The Tooele County Commission discussed a rezone for property in Erda that has been the subject of a long battle between the property owner and the owner of Tooele Valley Airport during its Tuesday night meeting at the Tooele County Building.
Neil Kunz submitted an application to the county asking to rezone four parcels totaling 21.61 acres from RR-5, rural residential with a minimum 5-acre lot size, to R-1-10, residential with a minimum lot size of 10,000-square-feet. The parcels are located immediately south of Erda Way and east of 2125 West.
If approved the four parcels could have up to 86 houses built on them, according to the staff report on the rezone request.
The Tooele County Planning Commission recommended that the rezone request be denied after a public hearing on the request held during the planning commission’s June 5 meeting.
Planning Commission members cited the incompatibility of the R-1-10 zone with adjoining property that is zoned for 5 acre or larger lots and the creation of spot zoning. The nearest R-1-10 zone is three miles away.
The planning commissioners also said they did not find the rezone to be compatible with the county’s general plan.
The planning commission also discussed concerns about the proximity of the property to Tooele Valley Airport and possible federal regulations regarding construction in an airport approach zone, according to Jeff Miller, Tooele County planning staff.
The Kunz family is in a 12-year-old battle with Salt Lake City, the owner of Tooele Valley Airport, over avigation easements over part of the property.
The property is 1,200 feet southwest of Tooele Valley Airport Runway 35.
“Due to its proximity to the airport, the property is subject to various Federal Aviation Administration airspace protection surfaces and airspace review requirements,” according to a letter the county planning staff received from Salt Lake City airport officials.
“It does feel like the county is getting sucked into an argument between parties and I have no appetite for that,” said County Commissioner Shawn Milne.
The Erda residents that testified during the public hearing portion of the June 5 planning commission meeting said they opposed the rezone request, not because of the proximity to the airport, but because 10,000-square-foot lots are not compatible with the surrounding property.
There was no public hearing for the rezone request at the County Commission meeting on Tuesday night because the required hearing was held on June 5.
Neil Kunz used the public comment period at the end of the County Commission meeting to address the commission about the rezone request.
“The Midvalley Highway is bringing development into Erda,” he said. “One way or the other, it will come about.”
Kunz also addressed the concerns expressed by Tooele Valley Airport officials.
“The airport sent a memo to you to review,” Kunz said. “That memo is basically just an admission of what they have not done. They are required to provide easements for their aircraft by and around their airport. … They are not following regulations. Tooele County should not take on the responsibility for what the airport is responsible to do. We should be requiring them to provide the easements.”
The County Commission held the rezone request for a second reading at its July 17 meeting.