Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

May 13, 2014
Smaller lot sizes may come to west Erda

The Tooele County Planning Commission approved a request to down zone two adjoining 20-acre parcels in Erda that may result in smaller lots.

The two parcels are currently zoned rural residential with a minimum density of five-acre lots. The planning commission advanced to the Tooele County Commission a recommendation to rezone the property for one-acre lots.

The property is owned by two brothers, Craig and Tyler Vorwaller, and is located east of Rabbit Lane, between Bates Canyon Road and Church Road, and west of state Route 36.

“My brother and I inherited this land from our father,” said Craig Vorwaller. “And we would like to divide the property into smaller parcels of one-acre so we can pass the property on to our children.”

The request to downzone property south of Bates Canyon Road to smaller lots caught the eye of at least one Stansbury Park resident.

“I’m concerned about the continual request to downsize Erda,” said Randy Jones. “A line has to be drawn somewhere between Stansbury Park and Erda. If not, Stansbury Park will soon extend all the way to Cimarron Way.”

Stansbury Park north of Bates Canyon Road was planned to require larger lots while approaching Bates Canyon Road to allow for a transition between the higher density of Stansbury Park and the lower density of Erda, Jones said.

He expressed concern that lower density RR-1 zoning opens the door to even smaller lots, like the 87 acres to the east of the Vorwaller’s property that was rezoned in 2012 from RR-5 to RR-1 and is now a conservation subdivision with 8,000-square-foot lots.

“When are you going to stop the sprawl,” said Jones. “There is lots of room left to build in Stansbury Park that is already zoned for higher density. You are selling the quality of life down the road for developers that want higher density.”

However, the staff review of the application found that the Vorwaller’s request was consistent with the general plan, which calls for RR-1 zoning in the area. The property to the south and east of the Vorwaller’s was already zoned RR-1.

“To deny this application goes against the general plan,” said Gordon Beals of Pine Canyon. “People already got together and fought these arguments years ago when the general plan was adopted. You should give the Vorwaller’s their permit and quit consternating over it.”

The planning commission voted 5-1 to provide a favorable recommendation for the rezone request to the county commission.

Lynn Butterfield, Todd Castagno, Bryan Coulter, Julie Pawlak, and Matt Peterson voted in favor of the rezone request. Martie Leo was the lone opposing vote. Jill Thomas was absent.

“I agreed with Mr. Jones’ concerns,” Leo said. “I have nothing against the Vorwaller’s, but we need to preserve our communities. I think the people of Stansbury are very concerned with the downsizing of Erda. Somebody has to represent them.” 

Tim Gillie

Staff Writer at Tooele Transcript Bulletin
Tim covers education, Tooele City government, business, real estate, politics and the state Legislature. He became a journalist after a long career as an executive with the Boy Scouts of America. Tim is a native of Washington state and a graduate of Central Washington University.

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