The Tooele City Council looked at annexing a large amount of property on the city’s southeast end during their meeting on Wednesday evening.
The applicant for the annexation told members of the city council that there was enough water for a subdivision and that he would like to build on the property.
Jim Bolser, Tooele City community development director presented the annexation request from the property owner, Howard Schmidt.
The property includes 61 acres on the east side of Droubay Road at approximately 800 North.
During the meeting, Bolser explained that in fall of 2020, the city council amended the area to be included in the city’s annexation policy plan, but that didn’t automatically annex the property.
“This simply allows the conversation and an application to come forward for consideration,” said Bolser speaking about the property and Schmidt’s application.
The properties adjacent to the 61 acres are zoned for medium density residential, primarily R1-7 residential, according to Bolser.
“The initial identification from the applicant suggests the desired zoning to match that at R1-7,” he said.
Schmidt submitted a site plan to the city council for a large subdivision called Canyon Springs he plans to build on the property.
His site plan included 240 lots with varying square footage, but the plans have not been finalized.
Bolser explained that there will be many steps in order to annex the property.
The annexation request is currently in the second step — the City Council accepting the petition for further consideration.
“This is only a resolution to accept the consideration further,” said Bolser. “This resolution doesn’t approve the annexation. It simply allows the consideration to continue. This is the first significant step in the annexation process.”
After the consideration step, the applicant will have to go through nine more steps in order to annex the property and build there, including a planning commission review, a City Council public hearing and ordinance, and the Lieutenant Governor’s certification, according to Bolser.
The petition will likely be presented to the City Council and planning commission several times before the process is finalized, according to Bolser.
“This is an important step this evening in the initial resolution for further consideration,” Bolser said.
Bolser said that in the future the council would have to consider the benefits and drawbacks of annexing the large area of land and the subdivision that would be built on it.
This would include sewer capacity, transportation into the property, police and fire services, storm drains, and public safety, among others, he said.
The applicant does have Kennecott water shares that would be used on the property, according to Bolser.
Bolser told members of the council that the applicant can probably use the water shares on the property, but the agreement was finalized in 2007 meaning that maybe the shares would only be allowed to be used in areas that were located within city limits in 2007.
Roger Baker, Tooele City attorney said his understanding is that the water shares can be used on the property if it is annexed into the city.
Tony Graff, City Council member, asked if there could be an evaluation to measure response times to the area for the fire department and the Tooele City Police Department.
Bolser said that the council could request the evaluation to be included in the annexation process.
Council member Justin Brady said there are too many houses already in Tooele City.
“We keep putting houses in our city,” he said. “It’s just houses. We forget that with houses come children and parks are needed and all sorts of things.”
Brady asked Bolser if the council could require a green space, or a space without homes to be included on the property and Bolser said yes.
“This could be one of the terms stated in the annexation agreement,” said Bolser.
Schmidt approached the podium and gave members of the council some background about the property.
He told members of the council that he purchased the property and put it under contract “some time ago.”
“We met with some members of the city and asked if it was appropriate to complete the purchase, because we realized it needed to be annexed in and my understanding was that if I had water it would be fine,” Schmidt said. “Well, we approached Kennecott and asked them if we could buy water credits and they said they would love to give the water credits. So, we bought water credits with the understanding and belief that we could use them on this property. We also recognize that Tooele is in a very challenging position right now… It’s been interesting watching the growth.”
Schmidt said that the council should postpone the annexation agreement for a few weeks or a month, so that he can speak with members of the city.
“We would like to spend a little time and do some studies ourselves and come back a little more prepared if we could,” he said.
Schmidt said that he would like to provide the council with a better site plan and look into adding some green space and perhaps some walking trails.
At the end of the discussion, the city council tabled the annexation petition, depending on how long the applicant needs to do some consideration about the property.
Brady said that when he considers bringing more homes into the city, he considers what it brings into the city that makes it better.
“How is this going to benefit our city in a way?” he asked.