Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

February 16, 2021
Tooele City Planning Commission approves high-density rezone

The Tooele City Planning Commission gave their approval to rezoning land on Three O’clock Drive from medium density to high density during their Feb. 10 meeting.

The rezone now goes to the Tooele City Council for their consideration.

Andrew Aagard, Tooele City planner, presented the request by Hawthorn Home Investments, LLC, to the planning commission.

Hawthorn Home Investments owns two properties totaling 7.36 acres at 602 and 603 W. Three O’clock Drive.

The property is located north and south of Three O’clock Drive and west of SR-36.

The properties are currently zoned R1-7 residential through Tooele City code and properties to the north, west, and south are also zoned R1-7, according to Aagard.

“The application is requesting an amendment to the land use map of the Tooele City plan,” said Aagard, speaking about the application. “This application is not a zoning map amendment and does not change the zoning.”

The medium density residential area, which the properties are zoned, includes the R1-7 zoning district and is limited to single-family homes and duplexes, according to Aagard.

Multi-family dwellings are prohibited in medium density zones.

Aagard told members of the planning commission that the area surrounding the properties were all in medium-density zones.

The high-density zone incorporates MR-8, MR-16, and MR-25 multi-family zoning districts.

Aagard explained that in these zones, townhomes, condominiums, and apartment buildings, as well as some duplexes can be built in high-density zones.

These zoning districts prohibit single-family homes from being built on land zoned high-density.

“The applicant has implied that they would eventually like to have the property rezoned to MR-16 to facilitate multi-family residential development,” said Aagard.

Aagard explained to members of the planning commission that a year ago, the applicant put in an application to change the zoning of the properties but the application was withdrawn, because the applicant noted the planning commission and city council’s rule of not approving such applications without a water and sewer study being first completed.

“That study is now in the process of being completed,” said Aagard.

Aagard said that in the previous application last year, the applicant wanted to build apartment buildings on the properties but has not submitted what they would like to do with the new application.

If the applicant were to be approved to change the zone from medium to high density, they would still have to go through the planning commission and city council in order to obtain a zoning map amendment.

During the meeting, a public hearing was held and Aagard told members of the commission that they had received 12 emails from residents who lived near the properties expressing their concern about the rezone.

During the public hearing, public comments were made by residents who lived close to the properties expressing their concerns about the rezone.

Many of the comments made were about how hard it is already for residents living in the area to turn onto SR-36, among other concerns.

A Tooele City resident named Kevin Park said that he was against changing the zone from medium density to high density.

“We have enough problems with lack of infrastructure in the city,” he said. “To set about to change this from a medium density to a high-density zone, so we could wind up with a hundred different homes with family dwellings there. We have problems with water there and power outages on a regular basis. We have problems with the elementary school being over crowded there.”

At the end of the meeting, chairman Tyson Hamilton, Chris Sloan, Melanie Hammer, and Nathan Thomas voted to approve the rezone, which passed it along to the city council.

Chairman Hamilton said that the vote didn’t immediately change the density, because it would have to go before the city council for a vote.  

“This is not done,” he said. “This is not over folks. This just gives us an opportunity to research this further and we can move forward from there.”

Chris Sloan, commissioner explained that the planning commission has to consider everything that is brought before them.

He said that the planning commission has the best interest of the people living in Tooele City at heart.

“We have to start thinking longer term,” he said. “It is not in our interest to do anything that would hurt this town, because we love it here too.”

 

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