Monday, September 20, 2021

Highland City Council Preview for 21 Sept 2021

Scott Hart, who does the 2-Minute Tuesday Council Meeting summary for us, dedicated the most recent video to his mom, who passed away last week. This one covers the basics of the meeting and sends a wonderful message of how we all ought to treat our moms. Thanks Utah’s Highlander, for sharing this uplifting video.

This week we are holding a work session covering the all-abilities playground for the planned Mountain Ridge Park. This starts at 6 pm. Those interested in the park should plan on watching on YouTube or attending in person. Below are the other interesting items on the agenda from my perspective: :

  • Selecting replacement playground equipment for Highland Glen Park
  • Discussion on the Open Space Fund and how it is allocated.

With all the discussion on playgrounds perhaps we should call this a council playday rather than a council meeting :)

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 (104 pages) which includes the staff reports associated with each item can be accessed by clicking here.

Highland City Council Agenda
Tuesday, September, 21st 2021
6:00 PM  work session and 7:00 pm council meeting
Virtual Participation

The time and duration listed at the end of agenda items is my guess as to the start time of this item and how long it will run..

6:00 PM WORK SESSION: Mountain Ridge Park – All-Abilities Playground

    Time has been set aside for the public to express their ideas, concerns, and comments. Comments are limited to 3 minutes..


    • 2021 Fling Report – Corrine Prestwich, Civic Events Coordinator.
    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 Aug 17 Administrative
    2. Approval to Purchase a Four-Wheel Drive Vehicle for the City Fleet. Administrative
      The company we leased our building official vehicle from went out of business. It was cheaper to purchase a new vehicle the buy the vehicle from the bank.
    3. Resolution: Updated Personnel Procedures and Polices Related to COVID-19  Administrative
      Last year by resolution we adopted a resolution on Emergency Limitations, Policies, and Procedures to help with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. This resolution updates those policies. Here are the major changes:
      • Updated the policy to state that vaccinations are encouraged, and that the City has a right to inquire if an employee has been vaccinated if the employee demonstrates COVID-19 symptoms, or  has been exposed to an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19, or tests positive for COVID-19. Quarantine guidelines  for individuals exposed to COVID-19 vary depending on whether an individual has been vaccinated or not. Hence it is useful to know whether someone has been vaccinated if they are exposed.
      • Revises the quarantine and isolation requirements to be consistent with State Health Department Guidelines for employees that have and have not been vaccinated.
      • Eliminates travel restrictions and quarantine requirements related to travel.
      • Encourages employees to be vaccinated by allowing the use of donated vacation leave to employees who have exhausted their sick leave if they under the care of a healthcare provider for COVID-19 for more than 40 work hours for full time employees or 20 hours for part time employees
    4. PLAT AMENDMENT: Ruby Estates Subdivision. Administrative.
      This is a follow-up to the council’s previous action of vacated right-of-way that impacts this property.
    5. PLAT AMENDMENT: Pebble Lane Estates Plat B Administrative
      This a follow-up to the council’s action at the previous council meeting approving a boundary adjustment
    6. PURCHASE CONTRACT: Canal Blvd Project – Valgardson Legislative
      This approves an action council has previously discussed to sell 3,389 square feet located at approximately 5445 W Pebble Lane, Highland, Utah to Eric Valgardson, for $6,778.
    7. PRELIMINARY PLAT APPROVAL EXTENSION: Aberlour Subdivision Administrative
      The preliminary plat for this subdivision was approved a year ago. Our code states that this approval is good for one year but may be extended for another year by the council “if, in the opinion of the council, there is no change in conditions within or adjoining the preliminary plat and the applicant demonstrates to the commission that a substantial effort is being applied to create a final plat.” In this case the applicant has been working with UDOT to have an access approved onto Alpine Hwy. UDOT recently agreed to grant access but the applicant now needs to file formal paperwork to have the request formally approved.
    8. RESOLUTION: Declaration of Surplus Property Legislative
      The council is considering a request to surplus 31,252 sq. ft. of property owned by the city in Pheasant Hollow. Two lots were acquired over ten years ago to provide right-of-way for the newly completed Canal Blvd extension between Alpine Hwy and N. County Blvd. There is sufficient land remaining post construction for a single residential lot. Funds from the sale will be returned to the county’s right of way preservation fund.
    The City Council will consider a request by City Staff to amend the City’s Municipal Code related to the disposing of property in order to streamline the property disposal process and avoid duplicative meetings and decisions. Currently disposing of property can require from 3 to 5 meeting. If the proposed changes are implemented the number of meeting will be reduced to 2 or 3.
    • Council formally or informally directs that a certain property be brought before the Council for potential sale or other disposition;
    • City publishes notice of the proposed sale/disposition of the property
    • Council holds a public hearing;
    • Council formally approves the disposal of the property on such terms and conditions as the Council determines is appropriate during a public meeting. This is done after the public hearing, but can be in the same meeting as the public hearing.
    The City Council will consider a request to approve a new channel easement on Lot 308 of Dry Creek Highlands Phase 3 subdivision. The Council will also review the easement approach that has been coordinated with the residents on the Broadleaf Channel corridor and staff’s request to put the project out to bid
    The City Council will authorize the execution of a contract for the purchase and
    construction of the selected playground equipment for Highland Glen Park to replace existing equipment that is not longer safe or readily repairable.

    • Option 1: A traditional aesthetic and stylized playground system with multiple structures that are designed to engage a wide age range of children with a mix of abilities. This option includes slides, climbing apparatus, swings and other equipment that aids in the development of motor skills in children. This option does include a timber stack and a double-decker cone spinner for climbing experiences. The cost of this playground is $158,729.75 under the Utah State Purchasing contract.

    • Option 2: Playground with equipment that will appeal to children who enjoy a more robust play experience. This option includes multiple climbing structures of varying difficulty. There are multiple slides as well as swings provided with this option. The aesthetic of this option is a modern architecture. The cost of this playground is $165,096.60 under the Utah State Purchasing contract.


    Over the years some residents of open space subdivisions have expressed concern that the city is not providing adequate care to parks and trails within their subdivisions and the fees collected are not being used appropriately. Other non-open space residents have complained that their tax dollars are being used to fund parks in open space subdivisions.

    We have contracted with Lewis and Young to review the costs associated with all parks, trails, and open space in Highland. In advance of the study’s report, the City should clearly indicate which costs should allocated to the Open Space Fund.

    Over the last 4 years a significant amount of research on the cost of maintaining parks, trails, and open space has been done as well as how these costs are allocated between the General Fund and the Open Space Fund. Between 2018 and 2022 the General Fund subsidized the Open Space Fee Fund and average of 36% (see table below for details).

    In reviewing the amenities within Open Space subdivisions, it became clear that there are some that are more oriented towards the community in general rather than for the open-space subdivisions in particular. Removing the amenities that are community oriented from the costs covered by the Open Space Fund is a reasonable approach to look at the current Open Space fee to determine whether it should be changed.

    According to the research I’ve done (current as of Aug of 2020) there are 4,692 residential units in Highland. Of these 1,226 (26%) are in open space subdivisions and 3,466 (74%) are not.

    Below is a rough estimate of the cost of maintaining parks, trails, and open space within the Open Space Subdivisions with and without the community-oriented amenities. Please note, I don’t believe my analysis captured all costs and I believe at least a couple of items were underestimated (playground replacement costs and tree maintenance/replacement). Below is a table showing what the current estimated costs to the Open Space Fee Fund are with (Current) and without (Proposed) community-oriented amendments. Please note, because the Lewis and Young report will include more comprehensive information the costs will be different than what is shown below (most likely higher).

    As can be seen removing community-amenities from the current cost allocation brings the costs more in line with the current fee we are collecting. Changing the allocation would have NO financial impact to the city but would help set better expectations for residents and help with future planning.


    1. GraffitiCouncil Members Brittney P. Bills, Kim Rodela, and Scott L. Smith
    2. Community Center Use – Assistant City Administrator Erin Wells
    3. Park Maintenance Building – City Engineer Andy Spencer
    4. Staff Project List – City Administrator Nathan Crane
    5. Future Meetings
      • Sept 28: Planning Commission Meeting, 7:00 pm, City Hall
      • Oct 5, City Council Meeting, 7:00 pm, City Hall
      • Oct 13, Lone Peak Public Safety District Board Meeting, 7:30 am, City Hall
      • Oct 19, City Council Meeting, 7:00 pm, City Hall
      • Oct 26, Planning Commission Meeting, 7:00 pm, City Hall
    The City Council may recess to convene in a closed session to discuss the character, professional competence, or physical or mental health of an individual, pending or reasonably imminent litigation, and the purchase, exchange, or lease of real property, as provided by Utah Code Annotated §52-4-205



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