LAYTON -- The city's west side is an open area ripe for residential development. However, it has everything except adequate water. And that limitation is causing some developers to be quite clever in how they try to develop subdivisions.
City Manager Alex Jensen has told the City Council that some developers are trying to take advantage of the city's limited development policy west of the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad tracks."We denied subdivisions but have allowed individual lots that are along the frontage," Jensen said.
Now some developers are using individual lots on those frontages to try to develop early phases of their subdivisions.
Since the city only has enough culinary water pressure to allow about another 20 lots in west Layton, it is now drafting a temporary policy to try to tighten up lot approval there.
Until the new water reservoir, now under construction on Clearfield High School property, is on line in the next two years, there can't be regular development allowed in west Layton.
"We'll allow one parcel split only," Scott Carter, the city's community and economic development director, said.
That should keep developers from being able to put three to four lots across the front of their property.
"It seems like a reasonable solution to me," Councilman Brent Allen said.
Carter said new waterlines should reach 1500 N. 2200 West just over one year from now. However, it may be another year after that before the waterlines tie into Gordon Avenue and regular development is allowed.
Mayor Jerry Stevenson said some longtime residents of west Layton believe they should be given preferential treatment in development approval there. He's not sure that belief isn't without merit because some residents -- especially those on West Gentile Street -- helped pay for the current waterline there through a special improvement district.
"That area is a little different than other areas," Stevenson said.
Jensen stressed the city has to be careful not to open the development gate very wide.
"This may not make everyone happy. But it's fair," he said.
Allen said anyone who feels he or she isn't being treated fairly in west Layton development issues can always ask for an exception.
Carter said that, strangely enough, the city seems to be getting a lot of three-lot development proposals lately.
-- In a related matter, the city is looking for community input on the master plan for the development of all west Layton.
It has identified some 700 property owners west of the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad tracks and is planning its first public comment meeting on Thursday, June 24, 7 p.m., at City Hall.