HERRIMAN, Utah – Residents are organizing a referendum to block the controversial Olympia Hills development.
More than 100 people gathered at Mountain Ridge High School to volunteer their time and donate money to the referendum efforts.
“It’s a daunting task. None of us want to do it, but we will do it,” said Teddy Hodges, a Herriman resident who will take part in the signature-gathering efforts. “We are shutting our doors and turning off our cell phones and going to work.”
Olympia Hills would build more than 6,000 homes on 933 acres of land west of Herriman. The plan was recently approved by the Salt Lake County Council by a 6-3 vote. Residents believe the council members did not listen to their concerns.
“Everything is getting pushed to the west side. We don’t feel like we are getting picked on or anything, but it’s time that we rise up and we get what we want,” Hodges said.
Developers are optimistic their plan will go forward and they will be able to break ground within a year.
“The residents’ point of view and the developer point of view, they are not always going to line up perfectly,” said Cory Shupe with Olympia Hills. “We are not excited about a referendum if that’s what ends up happening.”
Angry residents hope this is the beginning of a county-wide movement.
Several people announced their intention to challenge current members of the county council in the upcoming election.
Riverton Mayor Trent Staggs declared he will run against Jenny Wilson for the position of Salt Lake County Mayor.
Residents hope their actions will send a message to local, elected officials.
“It’s something we all believe in, not only for this one time. The county council just set a precedent. We don’t like it and if that precedent stands, what’s the rest of the state going to look like,” Hodges said.
At least 82,000 signatures must be collected within 45 days for the referendum to make it to the ballot.