Cedar City Council defines ‘bedroom’ for new developments, denies water use for livestock out of city limits

This Febuary 2020 file photo shows Cedar City Council members discussing ordinance revisions and water use, Cedar City, Feb. 26, 2020 | Photo by Kelsey Cooke, St George News / Cedar City News

CEDAR CITY  — During Wednesday’s Cedar City Council meeting, the council approved a definition for “bedroom” as it relates to calculating parking requirements for housing structures.

The definition was proposed in the form of an ordinance amendment to Chapter 26, Section V, related to parking requirements. The ordinance dictates the required number of parking spaces per bedroom for new developments.

City staff and City Attorney Tyler Romeril proposed the following definition of bedroom be added to the ordinance:

When determining the number of bedrooms for parking calculations only, a bedroom shall be defined as follows: any separate habitable room providing separation for sleeping purposes regardless of proposed use or designation that is a minimum of 70 square feet and a minimum of seven feet in any horizontal dimension that is not common space, a bathroom, closet, hall storage, utility space, kitchen, living room or dining rooms. Bedrooms as defined herein include habitable rooms so designated as a den, study, office, exercise room, sewing room, loft, playroom and other similar designations. In addition, an unfinished basement shall be counted as at least one additional bedroom.

Romeril explained the motivation for proposing this definition during the meeting, citing a few development plans.

“These are just a couple examples where it looks like some people are taking advantage of a deficiency in the ordinance,” he said. “As staff, we’ve seen that, and we presented what we believe is a fix to that deficiency.”

Councilman Tyler Melling said he feels despite the possibility of a deficiency in the ordinance, he would be inclined to vote against adding the definition.

“Despite the skirting of these ordinances, there is sufficient parking, but people are still parking on the street,” Melling said. “I’m inclined at this point to vote no on the revision. I do think it’s important to close this loophole, but I would like to, regardless of how the vote goes, to keep the discussion open and find more ways to make more fine-tuned our parking requirements process.”

Councilman Ron Adams said he felt the revision read well, despite it being difficult to address all possible circumstances.

Councilman Scott Phillips also expressed being in favor of the revision and proposed a motion to approve it.

“I think it’s a step in the right direction to give the staff the tools it needs to try and work through any development in an open and honest manner with developers,” Phillips said. “I do belive some of our parking calculations should be revisited, and we could look at those at another time, but for the purposes of this, I think the ordinance reads the way it should, and I appreciate staff’s work on it.”

The amendment passed 4-1.

Council denies use of city water for livestock outside city limits

A family with 10 acres of land just outside city limits near the Barn at the Meadows requested permission to tap into the city’s water supply for livestock purposes. Although there is an ordinance specifically allowing municipal water use beyond city limits specifically for livestock, the council denied this request.

Councilman Tyler Melling asked about annexing the property into the city during the Feb. 19 meeting, as it is listed in the city’s plan for annexation. Romeril said annexation would be another potential solution.

Stock image, St. George News

“Ideally, that would be the best way to do it, would be to annex, but this ordinance gives an exception where they don’t have to do that,” Romeril said.

Upon further discussion during Wednesday’s meeting, several council members found the ordinance allowing the exception for livestock to be outdated.

Councilwoman Terri Hartley expressed concerns about the ordinance itself, the current water shortage and allowing the use of city water for livestock

“In the last 30 days, we’ve denied a family from tapping into the city water that lived into the county,” she said. “So, it doesn’t really sit well with me to allow livestock to be watered when we wouldn’t let a family hook on to the pipeline for the city.”

Melling said he was inclined to approve the request for multiple reasons.

“In this case, they are very close to our boundaries, they are within the area to be annexed,” Melling said. “I’m inclined to approve, not necessarily just because of this ordinance, that’s maybe not the best ground to stand on, but because our infrastructure is already there on the property line. It’s within our annexation code, and eventually, it will be likely that if we keep growing at this rate that, that parcel will be developed at some point.”

Phillips also expressed concerns over the request.

“How do we control the amount of water that is being used and what does that effect in that part of the city,” Phillips said. “It probably will be annexed into the city in the not too distant future, but I just think that we’re setting a precedent. There’s a lot of properties along 3000 North out there that run right along the edge of the city. And pretty soon, we could have a number of people coming forward in that agricultural area requesting similar things, and I don’t know where you draw the line on that.”

Adams said the property fits the requirements of the ordinance and did not see an issue with the request.

“The ordinance requires all of our engineering standards, and as they put those lines in it requires a water meter so the city will be reading the meter, you can tell how much water’s being used. The rate is double what a normal user gets,” Adams said. “I really don’t see a problem with where it’s located, it’s in the annexation zone — I don’t have any problem with it.”

Melling motioned to approve the request, but it failed with a 3-2 vote against approval.

Children’s theatre still trying to secure permanent location

Cedar City Children’s Musical Theatre representative Bruce Anderson approached the council during public comments to explain the theatre’s current struggle to find a permanent location.

Anderson said the nonprofit theatre has provided opportunities for nearly 600 children per year to be involved in the performing arts, regardless of ability to pay, for the past 11 years, and entertained roughly 6,000 patrons per year.

Oompa Loompas perform a song in CCCMT’s recent mini-musical performance of “Willy Wonka,” Cedar City, Utah, Jan. 21, 2020 | Photo by Paul Dail, St. George News / Cedar City News

“Tonight, I’m just here asking for help,” Anderson said. “In the last 12 months, we’ve had to move location three times, which has been very difficult for our volunteer-run organization. Our current that we’re renting is fitting our needs pretty well. While it’s available for sale, it is currently out of our financial reach.”

Anderson said the organization is doing fundraisers and applying for grants to raise funds to buy a section of the old hospital.

“We need more help. Time is very crucial for our organization, and we know that this great city is big supporters of the arts,” Anderson said. “We’re hoping that we can make some connections tonight, people who are willing to help or find resources for us so we can secure a location. We are committed to the youth in Cedar City and this program, and without the help of a location, we may be on stage with no lights.”

He added that fundraising efforts have raised about $35,000 so far, and the theatre is hoping to reach at least $100,000 in order to provide a down payment on the building.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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