SHCC Meeting Minutes – August 2008

SHCC Meeting Minutes – August 2008


August 6, 2008



Trustees Present: Grace Sperry, Chair, Cabot Nelson, Michael G. Kavanagh, Derek Payne, Rawlins Young, Maggie Shaw, Judi Short, Dolores Donohoo, Sheila O’Driscoll, Barbara Green, David Mulder, and Russ Collister. Trustees Excused:  ??

1. Chair Grace Sperry, opened the August 6, 2008 monthly meeting of the Sugar House Community Council. She greeted trustees and special visitor Mayor Ralph Becker who was allotted 45 minutes to respond to questions from both trustees and visitors. 2. Mayor Becker stated that his purpose in attending the meeting was part of his plan to visit all Salt Lake City Community Councils so that he can gain a better perspective on neighborhood issues than he can from paper alone. He thanked UTA for providing transportation at these meetings so that he can accompany Council members to various neighborhood sites pertaining to specific issues. He also acknowledged several staff members who accompanied him including Hank Welch, Karen Hiller, Esther Hunter, and John Spencer as well as SLPD Officer Smart. Mayor Becker also acknowledged the challenge facing SHCC as it attempts to balance historical preservation of neighborhoods and development of the business district, while maintaining historic charm, creating walking neighborhoods, and encouraging economic development.

   a.  The Mayor stated that his visit would be recorded and could be viewed on SLCTV Tuesday through Saturday at noon.  Trustee Judi Short stated that SLCTV was not available to those with satellite TV to which Mayor Becker responded that the recorded meetings could also be viewed on SLC’s website.
b.  Mayor Becker then opened the session up to questions from trustees and visitors:
i.  Jalene Myrup, resident in the Dilworth Neighborhood asked the Mayor for an update on   the Wal-Mart plans to build a store on the present K-Mart site on Parley’s way and asked about plans to maintain the canyons and curtail building in the mountains.  The Mayor responded that there a fact sheet on the Wal-Mart issue is available on the SLC web site.  Wal-Mart’s desire to build a new store is inconsistent with the Master plan, but they can request a conditional rezone.  Hank Welch from the Mayor’s staff indicated that they had asked for that, and that without it they can still occupy and remodel the present K-Mart building.  An issues only meeting was conducted by the City Planning Commission on June 26 for public comment.  The Mayor emphasized that all but one of the Community Councils opposed Wal-Mart’s request to rezone the property.  Further comments can be redirected to Nick Britton of the Planning Commission.

Mayor Becker pointed out that one of the criticisms regarding the city was the decision-making process, which had in the past been problematic due to political interference. By that he stated that if the role of the Planning Commission, for example, is to review conditional rezoning requests, then they should be allowed to do so without interference by the Mayor or other administrators within Salt Lake City.

Trustee Russ Collister asked if it was a problem for a City Council representative to present or speak at a commission meeting, e.g., Planning Commission.

Mayor Becker responded that it is appropriate for a City Council member to check on an issue but not to try to influence a decision.. Furthermore, if there is a personal interest or conflict of interest, the Council member should recuse him/herself.

Returning to Dilworth neighborhood resident, Jalene Marks, in response to the canyon use and the watershed portion of her question, the Mayor stated that prior to his political appointments, he had worked for an environmental impact organization and because of that could state that Salt Lake City, more than most other cities was very careful in protecting the watershed and in limiting development beyond the Bonneville Shore Line and had been doing so since 1979.

   ii.  Trustee Judi Short asked  for clarification regarding the presentation of an issue, i.e., should a Council member present an issue on behalf of a constituent?  Mayor Becker stated that that was appropriate.  Trustee Short also asked about amendments made to a policy, i.e., did they in fact become part of that policy or master plan?  Mayor Becker responded that they should become part of the record as an amendment, but that some of the paperwork on some of these issues may not yet have been completed.  However, the goal is that any official modifications become part of the policy, plan, etc.
   iii.  SHCC resident Gerald McDonough stated that he has been a life-long resident of  Sugar House, and has resided at 1997 South 800 East for the past 40 years.  However, for the past ten years following the expansion of the Sugar House business district, the quality of his life has seriously deteriorated, citing increased traffic, noise, and security lighting from surrounding businesses including the ICH medical facility on 9th East, north of 2100 South.  He further stated that his personal health has suffered due to increased pollution and stress, resulting in his suffering over nine heart attacks.  Finally, he stated that prior to the business expansion, his wife had been involved in astronomy, but could no longer pursue that due to the night lighting and increased pollution.

Mayor Becker apologized for the hardships Mr. McDonough has experienced. He stated that it was never the intent of the city or Sugar House to impact an individual’s life in a negative manner. He stated he can look into the issues and try to be of some assistance in resolving them.

   iv.  Trustee Sheila O’Driscoll, representing the Dilworth neighbor-hood, expressed her frustration, on behalf of residents, in not being able to determine who to contact regarding neighborhood issues.

Mayor Becker responded that Hank Welch was the individual to contact. If he could not assist her, he could direct her to the appropriate individual who could. In response to whether or not the Planning Commission could go to a Community Council meeting, he said they should not, the issues should be presented to them for review.

Trustee O’Driscoll also expressed frustration about increased condominium construction in the area causing increased traffic, and again expressed frustration about the process, stating that if residents/constituents were not to go to the Planning Commission directly and the City Council member may have a conflict of interest, it creates a bureaucratic nightmare for residents.

   v.  SHCC Chair Grace Sperry asked about the Parley’s Historic recreation area, citing SHCC recent review of the Riparian Overlay, indicating that she did not understand the lack of action on the part of the city, particularly as water pollution may be a problem.

Mayor Becker responded that the area is not considered part of the watershed. However, he did acknowledge the problems that occur with multiple use of the area, e.g., dog walkers, runners, bikers, etc. He also stated that the historic area includes both city and county property creating jurisdictional problems as well. He acknowledged that the area problems need more review, indicating that the Planning Commission may be the appropriate agency to do so.

   vi.  SHCC resident Jeff Lavar indicated he resides on Hollywood Avenue and 9th East, stating that something must be done regarding the traffic problems in the area.

Mayor Becker acknowledged the frustration that traffic issues can create and discussed a similar situation that arose in the Capital Hill area, where a transportation committee was formed with input from residents, UDOT, and others that later included avenues residents since there would be an impact on them as well. As a result, several measures were implemented including more four way stops, road barriers, no left turns into residential areas, and speed bumps, although most people did not want those. After implementing various measures, traffic was reduced by 20%. He suggested working with both the City Council member as well as the State Legislative representative in case UDOT needed to be involved.

  vii.  Referring back to the issue of the city/county conflict in the Parley’s Historic Nature area, Trustee Rawlins Young suggested annexing the county property in order to resolve the city/county ownership issue.

John Spencer from the Mayor’s office indicted that to some extent this had already been done with a trade of Tanner Park property on the border of Sugar House. The Mayor indicated that it was an issue warranting further review.

3. Minutes from the July 2 meeting were approved. 4. Treasurer Dolores Donohoo stated that the current balance for the SHCC checking account is $4,944.01. However, she relayed a situation surrounding the recent receipt of two different bank statements with two different account numbers (both with SHCC as the account name) together totaling the $4,944.01 balance. After some research, bank officials indicated that a second account had been opened with no input or signature by SHCC., and the bank could not explain why. At Treasurer Donohoo’s request, the bank combined the funds into one account with the original account number.

   a.  Trustee Michael Kavanagh asked the name of the bank, to which Treasurer Donohoo
responded Wells Fargo, Albertson’s at 2300 East and 2100 South Branch.  Trustee Kavanagh suggested using Bee Hive Credit Union, located a block down the street on 2100 South and 2000 East.
b.  Trustee Cabot Nelson moved that the Treasurer Donohoo request a written explanation
from the bank, postponing any action until such explanation was received and reviewed.  The motion was seconded and approved.

5. Chair Grace Sperry stated she had no report to present at this meeting. 6. Representatives from CLR coordinating Wal-Mart’s Parley’s Way K-Mart redevelopment, including spokespersons Troy Heraldson and Melanie ? as well as the architect working on the design for a new building, were allotted five minutes instead of the 15 they were to have, due to a scheduling error. They will be rescheduled for fifteen minutes at the September meeting.

   a.  According to Melanie an issues only meeting was held on June 26 at which time public input was gathered, further stating that another public input meeting will be held in September after which a final decision will be made on the rezoning request.
b.In response to comments, Mr. Heraldson reiterated that a legal ruling does make it possible for Wal-Mart to utilize the current K-Mart building as a superstore; the conditional rezoning request is for the purpose of a new building versus a remodel, and in response to earlier suppositions about the request, it has indeed been submitted.  He also stated that K-Mart’s lease expires in November, but they (K-Mart) have requested an extension allowing them to remain until the end of the holiday period.  Wal-Mart anticipates the building to be vacated some time in January, 2009.
c.  Trustee/Treasurer Donohoo asked for clarification regarding the parking lot, i.e., will Wal-Mart still repave, stripe, and landscape without the remodel?  Mr. Heraldson responded that Wal-Mart anticipates higher costs for a remodel and due to budget constraints, it may not be possible to implement the parking lot changes including landscaping, lighting, reconfiguration, and pedestrian walk-ways.  They have focused on new construction, and will not seriously address remodel issues and costs unless the rezoning request is denied.
d.  Hank Welch indicated that comments could be directed to Nick Britton, Planning Commission.

7. Presentations and Petitions Before the Board of Trustees

   a.  Land Use and Zoning Petitions – Dennis Glass requested a conditional rezoning to facilitate use of parking to the rear of property at 1055 East 2100 South, part of a parcel owned by Mr. Glass previously used for retail purposes, but now to be used as a restaurant.  In response to whether or not there will be more impact on the lot, Mr. Glass responded that he hopes the business will be successful, but doesn’t know how to respond.  The existing parking has served the entire parcel up to now, the only issue is the change in use.  He was also asked about overflow parking that would impact traffic to which he responded in a similar manner, i.e., that he cannot respond.  There was a motion to approve by Trustee Judi Short.  However, a question arose regarding bike racks and Trustee Kavanagh indicated there was  possible funding from UDOT for this purpose.  Mr. Glass responded that he had already purchased bike racks in anticipation of need.  Overflow traffic issues again arose, and Trustee Short suggested that if that occurred in the future, that they consider a barricade that would block traffic from entering Hollywood Avenue, but which could be moved by the Fire Department should emergency access be required.  Trustee Nelson called for a vote resulting in 3 opposed and 8 for, with Trustee Derek Payne to provide comments to the Planning Commission for review.
b.  Parks and Open Space – Trustee Maggie Shaw discussed signage issues at Hillcrest Park and CIP issues.      c.  Sugar House Merchants Association – Trustee Barbara Green reported that measures were being implemented to resolve business access issues created by construction and freeway closures.  TV spots were to be created that would cite alternative access routes for customers.  Trustee Green also responded to earlier comments regarding increased traffic, reminding everyone that a few years back, Sugar House was deteriorating, citing the boarded up Keith O’Brien’s Store, and stating that increased business brought increased traffic.    d.  4th of July Recap – Trustee David Mulder reported that the 4th of July was very successful for SHCC, netting them $140.00 from sales of bottled water.     e.  Councilman Soren Simonsen did not attend the meeting as previously scheduled.

8. Other Business

   a.  A list of those running for office was gathered; elections to be conducted at a subsequent meeting.    b.  A new trustee petition was received for Elaine Brown, Dilworth Neighborhood.  Ms. Brown was invited to discuss her interest in joining SHCC which she indicated to be an interest in serving the community and in ensuring that residents had opportunity for input and feedback.  Towards that end she was distributing flyers outlining the purpose of SHCC and her contact information.  She further stated her long term residency and love of the Sugar House area as additional reasons for wanting to join.  There were no objections to her petition and she was unanimously approved.
Landon Clark