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Equipped with binders of information about the site, Salt Lake County Planning Commission members toured Tavaci Development in a big county van Friday.

Planning staffers Todd Draper and David Gellner acted as tour guides as the commissioners rode through the streets of the envisioned development on a bluff at the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon. Vehicles from three news organizations and the mayor's office trailed them.

The circular drive was part of the site plan approved years ago by the county, allowing 43 residences on half-acre lots flanking and within the oval.

But no homes rise out of the foothills' grasses, only address signs on boulders or posts. In places, the infrastructure shows wear and tear.

At 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, the Planning Commission will conduct a public hearing on developer Terry Diehl's plan to resuscitate Tavaci with a zoning change that would accommodate a high-density project with residential and commercial, multistory buildings and hotel services.

Diehl had asked Cottonwood Heights for a similar zoning change after incorporation put Tavaci within the city boundaries. But when the city balked at his desired density, he forced Cottonwood Heights to let him secede from the city and return to the unincorporated county.

He did, and now is seeking county approval to rezone the 47-acre parcel to what is known in planning nomenclature as FM-10 (Forestry Multifamily). According to county ordinance, the zone's purpose is to "permit development in certain areas in the foothill and canyon areas of the county for high-density residential, limited commercial and other specified uses to the extent that such development is compatible with the protection of the natural and scenic resources of these areas for the continued benefit of future generations."

The public hearing is likely to draw a big crowd. Both Save Our Canyons and the Utah Chapter of the Sierra Club have called on their members to attend the meeting in the County Council chambers, on the first floor of the North Building of the County Government Center, 2001 S. State.

Knowing they will hear plenty on Wednesday, Planning Commission members took no comments Friday. Not from the half dozen media people who were on hand, nor with developer Diehl, who came by after the county van left the gated community. Media members had been informed beforehand that no comments would be made.

"A traveling tour can better acquaint planning commissioners with the property under consideration," said County Planning Director Rolen Yoshinaga. "Because this is not a public hearing, but rather an open meeting, no discussion is held."

Twitter: @sltribmikeg —

Tavaci hearing

P Developer Terry Diehl's request to rezone the 47-acre Tavaci Development for higher-density uses and taller buildings will be heard by the Salt Lake County Planning Commission.

When • 8:30 a.m. Wednesday

Where • County Council chambers, first floor, North Building, County Government Center, 2001 S. State St.

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