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West Jordan Journal

Applicants reveal high-density concept for 6 acres

Feb 10, 2017 11:46AM ● By Tori La Rue

Alpine Homes’ concept plan for 6.25 acres at 8679 South Redwood Road. The West Jordan City Council approved a rezone and land-use amendment on Jan. 11 that would allow developers to build a development like this on the property. (West Jordan City)

By Tori La Rue | [email protected]

While some people enjoy the nostalgic feeling of visiting the home where they grew up, Mark Peterson expressed his desire to move on and revitalize the property during the West Jordan city council meeting on Jan. 11. 

“This house has a lot of sentimental value to me, but I am not here to say preserve it, keep it because the complexion of the city has changed. Redwood Road has changed,” Peterson said about the house his father built. “Me and my sisters agree that we don’t want it to be ‘the old house on Redwood Road.’ We don’t want it to be the stand-out thing.” 

Don Gansen, whose property surrounds Peterson’s 1947 home on three sides also desired to sell his property. Gansen, 63, said it was getting to difficult to maintain the nearly 6-acre family farm on the property with both he and his wife suffering from health complications. The two residents found a developer willing to purchase the property, but only if the land-use map and zoning were re-configured to allow high-density housing in the 6.25-acre area at 8679 South Redwood Road. 

Alpine Homes applied for these changes and its representative Steve Jackson presented a pitch and conceptual plan at the Jan. 11 meeting. The city council passed the rezone and land-use map amendment in a narrow 4–3 vote but not until after nearly an hour of discussion and resident feedback. 

In his presentation, Jackson argued that the current label in the future land-use map, professional office, wasn’t the best service the land could offer. The property, surrounded by single-family housing, two-family housing and vacant land, is an ideal location for small, single-family residential homes, he said, also pointing out the office space in the area that had not been filled yet, which he said, suggested that more office space was not needed in the area. 

Oakwood Homes, the developer that originally presented a concept plan for this area to the planning commission, requested the property be developed as a planned residential community. In these types of communities, developers are given a leniency on density restrictions for upgrades and amenities found within the development. The commissioners forwarded a unanimous negative recommendation to the city council, saying Oakwood had not met the requirements for a planned residential community. 

“We took (Oakwood’s) concept and used those ideas from the planning commission to incorporate them into our concept to meet those standards,” Jackson said, representing Alpine Homes. 

Alpine Homes requested a slightly less dense community than Oakwood had, proposing about 40-homes to fill 6.25 acres. Oakwood had presented a concept with 56 units. Jackson said Alpine also planned to include more amenities, which could include more open space, a playground, a pavilion and a walking trail. 

Several residents from the gated Dove Meadows community that lies east of the subject property, expressed concerns about the walking trail in public comments but did not express distaste for the development overall. 

“We still need to be separated and secluded,” Kathy Bangerter, from Dove Meadows, said. “We don’t want a walk-through gate or trail with these guys. We don’t want a shared gate with them. We purchased homes in a gated community, and we want to stay that way. Whether they get their zoning or not, I don’t care, but I want to make sure that we stay secluded.” 

After the resident comments, council members discussed the potential of the property. Councilman Chris McConnehey said he wasn’t sure that amending the land-use was the best action because he said he wasn’t convinced that the land couldn’t be developed as professional office. If the land was developed residentially, McConnehey said he still wouldn’t see the area conducive to a plan residential development zone as the concept currently stood. 

“The PRD zone being requested is really meant for a larger development. It seems like the purpose of the PRD is to get more units on there,” he said, adding that he hadn’t seen enough upgrades and amenities that typically define a PRD. 

Councilman Dirk Buron disagreed with McConnehey. He said he’d talked with residents in the neighboring communities about the proposed changes to the parcel, and most of them were in favor of exchanging office space for residential homes. He proceeded to make a motion in favor of the proposed rezone and land-use amendment. 

The vote passed with McConnehey, Councilman Zach Jacob and Mayor Kim Rolfe dissenting.