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Midvale Journal

Midvale Mills project on hold

Jan 26, 2021 12:00PM ● By Erin Dixon

This is the area that is included in the Midvale Mills project. (image/Google Maps)

By Erin Dixon | [email protected]

The Midvale Mills project (near 300 East and 8000 South) has been discussed, denied, revised and returned. Again, the project is on hold.

In October 2020, Adam Nash, owner of Land Development LLC and the Midvale Mill project area, presented a revised, potential plan and a rezone proposal.

This meeting was a public hearing for a rezone. The request was to “...[R]ezone approximately 12.61 acres of property located at approximately 300 East 8000 South from Single-family Residential Zone with Agricultural Overlay to Multi-family Residential Medium Density (RM-12) Zone,” Alex Murphy, Midvale planning director, said. 

City staff recommended that the Midvale City Council approve the zone change because it fits the need for housing growth. 

“We just don’t have a lot of space left in the city. We anticipate over the next 20 to 30 years that we’ll need about 10,000 more housing units across the city,” Murphy said. 

“The agricultural zone there was applied decades ago and it isn’t really supporting the type of development we’ve been seeing in the area. It makes sense to alter that zone to something that fits,” Murphy said.

Murphy also said that the small uptick in density would fit with the surrounding area. 

“We’re not looking to see changes that are dramatic like we would see on Jordan Bluffs where it’s going from undeveloped to very developed,” Murphy said. 

“We’re buffering the lower intensity on the east from the higher density on the west. We’re providing facilities for new parks and open space, we’re close to TRAX and we’re providing additional home styles,” Murphy said. 

Many residents sent in comments to this public hearing opposing the rezone. 

Jon Brewderer said, “Why is he allowed to have the three properties denied in December [2019]? Why does it feel like Midvale City is not listening to its residents?”

He added a concern about the economics of lower priced housing. “Lower cost housing generally draws crime, drugs, alcohol, etc. This is not a matter of discrimination, this is a matter of public and family safety,” Brewderer said. 

Residents Kurt and Heidi Laird were concerned the increase in homes would make a high turnover neighborhood. “The [current] homes in this area have large lots, 2 to 3 acres….The rezone will have smaller homes, [we] count about 18 homes in the space that is now occupied by just eight houses. Such communities do not lend themselves to long-term residences.”

Andrew Hyde expressed a concern about the plan boundaries.

“The proposal includes a walking trail…that runs directly through my backyard,” Hyde said.   “This will bring substantial foot traffic right through my backyard.”

Nash responded to this comment saying that the resident may have a boundary discrepancy. “If it’s going through their backyards they must not have a fence up.”

“We want to have a trail going out that actually fits with the city’s standards ideally of connecting footpaths and bikes so you’re not always having to go out to a main road,” Nash said. 

After the comments, Nash said that he was willing to delete the townhome portion of the plan.

“I think the main point of contention has been specifically the townhouses and so the conclusion that I have drawn is I want to withdraw that portion of the application and it would all be single family on small lots,” Nash said. 

Councilmember Quinn Sperry was pleased with the changes made on the development. “What we told you a year ago is we want single-family homes in this area. That seems to be what you’ve come back with in this proposal,” Sperry said. 

No action was taken in October 2020. 

The rezone proposal came again in early January 2021. The public hearing and action was tabled for a future date.

Matt Dahl, assistant city manager, explained, “We have been made aware that there are some concerns about some of the property rights….We think it is necessary there be a solution found regarding those issues. We think those solutions may impact the action items. 

“We request the parties involved take a short time and come to a solution before council addresses this topic,” Dahl said.