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Approved rezone to allow for smaller homes

Jul 25, 2017 02:43PM ● Published by Kelly Cannon

A concept plan for how the property would be broken up to allow for smaller homes. (Draper City)

By Kelly Cannon | kelly@mycityjournals.com
 
The Draper City Council approved a rezone to allow a higher density usage on a piece of property located on the corner of 300 East and 13800 South. Referred to as the Cove at Brown Farm, the change increases the residential density from low/medium to medium/high. The vote took place during the June 20 city council meeting. Councilwoman Michele Weeks was the only opposed vote.
Jennifer Jastremsky, a planner with Draper City, explained to the council the .75 acres is currently zoned for zero to two units per acre. The density increase would allow four to eight units per acre.
“The agreement would limit the property to six single-family detached homes, which would equate to eight units per acre, which the zoning designation they’re requesting,” Jastremsky said.
Jastremsky explained the history of the property, saying in 2014 the city council had denied a rezone of the property for commercial development by stating 300 East was the cut-off for commercial along 13800 South.
“At this point, the city needs to consider that if it’s not going to be commercial, what uses are appropriate on the property,” Jastremsky said. “With the property being on two major collector streets and the amount of traffic, the city hasn’t really seen many people coming in wanting to create single-family homes.”
Ed Grampp, the developer of the property, said in trying to figure out the best use for the property, he talked to many different stakeholders, including neighbors and city staff.
“I tried to determine what would work. And almost uniformly, they said they really liked the Wheadon Preserve project,” Grampp said. “They’re very small homes very similar to what we’re talking about here.”
The Wheadon Preserve is next to the property in question and contains smaller attached single-family homes. Grampp said the majority of people he talked to want the smaller single-family homes.
“They didn’t favor condominiums. They didn’t favor townhomes. They did favor single family,” Grampp said. “What we have proposed here is even better because 70 percent of the Wheadon units are attached. All of ours are single-family detached homes. That I felt had the best chance of getting approval.”
During the discussion, Weeks expressed concerns over the number of homes and the smaller size of the homes. Grampp explained not only will the homes be the same size as the homes on the Wheadon property, but it’s also probably the only way to get people interested in buying homes on such a busy intersection.
“I’ve been a developer for decades and my opinion is there’s not really a demand on that busy of a corner for third acres or quarter acres. It’s just not a risk I would take and not something I think would be successful,” Grampp said. “The other thing, I think it meets a Draper City need for homes that are in-between townhomes and larger homes on quarter acres, third acres and half acres. There’s a need in this town for that and I think this would be an excellent way to help meet some of that need.”
During the public comment portion of the discussion, resident Sharlene Miner said she agrees with the need to have residential property instead of commercial, but is concerned about how wide the roads will be in the development.
“I’m an emergency physician and I deal with fires and I deal with kids who are hit in the road. With a 20-foot road and not that much frontage, my guess is that the people who buy these homes will have small children,” Miner said. “I’m concerned about the small children. I’m concerned about the fire trucks getting in and out.”
Resident Curtis Cutler spoke in favor of the project, praising Grampp for doing an excellent job in analyzing the situation. He also spoke in favor of the smaller homes idea.
“It’d be nice to put a one-acre house on that corner but I think it’s impractical. My kids would love to live in Draper but they can’t afford it, so to have a few more affordable homes in Draper would be great,” Cutler said. “I don’t think people who live there will necessarily have small families. There may be older professionals. I don’t think that’s a concern so I’d like to strongly recommend this be approved.”
In a letter written to the council, John Ciet, who lives at Wheadon Preserve, spoke in favor of the smaller homes.
“The proposed zoning would allow smaller lots upon which single family homes could be built, which bridges the gap in the Draper market between townhomes and larger single-family homes,” Ciet said. 
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