KAYSVILLE — Homeowners in the Sunset Equestrian Estates area said they are worried about a proposed zoning change that would remove a 19.5-acre equestrian area and put in hundreds of high-density housing units.
However, the center’s owner said the rezoning will allow him to work with city officials to best utilize the land as plans for the new West Davis Corridor highway develop.
When homeowner Nikki Pendley built her home 10 years ago, a major draw in the Sunset Equestrian Estates was the promise of being near a large equestrian center.
“We all love the rural feel here,” Pendley said. “We love the horses. We love the quiet streets.”
Just down the street, Doug Leavitt and his family moved in for some of the same reasons.
“I wanted these larger lots and more open feel,” Leavitt said. “They’ve really become part of the community; even if a lot of people aren’t boarding horses there, it is a signature feel to the development.”
The equestrian center’s owner, Jeff Hansen, said he was drawn into the neighborhood by the homebuilder years ago. At the time, it seemed like an ideal location.
“I’ve opened this equestrian center as part of a dream I’ve chased for years,” Hansen said.
However, that dream has changed. With plans for the West Davis Corridor to move in, Hansen said the highway will ultimately take out part of his property, putting the road right next to his horse stables.
“I’m not anxious to deal with UDOT as I’ve been through a condemnation process before,” Hansen said. “I’m in the way here. I choose not to fight that, but to try to work with them.”
Hansen said he already had to move his equestrian center before when plans for the Legacy Highway pushed him out years ago. Rather than fight the process, he’s asking Kaysville City officials to allow his property to be rezoned, which could allow for some combination of over 250 apartments and/or townhomes.
He believed the plan would work better with the future highway while allowing officials to better fulfill the city’s needs for affordable housing.
“I think the city likes our plan,” Hansen said. “The logistics of this particular highway lend itself to the zoning I’ve proposed very well.”
However, many homeowners felt Hansen’s plans would go against what they were promised when they chose to build and move into the subdivision.
“That equestrian field was a big part of that reason, and that developer agreement should be honored,” Leavitt said. “The plans that we’ve been shown have over 270 units and 37 buildings. It’s just not the right place and it undoes all of the development that we invested our money in.”
While Hansen said he has enjoyed the equestrian center in its current location, he’s worried that it won’t work out in the long term.
“If we can make this facility work, that may be an option, but I’m exploring other things,” Hansen said. “My whole goal here is to try to relocate and do my dream somewhere else.”
Hansen said access to the proposed apartments would come from a new frontage road and not through the current neighborhood.