Midvale 2017 year in reviewJan 01, 2018 03:08PM ● By Ruth Hendricks
Police Chief Jason Mazuran was moved to work as Bureau Chief with the Sheriff’s Office. (Unified Police)
Midvale city leaders and staff had numerous accomplishments in 2017. Here are some of them, along with upcoming and continuing projects.
New city staff
• Larry Wright was appointed as the Public Works Director in January.
• George Vo-Duc was appointed as a city Justice Court judge in February.
• Ivan Sandoval became a Court Administrator.
• Matthew Dahl was hired as Redevelopment Agency (RDA) Housing Director.
• Wade Watkins was hired as Emergency Manager.
• Brandon Smith became City Treasurer.
• Laura Magness was hired as the new Communications Specialist.
• In October, Chief Brad Larson became the representative for Midvale with the Fire Department.
• In November, Police Chief Jason Mazuran moved to work as Bureau Chief with the Sheriff’s Office. Lt. Mark Olson was made acting Police Chief.
• Matt Pierce became the new Information Technology Manager.
JoAnn Seghini retires as mayor at the end of the year, after serving the city of Midvale for more than 30 years as a council member and as city mayor. Seghini was first elected as mayor in 1995. Before that, she worked in education for 36 years.
In the November election, Robert M. Hale was elected as mayor for a four-year term beginning in 2018.
The elected council member for District 4 is Bryant Brown. The council member for District 5 is Dustin Gettel.
The city council voted to support the Canyons School District bond initiative to modernize and upgrade several schools that were identified as needing improvement. Voters approved the $283 million tax-neutral bond.
Parks and recreation
The Bingham Junction Park had some drainage problems. Repairs began in November. A public art piece is planned for construction, and work on a Tot Lot for young children has also begun and should be completed in the spring of 2018.
A new splash pad in Midvale City Park opened on Memorial Day. Construction also began on new pickle ball courts in the park.
Midvale Middle School was completed after two years of construction and had a ribbon-cutting ceremony on August 8. Mayor Seghini called it “a school of the future, not of the past.”
The construction was part of a $250 million bond that was approved in 2010. The new school was built on the same location as the old school at 7852 Pioneer St.
The eastern half of Midvale city gets water from Sandy, which has caused issues with both cities’ water pressure. The city council planned to have the Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District take over and supply the water. The first phase of the project was to build a metering station that would connect with the city’s distribution system. The city council approved a contract awarding the work to VanCon Inc. in February.
A sales tax revenue bond was issued to fund reconstruction and rehabilitation of roads, with the purpose of bringing roads up to a certain quality standard. The project includes reconstruction of 14 roads, addition of curb, gutter, sidewalk and storm drain features and rehabilitation of more than 100 sections of roads that were below the quality standard. All the projects are scheduled for completion by the summer of 2019.
In March, after several months of discussion and public hearings, the city council amended the current Transit Oriented Development (TOD) zone to reduce maximum allowable height of buildings from seven to three stories, and reduced maximum allowable density from 100 residential dwelling units per acre to 25.
The council also approved creation of a TOD overlay zone which, by going through the rezoning process that requires public hearings by the planning commission and city council, could allow up to 85 units per acre and a height up to seven stories.
The city council believes the adoption of these zones will let the city take advantage of creating a denser housing mix near transit stations while looking at identified parcels on a case-by-case basis. The intent of the ordinance is to provide for an orderly transition from the high-density development to the surrounding stable single-family neighborhoods as these parcels develop. The changes were adopted in April.
Jordan Bluffs project
The original zoning ordinance for the area known as Jordan Bluffs, between 7200 South and 9000 South, and Main Street to Bingham Junction Boulevard, was adopted in 2004. Since then there has been a 10-year vetting process and numerous geotechnical studies that give updated information on the realities of developing that property.
The property contains a former Environmental Protection Agency Superfund site that had to be cleaned of toxic tailings from the Sharon Steel mill and was one of Utah’s most dangerous waste sites.
A section of the property is covered by a cap that protects the soil underneath from being penetrated by water. The studies conclude that large footprint office or warehouse buildings are best suited for the capped area, while residential buildings should be constructed off the cap. The project includes plans for the extension of Bingham Junction Boulevard.
The city council made changes to the way the property was divided into sub-areas and the allowed uses in those areas, such as making the office/warehouse space on the capped area an allowed use rather than conditional. The project covers 263 acres divided into four sub-areas.
Haunted house ordinance
The city council had received many complaints about noise, traffic, loitering, and parking issues related to haunted houses in neighborhoods. In 2016, the council adopted a temporary ordinance prohibiting “amusement houses” in residential zones, which refers to any house or building open to the public to tour for entertainment or fright.
The council passed a permanent ordinance in September after clarifying the language. Amusement houses continue to be allowed in commercial areas. The ordinance does not restrict holiday decorations, private social gatherings or community events within a public facility or church designed to accommodate large groups of people.