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Draper residents speak out against potential Geneva Rock expansion

Posted at 10:14 PM, Feb 27, 2020

DRAPER, Utah — The Draper Planning Commission heard dozens of negative comments from the public Thursday night, on a plan to change land use at Point of the Mountain, to allow Geneva Rock to expand its gravel pit.

Geneva Rock asked the commission to give a positive recommendation to the Draper City Council, to change the land use and re-zone over 60 acres to parks and open space, and re-zone nearly 27 acres to allow industrial operations.

The plot of land is south of Draper and east of I-15 at Point of the Mountain and includes portions of Steep Mountain.

Geneva Rock proposed donating more than 40 acres of the 60 acre proposed parks/open space land to the City of Draper. The company said it would keep the other 20 acres as private parks and open space land.

The 27 acres for the mine expansion would be zoned for "basic industry" and the removal of sand, grave, dirt, and other material.

During the presentation to the Planning Commission, a representative of the plan indicated that Geneva Rock also wants to remove the high wall currently carved into the mountainside. He said as far as the open space goes, the city can use the land for typical open space purposes.

"We don't want it back," he said. "We want it to stay perpetual open space."

Geneva Rock said they felt they made a proposal that is a reasonable proposal.

Once the time came for public comment, the dozens who spoke, strongly opposed the zoning changes.

Many cited concerns with air quality and dust levels. Many explained that they just don't want Geneva Rock to expand in the Draper community.

Some said they live near Geneva Rock and already have problems with dust, rock chip damage, and breathing issues.

"Can you justify this? For your kids, or for your grand kids?" one resident said. "Does this make us a good steward to our land, or good neighbors?"

Another said: "Public open space, private open space. Why are we playing these games? We can see through the games."

"It's gravel," a third man said. "The whole state is full of gravel. They can go down the street. You got Pelican Point, you've got the North Point, you can go west."

The crowd began to clap and cheer, and the Planning Commission quieted them down.

Members of the Planning Commission discussed the proposed changes at length Thursday night, until past 10:30 p.m.

In the end, they voted on a negative recommendation to the city council for the entire plan.

It now heads to the city council.

In 2015 and 2018, Geneva Rock made similar requests but ultimately withdrew the proposals.