A small group of Bountiful residents has failed to get the City Council to deny a site plan for a new professional building and to rezone property near Lakeview Hospital back to a residential classification.
Steve Brinkman told the council that the planned building, proposed for 655 E. Medical Drive, would be a disruptive influence on what is otherwise a purely residential area. Other property nearby would be more suitable for the building, even though the site in question has been zoned for commercial development for several years, he said.Brinkman said there is not a sufficient buffer between area residences on Second South and the building site. Approval of the building would also force two remaining land parcels in the area into commercial use, since the new building will separate the land from the residential area, he said.
City Manager Tom Hardy said the development fits the city master plan and conforms with zoning ordinances. Although the building will not house medical offices, as most others do in the area, it will cater to professions that are listed in the zoning ordinance as professional uses. Hardy said he agrees that the buffer zone is minimal, because of the way the streets come together in the area, but he pointed out that the project developers have worked to accommodate the wishes of area residents.
A meeting with area residents was held just prior to the council session to work out a landscaping plan that would be acceptable to adjoining residences. An agreement was reached at the session in accordance with a Planning Commission stipulation.
Brinkman conceded that developers had been good at working with the residents, and added that the proposed building was designed with the intent of blending as well as possible with the residential uses. He said that should the council not agree with the call for down-zoning, he would favor approval of the project. He said residents realize that another project may well be more disruptive and that the building could be much higher under present zoning allowances.
Mayor Dean S. Stahle said that while he sympathizes with the residents, the city would likely face a legal challenge if it tried to down-zone the area, after it has been zoned commercial for many years. He also said that residents in the area could be more severely affected by other projects if this plan were denied. He said even if the land were downzoned to a residential classification, it would likely be a multihousing designation that would result in some kind of high-rise construction.
The council then voted unanimously to approve the building's site plan, with the stipulation that landscaping comply with agreements reached in the meeting with area residents. The council also included some on-street parking restrictions intended to force those working at the building to park in parking lots, which should deter some of the anticipated increased traffic flow into the subdivision.