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Sandy Journal

City council approves 96-unit development on ‘Farnsworth Farms’ property

Nov 24, 2020 03:03PM ● By Justin Adams

One of the concerns for the proposed project was how it would impact traffic on 700 East. (Justin Adams/City Journals)

By Justin Adams | [email protected]

A nearly-year-long process came to a conclusion last month in regards to 10 undeveloped acres located at 11228 S. 700 East, known as Farnsworth Farms. After months of back-and-forth between the Sandy City Council and the city planning commission, the council voted to approve a rezone that paves the way for 96 new units to be added to the city.

The rezone changes the parcel from an agricultural designation to a Planned Unit Development zone with a density of 10 units per acre. The project plans submitted by the developer project a total of 96 units. That includes 30 twin home units and 66 townhome units. 

The developer said their target for pricing is $450,000+ for the twin homes. The townhomes are divided between two models, one of which will be in the range of $295,000-$325,000 and the other between $350,000-$375,000. 

One concern from homeowners whose properties border the proposed development was that any two-story houses would block their view of the mountains and potentially create a privacy concern. Consequently, the developer agreed to place the single-story twin homes around the boundaries of the development. 

Other concerns were raised by residents from throughout the broader community over the course of multiple public meetings, from school enrollment and water pressure to increased traffic. 

“A lot of the concerns have not been necessarily validated,” said Councilwoman Allison Stroud, who noted that she had reached out to Canyons School District and was told there were no concerns about overcrowding classrooms in the impacted area.

Another common concern for any rezoning decision is that a land-use authority will approve the rezone based on site plans and renderings that show a very attractive product, but that the development that ultimately gets built ends up being not nearly as nice. 

To get around this concern, the council passed the ordinance approving the rezone in such a way that it will not go into effect until the developer has submitted and approved final site plans to the city. 

This conditional approval was passed by the council with a 6-1 vote, with the dissenting vote coming from Councilwoman Monica Zoltanski who said she would prefer to see single-family detached housing instead. 

“Our job is not to make the numbers work for the seller or the developer. Our job is to make the density work for the community. While I’m sympathetic that they need a return and a profit, I do not think that is how we should gauge this important decision,” she said. 

Councilwoman Cindy Sharkey said she felt the development was a good fit for the area.

“I do think this project is a good one for this area. I do believe there is a demand and a need for this kind of housing,” she said.