Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

June 4, 2020
Two plans for the same Erda property

County Commission upholds PUD-CUP, tables rezone request 

A developer is holding out two plans for the same property in Erda.

The Tooele County Commission denied an appeal of a planned unit development – conditional use permit approved by the County Planning Commission for 112 acres in Erda during the County Commission’s meeting on Tuesday night.

They also tabled a rezone request for the same property during their meeting.

At the request of local developer Joe White, the planning commission approved a PUD-CUP for 112 homes on the 113 acres. The site plan for the development showed 76 lots of roughly one-half acres each, 33 lots at 1-acre or larger, and three lots of one-third acre, three agricultural preservation lots totaling 19 acres and a 2-acre park.

Erda residents appealed the approval to the planning commission. The residents maintained that the planning commission did not heed advice from the county attorney, the PUD ordinance was flawed, the PUD amounted to spot zoning, the PUD code was not strictly followed, and citizen comments were not accurately reflected in the meeting minutes.

At the request of White, the State Office of the Property Rights Ombudsman issued a non-binding advisory opinion on the legal merits of the appeal.

The advisory opinion stated that “the third-party appeal fails to prove any error by the planning commission.” 

The advisory opinion recommended that the County continue with the PUD-CUP approval process.

The County Commission adopted a resolution Tuesday night denying the appeal citing the advisory opinion’s conclusion.

The resolution also directed the planning commission and staff to make certain improvements to the permit process and public hearings.

Following the appeal of the PUD-CUP, White submitted another proposal for the 113 acres.

This proposal called for a rezone from RR-5 to RR-1 with 80 homes dispersed over the property on lots greater than 1-acre and space for a park.

The Planning Commission recommended that the County Commission approve this proposal.

County Commissioners asked White on Tuesday night which plan he wanted to pursue.

“It doesn’t really matter to me,” White said.

White explained that the rezone, with 80 lots larger than an acre was an “olive branch” for Erda residents that didn’t like the PUD-CUP with 112 lots smaller than 1-acre.

If the County Commission approves the rezone and it is not subject to a referendum, White said he would pursue the rezone plan. If not, White said he would continue with the PUD-CUP.

White said both of these current plans are very different from his 2018 plan that called for 108 one-third acre lots on the property. That plan was subject to a referendum.

Commissioner Kendall Thomas made a motion to table the rezone request for two weeks to give the commissioners more time to think about the two proposals and to give the public more time to weigh in on the proposals.

The commission voted unanimously for Thomas’ motion.


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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