Thursday, September 24, 2020

Mask Ordinance Referendum Questions

A referendum has been filed seeking to have Ordinance 2020-36V, regarding civil infractions and requirements related to the COVID-19 pandemic, referred to voters for their approval or disapproval. The proposition information pamphlet is available online.

Here are answers to some of the frequently asked questions:

  • How do I learn more about the referendum?
    • The Proposition Information Pamphlet can be found here: https://www.provo.org/home/showdocument?id=18838
      • The referendum application (shows who filed) can be found on pages 2-3.
      • The sponsors' argument against the ordinance is found on page 8.
      • Provo City's argument for the ordinance is found on page 9.
  • Is the mask requirement unconstitutional?
    • All constitutional rights are subject to the government's authority to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the community. This authority is called the "police power." 
    • The case of Jacobson v Massachusetts established where legislative "police powers" are derived from. In that case, the Supreme Court upheld a smallpox vaccination requirement in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The court wrote, "There are manifold restraints to which every person is necessarily subject for the common good. On any other basis, organized society could not exist without safety to its members." 
  • Do masks count as a medical device or medical treatment?
    • According to BMJ (aka British Medical Journal), "We use the term 'medical mask' to refer to a device that meets particular standards and is intended primarily for healthcare workers (but may also be recommended for the public). The term 'face covering' refers to anything that covers the face, including homemade or commercially sold coverings (typically made of cloth, but sometimes from paper or other materials) intended primarily for the public."
    • "Framed medically, a face covering is either personal protective equipment (to protect the wearer) or a means of source control (to prevent the spread of illness)."
  • What are the requirements for the referendum to be successful?
    • The group will need to collect 3,200 certified signatures (Utah County certifies whether or not the signatures are valid), with a certain percentage of those signatures from four of the five Council districts. Signature packets must be turned in to Utah County before 5:00 pm on Monday, November 9
    • If successful, the item would appear on the ballot in November 2021.

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Comment below (requires Google account), on our Facebook page, through our online comment form, or by contacting Council Members directly. Comments/input on items appearing on an upcoming meeting agenda will be compiled and provided to Council Members the day before the meeting. **Note - your comments will be part of the public record.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Provo's COVID-19 Mask Ordinance (updated 9/16/2020)

The ordinance is in now in effect.

NOTES TO THIS UPDATE:

(1) August 27, 2020 - The Provo City Council voted 6-1 to override the Mayor's veto of the ordinance. It contains a sunset provision of November 15, 2020.

(2) August 31, 2020 - Pursuant to Utah Code 20A-7-6, a petition to gather signatures to put the ordinance to referendum has been filed. The state code provides time limits for all steps in the process, including signature gathering, verification of signatures, and determination whether sufficient signatures were obtained. Depending on when signature gathering commences, how much time is required to gather signatures and for the County to verify signatures, the estimated latest date that determination could be made is December 11, 2020. If effort is successful, the ordinance would be suspended pending a referendum to be held next year (2021).

(3) September 15, 2020 - The Provo City Council unanimously approved some amendments to the ordinance to clarify some things.

On August 25, 2020, the Provo City Council unanimously approved an ordinance regarding the use of masks in Provo in order to limit the spread of COVID-19 by requiring all individuals within Provo, Utah, to wear face coverings while (1) in indoor public spaces* and when not maintaining a social distance of at least six feet from individuals not residing in the same household, (2) in attendance at large outdoor gatherings where social distancing is not possible, reasonable, or prudent, and (3) in attendance at large indoor gatherings. 

* "Indoor public spaces" means any building or indoor area, including businesses and government buildings, that authorizes, permits, or invites anyone who is not an employee, resident, or owner of the building or indoor area, to enter in order to conduct business, recreate, or otherwise use the facilities provided therein. This does not include the interior of any private dwelling (i.e., your home).

The full text of the updated ordinance itself can be found online.


Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding this ordinance:

What the ordinance does and does not do?
  • The ordinance requires individuals to wear face coverings and/or practice social distancing in publicly accessible spaces with specific requirements that vary depending on:
    • whether an individual is indoors or outdoors
    • the size of gatherings
  • The ordinance requires businesses to post signage of the face covering and social distancing requirements.
  • The ordinance requires organizers of public gatherings to require attendees to wear face coverings and to provide clear signage of the face covering and social distancing requirements.
  • The ordinance DOES NOT BAN activities or public gatherings.
  • The ordinance DOES NOT require masks at home or in your yard, on public streets, sidewalks, or parking lots (unless the size of gatherings clause necessitates).
  • The ordinance provides numerous exemptions for individuals (see Who is Exempt? below)

Why the mandate?

  • To protect lives and livelihoods. Many studies have shown that the higher the percentage of people who wear face coverings and practice social distancing, the lower the incidence of COVID-19 transmission in the community. Debunking common mask myths.
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Why now?

  • Recent projections by BYU researchers indicated that without high levels of compliance with standards for wearing masks and socially distancing, the return of some 70,000 university students to Provo and Orem will result in significant increases in the number of COVID-19 cases in these communities. While there are mask requirements on campuses, until now there have been no community-wide restrictions off campus. The interactions and interconnectedness between students, businesses, and year-round residents will increase dramatically now that our students have returned.

Monday, September 14, 2020

Citizens Agenda for Meetings on September 15, 2020

Citizens Agenda

Council meeting agendas are often difficult for people to navigate. Filled with jargon and legal requirements on how an item must be listed, it can be a challenge to determine what Council members are actually discussing or deciding on.

What follows is a staff interpretation of the agendas.

The official published agendas and supporting materials can be found here:  http://agendas.provo.org

Due to the risks of public gathering associated with the spread of COVID-19, these meetings will be conducted entirely via electronic means. For information on how to view the meetings and how to contribute public comments, visit our blog: http://www.provocitycouncil.com/2020/03/virtual-provo-city-council-meetings.html

PROVO MUNICIPAL COUNCIL

Work Meeting Agenda

12:00 pm, Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Work Meetings are designed to be a less formal venue for discussion among Council Members. Generally, no public input is taken during the meeting.

Business

  1. A discussion of possible amendments to Chapter 9.25 COVID-19 Response. (20-128)

    • The Governor of Utah allows local jurisdictions to decide if mandating masks are warranted requirements to combat COVID 19. On August 25, 2020, the Provo Municipal Council passed an ordinance initiating Section 9.25 and amending Section 9.17 of Provo City Code. This was done to address the health issues caused by COVID 19. On August 27, 2020, the Council held a special meeting to override the Mayor’s veto. Since the passage of the ordinance there have been discussions about making some changes to Section 9.25.

  2. A presentation regarding budget carryovers from fiscal year 2020 to fiscal year 2021. (20-125)

    • This presentation will outline the amount of budget carryovers from the fiscal year (FY) 2020 budget to the fiscal year 2021 budget. The carryovers include (1) amounts that were encumbered on purchase orders in FY20 but not paid and (2) amounts committed to current ongoing projects and equipment purchases. Also included are all remaining unspent balances in capital improvement project fund budgets from FY20.

  3. A presentation regarding Best Friends Animal Society's Community Cat Program. (20-129)

    • Trap-neuter-return (TNR) programs are one approach to preventing cat populations from growing beyond what animal shelter facilities can manage. Salt Lake County explained TNR as “a humane and non-lethal approach to long term community and feral cat population control.” TNR programs first trap (either by working with cats brought to the shelter or by sending someone to trap feral cats reported in the area), then neuter, then return the cat (back to the wild if it is too unsocialized to be adopted, or in an adoption shelter if it can be rehabilitated). In addition to ethically controlling the local feral cat population, TNR also reduces the sounds and smells associated with cats mating or marking territory, which are the most common complaints from residents. According to Lydia LaSalle, the Executive Director for Utah’s Best Friends Animal Society, as of 2019, "Weber, Davis, and Salt Lake Counties all have successful [TNR] programs, but Utah County remains the only urban county to not adopt the practice which is becoming the national norm.” Provo City also does not currently operate an independent TNR program, though at least one non-profit, Ashley Valley Community Cats, operates one in the area.

Monday, August 31, 2020

Citizens Agenda for Meetings on September 1, 2020

Citizens Agenda

Council meeting agendas are often difficult for people to navigate. Filled with jargon and legal requirements on how an item must be listed, it can be a challenge to determine what Council members are actually discussing or deciding on.

What follows is a staff interpretation of the agendas.

The official published agendas and supporting materials can be found here:  http://agendas.provo.org

Due to the risks of public gathering associated with the spread of COVID-19, these meetings will be conducted entirely via electronic means. For information on how to view the meetings and how to contribute public comments, visit our blog: http://www.provocitycouncil.com/2020/03/virtual-provo-city-council-meetings.html

PROVO MUNICIPAL COUNCIL

Work Meeting Agenda

1:30 pm, Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Work Meetings are designed to be a less formal venue for discussion among Council Members. Generally, no public input is taken during the meeting.

Business

  1. A discussion of possible amendments to Chapter 9.25 COVID-19 Response. (20-118)

    • The Governor of Utah allows local jurisdictions to decide if mandating masks are warranted requirements to combat COVID 19. On August 25, 2020, the Provo Municipal Council passed an ordinance initiating Section 9.25 and amending Section 9.17 of Provo City Code. This was done to address the health issues caused by COVID 19. On August 27, 2020, the Council held a special meeting to override the Mayor’s veto. Since the passage of the ordinance there have been discussions about making some changes to Section 9.25.

Administration

  1. A presentation regarding the Fiscal 2020 3rd Quarter Financial Report. (20-220)

    • John Borget will give an overview of the Quarterly Report for the 3rd quarter ending March 31, 2020.

  2. A presentation regarding an update on the Provo City Center Project and Redevelopment. (20-013)

    • The Provo City Center project is hitting some key milestones in the next few weeks, both in the construction as well as in narrowing the field of potential development partners for the redevelopment of the existing site. Project manager Scott Henderson and David Walter from the Provo Redevelopment Agency will both provide updates on these aspects of the project.

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Provo Municipal Council overrides veto and enacts face coverings ordinance

The Provo Municipal Council met tonight to reconsider an ordinance passed unanimously on Tuesday, August 25, and vetoed today by Mayor Michelle Kaufusi. On a 6-1 vote, Councilors voted to override the veto and enact the ordinance which amends Provo City Code regarding civil infractions and requirements related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The ordinance requires face coverings or social distancing in publicly accessible spaces with specific requirements that vary depending on whether an individual is indoor or outdoors and whether an individual is attending a large public gathering. It also requires businesses to post signage

Passage of this ordinance came after several Council meeting discussions and input from thousands who participated in an online survey as well as those who reached out to the Councilors by email or phone. More than two-thirds of responses to the online survey and of emails received by the Council supported a mask mandate. The Council previously passed a resolution calling on Provoans to “accept personal responsibility to … follow public health guidelines,” and on the Mayor to expand education efforts to spread awareness and increase compliance with those public health guidelines.

The face covering and social distancing ordinance was originally passed at a special Council meeting held just two days ago. Following that vote, Mayor Michelle Kaufusi informed the Council that she would veto the ordinance. In her letter delivered today to the City Council, Mayor Kaufusi cited common ground with the Council wanting “a safe and vibrant Provo through coming months” and a shared “desire to see the highest possible rate of compliance with state health guidelines.” Her veto comes because of “difference over the right path … to get to that destination.” 


Council Chair George Handley expressed appreciation for the Mayor and Administration, stating that “nothing about our strong and honest difference of opinion about the need for a mask ordinance has changed that relationship. There is not a rift in the City leadership.” He also committed to seeking improvements to the ordinance and the City’s efforts if needed.


The Council’s goal in passing this ordinance is to increase the number of people in Provo complying with health guidelines in place to limit the spread of COVID-19. It does not ban public gatherings as some feared, rather it places requirements to wear face coverings as appropriate, with exemptions for a variety of medical and other issues. With an influx of university students arriving in Provo, there was a sense of urgency to have consistency between the mask requirements on the campuses as Brigham Young University and Utah Valley University and the off-campus areas in Provo where students and the community interact. BYU, UVU, and the Provo School District all have enacted mask mandates as part of their COVID-19 responses.


As this mask requirement goes into effect, this should not be seen as an invitation to start reporting those who aren’t wearing masks. This is a request that people in Provo wear a mask in public because it is the right thing to do and, now, it is the law. There are exceptions provided in the ordinance for many legitimate reasons for not wearing a mask and the public is encouraged to be understanding of those situations. The ordinance has a sunset clause that would cause this ordinance to expire effective November 15 unless extended by October 20, 2020.


Handley also expressed appreciation to the administration, staff, and others for their extraordinary effort in recent weeks. “And we thank this community,” said Handley. “We know you care and we value your voice and input, even if we sometimes disagree. I am proud to be a citizen of this great city.”

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Monday, August 24, 2020

Resolution on the Necessity of Social Distancing and/or Mask Wearing

The Provo City Council met on Thursday, August 20, 2020, to discuss a potential resolution and an ordinance regarding social distancing and/or mask wearing to prevent the spread of COVID-19. They unanimously passed the following resolution:

A RESOLUTION OF THE PROVO CITY MUNICIPAL COUNCIL REGARDING THE NECESSITY OF SOCIAL DISTANCING AND/OR MASK WEARING TO PREVENT THE SPREAD OF COVID-19.

WHEREAS, the State of Utah has been in a declared state of emergency due to novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) since March 6, 2020, which worldwide disease outbreak has been characterized by the World Health Organization as a pandemic; and

WHEREAS, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises that COVID-19 is easily spread through the air from person to person who are in close contact with one another; and

WHEREAS, federal, state, and local authorities have recommended that individuals limit public gatherings, wear face masks, and follow social distancing guidelines; and

WHEREAS, a BYU study, “Making sense of the research on COVID-19 and masks,” concluded that “masks could be one of the most powerful and cost-effective tools to stop COVID-19 and accelerate the economic recovery;” and

WHEREAS, another BYU study, “Provo City and BYU need to be Partners during COVID-19,” notes that while BYU has done extensive work to reduce the spread of COVID-19 through on-campus networks, the close proximity and interconnectedness of the students with the larger community off campus can seed larger outbreaks of the disease; therefore, the study recommends that masks be required in all businesses and enclosed spaces outside the home and that gatherings larger than 50 people not be permitted; and

WHEREAS, approximately 16,000 public school students and another 70,000 BYU and UVU students are returning to school over the next few weeks, most of whom will live, work, study, shop, and recreate in Provo and Orem, thereby expanding the interconnectedness of social networks and economic activity in our communities; and

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Citizens Agenda for Meetings on August 18, 2020

Citizens Agenda

Council meeting agendas are often difficult for people to navigate. Filled with jargon and legal requirements on how an item must be listed, it can be a challenge to determine what Council members are actually discussing or deciding on.

What follows is a staff interpretation of the agendas.

The official published agendas and supporting materials can be found here:  http://agendas.provo.org

Due to the risks of public gathering associated with the spread of COVID-19, these meetings will be conducted entirely via electronic means. For information on how to view the meetings and how to contribute public comments, visit our blog: http://www.provocitycouncil.com/2020/03/virtual-provo-city-council-meetings.html

 

PROVO MUNICIPAL COUNCIL

Work Meeting Agenda

1:00 pm, Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Work Meetings are designed to be a less formal venue for discussion among Council Members. Generally, no public input is taken during the meeting.

Business

Administration

  1. A joint discussion with the Planning Commission regarding the process of updating the General Plan. (20-068)

    • At the March 5, 2020 Council retreat, Council Members discussed updating the City’s General Plan and talked about setting aside money in the FY 2021 budget to pay for the update to the General Plan. At the March 31, 2020 Work Meeting, the Community and Neighborhood Services Department made a presentation about updating the General Plan. Their presentation included what would go into the updated General Plan. As part of the FY 2021 budget, the Council set aside money to update the General Plan. The Council has discussed getting input for the Planning Commission on what they would like to be included in the General Plan update. The Community and Neighborhood Services Department is currently working on developing an RFP for a General Plan update.

  2. A presentation regarding an update from Valley Visioning. (20-111)

    • Leota Coyne with Envision Utah will give the Council an update on the Valley Visioning project

  3. A discussion regarding ranked-choice voting. (20-113)

    • In 2018, the Utah State Legislature approved the creation of a ranked choice voting (RCV) pilot program. RCV is an election method where voters rank their preferred candidates. If no candidate receives more than 50% of the votes in the top ranking, the votes from the candidate in last place move to those voters’ second choices. The process continues until a candidate has received a majority. The program is expected to run through 2026. Six cities initially opted in, but four dropped out. Payson and Vineyard held very successful RCV elections in 2019. The Provo City Council in 2018 determined that there was not enough time to sufficiently educate voters about the new election method but committed to exploring it for the 2021 elections.

  4. A discussion regarding face masks in public with regards to COVID-19. (20-114)

    • Some Councilors have asked for a further discussion about what actions the City and/or Council can take to promote the wearing of face masks to slow the spread of COVID-19, especially as BYU and UVU students begin to return to Provo.

Monday, August 3, 2020

Citizens Agenda for Meetings on August 4, 2020

Citizens Agenda

Council meeting agendas are often difficult for people to navigate. Filled with jargon and legal requirements on how an item must be listed, it can be a challenge to determine what Council members are actually discussing or deciding on.

What follows is a staff interpretation of the agendas.

The official published agendas and supporting materials can be found here:  http://agendas.provo.org

Due to the risks of public gathering associated with the spread of COVID-19, these meetings will be conducted entirely via electronic means. For information on how to view the meetings and how to contribute public comments, visit our blog: http://www.provocitycouncil.com/2020/03/virtual-provo-city-council-meetings.html


PROVO MUNICIPAL COUNCIL

Work Meeting Agenda

3:30 pm, Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Work Meetings are designed to be a less formal venue for discussion among Council Members. Generally, no public input is taken during the meeting.

Business

Administration

  1. A discussion regarding an interlocal agreement with Utah County on CARES Act Funding. (20-108)

    • The City has received an allocation under the CARES Act from Utah County for expenses and projects related to the impact of COVID-19 on citizens and city operations. The Administration would like to review the proposed agreement with the County and the projects the Administration intends to undertake with the allocated funding (see attachments). List of CARES Act projects. Proposed expenditures.

Closed Meeting

    • Closed meetings (aka executive meetings) are held without the public present and must meet one of the conditions listed in Utah State Code (§ 52-4-204 and 52-4-205 et. seq.). If a closed meeting is needed, it will be announced at that time.

Adjournment

Monday, July 20, 2020

Citizens Agenda for Meetings on July 21, 2020

Citizens Agenda

Council meeting agendas are often difficult for people to navigate. Filled with jargon and legal requirements on how an item must be listed, it can be a challenge to determine what Council members are actually discussing or deciding on.
What follows is a staff interpretation of the agendas.
The official published agendas and supporting materials can be found here:  http://agendas.provo.org
Due to the risks of public gathering associated with the spread of COVID-19, these meetings will be conducted entirely via electronic means. For information on how to view the meetings and how to contribute public comments, visit our blog: http://www.provocitycouncil.com/2020/03/virtual-provo-city-council-meetings.html

PROVO MUNICIPAL COUNCIL
Work Meeting Agenda
2:00 pm, Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Work Meetings are designed to be a less formal venue for discussion among Council Members. Generally, no public input is taken during the meeting.

Business
  1. A discussion regarding a WaterSMART Grant application. 20-105
    • Public Works has been working to identify ways to artificially recharge the aquifers that supply water to the City. A WaterSMART drought resiliency grant has been identified as a potential funding source for these aquifer storage and recovery projects. One of the requirements of the grant application is a resolution indicating the Council's support and commitment to meeting the requirements of the grant program.
  2. A motion to add an additional committee member to the Public Gatherings Committee. (20-103)
    • The committee was formed during the Work Meeting on July 7, 2020. Since it was created, Councilor Shannon Ellsworth has expressed interest in being a part of that committee. The committee members were amenable to the request and it has been brought to the full Council to formalize the action. 
    •  
  3. An update regarding Provo City's policies for COVID-19 (20-106)
    • Members of the City Council requested an update on how the City is managing and evaluating the COVID-19 pandemic. The broader issue is city policy that would best protect employees and citizens. The spread of the virus is accelerating - with new records recently being set for new cases in Utah, in the U.S. and globally. More businesses are starting to require mask use by employees and customers. We should encourage this trend. We would like to discuss the possibility of doing so at all city facilities to set an example and encourage more movement in this direction. This would increase safety for employees and citizens alike.
Policy Items Referred from the Planning Commission
  1. An ordinance amending the zone map classification of approx 1.92 acres of property generally located at 442 and 490 S State St from General Commercial to High Density Residential and authorizing a related development agreement. Maeser Neighborhood. (17-0010R)
    • The applicant is requesting a zone change from General Commercial (CG) to High Density Residential (HDR) at this location to allow for a four-story, 32-unit apartment, a three-story, 24-unit apartment and a two-story, 4-unit townhomes on the corner of 500 South and State Street. These proposed sixty units would be on commercial property that is to be rezoned to High Density Residential (HDR). The HDR zone would allow for more units and additional building height than is being requested, therefore, a development agreement would be advisable to ensure that only what has been proposed would be developed. The City Council continued the zone change request and instructed the applicant to go back and work with the neighborhood and address their concerns. The applicant has now done that and made changes to their original proposal of 64 units in 2 four-story buildings.

Monday, July 6, 2020

Citizens Agenda for Meetings on July 7, 2020

Citizens Agenda

Council meeting agendas are often difficult for people to navigate. Filled with jargon and legal requirements on how an item must be listed, it can be a challenge to determine what Council members are actually discussing or deciding on.
What follows is a staff interpretation of the agendas.
The official published agendas and supporting materials can be found here:  http://agendas.provo.org

Due to the risks of public gathering associated with the spread of COVID-19, these meetings will be conducted entirely via electronic means. For information on how to view the meetings and how to contribute public comments, visit our blog: http://www.provocitycouncil.com/2020/03/virtual-provo-city-council-meetings.html

PROVO MUNICIPAL COUNCIL
Work Meeting Agenda
3:00 pm, Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Work Meetings are designed to be a less formal venue for discussion among Council Members. Generally, no public input is taken during the meeting.

Business
  1. A discussion regarding proposed amendments from the Sign Committee to Provo City Code regarding electronic sign hold times and permitted locations. (20-101)
    • The Sign Committee has spent the last year reviewing Provo City's policy regarding electronic signs. At the suggestion of the committee, the Council approved an ordinance prohibiting electronic signs in residential and agricultural zones in October 2019. The committee is now bringing a second proposal to the Council for consideration. The committee proposes that Provo be divided into three areas: 1. areas where digital signs are prohibited 2. areas where long hold times no shorter than one hour are permitted 3. areas where short hold times no shorter than one minute are permitted (unless the sign is in an SC3 zone and represents 20 or more tenants, in which case the shortest permitted hold time would be 15 seconds) Digital Sign Hold Time Principles v5 gives more details and outlines where each would be applied. After reviewing the available academic literature and visiting with local business owners, the committee believes that this is the best compromise between Provo's commitment to public safety and the need to create an environment where local businesses can thrive. A more thorough explanation of the rationale behind this proposal, including a short list of studies consulted, is available in the Digital Sign Ordinance Preamble. In Provo City Code, the current long hold time is that a sign may change up to three times per day. The short hold time is eight seconds, which is the most common hold time in neighboring cities.
  2. A discussion regarding Provo City’s permitting process for demonstrations and protest. (20-103)
    • Councilors wanted to learn more about Provo City’s process for issuing permits for events.
Policy Items Referred from the Planning Commission
  1. A discussion regarding rezoning all R2.5, R3, R4 properties to Low Density Res., Medium Density Res., or High Density Res. and the removal of the R2.5, R3, R4, R5, and Campus High Density zones from City Code. (PLRZ20190427 and PLOTA20190428)
    • In order to streamline the different zones in Provo, the Community and Neighborhood Services is proposing to eliminate five different residential zones and replace them with three new zones. This will create more flexibility and clarity. Planning Commission recommended approval for PLRZ20190427 and PLOTA20190428.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Statement on Open and Public Meetings

Some in our community have asked when City Council and Planning Commission meetings will be held again in person at the City Center. It is a good question; one which we wish we could answer, “soon.” For now, the answer is that the Council will continue to hold online meetings indefinitely.

Governor Gary Herbert issued Executive Order 2020-1, Declaring a State of Emergency Due to Infectious Disease COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus, on March 6. On March 18, recognizing that “public monitoring and participation requirements in the Open and Public Meetings Act…will gather interested persons, members of the public, and members of a public body in a single, confined location where the risks of further spreading COVID-19 are far greater;” he issued Executive Order 2020-5, which suspended the requirement to have an anchor location for public meetings until the expiration of the state of emergency declared in the first executive order. Last week, the Utah State Legislature, via HJR504 extended the state of emergency until August 20. It also passed HB5002, Open and Public Meetings Act Amendments, which gives a public body the ability to hold electronic meetings without an anchor location if the chair of that public body “makes a written determination, supported by stated facts, that conducting the meeting with an anchor location presents a substantial risk to the health and safety of those who may be present at the anchor location; and complies with certain public notice requirements.” This last requirement may not be necessary under the current state of emergency, since the Governor declared and the Legislature has extended it twice now, but the law now provides more local control based on local circumstances.

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Citizens Agenda for Meetings on June 16, 2020

Citizens Agenda

Council meeting agendas are often difficult for people to navigate. Filled with jargon and legal requirements on how an item must be listed, it can be a challenge to determine what Council members are actually discussing or deciding on.

What follows is a staff interpretation of the agendas.

The official published agendas and supporting materials can be found here:  http://agendas.provo.org

Due to the risks of public gathering associated with the spread of COVID-19, these meetings will be conducted entirely via electronic means. For information on how to view the meetings and how to contribute public comments, visit our blog: http://www.provocitycouncil.com/2020/03/virtual-provo-city-council-meetings.html


PROVO MUNICIPAL COUNCIL

Work Meeting Agenda

1:00 pm, Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Work Meetings are designed to be a less formal venue for discussion among Council Members. Generally, no public input is taken during the meeting.

Business

  1. A discussion regarding potential updates to the budget. (20-008)

    • This is the Council's opportunity to make any changes to the budget before the second of two required hearings in the Council Meeting this evening. The Council has discussed carryovers in the past, and final language must be determined before the resolution adopting the budget is approved.

Administration

  1. A presentation regarding an update on the Innovation Grant Fund Program. (20-096)

    • The Innovation Grant Fund Program was created several years ago to encourage our employees to think outside the box and be innovative in their approach to their jobs or challenges. The program successfully launched one round of initiatives/ideas. However, the program was not implemented in fiscal year 18/19. In late 2019, the program was re-initiated and the program began promoting and soliciting Provo City employees to submit innovative ideas. The criteria for selecting an innovative idea were as follows:

      • cost savings to Provo City as a whole

      • cost savings to individual departments

      • service and quality improvement to Provo residents

      • increased efficiency

      • contribution to public safety or quality of life and finally

      • innovation or a compelling concept

    • The Administration will present three brief updates from Police, Fire, and Community and Neighborhood services on the innovative submissions from these departments.

Business

  1. A presentation regarding the State Auditor's Office Fraud Risk Assessment. (20-012)

    • On January 7, 2020, the Council heard a presentation in a Work Meeting regarding the Utah State Auditor's Office Fraud Risk Assessment for Municipalities. This is a follow-up presentation to inform the Council of updates on the City's activities and progress related to filling out this assessment to determine the level of Provo City's fraud risk.

Policy Items Referred from the Planning Commission

  1. A discussion regarding a Letter of Intent with PEG Development. (20-097)

    • The Redevelopment Agency has been working with PEG Development for a facility that would provide additional Class A office space in the downtown and also meet the RDA's obligation to Utah County to provide 350 parking spaces for the Utah County Convention Center. PEG has encountered difficulties in getting sufficient commitments of the office space to allow their construction lender to release the financing to commence construction. PEG has asked the Agency to consider leasing enough space to reach the 60% threshold and obtain the financing. This is scheduled to be heard at the July 7 Council meeting.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Summary of Action | Meetings on June 2, 2020

PROVO MUNICIPAL COUNCIL

Work Meeting
1:30 PM, Tuesday, June 2, 2020
Electronic Meeting

Summary of Action


Approval of Minutes

January 22, 2020 Legislative Breakfast

Approved by unanimous consent.

Business
   

1. A presentation from the Provo School District. (20-092) Presentation only.

2. A discussion on the proposed FY 2021 budget. (20-008) A motion that Provo City
Municipal Council directs that the City “pick-up” (that is, pay) the required member
contribution, which will be designated as employee contributions, on behalf of
employees serving as a Public Safety Officer or as a Firefighter that are members of the
Public Safety and Firefighter Tier II Hybrid Retirement System was approved 7:0.

3. A discussion regarding beer licensing regulations and density restrictions. (20-077) A
motion to strike restaurant regulations from any further discussion in the committee
was approved 4:3, with Bill Fillmore, David Sewell, and David Harding opposed.

Policy Items Referred from the Planning Commission

4. An ordinance amending the Zone Map classification of approximately 18.5 acres of real
property, generally located at 901 West 1560 South, from Residential Agricultural (RA)
and Agricultural (A1.5) to One-Family Residential (R1.7)). Lakewood Neighborhood
(PLRZ20200079) Presentation only. This item was already scheduled for the Council
Meeting on June 2, 2020.

5. An Ordinance Text Amendment request to add the Very Low Density Residential
(VLDR) zone to the Provo City Code as Chapter 14.14F. Citywide application
(PLOTA20200120) Presentation only. This item was already scheduled for the Council
Meeting on June 2, 2020.

Closed Meeting
A closed meeting was held.

Adjournment

Monday, June 1, 2020

Citizens Budget FY2021

As part of their work reviewing the proposed Provo City budget, the City Council staff have prepared a document to help Councilors and the public quickly gain an understanding of what is proposed in the budget. The Citizens Budget is a great resource for those unfamiliar with the terms used in the budget and the accounting methods the City is required to use.


Click on the image above to see the Citizens Budget. More information about the budget process and links to the proposed Provo City budget can also be found on our website: https://www.provo.org/government/city-council/budget.

The public is invited to comment on the budget on Open City Hall or at the June 2 or June 16 Council meetings.


* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Comment below (requires Google account), on our Facebook page, through our online comment form, or by contacting Council Members directly. Comments/input on items appearing on an upcoming meeting agenda will be compiled and provided to Council Members the day before the meeting. **Note - your comments will be part of the public record.

Friday, May 29, 2020

Citizens Agenda for Meetings on June 2, 2020

Citizens Agenda

Council meeting agendas are often difficult for people to navigate. Filled with jargon and legal requirements on how an item must be listed, it can be a challenge to determine what Council members are actually discussing or deciding on.
What follows is a staff interpretation of the agendas.
The official published agendas and supporting materials can be found here:  http://agendas.provo.org

Due to the risks of public gathering associated with the spread of COVID-19, these meetings will be conducted entirely via electronic means. For information on how to view the meetings and how to contribute public comments, visit our blog: http://www.provocitycouncil.com/2020/03/virtual-provo-city-council-meetings.html

PROVO MUNICIPAL COUNCIL
Work Meeting Agenda
1:30 pm, Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Work Meetings are designed to be a less formal venue for discussion among Council Members. Generally, no public input is taken during the meeting.

Business
  1. A presentation from the Provo School District. (20-092)
    • The Superintendent of Provo School District will be giving an update about what is happening with the district. He will talk about the impacts the district is dealing with and how they plan to move forward in fall with classes.
  2. A discussion on the proposed FY 2021 budget. (20-008)
    • The Council has adopted the FY 2021 tentative budget and continues to review items in the budget. One item of discussion is the Tier II retirement enhancement for public safety, and the City’s contribution to that.
  3. A discussion regarding beer licensing regulations and density restrictions. (20-077)
    • Staff is working with Council on their preferences in regard to the different proposals put forth by the brewpub licensing subcommittee. The goal of this discussion is to give direction to the subcommittee so they can move forward.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Summary of Action | Meetings on May 19, 2020

PROVO MUNICIPAL COUNCIL

Work Meeting
12:00 PM, Tuesday, May 19, 2020
Electronic Meeting

Summary of Action


Business

1.  A discussion regarding the Tentative Budget for Fiscal Year 2020-2021. (20-008) A motion to create a Budget Policy subcommittee with David Shipley as chair, Dave Harding as a committee member, with the mission statement “within next 2 weeks come back with a proposal, having engaged with the Administration to update the budget policies, particularly as regards surplus money at the end of the budget year,” was approved 7:0.

Redevelopment Agency

2.  A discussion regarding Interlocal Agreements for Tax Increment for The Mix Community Development Project Area. (20-085, 20-086, 20-087, 20-088, 20-089) Presentation only. This item was already scheduled for the Council Meeting on May 19, 2020.

3.  A discussion regarding the creation of a Public Infrastructure District for the medical school and associated housing. (20-090) Presentation only. This item is anticipated to return to the Council Meeting on June 2, 2020.

4.  A discussion regarding the creation of a Small Business Loan Program in response to COVID-19. (20-081) Presentation only. This item was already scheduled for the Council Meeting on May 19, 2020, but the Council moved to continue the items to the subsequent Council Meeting.

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Citizens Agenda for Meetings on May 19, 2020


Citizens Agenda

Council meeting agendas are often difficult for people to navigate. Filled with jargon and legal requirements on how an item must be listed, it can be a challenge to determine what Council members are actually discussing or deciding on.
What follows is a staff interpretation of the agendas.
The official published agendas and supporting materials can be found here:  http://agendas.provo.org

Due to the risks of public gathering associated with the spread of COVID-19, these meetings will be conducted entirely via electronic means. For information on how to view the meetings and how to contribute public comments, visit our blog: http://www.provocitycouncil.com/2020/03/virtual-provo-city-council-meetings.html

PROVO MUNICIPAL COUNCIL
Work Meeting Agenda
Time, Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Work Meetings are designed to be a less formal venue for discussion among Council Members. Generally, no public input is taken during the meeting.

Business
  1. A discussion regarding the Tentative Budget for Fiscal Year 2020-2021. (20-008)
    • This is a follow-up to the Budget Retreat held May 12, 2020. Topics for discussion include debt, General Plan update funding, Joaquin Parking program, wastewater projects and fees, unfunded supplementals, budget intent statements, summary of the Stormwater Special Service District budget, and summary of the Redevelopment Agency budget.
Redevelopment Agency
  1. A discussion regarding Interlocal Agreements for Tax Increment for The Mix Community Development Project Area. (20-085, 20-086, 20-087, 20-088, 20-089)
    • The Mix, the former Plumtree Plaza shopping center on University Parkway, is seeking tax increment financial assistance to help pay for the infrastructure required to redevelop the site into a mixed-use center that would include retail, hospitality and residential uses.
  2. A discussion regarding the creation of a Public Infrastructure District for the medical school and associated housing. (20-090)
    • The developer of the medical school and associated housing would like to speak with the Council about creating a Public Infrastructure District (PID) to provide a financing mechanism for the removal of former landfill debris and the installation of utilities and infrastructure. The letter of intent and the draft policy document for the consideration for creating PIDs (included in the supplemental materials) was reviewed in a CRC meeting on May 6, 2020 that was attended by all of the development review departments. None of them expressed any concerns. There was a question about scope and size of these types of developments. The answer is that this type of funding mechanism really only makes sense for large developments – such as a medical school and associated multiple family housing. It was also noted that should Provo consider the creation of PIDs, that single-family detached residential development would not likely be considered for approval. The Council has heard a presentation on the creation of Public Infrastructure Districts to create discrete districts to apply to specific parcels of ground that, with the creation of the PID, self-impose an additional property tax levy, the proceeds of which are used to construct public infrastructure such as water, sewer, storm drain and roadway improvements.
  3. A discussion regarding the creation of a Small Business Loan Program in response to COVID-19. (20-081)
    • This item is continued from the Council Meeting on May 5, 2020. In response to the negative impacts to the local economy (particularly to small businesses) caused by COVID-19, the Economic and Redevelopment Staff are recommending the creation of a Small Business Loan Fund. The purpose of the fund is to help small businesses stay in business during this difficult economic time. These would be small loans ranging from $10,000 to $25,000 dollars each. The available funding identified is from a Tax Increment Financing fund generated from an existing Community and Redevelopment Area.

Friday, May 15, 2020

Summary of Action | Meetings on May 5, 2020, and May 12, 2020

PROVO MUNICIPAL COUNCIL
Work Meeting
1:00 PM, Tuesday, May 5, 2020
Electronic Meeting

Summary of Action


Approval of MinutesJanuary 21, 2020 Work Meeting
March 5, 2020 Council Retreat
Approved by unanimous consent.


Business


1.  A discussion regarding beer licensing regulations and density restrictions. (20-077) Presentation only.

2.  A discussion regarding the Council Code of Ethics and the use of social media during Council meetings. (20-082) A motion was approved 7:0 to adopt the following statement and to insert it at an appropriate place within the Provo City Municipal Council Handbook as the policy of the Council, applicable to Council members, the Municipal Council Executive Director and full-time employees in the Council Office:
"The Municipal Officers' and Employees' Ethics Act" (Utah Code §10-3-1301 et seq.), applies to municipal councilors and the municipal council's staff. The Council considers it a best practice to revisit and remind the councilors and council staff of the limits and responsibilities of our unique positions. It is the policy of the Provo City Municipal Council that every Council member, the Municipal Council Executive Director, and all full-time employees of the Municipal Council complete and file annually with the City the Administrative Code of Ethics and Conduct and the Gift & Conflict of Interest Disclosure forms provided by the Administration generally to city officers and employees.



3.  A discussion regarding Provo City’s goal of renewable energy. (20-043) A motion to adopt into the Council Handbook, and refer to the Energy Board, a goal of achieving 60% green, renewable, and carbon-free power sources by 2030 was approved 7:0.

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Town Hall Information

The Provo City Council will hold a virtual Town Hall on Foothills Protection on Thursday, May 7, 2020 at 7:00 PM. The meeting will be held via electronic means and is available to the public for live broadcast and on-demand viewing at: youtube.com/provocitycouncil.

To listen or ask a question via phone, dial 346 248 7799. Enter Meeting ID 846-8612-3368 and press #. Press # for participant ID. Once connected, press *9 to indicate that you would like to ask a question.

Questions during the Town Hall can be submitted here: https://bit.ly/Hillside572020


Map of the proposed zone
Full text of the proposed Critical Hillside Overlay. 

Some questions were submitted in advance at https://www.opentownhall.com/portals/258/Issue_8746. It also has options to provide comments to the City Council.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Comment below (requires Google account), on our Facebook page, through our online comment form, or by contacting Council Members directly. Comments/input on items appearing on an upcoming meeting agenda will be compiled and provided to Council Members the day before the meeting. **Note - your comments will be part of the public record.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Annual Budget Timeline - 2020

The timeline for approving Provo City's budget is set by Utah State Code.

  • The Mayor presents the proposed budget to the City Council at their first meeting in May. (This year it is the May 5 meeting).
  • Council votes to tentatively adopt the proposed budget. This vote will occur at the May 19 meeting.
  • All municipal final budgets must be adopted before June 30, or, in the case of a property tax increase, before September 1. The Council's vote on adopting the budget is expected to happen at the June 16 Council Meeting this year.
  • The tentative (proposed) budget is available to the public at least 10 days before the adoption of the final budget. You can view the proposed budget in person at the office of the City Recorder. It is available online. The Finance Office has also provided a document with highlights from the tentative budget. Budgets from recent years are also available on the Finance Department's website.
  • A public hearing must be held before adopting the budget. The dates for the hearings will be formally set when the budget is tentatively adopted on May 19. According to Utah State Code, "All interested persons in attendance shall be given an opportunity to be heard, for or against, the estimates of revenue and expenditures or any item thereof in the tentative budget of any fund." 
  • If a property tax increase was included in the proposed budget this year and Council decides to move forward with the increase, a Truth in Taxation hearing would be required. The date for the hearing is set by Utah County and would most likely be held in August. (No property tax increase was proposed this year)
In between the Mayor presenting the budget and the Council adopting the final budget there are usually some extra Work Meetings where Council Members examine the budget in greater detail, ask questions of department directors, and hear presentations and analysis from Council staff. Watch the Council's Facebook page for updates.



* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Comment below (requires Google account), on our Facebook page, through our online comment form, or by contacting Council Members directly. Comments/input on items appearing on an upcoming meeting agenda will be compiled and provided to Council Members the day before the meeting. **Note - your comments will be part of the public record.

Monday, May 4, 2020

We're Still Open

Council office continues to be open graphic


Mayor Kaufusi announced today a shift toward recovery plans for Provo City in line with Governor Herbert's move from "high" to "moderate" risk for the state. Our city will Proceed with Caution as some previously closed City facilities will reopen with restrictions.

One area that isn't seeing much in the way of new changes is the Council office. Although the State's COVID-19 guidelines moved Council and other meetings online, the Council office itself has been open to the public this entire time. At least one of our staff is there in the office to help as needed and the rest are working from home. Councilors and staff continue to be reachable by phone call and email.

With the shift in risk level there will be a gradual move to more work happening in the Council office and the City Center building instead of remotely. Extra precautions will be taken to maintain social distancing and clean high touch surfaces like tables, doors, light switches, etc. We will, of course, be keeping an eye on things to make adjustments as needed to protect the health of our employees and the public.

Council meetings scheduled for May and June will continue to be held remotely. The same is also true for neighborhood meetings. Please follow the Council's Facebook page to keep up with the latest information.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Comment below (requires Google account), on our Facebook page, through our online comment form, or by contacting Council Members directly. Comments/input on items appearing on an upcoming meeting agenda will be compiled and provided to Council Members the day before the meeting. **Note - your comments will be part of the public record.

Friday, May 1, 2020

Citizens Agenda for Meetings on May 5, 2020

Citizens Agenda

Council meeting agendas are often difficult for people to navigate. Filled with jargon and legal requirements on how an item must be listed, it can be a challenge to determine what Council members are actually discussing or deciding on.
What follows is a staff interpretation of the agendas.

The official published agendas and supporting materials can be found here:  http://agendas.provo.org

PROVO MUNICIPAL COUNCIL
Work Meeting Agenda
1:00 pm, Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Work Meetings are designed to be a less formal venue for discussion among Council Members. Generally, no public input is taken during the meeting.

Business
  1. A discussion regarding beer licensing regulations and density restrictions. (20-077)
    • In the Work Session on April 14, 2020, the Council advised the Alcohol Licensing Committee to continue to look into density regulations. The committee will now return with two proposals -- one regarding density for all alcohol outlet types based on weight and one regarding further regulations for the Class "F" (brewpub) license. The two proposals are not mutually exclusive. The committee would like the Council's feedback on the directions of these policies.
  2. A discussion regarding the Council Code of Ethics and the use of social media during Council meetings. (20-082)
    • There are State laws that require Councilors to report conflicts of interest. For the benefit of the Council, there will be a review of the Code of Ethics and when and how a Councilor is required to report a conflict of interest.
    • Since moving to electronic meetings we have had members of the public use social media to make comments regarding issues before the Council. Our policy is to have members of the public use our Zoom meeting protocols and call into the meeting if they want to comment on an issue before the Council. In order to not complicate GRAMA requests and not increase the workload of staff, it would be best if Councilors refrain from using social media while the Council is meeting to conduct Council business.
  3. A discussion regarding Provo City’s goal of renewable energy. (20-083)
    • The Council has had a presentation from Travis Ball the Director of Energy regarding the increased use of renewable energy in Provo’s electricity production portfolio. In the near future some of the coal fired plants that produce electricity for Provo are going to be taken offline, this will give Provo a chance to replace this production with new clean renewable energy. The Council had discussed in the past what percentage of electricity the city uses should come from renewable sources.

Friday, April 24, 2020

Summary of Action | Meetings on April 21, 2020

PROVO MUNICIPAL COUNCIL
Work Meeting
12:00 PM, Tuesday, April 21, 2020
Electronic Meeting

Summary of Action


Business

1.  A discussion regarding gathering neighborhood feedback on land use applications. (20-078) A motion to authorize staff to exempt planning proposals from the policy for Council approval of Open City Hall topics, to post these planning topics as they arrive, and to report back to the Council with the results as usual, was approved 7:0.

Policy Items Referred from the Planning Commission


2.  A discussion regarding updates to an ordinance amending Provo City Code to establish a Critical Hillside Overlay (CH) Zone. Citywide application. (PLOTA20200077) Presentation only.

Administration


3.  A discussion regarding the FY 2020-2021 budget. (20-007) Presentation only.
 4.  An Administrative update. (20-079) Presentation only.

Closed Meeting
None requested.


Friday, April 17, 2020

Citizens Agenda for Meetings on April 21, 2020

Citizens Agenda

Council meeting agendas are often difficult for people to navigate. Filled with jargon and legal requirements on how an item must be listed, it can be a challenge to determine what Council members are actually discussing or deciding on.
What follows is a staff interpretation of the agendas.
The official published agendas and supporting materials can be found here:  http://agendas.provo.org

PROVO MUNICIPAL COUNCIL
Work Meeting Agenda
12:00 pm, Tuesday, April 21, 2020
This meeting will be conducted entirely via electronic means, with no physical meeting location.

Work Meetings are designed to be a less formal venue for discussion among Council Members. Generally, no public input is taken during the meeting.

Business
  1. A discussion regarding gathering neighborhood feedback on land use applications. (20-078)
    • Provo’s Neighborhood Program has been in place for the past 50 years to gather feedback from residents on land use applications and the General Plan. Most of the feedback is gathered in neighborhood meetings and then reported by the Neighborhood Chair to the Planning Commission and City Council. With the current pandemic restrictions in place, neighborhood meetings have been put on hold. In order to be fair to both the applicant and the neighborhood residents, the Council office would like to use the Open City Hall online public engagement platform as a way to gather that input on applications that will be coming before the Council.
Policy Items Referred from the Planning Commission
  1. A discussion regarding updates to an ordinance amending Provo City Code to establish a Critical Hillside Overlay (CH) Zone. Citywide application. (PLOTA20200077)
    • This item was continued from the Council Meeting on April 14, 2020.
    • Following discussions after complications with the gravel pit, the Foothills Protection Committee and Planning staff prepared a proposed set of hillside requirements and development standards to help protect hillside areas of Provo City. Staff felt that an overlay zone approach was best for adding hillside requirements. The proposed requirements and standards would overlay the existing zoning of a property; in other words, this proposal would add additional zoning requirements for a given parcel in addition to the requirements of the underlying zone. Feedback from multiple City departments was considered in the drafting of this proposal. The proposal includes, among other things, requirements related to limits of disturbance or LOD (identification of the limited area of a lot that can be encroached upon by development activity), slope protection and stability, detention basin design, ridgelines, trails, streets and access, fences, vegetation protection, stream corridor and wetlands protection, design standards, and development clustering. Multiple graphical illustrations of requirements are included in the proposal for the sake of facilitating comprehension of the requirements. Further, this proposal has a companion zone map amendment application. With the zone map amendment application, staff has proposed the inclusion of certain properties in the CH Zone. Included in the proposal is an amendment to Chapter 14.01, Provo City Code, to limit development east of the proposed CH Zone.