PREPLAT whispering fields

Whispering Fields is proposed to include 119 single-family lots south of Farmington High School. A portion of the property includes a pond that would be improved and ownership would be retained by the Farmington Area School District.

Whispering Fields to include 119 single-family homes

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic throwing many business sectors into a tailspin, new home construction has continued to chug along in the south metro.

The city of Farmington latched onto that development train as about 70 homes were constructed during 2020.

The new construction trend in the city is expected to get a boost after the City Council approved on Feb. 1 a preliminary plat for the 47.89-acre, 119 single-family-unit Whispering Fields development to be located south of Farmington High School.

The development will be considered for final plat approval at a later date.

Summergate Companies is the developer for the site, which has 40 acres owned by Jay and Patricia Christensen and 7.89 acres by the Farmington Area School District.

The District 192 says it would retain ownership of its land that includes a retaining pond.

“We are working in partnership with the city of Farmington and the developer to allow them to make improvements to the collection pond immediately to the north of the Whispering Fields/Summergate development to accommodate additional drainage requirements resulting from the housing development as well as two improvements on our property,” wrote District 192 Director of Operations Dan Miller.

He said Farmington High School instructional programs utilize the nature areas inclusive of the collection ponds on the south side of the campus.

Once a final agreement is completed, it would be discussed by the District 192 School Board, Miller said.

The preliminary plat earned unanimous approval by the Planning Commission on Jan. 26 and the City Council, which had three members in attendance Feb. 1 - Mayor Joshua Hoyt and council members Joy Pearson and Steve Wilson.

During the Planning Commission’s review, the Sayers family, a property owner in the area, asked several questions mostly related to storm water drainage, and the commission determined those were appropriately answered.

Hoyt said the development is great and another sign of a growing community.

Wilson, who was on the council when the high school was built, called this a big deal, including the fact that a pedestrian trail will be added along Flagstaff that leads to the high school.

The development is proposed to have lot sizes that are similar to the 61 single-family-unit Regetta Fields to the south. Whispering and Regetta would be connected by an extension of Fleming Avenue parallel to Flagstaff Avenue.

City approval of the preliminary plat comes with variances in the use of R-3 medium density residential, which is designed for townhome and twinhome developments.

In addition to allowing single-family lots in R-3, the city agreed to reduce the minimum lot width from 100 to 45 feet and increasing the maximum lot coverage from 30 to 35%.

The R-3 zone allows for a density between 6.0 and 12.0 units per acre, but this development will have 4.1 units per acre. That’s between the units per acre allowed in the R-2 zone for low/medium density residential (3.5 to 6.0). The average lot size in the development is 8,127 square feet or 0.18 acres.

Regetta Fields has a density of 3.13 units per acre.

The southeast corner of the area includes a 2-acre property that is not part of the development.

Like the two roads that lead to another property to the west that is not included in the development, the roads will terminate in the southeast corner and have space for vehicle turnarounds.

A 1.5 acre park is proposed in the southwest corner of the property. This is adjacent to city-owned park property within the Regetta Fields development to the south.

Tad Johnson can be reached at tad.johnson@ecm-inc.com.

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