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Herriman fire raises urban sprawl debate

Herriman fire raises urban sprawl debate

By Nkoyo Iyamba | Posted - Sep. 21, 2010 at 8:47 a.m.



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HERRIMAN -- Urban sprawl is moving Herriman residents closer to nature, which could make families more susceptible to mudslides and wildfires. Some people are questioning whether lawmakers should regulate how close to nature homes should be built.

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Herriman resident Jeremy Green lives a mile from where the Machine Gun Fire was burning. His house is safe. He thinks people should be allowed to live where they want without regulations.

"No matter where you stop building, you're going to butt up against something somewhere," he says.

Green also says he noticed a few homes built close to where the fire was burning that were spared because some sort of protective wall stopped the fire from progressing toward the homes.

"You can see a natural barrier or an artificial barrier," he says. "That made it so you almost have a horseshoe around that house that burned but the house was OK."

Green admits the farther away from nature some of those houses were the safer, but it's still a matter of choice.

"Certainly the farther away you were from the forest or the edge of the wilderness area there, the better," he says. "And we were a mile in from that, so we were fine. But it's a risk you take."

Herriman is one of Utah's fastest-growing cities. The 2000 census report shows Herriman's population was just 1,523 with the average family member in their mid-20s making an average of nearly $70,000 a year.

E-mail: niyamba@ksl.com

Nkoyo Iyamba

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