Saturday, December 4, 2021

Highland City Council Preview for 7-Dec-2021


There are a number of interesting items on the agenda for our last scheduled council meeting of the year including:

  • A report on pressurized irrigation usage for 2021.
  • An ordinance to govern the use of the recently passed Park Tax.
  • Approval of a contract to drill a new deeper (1,200 ft) culinary water well adjacent to an existing well that is underperforming.
  • Continued discussion on the disposal of open space property.

This meeting will be held at city hall but we will also stream it on our YouTube channel (click here to watch). 

You can find an abbreviated meeting agenda. The complete agenda (160 pages) which includes the staff reports associated with each item can be accessed by clicking here.

Highland City Council Agenda
Tuesday, Dec, 7th 2021
6:00 PM executive (closed) session
and 7:00 pm council meeting

The meeting will be broadcast on YouTube Live. For those not attending, comments may be emailed to Please let us know if you wish them to be read during the public comment portion of the meeting.

The time and listed at the end of agenda items is my guess as to the start time of this item.


The City Council enter into closed session to discuss pending or reasonably imminent litigation, and the purchase, exchange, or lease of real property, as provided by Utah Code Annotated §52-4-205.


    Time has been set aside for the public to express their ideas, concerns, and comments. Comments are limited to 3 minutes. Note, there may be a large number of residents commenting on Blue Bison fencing their property in Draper. If you plan to comment on this issue please ensure that your remarks are differentiated from previous comments or simply state I agree with the those who previously commented.


    1. Mayor Recognition Awards
      The mayor will be presenting awards to residents who have contributed in a significant way to Highland City.
    2. Recognition Award for the Mayor
      Mayor Elect Kurt Ostler will thank the mayor for his years of service to Highland.

    1. Parks
      Parks Superintendent Josh Castleberry will report on the status of parks and open space maintenance for the 2021 growing season.
    2. Pressurized Irrigation
      Assistant Public Works Director Jeff Murdoch will present an update to the City Council regarding the 2021 pressurized irrigation water usage.
    3. Youth Council
      A member of the Highland City Youth Council will report on their activities and service during the last month.
    4. Traffic Data
      I will be reviewing with the council a unified approach to sharing traffic information with the public. We have collected traffic data on 13 roads at 26 locations. Here are sample reports from a recent collection on Canal Blvd.

      This report shows the location of the radar counter, summarizes key traffic info in a table, and then highlights important data in a variety of charts.

      The “heat map” below shows the average number of trips at the indicated speed ranges for each hour of the day. Trips that 5 MPH over the speed limit or less are green, 5 to 10 MPH over the limit are yellow, and 10 MPH or more over the limit are red. Note, the police department has access to this information and can use it to determine where and when to look for speeders.
    Items on the consent agenda are of a routine nature or have been previously studied by the City Council. They are intended to be acted upon in one motion. Council members may pull items from consent if they would like them considered separately.

    1. Approval of Council Meeting Minutes for Oct 19th and Nov 16th Administrative
       On Nov 16th we certified the election results – click here to review the results.
    2. Action: Award Contract for the Murdock Irrigation Pump Station & Pheasant Hollow Sewer Lift Station Administrative
      City Council will consider a request to approve a bid to Nelson Brothers for $2,877,000.90 for the construction of the Murdock Irrigation Pump Station and Pheasant Hollow Sewer Lift Station Projects and authorize the City Administrator and City Recorder to execute the necessary contract documents for the project.
      • The Murdock Irrigation Pump Station is a planned new facility we will be adding to our Pressurized Irrigation system. It will be located on on North County Blvd near the Murdock Canal Trail crossing. It will help us meet the city’s growing demand for PI. Budgeted cost: 1,314,868.

      • The Pheasant Hollow Lift station upgrade. This a planned upgrade that is needed to support the development (Ridgeview) south of Lone Peak HS. Budgeted cost: $1,562,133
    3. Resolution: Highland Blvd – Intent To Annex Legislative
      This resolution will confirm our intent to annex section of Highland Blvd that was not previously incorporated in the city.
      2021-12-07 Highland Blvd Annexation
    4. Plat Amendment: Peck Hollow Plat B Lot 2 Amended (PA-21-11). Administrative
      The City Council will consider a request by Ezra Lee Design + Build on behalf of Vess Pearson to amend the Peck Hollow Plat B subdivision to combine Lot 2 with a portion of the property behind 6387 W 9600 N.
    5. Resolution/Action: Disposal of Equipment from Public Works Department Administrative
      Staff is requesting that the City Council approve the surplus sale of a utility dump truck bed from the Highland City Public Works fleet. The disposal will not take place until after Jan 1, 2022.
    6. Voter Participation Areas Administrative
      City Council will consider reaffirming the City’s Voter Participation Areas until updated Areas are available for the purpose of signature collection for initiatives and referendums as required in Utah Code 20A-7-401.3.

      During the 2019 Legislative General Session, HB 119 was passed. This bill required the creation of Voter Participation Areas which play a role in any initiatives or referendum that are filed. These Areas are not precincts, but do follow precinct lines. For our size of a City, state law requires that we make 4 Areas out of our 10 precincts. Beginning in 2020, any initiative or referendum filed in Highland needs to obtain legal signatures equal to 11.5% of the number of active voters in the City and 11.5% of the number of active voters in at least 75% of the City's Voter Participation Areas.

      As Highland is a fourth-class City, we were required to adopt these Voter Participation Areas prior to 2020, which the Council did on October 15, 2019. The state law also requires to the City to again adopt Areas prior to 2022 as new census and precinct data can be taken into account.

    The City Council will hold a public hearing and consider a request by Highland City to vacate approximately 1,385 square feet of right-of-way in the Millers Acre Subdivision Plat B.

    When the developer of Spruce Subdivision Plat G had to continue the road west, the property owner to the north was not agreeable toward selling any property to the developer for the road. The developer had to then adjust the direction of the road to avoid this property owner’s land. This adjustment created a portion of right-of-way that would no longer be used as part of the roadway.


    The Highland City General Plan was adopted in 2008 and included a Transportation Element. State law requires each city to have a section of their general plan that addresses transportation and traffic circulation and identifies major transportation options and connections. Utah Code § 10-9a-403(2)(a)(ii). State law also provides, “After the legislative body has adopted a general plan, no street, park, or other public way, ground, place, or space, no publicly owned building or structure, and no public utility, whether publicly or privately owned, may be constructed or authorized until and unless it conforms to the current general plan.” Utah Code § 10-9a-406. Accordingly, ensuring that the Transportation Element of the City’s General Plan remains current and reflects City policy is crucial for future development and planning.

    The proposed amendment to the transportation element of the City’s General Plan ensures that the General Plan conforms to the Council’s adopted policy regarding external, inter-city road connections by limiting future external, inter-city connections to those that are already identified in the City’s general plan  or those that meet the standards described the City’s municipal code.
    The City Council will review and discuss the open space requests that were deferred on November 9th, 2021. The City Council will also consider the adoption of a resolution designating specific parcels of public real property as orphan parcels that may be disposed of. Here is a question the council should consider as they make their decision. What city problem are we trying to address by selling open space?There are three affected subdivisions:

    1. Beacon Hills Plat I (3 requests + 1 concerned/interested party)
      There are two key issues that the council will need to resolve. The first is how to mitigate the additional demand on our PI system if property is sold. The second is how to deal with existing encroachment issues. In this area 18 out of 20 home owners (or previous home owners) have encroached to some degree on city property. Below is a snap shot of the southern section of the area.The faint white line that runs north and south represents the property line which separate city owned property from the residential property. At our previous council meeting staff was asked make recommendations with respect to where the western boundary would be should the council decide to sell the open space. The council’s recommendation was that it should be 10 ft from the scrub oak.
      2021-12-07 Beacon Hills Plat B

    2. Highland Hills Plat C.
      Four homeowners would like to purchase the open space between their home and the trail to the west. Personally, I am opposed to this as this land is part of the larger park area which is currently maintained by the city. Selling it would violate one of our guidelines for evaluating purchase requests: “Property should not be disposed of if it adds to the open space feel of an open space neighborhood.” The city property is highlighted below.
      2021-12-Highland Hills Plat C

    3. Horseshoe Trail
      A homeowner on the eastern corner submitted a request to purchase up to within 5 ft of the trail. Staff believes all home owners along the east should purchase or none. I agree.
      2021-12-07 Horseshoe Trail


    City Council will consider the proposed ordinance to institute the Parks Tax and govern the use of the funds. The key provisions in the ordinance are:

    All funds collected by the City from the Parks Tax shall annually be paid into the Parks Tax Fund, which is hereby created as an established fund in the City budget. Parks Tax revenues earned shall be used to fund City-owned recreational facilities, as the term is defined in state law including, but not limited to, capital projects and
    equipment replacement or additions.

    Each year the Parks, Trails, and Trees Commission shall make a recommendation to the City Council on the projects that should be funded from the tax based on parks needs analysis and anticipated revenues. The City Council shall then make the final determination on the annual projects to be funded. This approval shall not constitute the necessary approvals outlined in Municipal Code 3.08 Purchases and

    The City Council will consider a request by MNG Management LLC for master site approval for five (8) commercial buildings located at northeast corner of Alpine Highway (SR74) and Timpanogos Highway (SR92). Below is a before and after summary of the requested change and a copy of the new layout.
    2021-12-07 Highlnad Marketplace Phase 2

  10. ACTION: AWARD CONTRACT FOR WELL #4 Administrative 10:45 PM

    City Council will consider a request to approve a bid to Lang Equipment for $1,439,292.00 for the drilling of the Culinary Well #4 Project and authorize the City Administrator and City Recorder to execute the necessary contract documents for the project.

    Here is some background. Well #4 was originally drilled in 1978. An inspection showed that the well currently has a 16” casing which has been reduced to a 12” casing at the 490-foot depth level. This is known as necking down. Necking down inhibits the lowering of the well because it reduces the capacity of the well to produce the amount of water needed. Due to this feature we are unable to add additional depth to the well at the current location. Additionally, since the drilling in 1978 the water level in the aquifer has experienced a 100-foot drop. Staff has been working with a hydrologist to determine the best approach. Through work with a hydrologist a recommendation was given that a new well be drilled and that we extend our pumping depth to the 1200-foot level.
  11. DISCUSSION: FY2022 Q1 FINANCIAL STATEMENT Administrative 11:00 PM
    Staff will review with City Council the financial statements for the first quarter of fiscal year 2022


    1. Hollows Trail update: Andy Spencer, City Engineer
    2. Future Meetings
      • Jan 4,:Swearing In Ceremony, 7:00 pm, City Hall
      • Jan 11 City Council Meeting, 7:00 pm, City Hall
      • Jan 12: Lone Peak Public Safety District, 7:30 am City Hall
      • Jan 18,:City Council Meeting, 7:00 pm, City Hall
      • Jan 25: Planning Commission Meeting, 7:00 pm, City Hall



Sunday, November 21, 2021

2021 Highland City General Election Results

2021 Highland City General Election % Turnout by Precinct

Congratulations Highland! 40.9% of registered voters participated in this years municipal election. It is the 2nd highest turnout in the last 12 years! The highest was 41.1% in 2017.

We had an uncontested mayoral race, four candidates running for two council seats as well as two propositions. The propositions were:

Saturday, November 13, 2021

Family Stories: A Thanksgiving Message

Family Stories

“Today we give thanks, most of all, for the ideals of honor and faith we inherit from our forefathers—for the decency of purpose, steadfastness of resolve and strength of will, for the courage and the humility, which they possessed and which we must seek to emulate. As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them.”—President John F. Kennedy, Thanksgiving Day Proclamation, Nov 1963.

What a wonderful tribute to our heritage and our obligation to live up to it. Did you know that a study by doctors Marshall Duke and Robin Fivush showed that the more children know about their family’s history, the stronger their sense of control over their lives, the higher their self-esteem and the better they believe their families functions?

Monday, November 8, 2021

Highland City Council Preview for 9-Nov-2021

As of Friday, Nov 5th there were 127 ballots left to be counted out of 4,752 that had been received by the county. Below are the results as of Friday:


Thanks to those who participated in the political process and voted! Our turnout was nearly 40%, which is above average for municipal elections in Highland. Click here to view recent municipal election turnout info and click here to view the latest election results.

For Tuesday’s council meeting there are a number of interesting items on the agenda including:

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Highland City 2021 Election Information Sources

Your Vote CountsFor those who have not voted yet there there are lots of sources  of information available to help in your decision. Those who are elected will serve for four years and represent us on many issues. Judgement, temperament, and the ability to work with others are key factors that will affect their ability to effectively serve the residents of Highland.

When issues are looked at from different perspectives the city council ends up making better decisions. However, when discussions turn contentious, creativity is diminished and the decisions made are 2nd or 3rd best. Below are a list of links to sites and videos where you can learn more about the candidates and issues plus a couple of posts where I share my points of view:

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Is The Annexation of 109 Acres Into Lehi Rather Than Highland Good or Bad?


I would like to clear some some issues which were raised in two flyers from a council candidate. Here is a quote from each:

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Highland City Proposition 1: Shall the city sell 1.1 miles of existing city trails and 5.8 acres of open space in the Wimbleton subdivision

2021-10-05 12.50.19 - crop

In December of 2019 the city council voted 3 to 2 to surplus 1.1 miles of trail in the Wimbleton Subdivision and sell 5.77 acres of adjoining open space. Subsequent to the vote a group of residents filed to refer the decision to voters. They collected 1,857 signatures in support of this effort, many more than the minimum required. As a result of their work Proposition 1, which asks residents whether or not they support the council decision,  is listed on this year’s ballot (click here to read the Voter Information Pamphlet for a detailed description).

Thursday, October 7, 2021

Selecting Candidates for Local Office 2021


This November, residents of Highland will have the opportunity to determine who will fill two city council seats. Candidates for these offices are asking for the privilege to spend five to twenty or more hours a week, for the next four years. They will make decisions that affect us today and years into the future. Over the term of their office they will be responsible for ~$90M of city expenses and will cast votes that affect zoning, roads, public safety, sewer, water, etc. In short, their actions affect us on a daily basis.

Let me offer a few thoughts on identifying candidates who will serve our community well:

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Highland City Council Preview for 5-Oct-2021

This will be an interesting meeting. Below are the agenda items which captured my attention:

  • Rentable Scooters in Highland presentation
  • Annual library report
  • DR Horton/Lehi/Highland agreement
  • Mountain Ridge Park development decision
  • Mitchell Hollow Baseball Field partnership agreement

Monday, September 20, 2021

Highland City Council Preview for 9 Nov 2021

As of Friday, Nov 5th there were 127 ballots left to be counted out of 4,752 that had been received by the county. Below are the results as of Friday:

2021-11-05 Election Data

Thanks to those who participated in the political process and voted! Our turnout was nearly 40%, which is above average for municipal elections in Highland. Click here to view recent municipal election turnout info and  click here to view the latest election results.

For Tuesday’s council meeting there are a number of interesting items on the agenda including:

Monday, September 13, 2021

Meet with the Mayors – September 2021

2021-09-13 MTWM
Below is a video recording of a discussion on current and future issues facing Highland City with the current mayor, Rod Mann, and next year’s mayor, council member Kurt Ostler.

Saturday, September 4, 2021

Highland City Council Preview for 7 Sept 2021

Forrest Gump fans will appreciate the “2-Minute Tuesday” video summary of the  the Aug 17th council meeting. Don’t forget to watch the trailer at the end. As usual, it is entertaining.

Here are what I believe are the more interesting agenda items on the city council agenda:

  • Staff will share an update on pressurized irrigation water use.
  • Council member Kurt Ostler will give an update on Dry Creek Lake.
  • Boyer will provide an update on their development south of Lone Peak High School (Ridgeview). Those interested in the project will find it interesting. Costa Vida and Arby’s fans will be happy to know these two restaurants will be included in the commercial area.
  • Staff will discuss the process for bidding out Mountain Ridge Park.

Monday, August 16, 2021

Highland City Council Preview for 17 August 2021: Mitchell Hollow Trail, Run Club …

Below is the most recent “2-Minute Tuesday” video from Utah’s Highlander summarizing the Aug 3rd council meeting. The City Council and Mayor let down their hair a did a little celebrating for Fling Week. This video is fun and includes some highlights from the Fling! Note, decorations were courtesy of Suzanne Mann and the Highland Fling Baby Celebration - which was held in the council room earlier in the day.

Here are what I believe are the interesting agenda items:

  • Final plat approval for Sunrise Farms. 10 homes on the north end of the Long Horn field. This is an administrative decision and is on the consent item list because it meets all requirements.
  • Mitch Hollow Trail extension funding. The final design was about $218,000 more than the original estimate. The discussion will center around how to fund the increase. There are several options.
  • A discussion on the Run Club which is an organized group of youth who run for about 30 minutes in the morning during the summer in Canterbury Circle Park. Can they continue to run there next year? There have been a couple of complaints by residents near the park. Do they need to go elsewhere?

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Highland City Council Preview for 3 August 2021

Below is the most recent “2-Minute Tuesday” video from Utah’s Highlander summarizing the July 20th council meeting. The Lions, Tigers, and Bears theme is appropriate.

There are several interesting agenda items including:

  • Approval of an additional office building on Sunset Drive and Highland Blvd
  • Resolution to put a RAP tax on the ballot this fall.
  • Discussion of how ARPA funds may be used.
  • Discussion on garbage cans and doggie bags in city parks.

Monday, August 2, 2021

2021 Highland City Survey Overview and Responses to Comments

2021 Resident Survey Participation Comparison
This year we had the highest number of survey respondents since we started the surveys. Thank you to those who participated. Your responses really do impact decisions. Nearly half of those who submitted a survey provided written comments (631 out of 1270).

The top three issues based on the % of comments made were:

Monday, July 19, 2021

Highland City Council Preview for 20 July 2021: Finalize Orphan Property Sale Resolution, Urban Deer Program Renewal

Below is the most recent “2-Minute Tuesday” video from Utah’s Highlander summarizing the July 6th council meeting. Fireworks were definitely on display and I guess that goes with the season..

There are several interesting agenda items including:

  • PI Usage report
  • Open Space maintenance update
  • Urban Deer Program Renewal
  • Review and approve initial orphan property sales
  • Discussion of RAP tax which is 0.1% sales tax that can be used to fund Recreation, Arts, and Parks. In Highland’s case this money would be used to fund parks and trails.

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Highland City Council Preview: July 6, 2021

I love the ending of the 2-Minute Tuesday summary of our last council meeting. We nearly had another highly qualified candidate for mayor Smile

The most interesting items on the evenings agenda from my point of view are:

  • the work session discussion with DR Horton regarding the development of their property on the NE side of Micron (now Texas Instruments).
  • the discussion of options for the all-abilities playground to be constructed as part of Mountain Ridge Park.

Sunday, July 4, 2021

Commemorating the Birth of our Nation and State

The Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776, by John Trumbull

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; … And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.” —Declaration of Independence by the thirteen united States of America, July 4, 1776

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Highland City Council Preview: June 15, 2021 – 2021/22 Budget, Designation of Disposable Properties

Are you a Footloose fan? Then you’ll enjoy this 2-Minute Tuesday review of our June 1st, 2021 meeting. I didn’t know Kurt and Tim were such skilled dancers :)

This council meeting includes the following agenda items:

  • Recognition of Scott Sumner (outgoing LPHS principal), Rhonda Bromley (former LPHS principal), and Larry Mendenhall (former member of the Planning Commission and City Council).
  • Adoption of the 2021-22 Budget.
  • Designation of disposable properties.

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Highland City Council Preview: 1-Jun-2021

Below is the most recent “2-Minute Tuesday” video from Utah’s Highlander summarizing the May 18th council meeting. It features scenes from the Lord of the Rings and Guardians of the Galaxy. This one got a good chuckle out of me.

This council meeting includes the following agenda items:

  • A pressurized irrigation water update from staff.
  • A legislative update from our state representative Brady Brammer.
  • Approval of the final road maintenance contracts for this year.
  • Formalization of the rules and processes relative to disposing of orphan property. Note, the specific parcels to be disposed of this year will be discussed and approved at a future council meeting.