Neighbors Upset After City Approves Tall Building By Mistake

Oct 14, 2019, 11:03 PM

MILLCREEK, Utah — Residents in one Millcreek neighborhood are upset after a 37-foot tall blue warehouse went up just feet away from several homes, blocking the area’s view of Mount Olympus.

One of those residents is Scott Brown, who moved into the area a few years ago.

“In the evenings you get the alpine glow of the sunset off the peaks,” Brown said. “And in the morning, you get the sunrise.”

Brown knew he had the view when he moved into his Millcreek home and said he remembers seeing it when he first toured the home more than two and a half years ago.

“That’s when I looked at my realtor and said, ‘this is where I want to live,’” he said. And checking out the view quickly became a part of his morning routine. “When I would walk out, this is where I had that unobstructed view of Mount Olympus.”

But Brown never dreamed he would ever lose it.

“It wasn’t there the morning before and then all of the sudden it was,” he said, speaking of the building that now sits feet away from his home. “I was devastated.”

He first noticed the sound of construction on the other side of his fence over Labor Day weekend. The morning after the holiday, he looked out at his usual spot only to see a metal frame in the way.

“You could see through the framework, the mountains,” he remembers. “That’s what I knew I was going to be losing.”

More than a month later, a 37-foot tall blue warehouse now obstructs not only Brown’s view but several of his neighbors’ view of Mount Olympus.

In a statement on Facebook, Millcreek Planning Director Francis Lilly admitted the city had made an error in approving the building permit.

“I can’t stress enough how sorry we are for this error, and we are using this situation as a learning experience as a staff,” Lilly said.

According to the city, the property the building sits on was zoned for both commercial and multi-family use, something Lilly said the city and the property owner were not initially aware of.

“It was a surprise to everyone in the room, that this neighborhood was actually immediately adjacent to commercial and multifamily zoning, on which this new building sits, and that this zoning allows for taller buildings along 3300 South,” the statement continued.

Brown and several other neighbors called the city in the beginning stages of construction to ask about what was going on.

After learning about the building, the city re-examined the permit and, according to Lilly, “discovered deficiencies in the applicant’s submittal – essentially, information was missing. I have no reason to believe that the applicant misled us, only that they erred in preparing that information and we erred on the basis of their incomplete plan.”

The city issued a stop-work order, putting a temporary hold on construction and officials spoke with the property owner and city attorney.

“In the end, we hired a land-use attorney to look at the facts of the situation, and we were advised by him that requiring the building to be torn down or rebuilt would likely not be upheld in a court if the owner were to sue the city,” Lilly said. “I did everything I could do in my limited power to get that building moved or changed significantly, but in the end, we had to lift the stop-work order and let the project proceed as it was presented in the plans because we are legally required to.”

Lilly said the city is talking to the property owner, Dewey’s Bail Bonds, about changing the color of the building and the surrounding landscape “to help make that building less onerous.”

Brown acknowledged the city has “verbalized a desire to work with us, to find a solution.” Now, he’s trying to figure out how to move forward.

“Nobody says I want to buy that house because there’s a giant warehouse behind it,” Brown said.

Brown knew he had the view, and now he knows he’ll likely never get it back. And that’s been a struggle.

“I don’t come out on my back porch right now. It’s that frustrating I just don’t want to go out there and see it,” he said. “Every time I look at it, I remember what I used to have and now I don’t.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

A Kanab man kicked out of a downtown Salt Lake nightclub following a fight later shot and killed a ...
Pat Reavy, KSL.com

Kanab man charged with killing woman after fight at Salt Lake club

A Kanab man kicked out of a downtown Salt Lake nightclub following a fight later shot and killed a woman in a nearby parking lot, according to murder charges filed Friday.
15 hours ago
FILE: Salt Lake City snowplows. (Salt Lake City Government)...
Karah Brackin

Snowplow drivers clear roads through back-to-back storms

Snowplows have been going long before the sun came up on Friday morning responding to the latest snowstorm.
15 hours ago
Matt Gwyther (left) and Dennis Rowley Gwyther (right). (Photo Provided By: Matt Gwyther)...
Daniella Rivera

How mental health staffing shortages are delaying justice in Utah’s courts

A Utah man waiting for justice after the 2019 murder of his husband says staffing issues at the Utah State Hospital have contributed to months of delays in court.
15 hours ago
State troopers closed southbound Interstate 15 at Hill Field Road following a police chase and shoo...
Pat Reavy

Suspect in Wednesday’s I-15 shooting is named, moved from hospital to jail

A man who police say engaged in a shootout with officers on the Interstate 15 in Layton earlier this week has been moved from a hospital to the Davis County Jail.
15 hours ago
Lauren Steinbrecher

Rescue team, bystander recount daring Moab rescue after BASE jumper cliff crash

A harrowing rescue in Moab is caught on camera, and the team behind it is sharing their story and crediting the quick work of a bystander.
15 hours ago
(Mobile 5/KSL TV)...
Josh Ellis

Winter storm leads to messy morning commute; schools moving online, delaying starts

An overnight winter storm has led to several crashes on snowpacked and icy roads across northern Utah.
15 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 reasons you may want to consider apartment life over owning a home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Take this quiz before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t let a ransomware attack get you down | Protect your workplace today with cyber insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Neighbors Upset After City Approves Tall Building By Mistake