The West Valley City Council cast two votes on Dec. 4 that made the development possible. The first, at 5-2, approved a change in the city's general plan that increased the maximum density allowed on the property from 12 units an acre to 20 units an acre. The second vote, which was unanimous, approved a development agreement for the property with Colony Partners LLC, a Salt Lake City company.
Council members Steve Vincent and Karen Lang cited concerns about the project's density.
Lang noted that the West Valley City Planning Commission had recommended denial of the development. Vincent praised the developer for making adjustments to the plan in response to concerns, but said the density was still "way too high."
Despite his objections, Vincent said, he voted for the development agreement because "now that the project has been approved, I'm in favor of making sure it's done correctly."
Mayor Mike Winder said single-family homes and even duplexes would be a tough sell on property "sandwiched between the loading docks of Winco and the future Mountain View Corridor." Retailers in the 5600 West are excited to have additional potential customers in the area, he said.
"I think that often we look at density and we worry that higher density is worse for the city, and I don't think in all cases that's necessarily true," Winder said.
As part of the agreement, Colony Partners will pay $96,000 for the expansion in the area of the Cross Towne Trail, which will include a 1.1-acre open space park, and $250,000 for the construction of a bridge over the Riter Canal that will extend Anna Caroline Drive (5715 West) north and facilitate traffic flow.
The $96,000 and half of the bridge cost are due within 30 days of the issuance of certificates of occupancy for more than half the units. The other $125,000 is due when West Valley starts construction on the bridge or in five years, whichever comes first.
The $38 million project, which is named after the family that had owned the property for years, will be built by Murray-based Miller Development. Miller Development is planning to buy and manage the property.
The concept plan for the project shows 6.63 acres of open space, 238 apartments in four-story buildings and 40 two-story townhouses. That plan is preliminary pending approval from various city departments.
The council vote last week modifies a 2008 development agreement between West Valley City and Colony Partners that called for 138 townhouses on the property. The company built five for-sale townhouses at 2606 S. Anna Caroline Drive, which sat vacant and were sold earlier this year at a loss of about $40,000 per unit, according to Walter Plumb IV, of Colony Partners.