BOUNTIFUL -- Changing the zoning on a small piece of commercial property at 2110 S. Orchard Drive to multifamily, to facilitate the construction of more multifamily housing in the area, will only negatively impact the quality of life in the neighborhood, city leaders were told during a public hearing recently.
"We wanted to move to Bountiful because it was a small town. With an influx of these multifamily unit apartments it will only be a matter of five to 10 years that we become an extension of Salt Lake City. Once those apartments are built, the neighborhood is done," Teresa Nielsen told city officials during a public hearing on the potential rezone.
The proposed rezone would affect a 12,000-square-foot area on South Orchard Drive where the Hostess bakery was once located. The remaining portion of the property is already zoned for multifamily housing. The rezone request was initiated by Wilson Properties.
City officials held a public hearing on the matter at a recent meeting but did not formally close the hearing on the potential rezone. It is expected to be reopened at the council's May 14 meeting, before any decision is made.
Neighbors could see nothing positive from the project.
Leon Hoffman has lived in the area for 40 years and said the addition of 50 apartments to the area, with potentially more to come, only destroys privacy and creates greater safety hazards along a busy roadway.
"I'd hate to see small children being raised that close to a fast street. We don't want more density in our community," he said.
Jeffrey Colbert said the move to more multifamily housing in the area reminds him of a similar pattern he saw in West Valley City before locating to Davis County. He associates apartments with gangs and crime.
"They're coming. They live in apartments and then live in high-
density areas. We will see an increase in crime," Colbert said.
Cynthia Simonson, apartment manager for Wilson Properties, said the fear about losing the neighborhood with a rezone is not well-founded. She said:
"I guarantee you, they will be beautiful apartments. They're going to be very nice, high-quality apartments. We love Bountiful, we care about who is living here."