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Southwest SLCo residents want referendum to stop high-density housing plans

SALT LAKE COUNTY – South Salt Lake Valley residents are pushing for a referendum to stop zoning for high-density housing near them.

They filed paperwork to collect 85,000 valid signatures that would put the referendum on a ballot in 2019.

But they and the county mayor want a compromise with the county council long before then.

The council’s approval of the zoning changes would allow 8,700 apartment and condo units could house 33 residents per acre.

By comparison, nearby Daybreak has 11 residents in that same amount of space.

“It adds just a lot of congestion overall, not just to the roads, but to the open spaces that we do have,” said Jason Judd of Riverton.

“They’re taking away parks and rec centers. It all just becomes more crowded.”

Judd and Scott Watson of Herriman do expect some new housing near them eventually.

“We are part of that growth, and this will be part of a brand new neighborhood that we live in,” Watson said. “We just want to make sure that the growth is properly planned out and has enough infrastructure to support it.”

In their eyes, that would include enough water, roads, and schools.

Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams, who is running for U.S. Congress in that area, doesn’t want to veto the county council’s zoning.

“What we’d like to do is bring the parties together and work, this week, to try and find something that can be acceptable,” McAdams said.

He hopes to host a town hall meeting Thursday night.

The county council wants the Olympia development to handle population surges and reduce the housing shortage.