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West Davis alternative would ditch the highway

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Instead of building the proposed West Davis Corridor freeway, officials are studying converting existing arteries into boulevards — some with through-traffic lanes in the middle, separated by tree-lined medians from outside lanes just for local access.

That is part of a “shared solution” alternative that claims such boulevards — along with better signal timing, more lanes and innovative intersection designs that limit left turns — will “allow users to drive slower but travel faster.”

The Shared Solution Coalition, which has said such options are better than the proposed controversial freeway, has just finished putting meat on the skeleton of its early proposals. The Utah Department of Transportation has posted those details online at

UDOT has moved back its schedule a couple times for deciding whether to build the freeway in order to consider that “shared solution” after opposition arose over the agency’s proposed preferred alternative for a 19.7-mile, $587 million freeway that would be a northwestern extension of the Legacy Parkway.

Some federal agencies complained the freeway would destroy too many Great Salt Lake wetlands, and a variety of community groups said it may displace too many homes or create more urban sprawl. Several of them called jointly for consideration of the “shared alternative” instead.

Randy Jefferies, project manager for UDOT, says the agency hopes to complete its initial screening of the now-better defined “shared solution” by the end of the year.

“Now that the alternative has been developed, we need to determine whether it meets the purposes and needs” of reducing projected future congestion sufficiently, he said. If the alternative passes that threshold, it would move to a second level of study about its impacts and costs.

Jefferies said UDOT once had 46 alternatives for the freeway, and they all went through such initial screening — and a handful advanced for additional study on their impacts.

The current schedule calls for UDOT to approve a final Environmental Impact Statement and choose its final alternative next spring — but Jefferies said that will be delayed if the “shared solution” moves to a second-level of screening, or even more detailed study later.

Newly posted details of the shared solution call for a grid system of new boulevards along existing major arteries in west Davis County, addition of bus rapid transit routes, incentives to increase use of mass transit and design of walkable, mixed-use communities along boulevards that would reduce the need for vehicle travel by having people live, work and play in the same area.

“In most cases, boulevard enhancements, including increasing the number of travel lanes, can be achieved within the existing right-of-way by re-purposing existing wide shoulders,” the proposal says.

It calls for expansion of protected bike lanes physically separated from normal traffic lanes, and for improvements for pedestrians.

It also calls for incentives to attract more transit riders, including building bus rapid transit lines along some of the boulevards, improved fare structures, peak-hour priority bus lanes, suburban shuttles to FrontRunner trains, and improved park-and-ride options.

“I think for the most part, the things that have been developed have been great ideas,” Jefferies said, adding these changes could help improve transportation in the area no matter what the final decision is on the freeway or the shared solution.

“These ideas that are on the table for discussion” will help as “Utah tries to be one of the states that focuses on active transportation with pedestrians and bicyclists. We also want to look at how we can increase transit ridership. So I think all these ideas have promise,” he said

Shared solution considered for corridor

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October 15, 2014 |  The Davis Clipper |  Melinda Williams  |

BOUNTIFUL — Utah Department of Transportation officials are taking a detailed look at the “shared solution” alternative to the proposed West Davis Corridor.

And opponents of the corridor are “very optimistic” their no-build plan will come through the evaluation process a winner.

“We’re looking at that alternative (the shared solution) the same as we would look at any alternative,” said Randy Jefferies, UDOT’s project manager for the corridor.

Jefferies was attending a Utah Transportation Commission meeting in Bountiful on Friday and took a break during the proceedings to speak with the Clipper.

“We’re giving it a detailed look and evaluating it with the other alternatives,” he said, adding that the agency has made no decision on which alternative may be chosen.

“The no-build alternative is always a possibility,” Jefferies said.

UDOT should know within the next couple of months if the no-build alternative meets the purpose and if it needs to advance it to a place where an Environmental Impact Statement would be conducted.

That thrills Roger Borgenicht, co-chair of Utahns for Better Transportation, a coalition of environmental groups that has opposed plans to build the road.

“I’m very optimistic that going forward, we’re going to get a fair shake,” Borgenicht said.

The West Davis Corridor is proposed as a 24-mile highway running from Centerville into Marriott-Slaterville in Weber County between the Great Salt Lake and I-15.

UDOT officials have looked at numerous alternatives for the road since 2010, but it  came under fire in the fall of 2013 by both the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers. Complaints from the two agencies included that some of the proposed routes violated the federal Clean Air Act.

The environmentalists’ shared solution doesn’t build a new road, but incorporates better management of arterial roadways and connections with mass transit, as well as creating boulevard communities, where housing, jobs and services are close together.

UDOT has been meeting with cities and both Davis and Weber counties along the corridor’s route. They have also met with stakeholders to gather feedback on the alternatives to the road. Both Jefferies and Borgenicht have said such meetings have been productive.

“It’s been a very good process working with Randy,” Boregnict said, explaining Jefferies has worked with the experts brought in by Utahns for Better Transportation with information on the shared solution.

“The evaluation process has been very collaborative and very open with the cities, counties and the stakeholders,” Jefferies said. “It’s been eye-opening.”

Borgenict has also found UDOT’s Executive Director Carlos Braceras open, recognizing that transportation needs along the Wasatch Front will require roads and mass transit.

Members of the transportation commission took a tour of the route on Thursday.
Read more: The Davis Clipper – Shared solution considered for corridor

Editorial: ‘Shared solution’ worthy of UDOT consideration

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October 14, 2014 | Salt Lake Tribune | Editorial Board  |

Any human institution is vulnerable to the Not Invented Here trap. That’s the very human prejudice that if an idea did not originate within your organization, it is, no matter how good or creative, not to be taken seriously.

Thus it may be very good news indeed that the brass at the Utah Department of Transportation has agreed, as it further reconsiders its highly questionable plan to add 20 miles to the Legacy Parkway through western Davis County, to add the so-called “shared solution” to its list of alternatives to be evaluated.

The shared solution was not invented by UDOT. That department, which often seems to think that its real name is the Utah Department of Highways, began this whole process by shopping its plan to extend Legacy through acres of sensitive wetlands, through people’s homes, or both.

Objections were quickly raised by a diverse set of voices. They included the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and environmental groups, out of concern for the protection of wetlands. And local officials and citizens, who were eager to prevent the destruction of existing residential neighborhoods to make room for a highway that would make it easier to drive to some yet-to-be-created residential neighborhoods.

The shared solution is a plan to give up the idea that we can never build enough highways and, instead, seek more intelligent methods of handling, steering, nudging and avoiding an increase in miles driven as the population of the counties along the Wasatch Front continues to soar.

Specifically, the alternative includes a push to upgrade existing east-west streets into more efficient boulevards which could handle more traffic with fewer frustrating, and emissions-boosting, snarls. But even that would have to be part of a broader-based package of improvements, perhaps including one more lane on I-15. That lane would handle south-going traffic in the morning and north-going commuters in the evening.

Improvements to mass transit throughout the area will also have to be part of the program.

In August, UDOT officials announced that they were putting their West Davis Highway plans on hold for more study. Last week, they said the shared solution was to be a formally considered alternative in that process.

If the shared solution, or alternatives very much like it, come out of the process, that will be to UDOT’s credit twice over. Once for making the right decision, and once for being open-minded enough to incorporate a suggestion from outside its comfort zone.

UDOT giving serious attention to West Davis freeway alternative

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Farmington » Utah highway officials say they are seriously evaluating an alternative that could avoid building the proposed West Davis Corridor freeway, a 20-mile-long northwest expansion of the Legacy Parkway.

Conservation and citizen groups that oppose the proposed highway have been pushing what they call the “shared solution alternative,” which would enhance existing roads and mass transit to move just as much traffic as the new highway.

“We are actually doing some engineering work on it so that we can fairly evaluate it against other alternatives,” said Carlos Braceras, executive director of the Utah Department of Transportation.

As the Utah Transportation Commission toured UDOT projects in Davis County on Thursday, it received an update on the West Davis Corridor — which some federal agencies worry may destroy too many Great Salt Lake wetlands. Legacy Parkway was built after a four-year legal battle over wetlands damage.

While UDOT had announced in August that it again slowed its schedule for deciding whether to build the freeway to allow more time to talk with project critics including key federal agencies, UDOT told the commission Thursday that it is not just talking to “shared solution” proponents but seriously evaluating their plan.

It recommends such things as redesigning existing intersections to increase traffic flow, improving east-west arterials into efficient boulevards, expanding mass transit, and building a middle lane on Interstate 15 that would serve southbound traffic in the morning and northbound in the evening.

A written update given to the commission said that proposal “will be screened with the same criteria used for all other alternatives” previously evaluated in a draft environmental impact statement.

Results of that evaluation are expected by the end of this fall.

Braceras said if the shared solution alternative “is close to” providing the same traffic and mobility benefits as the freeway, a supplemental environmental impact statement could be necessary for even more evaluation.

The written update said if the “shared solution” does not pass such screening, UDOT anticipates releasing a final environmental impact statement — and a final decision on the freeway — next spring. A final record of decision from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) would be anticipated next summer.

The written update said when the results of the evaluation of the “shared solution alternative” are known, “UDOT and FHWA will determine the next steps and provide an updated schedule as needed.”

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has said it worries the freeway as now proposed would damage too many wetlands. Permits from that agency would be needed to build the project, and UDOT has said it has been meeting with the corps to resolve its concerns.

The corps wrote that federal law allows it to permit only the least-damaging alternative route that is practical. It said UDOT’s preferred route — which would begin at Glovers Lane in Farmington — “has the most acres of direct and indirect” wetlands impact of all finalist alternatives studied.

An alternative beginning farther north at Shepard Lane would be less damaging, the corps said. But UDOT has said that route would destroy more homes and businesses. Other federal agencies, environmental groups and neighbors of Glovers Lane also oppose the Glovers Lane option.

Denser, transit-oriented development keys Utah’s future

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April 15, 2014 | Salt Lake Tribune | By Mike WInder and Scott Harbertson|

Last week, the National Institute of Health and Smart Growth America published research by University of Utah professor Reid Ewing and others that showed that denser, connected urban areas are better than sprawling ones in a number of key metrics. People in more compact communities live longer, have a lower overall cost of living, have more transportation and entertainment options, and have a greater likelihood of upward social mobility. They walk more, are less obese, and have fewer automobile accidents.

We believe that this research helps validate the direction Utah planners and elected officials are working toward with the Wasatch Choice for 2040 Vision and Gov. Gary Herbert’s Your Utah, Your Future statewide visioning initiative. Over the next three decades we will see an additional 1.4 million people in Salt Lake, Davis, Weber, and Utah Counties — a 65 percent increase. Demographers tell us that some of these will be move-ins, but most will be our own children and grandchildren. Where will they all live? Where will they work and play? And how will we navigate a Wasatch Front with such a population?

These are the issues being addressed with the Wasatch Choice for 2040 Vision. If we implement the plan it will reduce region-wide traffic congestion by 18 percent, improve air quality, and save about $4.5 billion in infrastructure, transportation, and housing costs over the next 20 years. One of the keystones of this vision is to accommodate growth in town centers, near regional transportation systems. It is true that many Utahns would rather maintain their suburban lifestyle in a single-family home. But we believe that accommodating much of the new growth in town centers near transit stations is the best way to maintain the character of existing neighborhoods.

As mayors, we both worked within our cities to make these smart planning guidelines realities. In West Valley City the arrival of the TRAX light rail line was met with plans for transit oriented development, leveraging these stations to create denser “town centers.” The half-billion dollar Fairbourne Station project was launched in West Valley’s city center, for example, resulting in the 162-room Embassy Suites Hotel, a beautiful park promenade, and 1,000 high-density, mid-rise, urban style residences. Eventually, 200,000 square feet of office space and 200,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space will be part of the project.

In Farmington, the arrival of FrontRunner commuter rail was met with the 62-acre Station Park mixed-use project. Featuring 400,000 square feet of restaurant and retail, with 500,000 square feet under construction, this transit-oriented project has movie theaters, a Harmons grocery store, an ice rink, and more. The Park Lane Village Apartments and other multi-family projects have done very well near Station Park, and more are under construction.

The Wasatch Choice for 2040 Vision is a good one, and resulted from a collaborative effort of numerous stakeholders. The “tool box” of planning ideas, zoning templates and best practices is spot on. But plans such as these do no good if they only sit on shelves. We encourage community leaders throughout the state to use these ideas and implement them in their respective cities. Only then can the benefits of compact and connected urban areas, as quantified in the recent study, be enjoyed by more Utahns.

Mike Winder was mayor of West Valley City. Scott Harbertson was mayor of Farmington.

Citizens Group Bolsters Farmington’s Fight Against West Davis Corridor Route

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March 19, 2014 | Standard Examiner | By Bryon Saxton |

A Farmington citizens group is applauding city leaders for the stand they have taken on the proposed $587 million West Davis Corridor project.

City Manager Dave Millheim said Wednesday the group, known as Save Farmington, was planning to present a letter of gratitude to the mayor and city council for the strong position they have taken against the Utah Department of Transportation’s ‘s plan to construct the West Davis freeway.

The city is opposing the preferred route alignment for the 20-mile road stretching from Farmington to West Haven in Weber County based on its impact to the city’s public recreation areas and the Great Salt Lake shoreline.

The city has already spent about $100,000 in legal work in challenging the alignment where it impacts conservation easement property, Millheim said.

Save Farmington was established in 2012 and consist of hundreds of members from all over the city, said Lori Kalt, president of the group.

The proposed route would encircle Farmington with a third freeway. UDOT’s plan would construct the freeway through public recreation areas and conservation easements owned by the city, according to officials.

UDOT’s preferred route, commonly referred to as the Glovers Lane option, would construct a freeway through western and southern Farmington, through residential neighborhoods, taking an unspecified number of families’ homes. Additionally, the freeway would be built about 450 feet from the northern border of the Farmington Bay Waterfowl Management Area, impacting wildlife.

“(It) seemed that the worst possible scenario was being manipulated (by UDOT) to appear as though it was the ‘best,’ and even the ‘only’ scenario for a supposed much-needed high-speed freeway,” Kalt said.

UDOT’s planned route was not the result of a deliberative environmental impact study, but instead, Kalt said, “the result of a pre-determination of a preferred alignment and alternative” and the “review effort and conclusions were reverse-engineered to support that preconceived result.”

“Basically, UDOT knew where they wanted to build this freeway and they set about making that happen,” she said.

“We’re aware of Farmington city’s concerns and we will continue to work with them throughout this process,” UDOT spokesman John Gleason told the Standard-Examiner on Wednesday.

In an April 27, 2012 letter, UDOT representatives asked Farmington officials to identify property the city considered protected under Section 4(f) of the Federal Transportation Act, which protects public parks, recreation areas, trails, wildlife refuges and historic sites from condemnation and construction for federal highway projects.

In response, Farmington submitted a letter to UDOT dated May 11, 2012, identifying public conservation easements owned by the city, that protected public recreation areas, public trail system, neighboring uplands, and wetlands from residential or commercial development, according to city records.

The city also created the easements to help protect the Farmington Bay Wildlife Management Area from encroaching development.

Despite the city’s notice of the federal law protections that apply to the city’s public recreation areas and conservation easements, UDOT last May released its Draft Environmental Impact Statement that selected the freeway route through the protected areas.

In response, Farmington has filed a formal comment objecting to the DEIS, followed by two letters requesting UDOT reconsider its plan and conduct a supplemental DEIS.

UDOT’s final EIS is scheduled to be released this summer. That document will specify UDOT’s preferred freeway route to the Federal Highway Administration.

Contact reporter Bryon Saxton at 801-625-4244 or, or follow him on Twitter at @BryonSaxton.

Farmington Bill to Grapple with West Davis up to $ 100,000

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March 5, 2014 | Standard Examiner | By Bryon Saxton |

The one thing Farmington City officials don’t want when it comes to the West Davis Corridor Environmental Impact Study is a faulty EIS that can be hung up in the courts.

In a “warning shot” letter Tuesday to the Federal Highway Administration, Farmington officials let their concerns with the project be known — again.

The city has spent about $100,000 with the Salt Lake City law firm of Ray Quinney & Nebeker in having it represent the city’s position on the 20-mile, $587 million roadway, proposed to run from Farmington to West Haven in Weber County, according to officials. Route details have been disputed by Farmington and other parties.

The city hired the law firm to protect its interest in conservation easement shoreline property that runs the width of the city.

“It is important in that we are trying to express to those in the decision tree we do not want to see a faulty EIS adopted,” City Manager Dave Millheim said of the letter.

“We believe a faulty EIS would cost all taxpayers considerable extra expense and protracted frustration, which serves no one,” Millheim said.

“We are hoping (the Utah Department of Transportation) and FHWA take our concerns and those expressed by others seriously so the public is better served as this project evaluation moves forward,” he said.

“We believe there is a strong likelihood of legal challenges on a variety of grounds from a variety of groups,” Millheim said in the letter.

“We owe more to the taxpayers of Utah than something that is going to be hung up in the courts for years,” he said.

“We understand Farmington City’s concerns and we will work with them throughout the process,” UDOT spokesman John Gleason said.

Gleason said the EIS study is expected to be complete by the end of this year.

Whatever the outcome of the EIS, Millheim said, it will affect someone adversely. “But we have a stewardship to the people of Farmington city,” he said.

The city has purposely avoided any emotional response to the ongoing EIS study, Millheim said, “because we don’t believe an emotional response does any good.”

But UDOT does have a legal obligation to address the city’s concerns, he said.

“We do not want the state to repeat the mistakes of Legacy I with Legacy II,” Millheim said, referring to the 11.5-mile southern arm of the Legacy Parkway which was completed in 2008. That four-lane roadway runs from the Salt Lake County border to Farmington.

“We hope those can be avoided and we have done our best to express our concerns,” he said.

Millheim said the city will be posting on its website both the Tuesday letter to the FHWA, along with a related letter it sent out a few weeks ago regarding conservation easement concerns.

The city will continue to post on its website related information to the West Davis Corridor project in an effort to keep the public informed, as well as to address the many records and phone requests they are receiving for these documents, Millheim said.

Farmington May Sue to Block West Davis Corridor Freeway

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February 25, 2014 | Salt Lake Tribune | By Lee Davidson |

Farmington is serving notice that it may sue to block the proposed route of the West Davis Corridor freeway and force the Utah Department of Transportation to redo the project’s environmental-impact statement.

The city says it will do so unless UDOT removes three “conservation easements” the city owns near the Great Salt Lake from the freeway’s route, which it contends is required by federal law and rule.

“Farmington City will be required to protect its interests if these problems are not rectified by complete avoidance by the West Davis Corridor of these conservation easements,” wrote Jeffrey W. Appel, an attorney hired by Farmington.

His seven-page letter, dated Feb. 21, was sent to UDOT and the Federal Highway Administration.

The freeway would be the northwest extension of the Legacy Parkway — which itself was built after a four-year legal battle over potential damage to wetlands.

Appel wrote that Farmington believes UDOT and the Federal Highway Administration decided first where they wanted the freeway to go, and then their environmental review “and conclusions were reverse-engineered to support that preconceived result” to take advantage of the empty fields in the conservation easements.

He contends that federal rules require giving deference to local officials to identify significant public lands that should be excluded from such routes, and said Farmington told federal and state officials in the process that the easements “must be preserved for such things as parks, recreation areas or wildlife/waterfowl refuges.”

The city purchased the easements requiring such uses in perpetuity, Appel said, and not for roads.

Farmington Mayor Scott Harbertson said in an earlier interview that the conservation easements were set up as a buffer between the city and the lake. “It was set up so we wouldn’t have any growth out there. Now we would have more urban sprawl” if the freeway goes through and ignores open-space protections.

Appel wrote that the city has requested documents to show why the easements were included in plans for the route, but has not been given much. The environmental documents “ignored or misstated” the “purposes, current uses and plans for the land,” he contends.

“This is a fatal flaw for the entire West Davis Corridor DEIS [draft environmental impact statement] … that will legally disable the entire effort.”

Farmington City Administrator Dave Millheim said the city is also upset that UDOT has been buying property along its proposed route, even though the draft environmental impact statement has not been finalized.

UDOT spokesman John Gleason said, “We are aware of Farmington City’s concerns, and will continue to work with them throughout this process. UDOT has not purchased any properties in Farmington. We are considering purchasing land on both [major] alternatives” considered in the draft environmental impact statement.

UDOT has said it hopes to issue a final environmental impact statement by this summer, and hopes for a confirming final record of decision by the Federal Highway Administration by the end of the year.

UDOT slowed that process after receiving a flood of 1,600 comments last year on its draft environmental impact statement, including one from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that threatened to deny permits needed for construction because of potential damage to Great Salt Lake wetlands.


Farmington Lawyers up to Fight UDOT over West Davis Corridor Easements

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February 24, 2014 | Standard Examiner | By Bryon Saxton |

FARMINGTON — A Salt Lake City law firm has been retained by Farmington City to prevent the West Davis Corridor project from impacting long time conservation easements protecting shore land properties.

Farmington officials are concerned even though an alignment for the road has not yet been set, the Utah Department of Transportation continues to buy property within its initial recommended corridor.

Ray Quinney & Nebeker will represent the city’s interests during the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process for the West Davis Corridor project, said attorney Jeffrey W. Appel in a Feb. 21 letter to the Federal Highway Administration.

The law firm became involved after Farmington staff met with Utah Department of Transportation and FHA officials to discuss the decision by FHA to not designate Farmington’s three conservation easements as Section 4(f) properties in the draft environmental impact statement, a designation which would have protected them.

Despite Farmington officials request for additional documents regarding the specific basis for this determination, representatives from FHA and UDOT simply provided a six-page memorandum at the meeting.

City officials say what the state has provided to the city as it relates to source documents has been woefully inadequate. “We asked for a bunch of source documents that were not provided,” Farmington City Manager Dave Millheim told the Standard-Examiner.

Farmington is unwilling to accept UDOT and FHA not classifying three conservation easements as being protected properties, he said.

The three conservation easements, totaling about 300 acres, are west of the Farmington Ranches development, and run north to south along the city’s entire western border.

Although the conservation easements are on private property, which can be bought and sold, Millheim said, any party owning those lands has to honor the easement.

The letter to the state and federal highway agencies from the law firm is a reminder this remains an unresolved issue, and if not addressed, puts the whole EIS at risk, Millheim said.

“We’re aware of Farmington City’s concerns, and we will continue to work with them throughout this process,” UDOT spokesman John Gleason said Monday.

The draft EIS was completed in May, with the final decision to be made on the route expected to come by the end of this year, Gleason said.

But Farmington officials are concerned the state continues to buy up rights of way within the initial recommended 20-mile corridor.

“Why are we buying right of way for an alignment that has not be determined,” Millheim said.

Buying land to build the proposed $587 million project continues, even though UDOT officials emphasize there is no guarantee the north-south road planned to stretch from Farmington to West Haven will ever be built.

The state Transportation Commission recently approved the purchase of 45 acres of undeveloped land at 1600 S. Angel St. in west Kaysville for corridor preservation.

The purchase price was $3 million, said Randy Jefferies, project manager for the West Davis Corridor Environmental Impact Statement.

The property is co-owned by Scott Herschi and Tod Jones, who approached the state requesting it buy their land after they discovered the proposed road route “impacts” their property, Jefferies said. Where this particular piece of west Kaysville property is located, he said, the alignment shows only a single route through the area, which would result in the property being impacted should the project move forward.

Farmington officials are concerned UDOT and FHA officials may some day have to stand before a judge and defend the corridor selected by pointing out that is where property has already been preserved, Millheim said. He said something he would liken to the state putting the cart before the horse.

“We are putting them on legal notice that we will defend our conservation easements to the full extent of what the law allows,” he said.

“We’re not debating that the highway may not be needed north of here. We’re not trying to be obstructionist. We know the highway serves a purpose. We don’t want to be the sticky-wicket in that,” Millheim said.

But 20 years of city planning has put the conservation easements where they are, and for the state to say they don’t matter, “we say, is very inappropriate,” he said.

Contact reporter Bryon Saxton at 801-625-4244 or, or follow him on Twitter at @BryonSaxton.

State May Pay $3M for Land in West Davis Corridor

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February 17, 2014 | Standard Examiner | By Bryon Saxton |

KAYSVILLE — Buying land to build the proposed $587 million, 20-mile West Davis Corridor roadway continues, even though Utah Department of Transportation officials emphasize there is no guarantee the north-south road planned to stretch from Farmington to West Haven will ever be built.

The state Transportation Commission has been discussing the purchase of 45 acres of undeveloped land at 1600 S. Angel St. in west Kaysville for corridor preservation.

Roughly the cost to the state to buy the land is $3 million, according to Randy Jefferies, project manager for the West Davis Corridor Environmental Impact Statement.

The property is co-owned by Scott Herschi and Tod Jones, who approached the state requesting it buy their land after they discovered the proposed road route “impacts” their property, Jefferies said.

The state looking into buying the property for fair market value before it develops is a win-win for the state, the property owners and the taxpayers.

Having a willing seller, the commission wanted to consider the action now, rather than wait until homes were built on the land, Jefferies said.

Herschi and Jones approached state road officials indicating that they were being approached by developers, after discovering their property was to be impacted by the proposed alignment of the road, he said.

Where this particular piece of west Kaysville property is located, Jefferies said, the alignment shows only a single route through the area, which would result in the property being impacted should the project move forward.

“It’s an upfront cost, but it is an investment,” Jefferies said of the state’s willingness to look at buying property through the proposed corridor. He said the west Kaysville parcel is “one of many” parcels that will need to be purchased by the state should the project be built.

A final decision as to whether the road will be built, and its exact route, will not be made until the environmental impact study has been completed, which is expected to occur sometime near the end of this year,

Jefferies said.

The funds used to buy the Kaysville parcel are part of an ongoing fund the state has available that is used “wherever the need is in the state” when it comes to corridor preservation, Jefferies said.

Should the West Davis Corridor not be constructed, the state will sell those properties it is in the process of acquiring, he said.

Should the West Davis roadway be built, it would link into the Legacy Parkway, which serves the southern end of Davis County.