UPDATE: Olympia Hills has passed it’s second reading with a 6-3 vote. The project will now move forward.
Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson released a statement Tuesday:
The Olympia Hills re-tooled application process has been lengthy and rigorous, resulting in a much-improved proposal. I want to thank the many residents who engaged throughout the process.
When a property owner submits a development proposal to Salt Lake County for consideration, we seek to both honor private property rights as well as address impacts on the community. After months and months of negotiations between the developer and county planning staff, I believe this proposal is as strong as it can be. The agreement requires additional controls in the future and as the project rolls out over the next 25 years, we will see a planned community that contains parks, open space, and commercial areas that create jobs and shopping areas for nearby residents.
The alternative to Olympia Hills is continued sprawl. Piece-meal development does not provide for mitigation efforts and will result in higher infrastructure costs, loss of valuable open space, increased transportation and travel costs, and a negative impact on quality of life.
For these reasons, I will not veto the proposal. Again, my thanks to all who have engaged in this process.
SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah (ABC 4 News) – Members of the Salt Lake County Council voted 6-3 to greenlight a controversial development called Olympia Hills on Tuesday.
The vote, though, came after impassioned public comment from many residents who begged the council to vote no.
“Why would you choose to vote yes on something that’s so clearly something we are universally opposed to?” asked one man.
“This type of congestion is going to give me flashbacks of living in Seattle — and I don’t want that at all. So, please vote no,” said another man.
Olympia Hills is a 933-acre project, with the plan of just over 6,000 residential units.
It’s worth noting that the original plan, back in 2018, proposed more than 9,000 residential units. That plan was eventually vetoed by then-mayor Ben McAdams.
The new plan is for a mix of residential and commercial development and will happen over 25 years.
“We feel that instead of developing piecemeal, a little development here, development there — that’s the sprawl attitude — we feel it’s better to have a master plan community,” said County Council Chair Max Burdick, who voted yes.
Councilmember Aimee Winder Newton voted no.
“We’ve got to look out for the residents in the Southwest part of the valley,” said Winder Newton.
“They’re dealing with tremendous traffic issues and a lack of infrastructure. And when I looked at this project, at the end of the day, it’s not our job to make sure developers maximize their profits,” added Winder Newton.
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