Thursday, December 31, 2015

City Council 01-Dec-2015: Family Cemeteries, Blackstone, and Murdoch Connector

Jessie SchoenfeldI was out of town for this meeting. I would normally have participated via phone but in this case I elected not to do so. I knew there would be a lot of discussion on two items (cemeteries and Blackstone) and thought that it would be best if those voting were full participants. I have participated twice via phone but found it difficult to provide input to discussions over the phone. This was Jessie Schoenfeld’s last council meeting. She has been an great asset to the city and has made many positive contributions to the city, especially in serving on the beautification, economic development and Highland Fling committees. She is a get it done person who puts in the time to make things happen. We often shared treats during long council meetings to prolong our tipping point. I will miss serving with you.

Council Meeting AGENDA / MINUTES

Public Comment

  • None


  1. Highland City Social Media – Erin Wells, Assistant to the City Administrator. Erin discussed stats relative to our Facebook and Twitter accounts and plans to increase the number of posts on each media. Note, Erin has done a good job moving the needle on our social media presence. When I started serving on the council we had a twitter acount with just 1 post and Facebook was rarely used. In fact it took us months to track down who had access to these sites. Brent Beckley, who served as the chair of our Communication Committee was a great help getting this off the ground.

    2015-12-01 Facebook likes

    2015-12-01 Fans

    2015-12-01 Twitter


  1. Approval of City Council meeting dates – 2016 Meeting Schedule. See agenda page 3. Unanimously approved.

    January 5, 19 May 3, 17 September 6, 20
    February 2, 16 June 7, 21 October 4, 18
    March 1, 15 July 19 November 1, 15
    April 5, 19 August 2, 16 December 6

  2. MOTION: Ratifying the Mayors Appointment to the History Committee – Kent R. Day. See agenda page 6. Unanimously approved.


  1. Speed and Warrant Study – Highland Blvd. and 11800 North. This item was pulled from the agenda and will be continued at our January 5th meeting. Several interested residents indicated they would be unable to attend.

  2. MOTION: Approval of Preliminary Plat for a 86 Unit Townhome Subdivision - Blackstone. Refer to agenda page 82.  The plat was unanimously approved with minor changes to the current plan.

  3. RESOLUTION: Support of the Harvey Blvd. Alignment - Murdoch Connector. See agenda page 105.  A resolution indicating that Highland City supports the Utah County alignment of the Murdoch Connector with Harvey Blvd was unanimously approved. Note, Mayor Thomson, City Administrator Nathan Crane, and State Auditor John Dougall attended a recent Development Center Board Meeting where the board approved the contstruction of  a connector road aligned with Harvery Blvd. My understading is that there were conditions to the approval over which we have no control so it is not necessarily a done deal yet.
  4. ORDINANCE: Amending Municipal Code Chapter 13.48, adding Chapter 13.49 City Cemetery Policies and Regulations – Family Cemeteries on Private Property: See agenda page 107. The ordinance created by staff was modified slightly during the worksession that preceeded the council meeting in an attempt to strengthen it to ensure that a private cemetery would be maintained long-term without impact to neighbors or the city. The difficulty stems from the state requirement that the land be divided to create a cemetery, thus creating the potential for the an absentee owner of the family cemetery.

    On the matter of the cemetery I did include the following comment in the marked up agenda I shared with council and staff before the council meeting.

    “ We might consider adding an amount sufficient to disintern the casket to the endowment as opposed to just the cost of a plot in Highland cemetery. Should we add a minimum lot size to create a family plot (1 acre)?

    The easiest answer for me to lingering questions and unintended consequences is to vote no. However, if 3 council members are in favor of this I will not argue the point. My understanding is that the calls into the city have been mixed. Most residents I've spoken with first have a negative reaction but then after some discussion say something like,  "Why not. I wouldn't do it but ... ."

    The vote on this issue was 2/2 with Brian Braithwaite and Jessie Schoenfeld voting no and Dennis Lebaron and Tim Irwin voting yes. The mayor voted no and broke tie. Here’s are links to a couple of news items:

  5. MOTION: Approval of Contract/Franchise Agreement - SyringaSee agenda page 114.  A 10-year non-exclusive license to install telecommunications
    infrastructure in the City was unanimously approved for Syringa.

  6. MOTION: Approval for a Budget Adjustment to the Pressurized Irrigation Fund – Transfer from the General Fund. See agenda page 128. A state audit found that the city’s Pressured Irrigation fund did not have a sufficient unrestructricted reserve fund. Transferring $73,000 from the general fund to the PI fund will remedy this issue. This was unanimously approved.


  • Building Use Fee – Erin Wells, Assistant to the City Administrator. Staff discussed with council various options for changing the rental rates for rooms.
  • Bond Report – Gary LeCheminant, Finance Director. Gary reports that we had received 3 bids for refinancing the park bond.



Requested by / Owner

Due Date


Road Capital Improvement Plan for FY 15-16. Prioritize and Communicate to Residents

City Council

Continued discussion

Determine Park Use for Recreation

City Council
Parks Staff


Staff to make recommendations

Building Use Policy - Fees

Devirl Barfuss

Dec 1 2015

Staff gathering information

HW Bldg. – PW Storage Status

City Council

End of 2015

In progress

Moratorium for the Town Center Overlay

City Council

Jan 2016


Urban Deer Control Plan Report

City Recorder

Jan 2016 Scheduled for Jan 19th


  • Council agenda with my notes. If you click on the comment button on the top right of the Adobe Reader application or in the Tools Menu, depending on the version of Adobe Reader you are using, you will see a list of all comments in a panel on the right side of your screen. Note, this is a large file and may take a minute to download.
  • ABC 4 News report on cemetery decision
  • Herald news article on cemetery decision

The Blackstone preliminary plat was approved after a lengthy discussion.

The sp

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