PLEASANT VIEW — A controversial proposal to turn an undeveloped parcel of land in Pleasant View into a high-end housing development has been rebuffed by city leaders.
A pair of real estate agents working with the owners of the 28-acre piece of property off 4300 North just north of 500 West high on Pleasant View’s bench had sought a rezone of the land, enabling the development to move forward. But the Pleasant View City Council on Tuesday rejected the request in a unanimous voice vote after numerous residents spoke against the change.
As is, the current A-5 zoning designation on the land allows for construction of a home for every five acres of property, or five houses in all on the land in question, owned by the Robert and Ruth Christofferson Family Trust. The owners had sought change to RE-20 zoning, which permits higher density development, and had envisioned a 34-home subdivision.
In the latest skirmish in Weber County over development, however, foes expressed concern that the proposed development would hurt the supply of groundwater and create more traffic. And though the Pleasant View Planning Commission last month recommended going forward with the rezone in a 5-2 vote, council members ultimately said no.
“I just at this point can’t see changing the zoning with the information we have,” said Councilman Steve Gibson.
Councilman Ken Francis expressed concern about overdevelopment on the steep land. “How dense do we want to make that hillside?” he said.
The concerns among the project ran the gamut.
Glen Ames said more rooftops and driveways would result in more water getting into the stormwater system and less filtering into the ground, harming the area’s water supply. “We need this recharge area on the bench,” he said.
John Sutton, a dark skies advocate, lauded the lack of glare in Wadman Nature Park just east of the proposed development site and warned that new homes would create more light pollution. “We are raising a generation of children who have never seen a dark sky at night,” he said.
Others expressed concern that the new development would hamper the ability of wildlife to access Wadman, reducing its charm, and that the resulting increase in car traffic would be disruptive.
Robert Christofferson Jr., whose father and mother are the namesakes for the trust that owns the undeveloped land, expressed affection for the property, owned by several generations in his family. “That land’s important to us. I just want people to know that land will be well taken care of,” he said.
In defending the rezone, though, he noted that his father had long envisioned half-acre housing development on the land.
Though housing may still be developed on 5-acre plots, Don Mendenhall, one of the real estate agents who pushed for the rezone, said it wouldn’t be financially feasible to build a road network to serve just five homes. He had envisioned houses in the $600,000 price range, in harmony with other homes in the area.
Marilyn Rees, the other real estate agent aiding the Christofferson family, said what comes next has yet to be determined. “We’ll talk with the family, see what they want to do,” she said.
The divide on the Pleasant View development plans echoes the division many other growth proposals around Weber County have generated as expansion continues at a rapid pace.