The West Jordan City Council has turned down a plan to build a 224-unit apartment complex next to Gardner Village, citing concerns about the density of the project and whether it would fit in with the broader vision of a transit-oriented development for the area.
Council members voted 5-2 late Wednesday against the preliminary plan for the Gardner Mill commercial complex, which would have put about 20 units an acre at about 1200 West and 7800 South. The 11-acre vacant site is west of Gardner Village and one-third of a mile from a TRAX station.
"This is too high a density," Councilman Jeff Haaga said. "This is a historical site."
Additional concerns raised were the traffic that a large apartment complex would generate and the safety of children walking to school.
The other council members who voted against the development plan were Chris McConnehey, Chad Nichols, Ben Southworth and Mayor Kim Rolfe.
Councilman Justin Stoker wanted to postpone a vote for several weeks so issues such as pedestrian safety could be worked out now rather than later, but the majority of the council did not want to delay a decision. Stoker and Councilwoman Judy Hansen voted to approve the preliminary development plan.
The council rejection came after numerous staff discussions and city meetings, including a public hearing in February. The West Jordan Planning Commission voted 7-0 in January to recommend approval of the development plan, which called for five buildings that would contain 80 one-bedroom apartments, 104 two-bedroom apartments and 40 three-bedroom apartments.
Developer Colosimo Brothers, of South Salt Lake, had scaled back the number of units from 256 to 224 but many residents said the development was still too dense.
"It’s going to increase crime. It’s going to increase fire and police calls. It’s going to increase traffic," Jay Thomas said Wednesday during the citizen comment period. "That is a lot for such a small area."
Others said the development needed more variety and should include office and commercial space.
"We have one chance to do this right," Michelle Foote said. "It’s not mixed-use. It’s apartments. It’s one use."
Joe Colosimo has said Colosimo Brothers — whose principals are part of the sausage-making Colosimo family — is willing to make some design changes to made the project look more like Gardner Village.
The Colosimos could not be reached for comment Friday.
The plan was the third multi-unit residential project proposed for the site since 2001 that has failed to make it off the drawing board. The same site plan cannot come back before the council for a year unless one of the members who voted against it asks to have the matter placed on the agenda.
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