KAYSVILLE -- Jim Rae wants respect and a date from Kaysville city, the motel owner or developer as to when he and his neighbors will be evicted from their homes in the Far West Motel.
The motel, at 410 N. Main St., is targeted for demolition, to be replaced by townhomes that will be priced for first-time homebuyers.
The builder's best guess for a construction start date on the yet-to-be named townhome project, should it meet city approval, would be sometime this summer.
Rae, 55, a retired state social worker, is one of about 50 people who permanently reside at the motel that is at least 30 years old.
"This is not a motel. This is people's homes," Rae said of those living there, including 15 children and seniors, an individual who has lived at the motel for five years, and a family of eight.
Rae is concerned he and his neighbors will be evicted any day now as a result of motel owner Mark Cummings and Kaysville developer Brad Wilson filing a joint application with Kaysville to rezone the 2.9 acres the motel sits on to build townhomes.
"It's a done deal," Rae said of the rezone request.
Cummings could not be reached for comment. But city officials, as well as Wilson, said the project has yet to receive city approval.
A request to rezone the motel property has been filed with the city, with a public hearing set before the planning commission at 7 p.m. Thursday at Kaysville City Hall, 23 E. Center St., City Manager John Thacker said.
Depending on what the commission recommends, a second hearing on the rezone will be held by the city council at 6:30 p.m. April 19, at City Hall, Thacker said.
The request is to rezone the property from a general commercial zone to an R-4 residential zone, allowing townhomes to be built on the site in different configurations, Thacker said.
The request by Cummings and Wilson meets with the zoning of the properties that are contiguous to the motel property, he said.
Regarding eviction of the motel tenants, Thacker said, those living there permanently are in non-ompliance with the current general commercial zone limiting motel residency to 30 days.
"It is a motel, not an apartment complex," he said.
"Kaysville city can say whatever they want," Rae said, admitting the city is standing on legal ground. "But it doesn't mean it's right. We have to look at these people as human beings."
The city is fast-tracking the rezone because of a lack of respect city officials have for those living in the motel as a result of a recent shooting death that occurred there, Rae alleged.
On March 19, Gregory Nance was shot to death in his room at the motel. The victim's son, Joseph Allen Nance, has been charged with the death.
"Because of the murder here, we are just low-life scum. Go back before the murder, Kaysville city would not have even thought of rezoning this (property)," said Rae, who has lived in the motel for six months.
Thacker said the city is following the standard process when it comes to a rezone.
Wilson, owner of Destination Homes, which is proposing the redevelopment, said his company began negotiations to buy the motel last October and an agreement was reached with Cummings a week before the shooting occurred.
It is a "sad coincidence" the proposed rezone of the property surfaced at about the same time as the shooting, Wilson said.
"The intent for a long time with the property was to redevelop it," he said of the motel he describes as "old" and "rundown."
"Our intent is not to displace and cause problems for people," said Wilson, who is a state lawmaker.