And you thought development here couldn't go any farther up the mountain.

The City Council is considering annexing 330 acres of land at the southern extreme of Bountiful Boulevard for development, the last large tract of land officials plan to bring into the city."This is probably the last thing we'll annex except for a little island or peninsula here or there," said City Planner Blaine Gehring. "There's just not that much room left."

The City Council toured the land near North Salt Lake's Eaglewood Golf Course on Wednesday, and members came away impressed. Though the parcel is so high up the mountainside that it will practically give you a nosebleed (5,900 feet elevation at the highest point), there are large areas within it that unexpectedly plateau above Bountiful Boulevard, making them ideal for housing development.

"Look at this flat ground," exclaimed Assistant City Engineer Paul Rowland as he drove through the area. "This is real flat."

Flat ground equals premium ground in this city, which is basically landlocked and has nowhere to go except farther up the mountain. At about 40,000 people, Bountiful's population is topping out simply because of a lack of room.

Compare that to Davis County's other major city, Layton, whose residents now number more than 50,000, with more continuing to pour in.

Given the upscale area and slope of the land, future lots on the proposed site - somewhere between 250 and 400 - will not be cheap. Comparable upper-end lots - that's just lots, not houses - in Bountiful go for as much as $500,000 nowadays, said Maple Hills Realtors broker Ronn Marshall, agent for the Glade family, owners of the land.

"And the funny thing is, they won't have any problem finding people who are willing to pay that," said City Councilman Harold Shafter. "Those lots alone will be more than my house is worth - and two or three of my kids' houses."

The expense of the sites will be mitigated somewhat by building some condominiums among the houses. In addition, Marshall is pushing for a small commercial development on the part of the land that abuts Bountiful Boulevard.

"If we want to do anything commercial, now is the time," Hardy said.

Marshall took council members to a flat-topped outcropping with a spectacular view to expound the parcel's virtues. On one occasion decades ago, when the area was far from any homes, LDS President David O. McKay gave a speech to thousands of church faithful on that spot, which is still fondly remembered for the occasion.

Because of the tract's unique topography, most of the nearby residents won't even be able to see the houses built on it, which may mollify those who decry the continuing degradation of the mountainside view. In addition, Hardy said the development should be agreeable to environmentalists because half of the land, mainly because of slope steepness, will remain open space.

The City Council will conduct a public hearing for the annexation probably sometime in September.

The owners of the neighboring Eaglewood land approached Boun-ti-ful a few years ago for possible annexation, but city officials and the developers couldn't reach agreement on the terms of the annexation, so the land ultimately went to North Salt Lake.

If it goes through, the Glade annexation will be larger than all the parcels Bountiful has annexed in the past 15 years combined.