SUGAR HOUSE COMMUNITY COUNCIL BOARD OF TRUSTEES MEETING MINUTES
December 1, 1993
Meeting was called to order at 7:00 by SHCC chair Roger Miller. Attending: Rober Miller, John Mannos, Pam Grimes, Marge Harvey, Dorothy Tuddenham, Hope Hilton, Wayne Halverson, Jeff Chapman, Barbara Christmas Chapman, Shirley Hale, Don Hale, Marghie B. Mannos, Dina Williams, Miriam Murphy, Alice Edvalson, Ruth Jensen, S. P. Romney, Lynn Chatwin, Dale Chalmers, Lynne Olson, June O’Leary, Chris Jorgensen, Amelia English, James Matthews, Connie Felt, Ken Felt, Russell Felt, Ann Keddington, Pat Hall, Del Brewster, Judi Short, Dave Buhler, Mark S. Fetzer, Shawn Schow, Marv Tuddenham, Etta T. Wilson, Betty Thornwall, Julia Lowe, Julie Leishman, Jeff Leishman, Elise Peterson, Joel Peterson, Richard Staynor, Ruth A. Rahburn, Janna D. Voss, Alice Steiner, Steve Jones, Tony L. Martinez, Cons. Leman, Pamela Hull, Isabelle Edling, Fred Fairclough, Jr., Anne Menzies, A. Jon Allred, Birk Van Moorhem, Richard Norlander, Rich Bennett, Richard L. Skankey, Gene Davis, Everett Joyce, Rawlins Young, Cliff Mayes, Pam Blackwell, Marc Allred, Hank Bradbury, Brian K. Bintz, Keith Christensen. Minutes for September and October were approved. City Council Member Don Hale announced several hearings to take place on Dec. 7: Billboard Hearing, Hermes Project Hearing, Land Zoning, CDGB on Dec. 8 from 7-9 PM at the SL Community College. Don expressed appreciation for the “fabulous opportunity” of serving District 7. Chair announced: Salt Lake Neighborhood Conference, 26 March, 1994. Hearing on 2 Dec. concerning changes in bus schedules on the west side. City is reviewing Class F beer licenses on 14 Dec. at city hall. Jerry Romero excused, will come at the end of the meeting when he gets back in town. Work has begun on Hillcrest Park; John Swain of Parks Dept. has arranged for fill dirt to be deposited throughout the winter and will work with our Hillcrest Park committee. Lynne Olson announced that the KOPE KIDS have applied for a CDBG grant of $84,000 for further development of Hidden Hollow as a water conservation demonstration area. Many agencies, and SH Chamber of Commerce, have supported their recent efforts. The KOPE KIDS were the recent recipients of a $4,500 grant from the makers of Glad Bags for their work in conservation. Alice Edvalsonreported on the work of the recreation committee, representing the survey committee. Many suggestions came from the first meeting; afterwards evolved into the search for a site. Efforts seem to be divided between what could take place in central Sugar House, and other efforts to fund a recreation center at a yet-to-be-determined site outside of the central business district. Survey committee feels the need to do an “assessment needs” survey. Attendees were asked to write down five concerns or specific needs felt by area residents. Committee will use this feedback for a survey to be conducted in January. She then noted that the LDS Sugar House Stake center will be dedicated in midJune of 1994 and would like to invite area residents to nominate participants for a projected organ recital in conjunction with the dedication, which is meant to be a community-wide celebration. Bryson Garbett presented further information on his proposed housing development at the former US West Service Center site at 27th South and Highland Drive. Former plan was for 54 units, now changed to 52. Pathway to go along the canal easement and all the way to Crystal Ave. if permission is granted. Two different types are planned, some units will have three bedrooms with fireplaces, others will combine 1,2 and 3 bedroom-units. These are planned eventually to be condominiums, but initially will be rental units. Garbett showed a ground plan and elevation drawings showing buildings of 2-(ffidl/hturte5;balconies~~-with brick and vinyl siding exteriors. Discussion centered on square footage, price-range ($60-70,000, with the largest units renting from $700 down), encroachment upon the canal right of way (back of buildings will border on canal property but will not encroach, but must avoid the fault line which runs N/S through the property). The canal would be leased and landscaped and made available for the community as well. Parking and density were seen to be problems. Garbett said that he was only planning to build one-third to one-half of the units that are approved for such sites; a playground will also be on site, with lots of trees and shrubs. Garbett was asked whether neighbors were aware that these were to be apartments, rather than condos. John Mannos said he had taken an informal survey of neighbors and felt a great deal of resistance to the idea of apartments on the site. To the question of impact on schools, Garbett said that experience had shown that this type of development impacted schools less than single-family homes because the children tend to be young, or the renters have no children. Garbett was asked why it was easier to get money to build rental properties than condos. Also, how could the project be improved and more in harmony with the neighborhood? He replied that it would take too long to explain the present bank policies, and that he intended to make this a first-class property. He said he wants to be a good neighbor. Pam Grimes noted that the higher the rate of transience, the more crime. Garbett explained that the larger units tend to be more stable and are aimed at older couples and starter families, with or without children. He was asked what the time frame for conversion to condos would be. He replied, “as soon as a year, but it would probably be in phases, maybe over five years.” Dina Williams of Utah Heritage said that the discussion should focus on what variances were required. Garbett deferred to Everett Joyce: In order to avoid putting up a large single building, the developer is required to get several variances) Planned development requires a conditional use permit, with a public hearing before the planning commission and a neighborhood survey, 2) using the canal right-of-way, 3) carports do not meet set-back requirements to be used as they are. No variances required on the question of density. Variances are based on unusual need such as the fault line and the unusual configuration of the property. R-5 zoning allows up to 80 units per acre, 45 feet high. Planning Commission and board of adjustments will use the advisory resolution of the Community Council in its final decision.Motion by Miriam Murphy to approve Mr. Garbett’s proposal: 52 units in accordance with the ground plan and general design presented to the SHCC, with public access to the canal right-of-way, the landscaping of which would be incorporated in the developer’s plan. Second by Rawlins Young. Discussion: Rawlins questioned whether we-should actually make a motion to approve prior to action by the city. Question was called. Passed 10 to 5. Mr. Garbett indicated he was open to suggestions and could be reached at 943-0180 or 580-1569. Regarding the present status of the Post Office, the chair reported a conversation with Lou Ann Fawcett of the Office of Economic Development: The City feels it negotiated in good faith, that the RFPs were conducted properly, and that there is no need for further consideration by the community council. Dec. 15 has been set as the date of acceptance by Johansen-Thackeray on behalf of the McIntyre Corporation. If they decline, consideration will be given to the remaining proposals. Any hearing which might be called would concern only the question whether the city should sell the property, not to whom or under what circumstances. This is being discussed and a resume of the selection committee’s decision, in conjunction with the city attorney, would be forwarded as soon as possible to the SHCC chair. The former Oct. 15 deadline was extended because Bob Buchanan, who chaired the selection committee, left city employment and the chair (Lou Ann Fawcett) needed time to become acquainted with the deliberations. That done, the selection committee reaffirmed the first place position of J-T. Pam Blackwell of the Sugar House Citizens’ Crime Committee deferred to Cliff Mayes, who read a statement in behalf of that group. He stated that his neighborhood was daily and increasingly put at risk by criminal activities arising from the burnt-out Irving School. “We have come together to require that certain people begin to assume their civic and their moral responsibility by working with us — the people of Sugar House — to do whatever is necessary to clear and rebuild that parcel of land that has fallen into such a dangerous state of disrepair. We will no longer be ignored. The haughty silence and closed corporate doors that have met our very reasonable requests for action will simply no longer do. Our presence here witnesses to that simple and unavoidable fact. We have here a petition of over 500 names, from many residents of this area, who live next to this school — this former school, all giving voice to considerable resentment and outrage at the deplorable state of affairs that has. been allowed to go on for so long. We are here, respectfully, to ask the SHCC to pass a. resolution, to be sent to the City Council, that demands that Legacy Management level the building, so that something new-can rise-from its—–horrible skeleton. It has sat for nearly six years, burned time and time again; now it shelters gangs and drug dealers, and — as the graffiti, which we have often witnessed would seem clearly to indicate — is even a base for Satan worshipping. It’s time to pull it down. Our lives, we believe, and our children’s lives, are at risk. We are heartened by the news that, since the recent press coverage, Legacy Management has entered into discussions with the RDA. We want to encourage the RDA’s involvement. There have been many exciting ideas about how this space could be used. These include a performing arts center, and housing for the elderly. With the support of the RDA, we can get funding to see that one of these many excellent ideas might come to fruition. We would like you as community members to express what you would like to see rise from these ashes, and to that end, we would like to invite Keith Christensen, our Councilman-elect to give you his perspective and to answer questions that you may have about the school. Councilman Christensen.” Keith Christensen: “Mr. Miller, trustees, Councilman Hale, it’s a privilege to be here this evening. There are many people who have interest in what takes place at the old site of the Irving Jr. High School. The neighborhood has, of course, a vested interest. It’s important to remember that the property owners of the site have a vested interest. Certainly, other groups – the Friends of Irving, in my opinion — have a vested interest in what takes place there. Those who have organized recently as a committee against the crime that has taken place there also have a vested interest. In general, SLC has a vested interest in what takes place at the Irving site. Many proposals over the last several years have come forward, many of them good. All of them require a lot of effort, and they all require money. When it comes down to it, funding is clearly an issue. Mr. Mayes is correct when he indicates that recently conversationshave been had between the property owners and those involved with the Redevelopment Agency. Those conversations have not been concluded. There are obstacles that remain before they can be concluded. However, over the last several years, and most of you in this room have been involved, conversations have been had concerning the redevelopment of the property into some kind of a community center, specializing or focusing on the arts, and various other proposals. Those requirements would require that those who would have such a plan come up with the funds to buy the property from the present property owners. And to this date, those funds have yet to be forthcoming. As you, at least most of you, are aware, the recent fires havecreated problems with the property. There is asbestos on the site, and in the rubble of those fires is that asbestos, mixed with some of the debris. That creates environmental issues, and I don’t care whether it’s the property owners or the RDA that ends up with the property-those issues have to be properly addressed. I would suggest that we as a community consider some very important points. One is funding, for whatever you want done there. The property owners clearly should have some say it’s their property. If, and I say if, if a deal can be struck that is acceptable to the property owner and to the RDA, it is my opinion, after study of the issue, that it would facilitate action on the site. We have watched, and I think the current property owners have had the property for approximately eight years, and we have watched problems take place there. Some two years ago, the property owner filed an application for demolition, but after meeting here with the Community Council and with others, they withdrew that application. They have indicated that they did that in deference to those who wanted to bring a group together to restore the property. Nothing has taken place, as you know, up to tonight but because of a lot of hard work, I have met recently with members of the neighborhood committee, I have met with the SHCC — you folks, I have met with Mr. Miller, I’ve met with Alice Steiner of the RDA, I have met with Keith Ortega of the SLPD, I have met with Chief Florence of the SLFD, I have met with the Mayor’s office, I have met with Councilman Don Hale, I have met with the owners – Legacy Management, but most importantly I have met with many of the neighbors. As I campaigned this past several months, one of two issues surfaced most frequently: one of course was crime, and second was ‘What are we going to do with Irving Jr. High School?’, and it related itself most closely to crime issues. Those that have been concerned recently with increased crime at the site are correct. The SLPD has been called out repeatedly. More than one incident a day has taken place this past year at the site. The SLFD has been called out. So public servants have been asked repeatedly to come at your expense. Every time a police call is issued it costs money. Every time the fire department is dispatched, be it for a fire or for paramedic purposes, it costs us money. I believe it to be a poor allocation of our city’s resources to continue to fight the costs of maintaining that property in its present condition. I would encourage you tonight, to consider, as trustees of the Community Council, that which is best for the community. I know that many of you have serious concerns, as Friends of Irving, to see that it is maintained in some form. I know that others of you have equally serious concerns respecting the health and safety of this neighborhood. I would ask you to seriously consider that which is best for the community. It will be much easier for those involved with the RDA to facilitate something on the site if this Community Council-will pass a resolution in support of what—·the RDA might be able to negotiate with the property owner. It is not a minor issue. The RDA has limited resources. Those many dollars — and it’s millions that would be allocated to this site – could well be allocated elsewhere. But those that are involved with the RDA are concerned enough about it to spend a lot of time and effort working on it. If the community does not support the RDA’s negotiation with the property owner, it is possible that that negotiation would not go forward. It does not make sense for the RDA to push for something that the community does not want. It would best facilitate their action if you ask them to help. I would ask that you would ask them to help. I don’t want to see what is going on there continue for a number of years. As a practical matter, may I suggest to you that if, in fact, the RDA gets involved, the value of the property is real. The RDA will, if they acquire the property, accept proposals for the rebuilding of the property. The RDA has legal limitations. They cannot, and I think it’s fair that you know this; they cannot put RDA monies into an arts center. That simply is not provided for. If I’m correct, the RDA funds must be used for one of two purposes. Basically, in a nutshell, they can be used for housing; they can be used for commercial development; or some combination of the two. If funds are utilized from the RDA for housing, the RDA can draw from a greater pool of funds. If the property is to be utilized for commercial purposes, those funds must come from this RDA area, generally the Sugar House area. And so fewer funds might be available for commercial development with RDA assistance. But in either event, the RDA would be in a position, if they acquire it, to accept proposals, and I would submit that very possibly, from those who have aligned themselves as Friends of Irving would be certainly able to make a proposal to the RDA. If the RDA acquires the property, I’ve done a little calculation, I’ve read the appraisal, the value of the property is substantially lower because of the way the RDA will be acquiring it. Some of the acquisition will involve contributions — donations, if you will– for tax purposes by the current property owner. Therefore, fewer dollars will be involved. If the RDA does not acquire the property, the cost per square foot of that property goes up some 60%, because those tax advantages would not be present if you or I bought it. So it would in fact facilitate the Friends of Irving acquiring the property if they choose to after the RDA’s acquisition. I would ask that this community council seriously consider, as I indicated before, that which is best for the community as a whole. I believe, from having talked to many members of this community that they are interested in seeing the property secured, and if that means the demolishing of the premises, so be it. If no one has a better plan, I would ask you to act and not let it drag on another two years. This opportunity may pass in the next few weeks if you don’t move; it’s that serious. It would be so much help if we could have a united voice. It’s easier to act with the support of the community, and certainly there are some questions~ I would be happy to respond to them to the extent I can. Chair: “Could we defer questions? I would like to recognize that Alice Steiner of the RDA is here, and we are very grateful for her presence. Alice, would you like to say a few words with respect to this project before we open up to questions. And would you tell these people what the RDA is; we throw these words and letters around, and maybe people don’t know.” Alice Steiner: “RDA stands for the Redevelopment Agency. We are representative of the Redevelopment Agency of SLC. Each city does have a separate redevelopment agency. Irving Commons does fall within a redevelopment-agency project area known as the Sugar House project area. There are lots of restrictions in the redevelopment law, to make certain that the money that project areas generate are reinvested back in the project area to cure blight, to make public improvements, and to encourage private development to occur. Unfortunately, in the case of Sugar House, the project area has not generated much cash. We collect about $30,000 a year in cash, and when you’re talking about Irving Commons, $30,000 a year just doesn’t go very far. And what that means is that we have to look to our other project areas for the source of cash to try to address the problems at Irving. When we do that we run into a great number of restrictions on how the money can be used. In the 1993 legislature, they passed a new form of the RDA law which does allow us to transfer money between project areas for housing. But it has to be very directly for housing. And so we could potentially use some money from the downtown project area to address Irving Commons. We could not use that same money to address a community center or an arts center. Alternatively, we could borrow money from ourselves to do some kind of a commercial project, but that project would have to pay us back. If a community center or an arts center had the funds to pay us back, that would be wonderful, and we would certainly take a serious look at that. But at this point of time, I believe that a commercial use of the property is most likely going to be able to pay us back. So, from our perspective, we have essentially two options, if, indeed, we become involved in Irving Commons. One is to put it into a housing use, and the other is to put it into some kind of a commercial use that can pay back the downtown project-area for t ludban -oHundsthat-rs-necessary to buy-it. However, I also have to let you know that our cash resources are limited, and therefore, even if we decide to go ahead with housing or commercial, we may not have the cash that this property requires. Whoever acquires it will have to go in and secure it and will have to address the environmental issues and will also have to address the historic issues. We hope we can do that sensitively, but all of that will take tremendous cash drain. Right now I am scrambling to see if I even have the cash to take the project on. Chair: Thank you very much. We have one other issue to address, and that’s the historic landmark designation. Dina Williams of the Utah Heritage Foundation will address those. Dina Williams: I would like to raise a few issues that relate to the tax advantages that would be lost if this property is sold. One thing, it is on the National Register of Historic Places. And that presents some advantages if we can secure a developer who would like to utilize the shell or the skeleton of the building that is left. We’ve been in contact with the Utah State Historical Society to see if this would qualify as a tax-act property. And what has to happen is that we have to look at how much of the structure – what we would call the historic integrity — is intact. That determination would come from the State Office of Historic Preservation. They administer those tax acts, projects and programs. We have, on behalf of the SHCC asked them to please start that process and review that building and see if there is enough historic integrity that we could consider proposals from developers who would like to take the shell and do a housing project. We also have a number of precedents that have been set in other areas of the country where these surplus schools have been transformed into upper-middle-income condominiums very successfully. What it takes is a developer that’s not afraid to go in and deal with a historic structure. It can be done. Of course, being a statewide, private preservation organization, we’d like to see that done and we’re willing to help in any way that we can. Steve Lester: SHCC, motion of June 9, 1992, states that “I move that the SHCC approves and supports the concept of the restoration and preservation of the Irving Jr. High School as a multiuse, community and performing arts center, balanced with commercial development to facilitate a profitable, taxable project in the Sugarhouse business district.” As for the comments of Mr. Christensen regarding a united voice, in February of this past year, the Heritage Foundation plus the Sugarhouse Chamber of Commerce brought together a community group representing SHCC, Friends of Irving, SLC Corp., the RDA, and interested citizens. The consensus of this meeting was that the envelope of the Irving bldg.- should be preserved, while leaving the kind of development should remain unstipulated, so as to facilitate the widest range of possibilities. So there is a united voice. As far as asking help from the city, prior to Mayor Corradini’s election, SHCC and F of I worked extensively with former mayor Palmer De Paulis concerning a possible solution. The problem was then, and remains, exactly what is the bldg. worth. Before the last fire, the price was given as $1.8 million; after the fire, the quote I rec’d was $3.2 million. What is the present purchase price? Keith Christensen, after consulting briefly with Alice Steiner: It would be inappropriate to comment on the purchase price, since no deal has been struck. There is only an agreement to negotiate with Legacy Mgmt. The deal involves a donation, and the result of some outstanding appraisals. I am not advocating that the F of I not do something; what I am suggesting is that nothing is getting done. Constituents are simply tired of waiting for something to happen. I agree that it would be nice to have something like what the F of I have proposed, but you’ve got to write a check; you’ve got to come up with money, so it’s just a matter of doing something. I don’t think the people who are against the crime that’s occurring are against what F of I wants to do; they just want something to happen. Lester: That’s exactly what we’ve been saying; we want something done, but we need help. Christensen: This is the first ray of hope that I’ve seen. There are people willing to spend a lot of time, but the RDA can’t automatically write checks. If all the forces can be brought together to make this happen, well and good; if not, then you, as a community, need to consider what the alternative is. And if you like the direction it’s been going, then tell the RDA to leave and tell everybody else that you want to go ahead and restore this property (and I understand its historical significance, and I’m not downplaying that), but at some point we’ve got to get real over what we’re going to do over there, and it’s going to cost millions to buy the property. That is real, and the people who are concerned about crime (serious crime) deserve to have some actiion. Let’s get it done, but as you [Lester] pointed out, Your motion }Vas June of 1992. [Lester interjected:’-and not a- do:””” thing-has been done that I have-seen”]- That was-a year and- a half ago; the only thing that has been done has been done by those who would like the property clear off and secured. Those who would have it rebuilt are the ones who haven’t done anything, and I’ m not casting stones; I’m just saying, if it’s going to get done, who’s going to do it? Chair: If I could just interject a note, it isn’t that those who want to save the bldg haven’t done anything; we’ve worked very hard to get RDA involvement, and it becomes very difficult to make any progress when you don’t own the structure and have no way of knowing what the property is going to be worth or how to proceed with it. So, in my estimation, getting the RDA involved has been a major contribution; the bldg is still there to be preserved, if that’s what the community wants, and now we have a wonderful opportunity to support the acquisition of the bldg by the RDA and to proceed with some realistic alternatives, of which there are some. Hope Hilton: I have heard for three years that people want to turn it into an arts center, and that is something I’m very much opposed to. There has not been a united voice for an arts center; I want housing, and I’ve wanted that from day one, and here we’ve heard from the RDA that there have been successful projects throughout the country, upper and middle-level condominiums, and I think that’s the most beautiful piece of property in the entire city, but now it’s ugly and must be cleared off. My motion is that we involve the RDA at this point and see if we can’t get it off dead center. Chair: I think that’s a very important point. I guess we made such a great point of wanting an arts center that nobody is hearing us when we’re saying that that’s over; we’re willing to consider all kinds of multiple, mixed uses: housing, or whatever. Let’s just preserve the integrity of the shell and see that a great landmark in our community is maintained. [At this point it became necessary for Hope to restate and clarify her motion.] Hope: I move that we encourage the involvement of the RDA, now, and see if we can move ahead with the project. I don’t think that they are saying that we have to preserve the structure; it will be up to the one with the money to say what he’s willing to do. We can’t get far from the fact that it comes down to who has the big fat pockets. So the motion is: That we encourage the RDA’s involvement with Irving Commons, and that we say to them: Get a buyer, let’s negotiate with the owners, now, that are asking too much [etc.]. Chair: Could we simplify your motion to state that “we support the RDA’s effort to acquire the property”? Hope: Yes. [Motion was seconded, followed by discussion.] Dave Buhler: Like everybody else, I would like to see something happen. Alice, you said that if the RDA gets involved, the most likely use would be housing. Would that require low-income housing, subsidized housing? Steiner: No. In the 1993 Legislature, if we are using money from one project area and putting it in another project area, there is not an income restriction on that housing. Unidentified questioner: Is there still enough structural soundness to make the bldg worth saving? Dina Williams: Yes, we did as study [Spring of 1992] with a restoration architect. There were many areas inaccessible, but the main facade is okay. There are a lot of options to secure an unreinforced masonry bldg. The top of the south gable has fallen, but those are things that can be shored up structurally. Unidentified questioner: If it was necessary to demolish Uintah Elementary because of earthquake considerations, how is it possible to save Irving, which is in much worse shape? Williams: I can’t speak in behalf of the State School Board, but what I have understood is that they are trying to seismically retrofit all of the schools, and they felt that that one would be cost prohibitive to use state funds. [Tape ran out at this point, and remainder of this discussion was completed before the tape could be turned.] John Mannos: I’ve lived on 12th E for twelve years and drive by Irving every day. The question gets pushed back and forth just like a marble between F of I and owners of Irving. Frankly, the question isn’t what we want; as a neighbor, I’m tired of looking at it. I don’t care what you do with it. What’s come to a head is the crime that’s coming about. I circulated a petition asking the people who own the bldg to secure and get the property cleaned up. We don’t care what happens to the bldg. It’s been that way for eight years; we don’t care if it takes another three years, just get it cleaned up and secure. I’ve had my home broken into, as others have, because of what’s going on at Irving. I’d just like to see the owners get in and do something to clean it up and stop the atrocious things that are going on. Unidentified: My comment is related to that. Shouldn’t there be a deadline so that if nothing comes about through the RDA, something else can be done? Steiner: It would be misleading to think that resolving the issues can happen overnight. Within my experience dealing with troubled properties. It takes time to get good proposals so that you can move forward effectively. In my judgment it would take at least one year to address the question of security, which would clearly be a top priority; the historic bldg and how to deal with it, and cleaning the site so that it is available for someone to buy, and then putting it on the market. It is not going to happen overnight/but· we would like very much to work with it. Rawlins Young: [inaudible, the sense was that we should support the RDA, and the discussion should be addressed to the motion]. Miriam Murphy: I support what Rawlins said. I think that this is the best shot that this community has, and if we don’t take advantage of this window of opportunity now we will regret it, because none of us wants to see that site continue in its dilapidated state, and we must endorse the RDA negotiations as a united community council. And am I correct that these negotiations are not going to go on for months; there is a limit within which they will either take place or fall through? A second question: Is there not a way to speedily secure the property from intruders until something can be done? Steiner: In terms of the time frame, we have to gather information so we understand what our cash requirements will be; I’m assuming we will have it within the next thirty days. Re the security of the property, that clearly has to happen quickly, in conjunction with the SLPD. It is clear that, given the condition of the property, security will not be easily achieved. That is also a cash question; does the RDA have sufficient resources to deal with it. Buhler: I would like to support Hope’s motion. What I can’t get out of my mind is: What’s happening on block 49 with those structures there? [laughter] Will this be different if the RDA takes over? Steiner: Block 49 is a very similar plight. We are remediating this property, and microorganisms are busily chewing up the residue of oil products in the soil from a previous own. We do have a developer, current seeking financing. He has proposed 284 housing units, a health club and day care center. Chair: So your (Buhler’s) point was that if the RDA has a property that hasn’t been going anywhere, should we give them authority to take on another such property? And Alice’s response was: Those microorganisms are eating their hearts out. [laughter] Dale Chalmers: Why isn’t the current owner required to do these things, rather than the future owner or the RDA? Christensen: That’s a good question. Met with Legacy Mgmt. Property manager will visit the site twice a day. Police have keys and can enter the property at will. These are bandages. As Alice said, this particular property is very difficult to secure, and the current owners will, if these negotiations with the RDA fall through, immediately apply for a demolition permit, because the property actually has greater value, in their view, when cleared of the present structure. So everything except the parking structure would be razed, if they were given permission to do so. Unidentified: Alice, when you talk about the $30,000 coming to this project through redevelopment, what is the source of that money? Steiner: I was talking about the property tax increment that is generated from the Sugarhouse area. That is money that could be borrowed and would either have to be put toward housing, or repaid. It is derived from the increase in property values since the project was implemented, and the taxes levied against that increase. Unidentified: In case the RDA purchased the property, a special improvement district could be formed to finance the security, and if you could well come up with the money to restore it and I think that people would overwhelmingly vote for that kind of thing. Amelia English: I work with several people in the entertainment area who are interested in this bldg. I have been involved with the effort since 1981, and have seen much money and time put into this. We have had many resolutions over that time from each successive administration to make this a family and community center. Continuity and continued effort is essential. There are viable proposals. Marv Tuddenham: I speak in favor of the motion, but I would like to emphasize that the motion should contain language to ensure that the present owners should not feel in any way relieved of responsibility to maintain the property. No one of us would be allowed to let our private property disintegrate to that extent. Councilman Don Hale: This has been a great frustration to me, not to bring this to fruition during my four years. This has been a monthly agenda item for the RDA. I know how things have deteriorated over the past several years. I went to the mayor in a public meeting, and she told me that something would happen, and I believe that what is now happening is a result. We have a window of opportunity; the RDA has gone out on a limb to help us in Sugarhouse. We should support them without restriction, knowing that things are moving and something is going to happen that will satisfy everyone. Obviously there are only one or two things that can happen. You know what they are, but either would be a blessing to this neighborhood, and that we don’t put on any restrictions and are unanimous in our support. Chair: It’s time to call the question. The motion is: The SHCC supports the efforts of the RDA to acquire Irving Commons. Lynn Chatwin: Point of order. Should not the question of putting additional pressure on the property owner to maintain the property be part of the motion? Steve Lester: I am in agreement with Hope, and knowing the situation and the people involved, I support the motion as is. Tuddenham: Obviously, I can’t make a motion to amend because I’m not a trustee, but I think that the Owner will feel a relaxation of pressure unless something is done to maintain that pressure while negotiations continue with the RDA. Perhaps it should be a separate motion to make sure that until transfer of ownership takes place, the present owner be required to maintain the property in a safe and secure manner. Chair: I would like Keith to speak again to the- point:· -The owner has made some concrete progress- toward “What· . will happen during the interim. Christensen: The owner did indicate that they, too, are concerned with the security of it. I might suggest, in view of what appears to be at issue here, that you might vote on the present motion, and then the chair might entertain a second motion asking for continued pressure to ensure that the property is secure. I think that you really need to thank these people who have spent a lot of hours collecting signatures and asking for support; 500 signatures is significant, and I can tell you from my discussions with the property owners that they, too, are concerned. They’ve pointed out that it isn’t just gangs, it is neighborhood children; they, too, have vandalized the property. The owners, too, would like to see it resolved. I don’t want to say much more except to thank those who have brought this into focus tonight.Buhler again called for a question on the motion; the question was called, and the motion carried. Jerry Romero made a motion to put pressure on the present owners to secure the property and work towards a solution [inaudible]. Chair: The motion then is to require the present owners to do everything in their power to secure the property until a transfer of ownership takes place. Romero: I think it should be stronger than that. With the environmental hazards as they are, I’m quite concerned that we’ve allowed it to be neglected this long [inaudible, but words were added to the motion, which was seconded by Ruth Robbins]. Tuddenham: the asbestos in the bldg is dormant until stirred up, so you have to consider that as part of the clean-up problem. Unidentified: I did a development study for Terramerica [related to Legacy Mgmt] eight years ago, when the property was still intact (no water or fire damage) and at that time personally measured every square foot of that bldg. At that time I suggested to them that if they wanted to secure the property they should have a night security guard on the property and volunteered to do that for them, because I loved that bldg and didn’t want to see it destroyed. And they have an eight-year history of “blatant neglect”; it is my opinion that they have wanted the property to be destroyed in order to open the door for a housing development. That was their stated objective at the time; various substantial offers have been made over the years that were well funded, but were rejected. Without the most strenuous activity on the part of the community, they are not going to do one thing to secure that property. Robbins: To whom is the motion addressed? The mayor, city council? [At this point, considerable discussion about what it should contain and to whom the motion was addressed.] Romero restated his motion: The SHCC and the SH Crime Committee would like the owners of Irving School to clean up the area and the surrounding property, to enclose the bldg in a manner that vagrants, children, and other trespassers are unable to enter the premises, and maintain the grounds on an ongoing basis. Unidentified: It should contain something about an armed security guard; they have round-the-clock armed security at ShopKo. Pam Grimes: I will be going on site to do a security check. This is a very difficult, complicated site to secure. If I wanted to build a crime producer, it has all the elements of crime production. It’s not going to be simple, but having someone on site would definitely make a difference. Hilton: But all of this is going to raise the price of the property when we get down to finding a buyer. So let’s remember that. Chair: This all may very well be a moot point. We may very well not be talking to Legacy Mgmt, but the RDA; they may very well be the property owner, and Alice has said (and Pam) that this is an almost impossible bldg to secure. I would like to speak against the motion because I think it’s premature. If we would just let events take their course, and accept the fact that the police are going to be patrolling more, and there is going to be a tremendous amount of attention paid to that bldg in the next month, if the problem persists, we can address it in the January meeting with whoever is the real owner of the bldg at that point. If it is Legacy Mgmt then we have to say, yes, you must do more. If not, then we have wasted our time, and we would be wanting to talk to the RDA. They are going to be doing everything that is feasible, the police have access, they will be making periodic checks, perhaps hiring a watchman. So within a month, it is probably going to be moot, or we will be back to square one. Unidentified: I live directly across the street from the school, and in the last year, nine of the eleven property owners have had a window bashed out of their cars, one has had his jeep doors taken, and all the evidence has gone right down into the school; mostly, just into the weeds right at the edge of the property line. They haven’t even taken care of that for years. Some people in the area went over and cut down the trees about two months ago. I would love it if they would just maintain the property like they say they’re going to. We’ve called the police and they don’t even show up. Chair: The words “clean up” worry me. Are we saying they have to go and clean up all the debris? Unidentified: Just the vegetation, because these trees and overgrowth contain things that are just unbelievable; I can’t even tell you some of the things we’ve found. [Discussion centered on the term “basic maintenance” as an acceptable term for what was needed t” securing the property by whoever is responsible. Romero :- We rieed a strongly worded motion so that they know that the community is serious and that hopefully it would help RDA purchase the property. Blackwell [SH Crime Committee]: I just want you to know that if things are not done with some dispatch here, we plan to file a suit in behalf of the neighbors against the owners of the property, and we have already talked with lawyers concerning this, so this isn’t just talk here tonight; we are serious. Chair: I don’t think anyone is suggesting that this isn’t serious, and I’m sure, from my conversations with the owners, that they take your petition seriously, they know that a lawsuit is pending, their talks with the RDA are going to be very forthcoming, and my point is that it’s going to be over before we can actually mobilize any action. Gene Davis: I’d like to call the question. Jerry’s amended motion read: “We the citizens of the SHCC and the Sugar House Crime Committee would like the owners of the Irving School to clean up the area of harmful debris in the old school bldg and surrounding property, enclose the building in such a manner that vagrants, children, and trespassers are unable to enter the premises, to maintain the property on an ongoing basis, and to provide a 24-hour watch. The amended motion was seconded, and the motion carried. Thus, two motions were passed, (1) to support the RDA in the purchase of the property, and (2) to encourage, no demand, that the owners do basic maintenance as long as they own the property. Pam Grimes showed a pin map showing crime locations, said that the police substation is in preparation at the SH Post Office pending some basic repairs that Johansen was overseeing. Two volunteers, Rich Bennett and Tony Fitzgerald, plus some others to paint and fix-up. Working on getting it staffed, so should be a reality soon. I am also going to visit the Irving site tomorrow to get some idea of what we can realistically do. Your motion to have someone there on-site materially assists, because that is what is really needed. A question whether it was a police department, or health department ordinance, needed to get the weeds cut. Isn’t there a nuisance ordinance? Lynn Chatwin observed a tremendous increase in litter throughout the area and wants to organize an anti-litter campaign. Because of the lateness of the hour, he was invited to come back next month to talk about a “Community Pride Program.” He felt that if we don’t take care of this along with the crime and the other problems, we will lose our beautiful city. Pam Grimes suggested programs of the Police Department that would be pertinent. This being Don Hale’s last official visit to the SHCC, Dorothy Tuddenham moved that we thank Don for his four years of excellent service as a member of the SL City Council, on behalf of our SHCC, our neighborhoods, and our City. A unanimous cry of acclaim negated any need for a second, and all wished Don well. Hope Hilton made a motion to adjourn.