The Grantsville City Council tabled a decision on a zoning change appeal for an apartment complex along state Route 112 during its meeting Wednesday night.
The proposed apartment complex would be 72 units on 5.05 acres of a 12.5 acre parcel owned by SR-112 Development. The zone change would be from a commercial zone to a high-density residential zone.
Back on June 21, the city council was split at 2-2, with Councilman Mike Colson recusing himself from the vote. Grantsville City Mayor Brent Marshall broke the tie in favor of denial.
Following the rejection of the zoning change in June, the developers brought the proposal before the Grantsville City Board of Adjustments on Aug. 22. The board of adjustments voted 3-1 in favor of sending the rezone proposal back to the city council for reconsideration, with Robert Brown opposing.
Peter Larkin, of SR-112 Development, said the apartment complex would fill a need for affordable housing now and would align well with the future growth of the community. Larkin said he saw Draper grow over the years, despite protests from the community.
“Some people wanted to move in and close the gate behind them and say ‘No, I want a rural community, nobody else can come in. I’m here and I don’t want change,’” Larkin said. “But I promise you, your city will grow.”
Grantsville’s growth would eventually help the developers fill the remaining 7.5 acres of commercial-zoned land in the parcel. He said the apartment housing would be market rate, professionally maintained and not accept subsidized housing.
Larkin also cited the city’s master plan, which called for commercial or high-density residential as future uses for the property.
Councilwoman Jewel Allen expressed concern about control over the property once the zoning has been amended, as it could be sold to a different developer or have different housing built on the property. She said the city council will be reviewing the city’s master plan in the coming months.
“I agree we need affordable housing and the question is do we want to make that decision now by accepting more of a development-driven proposal versus something that we have decided and deliberated over,” Allen said. “… So, I still have reservations over this.”
Councilman Neil Critchlow expressed concerns about the height of the apartments, which would be six buildings with 12 units each, and its impact on neighbors. In high density residential zoning, the buildings can reach a maximum height of 35 feet; buildings in commercial zones can be up to 45 feet tall.
Councilwoman Krista Sparks supported the proposed apartment complex in its initial appearance and reiterated that support Wednesday night.
“I think it’s a good location,” Sparks said. “I think if we’re going to put apartments, I’d love to see them on the outskirts of town, heading toward highways.”
Colson said the city’s long-range planning calls for high-density residential in the area and it’s located near the intersection of two highways.
“To me, this fits exactly into that, what should be there,” he said.
Councilman Tom Tripp made a motion to not reconsider the proposed rezone and leave the council’s denial in place, which was seconded by Allen. The motion failed 3-2, with Colson, Sparks and Critchlow against.
Critchlow then proposed tabling the rezone for review and suggested the developers consider a planned use development instead. His motion was seconded by Colson and passed 3-2, along the same lines.