Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah
image A judge has issued a temporary restraining order stopping Grantsville from taking action on annexing property from Erda City.

January 17, 2022
Temporary restraining order stops Grantsville annexation, for now

Six Mile Ranch wants to move from Erda to Grantsville  

A 3rd District Court judge has issued a temporary restraining order prohibiting Grantsville City from acting on an annexation request while the court hears a request to declare the annexation petition unlawful and void.

The Grantsville City Council voted to accept an annexation petition for 7,888 acres of land named the Six Mile Ranch annexation during their Dec. 15 meeting. It is an amendment to the 8,934-acre annexation petition accepted by the city council during their Nov. 17 meeting.

However, the property is within the boundaries of the now incorporated city of Erda.

A group of 22 individual Erda residents filed a lawsuit to stop the annexation process.

In a document filed with the 3rd District Court in Tooele, Janet Conway, the attorney for the Erda residents wrote: “Erda has become the target by the Romney Group and other developers seeking to destroy this quiet farming community and turn this city into a major inland port and industrial park, surrounded by high density residential housing.”

Grantsville City’s acceptance of the annexation petition was part of a process required by state code. It is not an approval of the annexation or any promise or indication of future approval, according to Grantsville City officials

The process of annexation requires a 30-day comment period. If a complaint is received from a person or an affected entity that meets the statutory requirements, the annexation will be reviewed by the Tooele County Annexation Review Commission. The review commission would issue recommendation, following a hearing and deliberation, to the Grantsville City Council to either accept, accept with revisions, or deny the annexation petition.

If there are no valid objections after 30-days, the Grantsville City Council may take action on the petition.

In the court filing opposing the acceptance of the annexation petition, Conway asserts that the annexation petition was legally deficient and certified by Grantsville “with full knowledge of the irreparable harm to petitioners, especially in light of the prior orders establishing irreparable harm to Sponsors for much smaller annexation parcels.”

In her order granting the temporary restraining order, 3rd District Court Judge Teresa Welch said the plaintiffs had proved the four tests required for a TRO: that the petitioners will suffer irreparable harm in the absence of a temporary restraining order, there is a substantial likelihood that petitioners will prevail on the merits of the underlying claim, or the case presents serious issues on the merits which should be the subject of further litigation, the balance of harm tips in plaintiffs’ favor, and a temporary restraining order is in the public interest.

Welch set Feb. 28 as the date for a preliminary injunction as the lawsuit proceeds through the court system.

The annexation petition was sponsored by Six Mile Ranch, represented by John Bleazard, president; Sunnie Totmus; and Fassio Egg Farm, represented by Vincent Fassio, vice president.

The lawsuit was filed by 22 land owners and residents of Erda City, including some sponsors of Erda’s incorporation. None of the plaintiff’s are members of the Erda City Council, according to court records.

Erda City Council did approve filing an objection to the annexation with the Tooele County Annexation Review Commission.

Tim Gillie

Editor at Tooele Transcript Bulletin
Tim has been writing for the Transcript Bulletin since October 2017. In February 2019 he was named as editor. In addition to being editor, Tim continues to write about Tooele County government, education, business, real estate, housing, politics and the state Legislature.A native of Washington state and a graduate of Central Washington University, Tim became a journalist after a 20 year career with the Boy Scouts of America.

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