SHCC February 2022 Meeting Minutes

SHCC February 2022 Meeting Minutes

Welcome to the monthly edition of the Sugar House Community Council meeting.  

Again, we have a pretty busy agenda. So thanks for joining us tonight and welcome to the new attendees tonight.  Just a heads up with the majority of the trustees on here with the community council started on this board with a single issue in their own neighborhood. So you’ve kind of been warned. Welcome to the community.

Make a motion to approve the minutes from last month. Lynn Schwartz first, Mike Bagly second, all approve

I’m going to make a motion to make Shane Stroud our new secretary. Derek first, Judi second, all approve. 

Secretary report Shane Stroud: Okay, well it’s my first official act as Secretary last meeting we talked about the bylaws changes, and after that meeting, I circulated a final version. There aren’t any substantive changes at all to the bylaws since our last meeting, I think if anything

The only thing I did add was a provision that would allow for a member of the Sugar House Park Authority to come and sit on the board, much like the change that allows someone from the Sugar House chamber. So, what we need to do tonight is, unless anyone has any other changes or concerns. If somebody could make a motion to approve those bylaws, let me make one more note. I told you last month that I would update attachment C with the new census information. I haven’t done that yet I apologize completely slipped my mind. So, if we approve these tonight. Then, next month we can go through and just approve the attachments C and then just file that as an addendum. So it looks like Judi is  moving to approve. Rich Knickerbocker a Second. All in favor?  And any opposed? Passed unanimous bylaws are adapted. 

Mayor Erin Mendenhall: 

I would love to mostly answer your questions but would it be okay if first I give you a little recap on the state of the city. I did my address last week. Building permits, which are above and beyond anything we’ve ever seen before, to the value of projects that are happening, which is actually more than a billion dollars more than we’ve seen before. Salt Lake City supported financially, the creation of around 352 or something, affordable housing units more than we’ve ever done in a single year. And there’s more than 700 affordable units in the pipeline coming our way. On February 8th we are going to celebrate the 20th anniversary of hosting the world with the Winter Olympic Games. 

I am really proud of UTA for our collaboration on free fare for the whole month of February. No cost for any of the system.  The last time this was done was when the olympics were here. We invested, starting in 2018 our sales tax dollars to buy up service from UTA. So the bus on 2100 South, 900 South, 600 South and 10th North second south, those buses are running on our dime every 15 minutes, sometimes a little longer at the late stretches, seven days a week and we’re going to keep growing the system. So, I think, affordability and convenience are the two things to overcome. And this is a really cool experiment on affordability.

At the local level our goal is to be at 100% net renewable energy in every home and business in Salt Lake City, plug and light fixture by 2030 if not before. In the 2020 legislative session, we worked with Rocky Mountain Power along with a couple dozen other cities in the state to get a law passed that outlined exactly how we are going to get there, and the process we’re going through. There is a Community Renewable Energy Agency which will be the way we get to 100% renewables. They will be coming up with a fee structure in these next many months and within the year they’re going to go to the Public Service Commission. And basically the PSC will hopefully approve the rate structure and then we can get to the process of going out to bid for all sorts of renewable energy to fill the needs of these. It shouldn’t cost us anything more than we have already paid. The megawatt solar farm has broken ground, we are converting our fleet over to EV. We quadrupled the number of Salt Lakers who got the electric lawn mowers, and were able to trade in their gas guzzlers because they produce an incredible amount of pollution. And we’re going to do it again this year, that’ll be a part of the budget I’ll bring to the council so we’re working on improving our air and reducing our carbon emissions at every level.

About 67% of our city is fully vaccinated, which is lower than that of the county, but higher than that of the state. Those numbers are getting kind of stagnant. Still slight increases in each zip code, but they have leveled off  

Homelessness: This is a statewide humanitarian crisis.  We know that there aren’t resources for people who experienced homelessness in most cities in this state. I also know that mayors and council people from other parts of this county and outside of the county have looked me in the eye and said, Well, if we find someone who’s experiencing homelessness in our city. We put them in the back of the cop car and take them to Salt Lake and drop them off there because that’s where the resources are.That is totally unsustainable for any city, but it’s the reality for about five cities Logan, Ogden, Salt Lake City,St George and of Provo, to some extent, although they don’t have a homeless Resource Center, and they also have a zero tolerance policy for on street homelessness, which has been explored in the tribune over the last year.

19:20:55 So, the city can do and will do all that we can leading with compassion, but it is unsustainable for us as residents and taxpayers to take responsibility for really a statewide need. Last year we spent over $25 million. So I’m asking the state to do what they do every year for South Salt Lake and Midvale who hosts homeless resource centers, which is give us the mitigation support that you give those other cities, and honestly Ogden and Logan and St George deserve it as well. And they’ve had that money since they opened those resource centers. We have to compete for it every year with every other city who doesn’t get anything.

Some years we get nothing. So that’s a piece of work that we are hoping to see come through the legislative session. In 2023, Huntsman Mental Health Institute will open in South Salt Lake next to the men’s homeless resource center there. In will be a crisis receiving center, if someone is in mental health crisis. They could arrive there themselves, or if they call 911 if they need help getting there. Our officers or fire department or our  co responder model with their social workers would be able to bring them there and be able to receive mental health support.

Right now, we can take them to the hospital. It’s unknown on a day to day basis if the emergency room would admit them or has the capacity to deal with that. And they’re often back out on the street. And so we really, really need this mental health service and it’s coming. It’s just not coming soon enough. So we’ve also asked the state to fund an interim program, perhaps with the same mental health partners, to be able to have somewhere where people in need, who are living out their crisis without the assistance they need on our streets, to get better help. We are looking at a permanent winter shelter. The tiny home village is going very well, actually, and it’s in the pipeline for the City Council to consider the rezone application that they took to the Planning Commission and had favorable recommendation, so that went through the process in the fall of last year. I also made a decision to do strategic enforcement of our camping ordinance. We’ve had an ordinance that doesn’t allow tent camping on public spaces since the early 60s, and it was enforced. It’s not sustainable, or it’s the right thing to allow anyone to camp anywhere in the city for any amount of time. Use the SLC mobile app to report any camping. 

CIU Detective Bob Norgaard

The burglaries I talked about last meeting along the 2100 South corridor has dropped off the map. Last month, there were nine business burglaries which is a substantial decrease, and there were only two within the area of 21st South so that’s really good, and one of those was one of the employees left the building unsecured when they left. The other thing that spiked in your neighborhood is stolen vehicles. There were six in the last month. So please, please don’t leave your cars running, if you have to warm them up I understand but stay, stay close to your car. And the only other thing is no residential burglaries. There were a few last month, there are zero this month, so that’s great, great to see.

SLC Planning Director Nick Norris

We were asked to come and just give an update on, not so much the specifics of the former Sizzler site (new proposed Kum and Go) but the process that application is going to go through..

The proposal is for a gas, convenience store to replace the old Sizzler is in a CB zone which is a community business zone. That means it’s the same zoning district as the 9th and 9th business district, 21st and 21st business district, etc. What that zoning allows the gas station itself is a conditional use. And so what that means is that both under state code and city code is that a conditional use is considered to be a permitted use that might generate impacts that are greater than other permitted uses and therefore requires more oversight and a look to figure out what those impacts are and what can be done to reduce those impacts. If there are what’s identified as detrimental impacts and or city code has a bunch of those. Then it will go to the Planning Commission. There’s a whole list of detrimental impacts that are listed there and they’re pretty difficult types of things that could impact the surrounding properties, environmental impacts, impacts to the streets, all those kinds of things, air quality, water quality, you name it. Right now that application is really early in the process. When it was first submitted or when it was assigned to a planner, we determined it wasn’t complete. It didn’t have enough information or didn’t have enough correct information for us to start processing it. So we requested that information to be updated. And I’m not quite sure the status of that at this point but all of those conditional uses will go through both a public process and an internal process, where we review the proposal against various standards and we route it to city departments. In this case, we’re also routing it to the county health department. Because the property is also in what’s called the groundwater recharging zone. This limits certain types of uses and certain types of activities that can occur, and also puts additional requirements on it, including gas stations. That wouldn’t apply to property gas stations that are not in that recharge area. So the whole premise behind that is to protect our underground water resources, and to prevent leakage and spills and contamination of those resources, particularly because they help fill our wells that provide our drinking water so that portion of this will be administered by public utilities, and so there’ll be one of those agencies that reviews this to make sure that things are in place to address that and keep our  water as clean as possible. And then the health department will play a similar role in identifying any other types of impacts. And like I said this would, this is something that the public process is typical for our other land use applications. A notice will be sent to this community council then there will be a 45 day public input period, once that notice is sent. Based on how the community council chooses to handle this there will be a more detailed presentation from the applicant. Diana Martinez is the SLC planner who has been assigned this project. If a proposal complies with all the standards, and all of the potential detrimental impacts can be reduced. Then, legally we’re obligated as a city to approve that conditional use. That will be the focus of our review and really should be the focus of the public input is what are those potential detrimental impacts. What’s really helpful is to identify things that are more objective and not subjective and what do I mean by that, basically one of the comments we hear all the time about managing applications is a general statement about, it’s going to be detrimental to the neighborhood. Well, that may be true but it’s more beneficial if it’s explained why it’s detrimental and if there’s examples for that because then the Planning Commission can respond better to those comments and consider them better. The Planning Commission has the final say. My understanding is that they’re under contract to purchase that property from the current property owner, and so they’ve authorized that company to submit the application on their behalf. And yes, there is an active application for that. 

Senator Iwamoto’s intern: 

One thing to note from the first week of session is that we started out with one pretty contentious bill which tried to overturn the local mask mandates and it unfortunately sailed through both the Senate and House pretty quickly, which was a little disheartening.

Sen. Iwamoto has a lot of bills that she’s pushing for this session, which she’s really excited for. She currently has 16 bills that already have been introduced and one more that she’s waiting to be introduced. And of those 16, a few of them have already been passed from the Senate floor onto the house. Her correctional officer eligibility amendments, bill flow rates or quantity for planning plumbing fixtures bill, her local election amendments bill, her day of remembrance observing the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War Two bill, and many others have already passed from the Senate to the house. So that’s really exciting. She just presented 3 bills today, one of them was drivers speeding amendments, which just seems to kind of combat issues of speed racing in Utah right now, another one is her officer intervention reporting requirements which just tries to increase transparency and accountability for law enforcement, that has received wide support and bipartisan support, which is really great. And she also has a lot of water issue bills that she’s been working on. 

Proposed Parley’s Mine:

This presentation is for a proposed Parley’s Canyon Mine by the Mt. Aire area. That’s looking down the canyon eastward down the canyon and you can see that. I’ll probably paraphrase a lot of this. But, November 24 the article broke in the Salt Lake Tribune, which was a surprise to me and thousands of other residents and communities that there was a proposal for both a small mine under 20 acres and a large mine up to 634 acres of a limestone quarry three miles up Parley’s Canyon. On December 7th, the division of oil, gas and mining issued a denial letter for the small mine, citing that Tree Farm, the applicant’s long term intent is to really have a large mining operation. On December 10th, the county council unanimously voted to amend ordinances in the Salt Lake code, it would eventually prohibit mining and forestry zones and Foothill and Canyon overlay zones, which is what Parley’s Canyon is. On December 15th, teh division of oil, gas and mining sent a letter of action items back to Tree Farm regarding the proposal of their large mining operation. It contained 15 pages of some kind of action items that they had to accomplish. The mine, once dug out, blasted and hauled away will permanently scar the mountainside and will leave residents, recreational travelers and wildlife in that to live with degraded mountain habitat, water, and air quality. The mine will cover up to 634 acres, one square mile is 640. To put the size in perspective the Bingham Copper Mine is 1900 acres. This proposed mine would be about one third. And that’s still a very opposing and permanent scar carved into the mountainside. The Kilgore-Harper mine across the street up Parleys is 11.2 acres and that’s just a mere 1.7% of the size of this new proposed mine. Over 50 times larger, the size and scope of this proposed mine make it the largest mining operation within the Wasatch Front since 1974. Historically these mines cause increased air pollution, which would affect the Salt Lake Valley residents, businesses, schools and public open lands for decades.

Approximately 20% of our drinking water comes from Parleys and nearly 60% comes from the Wasatch mountain watersheds. Dust on the snow threatens the premature melting of snowpack.

That’s our nature’s natural reservoir of where we drink, and where we get our water from. There are two watershed reservoirs 2-3 miles above the mine site that are threatened by contamination. Family residents are located. as close as a quarter mile, and thousands of homes reside within a four mile radius of the proposed mine. There is going to be an increase in semi truck traffic estimated of about 140 trucks per day. 280 trips at peak operations. The Harper mine has a very poor record of fugitive dust control and was denied expansion by Utah’s Supreme Court in 2004. This region of Parley’s Canyon is owned as forestry and requisite recreation meant to only allow and I quote right out of the ordinance of code of ordinances chapter 19 uses to the extent. Such development is compatible with the protection of the natural and city resources of these areas for the continued benefit of future generations. So how can you help??? Send letters. There are Planning Commission meetings February 3 at 4pm, and February 16 at 8:30am. Check out for all up to date information. 

US Senate candidate Becky Edwards. Go ahead, Becky. Hi, thank you so much for having me. I really appreciate the role of community councils. I served for 10 years in the Utah house, Sugar House has always been a kind of a special place for me because my grandfather lived in Sugar House the whole time I was growing up and now the tables have turned and my daughter, and for three of my grandkids live in Sugar House too so I love your community, and always been sort of represented my family’s past and now my family’s future so anyway thanks for letting me take a few minutes here. Like I said I served in the Utah house and I’m currently running for the US Senate to unseat Mike Lee. I’m running to unseat him in the Republican primary in June. And this is not something I take lightly to challenge an incumbent in a solidly red state, but the level of political rhetoric and hyper politicization that he has contributed to adds to one of the most concerning things, his ineffectiveness for the people of Utah and over and over I see opportunities that are lost and opportunities for Utah, have been forgotten because he is out of touch and not a strong advocate and I know things can be so much better for me while I was serving those 10 years and actually it’s good to see my former colleague Brian King. Always at the top of mind for me was working in a bipartisan way, and finding common ground, working together both across the aisle with my Democratic colleagues and then also within the wide range of political spectrum within the Republican Party. Some of my best pieces of legislation I ever ran I collaborated across the aisle. I am running on things like climate change, air quality, healthcare, child care, affordable housing, things like this that really are always top of mind for you to our families and businesses. That’s why I’m in this race to bring better leadership to the US Senate representing the state of Utah and my commitment has always been to be a proactive, productive and inclusive leader for the state of Utah.We have over 1500 lawn signs out across the state. Most importantly the percentage of money contributed to this campaign that has come from within the state of Utah is at 89%, a really remarkable data point, and it reflects a higher percentage at 89% than both Mike Lee, and the independent candidate combined. It’s puzzling to me and deeply concerning the amount of money when Mike Lee’s money that comes from within the state of Utah is only 12%. Only 12% of his money comes from within the state of Utah and it makes me really wonder why so many people outside the state have a vested interest in the status quo, maintaining the status quo here in the state of Utah. I know we can do better. I know that bringing people together and listening to all voices is something that I’m deeply committed to. It helped me be an effective leader in official roles like chairing the economic development and Workforce Services Committee or with my democratic colleague Rebecca Chavez how, when we served as co chairs of the women in the economy commission. I know that doing that is the best, The best way is the most effective way to get things done.  Check out my website with all of the information collecting signatures, yard signs, etc. 

Connor Mickelson U of U student:

Next we’re going to go with Connor, he’s a student in City and Metro Planning at the University of Utah. I’m a part of the west side studio and we’re working on Salt Lake City’s gentrification assessment and discipline placement mitigation plan. Wanted to provide a very brief overview of what the students have done so far and then we also have a website and it’s survey, as well. Last semester, students interviewed 420 residents within Sugar House, and collected people’s stories on neighborhood change and their hopes for the future of Sugar House as well. The map community assets that should be preserved and you can see their work in the link I’ll put in the chat here. We were able to create a story map using all these interviews and intercept surveys we took on the street as well. There’s three main points, and concerns that we noticed a recurring theme. Most of the residents had concerns on dramatic change and affordability. And one of their top priorities was keeping green space available to the general public.

Gentrification Assessment and Displacement Mitigation Plan

Treasurer Report: Mike Bagley 

For our Treasurer’s Report, US Bank balance of $6,591.54. As of today, PayPal balance is zero. We have had a few micro grant payments that we sent out to the Sugar House Chamber.

Lastly, we just had our renewal with a record recognized community organization with the city recorder’s office so we took care of that compliance issue by the end of the month of January. 

District 7 City Councilwoman Amy Fowler

Laura Stevens as you guys know, is my intern with the Salt Lake City Council, and is here. And I do want to talk about a couple of things. Also, before Becky leaves, Good luck on your race, and it is always so lovely to see more women involved in politics, and it is an inspiration represent representation does matter, and I really appreciate you having the guts if I can say to put yourself out there as a colleague as a politician myself It’s not easy I know you have to go through and I’m just here on a local level and so I can only imagine so good luck to you and thank you for taking that step in representing women in politics for us. I truly appreciate it. So with that, I do want to talk about a couple of things that we have talked about number one is, if anyone tuned in yesterday, we are picking our commission for the redistricting commission. We had 4 applicants from District 7 and a total of 40 or so overall.  I am on the committee to pick the applicants.  We will have 1 from each district along with 2 at large members. And the other thing I wanted to talk about was a change in the master plan for Sugar House and the zone change, sort of, regarding the old DI site and the old fire station over by Fairmont Park. That combined those properties into one parcel owned by the RDA. I am really pushing for and I think that the RDA has done a good job over the last few years, is to make sure that we have community empowered development before anything happens there that we really engage with our community. As I talked about last time. And as many of you know we’re really working on the Boys and Girls Club in the tennis courts, I got into this business of being a politician because of those damn tennis courts and I promised myself and the community that by the time I’m done with any sort of political action here, we will have something on those tennis courts and so I think we have again a unique opportunity to take those two parcels with the DI site, and the old fire station and create something that is truly a community benefit. And so, I will be calling on all of you, when we get to that stage to reach out to the RDA and have that community empowered Development and Community lead development, it’s something that we actually started doing

with the fleet block and Ashley Cleveland who works for this city has done just an outstanding fabulous job in that community and power development. And I want to continue that model, especially here in Sugar House. So I will keep you updated on what we’re doing with the RDA, and the old fire station. And then, of course, we’re in the legislative session if anybody’s interested in bills that are, and can affect Salt Lake City. We do have a legislative update every council meeting during our work sessions, so please tune into that and if you have questions, please reach out to me and Laura. Laura will help me figure out all of the answers to the questions but there are a lot of bills as always that affect Salt Lake City and particularly the ones that I find myself most concerned with our water bills. Once again, there will be a bill that tries to limit Salt Lake city’s ability to protect our watersheds. And I don’t know if you guys know this, but Salt Lake City has entered several water contests over the years and we have some of the best tasting water in the country. And the reason that we have won the best tasting water in the country is because we are so diligent and vigilant about protecting our watersheds. After  the legislative session the budget will be coming up and we’ll get a proposed budget from the mayor. We are planning a little Sugar House golf tournament at what my friends and I affectionately call the Sugar House Country Club or Forrest Dale. The idea would be that we have a little golf tournament and the proceeds would go to replanting trees on the golf course that were damaged or lost from the wind storm.

Sprague Library Update Cherie Koford: 

We had to close the downtown location, due to staffing shortages with COVID and it doesn’t look like we’ll be able to open up the downtown location, until around February 22. With that we have seen a huge increase of people from all over into our new building. And then the only other announcement is if you guys are really into reading that we just launched a brand new reading challenge for adults. So if you want kind of like a year long challenge come check it out, it’s called the 50 books challenge, and you read 25 from a list of prompts that we give you and then 25 free choice. And we are still passing out N95 masks, we still have a good supply. So if anybody needs some please come into the library and get some masks.

It’s been a fun evening. Two hours with either slow or fast I don’t know which it’s all up to you. Thank you. Thank you. And thanks to everybody who comes every month and thanks to all the new faces we saw tonight, and we’ll see you in March.

Meeting Adjourned!!!

For the full meeting, check out the video posted.

Landon Clark