August 2, 2016 – Centerville, Utah – A Centerville City Council member, Bill Ince, has raised the ire of cyclists in Davis County with his comment about cyclists. “Run them off the road!,” said Ince in a discussion on a bicycle and pedestrian friendly Centerville. Cycling Utah received the following press release from a group called BikeWalk Centerville. Cyclists, especially those in Centerville and Davis County, are encouraged to attend the council meeting on August 2 to voice support for a bike friendly plan for Centerville’s Main Street. The zoning amendments are on the agenda at 7:15 pm. (http://www.centervilleut.net/agendasminutes.cc08022016a.html)
For details, see below:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Saturday, July 30, 2016
Centerville City Council Member Response to Cyclists: RUN THEM OFF THE ROAD!
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Centerville city council is proposing Zoning Code amendments that remove pedestrian and cycling friendly elements from their Main Street Public Space Plan—running along State Road 106. After receiving a recommendation from the planning commission to retain elements such as pedestrian lighting, benches, plantings, and to add striping for future bike lanes, the city council instead responded with a plan eliminating said items and rejecting further discussions with the commission.
Several city council members expressed distain over recent SR 106 shoulder striping north of Parrish Lane, provided by UDOT earlier this month. Council member Bill Ince stated, “As a society we are spending a ton of money creating bike lanes, and I tell ya, nobody uses them!” SR 106 is designated as a priority bike route for UDOT, Davis County, WFRC, and the Centerville City Trails Master Plan. The Tour of Utah also follows SR 106 in Stage 5 of its 7-stage competition, to be held August 1-7, 2016 (www.tourofutah.com).
While discussing bike lanes, Centerville Mayor Paul Cutler questioned how to handle bikers out in traffic. Ince responded, “Run them off the road!”
The local biking community has come out in support of bike safety and awareness throughout South Davis County. Citing that cyclists are a great part of our community and deserve the right to be acknowledged on the roads, Bountiful Bicycle owner, Brady Edwards stated, “These cyclists have families and loved ones just like anyone driving a car, and it is not okay for anyone to suggest to ‘run them off the road.’”
Edwards and his employees regularly recommend SR 106 to customers as an enjoyable bike route. He continued, “We at Bountiful Bicycle feel it is in the best interests of Centerville City and surrounding cities to pass public space plans that allow bike lanes to be incorporated onto current roadways. Bike lanes make it safer for all involved.”
North Salt Lake City is also currently addressing their public space and working to incorporate bike lanes into their planning process. They have already taken steps to increase bike safety on I-89 and other city streets frequented by cyclists. North Salt Lake City council member, Matt Jensen stated, “I hope that North Salt Lake, Bountiful, and Centerville can work together to make South Davis County a community that is more walkable and cycling friendly—to help us have improved public health and more enjoyable communities of living.”
Regardless of what plans neighboring cities implement, Centerville City Council will vote on Zoning Code amendments to their Main Street Public Space Plan on Tuesday, August 2, 2016 at 7pm at Centerville City Hall (250 N. Main Street, Centerville, UT 84014). Council members may also receive public comment on the plan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cycling Utah received the following information regarding the July 19, 2016 Centerville City Council meeting and the comments by Bill Ince:
1:00 Bill: “I am extremely frustrated with the striping on the road. And I been extremely frustrated, and Tami made this comment earlier in the evening, that bikes have full rights to the entire right of way on the road, and I’m extremely frustrated with them absolutely exercising it, and slowing traffic and causing problems…. I’m very negative on this whole thing. As a society we are spending a ton of money creating bike lanes, and I tell ya, nobody uses them.” Response from Cory reminding that past policy has been created and money spent (Maverik bike station being constructed presently), even by this council, to support this as an important bike trail. Cory also point out that active transportation is a regional policy, considered by all the transportation agencies and that this should be remembered and not reversed lightly but would need to go through the process.
Mayor: 1:06:12 “I’ve heard this comment from other residents, request for an article for city newsletter talking about responsible biking, what is the motorist responsibility, how should you handle bikers out in traffic…”
1:06:53 Bill Ince: “Run them off the road”
From the June 21, 2016 Centerville City Council Meeting (contains the excerpt above):
Centerville City Council Meeting
June 21, 2016
Available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pVv_8cA9_ew
Regarding Tami Fillmore’s motion to identify 5% of the transportation fund in the 2017 budget to be applied to toward complete street elements:
Bill Ince [1:39:42]: I have a real axe to grind against users of the roads and sidewalks who are just absolutely irresponsible. Um, three times as I was coming out today for this meeting, adults, not kids, just step off the sidewalk and don’t particularly care and think somebody is going to stop for ‘em regardless of anything. And in Salt Lake and all over the place, we’ll get a lot of—there is a lot of discussion about drivers not being careful. Um, I think the pedestrians are equally or more at fault. And I get very, very frustrated by cyclists who figure that, whether they are going slower than traffic or not, um, the traffic needs to wait until there is enough clearance from the other side of the lane so that they can swing out around them. I’m sorry, I guess I’m really old fashioned but I think the roads are a critical part of transportation, these other things are so minor in comparison that taking more money than we are already spending—I have a hard time with. So while I recognize the benefit of what you are talking about, I have a hard time supporting. And it’s based on what I see every day, so.
A more complete transcript of the June 21, 2016 Centerville City Council Meeting:
Centerville City Council Meeting
July 19, 2016
Available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nItGhISBb08
George McEwan [29:02]: … In recognition of what we just did with the Planning Commission, in terms of the work session, I think one thing we didn’t come out of there with was a clear direction as to how we are going to proceed. I would motion that we go ahead and notice for a 14-day period to make an amendment to the public space plan to adopt Robyn’s four foot grass parking strip and a six foot wide sidewalk and remove the other elements.
Mayor Paul Cutler [29:33]: So the Planning Commission … okay, that is not on our agenda—
George McEwan [29:37] —It is not on our agenda but we need to move it forward so that they can—I mean, we need a 14-day notice on it. So I’m saying we have a staff direction to notice that.
Mayor Paul Cutler [29:44]: And the Planning Commission requested at the end of the meeting to continue this discussion. You are rejecting that request—
Tami Fillmore [29:52]: And meet with them again to discuss new ideas and get feedback.
Mayor Paul Cutler [29:55] –and “I’m just ready to move forward. I know what I want to do?”
George McEwan [29:59]: No. I’m just saying the current elements don’t work for me. So I am saying here are some elements, Robyn, that work. We could also take the stirring the pot option from Cory. I’m just saying I’d like to get that on the calendar for public hearing.
Stephanie Ivie [30:13]: I’m in favor of that.
Mayor Paul Cutler [30:15]: George has motioned and Stephanie has seconded to put this on the agenda for a public hearing, a public space on August 2nd. Now—
[Discussion regarding whether 10 or 14 day notice period is applicable.]
Mayor Paul Cutler [31:02]: I appreciate the council’s efforts to move this forward. I think if you looked at the volume of effort the Planning Commission put into this, they put a significant amount of effort into it.
Tami Fillmore [31:19]: They really have. I think it would be the respectful thing to do, to come back with—I didn’t hear Robyn suggest that, and so you are shocking me with your statement. And so—
Stephanie Ivie [31:27]: It was in the work meeting
Tami Fillmore [31:29] Well, I understand that is what is being said, but … So a more clear communication. I mean, the hours and hours. The professional consulting. The graphics. The visuals that one plan was presented with. The data. The public input. The numerous letters of support versus no public input of rejection of the idea. To then just say we want to move forward with something that is very, very different from that. I think that to be respectful to the process, we would need to see visuals, we would need to see a list of findings and reasons. Things to study in advance, and things to take back to the Planning Commission and have a respectful discussion and say this is what some of this Council is leaning towards. Please give us your feedback on that and what your thoughts are as our citizen land-use planners.
Community Development Director Cory Snyder [32:22]: I just need a procedure issue so that we make sure we are square with the noticing. Planning Commission sent you a recommendation. So what I think is on the table, you get to decide how you want perceive it, but what I think is on the table is—is what should be in the notice is—that you are going to receive the Planning Commission’s recommendation, and you are proposing an alternative to be considered and allow the public hearing to be conducted on those issues and those matters together, and then you can decide which way you are going to go with the options.
George McEwan [32:51]: That is perfectly articulated. That is exactly what I am looking for. So in that way, because what you are saying, Tami, has value in that we still need to find out, you know, did we go too far in the other direction? But we have some commissioners who are fine with recognizing that this is a high-speed thoroughfare and not a walking district. And so there are two sides to that one, so I would put that out there, and then with the public noticing we can bring people forward and see if there are strong feelings one way or another, but from what I was hearing Robyn say earlier, that sounded like the baseline, and then we can move up or down from—not down, that is probably the absolute baseline—but we can move up from there based on additional input. But as you pointed out before, we have to have something in place that constrains the developer to develop to a standard, so if the commissioners who believe that it is a thoroughfare and not a walking district are right, then this alternative puts that in place to do that. So it’s really—that is why I want to look at it from that direction.
Mayor Paul Cutler [33:56]: I believe, or what I heard from the Planning Commissioners, is a willingness to discuss and work with you on this. What I would prefer not to see is the City Council just rejecting work of Planning Commission, saying “this is what we’re going to do without your input.” So if you—
George McEwan [24:19]: Well, the converse is that the Planning Commission rejected what we said, what we thought was the correct answer. I mean, you have two bodies that are in disagreement about what the mid-point is. So I don’t see where it’s—
Mayor Paul Cutler [34:30]: Yeah, and what I hear, respectfully, George, is that—and maybe I am hearing this wrong—is that we’re going to move forward with our position and not work to see if we can come up with a compromise that maybe meets somewhere in between.
George McEwan [34:43]: Well, as Cory helped articulate it, if we are putting this on there for public notice and saying this is the alternative, then we can at least take in public comment relative to an alternative. But an alternative hasn’t been suggested by the Planning Commission yet. So by throwing out this alternative we can get it out for public meeting, I think we are meeting that obligation. But you know, and respectful to the Planning Commission, if they reject what we put down and said this is what we want to see removed from the elements of the plan, which they did, their recommendation was to leave those elements, that is not any different to me.
Tami Fillmore [35:15]: But I did hear people on the Planning Commission say, “Oh, okay, well yeah, I don’t like the grasses either. Or we could change it to something else. You know, let’s talk about details of it. Do we want to put grass instead of concrete, or there is not a vertical element. The other things that I heard that I think is very important that I want to make clear is I heard Robyn’s point, that the business owners, the property owners, have not been thoroughly brought into this process. And I just want to talk about the process for a minute. This got done quickly as part of the umbrella of the TZRO. Because I’ve been working on Main Street plan stuff for many, many, many years and the public space plan was always intended to follow the land use plan and to be in place. And the reason that it wasn’t is Main Street in general got to be too hot of a topic because the light rail controversy got embroiled in it. So politician just didn’t want to deal with Main Street. They set it aside, they didn’t want to deal with the public space plan. We had the opportunity with the TZRO in place to get some protective basic plan in place so that we could have wider sidewalks, we could have some of these improvements that were considered important by many over all those years of work with the Main Street plan. It was not that it needed to be the be-all end-all plan, and it did happen quickly. My desire was always to have a much more thorough planning process, and visioning process that included Main Street neighbors. That included those property owners. And so rather than going from what I can understand the Council is saying was an extreme in your mind, to the other extreme, I would propose that we involve the community, the people who live in this area, the people who own property on Main Street, and have that kind of sit down at a work table and envisioning process.
George McEwan [37:15]: And I see what you are saying. I would state that a Cadillac and a Yugo will both get you to the grocery store. We have seen the Cadillac. I am proposing a Yugo. If somebody wants to say I’d like to land somewhere in between at a Buick, that’s fine. But we don’t—we have not been offered an alternative that is the absolute baseline. And quite frankly, Tami, people will probably go “that’s ugly.” And they’ll come in and they’ll talk about it. But what we have right now is we have kind of an amorphous plan of, “well, we’re going to discuss this.” But there is nothing out there that is really going, from my perspective right now, that’s going to incentivize the public to come in and talk about it. Yes, I would say this is on the other extreme, but it will at least stimulate the conversation to what the happy medium is in between. So I still think we should put that on for public noticing.
[City Attorney confirms that only 10-day public notice is required and City Council can schedule this debate for a public hearing.]
George McEwan [39:09]: And that is what I would prefer to do. And as far as an artist rendering, I am sure Cory could do a green block and a gray block. I mean, it’s—I don’t think we need to go out and spend a lot of effort or money on that. But I think that we need to bring this forward and it needs to be on the next agenda.
Mayor Paul Cutler [39:25]: So we have a motion to—
Bill Ince [39:27]: I really like that.
Robyn Mecham [39:28]: I do too.
Paul Cutler [39:30]: Is your intent to take action on the next agenda or to hold a public—
[Council members talk over one another.]
City Attorney Lisa Romney [39:38]: We can list it. I mean, we always list it as a public hearing and action item. Unless you are saying we don’t want to, but I think—
Robyn Mecham [39:43]: We’re just trying to move on so that we can get, now, the public input and then we can decide middle of the road what we want and how we want to do it. We don’t have to decide that that night, but we need to get the public hearing. Right now, the Planning Commission has spent hundreds of hours going through this. They have told us why and what they came up with. So what is the next step? I mean, another meeting like we just had isn’t going to do us any good. We need to get some public hearing. We need to hear what the land owners say. And then we need to come up with a plan. And then we need to vote on it.
Mayor Paul Cutler [40:22] So we have a motion on the table to schedule a public hearing and compare plans as discussed. Any further discussion?
City Manager Steve Thacker [40:32] A clarification – “compare plans as discussed.” I am hearing two things here. Let me just see if what I am hearing is correct. What I am perceiving, you have a public hearing in the next meeting on the recommendations from the Planning Commission. I anticipate that you will not support those and you will direct—you will then agree upon an extension of the process—
Stephanie Ivie [40:59]: —No, not at all.
George McEwan [41:01]: The next public hearing would be to display a public space plan that contains none of the elements but a four-foot wide park strip and a six-foot wide sidewalk.
City Attorney Lisa Romney [41:11]: Steve, you are presenting what I am recommending. Because we are really out of the process here by taking a motion on what you want, like when you are saying we want green here, you are actually taking action directing staff to do something that we haven’t really scheduled on this agenda, and so that is why I am recommending you direct staff at the next meeting after hearing the public comments.
Robyn Mecham [41:36]: So to move forward, all we have to do is take public hearing on what the Planning Commission. And then if we have people coming in, and we talk about it and we decide that is not what we want, but we think we’d like this, then Cory can come up with a plan that we like. But we are moving. We’re going to get this done and over with.
George McEwan [41:52] Yeah, we moved too far into the debate. I really just want it on the calendar so that we can talk about it. And I stated what the intent was, just so that when the Planning Commission goes, “what are they doing?” they know exactly what we are doing, so they have time to—
City Attorney Lisa Romney [42:08]: And it might be that you present that, but my concern is trying to prepare a staff report and analysis of what you are just directing tonight on the new design and there is just not time for that.
George McEwan [42:13]: Sure, sure. And I’m not looking to that, but I do want to at least—that’s why I threw it out there. What the baseline was from Robyn’s idea. So that, I don’t want it to be a surprise when we get there, the Planning Commission scratching their heads saying, wondering what is the other end of the scale that the Council was potentially considering.
Stephanie Ivie [42:34]: And it shouldn’t be, because we already told them what it was. And that’s what they talked about and decided they didn’t like and came back and gave the other one. So we had already given them the baseline so it shouldn’t be a shock.
George McEwan [42:47]: Well, I don’t know. Paul seems quite shocked by it, so I’m just curious. That was the face of shock. So I’m just trying to figure out what’s the event that, you know—
Robyn Mecham [42:55]: We tried to change this. We didn’t even realize we had to go to the Planning Commission.
Mayor Paul Cutler [43:00]: Right.
Robyn Mecham [43:00]: So we went to the Planning Commission so they already knew that we weren’t great on this idea. But it went back to them. And now they are giving it back to us. Now we have to do something to move on.
Mayor Paul Cutler [43:11]: Right, I am just surprised that—I would support your efforts to move on. It seems like you are not as interested in what residents have gone through the process to put things in. But you’ve got a notion of what you want—
George McEwan [43:43]: —Yeah, I think it is a mischaracterization. We’re not disrespecting the Planning Commission or the other bodies involved in this process. What we’re saying is that we’d like to look at this other option and let’s get the citizen feedback to go with it. Because the business owners don’t know. And the public space planning is going to ultimately impact them. And if all these people want a walkable neighborhood I’d like to hear about that. That’s why I want to get it on this next agenda.
Community Development Director Cory Snyder [43:57]: I’m fine with this, which is a little than Steve and Lisa—I know where Steve and Lisa are coming from—I think it’s fine to notice it because you have a right to modify the Commission’s recommendation, and so I want to give you the open door to understand to the public and communicate that you are considering the Planning Commission’s recommendation. We know that there is a little bit of maybe not full agreement with that at this point in time, but that final decision hasn’t been made, but it is clear that it’s, that we’re going to try to work through those issues. But I think you can also, you can also show your intent to look at modification of the Commission’s recommendation. You know, how far do we disclose that, because I know as soon as you—if you went down the road and said at the public hearing and everything we’ve decided we’re rejecting the Planning Commission’s recommendation, your rejection leaves in place what is already there, if you follow the logic. And what you are saying is I want to be able to notice for the potential modification of that.
[Procedural discussion about what should go into the ordinance.]
George McEwan [46:07]: Well, in deference to what Bill likes to do, and I agree, is I would prefer to have the public meeting and then action on the next meeting rather than the same calendar meeting. Was that what you were going to say Bill?
Bill Ince [46:16]: No, that’s not what I was going to say but I do absolutely agree with that. Part of the issue here, and I don’t want to—I didn’t say much during the work meeting—because my comments were going to be rude—well, I don’t know, potentially considered rude by someone. I think there has been a lot of politicking and lobbying towards what came out of the Planning Commission. And a lot of emails. And a lot of targeted emails trying to develop what we got. There has been a lot of conversation by other people on the Council talking to other residents in the community who didn’t come to the Planning Commission, and who didn’t get involved in the process. Shame on them. The result is Cheylynn’s comment, “Gee, I just couldn’t believe how much sympathy and support there was for this proposal.” Well, there was a significant amount. And I got a ton of emails and actually made the comment that I feel like I was the target of a marketing campaign to convince me that that is what we needed to want. But at the same point in time, I’ve been talking to other people who are very, very against it and they range from, “Hey, we’re fine the way we are right now, leave it alone,” to, “Yeah, a five or six foot sidewalk might be nice. But we can’t really require people to pay for that, because that is really expensive and tough and people lose a lot of property.” And so where I think George is coming from, and where we agree is, I mean, there is a lot of people who feel that we are, I don’t want to be rude, but perfuming a pig. Uh, we’re getting something that doesn’t give us anything at the end of the day, and would like it dramatically scaled back. And so, there is the two proposals. What the Planning Commission has given us. And something that is substantially scaled back. And yeah, we have a public hearing to see are there 15-18 people that only show up and everybody wants what the Planning Commission has proposed, or are we gonna have 50 people, 15 who are one way and 35 who are another. And that is what I think may happen. So that is the reason I am in agreement with what you are saying, George, and that I think gets us to the point you are talking about. Does that make sense?
George McEwan [48:58]: Yeah it makes sense. Now the question is is it clear to everyone else what we are looking to do.
[Paul Cutler and City Manager Steve Thacker talk over each other expressing confusion as to what exactly will happen at the next meeting.]
City Attorney Lisa Romney [49:15]: Well, what I’ve heard is to schedule it for a public hearing on August 2nd if we can meet the noticing, which means we need to get with the City Recorder tomorrow, so, just saying if we can, we’ll do it for the August 2nd for consideration and discussion of the South Main Street edits to the public space plan with no action proposed. So I am not going to draft an ordinance so that you can hold the public hearing, have some discussion, and then make a motion with all of this great debate of the pros and cons of the plan and a majority vote on direction to staff of what to come back with. And we would recommend that you continue the public hearing because you’ll be bringing up a new design and a new ordinance and have another public hearing on that.
George McEwan [50:08]: I think that would work. The only thing that could potentially expedite the commenting from the public is a simple graphic that says if this becomes envisioned as an ordinance, it is going to look like this with park strip, side walk, you know. That would be the only thing that I would add.
[Discussion by City Attorney that graph is permissible and a good idea.]
Stephanie Ivie [50:52]: I am fine with a majority vote. I think I have heard a majority that way. I am more comfortable going into a public hearing saying to the public, we’ve got this plan that a few of you have said you like, and a lot of people have said they didn’t like but they didn’t come and say it in public. And then we’ve got this bare bones plan, come talk to us. See them both and see if that riles up the people so that they come and tell us what they really want. Because what I really want to pass is what they really want. Not what a couple of people said and then I went with it. So if there is some way to tell the public, we are looking at this, that is what the Planning Commission has given us, and we’re looking at this, which was what we thought we heard from the last round of things. And they can see them both. Does that make sense?
Tami Fillmore [51:42]: But Lisa’s point is procedural, so why don’t we just. We are already very much overboard in depth discussing this. And it wasn’t even on the agenda. It was like a miscellaneous item that George brought up. So my point is that what was on the table for earlier tonight in a work session, which is different than being on the actual agenda, was to have a sit down and talk it out with the Planning Commission. And so the next step would be to take the ordinance that we already have written, and we can discuss both the original ordinance and the redline edit, based on January’s request, and then have a public hearing and further discussion on those. Procedurally that’s what makes the most sense. And then we can say, you know, the public at that point will be able to hear the ideas that come out of the discussion and know that the public hearing has kept open and there will be another chance to come again.
[Procedural discussion about preparation of ordinance.]
George McEwan [53:26]: … I think it would be appropriate in that public hearing to demonstrate what the ordinance would, you know, envisionment of the ordinance is going to be this. And that could be in the staff report. That’s fine But at least that starts the conversation going. Yeah, I was hoping this would be like a two-minute thing.
City Attorney Lisa Romney [53:44]: We’ll just let George make the motion and we’ll follow it.
Stephanie Ivie [53:49]: He did and I seconded.
Mayor Paul Cutler [53:52]: So the challenge was that as I understood the motion, is to prepare an alternate plan for consideration. That is the challenge that I saw. Do you want to restate and clarify that?
George McEwan [54:08]: So we’ll restate the motion as direction to staff to prepare graphics that will encompass an alternate plan for the South Main Street Corridor open space planning that will encompass a four foot wide park strip and six foot wide sidewalk.
Mayor Paul Cutler [54:28]: The main purpose of the public hearing is to review the Planning Commission’s recommendation and take public comment on that—
Bill Ince [54:38]: Review and compare the two.
Mayor Paul Cutler [54:41]: –not public comment on your plan, which has not gone through any of the process.
Stephanie Ivie [54:45]: Our plan did go through the process. We sent it to the Planning Commission. They spent six months on it. They said we have a different idea. But we already gave it to them. It has been through the process.
City Attorney Lisa Romney [54:57]: I’m not saying that. The Council did give a directive. And like I said, if I were to prepare an ordinance for this, as I was thinking because it was going to be on the agenda tonight, I was just going to draft what you had recommended to the Planning Commission and said comment on this, because the Planning Commission didn’t give you a recommendation at all, so I was just going to draft that, taking out benches references. But now that it’s back to the City Council with no recommendation from the Planning Commission, you do have the authority to change it. And so, I think that is where Cory is saying, yes, we can add these. If you want a graphic in there, we’ll present it. It’s just problematic, I mean, from a practical standpoint getting information out to the public in 10 days. But we’ll provide that and put it on the agenda. But it is basically going to be on the agenda for discussion of the South Main Street Plan proposed zoning code amendments discussion only. With a public hearing.