Sprawling residential development in Grantsville is a major concern for residents, according to consultants developing a new General Plan for the City.
“Grantsville is a place that is going to grow and there is a lot of concern from residents about what that will mean,” said Mike Hansen of Rural Community Consultants of Springville.
Hansen and Ben Levenger, president of Downtown Redevelopment Service, are the consultants helping Grantsville City develop a new General Plan. They spoke to about 200 people Monday night at Grantsville High School. They also unveiled an updated General Plan after they reviewed surveys taken by 495 residents.
“City leaders are very interested in understanding what the citizens want,” Levenger said. He said a new survey will go online soon to glean more information from residents.
Updated information and the new survey can be found at grantsvilleplan.org.
Hansen said he is extremely pleased by the amount of people who have attended meetings about the General Plan.
“Cities like Murray and Sandy are bounded in by other cities so these types of meetings don’t generate as much interest like what we have seen in Grantsville, because people in those cities just kind of know where everything is going to go,” Hansen said.
“But out here in Grantsville it’s like an island surrounded with very developable land on all sides and you actually see big subdivisions coming in over and over and over,” Hansen said. “… There are five times more people here at this meeting than we would see in cities of comparable size.”
Hansen said when the Walmart Distribution Center opened in Grantsville it “changed the flavor of the community.”
The General Plan includes sections on community vision, land use, community design, economic development, transportation, housing, recreation-open space, and infrastructure-public utilities.
Most of the discussion on Monday from residents focused on land use, zoning and private land rights.
“The plan we are developing doesn’t directly affect people’s property rights, but doing this plan gives direction to zoning decisions in the future,” Hansen said.
Grantsville Mayor Brent Marshall was called on by an audience member to explain zoning changes.
“We cannot change the zoning without the property owner’s approval,” Marshall said. “This plan will go before the planning and zoning commission. They will review it and make recommendations, and then it will go to the City Council for final approval.”
However, resident Paul Rupp said the zoning on his property was changed from 1-acre lots to half-acre lots without his knowledge.
The Land Use section of the draft General Plan indicates that the land use development pattern within the City is scattered and improperly planned or enforced, creating undue hardship for the residents and making it difficult for the municipality to maintain.
According to the results of surveys, other top priorities include increasing economic development opportunities within the community, increasing public safety along roadways and community facilities, providing necessary amenities to local youth to ensure a safe and drug-free environment, improving the financial stability of the city and retaining the small-town charm that is attractive to Grantsville residents while providing necessary resources or services for day-to-day uses.
An economic development goal includes defining the commercial core of the city, and encouraging business activity on Main Street.
In regard to housing, it was concluded that the housing stock within the community is not necessarily considered affordable for all individuals’ specific needs.
It is expected that Grantsville City and the Wasatch Front Regional Council will maintain an ongoing partnership to find solutions to the region’s housing problems, according to the plan.
Hansen said the General Plan is being developed by the consultants, but eventually will become the official Grantsville General Plan after reviews, edits and additions by the City’s Planning and Zoning Commission. Eventually, the plan will be approved by the Grantsville City Council.
“We’re shooting to have everything wrapped up by the end of May,” Levenger said.