Most of those attending a public hearing Tuesday night on whether land around the new Salt Creek I-15 interchange should be rezoned to a highway commercial zone supported the change.
A few, however, opposed it.The new designation would permit commercial developments such as service stations, cafes, restaurants, fast-food eateries, drive-ins and similar enterprises but would prohibit wrecking yards, equipment rental yards, mobile-home parks and similar businesses, said Glenn Greenhalgh, representing the city Planning and Zoning Commission.
The proposed area of change would encompass the land to the creek on the south side of U-132, east on the south side of the interchange, and east to the city boundary about a half block north and west to approximately 800 East.
Vard White, a former councilman, was one who thought the council should consider the effect of the change on downtown businesses. If the freeway interchange is developed, he said, it may be at the expense of the local businessmen. "My business (a downtown drive-in located next to the city park) has increased since the interchange was opened," said White.
He told City Council members the improved business will not likely continue if the interchange area is developed.
Sharlene Cook said she thinks business should be kept downtown and not located on the fringe of a residential area. She told of experiences she had had since the interchange opened. For example, a person had parked a motorhome near her home and began walking a dog. The man walking the animal was in his underwear, she said.
However, Jack Dansey said he thinks drawing motorists off the freeway to businesses located at the interchange would benefit the entire community.
Nephi Mayor Robert Steele said approximately 50 percent of the cars using U-132 enter I-15 at the interchange and go either north or south. "I think we are now losing revenue and that there are potential services to be sold at the interchange," said Steele.
While the proposed zoning will not allow residential use, said Don Eyre Jr., city attorney, it could be allowed if there were enough public comment to warrant it.
Dr. Thomas Hall, Payson, who owns property in the proposed rezoning area, asked if there would be enough residential area facing north left for development and Eyre said there would be.
Dan Nelson, Utah Department of Transportation District 6 director, offered to work with the city on the issue. He also discussed the impact of logo signing near the interchange, and said highway information signing for local business would be part of future signs at the interchange. The purpose of logo signing, he said, is to limit the proliferation of billboards.
Duane Robinson said he supported rezoning the interchange area and said he thought the community should capitalize on the new interchange as an asset to bring people into the community.
The city will decide on the rezoning at a future meeting.