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West Valley City Journal

Zone change denial pleases neighbors

Jan 31, 2017 02:22PM ● By Travis Barton

West Valley City Council voted 4-2 to deny a zone change that would have seen a second house built behind the house. (Travis Barton/City Journals)

By Travis Barton | [email protected]


A proposed zone change that would see the property at 3771 S. 6000 W. subdivided into two lots was brought before the West Valley City Council on Jan. 10. The council voted to deny the zone change in a 4-2 vote. 


While the planning commission recommended approval, the council voted to prevent the applicant from building a second house behind the home that currently sits at the front of the property.


“I think it’s a shame to lose one more large lot just so we can have two houses basically on one lot with a long driveway,” said councilman Steve Buhler during the city council meeting.


According to the concept plan, the proposed second lot with a long drive way would have 12,100 square feet while the lot with the existing home would have 12,600 square feet.


Neighbors of the property expressed their disapproval of the proposed zone change during the city council meeting.


“None of the neighbors want it,” neighboring resident Kelly Bertoch told the city council. “We do not want another home crammed in there, it’s tight quarters as it is.”


Burtoch said he felt the applicant for the change is just “seeing big money in an empty lot.”


“It puts another house just inches away from my home and I don’t want it,” Bertoch said. He was also concerned about the utilities for the potential home, saying they would have to come through part of his yard.


Steve Pastorik, planning director, said they have many flag lots in the city where utilities are not an issue. He indicated utilities probably would have come from 6000 West, the street to the front of the lot.


Another neighbor to the south of the property, George Tessiel was happy to see the zone change denied since he once made a request to build on his property but was told he needed to have 15,000 square feet to do so. Then he saw the planning commission approve this property with only a 10,000 square feet requirement.


“Basically, my complaint is if I have to have 15,000 square feet for my acre and a half (property) then I feel like he should have the same for his,” Tessiel said.


When the motion for denial was approved, there was a moment of confusion where people in attendance didn’t know whether the zone change passed or not. One neighbor spoke out of turn expressing his anger toward the council before city staff explained what had happened.


Another item of note during the Jan. 10 city council meeting was a resolution that passed to accept an Active and Healthy Communities Grant from the Utah League of Cities and Towns. The three-year grant will provide up to $65,000 per year.


Depending on the participation and success, the amount of money will change or remain the same.


Nancy Day, deputy parks and recreation director, said the first year will focus on four areas.


First, they want to hold satellite fitness classes where they broaden the options for individuals to attend by going to local parks to hold fitness classes. Second, will be healthy nutrition practices education for both youth and adults.


The third is to enhance their adaptive biking program purchasing cycles to be used by those with disabilities. Fourth and final is to provide swimming lessons for lower-income community members.


Day said there have been national studies that find those of ethnic backgrounds are more prone to drowning having received no proper swimming training. Some classes may be offsite at an apartment complex pool or possibly a school pool.


“The idea is to be able to make them self-sufficient after the first year, year and a half,” Day told the city council during their study meeting on Jan. 3.