Smithfield council approves Stone Haven housing development

SMITHFIELD — After many questions and a few adjustments, the City Council approved a preliminary plan for Stone Haven planned unit development, from 50 to 180 East and 600 to 800 South. Ryan Rogers, an agent for North Ridge Development, presented the plan and explained exactly what was in store for the development.

James Gass, city manager, questioned the 10 ft. setback from the road to the yards of some of the homes. Rogers explained that this setback allowed plenty of room and was only from the side yards of the homes in question.

Brent Buttars, councilman, asked Rogers what they planned to do with the snow on the narrow roads of the subdivision during the winter. After some debate it was decided that they may have to haul some of it away in order to keep roads clear.

Councilwoman Kris Monson questioned what the back of these houses would look like from the road. Rogers assured the council that a “decorative fence would be put up and landscaping will be done” to make the development look more presentable from the road.

The council also approved the rezone of property located at 20 North 400 West from a single family residential to a general commercial property. Connie Croshaw plans to turn the area into an antique shop called Red Hen Mercantile.

“It certainly hasn’t been used as residential property,” Gass said while discussing the current state of the area.

Mayor Chad Downs said that the neighbors of the area have said they are fine with it and think that would be the best thing for the area.

A major discussion also took place about the remodel of the city office building sometime next year. The building is not up to earthquake code and is going to take some serious work.

During the remodel, the location of the police department would have to be reassigned according to Chief of Police Johnny McCoy.

“This would not be a good place for public service during construction,” McCoy stated during the debate. McCoy suggested renting an office space on 800 South for the duration of construction for $1,300 a month.

The Smithfield Armory was suggested by Gass and backed by Councilman Dennis Watkins. Watkins explained that depending on how long construction takes, the city could be spending thousands of dollars renting an office space that could be put towards the remodel.

McCoy said he was concerned about the noise of basketball games in the Armory while police tried to have meetings or conduct interviews.

“We need to have a place where the people can have direct access to police and police can have direct access to the people,” McCoy said. He explained that this was impossible with the level of noise and activity in the Armory.

Gass suggested canceling basketball in the building for the duration of the construction. No final decision was made however, and will not be until the time frame for the remodel is more concrete.

A resolution was also passed by the council to adopt an identity theft prevention program and the council approved of the selected election judges for the general election.

Published in cooperation with the Hard News Cafe. Original story is here.