After hearing opposition from North Salt Lake residents, the Salt Lake City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to rezone nearly 120 acres of open space to natural open space.
The 6-0 vote to rezone two parcels and table a third came after about 15 minutes of public comments by those opposed to rezoning the area. It includes 80 acres that are owned by North Salt Lake but within Salt Lake City boundaries. The tabled area is privately owned and could come up for rezoning later.
The zoning change keeps the area safe from development, including parks and cemeteries that normally are allowed in open space areas.
Salt Lake City Council members said the vote came after unsuccessfully trying to reach a solution with North Salt Lake officials.
"There can be disagreements among people of good will and good faith," said Councilman Eric Jergensen.
Salt Lake Councilman Carlton Christensen said the property is "clearly is a very unique piece of ground . . . I think this is an appropriate direction to take."
North Salt Lake City Councilman Lynn Ballard told the council that his city "is very much opposed to the zoning" and will proceed with its lawsuit to disconnect the land from Salt Lake City. Ballard added that he hoped there "are no hard feelings."
Len Arave, a member of the North Salt Lake Planning Commission, also spoke against the rezoning.
"If you look at the geography of the ground, it really should be part of North Salt Lake," Arave said after the vote. "I really feel like this is an abuse of power here."
Arave said his city wants to leave about half of the land as open space, and the use the rest for housing and a cemetery.
Councilman Van Blair Turner was absent from the meeting.