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Herriman Journal

Herriman City Council votes to annex Olympia Hills

Sep 30, 2021 03:36PM ● 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]

The Herriman City Council voted on Wednesday to approve an annexation application and a master development agreement for the Olympia Hills development, by a vote of 3-2.

The 900+ acre development was given the green light by the county last year, despite protest from local leaders, including the Herriman City Council. Once the project became inevitable however, the council turned its attention to negotiating with the developer. 

Over the course of this year, city council members and city staff have met with the developers and hammered out a number of changes to the master development agreement, a contract that governs the development of a specific project. 

Council Member Stephen Shields described the negotiations as an “exhausting process.”

“As the drafts of the MDA started to come out, we recognized early on, a list of problems that we’d identified in other master development agreements that had been signed in our city… Early on, we identified and corrected almost all of those. Further drafts down the road corrected all of those issues,” he said. 

He cited a number of improvements made to the MDA, from the details of infrastructure financing to more thorough open space requirements.

“There are many many other advantages and improvements that have been made to this development agreement that did not exist in the county’s version,” he said. 

Council Member Clint Smith talked about the importance of creating more housing supply for the next generation.

“I saw a report today that the median home price in Salt Lake has gone up another 26% in the last year, to now over $450,000. And I think to myself, how in the world will our children be able to survive if these kinds of trends continue in the future. Whatever your definition of high-density housing is, I do know that we know all types of housing available in our community to give everyone an opportunity to be a part of our community,” he said. 

Council Member Sherrie Ohrn, who was one of the two votes against, said that despite the improvements to the MDA, there was still just too much density for her liking.

“This is 70-30, multi family vs single family. I personally think it’s irresponsible to do this. There’s no provision that mandates any kind of affordable housing. It’s concerning to me,” she said.

Council Member Jared Henderson, who cast the other vote against, also felt that there wasn’t enough of a fundamental change from the MDA passed by the County.

“It’s not just a mistake, it’s a permanent mistake,” Henderson said. “One that will irreparably harm Herriman residents but the residents of the city that surrounds us.”

Mayor Watts said, in conclusion, “While no development or agreement is perfect, I’m confident that we’ve reached a place that, based on the circumstances we found ourselves in  a year ago, is a better opportunity that will help Herriman be a place that will be one of the premier communities in the west.”





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