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Taylorsville planners OK condos near river

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Deseret Morning News graphic

TAYLORSVILLE — Despite concerns about flooding and threats to wetlands, the Taylorsville Planning Commission voted Tuesday night to recommend approval of a high-density development 100 feet from the Jordan River.

The commission also recommended the development be granted the highest zoning density the city has ever seen, shifting the city's maximum density from nine units an acre to 12 units per acre. That change, if approved, would impact zoning citywide.

Developer Don Patton petitioned the city to rezone more than nine acres near 677 West and 4800 South from agriculture to residential so he can build a complex of condominiums. Patton also filed a separate petition to change the city's maximum zoning to allow 12 units per acre. That change also was supported by city staff.

During a public hearing, Terry Green of the Utah Department of Natural Resources — which has jurisdiction over a nearby strip of land known as the Jordan River Parkway — said he had "grave" concerns about part of the project being built in a flood plain.

The city has required a 100-foot setback from the river's banks, but Green said the state would prefer 150 feet. He said there are concerns about protecting wildlife habitat in the area but added the state cannot afford to buy every piece of sensitive land slated for development and turn it into open space.

Taylorsville resident Barbara Toole, who owns a home next to the proposed development, said she is worried about the potential for flooding in such a high-density area.

"I still have water lines on my house from 1983" when the Salt Lake Valley experienced severe flooding, Toole said.

Patton told the commission the project can be engineered to mitigate any future threat of flooding.

"I'm not promising that we're going to stop it," he said.

Patton pointed out he has had to seek permission from not only the city, but the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the state and Salt Lake County.

"You don't think that's enough oversight?" he asked.

Both of Patton's requests passed the commission on 5-1 votes. Kristie Overson voted against both, saying she did not feel the City Council received adequate public input on increasing the maximum residential density, or for a development partially in a flood plain.

The recommendation by the commission will now be forwarded to the City Council for final approval.

E-mail: gfattah@desnews.com