Bluffdale Council Sets Road Block

Bluffdale Council Sets Road Block

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BLUFFDALE, Utah (AP) -- The City Council is fighting back after a recent Utah Supreme Court ruling and cutting off some traffic to neighboring Herriman.

Angered over the Supreme Court's ruling that allowed developers to take 4,000 acres from Bluffdale and annex it into Herriman, council members have changed the traffic plans for roads to connect the cities.

Instead of linking the communities and providing developers easy access to the 4,000 acres that is now part of Herriman, the roads will be dead ends.

Councilman Bill Maxwell said the new plan would still leave two roads through Bluffdale into Herriman, which the city cannot close. But he said Bluffdale residents shouldn't have to shoulder Herriman's growth.

Councilman Jesse Kelley said the decision wasn't any sort of retribution over the Supreme Court decision. He said the increased construction traffic would pound Bluffdale roads for projects in areas that won't be part of the city after Jan. 1.

"That's a big financial commitment for us," Kelley said. "But we have control of our roads. We can close them off and control who connects."

The Utah Supreme Court ruled in July that several landowners could disconnect from Bluffdale, which developers wanted to get out of because the city would not service the land and would not let them build at a higher density.

Developers petitioned to annex into Herriman, which accepted, and the change will become official on Jan. 1.

Dave Millheim, a developer who says he could begin construction on the newly-annexed land as early as January, said Bluffdale's council should rethink the move. The traffic snarls that could come about would hurt Bluffdale residents as much as anyone else, Millheim said.

"Ask any professional planner. Ask any fire chief. Ask any police chief. Ask any snowplow operator. Ask any citizen trying to take their kids to school or go buy groceries," he said. "The (city) should be smarter."

Herriman Mayor Lynn Crane said the council's decision was disappointing, but doesn't believe it was based on revenge for losing the land.

"I haven't read that into any conversations I've had with their mayor or the council," Crane said.

Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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