The City Council has protested plans by Woods Cross to annex land near West Bountiful's western boundary, saying that the two cities had a "gentleman's agreement" that the land would eventually become part of West Bountiful.
The council has filed a protest with the Davis County Boundary Commission to stop Woods Cross from making what West Bountiful Mayor Jerry Thompson calls a "land grab." The commission is scheduled to hear the matter on Oct. 26.The protest follows a public hearing, one of the last steps in the annexation process. If one of the citiesdoesn't agree with the commission's decision, state law allows annexation disputes to be appealed to district court and then to the Utah Supreme Court.
The annexation would end any hopes that West Bountiful has to strengthen its industrial tax base. The area is a prime site for industry. Only a car auction company is located on the land, Thompson said.
"We have the South Davis Sewer Plant and that's about it. We say, `Why does West Bountiful have to take all of your crap and you don't give us anything,' " Thompson said.
The disputed 107-acre parcel includes an area from Redwood Road to 11th West and from Fifth South north about 1,283 feet. There are 78 landowners and the assessed value of the land is $2.5 million.
"We might as well say we are forever a bedroom community. They've killed West Bountiful," Thompson said. "They have overlooked the real fairness."
Thompson contends that Woods Cross has used an underhanded approach to convince landowners they should be annexed into their city. He said Woods Cross has installed waterlines in the area to entice residents to annex. He said West Bountiful could provide the same services to the area, which is now an unincorporated part of Davis County.
Woods Cross Mayor Ralph Argyle disputes Thompson's contention, saying residents asked for the waterlines and now have agreed to be annexed. He also said the plan doesn't violate a gentleman's agreement to not annex across Fifth South.
"I am not aware of any gentleman's agreement, and if there ever was one, West Bountiful broke it when it annexed across Fifth South between Eighth West and 11th West," Argyle said.
All of the landowners in the area, except two, agreed to be annexed into Woods Cross, and contrary to Thompson's pro-industry statements, West Bountiful has a record of keeping industry out of its city, Argyle said.