A group of Sandy residents who had won the battle earlier, lost their war Tuesday night against a shopping center proposed for their neighborhood.
The City Council voted 4-2 to approve neighborhood commercial zoning for a reduced 13-acre development by Busch Corp. at the southeast corner of 114th South and 10th East.Busch's marketing director, Bailey Butters, said the company will proceed with planning and financing and intends to break ground within a year on the center. He said the development will be anchored by a grocery store and include a second major tenant - probably a clothing, drug or hardware store.
Area residents had succeeded in October in getting the City Council to reject a larger Busch proposal for a 18.5-acre project with rezoning of adjoining residential property from 10,000-square-foot to 8,000-square-foot lots.
Busch then filed a scaled-down plan, dropping its request for residential rezoning, reducing the project size to just over 16 acres.
In approving that plan - with the reduction to 13 acres - the City Council adopted the recommendation of the city's planning and zoning staff and rejected the advice of the city Planning Commission, which had turned down both Busch proposals.
Ken Oveson, a member of the citizens' committee opposing the development, called the decision "a simple railroad job."
"We felt like they didn't listen to us at all." He said that with the Planning Commission, residents and Crescent Community Council against the center, the council could have had no reason for approving it except a political desire to counter a nearby commercial development in Draper.
"Draper threatened the king sales tax with their rook. Sandy City has now moved the bishop in to protect the king sales tax, and the pawns were sacrificed - the pawns being the homeowners and the (school) students," he said, referring to residents' complaints that the center would be too close to Alta High School and Indian Hills Middle School, as well as two churches.
Councilman Bruce Steadman, who represents the area, agreed that the Draper development was a factor. "If we build nothing but a bedroom community, people still need services, and they're going to go find those services," he said.
But Steadman and Councilman Dennis Tenney, who also voted for the center, said their chief concern was the need for planned development and the desire to distribute commercial development throughout Sandy rather than concentrate it in one area. Steadman said the Busch site is the last of its size in the area that is appropriate for this type of development.
The councilmen said studies presented by the developer - and challenged by residents - persuaded them that traffic impacts and safety hazards to schoolchildren will be minimal.
Butters said the area clearly is growing, and the center will bring jobs and added shopping convenience.
Oveson said the center will provide only negligible tax benefits, because it will just shift sales from other Sandy areas. Butters said Busch doesn't consider that to be the issue.