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Coco Warner Reporting The familiar battle of not in my backyard versus the demands of rapid growth is showing up in Draper. Fifteen families there are upset about the proposed path of a new water pipeline and vow to fight the City's plans.
The residents who live along the Draper Irrigation Canal near 125th South and 15th East say it's a matter of location, location, location. They say the proposed path of this stretch of the Point of the Mountain Aqueduct Project is in violation of their private property rights and local environment. Residents say the new water pipeline will cut a 50 foot swath through the neighborhood, taking away property, buildings, and 60-year old trees.
"We're not unreasonable, we understand our neighbors need water, but we do want our rights protected."
Draper resident Roger Chase built a tree house just a few years ago, but like many of his neighbors, he's more concerned about possibly losing his 60-year old tree to the pipeline project.
Eric Stern, Draper Resident: "The trees provide us with air, with shade, with shelter-- and if you tear down a large tree like this you can't replace it. What are you going to replace it with?"
Robyn Clayton, Metropolitan Water District: "It's unfortunate that the trees will have to come down, but we are working with the residents and the neighbors, trying to be good neighbors."
The Metropolitan Water District says it is simply following the recommendations of the City of Draper. They've already invested a half a million dollars purchasing the easements to go ahead with the project, and feel confident in their plans.
Robyn Clayton, Metropolitan Water District: "A lot of careful study was taken when the alignment was chosen for the pipeline routing and we feel like it is the best routing for this pipeline."
But these residents feel like they are not being heard and vow to take this battle to court, if they have to.
Eric Stern: "We just don't see any reason why it has to come though our backyards when there are alternate routes that are just as viable."
But do their actions come too little, too late? Tree clearing for the pipeline is set to begin on June 20th. The Metropolitan Water District is hosting a community open house on this issue at Draper City Hall, Wednesday, June 15th.