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Front Page » September 14, 2006 » Local News » County planning panel reviews Carbonville subdivision pro...
Published 3,313 days ago

County planning panel reviews Carbonville subdivision project

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Sun Advocate reporter

Marked for removal, two cottonwood trees are part of a list of items for the county to take care of in an effort to improve the area near a proposed subdivision in Carbonville. The development was halted in June but is again moving forward after a favorable decision from county planning.

After the Carbon Commission denied a request in June, Ballpark subdivision phase three developer Jeff Spainhower received a favorable recommendation from the county planning board on Tuesday.

Having addressed some of the concerns raised at a public hearing three months ago, the planning board will forward the matter back to the county commission for possible approval.

When the matter was denied approval in June, the majority of arguments raised related to access routes.

The proposed subdivision is located at the north end of 1500 West, an 18-foot wide residential street which county officials agree needs to be widened whether the 20-lot subdivision is approved or not.

In the review process, the board received a pair of documents from the county planning office outlining issues which arose out of the public hearing.

The document outlined certain areas which need to be improved in order for the subdivision to move forward and split the needed improvements into two categories - one for the county and another for the developer.

On the county's list were a number of items, ranging from tree removal to road widening and from drainage issues to problems at a cemetery located on 1500 West.

For the developer, the county prepared a list of items such as dealing with drainage issues from the first two phases of the subdivision and building retaining walls as needed to prevent sloughing for neighboring landowners.

Topping the county's list is widening 1500 West.

Planning director Dave Levanger told the board that widening the road will likely cost at least $25,000 and could cost upwards of $50,000, depending on the construction approach taken by the county.

In addition to widening the road, county officials who have reviewed the area recommend installing an 18-inch pipe for water drainage on 1500 West.

Drainage issues along the road could take that figure for improvements, including roads, to more than $100,000 - a price tag which Carbon Commissioner Michael Milovich said is not in the county's budget for this year.

"Whether the subdivision goes in or not, the road has to be fixed," pointed out Milovich.

Milovich said the county will need to look at this year's budget and see if the money can be found, and provide a budget item for the improvements next year if needed.

Spainhower will be required to bring the existing drainage system from the proposed development up to approved standards and get the county road supervisor to approve the final work.

Along with the widening of the road, the county planning staff recommended that a center line be painted on the widened road. The center line will encourage drivers to drive on the correct side of the road, especially as they cross the misaligned canal bridge at the south end of the street.

Residents in the area complained that drainage issues were flooding a cemetery owned by the county located at the north end of 1500 West.

In researching the issue, county officials discovered that there may be one grave which is located at least partially under the road. The issue will need to be addressed as road improvements are planned.

In order to combat the flooding, the county will need to install a curb at the northeast corner of the cemetery to channel drainage into the proper channels and keep it out of the cemetery.

Planning staff also recommended that the county emergency manager be consulted to address other natural and man made hazards in the area.

In addition, the county addressed the need to keep the public in the area informed regarding state and county ordinances relating to the development of subdivisions. Many of the resources are available online.

For state codes, local residents can find an up-to-date reference at The Carbon County development code can be found at Both of the resources are also available in printed format. Copies of the Utah Code can be found at most public libraries and in many government offices. Individuals wishing to review printed copies of the county development code should contact the county planning office.

Steve Tanner, who lives south of the proposed subdivision, said the codes did not allow residents enough recourse when they opposed new development.

"If we developed a code that appeased every person in this county, we wouldn't have one home built in the whole county," said Milovich.

On the developer's side, planning staff recommended that Spainhower be required to address drainage issues and ensure that drainage from all phases of the development are directed into the proper drainage channels.

The planning board indicated that approval was conditional upon a written statement from Ray Hanson, county road department supervisor, stating that a workable solution has been implemented.

A second written statement will be required from Hanson and Nick Houser, deputy county engineer, addressing the need for retaining walls to keep property owned by Paul and Ann Anderson from sloughing off into the county right-of-way.

There was some debate as to whether the retaining wall had been originally required, but Milovich maintained that it was part of the preliminary approval for the subdivision.

Other requirements placed on the developer relate to a drainage pond designed to handle drainage from the new lots. The pond is designed to handle not only the 20 new lots in Spainhower's request at this time, but the potential for up to 40 more lots in the future.

Engineers present at the planning board meeting said the entire subdivision will be engineered to handle drainage efficiently and the drainage pond will be capable of handling up to 1.1 inches of rain in one hour.

Any excess water will be allowed to spill from the drainage pond into the nearby Warehouse Wash.

One of the requirements for drainage is that future homeowners be required to maintain the drainage system.

Spainhower said the neighborhood covenants will be written in such a way to allow the county to perform that maintenance if homeowners fail to do so. If homeowners fail to cover costs, the county can place a lien on any property where the owner was non-compliant.

"I think it's a good plan as long as they maintain it," said neighboring resident David Coon.

The final matter originally assigned to the developer was the need to secure an alternate right-of-way into the subdivision. Spainhower explained that no private landowners were interested in providing access through their land. However, there is state-owned land near the subdivision which may be suitable for an alternate route. Spainhower pointed out that the state generally grants 20-year leases to private groups or individuals, but that the county can get a perpetual easement. He requested that the county pursue that easement and he will provide access to the proposed subdivision near the suggested alternate route.

The final specifications for that road will need to be finalized, but planning staff told the board that they favored at least a 60-foot right-of-way.

However, until the road is completed, new homeowners will continue to add to the issues on 1500 West. That raised objections from area residents.

"I don't think anything should be approved until these things are done," said Coon. He said that when the first two phases were approved, residents raised almost identical objections and were told that the issues would be solved before any further development was allowed.

Despite that concern, the planning commission gave a favorable recommendation to the subdivision, provided that the developer address the drainage and other issues discussed by the board. The board repeated the previous restriction on further development until access and other issues are fully resolved.

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