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South Valley Journal

Study to examine best density for Olympia Hills site

Jul 25, 2018 03:24PM ● By Jana Klopsch

Herriman city officials were considering hiring a consultant to determine what development density at the proposed Olympia Hills property just outside city limits would protect or enhance the quality of life for current residents. (City Journals)

By Pamela Manson | [email protected]

A veto by Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams stopped a rezone that would have allowed Olympia Hills, a proposed high-density housing development, to be built just outside of Herriman. However, city officials are still concerned about what could end up on the site. 

In June, officials directed city staffers to prepare a cost estimate for a study and begin the process of hiring a consultant to determine what development density on the land would protect — and even enhance — property values and the quality of life for Herriman residents and surrounding communities. 

The property sits in unincorporated Salt Lake County just outside of Herriman but is within an area that could be annexed into the city. Even if the land doesn’t become part of the city, development there would impact the surrounding community, Herriman City Council members say. 

“I think we all want to see the total effect,” Councilmember Jared Henderson said at a July 11 work meeting. 

Councilmember Nicole Martin agreed, saying the analysis would be “very helpful information to relay to the county, to relay to the public, to relay to our residents.” 

The Salt Lake County Council voted in June for a rezoning change that would allow the construction of housing for about 33,000 people on 931 acres. If built, the mixed-use development on the site — from 6300 West to 8500 West and 12400 South to 13100 South — would have had a density of 37 people per acre. 

The plan sparked huge public opposition, with residents from neighboring communities sending hundreds of emails to county council members urging them to deny the rezoning request. The mayors of Herriman, Riverton, West Jordan and Copperton issued a joint statement in opposition to the rezone. 

At a June 5 meeting, the council voted 7-1 for the rezone. But after an intense public backlash, McAdams vetoed the Olympia Hills rezone, and the council announced it would not seek to override him. 

The Herriman study will assess numerous land development factors — including economic and environmental sustainability, topography, utilities, transportation, parks and schools — to determine the site’s “carrying capacity,” or development density. 

The study, which is estimated to cost $30,000, is expected to take three months to complete, according to Herriman Planning Director Michael Maloy. 

“Ultimately, what we’re looking for is a study that helps us understand what really is the appropriate carrying capacity for this property,” he said. 

The study also will help the city long term, Maloy said. 

“That information will flow into part of our general plan update because we do discuss our annexation policy within our general plan,” he said.