked to John and Christy at the City and they were very helpful.  She is more encouraged after speaking with them that a lot of the concerns are being addressed.  She is concerned with the water pressure.  She had her water pressure checked last year and was told on the other side of town the water pressure is 100 pounds, Zion View Estates has 40 pounds of pressure.  She hopes the City will figure out how to get water to the facility and increase the pressure for Zion View Estates. 

She commended those in the City, they have been very helpful and she encouraged the people with questions to go in or call the City office.

 

Patty Wise-Could the Commissioners explain what the procedure of all of this is.  The public comment is tonight and there is an agenda but it is the first time she is seeing it.  How does the City process a project like this, what is the next step?

 

Shirl Morrill-His concern is with privacy.  Are they going to put a fence besides the 4-foot fence in his back yard?  If not, they are right in his back yard and he does not want an RV staring him in the face.  That is one issue he would like the Commissioners to think about.

 

Rose Cowan-Lives at 16 E 700 N.  She wondered when vacation rentals will be on the agenda.  She is concerned with the RV park.  She is worried about the safety and property values.  She lives in a nice neighborhood with a nice home.  She has seen other RV parks in the area and they are not very good which makes the value of surrounding homes go down. 

 

The public hearing closed at 6:30pm                        

 

VI.              Business:

1.      Discussion and possible action to recommend approval to the City Council an ordinance amending the La Verkin City Code to provide for recreational vehicle resorts and small transient living quarters, as permitted uses in the Tourist/Resort Commercial Zone, subject to certain limitations and restrictions, and providing for their licensing and regulation. 

Commissioner Hugh Howard mentioned this item has been discussed for almost a year and they have all had similar concerns as what has been presented.  They don’t want to allow another RV park like we’ve had in the past.  This is going to be a high-end resort and will enhance the City of La Verkin.  It has not been about financial gain, it has been all about making La Verkin a nice place to live.

People that drive $100,000 RV’s are not the type of people you will need to worry about robbing your house. 

The Commissioners have considered the noise and feel like it has been adequately addressed in the ordinance.  The ordinance will cover the landscaping and require all amenities go in at the beginning of the project.  He thinks the property values will go up for the area.

There has not been any tax relief or incentives for the developer.  This should only bring income to the City. 

 

Robert Jahns-He said the City has cut back the police force and it’s barely minimum now, who will answer police calls to the park?  Will it be the caretaker of the park and if so will they enforce City ordinances?  Or will it be an additional burden to our police?

 

Commissioner Bice stated the Planning Commission’s job is to handle zoning and help with ordinances relative to zoning.  A lot of the concerns with the police department and water pressure are City staff issues.  He also pointed out to improve things like police protection we need to bring tax money into La Verkin.  This project should more than pay for itself with the infrastructure, things like fire and police.  These types of businesses pay a Transient Room tax which is significant and that will help bring La Verkin up to par with surrounding communities.    

This ordinance is a city-wide ordinance, there are other pieces of land that could do this.  Growth will happen, the only thing we can decide is how we want that growth to happen.  The Commissioners have spent a lot of time trying to make La Verkin what they want it to be and they feel an RV Resort would be a good use for the City, particularly that piece of land because of the soil there. 

 

Kevin stated there is not a development before the Commissioners.  This ordinance provides for the use and regulations the City would like to see.  If someone decides they would like to comply with those rules, then they can submit a plan to the City for approval. 

RV resorts must comply with the laws of the City of La Verkin.              

 

The rules in the ordinance for RV resorts are strict to help ensure only high-end developments. 

 

­Robert Jahns-Asked if the ordinance provides for water parks as well as RV resorts.

 

The Commissioners replied the ordinance does require the resort to have a specific number of amenities but does not regulate which amenities they have.  Whether those amenities are open to the public will be up to the owner.

 

Commissioner Benson mentioned the Commission has been working on this ordinance for a while.  The property that seems to be the main concern has been zoned Tourist Commercial since he has lived in La Verkin.  Some type of tourist business will be there and considering the soil condition there are not a lot of options for it. 

The Commissioners did consider the safety and traffic issues during their deliberation and he feels the ordinance allows the developer some leeway as well as provide a nice facility for the City. 

 

Rose Alba-stated she has no faith in her City that they will hold the developers accountable to do what they say they will do.  She has never seen anything go through.  It gets to a certain point and then stops or another auto shop goes in.  There are so many other ways to beautify our City and bring in tourists like bike trials and jogging trails.  She understands the soil issues and that it will be difficult to develop anything.  She thinks a park would be beautiful on that corner. 

The access road is still a concern, the only place it can be is off Main Street and right behind their homes.  The State won’t even put in a traffic light for the children to cross, they won’t put in an extra lane for access to this property. 

She has no faith in the City.  It takes her 45 seconds to fill a 16oz cup of water right now.                  

 

Commissioner Andregg pointed out the Planning Commission has no authority over enforcement of regulations. 

 

Motion was made by Commissioner Karl Benson to recommend approval to the City Council the draft ordinance amending the City Code to provide for recreational vehicle resorts and small transient living quarters, as permitted uses in the Tourist/Resort Commercial Zone, subject to certain limitations and restrictions, and providing for their licensing and regulation, second by Commissioner Allen Bice.  Howard-yes, Andregg-yes, Bice-yes, Benson-yes.  Motion carried unanimously.           

 

2.      Discussion and possible action on a proposed zone change from General Commercial to R-1-10 for parcel LV-174-A-1, a 1.14-acre parcel located directly north of the Questar SUB station along SR17 with possible setting of a public hearing thereon. 

Derek explained this property is on the edge of La Verkin and Toquerville.  The property is zoned General Commercial.  UDOT will not allow access off SR17 so the property is highly unlikely to have any commercial going in.  The property owner has requested the change to R-1-10 which meets the surrounding residential properties. 

There can be a meeting on February 22, 2017, the previous plans have been moved to March 22, 2017. 

 

Motion was made by Commissioner Hugh Howard to set the public hearing for February 22, 2017 for the proposed zone change from General Commercial to R-1-10 for parcel LV-174-A-1, a 1.14-acre parcel located directly north of the Questar SUB station along SR17, second by Commissioner Allen Bice.  Benson-yes, Bice-yes, Andregg-yes, Howard-yes.  

 

3.      Discussion and possible action to recommend approval to the City Council the La Verkin City Affordable Housing element of the General Plan.

Kyle included the final draft in the Commissioners packet.  He asked if there were any additional changes the Commission would like to see.

 

Motion was made by Commissioner Allen Bice to recommend approval to the City Council the La Verkin City Affordable housing element of the General Plan, second by Commissioner Karl Benson.  Howard-yes, Andregg-yes, Bice-yes, Benson-yes.  Motion carried unanimously.

 

Rose Alba-Asked what the Affordable Housing was.

 

Kyle replied the Plan is done through the Five County Area Association of Governments and will be available to everyone once the City Council has approved it.  If anyone would like to view the draft, it is available to view at his office.

 

Kevin explained the plan is also called the Moderate-Income Housing and is based on a percentage of the average income for the area.  The percentages are tiered and cities try to look at the housing needs for those different tiers. 

 

VII.           Presentation:

1.       Possible allowance of a tent only campground and on-site manager residence in a General Commercial Zone-Rich Murset

Mr. Murset passed out a copy of his presentation.  He also had a model idea of the proposed camp site.

He explained this project has been worked on in phases and is located on 200 North. 

Several years ago, the City took the idea of camping at all out of the ordinances.  The feedback he has gotten from staff is that they would like to handle it as an overlay zone for the appropriate areas. 

The northern section of his property is where he is proposing the tent only campground. 

There are a lot of people that go to Zion each year.  The Park keeps track of the people that go to the tent only campground, that information is the last sheet of his packet. 

Every time he went to Zion he would notice the RV Resort in Virgin was always posted “no campsites available”.  Then he researched the campgrounds in the Park and found out they are usually full March-November.  One of the campgrounds has a 6-month reservation list that is all taken, the other campground is first come-first serve and they are lined up early in the morning and have to turn people away. 

He is proposing a reservation only campground. 

He has heard the concerns but in his experience with vacation rentals, people come here to enjoy the Park and be outdoors.

He is requesting the Planning Commission consider an overlay use for tent only campgrounds and set restrictions like they did for RV Resorts.

                    

VIII.         Adjourn:

Motion was made by Commissioner Hugh Howard to adjourn, second by Commissioner Allen Bice.  Andregg-yes, Howard-yes, Bice-yes, Benson-yes.  Motion carried unanimously at 7:02pm.

 

 

Minutes taken on behalf of the City Recorder by Christy Ballard.

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