Owners of land adjacent to Hercules Aerospace are appealing the City Council's decision to deny construction of a research and business park.
Bettilyon Realty requested the rehearing after council members denied reclassifying the property, which would have allowed low-density manufacturing and permit construction of the research or business park.Councilwoman Janice Fisher led the battle during the initial public hearing on Nov. 17 to deny reclassifying the property, from 60th West to 58th West and 41st South to 4240 South.
Fisher argued the area is mostly residential, and a business or research park would conflict with the neighborhood. Only Mayor Brent Anderson, a proponent of the research park, voted against Fisher.
During a public hearing Thursday night, however, the City Council agreed to rehear the issue and scheduled it for a Feb. 28 study session.
Councilman Carroll Elford told John Langley, Bettilyon president, that by going to court over the matter, "nobody wins but the attorneys."
"I would suggest you give personal consideration to sitting down and seeing if you couldn't live with a research park for example" rather than light manufacturing uses within the park, Elford said.
D. Randall Trueblood, an attorney representing Bettilyon, argued during the hearing that the council acted illegally in denying the reclassification.
"While we are perfectly prepared to meet further and discuss and compromise," Trueblood said, "there are a number of problems with the process and the way we've been treated."
Specifically, Trueblood contends the petition has been yanked around and the council has made a conscious "effort to use the master plan to control this property. That is spot zoning and that is clearly illegal."
He said that forbidding the business park would cost Bettilyon up to $1 million in long-term lease value.
"We can go into court tomorrow and I am confident we can win," said Trueblood. "But we can't simply say we're willing to go back to the drawing board."
West Valley annexed the property from the county after Hercules threatened to leave Utah if housing development continued to creep too close to the plant that manufactures missiles for the nation's defense program.