CITY COUNCIL MEETING
Tuesday, November 7, 2006 7:00 p.m.
Public Safety Building
3925 W Cedar Hills Drive, Cedar Hills, Utah
This meeting was held electronically via telephone to permit
one or more of the Council members to participate.
Present: Mayor McGee, Presiding
Council Members: Eric Richardson, Joel Wright, Jim Perry, Charelle Bowman (by phone), Gary Maxwell
Konrad Hildebrandt, City Manager
Kim Holindrake, City Recorder
David Bunker, City Engineer
David Taylor, Assistant to the City Manager
Courtney Hammond, City Meeting Transcriber
Eric Johnson, City Attorney
Others: Jacob LeDoux, Wes Graham, Darin Lowder, Larry Locken, Gary Maxwell, Tom Gleason, Merritt Lowder, John Bratt, Steve Kroes, Cliff Chandler, Chris Reilly, Darin Lewis, Jakob Lewis, Jaren Grass, Noel Vallejo, Scott Rankin, Scout Troop 839, Scout Troop 838, Paul Lewis, Chris Lewis, Zonda Perry, Lisa Durtschi, Janah Durtschi, Timo Pew, Connor Hudson, Karissa Neeley - New Utah, Colton Maag (7:40 p.m.), Jeff Maag (7:40 p.m.), Becky Richards (7:40 p.m.)
1. This meeting of the City Council of the City of Cedar Hills, having been posted throughout the City and the press notified, was called to order at7:23 p.m. by Mayor McGee.
Invocation given by C. Richardson
Pledge of Allegiance
2. Public Comment (7:25 p.m.)
• Steve Kroes: Mr. Kroes asked if the City is still planning to connect the sidewalk on the Landon Court subdivision to the property to the south. David Bunker stated that the sidewalk will be connected. The City is currently discussing timing with the developer. Survey work is needed to determine whether a fence encroaches on the sidewalk easement.
3. Minutes from the October 17, 2006, Regular City Council Meeting (7:26 p.m.)
MOTION: C. Wright - To approve the minutes. Seconded by C. Richardson.
C. Wright Motion passes.
MOTION: C. Perry - To move Item #5 in front of Item #4. Seconded by C. Richardson.
C. Wright Motion passes.
5. Presentation to Darin Lowder, Previous Councilmember (7:27 p.m.)
Mayor McGee and the Council expressed appreciation to Darin Lowder and presented him with a gift.
4. Review/Action on Appointment and Swearing in of City Council Member (7:29 p.m.)
See handouts. Three people applied for the City Council position: Tom Gleason, Larry Locken and Gary Maxwell. The applicants were given a few minutes to make a statement introducing themselves.
• Tom Gleason: Mr. Gleason stated that he has three children and has lived in Cedar Hills for five and a half years. He applied for the position because he felt that his participation in the City needed to increase; he has been involved in some of the past issues in the City. Mr. Gleason works in economic development, with both the public and private sectors.
• Gary Maxwell: Mr. Maxwell stated that he has lived in Cedar Hills for more than six years. He has four children. He has been on the Planning Commission for about a year. He has a professional background in development and helping cities develop according to master plans. He plans on living in Cedar Hills for a long time. He stated that he has strong opinions and does not back down on those things he feels strongly about. He is excited about the prospect of being a decision maker in the City.
• Larry Locken: Mr. Locken stated that he has two boys, and his family moved from Murray, Utah, 14 months ago. He worked as a police officer for five years. He loves the city parks and the golf course and supports the discussion that is happening regarding the golf course. He currently works in media and has applied for the position because he loves Cedar Hills. He stated that the City needs economic development.
Mayor McGee invited the Council Members to ask the applicants questions.
C. Bowman asked the applicants their opinions on the commercial zone, the Commercial Design Guidelines and their vision for the commercial area.
• Gary Maxwell: Mr. Maxwell stated that he is currently working with Checker Auto Parts. He also works with other national tenant companies that establish long-term leases. He is familiar with what that type of tenant looks for in a commercial area. He said that Cedar Hills needs to bring in the anchor tenant. From there a number of qualified tenants would come in and purchase a pad with a long-term lease.
• Larry Locken: Mr. Locken stated that there is an obvious need for economic development. He feels the City needs to entertain offers and also go out and find possible commercial businesses. The City needs to go out and start the conversation.
• Tom Gleason: Mr. Gleason stated that he is very interested in getting the commercial zone completed. He feels it is important to engage the community and to look at the long-term needs of the City. It is important to act now. The City needs to send the message that it is reasonable and inviting to businesses. Mr. Gleason deals with many cities that have done the same thing. He stated that he can help the City partner and regionalize through his professional contacts. He feels the City needs to be open-minded when considering its options. In the past, Cedar Hills has turned stores away. Messaging is important, and the City should control what is said to the media and residents.
C. Wright asked the candidates if they voted for the initiatives in June 2005; how they voted; if they would vote the same way today; and if the issue is settled in their minds.
• Larry Locken: Mr. Locken moved to the City in August 2005. He would have voted to allow an anchor store to be open on Sunday. He feels that if the community didn’t support it, it would have closed on Sunday for economic reasons. To mandate closing on Sunday, would not have been the right decision. He stated that his stance is similar on the sale of alcohol. Most anchor stores would want to offer alcohol. He stated that he has talked to residents in his area about the issue who voted for the initiatives. He feels their position on the issue has softened since the vote.
• Tom Gleason: Mr. Gleason stated that he felt passionate about letting the store decide what it would do. He voted against the beer ban and the mandate for Sunday closing. His position has not changed. He feels that though the issue was emotional, people have realized that everything is okay.
• Gary Maxwell: Mr. Maxwell stated that he voted for the initiatives. At the time, it looked like there were some commercial tenants that would come in with the initiatives. Now, he realizes that very few commercial tenants will want to close their doors on Sunday. The national stores will not sign a lease when those types of economic factors are dictated to them. Today he would vote differently. The issue was settled in his mind once it was voted on.
C. Perry asked the candidates for their thoughts and observations on the City budget and Decisions 2006 survey. What would they change in the budget and why? What is the key thing they learned from Decisions 2006?
• Tom Gleason: Mr. Gleason stated that from the Decisions 2006 survey, he learned there are two issues holding the City back: the golf course and the commercial district. People are willing to be more flexible than they have in the past regarding the commercial district. He also learned that the City still has work to do with communication to the residents. The City is stagnant. It hasn’t moved forward, possibly because of the two big issues. If those issues can be overcome, the survey will be more positive. He feels the City Council should pay attention to the survey and act accordingly. Mr. Gleason stated that he has reviewed the budget. He commended City Staff for putting the citizens’ budget together. He said it is important to be fiscally responsible. The awards that the City has received for the budget show the residents that the City is being responsible. He said that the capital projects are moving the City in the right direction. He wants to see a viable commercial zone that generates revenue for capital projects and wants to see the golf course profitable, or at least not a tax on taxpayers. It is time to get the golf course and commercial zone resolved.
• Gary Maxwell: The two big issues are golf course and commercial development. The golf course adds to the City, but there are concerns by those people who live near it. He feels that a small portion can be developed and significantly reduce the debt. Similarly, the neighbors who live near the commercial area are concerned about the size and other factors. He stated that the number of things that can be accomplished grows with a vibrant commercial zone. His concern is that as building permits start dropping off, City revenue declines. A commercial zone with the right businesses is needed. He feels there are a couple of things that are needed in the budget, specifically a community center.
• Larry Locken: Mr. Locken stated that he feels there will be an anchor store with other neighborhood stores in the next three years. He loves the golf course, but it needs to be changed. Reconfiguration is needed, and it will be okay. He is comfortable with the budget. The City has done the best it can with a small budget.
C. Richardson said that it is difficult to balance conflicting needs in different areas of the City. For instance, the overwhelming majority of the City wants the golf course debt paid, while a vocal minority feels that the golf course problem has been solved with the bond. How would you approach the issue of balancing conflicting needs?
• Gary Maxwell: Mr. Maxwell said that the majority of residents want to get rid of the golf course debt. Those that live near the golf course do not want to lose the open space. He said his approach would be to limit the amount of impact as much as possible. For example, 30 lots could be developed on Hole #15 and greatly reducing the debt. In the commercial zone, entrances, exits and traffic flow can minimize impact to the neighborhood, school and park.
• Larry Locken: Mr. Locken stated that the City doesn’t need to take the first offer it gets for the commercial area. Options can be considered and the best option that meets the needs and desires of the residents can be chosen.
• Tom Gleason: Mr. Gleason stated that there are those with a specific interest in the golf course, or the commercial zone. However, the rest of the residents need to be considered as well. All residents are paying Citywide through taxes so it is an issue for everyone. The problem is that some feel disengaged after the process. That means that the City needs to do a better job of engaging the residents. The City needs to learn from the past, educate the newer residents, and invite residents to be engaged. He has experiences working with other cities that have gone through growing pains and can help apply their experiences to Cedar Hills.
C. Bowman stated that a Community Services Director was added to the last budget. She asked the applicants to express their vision for the potential of community services?
• Larry Locken: Mr. Locken stated that he was excited to see that the Community Services Director was back. Children are a big part of the community. He would like to see the City offer things for the children and the seniors because it makes the City feel like a community.
• Tom Gleason: Mr. Gleason stated that he is happy to see the City move in that direction and hire someone to bring quality of life back to the community. When Cedar Hills starts to add services, it indicates that the City is prospering and he hopes to see more events. He would like to see the arts community grow in Cedar Hills.
• Gary Maxwell: Mr. Maxwell said he would like to see more family activities. There should always be excuses to get families together and involved.
C. Wright asked the applicants to suppose a big national retail store wants to develop in the commercial zone. The retailer will not do everything that residents want. The new Highland commercial center is looking good to retailers. If this retailer does not come in, the City will not get one for another ten years. What would you do?
• Tom Gleason: Mr. Gleason said that the City has had two opportunities to get the commercial zone anchored. At the time the City had some leverage. The message was sent that the residents did not want the retailers. He feels that if the City pushes away another retailer, they might not be interested again. The message needs to be sent that the City wants retailers and the City will be reasonable. The right people need to be engaged at the right time.
• Gary Maxwell: Mr. Maxwell feels that residents’ issues can be alleviated through location and traffic flow. The biggest concern of residents in the neighborhood was traffic flow. It is possible to put a large store with proper traffic flow patterns and sound blocking walls can be placed. The larger issue is not the size of the store, but planning.
• Larry Locken: Mr. Locken said that the City does not want to get the reputation of being tough to work with. The next time the City is approached for a commercial development, the City needs to work with them to get it done. The community will never be completely united, but a vibrant commercial area is for the best of the City.
C. Perry asked the applicants to explain what differentiates them from the other candidates.
• Gary Maxwell: Mr. Maxwell stated that he has a background in development. He has worked with many cities and counties to get the right people for the right community. He has relationships with many stores and builders and can help bring in national retailers.
• Larry Locken: Mr. Locken said that the golf course facility needs to be more open to people that don’t golf through the clubhouse. The clubhouse should be a community center. He has a background in problem solving, negotiation and thinking outside the box.
• Tom Gleason: Mr. Gleason stated that he has experience working with governments and municipalities throughout the state and in bringing big business to Utah through capital investments. He recognizes that we are part of a community. He has worked with the private and public sectors to do economic development together. He has relationships with nearby cities that will help us partner on common projects and he has experience working with the media and public relations. He is from the southern part of Cedar Hills and feels that it is important to hear from that part of the community. He said he is fun and can add humor to the Council.
C. Richardson said that in Decisions 2006, 70% mentioned the newsletter as the top information source, then the website. Other means of communication included email and word of mouth. Only 5% felt the City really listens when there is a concern. Another 7% felt that the City sometimes listens, but can improve. What would you do to improve communication?
• Larry Locken: Mr. Locken said that residents in his neighborhood felt they had a voice through Darin Lowder. He feels the issue is one of perception. Getting out and making friends can make a big difference.
• Tom Gleason: Mr. Gleason said he would like to see more town meetings and other Citywide projects. He would like to see community involvement on a service project. Bringing people together to work together can go a long way toward improving relations and communication. He said that the Council can only do so much. The other side also has to be willing to engage. The City is doing a fine job in trying to reach out, but perception might take longer to change.
• Gary Maxwell: Mr. Maxwell said his motto is “Return and Report.” The City should be divided into five areas. One member is responsible to listening to that group of people. Neighborhood meetings should be held to let the residents know that there is one Council member responsible for those residents. Then the Council members will return and report on the needs and concerns of their section of the City.
Mayor McGee asked the applicants their view on the proper role of a City Council member.
• Tom Gleason: Mr. Gleason said a City Council member should represent the views of the people and put in effect the wishes of the community. Council members should work together to find solutions. Council members should reach out to residents and invite them to be engaged to the decision-making process.
• Gary Maxwell: Mr. Maxwell stated that everyone wants to be heard. He feels a Council member should be responsible for listening to the residents in a given area. A Council member should work to make the City financially strong and work on current issues such as the golf course debt. He said a Council should act in the name of the citizens he represents and make the tough decisions.
• Larry Locken: Mr. Locken thanked the Council and Staff for their passion for the community. He said the role of a Council member is to be in tune with residents and to be accessible and approachable. Also, a Council member should be able to do what is right for the community even when it is hard.
C. Richardson asked the applicants for a council decision that they have disagreed with.
• Gary Maxwell: Mr. Maxwell said that he feels that he can help resolve the issues in the commercial area. The City needs to use relationships and build relationships to make it happen.
• Larry Locken: Mr. Locken said that he feels like the Council has not understood tournament golf.
• Tom Gleason: Mr. Gleason said that there have been some cases of communication problems. For instance, nearby residents did not know about the Public Works building. Communication needs to be improved.
C. Perry expressed appreciation to the candidates for being willing to serve on the City Council. He said that in his mind Tom Gleason stood out in the completeness of his application, follow up on his application, and endorsements from other residents. He has good qualifications and a history of participation in issues. Neighborhoods appreciate representation in their neighborhood and Tom Gleason is from a portion of the City that is not currently represented.
MOTION: C. Perry - To appoint Tom Gleason to replace Darin Lowder on the City Council. Seconded by C. Bowman.
• C. Richardson said that he feels neighborhood representation is important, but given the smallness of the community, representation is already there. All three candidates are great men. He encouraged all applicants to be involved.
• C. Wright stated that since he does not know Larry Locken, he will not be voting for him. He encouraged Larry Locken to apply for a vacancy on the Planning Commission, Parks and Trails Committee or Board of Adjustment. He knows both Tom Gleason and Gary Maxwell and thinks they are both exceptional.
Vote by roll call. Aye - C. Bowman
Aye - C. Perry
Nay - C. Wright
• Mayor McGee said that he does not know Larry Locken, but feels he is outgoing and qualified. He would like to see him be involved and get some experience in some facet of city government. He stated that he considers Tom Gleason a friend and has every qualification to be on the City Council. He also considers Gary Maxwell a friend and is qualified for the position. He hopes that regardless of the outcome, they can remain friends. His vote does not imply anything other than a decision about who will be best for the City.
Nay - Mayor McGee Motion fails.
MOTION: C. Wright - That Gary Maxwell fills the vacancy on the City Council. Seconded by C. Richardson.
• C. Richardson stated that his decision comes down to Gary Maxwell’s involvement on the Planning Commission.
• C. Perry stated that he spoke with Gary Maxwell last night regarding an issue and hesitates to bring it up because some say it is irrelevant. He has a document with him from the SEC (U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission). The issue is regarding a finding from the SEC on a prior business dealing that Gary Maxwell was involved in. The findings from the SEC stated that things did not go exactly as things should have gone and certain laws were broken. For him, even though he talked about it with Gary Maxwell, he’s not fully at peace with it. Based on that, Tom Gleason is here and is equally qualified. He could go either way, but to him this issue was the deciding factor.
• C. Bowman stated that her decision comes down to the importance of representation from all parts of the City.
• C. Wright said he appreciated C. Perry’s comments. He has read the same findings and is satisfied with the explanation. He agrees with C. Bowman’s comment. The fact that Gary Maxwell has lived in another neighborhood mitigates that issue.
• Mayor McGee stated that he respects Tom Gleason. He did not come tonight with his mind made up. Gary Maxwell has answered all the questions around the SEC’s statement to the Mayor’s satisfaction. Gary Maxwell was the only one that gave the answer that the Mayor was looking for on the question about the proper role of City government when he said that the role was to listen and then make the decisions.
Vote by roll call. Aye - C. Richardson
Aye - C. Wright
Nay - C. Perry
Aye - Mayor McGee Motion passes.
Kim Holindrake swore in Gary Maxwell as a City Council member. Mayor McGee asked Tom Gleason and Larry Locken to apply for a Planning Commission vacancy.
MOTION: C. Perry - To take a five minute break. Seconded by C. Wright.
C. Wright Motion passes.
6. Review/Action on Proposed Purchase of City Property Located Along Southern Edge of Sunset Park (9:30 p.m.)
See handouts. Kim Holindrake stated that the homeowner would like to purchase an additional portion of land about 5 feet wide along the southern edge of Sunset Park. The homeowner claims that he has had difficulties with water flooding into his house from the park property. The backyard of this home is a bowl and the basement has flooded in the past. The property owners are willing to purchase the land at current value. David Bunker said that ultimately the goal is to solve the drainage issue. The City has installed a berm and French drainage system on this southern edge of the park. Kim Holindrake said the City is not aware of any recurring damage with the previous owners since the City installed the berm and drain. John Bratt stated that the extra five feet would be both concrete and landscape and would include additional drainage features. The property owner proposes buying the land and making all improvements. David Bunker stated that he feels the berm and French drain system are sufficient, and any change to the system could make the condition worse. Other neighbors had a similar problem, hired someone to test and determined it was from the deep water source.
• Mayor McGee stated that he feels there are other drainage issues on the property that need to be addressed first, such as down spouts going into the ground.
• C. Perry said that he feels like giving up a portion of park land is not a good idea when the City is short on park land. Also, the City is responsible for retaining water on its land. Moving the property line just moves the problem further north.
• C. Richardson said that he appreciates the proactive approach of the property owner. However, the Council needs to make sure it is solving the correct problem and not causing new problems.
MOTION: C. Richardson - To table this item until the City Engineer can do a better analysis of the problem. Seconded by C. Wright.
C. Wright Motion passes.
7. Review/Action on Water Conservation Fund Grant (10:07 p.m.)
See handouts. Konrad Hildebrandt stated that the City is applying for a grant with the Utah State Department of Parks for a Land and Water Conservation Grant. Part of the grant application requires that the City Council is aware of the application, approves of the grant and will match with at least a 50/50 split.
MOTION: C. Richardson - To immediately instruct the City Manager to submit a grant to the State of Utah Department of Parks for a Land and Water Conservation Grant. Seconded by C. Wright.
• C. Perry stated he does not like the fact that the government takes money and then gives it back in the form of grants.
C. Wright Motion passes.
8. Review/Action on Annexation Petition for Property Located at 9990 North 4000 West, Pleasant Grove (10:10 p.m.)
See handouts. Eric Johnson has petitioned to disconnect from Pleasant Grove. Utah County said it would oppose the action unless the property was annexed into Cedar Hills. The disconnection will be considered tomorrow in Pleasant Grove City; they are unable to provide sewer service to the property. As long as the property is in Pleasant Grove, Cedar Hills’ policy is to not provide sewer service even though it has the capacity to do so.
• C. Perry is in favor of annexing the property. Negotiations are ongoing with Pleasant Grove to adjust the boundaries. Eric Johnson said that he will propose to Pleasant Grove that they set a time line for the boundary adjustment and, if the time line is not met, that individual boundary adjustments be allowed.
MOTION: C. Perry - In light of the property owner’s willingness to extend the annexation process until a decision is made with Pleasant Grove City on a boundary adjustment, I move to accept the annexation petition for further consideration. Seconded by C. Richardson.
C. Wright Motion passes.
9. City Manager Report and Discussion (10:19 p.m.)
• The monthly management report will be out by November 10.
• Next City Council meeting will have some generalized goals and projects based on Decisions 2006. The Council will need to add/delete goals and projects and then prioritize.
• The Public Works building has a new completion date of December 15.
• The City has been pushing RC Management for detailed information in developing a report for City Council and drafting a new contract.
• The trail behind Canyon Heights will be on a future Planning Commission agenda. The City will move the boulders on the trail easement.
MAYOR’S REPORT/ITEMS REFERRED BY CITY COUNCIL
10. Board and Committee Reports (10:25 p.m.)
• C. Wright: North Point Solid Waste Solid Service District has a settlement offer that they are happy with regarding the lawsuit about the bailer.
• C. Perry: The town homes that were torn down are a mess. City staff is meeting with the developer on November 8. The developer has asked if the landscaped park should be given to the City or the Homeowners Association. The City does not want the land.
• C. Richardson: The Planning Commission worked on the General Plan and forwarded Landon Court, Plat B, to the City Council.
C. Bowman excused - 10:33 p.m.
• Mayor McGee: He toured Utah Valley State College campus at the Mountain Association of Governments meeting. The County Council of Governments meeting focused on a countywide dispatch system for all law enforcement services. At the North County Mayors Association meeting Mayor Franson of Highland proposed that the CUP water be used to replenish the aquifer. Cedar Hills, Highland and other cities will need to pay for the water in 2007, whether they use the water or not.
11. Motion to go into Executive Session, Pursuant to Utah State Code 52-4-5 (10:45 p.m.)
Utah State Code 52-4-5 designates specific parameters for which a Closed Meeting/Executive Session may be held. This Executive Session was held to discuss the following: Strategy Sessions to discuss the purchase, exchange or lease of real property.
MOTION: C. Perry - To go into Executive Session, Pursuant to Utah State Code 52-4-5. Seconded by C. Richardson.
C. Wright Motion passes.
* * * EXECUTIVE SESSION * * *
12. Motion to Adjourn Executive Session and Reconvene City Council Meeting (11:32 p.m.)
MOTION: C. Wright - To adjourn Executive Session and reconvene City Council Meeting. Seconded by C. Richardson.
C. Wright Motion passes.
13. This meeting was adjourned at 11:32 p.m. on a motion by C. Wright, seconded by C. Richardson and unanimously approved.
/s/ Kim E. Holindrake
Kim E. Holindrake, City Recorder
Approved by Council:
December 5, 2006