Visions collide at city council meeting
Oct 31, 2016 10:32AM ● Published by Tori LaRue
An aerial view of about 23 acres of property near 8157 South Mapleleaf Way in West Jordan. The owner proposed a rezone during the Oct. 12 city council meeting. (West Jordan City)
By Tori La Rue | email@example.com
West Jordan, Utah - Two dreams came head to head as a family tried to rezone 23 acres of their property near 8157 South Mapleleaf Way.
“My dad was a general contractor and a small home builder, and he held on to this land because he had a vision for it,” applicant Kim Mascherino said. “There were many times offers were declined throughout the years for larger home builders to purchase this land. He held onto it because he believed in the potential of letting a small-home builder come in and build on this land.”
Masherino’s family wanted to change the potential lot size of their property from 1-acre and half-acre lots to 10,000-square-foot minimum lots, so they could build about 80 homes. The family took up several rows of seats in the West Jordan City Council Chambers on Oct. 12. Other residents filled the remaining seat in the council room and more lined the back and side wall, waiting to hear the council’s decision.
Residents who live near the land in question came to express their opinions almost unanimously against the family’s proposed rezone, saying the development would disrupt their rural way of life, cause traffic congestion and present a safety risk for children and pedestrians. The neighborhood to the west contains 1-acre lots where many land-owners raise families and livestock.
“We have a dream, and we have a vision—the same their family did,” said Scott Lambson, a resident from the neighborhood to the west. “We don’t want to stomp their vision, but we can’t just let them stop ours as well.”
After more than an hour of discussion about the issue, the council unanimously denied the rezone, stating they felt the rezone in questions was incompatible with the neighborhood to the west. Councilman Chad Nichols was excused from the meeting.
Councilman Chris McConnehey backed his vote by stating he didn’t see an adequate buffer between the rural residential neighborhood and the proposed rezone. The conceptual plan showed the new development connecting to the rural residential area via Susan Way, which is currently a stub road, bringing the two zones into one neighborhood, he said.
Councilman Zach Jacob said he thought the rezone was compatible with three of the four surrounding neighborhoods, but he added that majority doesn’t rule when it comes to rezones.
“This whole area doesn’t make sense the way that this was developed—smaller lots, surrounding bigger lots, surrounding mobile homes with industrial across the street—none of this makes any sense,” Jacob said. “Plugging in another piece that only sort of makes sense— I don’t think works for me. I don’t see this development fitting in this patchwork quilt of a neighborhood.”
The land could still be developed using its current zoning, rural residential full and half-acre lots. Mascherino and her family declined to comment on what they planned to do with their land following the ruling.