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Mayor McAdams Works To Shrink Olympia Hills Development After Public Outcry

Photo of the Utah skyline in the area where the Olympia Hills development is proposed Labombarbe

Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams said he sees a compromise on the horizon for a controversial housing development in the southwest corner of the valley that has become a political campaign issue.

The Salt Lake County Council voted last week to rezone 932 acres just west of Herriman to clear the way for a massive residential development called Olympia Hills. The project is on hold as residents wage a campaign to stop it, arguing the development is too dense.


Plans call for 8,765 residential units, with roughly 35 people per acre. Area resident Justin Swain started an online petition to convince county officials to stop the project. He’s collected almost 13,000 signatures.

“We just want a development to be within reason and to be at a level that is consistent with the valley right now,” Swain said.

Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams did not oppose the project initially, but now he's said he wants to address the concerns. The mayor could veto the council’s decision, but he said he’d prefer to broker a new deal with the council for a smaller project. McAdams has scheduled a town hall meeting on Thursday to talk to residents about the issue.            

“Ideally it would be best if we avoided a veto and a veto override and all of that, but we could come together on something that is collaborative and that we can all support and that we can get the mayors and the city council and the residents in the south part of the valley to all support,” McAdams said.

McAdams is running against two-term Congresswoman Mia Love for the 2nd Congressional District seat. In a tweet, Love accused McAdams of pay-to-play tactics because he accepted campaign contributions from the Olympia Hills developer.

McAdams said no single supporter or contribution will influence his decision on the matter.

The Salt Lake County Council voted unanimously Tuesday to place the issue on next week's agenda. 

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