Council unanimously denies General Plan amendment, asks developer to go back to the drawing board
In a four-hour meeting on September 22, the City Council took on an agenda dominated by a General Plan amendment for the corner of 2100 North and 2300 West in the Thanksgiving Point area.
X Development, represented by Dave Morton, purchased the property last year with plans to develop the parcel that has sat empty for decades, except for occasional cattle grazing.
The proposal has been in works for months. Morton has recently held numerous neighborhood meetings with nearby residents, including a town-hall with over 30 residents held at the nearby Megaplex Theatre.
Residents have been vocal in their opposition to the proposed zone change, which would alter the current zoning of “low-density residential” and “neighborhood commercial” to “medium-density residential” and “commercial.” Complaints about the proposed project have varied, from concerns about increased traffic and road access points to the type of commercial tenants allowed.
Despite the neighbors’ concerns, Morton presented the original proposal to the City Council Tuesday. The plan included four acres of commercial property on the corner, about two acres of green space bordering the FrontRunner track, and 95 residential homes, which Morton said would only include single-family units. The proposal also included the widening of 2300 West along the property boundary and adding a crosswalk to North Point Elementary, on the developer’s dime.
Several residents spoke during the public comment portion of the meeting to express concerns and opposition to the zone change. The opposition was not a surprise. A grassroots effort to stop the zone change with a petition and numerous emails to City Council members had already occurred.
The Council also expressed concerns about the project.
“There is no guarantee you will get the 2100 North access approved by UDOT,” said Councilwoman Katie Koivisto. Koivisto had concerns regarding the assumption that the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT), which owns the road, would approve the right in and right out access the developer has requested. Koivisto cited the recent denial 7-11 received on the neighboring corner of 2100 North and 2300 West.
Councilwoman Paige Albrecht also voiced concerns regarding the number of residential lots and how the developer calculated them. Both the City staff and the developer have thrown out several housing unit calculations, ranging from 88 to 110. Albrecht expressed her desire for a firm number of residential units determined before moving forward.
Councilman Chris Condie had a list of requirements needed for his approval, including a commitment only to singe family lots, limited commercial uses, and approval for the current landowner only, not allowing the agreement to be transferable.
Ultimately, the Council voted unanimously to deny the zone change and sent the developer back to the drawing board, suggesting X Development look into a planned unit development (PUD) or an agreement to work within the parcel’s current zoning.