Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah
image A building in the former Beehive Business Park. Chris Robinson wants to expand the business park and rename it the Lake Point Business Center.

May 23, 2019
County delays decision on Lake Point business park

‘This comes down to how we get people in and out of there,’ says Commissioner Thomas 

The Tooele County Commission tabled a request to rezone 80.28 acres in Lake Point from Commercial-Highway and Manufacturing-Distribution to Commercial-General during its Tuesday meeting at the Tooele County Building.

After a lengthy discussion with the applicant about traffic impact, future stop lights on state Route 36, and coordination with other developments in the area, all three commissioners indicated they wanted more time to review the application and ask the applicant additional questions.

“I’m not keen on denying it because I’m not convinced it needs to be denied,” said Tooele County Commissioner Shawn Milne. “But I’m not convinced yet, nor do I know an appropriate timeline when I will be comfortable. I don’t know enough information.”

The property in question is located on the west side of state Route 36 near the intersection of SR-36 and Sunset Road. Lake Point Improvement District’s sewage lagoons lie between the business park and the proposed Kennecott Adobe Rock development.

Part of the property was formerly known as the Beehive Business Park. A land company managed by Chris Robinson, the developer of Saddleback, acquired the Beehive Business Park and now wants to join the businesspark with property to the south that Robinson owns to create the Lake Point Business Park.

The commercial – general zone would allow for a wider variety of permitted and conditional uses than the current commercial-highway and manufacturing-distribution zones.

The C-G zone is described in county code as “areas in appropriate locations where a combination of business, commercial, entertainment, or related activities may be established. The M-D zone is defined in county code as “light manufacturing, industrial processes, and warehousing.”

The description of the C-H zone in county code includes “adjacent to highways or major streets where activities dependent upon or catering to thoroughfare traffic and the traveling public may be established.”

Some of the conditional and permitted uses allowed in the general commercial zone but not in a highway commercial zone include: body fender shop, building material sales, flooring and carpet sales and repair, restaurant supply sales, furniture sales, grocery sales, gunsmiths, lumberyards, manufactured and mobile home sales, printing shops, machine shops, billboards, warehouses, and freight terminals.

The developer is proposing a mix of commercial uses in the business park with retail and service industries as the primary businesses in the area, according to the rezone application. 

The Tooele County planning staff said they reviewed Robinson’s request and found it cohesive with the surrounding commercial and industrial uses.

“The proposed concept plan for the anticipated Lake Point Business Center would be a good fit for the envisioned gateway commercial center in this area,” according to the staff report prepared for the planning commission.

The Tooele County Planning Commission recommended approval of the rezone request.

The developer is proposing to use Sunset Road to access to the business park.

“As potential users are identified for the proposed development, traffic studies will be performed, and potentially a signal may be warranted at the Sunset intersection,” wrote the developer in the rezone application.

But Milne expressed concern with the addition of a signalized intersection.

“We know we have a traffic problem and I don’t like the uncertainty of a signalized intersection. … I don’t want more signalized intersections slowing down traffic,” he said. “I’m also on pause with anything to do with rezones after voter referendums. …  We can’t ignore the fact that they have called into question the relevance of our general plan update.”

Milne said that he would like the developer to work with other developers in the area and consider possibilities like a frontage road that would provide access to the area without creating additional access points on state Route 36.

County Commissioner Kendall Thomas said he would like to see the traffic study before approving the rezone.

“This is going to be an industrial area,” Thomas said. “We need the tax base. This comes down to how we get people in and out of there. Certainly we don’t want to slow down traffic.”

After the discussion, County Commission chairman Tom Tripp said he had a lot of questions now that he didn’t have before.

The County Commission unanimously approved a motion to bring the rezone request back for consideration at its second meeting in June.

 

Tim Gillie

Staff Writer at Tooele Transcript Bulletin
Tim covers education, Tooele City government, business, real estate, politics and the state Legislature. He became a journalist after a long career as an executive with the Boy Scouts of America. Tim is a native of Washington state and a graduate of Central Washington University.

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