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West Valley City Journal

Townhome development denied at 5600 South

Jul 01, 2022 11:53AM ● By Travis Barton

By Travis Barton | [email protected]

After a tie vote forced the West Valley City Council to continue its consideration in May, the council ultimately decided against a zone change that would have seen townhomes built at about 5600 West and 4600 South.

The project, proposed by Moore Homes, had 86 two-story townhomes in its plans on about nine acres with two additional acres featuring a one-acre park and two single-unit dwellings.

Randy Moore told the council in early May that the property’s location made it “a unique piece” fronting 5600 West, near Mountain View Corridor, a railroad track to the south, commercial across the street and storage units also to the south.

He described the triangle-shaped property as “high quality” with the lower end of townhome density being “very appropriate for this property.”

The development would have had about 8.6 units per acre, which Moore said is about 30% less than most townhome projects.

Moore also pitched to the council that the project would feature finished basements rather than going three stories high, an increased amount of guest parking stalls, a park and accommodations to the adjacent neighbors including a 20-foot setback from the townhomes to the neighbors’ properties.  

The property saw a similar proposal in 2020 from DR Horton that would have built 98 townhomes at three stories with no park making for a higher density of 12 units per acre.

Pam Bryson, a resident who lives in the neighborhood to the north, spoke in favor of the Moore Homes development saying she felt more comfortable with this project compared to the previously proposed development. She said she felt heard with this developer and by city staff.

“Most of us (in the neighborhood) are pretty willing for citizens to have their rights just as we want ours,” she said, adding there were “a lot of great things about the development.”

However, the council ultimately voted against the project 5-2 after it was continued from a previous vote where the council was tied 3-3 with one councilmember missing.

Much of the council simply did not like the type of project for that area.

Councilmember Scott Harmon said there aren’t many parcels of land like this left in the city, adding he’d prefer the property go to a zone for larger single-family homes such as the Residential Estate zone.

Other councilmembers agreed, with Councilmember Tom Huynh noting the “location is unique” and understands the developer’s intent, especially with the current cost of land, but said he would “prefer to see houses” in that corner of the city.

Mayor Karen Lang said she doesn’t like high density and felt other types of projects were “better suited for this” area.

Councilmembers Lars Nordfelt and Jake Fitisemanu voted in favor of the project. Nordfelt said the location is appropriate for this type of development, highlighting the developer “negotiated in good faith” for what Nordfelt said would be a “great product and good addition to our city.”

Moore said he worked with city staff for multiple months on the project doing about 20 conceptual layouts.

Fitisemanu said he agreed the area would fit for the RE zone, but he voted in favor because neighbors in the area were in favor. He also felt it was an upgrade on the previously proposed project in 2020.