Through the Kaysville Politics Facebook Page, Seth Faerber has initiated an intermittent Q&A regarding city matters. As I feel that communication is vital to the success of government, I have decided to participate. But since some members of our community are not active on Facebook, I also want to copy my relies here.
“Over the next few months I would like to make a few posts that bring up some of the agenda items that are brought before the Planning Commission and City Council. I don’t want to bring up every agenda item but I will try to highlight the items that get the most discussion. Because we have positions open as Mayor and two for City Council, I would be interested in seeing the viewpoints of those that are running. Obviously nobody is obligated to participate. I will likely …try to share some of these posts onto the Kaysville Facebook page so a broader group of citizens can see how those running would address various, real examples that come before the City.
I believe as voters we should be better informed on the issues before the city and we should be better informed on how our potential elected officials would vote / handle those agenda items.
With this in mind, agenda item #10 of the 5/25/17 Planning Commission meeting had a lot of discussion / citizen input. Time stamp of public hearing Part 1 39:50-3:37:00. Yes, it took nearly 3 hours! This item will be going to the City Council for a vote in the next Council meeting unless they choose to place it on a later agenda.
10. Public hearing and request to rezone 1.53 acres of property at approximately 1450 South Burton Lane from R-1-20 (Single Family Residential) to the LI (Light Industrial) zoning district
Anyone, not just those running are welcome to voice their opinions.
What would the recommendation / vote be, and why?”
I feel like this situation is a rock and a hard place (which seems like a fitting metaphor considering the use that is being proposed). In my time living in Kaysville I have seen over and over again that this is a trust driven community. Because of this, our city government has been slow in keeping pace with the worlds evolution to a contract based existence. But I think that over the last year we have been seeing more and more how we need to adapt and change. I think Mr. Puffer is caught in the middle of this evolution. He originally engaged in buying this property when a good faith mentality would be enough. But he did not seek the necessary permits at that time and as we now fast forward 9 months, the outlook on these types of situations is different. To be honest, this is something that everyone needs to be aware of in government. Things can and do change based on who is leading the charge. So if you have a vision for what you would eventually like to see happen, get the permits up front.
Onto the real question. Should Mr. Puffer be denied the light industrial permit now even though he had a good will agreement that seemed sufficient a year ago? In answering this I would ask two questions. Do we have clear rules in place? And are we enforcing those clear rules? To both of these, I would say, “No”. The line between residential and light industrial is not clearly defined. However, in ordinances that are clearly defined (e.g. permits for having chickens on a property) we are still not enforcing violations across the board. Because of these two things, I do not think it would be appropriate for the city to deny the request for rezone. I would, however, strongly push for further definition in these policies and wider enforcement so that this kind of issue does not persist.
I know that this answer might not be pleasing to the neighbors. I would feel the same way if I were in their shoes. I think the one positive is that Mr. Puffer seems genuinely interested in keeping his good name and in trying to make allowances as needed. I believe that if these parties can come together in open conversation, amicable solutions can be found.
Last, in watching the public hearing, the most compelling argument that I heard was regarding the safety on Burton Lane, most specifically, at the rail trail crossing. As someone who rides this trail with my kids, I have this exact concern. After watching the commission meeting I email Andy Thompson about finding a resolution that would make this route safer. I would love to see a crosswalk button installed on either side of the walk that would signal a flashing sign to notify oncoming cars that there are pedestrians crossing. I think this would be a great cause for the Endeavor Elementary School Community Council to rally behind and petition the city to have implemented.