The Davis County Boundary Commission Tuesday decided it wants a legal opinion and more information before rendering a decision on the latest annexation dispute between Clearfield and Layton.
At issue is Clearfield's apparent annexation of 32 acres between 26th and 28th West at 10th North, adjacent to an 80-acre parcel the two cities battled over previously that ended with Layton winning a 2nd District Court challenge.The Boundary Commission heard more than an hour of testimony Tuesday night in a hearing requested by Layton to block the annexation and rezoning of the property for development of single-family residential housing and a mobile home park.
Layton City Attorney Mark Arnold told the commission that Clearfield didn't follow state statutes on annexation, failing to provide a policy declaration governing the property's annexation and potential use to interested parties, including Layton.
Clearfield City Attorney Larry Waggoner acknowledged the city hasn't drawn up the policy declaration but said Clearfield has only agreed to annex the property and has not formally approved a declaration of annexation. And, Waggoner said, part of that process involves drawing up the contested policy declaration.
The two city attorneys disagreed over what action was taken by the Clearfield council, prompting the commission members to ask for a copy of the council's minutes from the meeting.
Ownership of the property is also in question. Brothers Paul and Grant Roberts maintain they own the land and don't want it either annexed into Clearfield or developed into a mobile home park.
But Waggoner said the developer, Higley & Higley Construction Co., has a valid earnest money and purchase agreement on the land and a legal contract allowing the firm to request annexation, which it did with the consent of the Roberts brothers.
Those two questions prompted the commission members to continue the hearing to Dec. 6 pending receipt of the Clearfield council meeting minutes and a legal opinion from the county attorney's office.
It is the second time in a year that Layton and Clearfield have battled over annexation of property along the 11th North boundary.
Layton earlier this year annexed 80 acres owned by the Robertses on the north side of 11th North, spurring Clearfield to first protest and then file a lawsuit to block the annexation.
Clearfield maintained the annexation violated a 1979 "gentleman's agreement" between the two cities that 11th North will be the boundary between the two cities, with Layton staying to the south and Clearfield to the north.
But the Layton City Council approved the annexation on grounds the property owners do not want to be part of Clearfield, petitioned for the annexation, and Layton is better prepared to provide city water and other services to the area.
Clearfield's objection and later lawsuit were turned down by District Judge Rodney S. Page, who ruled the 1979 informal agreement invalid. Such an agreement illegally binds future city councils from making decisions, the judge ruled.
Layton maintains that it was hard feelings arising from that loss that led Clearfield, which once rejected the annexation and mobile home park rezone bid, to reverse its position and, partly out of spite, approve the project.