Lehi City Council Meeting Report, Sept. 27: Dry Creek Reservoir Announced, Traffic Issues Addressed

Donna Barnes | Lehi Free Press

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Dry Creek Reservoir Announced in Lehi City Pre-Council Meeting

City Engineer Lorin Powell presented a concept plan for the newly announced Dry Creek Reservoir to the City Council. The reservoir would be built in northeast Lehi/Highland and would catch the run-off from several water sources. The property follows the old Fox ditch.

The idea is to use this reservoir for both water conservation and recreation. Powell said, “I’m excited about the project.” This could provide a needed catch basin for water and amenities for public recreation. There are preliminary steps to take, but the project could be ready to go to bid soon. Powell is asking for city council approval and support in this project.

Wade Allred presented city plans for a traffic signal at 3200 N. and 1200 E. The city is working through some property issues. The improvements will be temporary until permanent signals can be installed. The City is anxious to provide the traffic light before winter and citizens can anticipate a signal in three to four weeks.

Center Street road improvements are on schedule and should be completed within the week.

City Council Meeting Draws Crowd, Traffic Issues Addressed and Vivian Park Concerns Voiced

City council chambers were packed on Tuesday, September 27 as citizens came to express frustration over several items on the agenda.

The first item on the agenda was the Lehi Fire Department honoring Julie Donaldson with the Citizen Lifesaver Award. Fire Chief Kraft made the presentation.

During the citizen input session, Rachel Burr, mother of Kembree Burr, an 8-year-old who was struck by a truck at the intersection of 1200 E. 900 N. addressed the council in a prepared message. Emotions ran high as she described the event. She was supported by neighbors in the audience.

Burr listed a number of items that need to be addressed by the city. She mentioned there are no contiguous sidewalks leading to the intersection on the south side of the path taken by children in the Hunters Grove and Dairy View subdivisions. “The path to Lehi Junior High is worse. Students have to cross busy 1200 East and there is no marked crosswalk or even a school zone sign, and no sidewalks either,” she said. Burr suggested a crossing guard or at least a school zone designation be painted on the road both at 1100 N. and 900 N. Burr also felt a flashing sign warning motorists of an upcoming stop sign be installed before the southbound and northbound traffic arrive at the dangerous intersection. Trees and shrubs also need to be pruned to allow a clear view of the intersection. She contended that Freedom Elementary has both flashing signs and a painted crosswalk and it is about the same distance from a road as the heavily used road to Sego Lily Elementary. She said there is “too much development without regard for traffic problems.”

With her daughter in her wheelchair, the impact of Burr’s statement was felt by citizens in attendance. The mayor assured Burr that the matter was being discussed. There had been information given in the pre-council meeting about the problems with traffic at 1200 E. 900 N. The mayor acknowledged traffic problems in many areas of the city were causing frustration and the city was aware of these problems.

The agenda item that brought over 100 citizens to the meeting was the consideration of modifying the zoning to RA-1 and TH5 for the Vivian Carter Addition Annexation, 90.21 acres of property located at approximately 600 E. 2600 N. There was a “B part” to this proposal which was a revised Addition Annexation Agreement. Jason Rickard and John Hadfield were the petitioners. City planning chairman Kim Struthers said, “This is a very preliminary plan; no engineering has been done to this point.” Mayor Wilson asked about the timeline and was told they were about 2-3 weeks out for annexation and another 2-3 weeks for the concept plan to be approved by planning commission and there would be a public input session at that time.

Councilmember Condie expressed concern about 17 lots fronting an already dangerous road. “Wouldn’t this be a problem for families getting in and out of their driveways?” said Condie. City engineer Lorin Powell explained, “hillsides will be lowered and there will changes to make the roads safer.”

While there was no public input on this item at this time, the mayor agreed that four representatives could speak to the issue for no more than three minutes each. Melanie Lambert, the first to voice objections to the Vivian concept plan said, “We moved here from Draper because we liked the bigger lots, and they were less expensive. Lehi was the most economical place to build. In the last few years density has increased more in Lehi than in Draper.”

Arnold Lamont, another resident in the area, spoke: “I am a career law enforcement officer. I know of two fatalities, one on 600 E. and one on Center Street. I would like to see an impact study done on the roads, particularly because the drivers will be young drivers coming to and from the new high school.”

Norman and Diane Dolahite both spoke. In looking at the concept plan, Diane saw no accessibility for her neighborhood to the green space and her husband said, “We have few parks in the northeast portion of Lehi. There is a 90-acre parcel for sale. Why doesn’t the city consider buying it for a park? This would take care of the density problem.” Dolahite commented on the trail system though the development: “A trail is not a park. The city should not compromise the wishes of the developer for the good of the entire community.”

City councilman Johnny Revill asked the city administrators why the citizens were not involved in the process. He said, “There seems to have been a breakdown in the process.” Many citizens at the meeting were not aware of the development and the concept plan until last week.

The annexation of the development was approved by city council, but the concept plan was tabled until the developer and the city could address some of the concerns expressed by the citizens in attendance.

During the regular council meeting, a new city treasurer was recommended and approved. Alyson Alger will be the new Lehi City Treasurer. Her qualifications were enumerated by Mayor Bert Wilson. A franchise agreement with Qwest Broadband Services d/b/a CenturyLink was approved by the city council. There were several zone changes proposed that were unanimously approved by the city council members.

The Ozancin Estates 17 lot residential development located at 100 E. 2600 N. was approved.

The final item on the agenda was the Colledge Farms PUD, located at 2600 W. 1200 N. Dennis Oxborrow was the petitioner. It was approved unanimously.

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