Planning Commission minutes January 18, 2017

Daniel Planning Meeting Minutes

Wednesday, January 18, 2017 at 7:00 PM

Wasatch County Services Building, Room 126

55 South 500 East, Heber City, UT 


A quorum is present: Chairman Bunker and Commissioners Norris, Rawlings, Weight, Binkerd, and Skinner were present. Commissioner Grose is excused.

Members of the Town Council present: John Glodowski.  Jon Blotter arrived at 7:30 p.m.

Members of the public in attendance: Kyle Turnbow of Epic Engineering, Ryan Taylor of GDA Engineering, Ryan & Elizabeth McCombs of Magnificent Family Farms Subdivision, Mike Jenson, Derek Gressmen, Mark & Justin McAllister, and Town Clerk Lynne Shindurling.

  1. Public comment concerning any issue not on the agenda

There were no public comments.

  1. McCombs – Magnificent Family Farms lot approval on 3000 South

They are requesting approval for a building lot and private road. The road will be named Poppy Lane. It was suggested they allow a non-exclusive PUE alongside the road.

Commissioner Weight moved to approve the Magnificent Family Farms Subdivision on the condition that there is a non-exclusive PUE along the right-of-way. Any changes to the subdivision will require the PUE to be revisited. Commissioner Binkerd seconded, the vote was unanimous and the motion carried.

  1. Sproule/Gressmen subdivision – Mylar requirements

Commissioner Weight moved to approve the Sproule Subdivision on the condition that there is a non-exclusive PUE along the right-of-way. Any changes to the subdivision will require the PUE to be revisited. Commissioner Binkerd seconded, the vote was unanimous and the motion carried.

  1. Clyde/Ritchie subdivision – road design approval

They would like to begin building the road in the subdivision. It was suggested that they post a bond to be able to start right away. They would be required to clean the equipment used before going back onto the main road. Epic will present this to the owners.

  1. Zone change at 2950 South Highway 40 – review for action from Council

The Daniel Town Council has initiated a zone change from RA5 to Commercial on the Mark McAllister property. Mark McAllister, owner, and Ryan Taylor of GDA Engineering will start working on that change.

       Next items 7 and 8 were taken out of order.

  1. Planner report and business

The Chair & Vice Chair need to be voted on and approved for the year 2017.

Commissioner Weight moved to keep Eric Bunker as Chairman for the year 2017 with Commissioner Binkerd seconding. The vote was unanimous and the motion carried.

Commissioner Norris moved to keep Gary Weight as Vice Chairman for the year 2017 with Chairman Bunker seconding. The vote was unanimous and the motion carried.

  1. Approval of minutes from November 16, 2016

Commissioner Skinner moved to approve the minutes of 16 November 2016 with Commissioner Weight seconding. The vote was unanimous and the motion carried.

  1. Joint work meeting with Town Council re revision of 8.25 Home Occupation Code (minutes prepared by Clerk Lynne Shindurling)

Planning Director Bunker asked what time limit the group wants to set.  Nine o’clock was suggested, a 45-minute session.  He asked that a purpose for the code be written.  Commissioner Binkerd asked if 8.25 Home Occupation Code was being revisited or the purpose of the meeting was to create code dealing with the small business section as set in the last work meeting.  Director Bunker stated still dealing with 8.25 but a higher use category.  This section will be a separate classification within the home occupation code in the residential zone.  He thinks amendment of the zoning requirements needs to take place.  Commissioner Weight pointed out one-acre lots as well as other sizes  exist in RA5 zoning and the home occupation code should apply to all residential zones.

Council member Blotter stated some things need to be considered on any size lot, like parking and traffic.  Commission Rawlings stated a larger size lot could more easily accommodate parking issues and equipment on the premises.  He,  along with Commissioner Binkerd, stated they thought the Home Occupation portion was completed and now the second section was to be written.  Council member Blotter wants a name put to it even if it is not the final one.  Commissioner Norris asked Mr. Blotter what he had researched to gather information before the meeting.  Mr. Blotter stated home-based commercial is the term he used.

Terms like self-employed and small business were considered.  Small business was the title chosen for the time being.  Director Bunker is once again asking that a purpose be written.

Council member Blotter stated he spent a great deal of time researching this issue and has come full circle.  The small number of people that attended the public hearings in past months represents 3-6 percent of the people in the Town.  He’s not sure new code should be written to accommodate “commercial” endeavors here.  The General Plan of Daniel states to keep property values high and promote the safety and welfare of residents.  Commercial businesses in the residential zones do not improve property values or promote the safety and welfare of Daniel residents.

Commissioner Skinner asked Council Member Blotter if he had a definition of “commercial.”  Mr. Blotter stated not a very good one.  He considers commercial being anything which does not fit within the home occupation as defined.  Commissioner Norris stated Mr. McAllister’s willingness to relocate his business to what he has desired to be rezoned as commercial is admirable.       Residents conducting “commercial” businesses within the residential zone do have the option of moving to a commercial zone.

Commissioner Binkerd is concerned about comments of commercial endeavors creating noise and odors for their neighbors.  Commissioner Weight stated as things stand, the Town has made businesses in the commercial zone jump through many hoops in setting up their businesses and the same types of businesses in a residential zone have no regulations they must adhere to.  It is not consistent.

Commissioner Rawlings cited several businesses he has observed in Daniel storing commercial equipment and materials on their residential properties and asks what the Town is going to do about it.  Council member Blotter stated enforcement by complaint, which can also be initiated by any Town official.  Commissioner Weight said to stop expansion also.  Document the use now and cite non-compliance.  A time period for transition should be established.

Commissioner Rawlings stated he has heard of situations where people have bought property in Daniel for families on which to store equipment and materials because there are no regulations to prohibit such.  Commissioner Weight stated some of this is happening due to misinformation being given at the time of purchase.  Mr. McAllister stated he moved to Daniel on the premise keep your neighbors happy and you can do whatever you want to.

Shelly Bunker stated she does not understand why the Council and Commissioners are saying discrimination has taken place by allowing some to conduct certain operations but not others.  She was unaware of an application filed by Richard Willes for an events facility and the Town being unwilling to establish a conditional use for him.

Council member Blotter stated he chose the words “home-based commercial” because a person has his truck or van at home for his business but goes out away from home to perform his occupation.

Mrs. Bunker stated persons moving to Daniel to reduce their tax burden will find that not to be the case as the businesses will be taxed as commercial businesses, taxed on the use rather than location.  Commissioner Rawlings said it is not just the tax issue but the purchase price of residential property is less than commercial property.

Mr. McAllister suggested grandfathering in those businesses which currently exist with limits on the growth of their businesses and not allowing any new ones into the Town.  Once they reach a certain size they will have to move to a commercial zone or the Town can change the zone.  He acknowledges people have a tendency to store materials obtained at a good price for future use.  Commissioner Rawlings said this practice has taken place for decades, long before Daniel was incorporated.  Should this be grandfathered as well.

Mr. McAllister went on to say residents can be proactive on their properties by installing fencing and landscaping to reduce the visual impact of a neighbor’s yard.  Commissioner Binkerd wants there to be in place a standard. Rules that can be enforced when equipment and materials on an individual property push the limit observed by a neighbor.  She wants to be able to bring to the Council proof of a code violation.  Code must be written so as to be enforceable.  Even so she is concerned the Town is setting itself up for a future legal battle.

Council member Blotter does not want to cater to 10% of Daniel’s residents by allowing “home-based commercial” endeavors to exist at the expense of the other 90% losing property value and causing unsafe conditions to exist in a residential zone.  Commissioner Norris would like to follow the General Plan as adopted and enforce the code on home occupations one by one.  He thinks then others will make efforts to come into compliance on their own.  Council member Glodowski mentioned a transition period could be set up to accommodate businesses.

Commissioner Rawlings stated once you start enforcing code and targeting businesses, Pandora’s box is opened and lawsuits will cause the Town to become financially strapped.

Council member Blotter tried to get the group to state where they stand on this issue.  Commissioner Rawlings stated he is of the understanding there is going to be the Home Occupation Code for businesses conducted entirely within the home, a second category of businesses which is a little bit larger, and a third category which is conducted only in a commercial zone.

Commissioner Skinner stated the idea of having the Home Occupation Code in place, and as businesses come before the Council for renewal, if they are not operated entirely within the home they move into a transition phase to become compliant within a specified period of time.  Council member Glodowski thinks an individual running a business out of his home requiring one truck and perhaps a trailer falls within the Home Occupation Code as it exists and is compliant.  Council member Blotter agreed.  Commissioner Skinner disagreed.  Commissioner Norris likes the idea of Daniel being an agricultural community and those out of compliance given a transition period to become compliant.  Commissioner Weight is leaning toward a transition period as well.

Mr. McAllister stated the Council approved the newly written Home Occupation Code in December and were to move on to the next category of writing code for businesses being conducted involving materials and equipment over and above the other code…and some Commissioners agreed with this…and now the Council is moving back to the first code in an attempt to kick out the businesses in the next category.  He wants new code written for them.  He thinks the Council has flip-flopped on its process.

Commissioner Weight stated a public hearing was held for comments and consideration of the public’s ideas, but that does not mean these things must be incorporated into the revised code.  Council member Blotter agreed and stated they were to be considered and studied and reviewed by the Council and Planning Commission, but the Town officials must write code to be in the best interest of the Town as a whole.  There was disagreement among members of the Council and Commission on this issue.

Mrs. Bunker added to this that ideas on code can change with a new Mayor or Council members.

The time set aside for this work meeting has expired, but before leaving Council Member Blotter asked if there is something the group can do before the next session.  Director Bunker would still like a purpose written for this next category of home occupation business, the title of which is yet to be determined.  Commissioner Norris said revenue or number of vehicles or employees could be a factor in setting parameters for the business.

  1. Adjourn

         Commissioner Binkerd moved to adjourn the meeting with Commissioner Norris seconding.  The vote was unanimous and the motion carried.

Meeting adjourned at 9:15 p.m.

Kathy-Jo Percy, Secretary

Lynne Shindurling, Town Clerk

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