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Temporary development moratorium imposed in unincorporated Davis County

By Mark Shenefelt - | May 6, 2022

BEN DORGER, Standard-Examiner file photo

Construction workers frame a house in a developing subdivision in western Weber County on Thursday, March 14, 2019. The Wasatch Front area is expected to see continued population growth in the years to come.

FARMINGTON — Davis County officials have placed a temporary moratorium on development in the county’s unincorporated areas, giving time for land-use plans to be reviewed and updated in the face of the inexorable demand for buildable ground.

County commissioners approved the moratorium Tuesday, saying the measure will be in effect until Nov. 3.

Kent Anderson, county community and economic development director, said Thursday the designation gives staff time to review land-use plans and come forward with any proposed modifications. A chief issue is the use of agricultural protection areas.

“Developers are looking for any and all land that is there,” Anderson said, and the county wants to make sure that remaining land under agricultural protection is handled appropriately. “We’re the most urbanized county in all of the state and the second smallest in land area,” he said.

He said staff members are analyzing the affected areas to come up with acreage totals involved. Most of the undeveloped, unincorporated land is west of West Point and in the Layton and Syracuse areas.

Agricultural protection areas are where landowners can request the designation, which limits development and lowers tax liabilities, Anderson said.

Other reasons for the moratorium are to consider how future development pressures will affect sensitive lands such as wetlands, floodplains and groundwater levels. There’s also a Great Salt Lake floodplain study in progress, which looks at flooding potential and other hazards; one major use of the study is for updating flood insurance maps.

The moratorium also gives the Davis County Health Department more leeway in completing a septic tanks study, which runs through March 2023. The study is considering whether septic tanks may be continued to be permitted in the unincorporated areas, and if so, to what extent.

The commission approved the moratorium without opposition or discussion. Citing county ordinance, the resolution said the moratorium “is necessary for the immediate preservation of the peace, health, or safety of Davis County and Davis County’s inhabitants.”

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