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PROVO, Utah (AP) -- A Utah County city has axed plans for three golf courses, angering residents who said they paid a premium to live on courses that now won't be built.
But Eagle Mountain's city council may have been without a choice.
When the city incorporated in 1996, city leaders entered a development agreement with Eagle Mountain Properties, which planned to build 22,000 homes on the 7,000 acres it owns in and around the city.
The deal helped the city secure bonds for roads, sewer lines and other infrastructure needed to grow, Councilman David Blackburn said.
But it also locked the city into a 20-year agreement with Eagle Mountain Properties that allows the developer to alter its plans at any time.
Now Eagle Mountain Properties wants to use more than 1,000 acres for residential homes and commercial space -- not for open space and golf courses.
Under the deal, the city has to change the zoning to meet the developer's needs.
"This may not be the best, or what we want, but it is, however, legal," Councilman Vincent Liddiard said. "It feels like we are stuck between a rock and a hard place without a whole lot of options. I consider this a bitter pill."
At a recent public hearing, residents said they felt cheated and wanted more time for public comment.
"It's outrageous to say that you can eliminate golf courses that people bought into. If we have to do this, let's tell the truth about what is going on here tonight," said Mckay Edwards of the state School Trust Lands Association.
City planner Peter Spencer said the city can still require Eagle Mountain Properties to turn over some land for park space. He also said the 1,000 acres of open space was designated as private, not public land.
Information from: The Daily Herald
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)