2002 Council Announcements

November 5, 2002


City Council Announcements

November 5, 2002


A. Decisions, Feedback & Information needed by staff


1. Legislative Action Item:  Council Member Nancy Saxton would like to request that the Administration reevaluate the Zoning Ordinance relating to parking requirements and shared parking options in commercial zoning districts, specifically the Commercial Business and Commercial Shopping zoning districts.  This proposal would expand on a previous Legislative Action requesting reevaluation of parking requirements and shared parking options in the Commercial Neighborhood zoning district sponsored by Council Member Love and adopted by the Council in May.  Recently, Council Member Saxton was made aware of issues regarding the limited options for sharing existing parking for a proposed retail development at 661 East 400 South (4th South Market), potential development of properties adjacent to the Brickyard Plaza along 3300 South, and a proposed housing development by the Community Development Corporation of Utah between 200 and 300 East on 500 South.  It has become apparent that it would be helpful to reassess the parking requirements in the Zoning Ordinance that relate to commercial areas and other business or institutional zones and, at a minimum, provide expanded opportunities for shared parking.  Please see the attached Legislative Action for details.  Would the Council support this request or would the Council Members prefer to discuss this request further during a work session briefing?

      Council Members supported the Item.  Agenda for a vote only, no briefing.


2. Legislative Action Item: Council Member Nancy Saxton would like to request the Council's support in scheduling the attached legislative action item pertaining to street stamping.  Does the Council support the attached legislative action item and approve having it scheduled for an upcoming Council meeting?    The majority of the Council was in favor of a briefing.


3. Property Conveyance: Amend a lease agreement to include additional land for the purpose of landscaping and improvements to the outside of the Chase Mill building. Friends of Tracy Aviary will keep the property open to the public and all other terms shall be in accordance with the Chase Mill Use Plan. It is anticipated that the cost of renovation will be approximately $1,000,000; Friends of Tracy Aviary will obtain funding to renovate and operate the Mill. Does the Council wish to hold a hearing?  No hearing.


4. In a previous discussion pertaining to the National League of Cities conference, the Council expressed that they would not be interested in hosting an evening reception, but expressed possible interest in revisiting the idea of an "open office" reception as was done during the Olympics.  Does the Council wish to hold further discussion and provide direction to the staff on this issue at this time?  Ms. Gust-Jenson said staff was just double-checking.  She said the Council said no receptions but if it worked out there could be something with the League personnel and staff was still working on that.  She said what staff wanted to know was did the Council want staff to do what was done during the Olympics and have coffee, juice and refreshments available at the Council Office for those who might stop by.  The majority of the Council was in favor. They did not want staff to go to a lot of effort.  Keep it simple.


5. Council Members’ Communications Budgets


Background information: Some Council Members have chosen to publish an 8-1/2 x 11 double sided newsletter insert that is mailed with residents’ monthly utility bills – sometimes on an annual, bi-annual or quarterly basis.  This is an inexpensive option because expenses are limited to the cost of copying the insert since no postage cost is required.  Although this option is cost effective and provides a Council Member an opportunity to update the community several times throughout the year as opposed to publishing a full newsletter once a year, Council Members should be aware that this option doesn’t reach all constituents.  For instance, the water bill for a multi-housing complex is probably sent to the property owner/manager of the complex instead of to all residents; or a condo association may receive the utility bill rather than all condo residents. A newsletter that is separately mailed reaches all housing units and businesses.  Ms. Gust-Jenson said this was an FYI and the second policy question could be disregarded.


One of the Council Members has suggested that the Council consider modifying the Council District Communication Budget policy to allow a partial advance of the future year’s budget under certain circumstances.  For example, a Council Member may expend most of the budget with a full newsletter during the year and then because of an important issue wish to do an additional mailing or utility-bill insert.  Does the Council wish to modify the current policy to allow a Council Member the option to utilize a percentage of the upcoming year’s budget?   Another option would be to increase the annual communication budget amount with the understanding that a Council Member would reserve a portion of the budget until near the end of the calendar year for unexpected needs.




a. Each Council district will have a communication budget to be used by the Council Member for communicating with constituents within his/her district; it is not structured for media communications.  Funds in the district communication budget will be expended at the Council Member’s discretion and may include, but not be limited to, newsletters, postcards, mass mailings, flyers, refreshments, etc.

b. Each district’s communication budget will total approximately $3,700 per calendar year.  This amount can be amended annually by a vote of the full Council. 

c. Council staff will provide a quarterly accounting to each Council Member on the status of funds in the district’s communication budget.  If a district’s communication budget is fully expended prior to the end of the calendar year, and the Council Member is continuing in office, the Council Member may choose to utilize up to ?? percent of the upcoming year’s communication budget in advance   If a district’s communication budget is not fully expended by the end of the calendar year, and the Council Member is continuing in office, the Council Member may choose to spend remaining funds in the first six months of the next calendar year or allow remaining funds to go toward capital needs of the Council Office.


6. Transportation Token Program -- The Downtown Alliance continues to prepare its campaign to publicize its token program. The Alliance tentatively has scheduled the end of November as the time to formally announce the program, but no specific date has been chosen yet. To recap, the tokens will be accepted at a variety of parking lots, by Salt Lake City parking meters, and by the Utah Transit Authority to purchase TRAX and bus tickets. The Alliance is requesting that the City Council select someone from among its members to speak at the formal launch. Ordinarily, the City Council Chair speaks on behalf of the Council at events. However, the token program is supported in part by Salt Lake City and Redevelopment Agency funds. Should the City Council or the RDA Board Chair speak at the Alliance's formal announcement of the token program?  Councilmember Buhler said he and Councilmember Turner would make the decision. 


7. Staff has enclosed an opinion by the City Attorney's Office addressing issues of the City Council's authority pertaining to environmental impact statements and assessments. The opinion is contained in manila envelopes marked "Confidential. Attorney-Client privilege.” How would the Council like to respond to the letter?  Councilmember Buhler suggested having Council staff draft a letter to Mr. Smeadly explaining this was an issue between the Federal Transportation Administration and UTA.  Council Members were in favor.  Councilmember Christensen said the letter should also say the Council did not anticipate asking UTA or the Federal Transportation Administration.  Councilmember Buhler said the letter needed to come back to the Council for review.  Council Members were not interested in getting a separate legal opinion.



B. For Your Information


1. Downtown Issues -- City Council staff attended a candidates forum sponsored by the Downtown Merchants Association on October 29. The forum included candidates for the 2nd Congressional District, the State Legislative districts Nos. 27 and 24, and Salt Lake County Council seats. During discussions among the candidates and members of the Merchants Association several issues involving the downtown were mentioned that the City Council may wish to consider for future reference:


Almost all candidates for all levels of office said they supported more funding for mass transit, particularly light-rail. However, several candidates said the bus system needed improvement in particular the apparent inadequacy of the bus system to get riders to TRAX stations and downtown. As a corollary to that, one candidate said the State should review where it locates its buildings for access to mass transit lines.


The latter response was partly in answer to questions from two merchants who asked: Why has the State located offices outside the downtown, and shouldn't the State emphasize locating more State agencies downtown?


In addition, two candidates said the State and County should work with Governor Leavitt on the issue of collecting sales tax on Internet sales.


Candidates for State and County positions also voiced support for making downtown Salt Lake City a regional entertainment and cultural center. Ideas included support for a "modest" expansion of the Salt Palace and Convention Center to develop more meeting rooms at that facility, support for the Children's Museum bond, and support for developing a Broadway-style theater. One candidate said a 4,000-seat Broadway theater would allow touring Broadway shows to stay longer. In addition, larger Broadway productions that currently by-pass Salt Lake City would be attracted to the larger theater.


Candidates also said they supported more housing in the downtown.



City Council Announcements

November 5, 2002


A. Decisions, Feedback & Information needed by staff


1. Letters from the Council Chair -- Congressional and Legislative elections. City Council staff has enclosed drafts of two form letters congratulating candidates on their election or re-election to Congress or the Utah Legislature. The second letter also invites those elected to the Utah Legislature to an informal breakfast with the City Council on November 22. The City Council Chair and Vice Chair have reviewed the draft and have OK'd them for review by the full Council. Are there any suggestions from Council Members on the content of the letters before staff prepares final drafts for the Council Chair's signature?  Councilmember Saxton suggested drafting the letter for all Council Members to sign.  The Council was in favor.  Councilmember Saxton asked about the time of the breakfast.  Ms. Gust-Jenson said 7:00-7:30.  Councilmember Love suggested using the Marriott at the Gallivan Plaza.  Ms. Gust-Jenson said she would check into that.


2. Resolution recognizing the 200th Anniversary of the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. The Mayor has indicated his interest in preparing this as a joint resolution. Would the Council consider adopting the attached resolution at the November 12th Council Meeting? Please let Council staff know of any changes.  The majority of the Council was in favor.



Ms. Gust-Jenson said there were two other issues.  She said Mr. Weeks had been in touch with Council Members.  She said changes needed to be given to Mr. Weeks so the item could be put on an agenda.  She said the Office would be closed on Monday, November 11th for Veterans Day.