Residents living in Mesa’s oldest settlement support a plan that would help keep Lehi a partially rural residential area with large lots, open ditches and livestock.
The City Council is scheduled to vote today on the Lehi Sub-Area Plan, which has been developed over the past two years by area residents and city planners.
Although the plan is not legally binding, it would set guidelines for the community between McKellips and McDowell roads, and Center Street east to Gilbert Road.
Lehi has custom homes set among land containing horses, mules, cows, llamas and irrigation ditches.
There are few sidewalks and businesses. The Mesa Historical Museum is in the former Lehi School building, and the residential lots are primarily one acre or larger.
“We’re trying to protect our lifestyle . . . and the plan allows us to control any development in the area,” said Mark Freeman, president of the Lehi Community Improvement Association and a fifth-generation Lehi resident.
Lehi was founded in 1877 by Mormon pioneers — one year before Mesa’s original town site was settled — but was not annexed into Mesa until 1970.
According to a survey of Lehi residents conducted for the plan, a majority do not want streetlights, believe the area should have a special livestock ordinance, lots should be at least one acre and there should not be an on-ramp or off-ramp from Loop 202 at Mesa Drive.
Even if the council adopts the sub-area plan, community members will be back asking the council to approve a livestock ordinance. Freeman said he would like to change the livestock ordinance so owners would face city code rather than criminal violations.
Lehi association vice president Steve Neil said there is resident concern about the right to keep animals.
“We were not able to make any headway with the city on that, and in the process highlighted how many violators there are in Lehi,” Neil said.
Other sub-areas identified by the Mesa 2025 General Plan include Desert Uplands in northeast Mesa, Citrus in north-central Mesa, Mesa Grande in west Mesa and Williams Gateway in southeast Mesa. The general plan was approved by voters in 2002.
“It’s really important in a city as large as Mesa that we have room for unique regions of character,” Vice Mayor Claudia Walters said.
Lehi sub-area vote
What: Mesa City Council meeting When: 5:45 p.m. today Where: Council chambers, 57 E. First St. Information: (480) 644-3333