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Salt Lake County Council votes for a closer look at Olympus Hills annexation

Impact » New commission will further study effects of neighborhood becoming part of Holladay.

First Published Jan 21 2014 07:46 pm • Last Updated Jan 22 2014 10:17 am

People residing in the Olympus Hills neighborhood of East Millcreek will have to wait a little longer to become Holladay city residents.

The Salt Lake County Council voted 6-3 on Tuesday to continue its protest against the proposed annexation of the neighborhood — bounded by 3900 South and 4500 South between 2700 East and Interstate 215 — into the city.

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A solid majority of the area’s 3,600 residents signed a petition, certified as valid by County Clerk Sherrie Swensen, to move from the unincorporated county into Holladay.

"This just makes common sense," said resident and annexation booster Steve Pohlman, arguing that an earlier economic feasibility study by Zions Bank showed the move of this almost exclusively residential area into Holladay to be revenue neutral.

But the majority of council members went along with a request by the four community councils that represent Millcreek Township, plus the township’s planning commission, to extend a formal objection so that a more detailed study could examine the potential impacts on the township and the county’s unincorporated area as a whole.

"I’m empathetic to the arguments made by the petitioners," said Council Chairman Michael Jensen, who lives in the unincorporated community of Magna. But in the end, "we have to make a decision that affects not just the 3,600 people [in Olympus Hills], but the 60,000 in Millcreek and the 150,000 in the unincorporated county."

He and a couple of other council members said that if a more thorough study confirms the assertions of annexation proponents, they’ll be inclined to support their right to self-determination and sign off on the annexation.

John Bradshaw, who spearheaded the drive, said the county would have been better off accepting the initial economic feasibility study and not "spending precious taxpayer money looking for answers they have right now."

But with the council’s vote, the issue now goes to a seven-member Boundary Commission that will hire a consultant. The County Council endorsed Mayor Ben McAdams’ two nominees to that commission — County Treasurer Wayne Cushing, a Republican, and Democratic Councilman Jim Bradley.

Holladay City Attorney Craig Hall said the valley’s mayors will act as quickly as possible to come up with two members to represent city interests. The four appointed members then will pick three more unaffiliated people to complete the commission.

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The cost of the study has not been determined.


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