While some Erda residents are eager to vote for incorporation this fall, some landowners in the incorporation area are trying to withdraw their property from the proposed new city.
According to the feasibility study for the incorporation of Erda, the proposed boundary for the new city encompasses 43.27-square-miles, which is approximately 27,692 acres.
Generally, a petition to annex into an existing municipality may not include an area that is included in a proposed incorporation feasibility study if the incorporation is still pending.
However, one of the provisions of Senate Bill 5004 that passed during the fifth 2020 special session of the state Legislature provides a window to except annexation petitions if a notice of intent to annex was filed before Aug. 5, 2020
One of the landowners that wants to avoid being incorporated into Erda City filed a notice of intent to annex into Grantsville was the Six Mile Ranch, a local business on the south west end of the proposed Erda City boundaries.
Six Mile Ranch owns 6,500 acres of land. All of that would be in the future Erda City, according to Craig Smith, spokesperson for Six Mile Ranch.
“We have filed an intent to annex with Grantsville City,” he said. “We’re happy being in unincorporated Tooele County; that’s where a ranch like ours belongs. If we’re going to be pulled into a city, it’s unsettling to be put into a new city where everything is unknown oher than they are 100% against growth.”
Six Mile Ranch has no plans in the near future to develop, but down the road — maybe 10, 20, or 50 years out — they may want to develop and then they would rather deal with Grantsville City, according to Smith, who lives in Erda.
On the other end of the proposed Erda City boundaries, Chris Robinson, the developer of Saddleback and a Summit County Council member who is dealing with the Hideout annexation in Summit County, owns about 1,500 acres within the proposed Erda City.
Robinson has submitted a notice of intent to annex those 1,500 acres with Tooele City.
“I haven’t heard anything from the people involved with the Erda incorporation,” he said. “I received no notice that my property was included in the incorporation boundary.”
State code requires written notice to be sent directly to the owners of property that is more than 10% of the total private land area within the boundary area or more than 1% of the assessed value of all the property in the area, without regard to a valuation for farmland assessment.
The Romney Group has already successfully annexed 1,333 acres of land into Grantville City for the Lakeview Business Park near the south end of Sheep Lane.
Anthon Stauffer, director of acquisitions for The Romney Group told the Grantsville City Planning Commission that his group worked quickly to annex the property into Grantsville in light of incorporation possibilities in Erda.
“We can’t risk being in a city that doesn’t know how to be a city,” Stauffer told the planning commission during a meeting to approve the rezone of the 433 acres north of Utah Motorsports Campus.
The proclamation by the state Senate and House of Representatives calling for a sixth special session to be held today includes as an item for consideration during the session “repealing certain provisions that allow a municipality to annex certain unincorporated areas without an annexation petition.”
How that might affect the provision affecting the annexation request of areas included in a feasibility study is not certain.
The sponsors of the Erda incorporation petition sent a letter to the Grantsville City Council dated Aug. 5, 2020 that requested the council reject or table annexation requests from the proposed Erda City boundaries until after the November 2020 vote on incorporation.