Unless it's a business venture, the City Council doesn't want to hear about new development.
Not for six months, anyway.The council voted unanimously Tuesday night to invoke a six-month moratorium on all new residential development, including rezoning requests. Specifically targeted are subdivisions, which have multiplied here in the past few years.
The moratorium took effect immediately.
"We don't want to be unfair, but we still want to get some breathing room, which we haven't been able to have," City Manager David Campbell said.
While the moratorium is in place, city officials will continue to update Draper's general plan, which serves as a guide for growth and development. Campbell said several major sections of the plan that might impact new residential development have yet to be revised.
It is the city's second development moratorium in two years.
Commercial development will continue during the next six months. Rezoning requests for commercial and industrial uses in areas the city has already designated for such activity will still be considered.
"They don't want to stop any businesses that might help build our tax base," Campbell said of council members.
The moratorium will not affect proposed developments that have reached at least the preliminary approval stage but will put a hold on all other applications.
Community Development Director Paul Glauser said about 15 to 20 applications will be stalled by the moratorium, but another 40 or 50 will move forward.
"We did this for the betterment of Draper, not to hurt anyone," Mayor Elaine Redd said.
Campbell said the moratorium will not impact two major subdivisions - the 1,700-unit South Mountain and the 4,400-unit Centennial projects - which already have development agreements with the city.
But small operators may be left out.
"The sad part is that normally, if you're going to put an application in to get a subdivision done, you'd put them in in December or January so you'd be ready to construct in the spring," said Terry Diehl, a partner in the South Mountain development. "So I think it will probably really affect some of the smaller developers."
Several developers contacted by the Deseret News said they were unaware the moratorium had been proposed. The agenda for the meeting stated only that a public hearing would be held on an ordinance "establishing temporary regulations pertaining to zoning and development of real property" in Draper.
Campbell and Redd said the unspecific language was used on purpose.
"I'm sure it was properly noticed, but we didn't put the word moratorium in there, and I'm sure it was our intent," Redd said Wednesday. "We could have had 100 or 150 people arguing both ways, and we didn't want that . . . It was properly noticed, and that's all that matters."
Only a few citizens addressed the moratorium at the meeting, including one man who said it would prevent him from subdividing property he wanted to give to his children.
Mark Mascaro, an attorney and part-time developer, said Tuesday he was not planning to submit any new development applications to the city in the next six months but said other developers likely were.
One developer interviewed said the moratorium would give South Mountain and Centennial a six-month window in which to market their lots before other developers can catch up. He said the city should have placed a moratorium on larger projects some time ago and should not have included developments involving a small number of lots in the moratorium.
City planner Bruce Talbot said it is difficult to project how many residential development applications might have been filed over the next six months but said between 40 and 50 residential projects have gone through the process in the past 14 months.
Neighboring Sandy imposed a similar moratorium on new apartment complexes last month.
Draper's population is about 9,000 but is projected to grow to about 20,000 in just five years.
- Also Tuesday: The council delayed a decision on whether to hire four full-time firefighters/emer-gency medical technicians, expected to cost about $120,000 per year. Some council members wanted more information and more time to review the proposal.
The council selected Project Management Inc. of Salt Lake City to serve as design and construction consultants for the new City Hall project.