Coalville City Council accepts annexation petition
Leaders suggest increasing acreage from 940 to 1,370
Last week, Coalville’s City Council unanimously agreed to accept a petition from nearly 20 landowners wanting to join the city.
City leaders first met about three weeks ago to discuss a joint application for annexing 45 parcels into city limits. The application covers about 940 acres of unincorporated land located east of the city, between Hoytsville Road and Creamery Lane.
Monday, Aug. 14, city councilors voted 5-0 to accept the petition as part of an expanded application. However, councilors suggested increasing the acreage from 940 to about 1,370.
“I’m surprised that they wanted more than our petition,” said Mike Crittenden, one of the landowners featured in the application. “I’m pleased with that. When you step back from it, it makes a better town and since taking up the petition, we have been approached by more landowners about joining.”
Last month, Crittenden said he and the other landowners took up the application because they were displeased with the direction the Summit County Council was heading with the administrative changes and zoning district map that is being proposed for the Eastern Summit County Development Code.
“It’s been positively received and I’m not surprised that more landowners want to join,” Crittenden said.
City Council member Tyler Rowser, who is also a candidate for mayor, said the city needs to be encouraging annexation versus increasing density in the county.
“I support growing our city and I think it is something that is good for our city,” Rowser said. “I would like to see more commercial zoning and this doesn’t provide for commercial. It provides mostly for residential, but, like the petitioner said, they want to deal with local government versus dealing with the county.”
Rowser said the City Council’s vote only accepted the petition. Now it will be sent over to the city attorney’s office to begin the certification process.
Mayor Trever Johnson, who is seeking a second term, said he is also in favor of growth and opportunities for the citizens. He said the petition is an option that must be explored. However, he added, “There are a lot of things that need to be discussed an answered so we don’t end up with any regrets.”
“The city of Coalville has to have a benefit in this,” Johnson said. “I have been doing a lot of digging into this and there really has to be a commercial aspect down the road. That doesn’t have to be decided on right now, but we do have to have the discussion about some land that would be carved out for city ownership later.”
Johnson emphasized the need to have a “pretty robust outreach program” to allow the citizens along the Hoytsville corridor to express how they feel and share their concerns.
The city has 30 days to determine whether the proposition meets the minimum requirements for annexation, Johnson said, followed by a three-week period of public outreach. City Council will have the final decision in the matter.
Summit County Council Chair Chris Robinson said annexation is an efficient way for landowners to increase the density on their land. He added, “In general, higher densities should occur in the municipalities because they have the infrastructure.”
“I think it makes sense, but I don’t know much about this current application,” Robinson said. “I think that the landowners in question and, maybe others, are concerned that they are not getting what they want out of the county. But, the devil is in the details. What zone would they get in Coalville City and what zone would we give them if they didn’t annex? What will it cost to extend those utilities? Those are all questions that need to be addressed. But I think if people want more density they ought to be in the city.”
Meredith Reed was elected to a two-year term as chair of the Summit County Democratic Party and said she sees an opportunity to ride the so-called blue wave that saw a Democratic surge nationally and within the state.