RD’s Moab City Council Meeting Preview 2021-09-28

[Editor’s note: Both Rani Derasary and Mike Duncan have graciously agreed to let MADAR reuse their regular email updates to constituents. Despite the overlap, we are running both versions of the MCC previews. Readers can choose to read both, either or neither of the previews.]

There’s a lot to summarize, so here are details.

• Tuesday, September 28 City Council meeting – this will be a 2-part meeting: special meeting 4:00-6:00pm, followed by regular meeting at 7:00pm (weather permitting, the 4-6pm segment is planned for the Moonstone Gallery/the courtyard in front of City Hall; at 7pm look for us in theCity Council Chambers, City Hall, 217 E Center Street). You are welcome to attend any or all of this meeting in person. Please note that masks and social distancing are required inside; I’ve received no instructions for outdoors (Moonstone Gallery part), so I’d advise planning for the same there. If the 4-6pm special meeting occurs outdoors in the Moonstone Gallery I’m not certain it can be broadcast on YouTube; try tuning in to check. I’m guessing that at minimum an audio recording should be available afterward. The main meeting, beginning at 7pm should be available on the City’s YouTube channel per usual herehttps://www.youtube.com/MoabCityGovernment. You can find the 158-page packet for the September 28 meeting here: https://moabcity.org/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Agenda/_09282021-1076?packet=trueIf you prefer the 3-page agenda only, with links to packet parts, that is here: https://moabcity.org/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Agenda/_09282021-1076

Here is a breakdown of what we’ll be covering Tuesday:

Special City Council meeting – 4:00pm – 6:00pm

Page 4 of our packet explains this portion of September 28’s meetings will be held outdoors at the Moonstone Gallery (courtyard in front of City Hall), and consist of these 3 topics:

  • Workshop: Making market-based solutions accessible for sustainable cities. There are no additional pages about this workshop in our packet, but the agenda notes it will feature Erik Snyder, Drawdown Fund CEO.
  • Electric-ready building code letter of support. This is on our agenda as a briefing and possible action. Packet pages 5-8 explain: that the coalition Utah Clean Cities, and Salt Lake City, are garnering support for an application they’re making “to amend the residential 2021 International Energy Conservation Code to include electric-ready provisions;” the financial, health and other benefits of changing said code; and that the Moab City Council is being asked to approve the letter of support for the electric-ready amendments.
  • Streetlight conversion to dark sky compliant lighting (RMP). As with the prior item, this is on our agenda as a briefing and possible action. Page 9 notes that back in 2019 the City passed its “dark sky” ordinance to “minimize light pollution, glare, light trespass, and sky glow, to curtail the destruction of the nighttime visual environment.” As part of the commitments we’ve made to protect our dark skies, the City has been working with Rocky Mountain Power (RMP) to replace our current street lights (419 high-pressure sodium (HSP) lights – which don’t comply with our new lighting standards), with compliant, more energy-efficient, LED lights called LED Cobra heads. Pages 10-33 get into the costs of these lights, and their specs. Please note that the new LED lights will pay for themselves in three years due to their efficiency over the HSP ones we currently have.

Main meeting – 7:00pm 

Please note that this portion of the meeting is slated to take place in the City Council Chamber.

Citizens to be Heard (CTBH). You are welcome to come to City Hall at 7:00pm September 28 to speak in the Council Chambers in person. If you’d prefer to submit written comments for CTBH, please fill out the form found here prior to 7:00pm on September 28: https://bit.ly/citizens beheard. Please limit written comments to 400 words.

Presentations. The September 28 meeting has two presentations on the agenda:

  • Canyonlands Health Care Special Service District presentation. Please see packet pages 34-43 for slides tied to this presentation.
  • Presentation by Patricia Trap, Superintendent of Southeast Utah Group Area National Parks. FYI there are no pages in our packet to go with this presentation.

Special Event Permit Application for Grand County Family Support Center’s Trunk-or-Treat. You can read more about this item on pages 47-59, but in a nutshell, the Family Support Center would like to move their annual Halloween Trunk-or-Treat event, which they’ve held in the past at the Old Spanish Trail Arena and other venues. They are applying to hold it at Swanny Park this year, on October 30, from 2-5pm. This item is on our agenda as a briefing and possible action.

Dispersed Parking Cooperative Agreement with UDOT. Council will be briefed on this item September 28, and can vote on whether to approve the agreement. Page 60 reviews how the State approved funding in 2017 for “transportation improvements in areas with recreation and tourism activity that currently experience significant congestion.” This is often referred to as “Hotspot” funding. Moab and Grand County received some of these funds for three projects, one of which is referred to as “dispersed parking,” which would allow for the design and construction of up to 188 on-street parking stalls on what appears to me to be 10 City street blocks. There are simplified maps of the blocks in question on pages 65 and 67 of our packet. If I understand all this correctly, while most of this parking would go on streets that are already paved, a new parking lot would be added off Emma Boulevard (paid by UDOT – see p67), parking slots would be added to Maxine and Emma (paid for by UDOT), and the City would pay ($400,000) to pave those portions of Emma not already paved. I will clarify on Tuesday who is paying to pave Minnie Lee – whether that’s the City or UDOT. FYI, UDOT’s overall reimbursements for all 188 parking stalls would be up to $5,715,000. Other info on this item, including the agreement itself, a Utah Transportation Committee fact sheet on the project, and related cost estimates (including cost per parking stall), are on pages 61-76.

Transit Pilot Cooperative Agreement with UDOT. The pages for this item span from page 77 to 140. The agenda summary (p127) explains that this is similar to the previous item in that it is one of three projects the community has received State Hotspot funding for, in this case for a 5-year pilot project allowing us to develop and operate a shuttle service. My understanding is that service will begin with “on-demand microtransit” (so, say a van that you call up for a ride when you need one, rather like Lyft or Uber, but my impression is it will be free), then moving to a fixed route with regular stops in year 2 or 3 of the pilot program. The agreement Council is being asked to consider approving “establishes annual funding obligations and administrative roles between the City and UDOT” for development and operation of the shuttle service. Note that UDOT would reimburse the City for up to $1,585,000, but the City would have an ongoing financial obligation to the project.

Proposed Resolution 30-2021: a resolution approving the Lot Line Adjustment of property located at 374 W 200 S, and 396 W 200 S, Moab UT 84532. This is yet another item on our agenda as a briefing and possible action. Packet pages 141-148 explain why the applicants want to adjust the property boundary between these two parcels, and why State and City code do not require a public hearing.

Proposed Ordinance 2021-12: an ordinance amending the text of the Moab Municipal Code (MMC) to add regulation for Brewpubs, Breweries and Distilleries by amending Sections 17.06 Definitions, 17.21.020 C-2 Commercial Residential Zone, 17.24.020 C-3 Central Commercial Zone, 17.27.020 C-4 General Commercial Zone, 17.31.020 RC Resort Commercial Zone and 17.36.020 Industrial Zone. As explained on pages 149-155, the City does not currently address brewpubs, breweries and distilleries in its municipal code. On Tuesday, Council will be briefed on this item and asked to consider voting to change our code to add definitions of the terms brewpub, brewery, microbrewery and (micro)distillery. The proposed ordinance would also permit these uses in various zones. Please see pages 149-155 to get clear on what specific brewing and distilling business types are being proposed to be permitted in each of these zones: C2, C3, C4, RC, and I.

Proposed Ordinance 2021-17: an ordinance amending the City of Moab Municipal Code Title 2 Chapter 28 Purchasing Procedures. This is on our agenda as a briefing and possible action. The agenda summary on page 155 lays out a case for allowing an exception to our current procurement policy that would allow the City Manager to contract out for legal services without going through a bid process. For more information, please read the ordinance itself and the redline showing how this would change our current procurement code (pages 156-158).

Discussion regarding City Attorney replacement. There are no pages in our packet about this but presumably this will be discussion between the Council, Mayor, City Manager and Human Resources on hiring plans for a new City Attorney.

Discussion regarding City Manager recruitment process. As with the previous item, there are no pages in our packet about this, but presumably this will be discussion between the Council, Mayor, City Manager and Human Resources on hiring plans for a new City Manager.

Executive (closed) session. While this last item on our agenda will not be open to the public, I can tell you it will be a discussion of the character, professional competence, or physical or mental health of an individual or individuals. 

That’s it for our September 28 City Council meeting, except that aside from what’s listed above, the meeting will contain standard items such as: reports from the Council, Mayor and staff (this time updates from the Acting City Manager); approval of minutes (for our September 14 meeting – covered on pages 44-46 of our packet); and payment of the bills. 

This meeting summary has been so long that I’ll leave it at that for now -though there are surely other things to note! Have a good week. I’d like to express special thanks to the scientists among you who’ve enlightened our community in so many ways – this past week especially. I am so very grateful as well to all of you who continue to show compassion for – and kindness to – others in these trying times. I know we’re all tired, and then some.

Rani Derasary, Moab City Councilmember