Property owners of four parcels at the south end of Tooele Valley Airport will not be able to divide their property into smaller lots if the Tooele County Commission follows a planning commission recommendation.
The Tooele County Planning Commission voted to recommend that the County Commission deny a request to rezone four parcels totalling 21.61 acres from RR-5 to R-1-10 — residential with a minimum lot size of 10,000-square-feet — during its Wednesday night meeting at the Tooele County Building.
The property is immediately south of Erda Way and east of 2125 West. The Golden Gardens Subdivision is north of the property. Tooele Valley Airport owns property to the east.
Dick Kunz, one of the property owners, said there are 10 prospective buyers lined up to buy lots in the proposed 61-house development.
“Five of them are my children,” Kunz said. “When my father bought this property, he wanted to make a place for his kids. Now that I’ve inherited this property, I want to make a place for my kids.”
His brother, Neil Kunz, cited the nearby Midvalley Highway and the need for more housing in Tooele County a part of the reasons for the rezone request.
The Kunz family has been in a 12-year-long battle with Salt Lake City, owner of Tooele Valley Airport, over navigation easements over part of the property.
The property is 1,200 feet southwest of Tooele Valley Airport Runway 35.
“Due to its proximity to the airport, the property is subject to various Federal Aviation Administration airspace protection surfaces and airspace review requirements,” according to a letter the county planning staff received from Salt Lake City airport officials.
Currently the property is zoned RR-5. The Golden Gardens Subdivision to the north has lots ranging from 1-acre to 5-acres in size. There are other RR-5 zoned areas in the vicinity as well as large tracts of land zoned A-20, according to Jeff Miller, Tooele County planning staff.
Residents of Erda testified during the public hearing portion of the meeting that they oppose the rezone request, not because of the proximity to the airport, but because 10,000-square-foot lots are not compatible with the surrounding property.
“Putting in this larger subdivision is not cohesive with the area at all,” said Diane Haney, Golden Gardens. “The development is far more than the area can support. … It doesn’t fit the neighborhood.”
“I would like to see this RR-5 stay RR-5,” said Clyde Christensen, Erda. “I don’t know why people want to come along and reinvent the wheel. I’m totally against all these quarter-acre lots.”
“…There are people already living there. It should be cohesive with the people already living there,” said Jonathan Garrard, Lake Point. “I like the idea of transitions, from 5-acre to 2.5 acres, down to one.This is such a small area they aren’t going to be able to do that.”
“I feel like I’m being pushed out with developments like this,” said Heidi Kroger, Erda.
Planning commission member John Wright made a motion that the planning commission send a recommendation to the County Commission that they deny the rezone application.
Wright included nine reasons for opposing the rezone request as part of his motion. The first three reasons were: the rezone is not compatible with the surrounding property, the rezone is not compatible with the general plan, and the rezone would constitute spot zoning. His last six reasons made reference to Tooele Valley Airport.
Planning commission member Scott Jacobs seconded Wright’s motion, stating agreement with Wright’s first three reasons.
The remaining members of the planning commission — Brad Bartholomew, Michael Pressley and Blair Hope — all voted for the motion to recommend denial, citing agreement with Jacobs’ reasons.