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Council unanimously denies higher-density proposal

Jun 21, 2017 03:54PM ● Published by Travis Barton

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By Travis Barton | travis@mycityjournals.com
                                            
Land located at 3367 W. 10200 South that was up for a land use designation change was unanimously denied by the South Jordan City Council during its meeting on June 6.
 
Residents turned out in droves to voice their opposition to an Ivory Homes project that would have seen 16 homes built after rezoning the land to a higher density. Residents had no problem with the property being redeveloped but would prefer it be done in reflection of the surrounding area—namely a lower-density residential.
 
Mike Johanson, president of the Jones Farm Homeowners Association in South Jordan, told the city council prior to denial that the proposed changes didn’t fit the surrounding community.
 
“Let’s not continue what seems to be the trend to turn all of the new development in South Jordan into medium density or higher,” Johanson said. “We are in support of residential homes there, we’re not fighting that.”
 
The problem with the proposed project, residents told city council, is changing the area to an R-4 zone (meaning four homes per acre can be built) rather than an R-2.5 that would be in closer proximity to the surrounding communities. Whispering Sands, an adjacent community, is zoned R-1.8, a lower density that community members felt was more appropriate for the area.
 
“I just don’t want to oversaturate the area,” said Chuck Hardy, a nearby resident at Whispering Sands. “I’m not opposed to it being developed, but I would like it done to size accordingly.”
 
Another issue is land on the property adjacent to Bangerter Highway that will see an off-ramp constructed in the future by the Utah Department of Transportation. Under the proposed plan, 16 homes would have been built with two of the homes being built on parcels that would eventually need to be torn down by UDOT to make way for the ramp.
 
Councilmembers were concerned about homes being built with the eventuality of being torn down.
 
“I don’t think I’d be able to get with any plan where houses are built only to be condemned in the future,” said Councilman Patrick Harris.
 
Brian Prince, representing Ivory Homes, said in his experience with UDOT, the issue is timing. He felt UDOT officials may say they will start that project, but it could be 10 years from now.  
 
Councilman Chris Rogers said he didn’t feel good about the whole project whether it was the quick negotiations he felt were happening or the idea of cramming these houses into the area. He said he’d like to see something residential put in there.
 
“I don’t like anything about this plan,” Rogers said. “I don’t like the setbacks, I don’t like how it’s been kind of shoving a square into a round peg kind of a thing, and frankly I don’t think it fits with the surrounding community.”
 
Though the land use designation and rezone to a higher density was denied, the city council did waive the one year time frame that typically goes into place not allowing applicants to return to the council within that time.
 
City officials were encouraged something could be worked out in the area, while Prince said he was fine with it being sent back to the planning commission—which had also unanimously recommended denial.
 
Prince told city council he felt the density wasn’t too high, but would be happy to discuss a 2.5 zone. He said he felt he’d been collaborating with city staff on the project working this proposal with their understanding.
 
“I don’t want this portrayed as my devious plan,” Prince said during the June 6 city council meeting. “I don’t want the city council and residents to think I’m trying to pull a fast one or a gentleman’s agreement.” 
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