Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

September 5, 2019
Developer submits third plan for rezone of Erda property

Plan averages one acre per home with 21 acres of open space 

Joe White is hoping that the third time really is a charm.

The Tooele County Planning Commission approved a planned unit development for a 113-acre parcel in Erda west of Droubay Road and north of Bryan Road.

The development will put 112 homes on the 113 acres with 76 lots of approximately one-half acre, 33 lots of one acre or larger, and three lots of one-third acre. The concept plan also shows three agricultural preservation parcels totaling 19 acres and a two-acre park.

The rezone request was submitted by Joe White on behalf of the Weyland family, owners of the property.

This is the third plan White has presented to the county for the property. He is hopeful this one meets with approval of not just county officials, but Erda residents as well.

“I listened to the concerns expressed by residents and tried to come up with a plan that would incorporate those concerns,” White said.

His first plan was approved by the Tooele County Commission in 2018. It was a rezone from RR-5 to RR-1, but called for one-acre lots with a total of 108 homes on the property.

 The rezone was the subject of a petition campaign to put the rezone on a ballot for voters to decide if they wanted to overturn the county commission’s approval.

White asked the County Commission to rescind the rezone approval before the petition signatures were validated. The commission complied with White’s request, nullifiying the petition and referendum effort, according to the Lieutenant Governor’s office.

White then came back in May 2019 with another rezone request. This time the request was for an average density of no more than 1.55 homes per acre with no more than 70 homes on the property.

The planning commission recommended approval of the request. The County Commission held off on approving the plan because White asked for time to develop a third plan.

The plan shows 33 one-acre lots on the north, south and east edges of the property. There are 76 homes on half-acre lots with a 20-acre park in the center of the property. The west edge of the property, which borders Droubay Road, has three agricultural preservation parcels with a one-third lot carved out on each parcel.

The agricultural preservation parcels will be maintained by a homeowners association or another entity. They will be deed restricted as permanent agricultural property. 

The farm lot on each agricultural preservation parcel will have design and landscaping restrictions that limit the design of the home to a ranch/farmhouse style home. 

The intent of the design restrictions is to make each of the homes located on the farm lots to have the appearance of being the main farmhouse residence for each of the agricultural parcels. Ranch style fencing will surround each of the preservation parcels in order to add to the overall rural atmosphere that is being proposed, according to a staff report on the PUD request.

“The agricultural preservation lots will preserve a rural feel as people drive down Droubay Road,” White said.

And the one-acre lots around the edge will provide a buffer with the surrounding five-acre lots, according to White.

“These were two of the concerns that people expressed about developing this property,” White said. 

But his plan wasn’t received well by the 40 Erda residents who showed up at the planning commission meeting.

Nearly every hand in the audience went up as the county planning staff asked how many of them wanted to comment on five-acre lots being the preferred lot size in East Erda.

A similar response was given when the audience was asked about letters and email the planning department has received over concerns about water and traffic.

Once the public hearing started 16 people spoke in opposition to the PUD request. But one spoke in favor of it.

Craig Smith, Erda, rose up to support White’s plan.

“It’s not feasible to sell this property as a farm,” Smith said. “I support this. It is the best thing that can happen for us.”

The preservation of some agricultural use along with bringing sewer and water to the area to protect the groundwater are good things, according to Smith.

White has secured an agreement with Stansbury Park Improvement District to provide sewer and water to the development.

As for water use, White said water rights that the Weyland’s will transfer to SPID will exceed the water needed for this development.

The planning commission approved the PUD with a 5-1 vote. Paul Kunz voted against it. He stated he believes that half-acre lots are detrimental to the area.

The motion to approve the PUD included a condition that buyers of lots in the development will need to sign a statement stipulating that they are willing to accept the smells, noise and other activities that accompanies farming in the area.

Also included as a condition was a requirement for two stub roads on the west border of the property for future access to the development.

The planning commission is the approval body for the PUD because PUDs are considered a form of conditional use permit. The appeal body for anyone aggrieved by the planning commission’s decision is the County Commission. Appeals must be filed within 30 days of the decision, said Tooele County Attorney Scott Boradhead.

 

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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