Salt Lake County commissioners decided Wednesday to hold two options to resolving boundary disputes between several unincorporated county communities.
To solve two ongoing disputes, the commission will hold the option of deciding where community boundaries should be either after allowing residents and property areas within a disputed area to vote to determine which community they want to identify with, or by amending the boundaries after holding a public hearing.In either case, the final decision on boundary location will rest with the County Commission.
Community councils in the Taylorsville-Bennion and Kearns area, and in the Holladay-Cottonwood and Cottonwood Heights area, have been engaged in turf battles for years because the boundaries between competing grass-roots community organizations have overlapped.
The conflicts are said to be one reason both areas have had incorporation votes in the past five years. With the community councils acting as advisory bodies to the county Planning Commission, the dual jurisdiction in the overlapping area has also frustrated zoning, master planning and development efforts. Developers currently are required to appear before both community councils when planning construction in one of the two gray areas.
Allowing the County Commission to decide whether there will be a vote or a public hearing should simplify the process of clearing the boundaries up, said County Commissioner Bart Barker.
Barker and Commissioner Tom Shimizu said a vote on the west-side dispute isn't likely because there is already a clear indication that homeowners would rather be part of Taylorsville-Bennion. The older business districts along 5400 South, however, have been influenced longer by the Kearns community, Barker said. "It appears there will not be a compromise that will be acceptable to both communities."
Provisions of a new ordinance that should be ready for the commissioners' final approval in one to two weeks would parcel the gray areas into voting districts so the voting results could help Commissioners decide how to divide a disputed area between both competing communities.