Dimple Dell zoning proposal stirs up residents

Sandy • City planning commissioners and community members have debated a code amendment that would affect land development around Dimple Dell Park, ultimately recommending a mandatory overlay zone on all new development on a 4-2 vote.

Dimple Dell is a 644-acre natural area with horse, bike and foot trails.

A committee drafted the original plan presented to the commission Thursday that would create a new overlay zone around the park, calling for bigger setbacks of 20 to 30 feet, and allow a cluster development to be built on five acres of land. Commissioners approved only the overlay zone, with that recommendation now headed to the city council for consideration. In the face of significant opposition, commissioners didn't vote on the cluster proposal.

The cluster development of 15 houses, would have required 30 percent of the land to be open space.

Currently there is no law preventing building at the bottom of the park, which is private property, Commissioner Doug Haymore clarified.

Brian McCuistion, the Sandy zoning administrator who presented the item, noted that a financial review found that a cluster division would not be profitable. Commissioners stipulated that even if a cluster development were approved, it would not likely be built.

Commission member Nancy Day was on the drafting committee and said the panel had two goals: protecting the park and protecting the community without infringing on individual rights.

Community members, however, opposed the cluster proposal. They urged the commission to reject it and to leave the rules as they are to protect the park and the culture of the area. Several people noted that Dimple Dell is an exclusive community that residents joined when they bought homes and property. Allowing one cluster development would start a "cluster domino effect," warned one resident.

Resident Nancy Workman suggested the commission take time to re-draft the proposal because it was difficult to grasp.

Commission members said they sought to find a balance, allowing only appropriate development but not being too restrictive.