Controversial Olympia Hills project 'on pause'

Controversial Olympia Hills project 'on pause.' (Photo: KUTV)

(KUTV) - The Salt Lake County Council voted unanimously today to put the project on the agenda for next week and in the meantime possibly make changes controversial high density residential project in the south end of the Salt Lake County.

Olympia Hills has been at the center of controversy since the council voted a week ago, to allow it to move forward. At issue, plans to build 8,800 new homes on 900 acres.

The developer suggests as many 33,000 new residents could end up living on the project once it is completed. That caused residents in Riverton and Herriman, with the help of Facebook, to press the council to table to issue and put together a new plan.

“There’s been a lot of uproar the past week,” says Dale Jessee one of the primary opponents of the plan. He’s pleased that the mayor and council have listened to their concerns but he says, that is not enough.

“We’re tired of the pause button, we need a complete stop button."

Councilman Steve Debry is the only councilperson to vote against the project a week ago, he says his constituents were concerned about an increased traffic mess in their neighborhoods.

“There were too many moving parts and too many unanswered questions that they took (residents) took umbrage with,” says Debry.

The project has not only upset residents, it has become a thorn in the side of congressional hopeful Mayor Ben McAdams.

His opponent, Rep. Mia Love has criticized the county mayor for his handling of the controversy and criticized his campaign after it was revealed his congressional fund raising operation took in as much as $10,000 from some of the principals behind the Olympia Hills project.

“It’s easy to throw a wrench in the machinery and throw grenades and that how they do it in Washington,” says McAdams of the person he is trying to unseat for the 4th congressional district. “Quite frankly I’m disappointed in Mia Love. She is really just interested in theatrics, I’m interested in solutions."

The council voted to possibly alter the project and get together with the developer and try to work out some of the main concerns. The project is now on the council agenda for next Tuesday. If they can’t find a compromise, Mayor McAdams promises to veto the project.

Meanwhile there is a meeting on Thursday at 6:30 at Herriman High School where all the council members and the mayor have promised to meet with residents.

For Jessee he says pausing isn’t good enough, he wants the project nixed. When asked where he thinks development should go, he has an easy answer, “there’s a couple counties just south of us. Nothing there,” says Jessee.

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