Balancing the Rights of Residents vs. Developers

Existing land owners should not have the nature of their development changed without substantial public good being generated.

The development of I15 was never on the minds of those living in that area and no doubt changed the nature of their land. The long term growth that is shared by nearly everyone in our area is in great part due to this major artery being built and thus justified the harm to some landowners.

On the other hand the original concept for a four story building in the heart of old Lehi was in my opinion justly denied because it sought an exception that seemed to only benefit the developer. The potential negative effects to traffic, parking and changing the very character of the old town Lehi seemed to have no real value to the city as a whole. I further feel that adding additional density not near a main road or public transit hub makes no sense and impacts anyone having to use Lehi Main Street negatively.

The mining being allowed in Sage Canyon is another case where there is a tough balance between the developer and existing land owners. The developers had the right to grade the land to make it develop-able and initially estimated to be able to get that done in 1 ½ years of work. The developers then sought an exception to be allowed to remove material to sell that would extend the time line to a minimum of 3 years. The developer dangled land to be donated for a park, then a school then a church. Each came with problems that made them either not viable or possibly illegal. In the end I don’t see how adding the additional 1 ½ years or more of mining as a nuisance to the adjacent residential area without a clear benefit to the neighborhood or city as a whole is balancing the rights of both sides. The current city council gave one more rights at the cost of the existing owner’s rights.

In the end as a leader in the city council role I believe it’s important to listen to existing landowners and developers to get both sides of the issue. In addition we must listen to the city’s public servants that help make sure we stay within the existing legal boundaries to make sure we don’t cost taxpayers money defending potentially illegal actions taken by the city.

Existing rights of every land owner should be protected but giving additional rights to any land owners should always come with either no harm to others or provide substantial public good. Never an easy task but is likely one of or the most important issues the city council handles on a regular basis.

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2 thoughts on “Balancing the Rights of Residents vs. Developers”

  1. What would the city council and developer had said would’ve been the public goods provided in the case of sage canyon?

    I don’t know the facts of safe canyon very well, but from reading your other posts on it, it seems like you’re pretty upset with how it turned out. It would be interesting to hear your attempts to rebut your own arguments about sage canyon.

    1. Not too hard to rebut, the proposed school is a broad public good, a plot for a church next to it is a specific public good and there was some talk of better road access to future development. So if one believes those offer significant public good then you may support the mining rights being given.

      My assessment with those being seen as real public good is that, the existing public school is already very close to the proposed location and the site had issues that likely made it unusable. The donation of land to a particular faith is not a general public good and possibly illegal by Utah State Constitution. The existing zoning, which allowed for mass grading planned for the road with no apparent problems. So why put the residents through an additional 1 1/2 to 2 years of mining in a residential zoned area?

      So on level I don’t see how a case was really made for an overwhelming public benefit from the additional rights to mine being given.

      Thank you again for the dialogue!

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