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North Salt Lake • More than a year after a landslide destroyed one home and threatened others in this Davis County community, city leaders are proposing a new geologic-hazards ordinance aimed at reducing chances of a repeat in the future.
One of the changes included in the new document would prohibit the platting or mapping of land for building lots of property with steep slopes with more than a 30 percent grade.
Community and Economic Development Director Ken Leetham presented the draft ordinance at a City Council meeting Tuesday, noting the platting restrictions, among other ideas, come from other cities' ordinances.
He said this provision was included to address problems created when people dig into hillsides and excavate the toes of slopes, but acknowledged this approach has been "controversial."
Feedback from developers suggests they'd prefer an alternative, he said, perhaps restricting digging on steep slopes rather than prohibiting platting altogether.
"I don't know that not platting the lots is the only solution," Leetham said. "It's just the solution we have today in this proposed draft."
Work is still continuing with completion expected next month on a $2 million project to grade, reshape, drain and revegetate the hillside that was the site of last year's landslide.
Another change in the draft ordinance would be a requirement that developers submit master drainage plans to the city.
"We're talking about proper grading of homes and proper grading in ground away from windows," Leetham said. "We're talking about putting drainage on side and rear property lines as necessary to keep the drainage controlled, to avoid property damage and put that drainage into the public drainage systems."
He said the measure would bring "a new level of diligence" to the city.
Additional new requirements would include a staff-level concept plan so it's easier to understand, a scoping meeting related to geologic investigations, more in-depth geologic reports, and new limits on cut-and-fill standards.
The changes proposed are intended to "connect and make a strong nexus between the recommendations that come out of the geotechnical report and the construction practices of what actually happens on the ground," Leetham said.
The proposal will go before the Planning Commission on Tuesday, where a public hearing will be held. If the measure passes, it will then go before the City Council for action, tentatively on Oct. 20.
Leetham said a moratorium on new hillside development imposed after last year's slide expires Nov. 5, so city leaders would like to get a new ordinance in place by then. He is aware of some projects "out there," but doesn't know of anyone who's "pounding on our door to submit an application" the moment the moratorium lifts.