City Council met in regular session on April 5, 2021 at 6:00 P.M. in the Council Chambers of City Hall.
Mayor Lester presided:
Councilmembers present: Scott Winkler
City employees present were Chief Newman, City Administrator Kennedy, Public Works Director Mager and Attorney Green.
MINUTES: The meeting was called to order and the Council minutes of March 15th were approved as presented by Councilor Peterson, second by Councilor Canaday. Motion carried by a unanimous vote of the Council present.
PUBLIC HEARING DE-ANNEXATION REQUEST BY RAJ CHAHAL: Raj Chahal and Hunter Edwards were present to request de-annexation of approximately 40 acres on the southwest side of town, directly west of those buildings on E Street. Hunter stated they are asking to de-annex the property on the southwest side of town. They can’t construct to Grangeville standards. It is cost prohibited and they would like to split it according to county standards. Raj stated he would like to split it into four 10-acre parcels. Raj explained they had been approached previously for low income housing but the City rules were cost prohibitive. They would like to build housing only and no infrastructure. According to Hunter, the City was going to require 125’ width for Court Street and most streets are 60’ in Grangeville with Main Street being 80’. It is unreasonable.
Councilor Winkler questioned the access to the property. Hunter stated they have access from Highway 95, the old County Dump Road and Raj stated they would like to use Court and Elk Streets. Councilor Grant stated the City is concerned about drilling wells in the area of impact.
Public Works Director Mager stated Hunter was correct; Main Street is not 120’ right of way. The City is trying to correct old issues, so we don’t have another F Street on the west side of town where trucks are unable to make the corner. The preliminary plat George Brown submitted was residential only which include 60’ right of ways. Raj changed the zoning of his property to the north to make everything north of Court Street commercial, which changed road widths. Mager stated he’s assuming City code is similar to when the Blewett and Haener subdivisions were created. The capital investment for a subdivision is large; however when those subdivisions were installed, they were completed and were turnkey for the City. Raj’s property is further complicated by a storm drain system that is affected by the slope of the land. They need a good solution approved by the City and the State. The City doesn’t have to take over the storm drain system for 10 years. Asphalt is expensive along with everything else right now. Mager also didn’t believe the City had to provide access to the City on undeveloped streets when a property is not in the City.
Attorney Green stated the City owns the right of way for Elk and Court Streets but doesn’t have to develop it. If someone wants access, they would have to submit a proposal to the City for consideration. The City controls the city limits.
WRITTEN CORRESPONDENCE: None
Councilor Canaday questioned if the 100’ roads are the only thing stopping Raj from developing. Raj stated no, it is also water and sewer and other infrastructure. It doesn’t make sense financially to try to develop.
Mayor Lester tried to answer a question Ted Lindsley asked earlier in the hearing about if the de-annexation occurs and someone builds and drills a well, can they then be later annexed into the City. There is a possibility the annexation can occur; however a clear disconnect from the City’s water system would need to occur and be inspected. Kennedy also explained the area of impact allows for the property owners to install an approved health department septic system but not the drilling of wells.
The hearing closed at 6:27 pm.
Mayor Lester explained Raj’s property has currently triggered the subdivision process. When that happens, no property can be sold, including the property as a whole. Councilor Grant stated Grangeville needs housing. She was trying to decide what the options are for development. She can’t see a solution on this property so felt the City needed to let the property go.
It was asked if the subdivision could be phased. Kennedy answered yes; however it’s not an easy answer. The City’s focus is to have organized growth. The property included in phase 1 would still need to have infrastructure installed and a plan for the whole property would need to be proposed so everything was sized correctly for future phases. To further complicate the subdivision, Mager explained Elk Street is the divider for the water high zone, and contains both high and low zone water mains in addition to sewer mains, which also increases the cost. The roads would need to be built to the correct specifications, along with water, sewer and storm water systems.
Mayor Lester stated in most new subdivisions in Boise, you see what looks like ponds but really it is there to hold storm water. This is the case with Potlatch Credit Union on west Main Street. Mayor Lester stated Grangeville can grow to the west, north and some to the east. The south is landlocked by Spencer’s at this time. This property is challenging for water and sewer as 1/3 of it is on the high zone and, 2/3s is on the main zone.
Mager stated the City has tried to meet with Raj to find a solution, but the expensive portion is in all the public infrastructure. Elk Street is challenging, because two water mains would need to be installed. The sewer system has not been studied; however the developer may need to look at lift stations, and they need to determine how to keep the correct slope. The whole point of a subdivision is to have a completed product which is developed and turned over to the City. The Blewett subdivision was turnkey.
Councilor Farris hates to see it leave the City. She would like the City to sit down and hash it out so it doesn’t go back to the County, but if we’ve already tried, then let him have it back and hope someone does something that they want to annex in at a later date. Councilor Canaday stated a developer could buy the entire property and build something.
The Council didn’t see another solution and felt the property could be let go. Mayor Lester stated Attorney Green can draw up an ordinance for next meeting.
LIBRARY MINUTES: On motion by Councilor Farris, second by Councilor Canaday to accept the Library Minutes of March 18, 2021 as presented. Motion carried by a unanimous vote of the Council present.
CURB, GUTTER AND SIDEWALK REQUIREMENTS ON BUILDING PERMITS: Public Works Director Mager, Attorney Green and City Administrator Kennedy met to propose a change to the current code that requires sidewalks on any building permit value of $5,000, exempting windows, roofing and siding. Kennedy explained they suggest adding curb and gutter to the existing sidewalk requirements but raising the value to $75,000. This value would allow house upkeep, smaller remodels and new accessory buildings such as garage or shop to occur without triggering the additional requirements. However new construction and large additions or remodels would trigger installing sidewalks, curb and gutter.
Councilor Peterson felt $75,000 for remodel was fine but maybe needed to be higher for new construction. Councilor Winkler liked the proposal. Councilor Lane asked how much curb and gutter costs. Mager estimated between $35-$40 a running foot. Councilor Winkler stated his quote was about $11,000 for 100’ which included two ADA corners. Mager stated the City works with homeowners on the curb and gutter since it’s in the street. Councilor Peterson questioned the standard sidewalk width. Mager responded it is 4’ for residential. Councilor Grant felt raising the value to $75,000 removed the lower limit that triggers most projects.
An ordinance will be presented at a future meeting.
WALKER MOWER DECK: Public Works Director Mager stated he would like to buy a Walker mower discharge deck with the remaining budgeted funds from the purchase of the Walker mower. The new deck is around $4,200 and he has $5,000 left. On motion by Councilor Grant, second by Councilor Peterson to authorize purchase of the Walker mower discharge deck with the remaining budgeted funds. Motion carried by a unanimous vote of the Council present.
SIDEWALK WAIVERS: Kennedy stated this would be a renewal of an existing waiver for Early Bird. On motion by Councilor Farris, second by Councilor Lane to accept the public works recommendation to waive the sidewalk requirement for Early Bird at 322 N D. Motion carried by a unanimous vote of the Council present.
Mager stated this is on the corner of the County Dump Road and F Street. The road is a gravel farm type road. On motion by Councilor Farris, second by Councilor Grant to accept the public works recommendation to waive the sidewalk requirement for Josh and Brittany Ebert at 908 F Street. Motion carried by a unanimous vote of the Council present.
Mager stated there is nowhere to put a sidewalk and no reason for a sidewalk. On motion by Councilor Farris, second by Councilor Peterson to accept the public works recommendation waive the sidewalk requirement for Avista Corporation at the Truck Route and N Idaho. Motion carried by a unanimous vote of the Council present.
FARMER’S MARKET PLANT SALE: On motion by Councilor Farris, second by Councilor Lane to allow the Farmer’s Market to use the pavilion at Pioneer Park for their plant sale on May 15th from 10am-1pm. Motion carried by a unanimous vote of the Council present.
LIVING IN RV’S ON PRIVATE PROPERTY: City Administrator Kennedy explained she had a citizen who wanted the Council to reconsider the City Code that does not allow people to live in RVs on private property. Current RVs can only be lived in when in an established RV park. Kennedy questioned whether the Council wanted to change the code or consider a revision.
Councilor Farris stated she does not want to change the ordinance. The visitor can stay in a hotel when visiting or place her RV in an established park. Councilor Grant was not in favor of changing the ordinance not Councilor Winkler. No action taken.
JUNK SHOP, PAWNBROKER, SECONDHAND STORE LICENSE: Brian Perry questioned the purpose of the license. He is happy to get a city license for $10. The County has a license for secondhand stores that is $200 but since he can get a city license, he doesn’t have to pay for the county license. He’s just trying to find out why the City has the license. According to Kennedy, the City issues 5 licenses a year. Perry stated there are many businesses in town selling used items, so we could be issuing additional licenses. Kennedy stated the ordinance was on her list to review in the future. Perry explained people come to the City for the infrastructure the City provides. The parks, streets, sidewalks and services. Former Chief Drew had stated if you charge a license, it gives the police department more of an authority to check for stolen merchandise. On motion by Councilor Winkler, second by Councilor Grant to approve the Junk Shop, Pawnbroker, Secondhand Store license for Bill Gaul d/b/a Gaul’s Getaway at 117 W North Street. ROLL CALL VOTE: YES: Canaday, Farris, Winkler, Lane, Grant, Peterson. NO: none. The motion passed.
The meeting adjourned at 7:25 P.M.
Wes Lester – Mayor
Tonya Kennedy – Clerk