Murray City General Plan, State of the City discussed in council meetingMar 31, 2017 09:13AM ● By Bryan Scott
Tim Tingey speaks to the Murray City Council about amending the General Plan, after zone and land use changes have been worked on over the last two years. (Mandy Ditto, City Journals)
By Mandy Ditto | [email protected]
An ordinance amending the Murray City General Plan and zoning map was accepted by the Murray City Council in their meeting March 7, still providing that the General Plan is an advisory guide to the city.
There was some discussion from citizens about zoning areas, but the ordinance was adopted mostly as-is, with the power for the city to make modifications as necessary.
The mostrecent general plan was approved in 2003, and the new one has been in discussion for two years, with several zoning changes, as well as future land use changes being made.
“The general plan outlines areas related to present and future needs of the municipality, as well as growth and development on or at any part of the municipality,” said Tim Tingey director of the Administrativeand Development Services Department. “The process has been very intensive, we’ve tried to engage and get as many residents and business owners involved in this process as possible, and I think…received great input from our business representatives and citizens.”
The city held four public open houses with hundreds of people attending; held meetings with citizens, council members, planning commission members; had 11 focus groups with people involved in all parts of the community to answer questions and share opinions; put out a community survey to get input from citizens; and had “significant Planning Commission review,” to go over changes in the plan, Tingey said.
“This document is very important, it is something that sets our long-term vision, promotes consistency in decision-making, involves public outreach—so it’s not something that just happens overnight—and it helps in coordinating in decision-making and aligning efforts in the city,” Tingey said.
Small area plans to be part of the general plan was recommended by the Planning Commission, and is one amendment made to allow for “more focused plans for specific neighborhoods, based on certain aspects of those neighborhoods,” said Jared Hall, the manager for Murray City’s Communityand Economic Development division.
A few neighborhoods had to be given differing zoning parameters, so that zoning changes can be easier to make with future development, Hall said.
The newly amended general plan also includes community and neighborhood nodes on land use maps, to show where intended community shopping or social areas are located, and where mixed-use zoning could be used, or where specific retail zoning could be beneficial. Many areas previously designated as “mixed-use” zones have also been specified according to how the city hopes they will be developed, including several office and retail spaces, Hall said.
There were two citizens who spoke at the meeting about specific zoning concerns they have with the general plan zoning, and both concerns will be further discussed personally with city council members.
Mayor Ted Eyre also shared his 2017 State of City address through a video presentation, to show progress and change that has happened in the last year.
Some developments and improvements highlighted in the mayor’s address include:
- This year, the merit increase potential for city employees was the highest it has been in over seven years.
- Six new police officers were hired last year, and two new sergeants were promoted to fill spots from retiring personnel. The canine program was reinstated, and the canine handler was selected from the division. The department was also awarded a $5,000 grant to continue work with the Highway Patrol’s Don’t Drink and Drive program and pay for body and dash cameras, and new portable breath testers.
- Murray Fire Department response time to emergency calls continues to increase, and the partnership with Gold Cross Ambulance services became effective January 2016, and has resulted in significant savings.
- Three Life Flight drills were held during the year to keep up with emergency response, and involved city departments and an active shooter exercise scenarios coordinated with Intermountain Medical Center, and police and fire departments.
- Workers compensation and other claims have been reduced due to the Attorney’s Office work with the risk management program.
- The Municipal Justice Court is now paperless.
- The Murray Public Library has over 1,000 people visit daily, and now have three activities held per day, with increased participation.
- The city’s power department ended 2016 being entirely out of debt.
- Murray Park received two new bathrooms, LED lights around the park, the start of overlay on the asphalt trail, six new pickle ball courts and free Wi-Fi to all areas in the park. Amphitheater renovations also began.
- The Heritage Center had new flooring installed, walls painted, a new activity room and two new pickle ball courts. They also acquired a 14-passenger van.
- The cemetery added 350 grave spaces after two roads were removed.
- A complete reconstruction of the irrigation system began on the Murray Parkway Golf Course.
- The street division lay 5,646 of overlay on seven streets and the Murray Park trail and redid some roads. Snow plow operators were out on every major holiday during snowstorms.
- Other new major business developments and additions in the city include: Macy’s at Fashion Place Mall, the Cottonwood Clinic at the TOSH campus, Security National, TNT Gun Range, Intermountain Medical Center build-out on the sixth floor, Murray Crossings, Advocate Law Offices and the Intermountain Garden Transformation Center
“I know Murray City is the envy of so many other cities, as we have our own departments of police, fire, power, water, sewer, storm water, senior center, streets, library, parks and recreation, golf course, justice court and fitness center,” Mayor Eyre said. “I feel fortunate as a long-time resident, and as an elected official to serve this city and to walk in the footsteps of those who lay the groundwork for all of us.”
Additionally, at the meeting, a new police officer, Peter Gosselin, was sworn in to the Murray police force, and a resolution was passed to rename the annual “Murray Beautification Awards” to the “Jim and Jean Hendrickson Beautification Awards,” to thank the Hendricksons for their contributions to the beauty of Murray over the years, Eyre said.