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West Valley City Journal

Oddly shaped property could see 18 new homes built

Aug 31, 2017 06:55PM ● By Jana Klopsch

The city council passed a development agreement for this property to be developed into a potential 18-home development. (West Valley City)

By Travis Barton | [email protected]

Property described as “irregularly shape(d)” in city documents has a new development planned. 

Located at about 4000 W. 3879 South, the 5.6-acre property could now see a maximum of 18 new homes built—with an additional home already there. A development agreement was passed in July between Premier Land Development and the West Valley City Council by a 5-2 vote. 

But it wasn’t a typical run-of-the-mill agreement. 

Seven of the proposed 18 lots required exceptions to city standards due to the unique nature of the property which include its narrow width and stub street ending at the end of the development. 

Those exceptions were to reduce the size of the homes to make the development feasible. In exchange for the reductions, the developer Greg Larsen, offered to include eight additional perks for the seven homes. Some of which were basements in all homes, granite or other solid surface countertops, walk-in closets in all master bedrooms and landscaping with sprinkler systems. 

“I believe these upgraded features in exchange for the reduction in housing size will reflect a home similar in value with a much more uniform feel throughout the community,” Larsen wrote in a letter to the city council. 

Not everyone was satisfied by the exceptions. Councilman Steve Buhler asked city staff multiple times how many lots would be built if there were no exceptions, but without the property being redrawn and engineered, there could be no answer. 

Buhler, who voted against the agreement, said he’s not against exceptions and wants to see the property developed with homes. 

“I’m just waiting for the right proposal to come in that complies if it can with our ordinances and if it can’t, I just need to understand the scope of the problem we’re solving before agreeing to a solution,” he said. The property falls within Buhler’s district. 

Given the conceptual drawing of the property, Mayor Ron Bigelow said he doesn’t feel it works. He added that he didn’t feel there’s enough information for him to make an informed decision so he voted against. 

“We, in some cases, make exceptions. But we need good reasons for making the exceptions and just the shape of the property is kind of a reason, but not the best reason,” Bigelow said. 

Other councilmembers were in favor of the development. Councilwoman Karen Lang said many of the lots are well over the minimum lot size for the zoning of the area. She said she was in favor of a “give and take” to get the lot sizes they were at. The development’s proposed lot sizes ranged from 14,000 square feet to 8,000 square feet.  

Councilman Steve Vincent agreed, he said these were the lot sizes they want to have in the city. 

“The more that I’ve pondered this, the more I’m OK with it,” he said.