Town Council repeals franchise ban, implements mandatory recycling

Mayor Stan Smith speaks at a Town Council meeting, Springdale, Utah, August 12, 2015 | Photo by Nataly Burdick, St. George News

SPRINGDALE – The Springdale Town Council met Wednesday to approve a change to town code that would remove the town ban on formula, or franchise, ordinances within Springdale and also approved a mandatory recycling program for the town.

A Subway sign in the window of Izzy Poco, which now might be able to open, Springdale, Utah, July 17, 2015 | Photo by Nataly Burdick, St. George News
A Subway sign in the window of Izzy Poco, which now might be able to open, Springdale, Utah, July 17, 2015 | Photo by Nataly Burdick, St. George News

Formula ordinance repeal

The change to the formula ordinance comes after years of fighting a lawsuit against Izzy Poco LLC, a locally owned company that was prevented from opening a Subway restaurant in town due to an ordinance prohibiting formula, or franchise, enterprises.

Izzy Poco’s owners sued the town, arguing that the ordinance was unconstitutional. The case was finally settled in July after the town’s insurance carrier threatened to drop the town from coverage if it did not settle the case.

The settlement included a payout of about $780,000, and the town’s agreement to repeal the formula restaurant ordinance. The repeal was effected by vote at Wednesday’s meeting after a requisite public hearing.

While many Springdale residents have loudly opposed the ordinance change, only one person spoke up during the public hearing. Resident Tyler Young asked the council to make sure they had exhausted their insurance company options to make sure there isn’t another company that might be better for the town that would not oppose the ordinance.

Mayor Stan Smith said the council has researched other insurers and decided that Utah Local Governments Trust is the best choice as far as price and coverage.

The mayor also referred those present to a letter he had sent out Tuesday through the town clerk, explaining more in-depth the decision the council made to repeal the ordinance. In it, he explained some of the legal processes the council went through during litigation and why they chose to settle.

While the insurance company did have a hand in their settlement decision, Smith wrote, they also found similar cases in other parts of the country where ordinances banning franchises had been overturned. Feeling they did not have a strong enough case, they decided to settle, but, Smith wrote, the council is still looking into ways to preserve the small-town atmosphere of Springdale.

Moratorium and drive-thru discussion

The council discussed the possibility of putting a moratorium on some new development while they figure out possible changes to the town code.

Councilman Mark Chambers suggested the town ban all drive-thru, drive-in and drive-up businesses, expanding it from the ban they have on restaurants now. He also wondered about possibly implementing a moratorium on affected new development, he said.

A moratorium would not be a good option for Springdale, Town Manager Rick Wixom said, because the town would be vulnerable to another lawsuit if they placed a moratorium on too narrow a type of development. There is not enough reason to stop a large amount of or all new development, he said.

Councilman Bill Weyher said he thought it was important to discuss the options, however, to let the townspeople know those options.

In fact, townspeople have expressed concerns by writing a letter to the council asking them to put a moratorium on development following the decision to settle with Izzy Poco. But a moratorium now would not stop Izzy Poco’s ability to continue developing the business, Wixom said. Such a  moratorium would only affect new businesses; Izzy Poco already has its application on file.

The Town Council decided not to move forward on a moratorium, but voted to ask the Planning Commission about drafting a possible new ordinance relative to drive-thru businesses.

Curbside recycling

The council voted to pass an ordinance implementing mandatory curbside recycling in Springdale.

Similar to Hurricane’s decision to make the program mandatory for all households in the municipality, the council did not want to make the town pay for administrative fees to keep track of who is in or out of the recycling program if the town had chosen an “opt-out” program.

The Town Council was pretty much in agreement, although Councilman Mike Alltucker asked Washington County Solid Waste Board attorney Fay Reber to clarify information about how different price scales would work.

Currently, the price per household per month would be $3.62 once the program is implemented, Reber said. But if 70 percent of residents in participating municipalities across the county opt in, the price for both mandatory and optional service would be reduced to $2.94 across the board.

Those costs reflect an overall average for all towns in the program, collectively, Reber said. So, because some municipalities like Hurricane and Springdale will have 100 percent participation, others, such as St. George, might only need about 50 percent participation for the entire county to hit the 70 percent threshold.

The Solid Waste District will not count those that have chosen not to participate at all, such as Apple Valley and New Harmony, Reber said.

The county will leave the binnies out for glass as long as there is a need and they are being used. Glass is not accepted in the curbside recycling bins.

Other business

The council approved an increase in vacation accrual for town employees from 40 hours to 120 hours per year. It also changed the accrual period from employee anniversary dates to calendar year for everyone, simplifying the town’s accounting. Employees will be given to Dec. 31, 2016, to transition and utilize vacation accruals before excess hours are converted to sick leave accrual; sick leave cannot be paid out in cash at termination of employment.

The council also approved some exemptions to a parking ordinance that would turn areas within 30 feet of a driveway or side street meeting up with state Route 9 into no parking zones.

Filing period for write-in candidacy for the upcoming Town Council election is currently open, Town Clerk Darci Carlson said. Those who wish to file for candidacy may do so at the Town Hall.

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6 Comments

  • laytonian August 14, 2015 at 9:36 am

    Ha on this sandwich shop WANTING to be a Subway. It’s a failing company, what with poor food …
    NOW they can take their $780,00 and move on….and open a non-franchise better sandwich shop. Win-win for them.
    Ed. ellipsis

    • Dexter August 14, 2015 at 2:03 pm

      Ha ha you got edited. LOL.!

      • laytonian August 14, 2015 at 7:38 pm

        Yeah, I pointed out facts from another news story about Jared.

  • Sapphire August 14, 2015 at 11:41 am

    Is this for real? Did I misunderstand something? The City of Springdale spent $788,000 and years fighting a little Subway sandwich shop being allowed in that obscure building by the park entrance? With all the IMPORTANT things that need to be dealt with, their insurer had to force them to use common sense? What a waste of money that could have been used for good. I know seniors who could use some food, children who could use school supplies, sick people who could use medical care. Grow up Springdale tourist trap!

    • DRT August 14, 2015 at 1:01 pm

      Yes, it is for real. Due to the number of local business owners who do not want to have to deal with the competition from big chains. I’d like to know which restaurants “Resident Tyler Young” owns! If he is afraid of the competition from a Subway, I wouldn’t want to eat at his place anyway. . .

      • Mike August 14, 2015 at 7:11 pm

        If it’s the same Tyler I know, he doesn’t own a restaurant. He is a very intelligent college student. His family has owned a small business in town for decades (not a restaurant).
        It seems to me, opposition does not only come from business owners but from residents who like the small town charm, even with the millions of visitors.

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