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New development below popular Utah hang gliding park could cause trouble

Posted at 7:16 AM, Oct 22, 2021

DRAPER, Utah — Paragliding and hang gliding are popular sports in Utah, especially at the Flight Park State Recreation Area.

However, a new development just below the park could make for a difficult landing for fliers, that’s why developers are trying to find a solution.

Rachel Gunther and Mark Malouin, often fly at the Flight State Park, which is a perfect spot for beginners.

“ The point of the mountain is so special, the way it just naturally formed so it kind of juts out into the valley and makes it so that the wind blows up from the south, and it also blows up from the north, and you can fly almost every day,” said Rachel Gunther, Hang-gliding pilot.

But now, those great conditions are up in the air as a new community is planned for development right at the base of the park.

“ when the ground is disturbed or is changed a certain way, we can actually feel that difference in the air,” said Mark Malouin, Paragliding pilot.

The new 1,000 acre community is being developed by GWC Capital.

It’s a UTA approved site for a future transit station, which will be located in the community.

The plan is for 100 townhomes, 300 apartments and commercial space.

This is also the first real 55 acre reclamation site project for the company, transforming new land use out of sand and gravel.

“ we are designing carefully to be sure we are being good neighbors all around us and bringing something nice to the Lehi community,” said Jared Morgan, Project Manager for GWC Capital.

The townhomes will be 2 to 3 stories and the apartments between two and four stories.

“ it’s really going to affect one of our landing areas and it’s a landing area that a lot of beginners use, so that makes it kind of dangerous,” said Gunther.

The developer and the flight community are working well together to find a solution, conducting a wind study and making changes to the development plan.

“ we’ve already made some significant changes to the site plan to accommodate wind flows, and we’re anxious to see what the wind study comes back with,” said Morgan.

Both groups hoping they can compromise on a solution.

“ our belief is that we’re building a better community, and to do that you have to be a good neighbor, and so we’ve spent a significant amount of time in the Traverse Mountain community and with the paragliding association to be sure that our site plans is conducive to a walkable and healthy environment for the surrounding area,” said Morgan.

The wind study should take several weeks to complete. There is a petition on the development that can be viewed here.