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The Crossroads Journal

Highland residents opposed to more than 1.5 homes per acre

By Linda Petersen
HIGHLAND Alarmed by a proposal for what they consider higher density than is typical in Highland, residents, led by Natalie Ball, recently filed a referendum petition regarding a R-1-20 zoning approval and began collecting signatures for an initiative to remove R-1-20 zoning from the city's development code.

Ball and others were upset when on April 17 the city council approved a rezoning for 5.475 acres known as the Patterson property located at 5959 West 10100 North from R-1-40 to R-1-20.

R-1-40 zoning allows for about one home or an average of 35,000-square-foot lots per acre while R-1-20 allows about 2 homes on an acre with a minimum of 20,000 square foot lots. The properties east and north of the subject property are zoned R-1-20.

On May 1, Ball informed the city council of the petition and said that the council had been "deaf to the pleas of the residents to maintain low density."

Later in the same meeting, Neal Evans, another referendum sponsor, said that a rezone to R-1-30 (about 1.5 homes per acre or an average of 25,000-square-foot lots) was a "relatively good compromise" between what the city council previously approved and what the residents wanted.

He believed that they would drop the referendum if the property were rezoned to R-1-30, but they were still moving forward with the initiative to remove R-1-20 zoning from the city's development code spoken of by Ball.

On May 15, at the request of Councilmember Kurt Ostler, the city council reconsidered the issue and voted to rezone the area to R-1-30, a newer zone introduced in 2016, something the developer Darin Juncker of New Element Construction said he was fine with.

In both cases, Juncker would be developing seven lots. With the R-1-30 zone the property line would need to be moved 5 feet, something he was fine with, he said.

At that meeting, Ball had earlier confirmed that she would withdraw the referendum if the council voted to zone the property R-1-30.

"Due to the small area that was being rezoned, the change from R-1-20 to R-1-30 did not diminish the number of lots," Assistant City Administrator Erin Wells said. "The development became a cul-de-sac instead of a through street, but it was looking like that was going to happen anyway. "

According to City Recorder, Cindy Quick, the group filed the initiative petition, which has not been withdrawn, on May 1 and has 316 days to submit signatures to the county.
The community news source for Eagle Mountain Utah, Saratoga Springs Utah, Lehi Utah, American Fork Utah, Highland Utah, Alpine Utah, and The Cedar Valley, including Cedar Fort Utah and Fairfield Utah. Copyright 2021 The Crossroads Journal LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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