LA VERKIN CITY PLANNING COMMISSION
Wednesday, May 10, 2017 6:00pm
City Council Chambers, 111 South Main Street
LaVerkin, Utah 84745
Present: Chair Anna Andregg; Commissioners: Sherman Howard, Allen Bice, Hugh Howard, and Karl Benson; Staff: Derek Imlay and Christy Ballard; Public: Rich Murset, Humberto Alba, Tyler Howard and Samantha Hinton.
I. Call to Order: Chair Anna Andregg called the meeting to order at 6:00pm. The Invocation and Pledge of Allegiance was given by Hugh Howard.
II. Approval of Minutes:
Commission may approve the minutes of the April 26, 2017 regular meeting minutes.
Motion was made by Commissioner Karl Benson to approve the April 26, 2017 regular meeting minutes as written, second by Commissioner Sherman Howard. Sherman Howard-yes, Hugh 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 Allen Bice. Bice-yes, Hugh Howard-yes, Sherman Howard-yes, Andregg-yes, Benson-yes. Motion carried unanimously.
1. Beautification/Trails Committee-Nothing to report.
2. City Council-No one present to report.
3. Director of Operations-Nothing to report.
Derek reported the second meeting in May would be cancelled.
1. Discussion on possible changes to the Vacation Rental Ordinance.
Derek said Kevin included in the packet a list of things the new ordinance would need to accomplish with several different ideas on doing that.
Staff would like the Commissioners to revisit the idea of allowing vacation rentals in all commercial zones. They felt the Tourist Commercial Zone would be appropriate for vacation rentals but wondered about Retail Commercial and General Commercial.
Derek mentioned if the Commissioners could notify staff with changes they would like to see prior to the June 14th meeting Kevin could possibly have a draft ordinance ready for that meeting.
The Commissioners began reading the information Kevin put together for the packet.
Number 1 and 2 dealt with new legislation.
Municipalities are no longer allowed to look for unlicensed vacation rentals on booking websites.
Number 3 was suggested requirements for vacation rental developments specifically in commercial zones.
Derek explained the idea behind this was to limit the amount of commercial area put into vacation rentals. Another option is to remove them from General Commercial and Retail Commercial zones entirely.
Number 4 would allow single family vacation rentals, no bed and breakfasts, in the R-3-6 and Mobile Homes zones.
Number 5 was language for dividing the City into sections to limit the number of vacation rentals in La Verkin.
It also discussed additional regulations, such as parking, licenses and signage, for vacation rentals and bed and breakfasts. It also had language for setting a 5% cap for the sections.
Item g. 3 states “no new structure can be built for the immediate purpose of housing a VR use.” The Commissioners felt that if the percentage cap had not been met, a new home should be allowed as a vacation rental.
Commissioner Hugh Howard asked if penalties for operating without a license should be included in the ordinance.
Derek replied the business license penalty is a class B misdemeanor or revoking a license. He didn’t have any suggestions on how to enforce anything other than that.
Commissioner Bice pointed out a penalty was implemented for noncompliance in an RV resort and wondered how that would be different for a vacation rental.
He would like to add something not as steep as the RV resort fee but steep enough property owners wouldn’t want to disregard it.
Derek said enforcement is difficult. It had been his experience with taking people to court that large fines are not collected.
Commissioner Hugh Howard mentioned he hoped by putting a cap on the number of vacation rentals people would get a business license but feels there should be a penalty.
Christy said she had contacted several communities and many of them were dealing with enforcement issues also. It is a class B misdemeanor in some of the cities and a few of them are looking at implementing something stronger too.
She felt it could be difficult for our small police force to track them and staff wouldn’t be able to go online to find them anymore.
Derek said he will talk to staff about a penalty that is more than what is currently on the books but less than RV resort penalties.
Commissioner Benson commented the 1.1 parking space would require a 3-bedroom unit to have 6 parking spaces which he felt was excessive.
Derek responded the 1.1 was the current parking requirement for hotels, a 3-bedroom vacation rental may need something different.
Commissioner Hugh Howard didn’t think a home built specifically to be a vacation rental was a problem if the percentage cap for the section had not been met.
Derek reminded the Commissioners the commercial zones are exempt from the 5% cap.
Commissioner Bice commented La Verkin does not have a lot of commercial areas and feels vacation rental communities would be best in the Tourist Commercial Zone only.
There was a discussion on the top side of La Verkin going east on SR9 toward Virgin.
Derek explained that section of La Verkin has its own set of regulations and requirements for developments.
The Commissioners agreed to remove the ability to have vacation rentals in the General Commercial and Retail Commercial Zone.
Humberto Alba-180 E 615 N, he has a 3-bedroom vacation rental next door to him. Normally the renters have one vehicle with up to 8 people. However, during the holiday they were presented with four trucks with four trailers with motorcycles. They tried to park on the property the best they could but ended up parking on the street in front of neighboring driveways. While it is an exception it does happen most long weekends.
Commissioner Benson stated that would be an issue of enforcing no on-street parking.
There was a question of who would receive the penalty, the property owner, or the renter.
Derek was unsure but would check on it.
He would add parking to the list of changes the Commissioners would like and told them to email him with additional changes.
The parking changes would require vacation rental owners to provide a certain number of parking areas for their business. Parking on the street is allowed but there should be adequate parking for vacation rentals so they won’t have to.
Commissioner Hugh Howard wondered if the other members were still in favor of 5%. He received some push back on that number. If there are 1500 residences in La Verkin 5% would only be 75 vacation rentals, 7% would be 105.
Tyler Howard-He purchased a home in the R-3-6 area last year to be a vacation rental not knowing then they weren’t allowed in the R-3-6. There are a lot of people with vacation rentals in that area that are not able to be legal but would like to be. And with everyone rushing to get their homes grandfathered in there are a lot of people who have put time and money into their homes to be a vacation rental and by the time vacation rentals are allowed in the R-3-6 and the 5% restriction is in place, they will not be able to because the spots will have been filled. He would like the Commissioners to consider allowing enough room to allow all the people that currently want to be legal to become legal to help with the financial burden of creating a vacation rental.
Commissioner Benson pointed out the requirement to use the license within one year would be operational and not be grandfathered in.
Commissioner Bice said he does not have strong feelings on the percentage. He does see what 5% does to Zion View Estates and feels they have enough. Double that number and it would adversely affect the neighborhoods.
Commissioner Benson brought up placing different percentages on different zones. If one area had a lot of commercial area it would force vacation rentals into the adjacent residential neighborhoods. So, it really has the effect of concentrating them more.
Derek will email the updated map and percentages to the Commissioners.
Motion was made by Commissioner Hugh Howard to adjourn, second by Commissioner Sherman Howard. Andregg-yes, Hugh Howard-yes, Bice-yes, Benson-yes, Sherman Howard-yes. Motion carried unanimously at 6:59pm.
Minutes taken on behalf of the City Recorder by Christy Ballard.