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Draper Journal

City Council reluctantly approves development on Pioneer Road, pays off bond, amends sick

Aug 28, 2017 03:50PM ● By Jana Klopsch

Draper City Council discusses what a 27-lot development located approximately at 1060 West Pioneer Road would mean for nearby residents and traffic along 1300 East. (Lexi Peery/City Journals)

By Lexi Peery, [email protected]

A number of Draper residents showed up at Draper City Council meeting on Aug. 1 to hear the outcome of the Rivermark preliminary plat. located at approximately 1060 West Pioneer Road, that would bring 27-acre lots to RA2 (residential agricultural) land. 

Concerns arose considering the development during the council’s July 11 meeting, where residents called for a traffic study to be done. Discussion about the item was moved to Aug.1 so a thorough traffic study could be completed. On Aug. 1, the applicant and the developer produced a sound traffic study, which showed no extreme impact on the area, especially 1300 East during peak rush hour traffic. The council eventually approved the preliminary plat 4-1.

All council members recognized the need to address the traffic issues at 1300 East during rush hour, but most of the council stated that this new development isn’t the cause of the problem.

“(The developers) don’t need to solve the problem on 1300 East. It can’t be solved by one property owner — it’s been a problem for decades,” Councilman Jeff Stenquist said. “Everyone would like to live in a dead-end neighborhood forever…It may not be convenient but that’s the truth and the reality of the situation.”

Councilman Alan Summerhays added to Stenquist’s comment saying that though this development could potentially add an additional 27 families to rush-hour traffic, the problem really arose when the nearby schools, Corner Canyon High School and Draper Park Middle School, were built. Even though residents may want to keep their neighborhoods small, adding developments to the area isn’t something new to Draper.

“Residents wanted these schools. That’s when traffic starts to really get bad,” Summerhays said. “We’ve been piecing Draper together piece by piece for years. I know, I’ve lived here my whole life.”

Although every council member mentioned not necessarily having a desire to approve the preliminary plat, the developer, The Boyer Company, had met every code and request the city had placed before them, including coming back with a sound traffic study.

Before voting, Councilwoman Michele Weeks said driving down 1300 East has become such a burden that it wouldn’t be fair to add even more residents to the mix garnering applause from the audience. The mayor quickly asked that residents refrain from applauding to comments made throughout the meeting.

“They are still adding to the problem even though they may not be the problem,” Weeks said.

Councilman William Rappleye explained to the crowd that even though he doesn’t necessarily want this development to happen, it wouldn’t be fair to the developers since they have met all of the city’s standards.

“It’s hard…When it meets the criteria, (the developers) would go back and take their legal recourse. That’s the sad part,” Rappleye said.

After the vote was recorded, which all of the council members except for Weeks voted in favor of, residents exited the city council chambers, not thrilled about the council’s decision.

Besides approving the controversial Rivermark preliminary plat, the council voted on a few substantial items of business.

The council retired a bond with a principal amount of $4,915,000, called Utah Sales Tax Revenue Refunding Bonds, Series 2012A. The city was able to sell excess property in a deal made last year, and some of the money made from that deal, which totaled to be over $7 million, will be used to pay off the bond. 

“It’s outstanding that we were able to do this,” Stenquist said proudly at the meeting.

Another item approved on the agenda at the meeting was amending the sick-leave conversion policy for city employees. Employees with at least 600 hours of sick leave can convert those hours into vacation days, health savings plan or their URS retirement savings. Prior to the meeting, employees had 1,400 sick leave hours available.

“We’re creating an incentive to continue to not use sick leave, but to get a benefit for doing so,” City Manager David Dobbins said.