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Kaysville residents outraged over proposed road project

By KSL.com | Posted - Feb. 6, 2011 at 7:30 p.m.



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KAYSVILLE -- A group of Davis County homeowners are angry over a proposal to build a 4-lane highway through their neighborhood -- which would result in them being forced out and their homes being torn down.

At issue is a proposed 24-mile long project to construct a roadway along the West Davis Corridor that would travel from Centerville to Marriott-Slaterville between the Great Salt Lake on the west to I-15 on the east.


It appears that more priority is given to environmental impact of low-quality wetlands than the social impact of destroying an entire neighborhood. We think it's short sighted.

–Steve Hiatt, Kaysville mayor


The Utah Department of Transportation said the road is needed to mitigate projected traffic growth through the year 2040. But residents in a west Kaysville community that sits in the proposed construction zone believe the plan would devastate their neighborhood.

"I don't want to move," said resident Sara Thatcher. "This is ridiculous what they're doing. I'm frustrated. I'm very angry!"

(We're) not asking them to tear down anyone else's home, we just want them to move the project to the west, she added.

"Because they are not willing to push bugs or birds out a little bit farther (west), they're going to take our homes," she said. "This is where we live. Yes, I'm very frustrated."

The Kaysville neighborhood is adjacent to an area that is considered natural wetlands.

Kaysville mayor Steve Hiatt said the plan seems to be "short-sighted" and more priority is being given to the environmental impact to low-level wetlands than the social impact of destroying an entire neighborhood.

UDOT said a study is being conducted to determine which of three alternatives currently under consideration would minimize the impacts to property owners and the surrounding natural environment. In addition, public input is being sought to get feedback from interested parties regarding the proposals.


What they've done with the announcement last week is put our (home) values down to zero.

–Bob Clifford, Kaysville resident


Others residents along View Crest Lane in Kaysville feel their property values have already been negatively impacted by the proposal leaving them in difficult financial straits.

"What they've done with the announcement last week is put our (home) values down to zero," said Bob Clifford. "If they want to be fair, then take care of us and (give) us an economic option to go somewhere else and move on with our lives."

Neighbor David Pacheco echoed those sentiments expressing frustration about how UDOT's highway plan has now made their properties almost impossible to sell.

"Our home value as of the announcement is down to nothing," he said. "We can't move, there is no incentive to do improvements (and) we have very little incentive as a neighborhood to keep it up."

He said he would like to see UDOT present homeowners with buy-out proposals sooner rather than later so that they can "get some economic value" out of next several years it is going to take for them to recover their losses.

UDOT said the project is still in the preliminary stages and a final decision is not expected until spring 2013.

Open house meetings:

West Point
  • Tuesday, Feb. 8
  • 4:30 pm - 8 pm
  • West Point City Hall
  • 3200 W. 300 N.
Farmington
  • Wednesday, Feb. 9
  • 4:30 pm - 8 pm
  • Legacy Events Center
  • 151 S. 1100 W.
West Haven
  • Thursday, Feb. 10
  • 4:30 pm - 8 pm
  • West Haven Elementary
  • 4385 S. 3900 W.

If transportation options aren't built, a recent environmental impact study points out that the more than 303,000 in population will be road-blocked in about three decades.

"The congestion levels are expected to triple in the next 30 years in this area," said Randy Jefferies, UDOT project manager. "The goal is to provide people options when they travel, to provide alternate routes to I-15 (and) to provide better connections to people on the western side of the county."

Jefferies said UDOT's strategy is to improve regional mobility, helping people to more efficiently get where they need to go, as well as enhance traffic to accommodate increased demand, specifically at peak times. Other objectives include increased bicycle and pedestrian interaction, support and incorporation of local development plans and improving connections between alternative transportation modes.

None of the three concepts is entirely free from compromise. UDOT would need to acquire at least 98 residential properties and one business would need to be acquired to build out the road, as well as over 36 acres of wetlands, 11 archaeological sites, six trails, three public parks, 31 acres of high-quality wildlife habitat and 28 acres of 100-year floodplain.

Beginning this week, UDOT will host several open houses to gather input from the community on each of the current alternatives.

The first open house is scheduled for Feb. 8 at West Point City Hall located at 3200 W. 300 North. An online open house will also be held the same day, accessible from the UDOT website and will offer a live chat and interactive presentation.

Two more open houses are scheduled for Feb. 9 at the Legacy Events Center located at 151 S. 1100 West in Farmington, as well as on Feb. 10 at West Haven Elementary School located at 4385 S. 3900 West. Each open house will run from 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Visit http://udot.utah.gov/westdavis for additional information.

-----

Story written with Jasen Lee, with contributions from John Hollenhorst.

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