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The City Journals

Draper City Council Denies Rezone for Assisted Living Center

May 05, 2016 01:08PM ● By Kelly Cannon

By Kelly Cannon | [email protected]

Draper -The Draper City Council denied a request for a zoning change after residents came out in force to speak against the rezoning. During its March 15 meeting, the city council heard from several members of the neighborhood who were opposed to the zone change that would have allowed an assisted living center to be built in the middle of their residential neighborhood. 

The area in question was nearly three acres located at 13254 and 13276 South 1300 East. According to a staff report, the planning commission was split on their decision to endorse the rezone two against two. Neighbors spoke against the issue because of concerns over commercial property being developed where they live. Neighbors were also afraid of the increased traffic, especially since there are three schools in the area. 

“I am so frustrated over the thought of commercial property coming in on 1300 East. It’s residential and it needs to stay residential,” said Kim Agnew, one of the neighbors. “I wouldn’t mind an assisted living but it changes the zoning and there are other areas in Draper that would be better suited for it.”

Agnew thanked the city council for being willing to listen to the residents and asked the council to keep the zoning residential.

“Part of Draper has to stay old,” Agnew said. 

Resident Margaret Bird addressed the council, asking why the city has a general plan and a municipal code if it isn’t going to follow it. 

“This property is not located near general commercial areas,” Bird said. 

Aaron DeRose agreed with Agnew, saying there are good areas in Draper that are already zoned for this kind of commercial use. 

“There are better places for [this] type of business to be. I agree with the concerns of commercial creep,” DeRose said. “If you make an exception for this, you would set a precedence for other developers who come in and want to do similar commercial projects in the future.”

Owner Greg Nield was at the meeting to explain the plans for his assisted living center. Nield has been in the health care business for 10 years.

“All of us have parents and grandparents who will need this type of service at some point,” Nield said. 

Nield explained the concept of “aging in place,” where those in assisted living tend to do better if they live somewhere that is familiar. 

“Where do you want to be when you’re 85 years old?” Nield asked. “Do you want to be over by I-15? Do you want to be over next to heavy commercial?”

Nield acknowledged people don’t want commercial property in their neighborhoods, but an assisted living center is the most residential commercial available. 

The city council denied the rezone unanimously.