Rendering of the Dancing Moose site plan.

The Lehi City Planning Commission met remotely for their regular meeting on Thursday, May 14. Commissioners and Lehi City staff will continue to remotely until the coronavirus risk level in Utah is green and all restrictions are lifted.

The Planning Commission gave unanimous final approval for the Thanksgiving Point Dancing Moose Montessori School site plan at the May 14 meeting. The school is roughly 28,000 square feet and will have classrooms, gyms, and other educational rooms for pre-school to early-elementary-age children. The layout will be located on a portion of Electric Park at Thanksgiving Point including the existing ticket booth on the site. 

Mike and Joyce Sibbett, founders of Dancing Moose explained at the January 23 Planning Commission meeting that their school caters to corporate and working families. “This is an issue in Utah right now – we want to offer high academics and a safe daycare,” Mike Sibbett said. Commissioners and a few Lehi residents provided positive feedback for Dancing Moose at the January meeting and Sibbett was given mostly positive support at the March 31 City Council meeting as well, except for Councilwoman Katie Koivisto. Koivisto objected to the exceptions the school required in the architecture, less glass on the front of the school, and slightly more stucco, as well as the additional traffic it would bring to the area. Koivisto took issue with the development of any new projects at Thanksgiving Point before the new area plan for Thanksgiving Point had been presented and approved. Despite the heated exchanges at the March 31 City Council meeting, Dancing Moose Montessori School was approved by the City Council.

There was no public comment on Dancing Moose at the May 14 Planning Commission meeting. “A major component of our development agreement with Thanksgiving Point was our staggered drop-off and pick-up times to minimize the traffic impact in the area. That was probably the biggest thing for us to accommodate Thanksgiving Point and Lehi City,” said Mike Sibbett. Commissioners motioned to approve Dancing Moose, granting the exception on the percentage of glass on the front of the school, and it was passed unanimously.

The bulk of the May 14 Planning Commission meeting was spent reviewing Development Code amendments. Commissioners finally approved an amendment to Chapter 20 adding a home office with mobile services as an allowed use. Personal service or pet grooming facility businesses that operate out of a mobile unit fall under the new amendment. 

Lehi City requested a review of Development Code amendments to Chapter 12 and 26, adding requirements for storage containers on residential property. The proposed amendment would allow portable storage containers on residential property if they are converted to a storage shed. “Is covering a portable storage container making it not worthwhile? This requirement may be overly prohibitive,” said Commissioner Abram Nielsen. “We don’t want it to be an eyesore, but we don’t want to go overboard with requirements,” Commission Chair Matt Hemmert agreed. Eventually, a motion was made to forward a positive recommendation to City Council for amendments to the Development Code chapters 12 and 26 regarding portable storage containers on residential property, restricting them to certain lot sizes and requiring improvements to the appearance. 

Final approval was granted for a proposed amendment to the Development Code Table 37-070-B, off-street parking requirements for short term rentals. The code now requires at least one stall per bedroom rented. The commissioners voted to approve the amendment with Commissioner Abram Nielsen voting “no.”

The Planning Commission also approved Laura Allred’s request for a zone change to RA-1 (residential/agriculture) on the annexation of .57 acres at 968 East Mesa Avenue, ARM Architects First Utah Bank site plan at 3601 Digital Drive, and Richard Ellsworth’s request for a zone change from TH-5 (transitional holding) to RA-1 (residential/agriculture) at 1015 East 1840 North.

The next Planning Commission meeting will be May 28, 2020, at 7 p.m.

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