Tuesday, October 18, 2016

City Council 4-Oct-2016: Apple Creek (rezone request), Budget adjustments.

There were ~30 residents at the council meeting. A decision on whether to rezone 5.76 acres of undeveloped land in the town center to allow an age restricted (55 and older) condo/lease with commercial development to be constructed was the issue which brought most of the residents.
2016-10-04 Apple Creek Elevation
Note, If you haven’t done so already please share your opinion as to what constitutes a “large lot” by voting in the poll below. Feel free to add comments.

In a survey conducted earlier this year the most frequently cited reason for living in Highland was large lots. The city now has three residential zones; which one meets your minimum criteria for large lots?
pollcode.com free polls

Council Meeting AGENDA / MINUTES

Public Comment

  • One resident expressed a desire to enter into a maintenance agreement contract for open space land adjacent to her home that the city did not wish to sell because of a water main that runs underneath the strip of land. Staff will look into it.


  1. MOTION:  Approval of Meeting Minutes for the City Council Regular Session – September 20, 2016. Approved unanimously. Click here to view the minutes.


  1. PUBLIC HEARING / ORDINANCE – A request to rezone 5.76 acres from Town Center Flex Use and Town Center Commercial Retail to Planned Development (PD) to allow for a 220 unit age restricted units with up to 15,000 square feet of commercial space for property located at northwest corner of 10700 North and Alpine Highway (SR74) – Request by McKay Christensen, Apple Creek. Click here for details from the agenda and here from additional info from the staff presentation. Following an introduction by staff on the proposed project. McKay Christensen reviewed the project with the council. The following are the salient points. 220 or fewer residential units, 15,000 sq. ft. of commercial space, both above and underground parking for residents at a ratio of 1.25 parking stalls per unit. This is well above the recommended standard of ~0.66 parking stalls for developments of this kind and  more than the ~1.1 parking stalls for similar high end developments in Utah. McKay also discussed the impact on traffic in the area (an additional 9 trips per hour for Blackstone and Apple Creek combined) at the intersection on Alpine Hwy and 10700 (UCCU). This would not add enough traffic to warrant a light. Note, the developers addressed all Planning Commission concerns (which is why it passed 4 to 0) as well as the concerns expressed by some residents. They were well prepared, polite, and considerate of others. I continue to be impressed with them as individuals
    2016-10-04 Apple Creek Vicinity Map
    Kathy Mead claiming to represent the ~150 people living to the west of city hall shared a letter she had written to council members opposing the zoning change. She was the only person who commented. Note, I received a few emails prior to the meeting and a call (most opposed the development).
    2016-10-04 Apple Creek Concept Plan
    After some discussion the council voted 3 (Brian Braithwaite, Dennis LeBaron, and Rod Mann) to 2 (Ed Dennis and Tim Irwin) against the change.  I was not comfortable making any changes zoning until the townhomes which were approved last year are built and we fully understand the impact to Highland. Personally, I like the project and have great respect for the developer, who is a Highland resident and who has demonstrated in the past that the decisions he makes are ones that he believes are right not simply those what will make him the most money. See  Christensen hangs up cleats, joins family business – this is a very interesting article.

    In spite of my negative vote and the many emails I received thanking me for my vote I have some concerns which I discussed in the meeting and which I believe were the reasons Ed and Tim supported the proposal:

    • Not allowing the rezone has a negative impact on the owners of the property to be developed..
    • It is quite possible that a development will be proposed that complies with the current zoning regulations which residents will like less than the proposed project.
    • The planning commission approved the project 4 to 0. I really don’t like to vote against the commission.
    These concerns however were not enough, in my mind, to overcome the point raised by Dennis LeBaron the we should not make any zoning changes until we understand the impact of something, Blackstone, we’ve already approved in the area.
  2. PUBLIC HEARING/RESOLUTION: Recommended Mid-Year Budget Adjustments – Fiscal Year 2016-2017. There were expenses in the in utility capital / maintenance plan which were not included in the budget passed at the end of June because the utility rate increase was not approved before the budget created. Now that the utility rate increase has been approved these items were added to the budget for the year and the budget needed to be amended to include them. All approved items have funding. Note, the planned projects will only be executed if actually required. Click here for details from the agenda. Approved unanimously.


  • Relative to public safety options going forward the mayor noted that we have been approached by a couple of other entities that are either interested in joining the district or creating a new one with us. Note, the cost escalation of public safety over the last 10 years precipitated this issue. From 2005-2006 to 2014-15 (the last year we have audited numbers) the Police and Fire Budget rose from 43% of all tax revenues to 65% of all tax revenues. In absolute terms the budget increased from $1.26M to $3.04M (141%) while tax revenue increased from $2.96M to $4.66M (58%).  Granted the level of service has increased considerably during those years (2 new fire stations plus associated equipment and manpower). However, this trend is unsustainable and needs to be address. Below is a chart that shows the actual data for the last 10 years of audited data plus a trend best estimate  for the next 10 years (click here to see the underlying data and other charts).
  • The mayor mentioned that the state has issued a request for  proposal for the development of 7.5 acres of state owned land immediately south of Lone Peak HS. This parcel was approved by the state legislature for commercial development.
  • Staff and the police have come up with the strategies dealing with the issues in a parking lot located in the Canterbury subdivision.


Requested by / Owner
Due Date
Road Capital Improvement Plan for FY 15-16. Prioritize and Communicate to Residents
City Council
Oct 2016
Study underway
Election Policy City Council/
Jody Bates
Jan 2017 In progress
Determine Park Use for Recreation
City Council
Parks Staff
In progress
HW Bldg. – PW Storage Status
City Council
In progress.Land purchase under discussion.
Options for Fire & Police Mayor ?
Employee Pay Rate and Benefit Comparison Mayor & City Council Jan 2017 Council action in Aug.
Full-time Engineer Nathan Crane   Soliciting resumes and reviewing them.
Code enforcement Mayor   Progress being made on identifying codes we will proactively enforce


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