Granite Community residents think Sandy's a nice place to visit - but they don't want to live there.
In fact, the Granite Community Council is asking Salt Lake County to stop Sandy's "aggressive annexation" of unincorporated areas of the county. Particularly theirs.They're not alone. Residents of White City, an unincorporated island in the middle of Sandy, have been fighting the city's attempt to annex part of their area. They were successful in getting the county on their side. That has resulted in a lawsuit between the county and Sandy. County officials say they're close to negotiating a settlement in the suit.
But they worry that Sandy wants to annex areas only where profitable businesses exist. That way, the city can receive more money through sales taxes. If the White City annexation is successful, only residences will be left. The area will have no chance of becoming an incorporated city of its own some day.
Granite officials are concerned about an undeveloped area known as the Ridge, 2200 East between 10700 South and Dimple Dell Road. In their case, the county may be reacting too late to make a difference. Sandy recently completed the annexation - unopposed by the county.
County Commission Chairman Jim Bradley said the county may have missed its chance to protest the Ridge area annexation because it happened when he and fellow Commissioner Randy Horiuchi were new on the job and were busy learning their duties.
Horiuchi said he doesn't believe the county should have protested. The Ridge annexation isn't a blatant attempt to grab commercial property, he said.
But Granite officials want Horiuchi and Bradley to get more involved in keeping Sandy out of their community.
"If Sandy intends to annex all of Granite Community, we will have to take over Sandy City government," threatened Steve Jacobsen, Granite Community Council chairman. "If Sandy comes after White City plus Granite Community, we will be aggressive in becoming involved in Sandy's community councils and City Council."
The Granite Community Council opposed the Ridge annexation on the grounds that it "creates a peninsula within the borders of Salt Lake County and effectively divides the Granite Community into two portions."
In a Feb. 20 letter to the Salt Lake County Commission, Jacobsen called the move a "non-sensical approach to annexation" and "a device by Sandy to further their own interests and power base without regard to proper planning or the concerns of the immediate neighbors as well as the community in general."
Bradley said Sandy historically has been anxious to expand. "They've been extremely aggressive," he said.
"We need to have logical boundaries for the municipalities," Bradley said. "But in some cases we've seen where annexations have been more cannibalistic than anything."
Sandy officials maintain they're just trying to be good neighbors.
"We are providing services to it (the Ridge area). It's in an incorporated peninsula, and state statute encourages the elimination of unincorporated peninsulas and islands when possible," said Sandy City Planner George Shaw. "We are not doing anything that is unusual."
Shaw said when the state annexation law was passed in 1979, each city was required to declare which areas they had interest in annexing.
"Those are all on file. We are not going out and gobbling up what is on the west side - only those (areas) in our service capability," he said.
A developer requested that the Ridge area be annexed.