It was an uphill climb that met significant opposition, but the Payson Town Council finally approved an amendment to the Unified Development Code regarding hillside development Thursday night.
The hillside regulations apply to all land with a 15 percent slope or greater which is 50 percent or more of the total area of a lot, tract or parcel. They apply to subdivisions and minor land divisions and were adopted to discourage cluster-type designs and preserve the natural environment.
Buildings will have to be designed with terracing to follow the original contours of the site, and grading will be kept to a minimum. Vegetation will be replaced when cuts are made to prevent erosion. Natural drainage and geological formations will be preserved where possible.
The maximum grading areas of the hillside development shall not exceed 10 percent of the total land area, but the issue of density, an issue that had previously been a sticking point for both the Town Council and the Payson Planning and Zoning Commission, was not included in the revised ordinance.
Community Development Director Bob Gould said, "It's not like we haven't discussed this already. I've brought it to the council a couple of times in the past.
"The difference is in zoning. With these changes, zoning stays the same. We'll be looking at five or six different standards, requirements for retaining walls, and requirements for limiting percentage of usage, but nothing about home sizes.
"I think this will be a big help to us in order to control hillside development."
Rules for sexually oriented businesses
In new business, the council had a first reading and public hearing concerning an ordinance to license and regulate sexually oriented businesses in Payson, but took no action.
If the ordinance is approved, fees for licenses for sexually oriented businesses would be $150 annually, with an additional fee of $80 per employee charged annually.
The business would be subject to inspections by representatives of the police and fire departments, and of town, county, state and federal departments and agencies to assure that the business is in compliance with the law.
Town Attorney Sam Streichman said the issue was one that came up a couple of years ago when town officials attended a meeting of the League of Cities and Towns.
"We do not presently have any (sexually oriented businesses)," he said. "But who knows in the future? It just enables the tow
In other business Thursday, the council approved rezoning two lots at the Rim Golf Club in east Payson. At the first reading of the rezoning request, conditions were included that the Rim Golf Club be responsible for repairs to Granite Dells Road that were needed because of construction at the Rim Golf Club.
Attorneys for the Rim Golf Club sent a $20,000 check for the repairs and a letter asking that rezoning be granted without the conditions. The town did not receive the letter until just before the council meeting, however.
Council member Hoby Herron motioned to table the rezoning request in order to study the Rim Golf Club's proposal. When the motion to table the agenda item was defeated, the council went into executive session to discuss the matter.
"I don't have a problem with this at all," said Council member Jim Spencer. "I'll be making a motion to approve it."
Council member Ken Murphy said, "I hate getting stuff at the last minute. Even though it's late, I agree with Spencer."
The council voted to approve the rezoning request 5-2. Mayor Vern Stiffler and Council member Hoby Herron cast the dissenting votes.
The council also approved a request by Town Engineer LaRon Garrett for the first phase of construction of a water system at the Rim Golf Club and accepted the improvements into the town's maintenance system.