Subdivision Rezoning Hot Topic At Council

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Impassioned comments and obvious emotion filled the public hearing regarding another potential subdivision development in Payson at Wednesday night's council meeting.

The council heard comments from about a dozen neighboring community members in opposition to the proposed rezoning of 15 acres near North Tyler Parkway and Underwood Lane.

The rezoning would change the current 2-acre lots to 1-acre lots in an area where most property nearby is 2 acres or more.

"We wanted to be in a subdivision in an established community," said Margie Oldenkamp of her 2-plus-acre neighborhood surrounding the parcel.

"That's why we bought here."

A handful of supportive neighbors also expressed to the council their desire to see more neighborhoods, such as the proposed subdivision.

Scott Nossek, who lives south of the 15-acre parcel in question, said he would like to see more homes that are affordable for young families to purchase. His idea of a good community is one filled with young working families with children, of which he thinks Payson needs more.

The developers of the parcel, Patrick and Barbara Underwood, went through a similar process three years ago when they first decided to try and divide their property. The major obstacle then was lack of water and the couple agreed to postpone it until an ample water source was established.

"We've waited three years," Patrick Underwood said.

"The town now has a new water source in the Tower Well."

Councilor John Wilson urged the council to review past decisions regarding the proposed development.

He said that the Underwoods voluntarily waited on the development with the belief that as soon as there was new water, it would continue.

The council will hold a second reading about the rezoning request at the next council meeting.

The council voted 6-0 to approve an image statement for the town created by Roy Bergold and the Image Task Force.

The statement, which will be used to as the basis for advertising the town as a "mountain town with a western heritage" was reworked to incorporate public comments.

Councilor Andy Romance was not present at the meeting.

In other news, the council tabled discussion on the code of ethics for town employees, because some of the requirements for candidates running for office had inadvertently been left out of council information packets.

The council also tabled discussion on an ordinance that would regulate temporary signs in town. Town staff is in the process of working with business owners in town to reach a compromise on the issue.

The council ratified the appointments of Cliff Potts as chair and Michael Hughes as vice-chair of the Housing Advisory Board.

The council also ratified the appointments of Bernie Lieder as chair and Barbara Underwood as vice-chair of the Design Review Board.

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