More neighborhood parks or one larger park for Herriman?
Herriman City Council has been asked by city staff to consider an ordinance that would allow for a cash donation of land value in lieu of the required 20 percent open space required in all planned use developments for those developers who would like to make an exchange.
The amount of the donation would be determined by the city council and considered on a case by case basis.
The donations would be set aside for the development of one large park. There is currently not a specific plan for such a park. However, there is a vision, as part of the developing new city master plan, of one being located somewhere in the northwestern area of the city.
“The adopted park master plan, for the build-out of the city, determines the facilities that will be needed by the residents, including the number of baseball diamonds, soccer and football fields and other amenities,” Assistant City Manager Gordon Haight said. “This new ordinance would create the flexibility to help meet these needs.”
At a May 30 work meeting, the city council met with the planning committee to discuss the idea.
One suggestion by Councilmember Coralee Wessman Moser was to not allow a full donation but perhaps 50 percent. Some other new stipulations would follow such a plan, such as the city no longer considering non- programmable space (areas where sports programs could not be held) as full open space.
The planning commission will hold a public hearing on June 20. They will then send a recommendation regarding the ordinance to the city council. The council could vote on it as early as July 11.
“We as a council have heard many times from residents that we need space that will allow for our sports programs to practice and hold games,” Moser said.
Another option would allow the land value donations if there was another park within a half-mile or quarter-mile of the development.
Phase III of the Desert Creek development, (approximately 14000 South and 6600 West) is temporarily on hold because Ivory Homes would like to change the current plat map in order to create lots that will accommodate ramblers with a third-car garage, the home style that Ivory sees as the most appealing to home buyers at this time.
At a May 9 work meeting, several residents of the Desert Creek neighborhood came to encourage the city council not to agree with Ivory Home’s newest plan that would essentially eliminate the planned neighborhood park.
The original plan included a park space located in the middle of the neighborhood.
This plan was approved by the Herriman City Planning Commission, but had not yet been approved by the city council. So it was not considered final.
However, the home owners that chose their lots and built their homes based on the maps that the sales team had showing the park’s location, are crying foul.
“We really feel that this was like a bait and switch. As we were all purchasing our home lots, we were shown a map showing this lovely park space. Now that we have bought their ‘product,’ they come back and say they have changed what the product is,” neighborhood spokesperson Ted Nielsen said.
The developer has offered to build a smaller park than originally proposed. The original plan was for a park that was .85 acres and the new offer is a .2-acre park. Most of the home lots in the neighborhood are 2.5 acres.
“We understand the developer’s concern on the lot shapes, and we agree that the larger homes that he wants to build are also good for the neighborhood, but if he was not going to build a park, he should not have said he would,” Nielsen added.
The neighborhood has suggested a compromise: a park that would be .66 acres, to which the developer has countered with another offer that would provide a park with .41 landscaped acres.
Part of Ivory Home’s plan is to offer a donation to the city for the development and improvements of other parks in the city. However, because this PUD is already in progress, Moser said she will only agree to such an offer if the neighborhood residents and the developer can come to an agreement.
“Pocket parks and large parks are both great amenities in Herriman City, and each serve a purpose to our residents. Pocket parks cater to younger children with their small playgrounds and small space. The larger parks benefit the rest of the population with their large open space, fields, play areas and pavilions,” City Manager Brett Wood said. “No matter the type of park maintenance, costs are a factor in each, with smaller parks being more costly to maintain.”