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UPDATE: Farmington asks UDOT for new corridor plan
Sep 04, 2013 | 20673 views | 3 3 comments | 28 28 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MAP of alternative routes A and B for the West Davis Corridor. Courtesy art
MAP of alternative routes A and B for the West Davis Corridor. Courtesy art
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BY REBECCA PALMER

Clipper Editor

FARMINGTON — The city council and mayor here are criticizing the Utah Department of Transportation over the agency’s plan for West Davis Corridor.

UDOT wants to build the highway through Farmington at Glover Lane, according to its draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) released in May. That could slice Farmington in half without providing enough benefit to residents there, critics and now, elected officials, say.

The city’s primary complaint is that UDOT failed to adequately consider conservation easements through which the planned freeway would pass. They also question whether it’s needed at all.

“The problems with the DEIS are significant and far reaching enough that a new or revised DEIS must be underatken before a final EIS (environmental impact statement) may be underatakend,” reads a talking points document released Tuesday.

City officials plan to submit an expanded letter of at least 30 pages to UDOT by Friday, Sept. 6, the day on which public comment closes. In preparation for sending the letter, the city hired Jeffrey Appel, of the Ray, Quinney and Nebeker firm, as a consulting attorney.

“Based on the information in the DEIS, it is currently unclear whether this project is needed for the region at all in 2040 and it is clearly not needed at this time in Farmington City,” the talking points read. “An outdated transportation paradigm may have been applied here and in the modeling, which needs to be corrected.”

City councilmember Cindy Roybal kept her comments limited Tuesday, but said she thinks the grassroots group Shared Solutions will be happy with the city’s letter. Shared Solutions is opposed to both the draft plan map and to the freeway’s being built at all.

UDOT is likely to think differently.

“I think that when UDOT review our comments, they are not going to like some of the things they see,” said Farmington Mayor Scott Harbertson.

UDOT spokesman John Gleason said that the agency spent three years working on the draft and after looking at 47 options, still believes it to be the best solution. But the agency couldn’t weigh in on the Farmington letter specifically.

“At this point with the public comment period still active, it would be inappropriate to weigh in on any specific comments,” Gleason said. “Really we want to be fair to everyone involved and make sure our people have time to read, address and evaluate the comments.”

A final decision won’t be made by the federal highway commission until 2014, so all options are on the table, including not building at all. However, UDOT believes the road is necessary.

“Obviously, we see the need for transportation solution here and so that’s why we put forward our recommendation,” Gleason said. “We see that here is a need here with the continued population growth and need for transportation in the area.”

Shared Solutions activist Todd Jenson attended Tuesday’s meeting.

“I’m just glad that Farmington City is taking a position against UDOT,” he said. “They’re not just letting UDOT bulldoze through the city.”

He had criticism for the county, however, especially in regard to its support letter for the UDOT plan.

“The county commission just talked to the economic development guy from the county and there was never any input requested from the community,” he said. “It’s just sloppy and reckless planning.”

Harbertson said the city did not consider the Shared Solution plan in its recommendation. The complete letter is expected to be posted on the Farmington website at farmington.utah.gov on Thursday or Friday.

rpalmer@davisclipper.com

*John Gleaspon is UDOT spokesman. His name was listed incorrectly in an earlier version of this story. 

Comments
(3)
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beeman80
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September 06, 2013
From what I understand, Farmington City isn't opposed to the freeway, they just want the Shepherd route because they think it will pour more consumers into Station Park and further fill their revenue coffers.

They have no interest in a "shared solution" only the one that makes them the most money. If that means destroying neighborhoods and tearing down homes, so be it.
natlarson
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September 04, 2013
I am so glad to see the Farmington City government being proactive in challenging UDOT on the proposed West Davis Corridor and supporting the Shared Solution. I have to wonder why more Kaysville residents and the City of Kaysville are not challenging the freeway, as most likely an ugly connector road with lots of negative impacts is still going to be built right through their city. If UDOT is proposing a freeway that is not needed now, and based on even their numbers still won't be warranted in 2040, then shouldn't all of the communities impacted be involved in fighting it, not just Farmington. UDOT has not been truthful or honest with anyone in their DEIS about the true impacts and final result for this freeway and everyone from Farmington to Hooper should be outraged. There is so much money and corrupt politics involved in this process, I would think more residents and city governments would be questioning UDOTs motives. Thanks Farmington for doing the right thing and forcing UDOT to reevaluate their plans!
tranquilitynow
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September 04, 2013
It is amazing Farmington City has not acted on this before since it has been in the planning stages for three years. To wait all this time and now want it stopped has allowed for a gross waste of state tax resources.
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