Will Olympia become part of Herriman? An annexation updateAug 04, 2021 10:26AM ● By Justin Adams
A map showing the boundaries of the Olympia development in relation to Herriman city. (Photo via Herriman.org)
By Justin Adams | [email protected]
In May, the Herriman Journal reported on a city council discussion on the possibility of annexing the Olympia project (formerly Olympia Hills) into the city. A lot has happened since then, so here’s an update.
Some Herriman residents might wonder why the city would extend its borders to include the controversial 900+ acre development. Simply put, Olympia is being built one way or another and Herriman will have to upgrade its own infrastructure no matter what. If the project happens within city borders, then the city can collect money through impact fees and building permits to pay for those infrastructure improvements.
Another benefit to annexation is that it allows the city to have more of a say in how the development progresses. The city can negotiate with the developer in efforts to blend the project with neighboring developments in Herriman that already exist, as well as work towards appropriately addressing the impacts.
There is a very specific process for annexation application and approval established in state law. Throughout the process there are multiple “off-ramps,” or opportunities for the city to back out of negotiations and deny the application.
On June 15, the developer filed a Petition for Annexation.
On July 14, the city council accepted the petition for further consideration. (Not a final approval.)
Following the city’s acceptance of the petition, there’s a review period to make sure the application follows state law. The city is also required to make a public notice.
Given the current timeline, the city council may be able to vote for final approval (or denial) during its September meetings, according to Assistant City Manager Tami Moody.
If approved at that time, Olympia would officially become part of Herriman on Jan. 1, 2022.
As this timeline has progressed, the city has established multiple working groups to analyze the costs and benefits of annexing Olympia, as well as negotiate changes to the project with the developer. Those working groups have focused on four aspects of the development: Planning, Infrastructure, Finance and the Master Development Agreement. Each working group has included members of the city council, city staff members and representatives from the developer. While these meetings haven’t been open to the public, the city has published summaries of what has been discussed in each group’s meetings.
Master Development Agreement
Master Development Agreements are a tool sometimes used by land-use authorities to regulate the development of unique large-scale projects. They can specify everything from unit density to requirements for open space, building materials and parking, to financing mechanisms.
An initial MDA was approved by the Salt Lake County Council when they voted to approve the development’s rezone application last year. A key focus of the city’s working groups has been to update that MDA to reflect the city’s priorities.
During its Aug. 5 meeting, the Herriman City Planning Commission will hold a public hearing to potentially approve a new MDA for the project that has incorporated the changes recommended by the working groups. The Planning Commission’s approval of the item would merely represent a recommendation for the city council, which would ultimately vote for final approval of both the MDA and the annexation application.