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Residents consider referendum in opposition to Olympia Hills development

Posted at 10:18 PM, Feb 24, 2020

SALT LAKE COUNTY – Citizens opposed to a proposed development in southwest Salt Lake County are gearing up for a long fight.

The County Council will soon vote on a rezoning ordinance that would give the go ahead to the Olympia Hills development.

Olympia Hills plans to develop roughly 900 acres of land with thousands of homes and businesses.

“We love the master plan idea, but the numbers, the data don’t back it up,” said Justin Swain with Utah For Responsible Growth, a group opposed to the development. “Revisit, re-present, that’s the consensus among the residents.”

Justin and other members of the group have relayed their concerns to council members.

“It doesn’t feel like certain individuals at the county -- they hear us and they don’t really listen,” Swain said.

Inspired by the recent success of the state tax referendum, the group is mobilizing for a possible referendum to put the brakes on the development.

“When residents really believe something, when the voters really believe something they can make it happen,” Swain said. “Every piece of developable land will be developed, we just want it done the right way. That’s all we are asking.”

But the developer believes the project as presented deserves the green light.

“This really has gone above and beyond what’s required,” said Cory Shupe, the director of development for Olympia Hills. “We have worked for literally a year with the county to formulate design guidelines.”

Shupe believes a project of this scale accounts for all of the concerns raised by the opposition.

“This property will be developed one way or the other. It’s our hope it can be developed in the planned community rather than what is continuing to happen which is quite frankly urban sprawl,” Shupe said.

If this gets put before the voters of Salt Lake County, Shupe is confident it will survive.

“We hope that residents who vote will see the value in thinking, forward thinking and planning for a community rather than letting it go piece meal,” Shupe said.

The County Council is scheduled to take up the Olympia Hills issue at a meeting on Tuesday, February 25 at 4:00 PM.