Grantsville City leaders, including the city council, planning commission, and department heads, held a general plan workshop Wednesday evening to discuss the challenges, benefits and future of development.
Attendees were split into two groups and given maps of Grantsville City, where they could write notes about attractors and detractors to living in the city, problems from recent development, desired retail or commercial needs, and other factors.
Councilman Neil Critchlow said he felt the look and feel of Main Street in Grantsville was a detractor in the community, which Councilwoman Krista Sparks agreed with. Critchlow also highlighted positives, such as social and community events like the Grantsville Sociable, 4th of July festivities and parades.
Grantsville City Attorney Brett Coombs also mentioned a detractor was the lack of food and restaurant choices in the city. He also said the city has a lack of consistent zoning policy, with a lot of spot zoning.
Police Chief Jacob Enslen said buying older homes is the only way to find cheap housing.
Planning Commission Chair Jaime Topham also said the city lacks a variety of housing types, such as homes with smaller lots.
“Honestly, I think the lack of types of housing is a detractor,” Topham said. “We don’t have multi-family housing.”
Planning commission member Jacob Linares said there were positives and negatives to the city’s rural character.
“I’ve only been on planning and zoning for a few months but that’s what we hear every time — people are moving out here because it’s the small town feel,” Linares said. “But that’s also in my mind a detractor because so many people are moving out here that it’s growing faster than I think we’re really ready to adjust for.”
Grantsville City Mayor Brent Marshall said city leaders planned for more growth on the west end of town in the 1970s, as cities in Salt Lake County were expanding toward the foothills and they expected the same. This informed decisions on where to expand infrastructure capacity.
“I think that the people that were sitting in the seats that we’re at today felt like, well, that was the way it was going to grow,” Marshall said. “So as the sewer system was developed and purchased, there wasn’t big lines put in at this east end of town.”
Marshall said the center of city has shifted more eastward as a result of development on the east end of town. Planning commission member Gary Pinkham agreed, and built off Marshall’s statement.
“We’re developing in areas, from an infrastructure point of view, that we weren’t prepared to develop in,” Pinkham said. “So between sewer, water and roads, we’re behind the eight ball.”
Marshall also added that recent plans to upgrade the city’s water system, including the Main Street water main replacement, is focused on meeting fire flow requirements, not to encourage future development.