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Citizens voice concerns over Olympia Hills development in heated public comment session

Posted at 9:22 PM, Jan 28, 2020

HERRIMAN, Utah — Hundreds of people packed into the theater at Copper Mountain Middle School to voice their opposition to a proposed development Tuesday night.

Developers with the Olympia Hills project hope to build more than 6,000 homes on roughly 900 acres of land west of Herriman.

Current residents of the area believe it’s a bad idea for several reasons, like overcrowded schools and traffic. They lined up to deliver that message to the Salt Lake County Council.

“Who’s going to pay for those schools?" asked one resident. “It’s the taxpayer,” he exclaimed as he answered his own question.

Residents were allotted three minutes each to address the council.

“We must understand, the ‘if we build it, they will come’ mentality must stop,” one resident said.

Another added, “If we wanted to live in L.A., we would live there.” She believes the high-density housing will cause problems seen in some of the nation’s largest cities like Los Angeles.

Residents worry having an average of six homes on each acre of land will cause an infrastructure nightmare.

The developers argue some of those complaints aren’t based on facts.

“Some of those concerns are purely coming from uninformed people that have comments,” said Cory Shupe with Olympia Hills. “I think this is what Utah is begging for, is master-planned communities.”

In 2018, public outcry caused the original Olympia Hills plan to be vetoed. Now that a new version of Olympia Hills is back on the table, residents hope history will repeat itself.

“You need to make sure you are listening to our concerns and not giving the child who throws a tantrum exactly what they want,” one resident said to the council.

The County Council has not indicated when it may vote on the rezoning ordinance that would allow the project to move forward.