With its controversial master trails plan solidified, the biggest issue in the city now is development on the west side. The latest chapter in that story centers around a proposed 60-lot residential development.

After more than 3 1/2 hours of debate at a public hearing, the City Council voted 4-0 last week to table the request for the homes. Landowner Candland Olsen wants to change the zoning of his property to a planned unit development so he can develop the 60 lots in phase two of his Farmington Creek Estates.The land is located south of 500 South, west of the Denver and Rio Grande railroad tracks and north of Glover's Lane. The council appointed a resident/city staff committee to work with Olsen to try to reach a compromise on issues and problems.

Two of the main issues of the adjacent property owners are a gradual loss of the right to have farm animals and unresolved water drainage problems with the previous phase of Candland's residential development.

Mayor Greg Bell said he's not sure there's any way animal rights can truly be preserved in the area.

"Obviously, this is a very critical issue," he said before the council tabled the issue for the time being.

However, everyone seemed to agree the water drainage problems in the area can be solved, though standing water is currently everywhere after the heavy spring rains.

Resident Tonna Bounds especially wants the drainage problems fixed in the area before more homes are allowed. She'd also prefer ranchettes there.

In fact, most of the more than four dozen residents at the hearing disliked the clustering concept of the homes in the new phase of Farmington Creek Estates.

They'd prefer at least one-half acre lots or larger in West Farmington, as they were promised by city leaders five years ago.

However, rather than having "cookie cutter" subdivisions on the west side, city leaders would prefer to try something different.

The new Olsen development was proposed to include lots ranging from 10,500-square-feet to three-quarter acres. It would also include 29 percent open space, plus some wetlands.

It's still undetermined who would maintain the open space, though.

Bell stressed the council is not seeking development in the city. In fact, he said, city leaders have tried to make it expensive to discourage developers.

"It costs more to build a home here than anywhere else," Councilman Gary Elliott said.