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Council narrowly approves road connection

Feb 24, 2017 11:18AM ● Published by Briana Kelley

The majority of residents who commented at the council meeting were in support of the rezone. However, they had issues with the road being connected. (Briana Kelley/City Journals)

Gallery: Council narrowly approves road connection [3 Images] Click any image to expand.

By Briana Kelley | briana@mycityjournals.com
 
In a 3–2 vote, the South Jordan City Council recently approved the rezone of property at 11054 South Lucas Lane, effectively ensuring the road adjacent to the property will connect to River Heights Drive. More than a dozen residents attended the council meeting on Jan.17 to voice their concerns about the road connection and many were disappointed by the council’s decision.
 
“I really think it’s a shame that the road will connect,” resident Cristinne Nordgren said. “This is my third time going to the city council with an issue, and I was a little disappointed in their decision. Every time I attend and voice my concerns, the council decides something else. It seems the council goes against what the residents want, and it makes me lose faith in the officials I elect to represent me.”
 
Most residents who attended the meeting voiced that they were in support of rezoning the property from agricultural (A-1) zone to residential R-2.5 zone. Doing so will allow the developer to build additional houses and finish the subdivision.
 
However, residents were concerned with the connection of the road to River Heights Drive. Many voiced concerns over increased traffic and decreased safety for a neighborhood that has been relatively secluded in the past.
 
“As far as connecting the road, I am concerned most for increased traffic,” Nordgren said. “The neighborhood is now a pretty quiet and secluded area with small children who play outside all of the time. I think connecting the road will show an increase in traffic and also the dangers in regard to children playing in the roads. There are also safety concerns for our private property.”
 
After listening to comments and city staff recommendations, the council ultimately voted 3–2 to approve the rezone and connect the road. Councilmembers Brad Marlor, Don Shelton and Tamara Zander voted in favor of the rezone. Councilmembers Chris Rogers, who represents the neighborhood in question, and Patrick Harris voted against the measure.
 
“I felt that there were already a lot of cul-de-sacs in that particular area and that adding one more wasn’t going to create any danger to the community,” Rogers said. “The residents wanted it, the developer wanted it, and the only entity that required the road to connect to the busy River Heights Drive was the city.”
 
South Jordan City has a “general principle” of connectivity in order to more efficiently serve its residents. The city requirements for road connection allow fire, police and other service vehicles better access to neighborhoods.
 
“The majority’s position is that in our city, there is a general principle of connectivity and that cities that aren’t connected are problematic in terms of traffic and how traffic flows,” Rogers said. “If you put demand on very few roads, you create this funneling aspect, and it can cause problems in terms of police, fire and just general connectivity.”
 
Council members in favor of the road connection also stated that doing so would increase community and that decisions should be made for all residents, not just a select few.
 
“Some council members also stated that they represent all of the residents of South Jordan,” Nordgren said. “However, connecting this street won’t affect all of South Jordan; it will most affect people in our neighborhood.  Frankly, I was really surprised that the three city council members voted against the idea that the developer, the residents and even the mayor was in support of, and voted to have the road go straight through instead of horseshoe around.”
 
Due to the decision, the development will not come before the city council again. However, as the development moves forward, it will come to the planning commission, and residents can give input for traffic mitigation.
 
“The only other thing that the residents could do is approach the planning commission about mitigating the traffic,” Rogers said. “There could still be discussions about stop signs or speed bumps. The road connection is required for our code, so the planning commission will require the connection. Other things up for discussion will be traffic mitigation measures, speed limit and where the parking lot is laid out for the park—that’s where the discussion will be.”
 
Nordgren hopes residents will come and voice their opinion and that residents in the neighborhood will have a more active interest.
 
“I hope that we get more involvement from the people in our neighborhood,” Nordgren said. “It would be nice if more people come out and express their opinion, especially with the park coming in.”
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