Plan to add thousands of residents with development of Olympia Hills west of Herriman is up for review

(Michael Mangum | Special to the Tribune) A tree planting ceremony takes place in front of a vast wheat field at the site of the proposed Olympia Hills development project in Herriman on Saturday, June 22, 2019. The event celebrated the proposed Bastian Agricultural Center as part of the proposed development of the land.

Olympia Hills is back for a second try.

Utah developer Doug Young confirmed Tuesday he has resubmitted a zoning application with Salt Lake County for approval to build the controversial high-density residential and commercial project proposed west of Herriman.

"We're ready to go again," Young said in an interview shortly after the application was filed.

He said housing density in the 931-acre development had been reduced — now at just under seven dwellings per acre — and that the revised application included updated studies and recommendations to lessen congestion.

Young and fellow developer Cory Shupe will now work with county planners to finalize a development agreement for the site, located on what are now farmlands just west of Herriman on unincorporated county property.

The proposal would then go to a series of public hearings before the Salt Lake County Council considers final approval. The land in question, owned and farmed for decades by the Bastian family, would need to be rezoned from agriculture use to a planned community designation for Olympia Hills to proceed.

Plans for the development, first proposed at more than nine dwellings per acre, were ultimately vetoed last year by then-County Mayor Ben McAdams in the face of opposition from nearby residents.

Thousands attended community rallies last summer, voicing fears Olympia Hills could overburden area schools and water supplies and worsen traffic problems along east-west roads serving that part of the county.

The County Council passed a resolution in March that cleared the way for the Olympia Hills reapplication, citing, in part, rising demand for affordable housing.

Justin Swain, a Herriman resident and member of a citizen group called Utah for Responsible Growth, on Tuesday praised county officials for being more inclusive as they have considered the project a second time around.

"We feel they've kept us involved," Swain said.

Group members are now looking forward to public hearings on Young’s revised plans. “We want to see what he has done,” Swain said.

Young said revamped plans reflected public input from open houses held in nearby Herriman and South Jordan, as well as a list of requirements from county planners on additional open space, including an assortment of housing types and fully addressing transportation needs.

“We’ve done a lot of good work,” the developer said.