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County signs off on Olympus Hills annexation

Published August 14, 2014 5:03 pm

Governance • Self-determination arguments persuasive in supporting move to Holladay.
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The 3,600 people living in Olympus Hills subdivision are now well on their way to becoming Holladay residents.

Without a dissenting vote, the Salt Lake County Council on Wednesday approved the annexation of the neighborhood — running from 3900 South to 4500 South between 2700 East and Interstate 215 — into Holladay City.

"We're eager to get in and be part of your community," annexation advocate John Bradshaw said to Holladay officials attending the County Council's public hearing at Skyline High School. "Vote as soon as possible so we can make arrangements to get in."

Done, said Holladay Mayor Rob Dahle.

The city already has scheduled its public hearing on the annexation for Sept. 4 at 6 p.m. The mayor and city council then will discuss the issue at their Sept. 11 work session, Dahle said, with final action set for Sept. 18.

Although a couple of County Council members shared personal reservations about the wisdom of moving from the unincorporated county into a city, all agreed that annexation supporters represented a solid majority of subdivision residents and had fulfilled every legal obligation in a demanding process.

"It's the self-determination argument that means the most for me," said County Council Chairman Michael Jensen, whose district is largely made up of two west-side unincorporated communities, Magna and Kearns. "A vast majority of that area wants to go into Holladay City, so I'll vote yes."

That's the way it should be, said Susan Pohlman, one of more than two dozen area residents who spoke at the county's public hearing. Two-thirds favored annexation.

"We have met every single bar put in front of us. We've gone through every step in a lengthy, 18-step process. We've satisfied any reasonable protest," said Pohlman, who carried annexation petitions door-to-door through her neighborhood.

"The people in this small little area have spoken," she added. "They don't want to be denied the right to self-determination and want to go into Holladay."

Involving 12 square miles, the Olympus Hills move is by far the largest of six annexation efforts underway or recently completed in the valley, said Kimberly Barnett, Mayor Ben McAdams' intergovernmental coordinator.

Last month, Sandy City approved two small annexations in neighborhoods around Willow Creek Country Club, including 127 parcels around Oak Valley Drive. Herriman also completed the annexation of a small area.

Two petitions to move into Cottonwood Heights are still going through the process, Barnett said. One involves a neighborhood development above Wasatch Boulevard near the mouth of Little Cottonwood Canyon, the other is a more densely settled neighborhood around Oakdale Elementary School, 1900 E. Creek Road (8100 South).


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