Santa Clara Council approves plans for senior community, allows resident to continue using city land

SANTA CLARA — In two separate votes concerning the use of land, the Santa Clara City Council voted Wednesday night to approve preliminary plans for a 26.5-acre senior living community as well as allow a resident to continue to use a part of the city’s land for their residential property. 

The council unanimously approved the plans for The Point at Santa Clara, which is described by developers as an “age-in-place” community where people can either purchase a single-family home, rent an apartment or stay at an assisted living facility. 

Located on the north side of Pioneer Parkway just west of Lava Cove Drive and the Entrada development, the plan calls for 45 lots devoted to single-family homes, while the other two lots are slated for townhome and assisted living facilities. 

“This is a viable project that is needed,” City Council member Denny Drake said during the meeting. That sentiment was echoed by other council members, with Ben Shakespeare calling it “gigantic.”

All four council members present voted their approval for the development, with council member Leina Mathis absent. 

Mark Sanders speaks before the Santa Clara City Council meeting, Santa Clara, Utah, Oct. 13, 2021 | Photo by Chris Reed, St. George News

In another matter involving the use of land in the city, the council dealt with a resident who purchased a home seven years ago and did not realize that the previous owner had encroached on city-owned property.

Mark Sanders only found out after renovating the backyard of his home at 3641 Vista View Circle that the sliver of land where he had placed playground equipment and a trampoline for his kids was actually city-owned property on the hill just above Jacob Hamblin Trail. 

Sanders was seeking approval for a license to continue to use city property for that portion his yard. 

Sanders told the council he had been using the property for seven years.

“I would have put up an iron fence on my side if I had known,” he said. 

Image of backyard of Vista View Circle home in Santa Clara with white dotted line showing the divide to city-owned property presented on the projection screen at the Santa Clara City Council meeting, Santa Clara, Utah, Oct. 13, 2021 | Photo by Chris Reed, St. George News

Sanders drew sympathy from council member Wendell Gubler, who said he didn’t think Sanders should be penalized for the actions of the owner that owned the land before him. However, he said Sanders needed to adhere to part of the agreement not to use irrigation on the city-owned portion.

“The main reason were doing this is we’ve had slides,” Gubler said. “We need to try to keep the water off the hillside.”

Drake, however, questioned the choice to allow Sanders to continue using the city land.

“I’m concerned this sets a precedent,” he said.

Drake was ultimately the one “no” in a 3-1 vote to grant Sanders approval. 

In other business

  • In other votes, the Santa Clara City Council voted unanimously approved a proclamation naming October as Domestic Violence Prevention Month in the city. They also canceled the council meeting scheduled for Thanksgiving week on Nov. 24.
  • Cody Mitchell was introduced as a new building and zoning manager for the city, making a short move south from serving the same role in Ivins. Mitchell had previously worked for Santa Clara in the late 1990s before moving on to Ivins.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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