East Side landowners ask Coalville City to annex their land
Nineteen people have submitted a joint application to the city
Coalville City may grow by nearly 940 acres if city leaders elect to approve a petition from 19 East Side property owners wanting to join the city.
Last week, the city accepted a joint petition from the landowners to begin the official review process 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.
Mike Crittenden, one of those who signed the petition, said he was ultimately forced to annex into the city. Crittenden cited, what he viewed as, the Summit County Council’s failure to honor the East Side Planning Commission’s recommendation for the administrative changes and zoning district map that is being proposed for the Eastern Summit County Development Code.
Crittenden said he was left with four options once the County Council recently approved the administrative changes, and annexation was the most reasonable.
“It starts with zoning, but it is really a lot more than that,” Crittenden said. “That was probably the catalyst for this. We came to the realization that public sentiment and public process doesn’t matter and you can fill the room with 300 people who stand up and by consent say, ‘This is what we want’ and then the council ignores that and does what they want anyway.”
Hundreds of East Side property owners attended hearings about the changes proposed for the East Side Code, with several of the meetings ending in shouting matches. However, the overall sentiment expressed at the hearings was a desire for landowners to have more options.
“It’s not just about zoning or that the county won’t let us have any density and the city will,” Crittenden said. “I think we would go even if there was less density in the city. I don’t want to make it about a zoning number. It is more about self-determination, local control and local issues. It’s more about working with our neighbors in Coalville to shape our future rather than having it dictated to us.
“We have spent 13 years trying to get basic changes implemented from what I will call the taking of 2004, when zoning was stripped down,” he said. “But 13 years is long enough. We are not victims here. We are just saying we own this ground and we have been here for five, six or even seven generations and we are happy to work with you (the county). If not, we have options.”
Johnson said the opinions expressed to him by the other applicants echoed Crittenden’s statements.
“They (applicants) don’t feel like they are being heard by the Summit County Council and they want to have more of a voice in what they can do with their land,” Johnson said. “They feel like their desires and opinions fell on deaf ears, and that was the motivation to begin an application on Wednesday.”
The annexation application will need to be vetted by the City’s Planning Commission before final approval. Johnson said he anticipates the process may take up to six months and will include public hearings.
Johnson said he also suspects more applications will be submitted for annexation if the County Council continues to fail to address the concerns of East Side property owners.
“I think you will see a lot more coming down the pipe because a couple of landowners have expressed to me there may be desire to go down to Rockport, and we may see it on the west,” Johnson said. “I think they (property owners) should be able to do what they want with their land and have more options than what the council may want to allow. If the county doesn’t want to be a partner with them, I think Coalville City would certainly be willing to embrace them.”
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A gas leak forced the evacuation of North Summit High School and North Summit Middle School Monday afternoon in Coalville. No injuries were reported.