The Lehi City Planning Commission meeting on Thursday, February 27, included a lengthy discussion of the notification requirements to residents on proposed changes, as well as an addition to the Development Code for a new dog care facility coming to Lehi.
The Jacketta M. Clark annexation, 12.29 acres at 1300 South 2000 West on a county island, requested a zone change from VLDRA (Very Low-Density Residential Agriculture) to R-1-22, a zone that allows for half-acre lots on the property. A residential concept plan for the property was approved by the City Council on January 14, 2020, but a few neighbors came to the February 27 Planning Commission meeting having only been notified of the zone change and not the already approved concept for the property.
“I live across the street and I just got a notice yesterday. My neighbors are not aware of what is happening on the property. The input you would want from the community is not available because I feel, the notice for this meeting was inadequate,” said Lehi resident Annette Gomm.
Another resident raised concerns about the lot size on the property, having noticed the uneven fence lines and smaller lots. “Many people were here for the concept plan. The lots are all smaller than half an acre in exchange for a small park in the neighborhood,” explained Commissioner Brent Everett.
Commission Chair Matt Hemmert explained the City’s property review and analysis process, noting that they often go beyond the notification requirements to keep residents well informed. “I appreciate the explanation. I think you should make the signs bigger – maybe put some ruffles around it,” Gomm added.
The motion to recommend a zone change to R-1-22 (residential/agriculture) on the Jacketta M. Clark Annexation was unanimous.
Jennifer McMurrough came before the Planning Commission with a request to amend the Development Code to add a Small Breed Dog Care Facility in certain non-residential zones and a definition of the use. McMurrough has a similar business in Salt Lake City. She explained that Lehi’s definition of dog kennels in the Development Code does not allow the dogs to be outside, which is part of her business model. McMurrough plans to be able to accommodate up to 150 small dogs with a ratio of 12 dogs to one worker, claiming the dogs are happy and quiet in her well-kept facility.
The commissioners discussed adjusting the definition of kennel versus adding a new designation specific to small dogs to the code. “The pet care industry is so poorly regulated that if you just amend the kennel definition, you’ll have dogs running wild in homes. I don’t think it’s in Lehi’s best interest to modify the current kennel definition,” said McMurrough. Members of the Planning Commission continued to weigh the pros and cons of amending the Development Code before making a motion to give a positive recommendation to the City Council for McMurrough’s request. The motion passed with a unanimous vote.
The Planning Commission also approved positive recommendations for:
• Dan Ford’s request for a zone change from TH-5 (transitional holding) to R-3 (high-density residential) on 3.1 acres at 225 South 600 East.
• Chad Staten’s request for a preliminary subdivision review of Staten Farms Plat B, a 9-lot residential development at 1340 North 2020 West.
• Paul Baird’s request for approval of the Pinnacle Chiropractor Site Plan at 289 East Main Street.
• Lehi City’s request for review of a Development Code amendment clarifying the boundaries of the Historic District.