REGULAR PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING
Thursday, January 25, 2007 7:00 p.m.
Public Safety Building
3925 W Cedar Hills Drive, Cedar Hills, Utah
Present: Steve Kroes, Chair, Presiding
Commission Members: Donald Steele, H.R. Brown, Carl Volden, Cliff Chandler
Konrad Hildebrandt, City Manager
Kim Holindrake, City Recorder
David Bunker, City Engineer
Rodney Despain, City Planner (7:09 p.m.)
Courtney Hammond, City Meeting Transcriber
Others: Nathen Lunstad, Nancy Steele, Burt Guymon, Karen Guymon, Melissa Willie, Preston Stinger, Wendy Gage, Tamsen Boley, David Payne, Annette Payne, Roxy Ogden, Robert Ogden, Gary Hilton, Russ Fotheringham, Kurt Seamons, Rick White, Tod Bolty, Andy Gibbons, Teri Wiles, Jim Ferry, Tom Erickson, Steve Lee, Chrissom Maddox, Steve King, Jim Chenney, Connie Chenney, Brad Orton, John Hart, Jim Perry, Gary Maxwell, Steve Ruf, Joel Wright
1. This meeting of the Planning Commission of the City of Cedar Hills, having been posted throughout the City and the press notified, was called to order at 7:06 p.m. by C. Steele, acting Vice Chair.
2. Swearing in of New Planning commission Members (7:07 p.m.)
Kim Holindrake swore in Cliff Chandler as a Planning Commission Member.
3. Appointment of Planning Commission Chair and Vice Chair (7:10 p.m.)
MOTION: C. Chandler - To appoint Steve Kroes as chair of the Planning Commission and to appoint Carl Volden as vice chair of the Planning Commission. Seconded by C. Brown.
Aye - H. R. Brown
Carl Volden Motion passes.
4. Proposed Preliminary Plan for Wal-Mart (7:12 p.m.)
See handouts. Shell MacPherson, Wal-Mart representative, gave a presentation on their proposal. Wal-Mart has listened to the community and has responded with a smaller project. It will be a community store that includes grocery, a garden center, and merchandise. There is no tire/lube facility. This is not a regional store; it is designed to serve the local community. The proposed site has 591 parking stalls. The northeast corner will design and construct a storm water detention area, which will be deeded to the City as a park. There are decorative low-level, 25-foot lights. The front plaza is larger than typical and will have raised landscape planters with benches, trees, and decorative concrete. There is bermed landscaping along Cedar Hills Drive. The north side is densely landscaped with a mix of conifers and deciduous trees. All trees are proposed 3-inch caliber, 12-14 feet at planting. The site features three additional outlots that will be developed under a separate application. The community store design has its own architectural signature. The design team has worked to comply with design guidelines for a colonial design. It is unique to the community with a varying roof height, cornices, slate style roofing, faux second story windows, and decorative columns. There will be outdoor speakers at the garden center. They can be volume controlled and regulated for hours. The view from North Redwood will be obscured by an outlot, the detention park, and a concrete panel wall with columnar trees. The proposed truck route is from 4800 West and along the north of the store. There will be a truck roundabout so that they leave by the same route. The trucks back into the loading bays and are gasket sealed. The trucks are automatically shut down three minutes after the parking break is set. It is energy efficient and also helps with noise reduction. There are some sustainable energy designs. The plan incorporates energy efficient techniques including white roofs, automatic daylight dimming, LED lighting, and ozone-friendly refrigerants. There are two public entrances into the building–at the main entrance and the garden center.
Public Hearing Comments:
Robert Ogden: A recent article in the Salt Lake Tribune made it sound like this project should be a slam dunk. This raised serious concerns. I am confident that won’t happen. I believe the proposal differs little from the proposal three years ago. I will admit to some improvement. Before it was way, way too big; now it is too big. It is still to close to the neighbors. Little attention has been given to that element. There are public safety issues. The very size raises concern in my mind to economics. The Design Guidelines state, “Land Development shall be sensitive to adjacent single-family housing.” The City Code requires it to be “compatible with that of surrounding residential environment.” I submit these requirements have not been sufficiently addressed. I am a resident most directly affected by this proposal.
Melissa Willie: I am excited that Wal-mart is back, and pleased to see they are coming back with something different. The opportunities for the City are great such as employment and a tax base to provide other services for residents. I see major changes on Cedar Hills Drive. That is the side our residents will see. The roll-up doors are not aesthetically appealing. I would like to see the building smaller. I understand that the perfect little country store is not going to be possible for us. I am supportive of the idea with changes.
Teri Lynn Wiles: I was here when they were here before. I am glad they came back. There are some concerns about the size. I spend 95 percent of my discretionary income at Wal-Mart. My husband works at Wal-Mart. I know more about the company than last time. I know that they do take care of the lot because my husband does it. He gets treated well. I was surprised because we didn’t know all the stuff they do for employees. I am glad to see that the trucks will be off of Cedar Hills Drive so that the kids walking back and forth aren’t in danger. I understand the size concerns. I am excited they are back. Maybe my son will have a job that he can walk too. I am glad to see somebody with a store that I can shop at. It will be nice to have Wal-Mart here, if they are here, to be able to keep my discretionary income here. I think more trees along Cedar Hills Drive are needed.
Gary Hilton: I appreciate the opportunity to express opinions. First of all, I like Wal-Mart. I shop there; it is a nice store. I appreciate all that has been done to make it attractive. I am concerned with size. The site plan showed a grocery store on the far west side. This deviates from the site plan and I feel betrayed by that. I understand that the guidelines call for a 75,000 square-foot building. This calls for more. I wonder why we have to super size things. I am in favor of Wal-Mart like the one in Draper. I would be in favor of that. I would refer you to the Decisions survey. Only 17% favored a large department store. Let’s listen to the public. Be careful about commercial development. Find a way to have commercial development without compromising charm.
Todd Boley: I am in favor of a Wal-Mart that is a little bit smaller than the one we have or the one that has been presented. I am concerned about the traffic. I am concerned about the traffic that is going to be on Redwood Drive, Cedar Hills Drive and Cottonwood. I am concerned about the traffic there. I am concerned about that and the traffic and I think you should consider that and how that will affect the overall City. I don’t know that a smaller business will change that much.
Nathan Lundstad: I am the Director of Engineering with Highland City. My discussion is the opinion and review of Highland City. 4800 West is a shared road between Highland and Cedar Hills. It is the opinion of Highland City that the access onto 4800 West north of the light (points 1 and 2 in traffic study) should be a right turn only in and out because of the high school across the street. I encourage the Commission to reevaluate the traffic study to eliminate conflict points with traffic turning left out of the parking lot. We realize that the traffic study was conducted with peak traffic after high school let out. The real peak is in the morning and afternoon. Not to get too technical but the level of service over all is low, but when you factor in the level during peak hours it is a worse case scenario. The high school students are inexperienced. Another concern too is that there is only one access point. With the congestion and inexperienced drivers, it is a real safety issue and visibility is reduced.
Kent Seamons: There are many good things about the proposal. The things that concern me are size. I read the city guidelines. It pushes the upper limits of what most people planned. Naturally this concerns citizens. By my estimations this building is 80% of the size of the last building proposal. I think many residents don’t appreciate how big it will be. I would love it if Wal-Mart could stake out the building. Residents could walk around it so they could see how it lays out. I would love to see more view from Redwood. Other concerns I have are from the noise with the truck route and compressors. I would hope that Wal-Mart and the City would do all it could do to mitigate those elements near homes.
Jim Ferry: While I don’t live near the proposed site, I have concerns about it. When I read the press release, I was encouraged and excited. When I saw the plans, I was discouraged. It is more like 132,000 square feet including the awning and garden center. To me that seems awful large. The average Wal-Mart discount store is only 102,000 square feet. The supercenter is 187,000. There are supercenters as small as 99,000 square feet. There is one in Salt Lake City. I would be in favor of something along those lines. I realize this is to approve or disapprove. My concerns are that the plan that the citizens were given show a truck ingress and egress along Cedar Hills Drive. I hope it was removed. My other concern is traffic.
Steve King: I live in Highland. I work for the City of Highland. I am here as a concerned father of a student at Lone Peak. My concern is simply traffic. 4800 West is scheduled to become an alternate route. It will further impact traffic. As I look at site plans, my concern is the ingress and egress off of 4800 West. Also the size of the project. The number of trips makes it a poor fit for the site. I understand the struggle for development. I would hope you give due consideration for those two access points.
Steve Lee: I thank those that have expressed concern, especially those from Highland. This is not a Highland/Cedar Hills issue. I hope we would extend the same degree, the same good will, as they would to us. If I had it my way, I would be willing to pay for a park. The developer has certain rights. It seems from my position that Wal-Mart may be the only hope we have. I don’t know that there would be anyone else willing to take it. There is a fear that if Wal-Mart doesn’t come in, it may not happen. Size is an issue, and if it can be negotiated. It would be nicer if the coinage were grey. I have never seen a Wal-Mart landscaped so well. Three-inch caliber trees are great but prone to disease.
Tom Gleason: I want to thank Wal-Mart for coming back and allowing us the opportunity to entertain their proposal. I welcome all the input we have had from residents and nonresidents. I echo sentiment about working with neighbors. However, we do decide how to precede on this. But I also want to say that as we look at traffic, I know that is a concern. What is the point where it is not worth having a grocery store here? Is this the size we need? I encourage the City to do the very best to get the project done in our City. There are people that really do want to have the services here in our City. I am excited that the services can be consolidated in one place. I can get it in our backyard.
Wesley Smith: I want to preface my comments that this is personal to a lot of people but it is not a personal issue. Wal-Mart is superb as an economic revenue generator. There is no one better at it. There are significant side effects. One is traffic. That is the goal of Wal-Mart to generate traffic. There is a place for that in communities; it is not a good fit for our community. A great fit for American Fork. I also think that there are folks that support it for and economic reasons. When we do that, we can get to the heart of it. There are more options than just one store.
Terry Boulter: I too would like to thank Wal-Mart for returning to the table and the City Council and City planners for making this possible. Over the last three years we have seen the big pile of dirt to plow and mow. I am confident in the Planning Commission and the City Council to negotiate with Wal-Mart in good faith and I would hope they would be receptive to suggestions made tonight. There have been some very good ones. I hope there is some fair negotiations. I would cast my vote to move forward.
Steve Mastin: I am grateful for the opportunity to voice my opinion. I am grateful for the opportunity to have commercial development in Cedar Hills. I don’t think there will ever be a perfect plan. I ask that you take this into consideration what this plan would enable us to have. Move ahead with development. It has been delayed for many years. I want my money to stay in Cedar Hills. I give it to Highland, American Fork, and Lindon. I am anxious to have more than a grocery store. If you look at the Decisions 2006 open-ended comments, many site that they do want commercial development. Many site that they do want Wal-Mart.
Wendy Gage: I am very concerned that I would have a Wal-Mart supercenter. I have two Wal-Marts within 10 minutes. Do I really need one 10 seconds away? I did not move here for a glowing Wal-Mart view. That is not an attractive landmark. A Wal-Mart 10-years old doesn’t look nice. Renters can’t stand it and you’ll have crappy renters. It’s not only about the safety of little ones traveling to the elementary school or in the back alley getting into trouble. If the golf course is killing Cedar Hills, why can’t they build a Wal-Mart on it? I don’t care how many trees are planted. I did not move here for a Wal-Mart view.
Rick White: We moved here two years ago after a lot of excitement happened. I had the opportunity to serve in Washington City. We dealt with a Wal-Mart proposal. We did research. Wal-Mart has a policy of allowing RV’s to park overnight. If there was a rise in petty crime it came with that. We got Wal-Mart to agree to not allow that. At first it was difficult to get compliance. Once Wal-Mart enforced it, it has been smooth riding. There has been no noticeable crime. We talk about putting other stores out of business. It has attracted other stores. It has been a plus for Washington City.
Ken Bacon: I was wondering where the launch pad for the 24th of July fireworks would be. This proposal is too big, too boxy, too red and too close to the homes. There are too many 90 degree angles on the building. That is the reason the term big box came up. If we can angle it with steps, it would improve the look a whole lot. Match the color of the office buildings across the street instead of too red. The size has been addressed. It is too close to neighbors.
Paul Shumway: Thank you Wal-Mart for coming. If we are going to get a store, Wal-Mart would be the one to get. Thank you for the landscaping. I encourage the Planning Commission to consider things that have been said tonight. Wal-Mart needs to be smaller, it needs to be quiet, and have reduced hours especially on Sunday. One of the articles talked about employment on Sunday. The policy in American Fork is that if you don’t work on Sunday, you don’t work there.
Doug Whitehead: I have been waiting for commerce to come. I hoped for Wal-Mart to come. It wouldn’t help if it were on the golf course. I have three children that would like to work.
Nancy Steele: I applaud the City for getting Wal-Mart back. I have lived in much bigger cities than Cedar Hills. I have seen really big box stores. The landscaping is great. There is no landscaping at the American Fork or Lindon stores. I have concern that you don’t have enough handicap parking. The parking needs to be centrally located. I have a concern about how high the lights are. Are these lights going to be hooded? Can they be smaller? I looked at a Safeway store in Las Vegas; they had a hooded light about 12 feet high. It was very nice. They had nice berms. You can still get some coverage with hooded lights. I hope we can move forward with this.
5. Approval of Minutes from the November 30, 2006, Regular Planning Commission Meeting (8:28 p.m.)
MOTION: C. Chandler - To approve the minutes. Second by C. Steele.
Aye - H. R. Brown
Carl Volden Motion passes.
6. Assignment of Member to the Parks and Trails Committee (8:29 p.m.)
Cliff Chandler volunteered to take the assignment to the Parks and Trails Committee
MOTION: C. Volden - To appoint Cliff Chandler as the Planning Commission representative to the Parks and Trails Committee. Second by C. Brown.
Aye - H. R. Brown
Carl Volden Motion passes.
7. Review/Recommendation on Concept/Preliminary for Commercial Development - Wal-Mart (8:31 p.m.)
See handouts. Rodney Despain reviewed the process for approval, which is the same as an amendment to the zoning ordinance. It requires a hearing before the Planning Commission, a recommendation from the Planning Commission, and approval by the City Council. The City Code also requires that the City Council have a public hearing on the preliminary plan. The potential actions are to recommend it, recommend it with modification or to table it. The SC-1 Zone allows for planned commercial projects. The criteria for the SC-1 Zone talks about a harmonious grouping as what would be preferred. This project looks at a site plan and potential subdivision. When there is a project with multiple ownerships, there needs to be some form of association. The design is regulated by the Design Guidelines. In the past, the Planning Commission has addressed four documents: layout, landscape plan, building elevations and signage. A recommendation needs to be based on those documents. Another document that may come into play is the lighting plan. The site plan and subdivision approval can be piggybacked together. There have been concerns expressed about traffic. In the past there have been efforts by the City to attach other outlets to 4800 West for traffic purposes. They have been rejected by Highland. The result is that all traffic generated by Cedar Hills passes on Cedar Hills Drive and Harvey Boulevard. That has concentrated Cedar Hills traffic to Cedar Hills Drive. Wal-Mart will enter into agreements on certain items, for instance pallet storage facilities and conics containers.
David Bunker stated that several areas are looked at from an engineering standpoint. Preliminary reports were submitted, including drainage analysis, traffic impact study, landscape plan, lighting plan, site improvements, and building elevations. There needs to be more work done on the traffic study. There is a concern about full ingress and egress on 4800 West. Peak hours and queuing need to be addressed. A noise study is in process and needs to be submitted. The landscape plan says it is about 18.8% landscaped. It is not known whether the landscaped detention basin is included in that figure. If it doesn’t meet the City’s standards, that needs to be addressed. There is a different head on the lights than what is in the Design Guidelines. It is more efficient for large lots. The street lighting is proposed to be the same as what is in the commercial area. An additional lighting analysis should be submitted to determine the amount of light that leaves the site.
PLANNING COMMISSION DISCUSSION:
• C. Steele stated that there is a need in the area for a store that provides sundry items. This one building could be replaced with five others, but you would have redundancy with trucks, etc. What services would be lost if the building size was reduced to under 100,000 square feet? Shell MacPherson stated that there are prototypes in that size range (under 100,000). The grocery element is maintained but all components are reduced. The floor area ratio would be the same with several buildings. Typically floor space takes 25% of the total land area, which is 18 acres in this case. C. Steele suggested a facade that makes it appear like several buildings. He would also like to see the color softened. Shell MacPherson addressed the traffic comments in that today there are a certain number of homes that need to travel elsewhere. Bringing the traffic element closer to home would bring the traffic closer to home. This store is situated to serve the local community; it will not be a regional draw. C. Steele stated that he has a concern with the left turns at the ingress/egress on 4800 West. Eventually 4800 West is planned to be a five-lane highway. He is strongly opposed to entrances and exits off of arterial roads. Truck traffic can be limited to non-peak hours when students are not there. The 12-foot parking lot lights with a shield are effective for lighting parking lots and not the residences. Can the height be reduced? Shell MacPherson stated that the lights are flat and designed for downcast. Wal-Mart has strict lighting criteria for safety. Reducing the height of the light fixtures increases the number of light fixtures needed.
• C. Brown stated that his vision has a Sugarhouse, walkable feel without a predominant parking lot. He feels the 132,000 square-foot building is too big for the City. He would like to lower the size of the building while maintaining viable grocery and retail shopping. He is concerned for the neighbors that back up to the site. He would like to see more of a buffer between the homes and the store. It seems like a big parking lot. He has traffic concerns as well.
• Shell MacPherson stated that there is no definitive about left-out on the center drive onto 4800 West. According to the traffic study it is permissible. Wal-Mart would like to maintain full movement from that center drive. Redwood Drive was the outer boundary for the traffic study. The study was based on data from discount superstores throughout the country. The information relative to Cedar Hills was last updated in December 2006. The traffic study also projects forward to 2030. The study estimates that westbound traffic that comes down Cedar Hills Drive at Redwood Drive would increase by 75 cars during the peak hours.
• The Commission is concerned about the left turns coming out of the project site and the left turns coming out of the high school. A light would have to be paid for by the City if a light proved to be a benefit to the project. The City and Wal-Mart might collaborate. The Design Guidelines state that the side towards the houses calls for office development. A smaller size store could push the project further west and allow for office space against the neighboring houses.
• C. Volden would like the berms higher. The proposed 3-4 feet isn’t enough. Three years ago there were to be sound insulating walls around the generators. Shell MacPherson stated that there is an 8' wall between the residential and the project. The project floor at the truck drive is six feet lower than the residential land next door. The refrigerant units are on the ground level. The noise analysis is being updated. At the property line they are proposing a decibel level of 50, which is the decibel of a normal conversation. The project falls short of the 30% landscaping. The developer compensated by making the landscaping better. C. Volden suggested meeting the landscaping percentage by reducing the number of parking stalls. He suggested that the Planning Commission consider looking at the plaza and adding some of that square footage to the landscaping requirement. Currently there is an access to the storm detention area. If the city maintains that area, the access is not needed.
• C. Chandler commended Wal-Mart for approaching the City. Is this feasible for Wal-Mart to add another store since there are several in the area? Shell MacPherson stated that there is no retailer that has a better pulse on the need and feasibility. C. Chandler would like to see the false facade look less like an entrance.
• C. Kroes stated that the elevation proposed last time was nicer, but was a different style. The Commission would like to see something more broken up than the solid expanse of a wall. Mayor McGee suggested putting a tile roof over the roll-up doors along the right elevation. C. Kroes stated that the developer can bring samples of the quick brick to try to match the other buildings in the zone. Quoining should also be grey/silver to match the other buildings. A smaller building would allow for a more park-like setting. C. Kroes asked about signage. Shell MacPherson stated that there will be low monument signage. There will be a “Welcome to Cedar Hills” sign located at the corner of 4800 West and Cedar Hills Drive. C. Kroes stated that Mountainland Association of Governments has plans to widen 4800 West to four lanes plus a bike path. That will be funded by the quarter cent sales tax and is number one on their list. Shell MacPherson stated that the development is being asked to match the right-of-way (curb to curb dimension) that is north of the project.
• C. Volden suggested recommending concept approval and holding back on the preliminary plan approval. Final negotiations can be left for preliminary. He proposes an updated traffic study that addresses turnouts on the site, an updated landscaping plan with a proposal that better meets the 30% landscaping with the suggestion to eliminate parking stalls, and a better noise study meeting 50 dpi at peak hours. He purposely did not mention the building size. He felt that the City Council mishandled the size limits when they changed the Design Guidelines because it takes away the Planning Commission’s ability to negotiate the size. Shell MacPherson said that as far as the size goes, they came to the table with as low as they wanted to go. Mayor McGee said that he feels that Wal-Mart tried to come close to the size maximum that City officials gave them. He feels it is unlikely that Wal-Mart will go smaller.
• Roy Williams, represents Phillips Edison as the property owner. Phillips Edison is an experienced developer. They had the property under contract shortly after Wal-Mart was turned down in 2003. They have been actively marketing the property. They have over 3,000 tenants in retail customer base. They were not able to procure an anchor the first time they had the contract. The anchor is the key to a development. The smaller shops follow. They let the contract expire and purchased the property later. The City is fortunate to have Wal-Mart come in to be part of the City. Phillips Edison recommended the City embrace the opportunity and give approval of the site plan. Phillips Edison will sell the Wal-Mart site to Wal-Mart and maintain ownership of the outlots.
• C. Kroes would like to push a little to get the size reduced. If that is not possible, he is willing to reconsider the current proposal. It can be approached by requesting a plan that moves the building west.
MOTION: C. Volden - To recommend concept approval for the Wal-Mart retail based on the following findings of fact: subject to an updated traffic impact study, subject to providing a noise and acoustical study with the intent of meeting the 50 dpi, and subject to an improved signage plan. Seconded by C. Steele. (10:20 p.m.)
• C. Steele stated that the Commission needs to be careful because they are not designers. The Commission knows what they like, but do not know what draws customers. Too many restrictions/stipulations may hinder the creative team. He suggested that they don’t try to reduce the size of the building. Unless the building can be cut in half, it is not worth the effort.
AMEND MOTION: C. Kroes - To suggest that they come with a new drawing that breaks up the flat surfaces of the building. Accepted by C. Volden. Seconded by C. Chandler.
• C. Brown thinks a smaller store would be noticeable in the shrinkage of the parking lot and the adding of greenery. He didn’t think Wal-Mart would go for it. Wal-Mart is crucial for the City. He feels that stability of a Wal-Mart is attractive. He would like it to be smaller.
• Rodney Despain said there are three outbuildings. He stated that there needs to be an overall subdivision plan. There is preliminary work on two of the outlots. The developers should provide an overall subdivision plan.
AMENDED MOTION: C. Volden - That Phillips Edison provide an overall development/subdivision plan of the project, including the outlots. Seconded by C. Kroes.
Aye - H. R. Brown
Carl Volden Motion passes.
Councilman Perry recommended that the Planning Commission consider meeting more frequently to get the preliminary plan approved. The Planning Commission agreed to meet as soon as Wal-Mart is ready.
8. Review/Recommendation on Wireless Telecommunications Ordinance (10:40 p.m.)
MOTION: C. Chandler - To table the proposed Wireless Telecommunications ordinance until the next regular meeting in February. Second by C. Volden.
Aye - H. R. Brown
Carl Volden Motion passes.
9. Committee Assignments and Reports (10:43 p.m.)
C. Volden will be out of town from February 14-27. He will call in for the February meeting.
C. Chandler will not be here for the February meeting.
10. This meeting was adjourned at 10:45 p.m. on a motion by C. Volden, seconded by C. Brown, and unanimously approved.
/s/ Kim E. Holindrake
Kim E. Holindrake, City Recorder
Approved by Commission:
February 22, 2007