Grantsville City Council rejected approval of a resolution for a preliminary plat for the proposed Royal Subdivision located at 265 North Cooley Lane with a 3-2 vote at its meeting Wednesday.
Developer Adam Nash planned to create 38 building lots in the area of Cooley Lane which would include 32 7,000-square-foot lots and six one-acre lots. Nash indicated he had worked with the City on the development for about one year.
Grantsville Planning & Zoning Commission reviewed the preliminary plat in a regularly scheduled public meeting for compliance with the requirements of the pertinent Grantsville City code requirements, and found the proposed preliminary plat had met or can meet the requirements of the City’s Land Use Management and Development Code, according to the resolution.
Councilmembers Krista Sparks, Jeff Hutchins and Jewel Allen voted against the resolution while councilmembers Darrin Rowberry and Scott Stice voted to approve the resolution.
“In everything I have done so far in my two-plus years as a councilmember, this is the hardest thing we have tackled,” Hutchins said. “I’m against it. There is nothing about it that is good for the community, especially the neighbors there.”
He said neighbors in the area had voiced their concerns.
“There is nothing about this that I love,” Sparks said. “When I look at a neighborhood coming in or a new development coming in, I’m always looking at the surrounding area and if its’ congruent with what we have there.”
A dilemma for councilmembers is that in the 1970s the area was zoned RM-7 which allows building lots as small as 7,000 square feet.
Sparks said she did not understand the thought process of the zoning for this area. She said the proposed development would change the entire atmosphere of the neighborhood.
“I could get behind one-acre lots and I think the neighbors there could get behind one-acre lots, but I don’t like cramming 38 lots in there,” she said. “I have to listen to the people who live in that area and the people who we represent and I can’t with good conscience get behind this development.”
Stice said he agrees with other councilmembers that the development does not fit the area, but it is zoned RM-7 and RR-1.
He said landowners have their rights and the developers are not asking for anything different that does not fit the zoning.
Allen said she is worried about setting a precedent with this decision.
Grantsville City Attorney Brett Coombs said if developments comply with all the City’s Land Use Management and Development Code, the only reason a Council can reject a development is if it can identify a compelling countervailing public interest that would be jeopardized by approval of the application.
“I will note both the Utah Supreme Court and Utah Property Rights Ombudsman have looked at these with a very very close eye and normally those cases go against the City Council. So it’s a very high bar to reach,” Coombs said.