The site of the new Davis County Jail is among the 266 acres annexed into Farmington in the city's first major expansion west of I-15.

The City Council unanimously approved the annexation bid this week, which includes property belonging to 14 landowners.Although included in the city's master plan as eventually being added to Farmington, the city had not previously made any serious effort to annex the area between Shepherd Lane and Lund Lane west of the freeway.

Only one 4-inch water line goes into the area, ending at the State Street overpass, and there are no sanitary or storm sewer lines. The lack of utilities has hampered development of subdivisions, leaving it mostly semirural.

But the passage of an $18.5 million bond by county voters in an election last fall to fund construction of a new county jail and court complex on Clark Lane between 650 West and 11th West has changed that.

Farmington City Council members, prompted by the county's decision to build a jail there and petitions from other property owners, decided to begin annexation as a way of controlling the area's development.

In addition to the annexation, the council passed a policy requiring that the cost of improvements, such as water and sewer lines, roads, sidewalks and gutters, be borne by developers.

Although now within the borders of Farmington and eligible for city water and other services, the county will still have to pay for putting in water and sewer lines to serve the new jail.

The council also believes that by annexing the jail site, the city will have a say in its construction and appearance.

The city's master plan, and comments made by council members at a March 16 public hearing, indicate the area will remain semirural, with lots no smaller than one- or half-acre parcels.

Area residents, many of whom moved there to keep horses and other livestock, questioned the council at the hearing about the effect of annexation on their property taxes and lifestyle.

The newly annexed area is automatically zoned R-18, which calls for lots no smaller than 18,000 square feet or slightly less than a half-acre, according to City Planner Bob Scott.

The council directed the city's Planning Commission and staff to look into having it rezoned for larger lots, with Mayor Robert Arbuckle saying the council doesn't want anything smaller than half-acre lots there.