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SANDY OKS REZONING FOR CLINIC

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A family health clinic would seem to be a perfect addition to any city, this one in particular.

But just try to put it in a residential neighborhood.Intermountain Health Care, Inc. has apparently succeeded in doing so, but it wasn't easy.

The Sandy City Council, on a 4-3 vote Tuesday night, decided to rezone four acres to accommodate IHC despite claims from nearby residents that the proposed clinic would ruin the neighborhood.

"This would be less impact than a residential neighborhood just because of the (lower) traffic count," said councilwoman Judy Bell, who cast the deciding vote. She was absent two weeks ago when the council split 3-3 on the issue.

Much of the council's half-hour debate Tuesday centered on whether the clinic or a new subdivision would be more appropriate for the northwest corner of 11400 South and 1000 East. The stresses each might place on the area were discussed.

But Randy Hoffman, who would have a good view of the clinic from the back yard of his home on Hawkwood Drive, told council members they were missing the point. What's important, he argued, is that people who bought into the neighborhood knew the corner property was zoned for residential use only, not for offices. To put anything else there, he suggested, would be unfair.

"If this was such an appropriate use, why wasn't it zoned that way in the first place?" Hoffman asked. "Why do we have to screw up a zone so IHC can build a building?"

Councilman Stan Price agreed, saying area residents feel they are being betrayed by the council.

"I know if I was one of those neighbors, I'd be really upset about something like that taking place," Price said.

Price, Ken Prince and George McNeil voted against the rezoning.

Councilman Bryant Anderson, a clear proponent of the clinic, said he'd love to have one in his neighborhood. Hoffman offered to sell Anderson his home.

Voting in favor of the rezoning along with Bell and Anderson were councilman Dennis Tenney and chairman Scott Cowdell.

IHC's proposal calls for a family health clinic with six physicians on staff. It would be open only on weekdays during daytime hours.