Tuesday, May 2, 2017

21-Mar-2017: Rezone of Property at 11020 N 5500 W to Residential Professional, 2017 Resident Survey Results

2017-03-21 Reasons for Living in Highland

The hot topic for the night was a rezone request for property located just to the west of the new car wash on Timpanogos Hwy from residential to professional office. This and a related issue brought about 67 residents to share their views with the council. I was the swing vote twice.

Staff presented the results of the 2017 Resident Survey. It was interesting. I’ve included a link to the charts and graphs that staff put together as well as the raw data with summaries and additional charts.


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  1. MOTION: Approval of Meeting Minutes for the City Council Regular Session – March 7, 2017: Click here to view the minutes. Approved unanimously.

  2. MOTION: Approval of a Preliminary Plat for a two-lot subdivision located at 11150 North Highland Blvd. – Requested by Scott Dunn. This is a subdivision of a lot that Highland Hideaway purchased from the city for expansion. The division creates a 0.28 acre conservation easement and a 0.944 acre lot that will be used for expansion. Click here to view background info from agenda.
    2017-03-24 Highland Hide-a-Way


  1. PUBLIC HEARING / ORDINANCE: Approval of an Ordinance Amending the Land Use Designation of the General Plan from Low Density Residential to Office for the property located at 11020 North 5500 West – Requested by Garon Larsen. Click here to view background info from agenda.

    2017-03-21 Garon Larsen Conceptual Site Plan
    Dr. Garon Larsen would like to purchase the lot and build a 2-story 10,000 sq. ft. office building. One floor would serve as his office, the other would be leased to another non-competitive tenant (to be determined). Dr. Larsen’s office is open 4.5 days a week. Prior to the meeting I asked Dr. Larsen if he would be willing to match the fence (8 ft. masonry) adjacent to the car wash for his north boundary fence. He said yes.

    Traffic counters were placed on 5500 W for seven days (March 8-15) to measure current north and southbound traffic. Here are the results:
    • Northbound: 303 trips/day
    • Southbound: 354 trips/day

    Medical/Dental offices generate on average 25 to 36 trip per day per 1,000 sq. ft. The means that the building could generate around 300 trips per day. Note, other types of professional office tenants generate less traffic. Assuming all traffic to the office were to travel up and down 5500 W this would mean the average daily traffic when the office is open would be less than 1,000 trips per day that this type of road is designed to handle.

    At an earlier meeting the planning commission recommended approved the change on a 4 to 2 vote.

    The public hearing discussion included residents commenting on items 3 (change the general plan to from residential to office), 4 (change zoning to Residential Professional) and 5 (Close 5500 W just north of the rezone). About 15 residents offered comments. To summarize most of the residents on 5500 W opposed the zoning change but if the change was made wanted to close 5500 W. Those living on the other streets 5550 W and 5600 W opposed the road closure. Many expressed concern that this was not a part of a long-term plan would represent the beginning of the expansion of commercial activity on the north side of SR 92.

    Council discussed the potential precedent this would set for further expansion of commercial along SR 92, potential traffic mitigating issues, the need for long term planning (which we all agreed on) … . Afterward councilman Dennis made a motion to approve the rezone request. This was seconded and then the Mayor asked for a vote.

    I was favorably disposed toward the rezone as I felt the masonry fence would significantly reduce the traffic noise from SR 92 for those living immediately north of the office and that the traffic impact on 5500 W would be minimal. However, I wanted the approval to include items that would mitigate some of the residents concerns. Since I could not amend the motion as a vote had been called I voted no. The motion failed 3 to 2.

    Following the vote I asked if we could reopen the issue and discuss how to mitigate resident concerns. The mayor and city administrator were not sure so they had a brief meeting with our city attorney to discuss this. There conclusion was that a motion to reconsider the issue would be appropriate. I then moved to reconsider which passed 3 to 2, completing my transition from hero to goat, for some, in record time :) Although a discussion ensued we really weren’t making progress so councilman Irwin moved to continue the discussion at the next council meeting. This was approved unanimously.

    One note, it was pretty clear during our discussion that the request to close 5500 W had no support from the council.

  2. PUBLIC HEARING / ORDINANCE: Approval of an Ordinance to Re-Zone
    property located at 11020 North 5500 West from Single Family Residential, R-1-40 to Residential Professional (RP) Zone – Requested by Garon Larsen.
    Click here to view background info from agenda. Continued to the next council meeting.

  3. PUBLIC HEARING: Request to Vacate approx. 170 feet of the Right of Way located at 5500 West north and SR92 – Requested by Resident Petition. Click here to view background info from agenda. Continued to the next council meeting.

  4. ORDINANCE: Approval of an Amendment to the Interlocal Agreement for the Lone Peak Public Safety District – Appointment of Board Members. Click here to view background info from agenda.   The requested change would allow the city council of member cities to adopt their own procedures regarding the length of terms for the board members. This change was unanimously approved.


  • Highland City Survey - Erin Wells, Assistant to the City Administrator. Click here to see all survey graphs and charts produced by staff. Erin shared with the council the results of the January 2017 resident survey. Last year we had 1,094 participants this year 1,074. Thanks to all who participated. Erin also provided council with the raw data which I put online along with charts and graphs (click here to view the online spreadsheet and chart).

    Key findings include:
    • Top three reasons for living in Highland:
      1. Location
      2. Large lot size
      3. Family friendly city
    • The highest priority item was fixing roads. 76% of those surveyed felt roads needed more funding and 72% were likely or very likely to support an additional funding via taxes or fees.
    • 79% of those surveyed indicated that they supported the Murdock Connector (east-west connector). See my recent post, “Murdock Connector: An Analysis of the 2017 Traffic Study.”
    • We tried to get clarity on what residents consider to be a large lot using both sq. ft. and density. However, there were differences in the responses the two questions. According to the sq. ft. answer R-1-40 is the clear winner. However, according to the density question. R-1-30 is the clear winner. I think we can ask the question better next year.
    Below are charts from the online data:

    Data for charts

  • Fiscal Impact Analysis – Nathan Crane, City Administrator
    Nathan reviewed with us a spreadsheet model that Zions Bank developed for us to do an impact analysis on the development that the state is doing south of the high school. The result was that the development only works for Highland if it includes the retail component. Absent retail the state owned development will cost the city $200,000 a year.

  • Ongoing Items - Staff.
    We briefly discussed how we would work to update the general plan to reflect potential changes along SR 92. All agree that the working on a long term master plan was important. We will discuss again.


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