The preliminary plan for a housing development in the vacant field that was the ignition site for a destructive wildfire in 2016 was recommended for approval by the Tooele City Planning Commission on Wednesday evening.
The proposed development, at approximately 760 W. 700 South, would include 54 single-family lots on 14 acres of property. The residential lots range in size from .16 acres to .32 acres, though the largest lot abuts the development and fronts onto Coleman Street. A .38-acre storm water detention basin is located at the northwest corner of the property.
The property is already zoned for single-family residential and all of the lots in the subdivision meet or exceed the minimum lot development standards for lot size, frontage and width, according to the city’s staff report. Surrounding properties are either zoned for single-family residential or built as single-family detached properties.
There are three connections to the subdivision, including to 700 South, 580 South and American Way, with interior streets of 760 West, 580 South and 680 South.
The preliminary plan includes a flag lot in the upper right corner of the property. Flag lots are permitted in the city’s subdivision ordinance, according to the staff report.
Commissioner Tony Graf said he was concerned about visibility with someone leaving the flag lot, as the 28-foot wide driveway to the property would have fencing along it. Graf said there could be a blind spot for pedestrians, bikes or cars to a driver backing out of a driveway with fences on either side.
City planner Andrew Aagard said the city’s fence ordinance limits fence height to 3 feet in the front yard setback, which would reduce some concerns about visibility.
Commissioner Melanie Hammer asked how common flag lots are and Aagard said they do occur and are permitted by code. The staff report said flag lots are permitted “when there are no other alternatives” and it was the solution in the case of this development because it created the safest and most efficient interior roads.
The preliminary plan was unanimously recommended for approval by the planning commission on a motion by Commissioner Chris Sloan, seconded by Commissioner Tyson Hamilton.
The July 19, 2016, wildfire that started on the property spread north toward Van Dyke Way and destroyed 11 homes and damaged 17 more, with the total damage estimates and initial recovery costs totaling more than $1.3 million.