clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Draper neighbors aim to block supermarket

Many Draper residents will be happy to see a new Harmons supermarket move into town - but you won't find many of them in Sheri Lewis' neighborhood.

For the folks who live in the Camden Park Subdivision, plans to build a major 24-hour retail outlet next door to their homes is a nightmare they say they were told would never happen, Lewis said.They worry about round-the-clock noise and lights, increased traffic and plummeting property values. And they wonder why there's a need for still another store in that general area.

City planners, on the other hand, see the proposed development as a workable use along an increasingly busy 11400 South at 700 East.

A large supermarket certainly would benefit Draper's commercial tax base at a time when breakneck residential growth is stretching city finances.

And planners note that Draper's planning commission has imposed some tough conditions on the project, including the stipulation that Harmons will have to work out any problems affecting their neighbors to the west.

All these interests are on a collision course and scheduled for impact Tuesday night when the City Council will jump into the fray.

Developers have applied for a zoning change from residential to moderate commercial use to permit construction of the market, a drug store and other retail or professional outlets.

Camden Park residents will be on hand to oppose the rezoning but, if the council approves the change, they are scheduled to appeal the planning commission's decision to issue a conditional use permit for the development.

City Planner Paul Glauser said planning commissioners voted 5-0 to recommend the rezoning but were less unified on the conditional use, passing it 4-1.

"If the zoning change is turned down, then the appeal of the conditional use permit is moot," Glauser said. "If it's approved, we will proceed with the appeal."

He also said the planning commission has "made it clear the developers don't have slam-dunk approval" on the project.

"Commissioners have imposed a rigorous set of conditions and let developers know they will have to work out any problems with their neighbors," Glauser added.

But Lewis said she and her neighbors don't think a 24-hour supermarket is a use that can be "worked out" - at least, not in their back yards.

"I and many other (Camden) residents went to the city and asked what Draper was planning for the area" before purchasing homes, she said. "Some of us were told the city foresaw it as a small-scale commercial area. Others were told it would be residential.

"We don't think the land is suitable for a supermarket or that there's a need for a store in that area," Lewis added. "To me or the common person, I don't think small scale means a large store.

"We still have a lot of questions," she added.

Lewis and other Camden residents fired off a letter to the city outlining many of those questions, including how will developers handle noise, ensure traffic safety, provide proper setbacks and maintain adequate buffer zones between the homes and the large supermarket parking lot.

"How do you buffer a two-story home from the noise and lights of a parking lot?" she asked. "This is a very narrow piece of land, and we think a 72,000-square-foot store is too intense and too big for this piece of property.

"A smaller scale development should be planned," Lewis added. "Right now, the biggest commercial development on 11400 South is a Circle K."