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(Al Hartmann | The Salt Lake Tribune) The Salt Lake County Planning Commission in a white van takes a driving tour of the proposed Tavaci Development site at the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon in June. Developer Terry Diehl is asking the county to rezone 47 acres for a high-density project after disconnecting from Cottonwood Heights, which did not go along with his request.
Little love for Tavaci rezone in Holladay
Canyon » Council’s letter cites impact on city, urges Salt Lake County to reject development.
First Published Aug 02 2013 10:02 am • Last Updated Feb 14 2014 11:31 pm

Officials in the east-side suburb of Holladay joined the chorus of voices opposing a rezone of 47 acres at the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon for the controversial mixed-use Tavaci development.

The fate of that rezone now lies in the hands of the Salt Lake County Council’s nine members. Thursday night, Holladay City Council members voted unanimously to send a letter urging them to deny developer Terry Diehl’s request.

Tavaci Letter by Cathy McKitrick

At a glance

What’s next?

The Salt Lake County Council will hold a public hearing on the Tavaci rezone Tuesday during its meeting, which starts at 4 p.m. in Room N2003 of the north building at 2001 S. State St., Salt Lake City.

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The letter cited 13 reasons to block the project, including access — a steep and winding road nicknamed the "luge" provides the sole ingress and egress — along with lack of adequate culinary water, life and safety issues involving fire risk and earthquake and landslide potential, and the development’s impact on wildlife habitat.

"You can see there’s a whole series of concerns that we as a city council labored over and have addressed and feel it appropriate to send this letter," Holladay Mayor Dennis Webb said.

A resolution accompanying the letter said, "The development proposal may have significant adverse effects upon the City of Holladay, its residents and business community."

"It’s not just a matter of the natural impacts, but also the actual taxpayer costs that go along with it," Webb said. "We hope the county will listen and not approve the rezone application."

The area is currently zoned for minimum half-acre lots, and for several years Diehl had county approval to build a 43-home gated community. However, the Great Recession stalled that plan.

Diehl is seeking a zone change that would allow high-density and multistory residential units, plus commercial and other specific uses along the county’s foothills and canyons.

Previous Tavaci plans — when the land was part of Holladay’s neighbor, Cottonwood Heights — included up to 300 condominiums, a hotel, eateries and other resort-type amenities. That proposal met fierce opposition from Save Our Canyons, the Utah Chapter of the Sierra Club and other area activists. Diehl responded by suing Cottonwood Heights and disconnecting his land in 2012.

In mid-June, the county’s Planning Commission rejected Diehl’s rezone request during a session that stretched for four hours. But the final decision on the rezone lies with the County Council, which will host a public hearing on the issue during its meeting at 4 p.m. Tuesday in Room N2003 of the north building at 2001 S. State St.

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Twitter: @catmck

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