Sunday, November 16, 2008

North/South Fields Rezone

The move is on to rezone the North Fields. The first step appears to be the rezone of the South Fields, this was recommended by a 4-1 vote at the recent Planning Commission meeting.

A public Hearing on the matter is scheduled for 6 PM on 19 Nov. It is item #9. Items #7 and #8 are also rezone requests (P160 to M zone or 1 house per 160 acres to a potential 1 house per 2.5 acres - a 64 fold increase)

Several arguments were presented in opposition to the change, to no avail:
  1. The Wasatch County General Plan (See Chap. 4, pg 159) indicates the area is "highly prized by many local residents" and is "identified as having a public benefit as open space." The area has been called the jewel of the valley and its current zoning A-20 (Agricultural with one house allowed per twenty acres) protects the "desired green belt separation between Heber and Midway" (Policy 1.1.1)
  2. The area is NOT included within the Proposed Heber City Annexation Policy. Several member of the Heber City Planning Commission attended the meeting and spoke against the rezone.
  3. The area is in the "Inundation Area of Sudden Jordanelle Dam Failure" - approval of more houses could present potential danger to those house and liability to County taxpayers.
  4. There are currently only 6 large land parcels (>20 acres) in the 464 acre proposed rezone area and another 12 parcels between 5 and 20 acres which, as "lots of record," could already be built upon. Some parcels already have houses built. Of ten parcels less than 5 acres, 7 current have residences.
  5. A zone change from A-20 to RA-5 would increase the number of allowable houses from 33 to 92.
  6. The long proposed ByPass road passes through several of the parcels, a rezone would likely increase the cost of property acquisition.
  7. An Open Space, Transferable Development Right ordinance was recently passed allowing a "bonus" sale from rights in this area. Rezoning would adversely affect the goals of that ordinance.
  8. While presented as a "County initiated" rezone, it was clearly introduced by the land owners and not necessarily for the "health, safety and welfare" of the community in general.

In 2000, a well written resolution was introduced to "protect" the North Fields - regrettably it was never really considered for passage:

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