LAYTON -- Neighbors aren't waiting to express their opposition to a potential multi-family project on the city's east side.
Residents from the Oakridge Drive area of east Layton came out en masse to a recent city council meeting to express concerns about a proposed small development at 2200 E. Oakridge Drive. The development involves apartment buildings on a 2-acre parcel of land adjoining single-family developments.
The property in question is owned by Chateaux at Oakridge, LLC, with Jared Yates as one of the principals. The group has submitted a concept plan to the city for review with a three-parcel subdivision. One of the parcels would include two three-story apartment buildings. The property is zoned for low-medium density residential, or R-M-1. The project will require review from both the planning commission and city council before it can be given the green light.
Even though discussion of any specific proposals for the project was not on the agenda, residents used the citizen comment portion of the meeting to air concerns about the proposal -- even if they were jumping the gun.
"There is not one other place in Layton city where apartment buildings butt up next to $600,000 homes," Catherine Palmer, of Layton, told city officials.
City Attorney Gary Crane and City Manager Alex Jensen said city officials can't act on any multifamily project until it begins the review process. Crane found himself on the defensive in explaining why the property in question is zoned for multifamily use, but adjacent property isn't.
He said the property was given its current zoning by East Layton city before that city merged with Layton. He suggested it would not be a simple matter to rezone the property, when a developer has come forward with a possible project on the land.
Palmer argued the property should have been rezoned when the two cities merged in 1981. Crane argued that property rights are complicated and to make a change now would only invite litigation.
Kristen Bahney, of Layton, said no one likes the idea of three-story apartment buildings in the neighborhood. She said the project could congest traffic in the region, particularly to East Layton Elementary School. She expressed interest in possibly finding middle ground on any project done on the property.
Mayor Steve Curtis assured residents at the meeting their concerns will be heard.
"I'm pretty confident we can find common ground," Curtis said.
Jensen urged residents to express their views at the appropriate time as the project begins city review.
Bill Wright, director of community and economic development, said there would be an opportunity for citizen input as the project begins to undergo that review.