Karen Scullin reporting A major development plan in Riverton is "a-go."
Today the city council passed a motion that paves the way for residential and commercial development, even though the majority of citizens seem to oppose the plan.
What's currently farmland, will eventually be high density housing and possibly a Wal-Mart type operation. That decision, made oddly enough on a Saturday, is being questioned by those who live around here.
Too much traffic, child safety, and property loss. Just three of a long list of reasons why so many residents oppose the major development now set for 134th South and 27 hundred West. Today, the city council gave the residential and commercial development plan the nod.
Mark Easton/Riverton City Council: “The motion passes three to one with one abstention."
But overall --- it wasn't really the plan --- but what appeared to many residents to be a quick push to pass the vote. Three city council members aren't returning for a new term that starts Monday --- and there are big questions as to*why* the vote needed to happen today.
Clara Jean Hogan/Riverton Resident: “We've known about this since November, only November when we heard about it. We live right across the street from the project, we've lived there for 35 years."
David Hogue/Riverton Resident: “All they asked for was a little time to put their minds together and come up with some good decisions."
Council members have known about the project for months longer than the public. Councilman Mark Easton says that's because part of the development plan included a land trade that involved the LDS church.
Mark Easton/Riverton City Council: “The church, who was the owner of the ground before the ground actually transacted, determined that they did not want it to be in a public hearing because they were afraid that they would get some bad publicity. Now that's an assumption on my part."
Even so, Easton said three public hearings were still enough to put the plan to a vote.
Mark Easton: “To accomodate the due process required, we felt it important to give this a hearing at this time with this council."
Councilman Easton also added that the project is seriously needed for revenue. If not he says taxes could jump. Easton was not re-elected by voters and three new council members come in on Tuesday --- so maybe the issue will be brought up again.