While a court battle over one annexation application continues, Grantsville City Council has received another potentially litigious annexation request.
The Grantsville City Council voted to accept an application for annexation from Six Mile Ranch for 8,934 acres it owns north east of the intersection of state Routes 112 and 138 during the City Council’s Nov. 17 meeting.
The land proposed for annexation is currently in unincorporated Tooele County, however the property is within the boundaries of the voter-approved incorporation for the new city of Erda.
The Utah Department of Commerce lists Craig, John and Mark Bleazard as the directors of Six Mile Ranch Company.
Grantsville City Council’s action on Nov. 17 was only to acknowledge that they received the annexation application and was complete, according to Grantsville City attorney Brett Coombs.
“Acceptance of the application is not an indication of support or approval of the request,” he said. “State code requires, as the first step of annexation, that the city council take action to formally accept the application. It’s not an indication of approval or disapproval, just acknowledging that the application was received and that it was complete. That’s all.”
Action on the annexation application will be taken in a future public meeting of the City Council after a public hearing.
The annexation application lists Craig Smith as the authorized representative for Six Mile Ranch.
In August 2020, Six Mile Ranch submitted a notice of intent to annex into Grantsville City. At that time, Smith told the Transcript Bulletin; “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, Smith told the Transcript Bulletin..
Since that time Smith has been elected to the Erda City Council.
In December of 2020, attorneys representing Six Mile Ranch filed a complaint in the 3rd District Court asserting that their property was never intended by their owners to be included in the feasibility study or the boundary of Erda City.
The Utah State Supreme Court recently approved a stipulated joint motion to voluntarily dismiss Six Mile Ranch’s appeal of the District Court’s preliminary injunction stopping Grantsville from taking action to annex lands from Erda.
Grantsville is also involved in a lawsuit with the Erda Community Association over the proposed annexation of the Skywalk property.
The Skywalk property consists of approximately 246 acres south of State Route 138 between Sheep Lane and the Erda Airport.
In August 2020, Skywalk filed a notice of intent to annex into Grantsville City. They then filed a petition to annex into Grantsville City in January 2021, two months after the November 2020 election, in which Erda voters approved the incorporation of Erda City with a boundary that included the Skywalk property.
In their petition, Erda Community Association contended that the notice of intent to annex was legally deficient and the annexation petition was based on an unconstitutional amendment to the Utah annexation statute.
On Oct. 25, the District Court denied Granstsville’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit and issued a preliminary injunction prohibiting Grantsville from taking action on the Skywalk annexation while the case proceeds through court.
The Utah Court of appeals denied Skywalk’s appeal of the preliminary injunction on Dec. 2. A date for a trial of the lawsuit has not been set.