Hurricane City Council addresses affordable housing concerns

HURRICANE – The main items of discussion and approval at Thursday’s Hurricane City Council meeting were an affordable housing plan, an approval of an amended subdivision plat, and an appeal of an underage alcohol sale citation.

Affordable Housing Plan

Levi Roberts, associate planner with the Five County Association of Governments, made a presentation to the Council about a city affordable housing plan, which is required by the state. Roberts defined affordable housing as housing that does not exceed 30 percent of a household budget.

He presented the results of a survey recently completed through city power bills. According to the majority of the survey’s 868 respondents, Hurricane should have more multi-family housing units distributed throughout the community and should encourage the use of accessory units, such as casitas and mother-in-law suites, as rentals.

Roberts’ presentation noted the following about Hurricane’s current housing climate:

  • impact fees sometimes make it cost prohibitive to develop affordable housing
  • the current rental market is tight
  • there is a shortage of affordable real estate

To increase affordable housing opportunities in Hurricane, Roberts recommended:

  • higher density zoning
  • down-payment assistance programs
  • mutual self-help programs
  • developer incentives for affordable housing
  • consideration of a sliding scale impact fee structure

The council approved Roberts’s recommendations as amendments to the Hurricane City General Plan, changing the affordable housing section and adopting an appendix. City Attorney Fay Reber emphasized that the adoption did not mean the city was passing an ordinance and the document will be amended.

Amended plat for The Park subdivision

Attorney Russell Gallian, representing The Park subdivision, located just north of the city ballfields at approximately 750 North and 200 West, came to gain approval of an amended and extended plat. The previously amended plat was never filed, then was lost and recently property boundaries have come into question, causing headaches for homeowners and potential buyers, especially in securing financing. Several residents of the subdivision came to voice their concerns.

Gallian assured residents that the developer is taking responsibility and will pay the costs to resolve the issues.

“We want to meet with anybody to get the facts out there,” Gallian said.

Mayor John Bramall said that time is of the essence on the issue and that he would like to correct it as soon as possible. He wants to see properly lines corrected to reflect how houses have currently been built.

Councilman Darin Larson, himself an agent of a lender in his position as manager of Southern Utah State Bank’s Hurricane branch, said that local lenders, like his institution, usually don’t have problems lending in situations such as this, when property lines are in question, but big national banks do. He said it might take “quiet title,” a legal action to settle property disputes, to ensure everything is straightened out.

“You may lose an inch, but they won’t tear anything down,” Larson assured property owners in attendance.

The council ultimately unanimously approved the amended and extended plat and allow for the issuance of building permits on lots in the subdivision, which are now being recorded correctly, to continue.

Underage alcohol citation appeal

The council heard a plea from William Wilkey, Sand Hollow Resort Golf Course General Manager, to appeal an administrative citation for selling alcohol to an underage drinker on November 22, its third citation this year.

Wilkey and his staff assured the council they have safeguards in place to prevent sales of alcohol to minors, such as an upgraded point-of-sale system in which a server must enter the date of birth appearing on a patron’s driver license for a sale to be completed.

“We don’t want to even come close to another citation,” Wilkey said.

Ultimately the council voted to require Wilkey to pay the $500 fine for the citation and to not revoke the golf course’s license to sell alcohol but would suspend the license if a fourth citation was received. The council later approved the renewal of all beer licenses currently up for renewal.

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  • Justme..... December 20, 2014 at 12:17 am

    If Hurricane is going to add more multi-unit housing to town then they will likely have to add more law enforcement. More people, more crime.We seem to be the mecca for recently paroled sex offenders, who need to maintain local housing and have no where to go. If I had my way, they would simply bulldoze Robert’s Roost and Brentwood trailer parks. That concession might add balance, as well as reset the local population. My bias is not about poverty, this is about crime. If you look at arrest reports a huge percentage of the Hurricane bookings come out of those two areas. Being so far off the freeway, with no public transportation in place, lends itself to lower rents. That seems to attract a demographic that does not require public transportation or a car. There is a daily parade of the same people on State Street, which makes locals nervous. State managed low-income housing requires a background check. Now that I own a home I am ALL ABOUT background checks. ***waiting for the trolls to begin inane responses***

    • Joe Smith December 20, 2014 at 3:49 pm

      If you don’t like it I suggest you leave.

      • Justme..... December 21, 2014 at 5:00 am

        I love it. My family has about $600k in property in that town. We don’t want it to become blighted and marginalized because someone without an investment judges the community for wanting to remain owner-occupied and safe.

  • IN THE GAME December 20, 2014 at 8:59 pm

    Put the low income housing in La Verkin, it’s already the armpit of the world.

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