The Grantsville City Council agreed to set aside plans for a moratorium on approving major subdivisions during a work meeting on Aug. 29.
Grantsville City Mayor Brent Marshall said attorneys had cautioned the city against the moratorium due to the possibility of lawsuits. Also, Grantsville City Attorney Brett Coombs said he had received phone calls from developers asking how the possible moratorium could affect them.
“The moratorium — a developer is going to hook onto that and find some way to sue us,” Coombs said.
Marshall said the city had received an influx of subdivision plans from developers after they received news of a possible moratorium. He also outlined the financial impact of a moratorium, as the city collected $542,346 from April to June in fees, including plan check, impact and subdivision fees.
“I think we can do everything we need to do without doing a moratorium,” Marshall said.
The city council reviewed the possibility of a 90-day moratorium, allowing time to revise the city’s capital facilities plan and code to allow for wider streets, more green space, and other changes.
In lieu of a moratorium, the city council discussed limiting developments while a review of the city’s sewer flow is completed. Craig Neeley of Aqua Engineering, which provides the city’s engineering services, said Grantsville City has a plan to upgrade its sewer capacity but does not have current flow data.
Neeley said there were concerns about sewer capacity and how new development would impact existing customers.
“We have a plan to be not full, but it’s going to take some time,” he said.
Councilwoman Krista Sparks said it’s frustrating for the city to receive plans with little green space or tightly-packed housing, which doesn’t fit the character of the city or surrounding area.
“We have no leverage,” she said. “We can’t force them to do those things unless we set that up as a requirement.”
During the Aug. 29 meeting, the city council broadly discussed possible requirements for green space, including large developments ceding land to the city in lieu of park impact fees or charging a per-residence park impact fee for smaller developers.
Councilman Tom Tripp also proposed an ordinance to eliminate residential and rural residential roadways, instead using the wider local road designation for all streets in the city to allow safer on-street parking and more room for emergency vehicles.