Draft EIS Published by UDOT

This day has been long in coming. UDOT has released the draft EIS for the West Davis Corridor. What has been a long time to wait for many Farmington residents is a decision on where another freeway through Farmington will go.

Today the draft EIS shows that UDOT has chosen the Glove’s Lane and west Farmington route over the Shepard Lane route. Particularly for Farmington citizens this issue has been excruciating as neighborhoods and government have been at odds on where the road should go.

Now that a line has been drawn in the sand all sides can really go to battle over influencing UDOT’s draft decision.

See the Draft EIS here: http://www.udot.utah.gov/westdavis/documentation#draft_eis

Enjoy reading the 1444 page document.

What’s next? A 90 day comment period for public opinon. Comment should be sent to westdavis@utah.gov or by web form at http://www.udot.utah.gov/westdavis/get_involved#contact

City Council General Election Results 2011

From http://www.daviscountyutah.gov/clerkauditor/elections/election_results/. 4578 total votes were cast in Farmington. Congratulations to Nelson Michaelson, Cory Ritz, and James Young.

  • Nelsen Michaelson (1187 votes – 25.93%)
  • Cory R Ritz (1061 votes - 23.18%)
  • James Madison Young (966 votes – 21.10%)
  • Dustin Siler (619 votes – 13.52%)
  • Tyler Turner (459 votes – 10.03%)
  • Justin LeCheminant (259 votes – 5.66%)

Cory Ritz – 2011 Farmington City Council Candidate

Farmingtoncitizens.org has invited all 2011 Farmington City Council candidates to respond to questions sent to them by email. As a candidate responds his answers will be published.

In which Farmington voting precinct do you reside? (http://www.farmington.utah.gov/img/File/VOTING%208×11.pdf)

My family resides in West Farmington, Farmington voting district 1.

What is your vision for the commercial growth of west Farmington in particular and for other areas of Farmington?

The commercial growth in West Farmington is largely planned to occur in the Station Park area.  The area also includes a master planned class A business park, which is on the north side of Park Lane.  I would like to see the more commercial applications stay in Station Park and its immediate vicinity; and close in to the Park Lane ramp on the north side. I believe it is the responsibility of the City to protect existing residents. As the growth transitions out toward the existing neighborhoods, I support buffering through landscaping and open space; as well as graduation of building height and use.  The quality of life in our existing residential neighborhoods needs to be preserved through proper land use and developmental controls.

Please comment on the West Davis Corridor EIS?

I am gratified that the state of Utah and UDOT are doing the EIS.  They originally were moving forward on “informal” corridor designation; requesting city support; and even some corridor preservation without the benefit of the EIS.  The EIS process was further out on their calendar.  It was at least partially through Farmington City’s refusal to “rubberstamp” UDOT’s designation of a corridor, through the middle of West Farmington, which began the EIS process to determine hopefully the best route.

Which of the current refined alternatives WDC EIS alignments do you support through Farmington (Glovers Lane or Shepard Lane) and why? (http://www.udot.utah.gov/westdavis/uploads/map/4Maps_RefinedAlternatives_AlternativesAB_1of3_FarmingtonKaysville-0.pdf)

Having been heavily involved in both Planning Commission and the City Council decision making process, I support the official Farmington position in support of the “northeast/ Shepherd Lane” option. I strongly feel this option is the best for the community of Farmington as a whole. Please see the attached letter for more information; and why I have this opinion.

http://farmingtoncitizens.org/web/letter-from-city-councilman-cory-ritz/

Given the divisive nature on the community of the WDC alternatives through Farmington how as a City leader will you help displeased residents cope with the EIS’s inevitable decision?

It is the unfortunate truth that either option will have negative impacts on some of our Farmington neighbors.  It is a UDOT decision; however, as a city leader I will work to insure that the city has as much input as we can.  We can influence, as we have done, the transportation officials to consider new ways of addressing issues to minimize the impacts to residents.  Only by minimizing impacts to Farmington residents, and maximizing the benefit to the community as a whole, can the impacts become more acceptable.

What changes if any do you want enacted in Farmington and Farmington City government?

Farmington has been well served, by both its elected leaders and the fulltime staff.  We weathered the economic downturn, and have a positive funds balance.  We did this without layoffs, reduction of city services, or raising taxes. Our various departments have been efficiently run; due to dedicated employees and managers.  As we have hired a new City Manager and Fire Chief, we tried to be mindful of Farmington’s future. However, there are always areas which can be improved. For example, we are continuing to implement ways to better communicate with, and involve our citizens.

What Farmington issues are most important to you?

The biggest reason that I chose to run for a second term on the City Council, was to see projects completed in ways that benefit Farmington residents.  The current successful launch of Station Park has good things happening, and a very positive funds balance for Farmington.  The proper planning and implementation of the surrounding commercial and business park areas is vital to our residents.  It will also affect our ability to plan; and to implement our infrastructure and capital expenditure needs. I am dedicated to using the proper use of commercial development to benefit Farmington citizens; to avoid property taxes hikes which would otherwise be required. Transportation is also a big concern. We have needs for new streets, and re-paving of many of our streets.  There is also too much pressure to plan and build multi-family housing.  While some of this is beneficial and desirable for any city, we should not be the location for all of south Davis County’s rental housing needs.  We need to continue to use our planning and zoning functions to insure that development occurs in a fashion that suits our residents.

What else do you what said about you on farmingtoncitizens.org?

Eighteen years ago we fell in love with the small town character of Farmington. Heidi and I built our house, and are raising our 10 children here. We love the people, the tree-lined streets, and the wonderful sense of community. I have worked hard to earn a reputation of exercising common sense, openness, and integrity. If you have questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me. I ask for your support, so I can continue to preserve this unique place we all call home.

Cory R Ritz
Coryritz.com

Nelsen Michaelson – 2011 Farmington City Council Candidate

Farmingtoncitizens.org has invited all 2011 Farmington City Council candidates to respond to questions sent to them by email. As a candidate responds his answers will be published.

In which Farmington voting precinct do you reside? (http://www.farmington.utah.gov/img/File/VOTING%208×11.pdf)

Just over three years ago, my wife and I moved into Farmington with our three sons from Connecticut, where we lived for nearly twenty years. We were excited to make Farmington our home as it had the feel of the small town that we moved from. We chose to live on the west side because of the rural atmosphere that it provides, knowing that at some point most of this land would eventually be developed. We are in Farmington’s Voting Precinct 1, near the Legacy Events Center.

What is your vision for the commercial growth of west Farmington in particular and for other areas of Farmington?

I have been serving on the Planning Commission for the past two years and have been able to learn a lot about the general land use plan for Farmington. I am supportive of the plan as it is designed to balance the growth of both residential and commercial development. This is key to managing the cost of providing services without raising property taxes. The town I moved from in Connecticut was resistant to commercial development and the citizens paid the cost in terms of high property taxes. (A link to the current general land use plan is below, for those readers who may be interested in it.)

http://www.farmington.utah.gov/downloads/community_development/general_land_use_plan_11x17.pdf

As a city councilman, I will continue to support the general plan with its goals of:

  • maintaining Farmington as a community with a rural atmosphere
  • preserving Farmington’s historical heritage
  • providing for harmonious, coordinated and controlled development

Please comment on the West Davis Corridor EIS?

It is difficult to summarize all of my thoughts about the West Davis Corridor. I have been following its development since I first contemplated moving to Farmington. I knew at the time I built my house there was a possibility it could be located in my proverbial “back yard”. Like most of the people who live in west Farmington, I still wonder where it will be located and how it will impact me and my family.

Which of the current refined alternatives WDC EIS alignments do you support through Farmington (Glovers Lane or Shepard Lane) and why? (http://www.udot.utah.gov/westdavis/uploads/map/4Maps_RefinedAlternatives_AlternativesAB_1of3_FarmingtonKaysville-0.pdf)

I recognize that Farmington City is one of the stakeholders who can provide UDOT with input, but the final decision is outside the control of Farmington City leaders. As a private citizen, I have expressed to UDOT my concerns about the impact this highway will have on Farmington and its citizens. I recognize that no matter which alignment UDOT eventually selects, it will impact my neighbors and friends in Farmington.

Given the divisive nature on the community of the WDC alternatives through Farmington how as a City leader will you help displeased residents cope with the EIS’s inevitable decision?

From an overall planning perspective, I support the City’s position for the Shephard Lane alternative. I know that the city has been planning for that alignment for several years and believe it will be in the best interest of the entire city to not have another major highway running down the west side of the city. I recognize that no matter which alignment UDOT eventually selects, it will impact the citizens of Farmington. I believe that as neighbors and friends, we can support those who are directly impacted and help them adjust to the disruption that this will cause in their lives.

What Farmington issues are most important to you?

There are many other issues facing Farmington as it continues to grow. I am opposed to raising taxes and want to help guide the city down the fiscally conservative path of living within our means. I also want to ensure that Farmington remains a healthy, attractive and pleasant living place for us and our children.

What else do you what said about you on farmingtoncitizens.org?

Farmington City Councilmen are responsible for making decisions about a myriad of issues. I wish I could address all of them, but they are too numerous to elaborate on in this response. We live in a culture that is impatient with complexity and one that wants quick solutions. I wish I could provide simple “sound bite” answers, but that is not reality here in Farmington. I can promise that I will be deliberate in my decisions as a representative of Farmington citizens and that I will remain true to the values that we hold dear. I invite readers to contact me personally if they would like to discuss any issues facing Farmington. You can also learn more about me by visiting my website: www.nelsenmichaelson.com.

Thank you!

Nelsen Michaelson

Justin LeCheminant – 2011 Farmington City Council Candidate

Farmingtoncitizens.org has invited all 2011 Farmington City Council candidates to respond to questions sent to them by email. As a candidate responds his answers will be published.

In which Farmington voting precinct do you reside? (http://www.farmington.utah.gov/img/File/VOTING%208×11.pdf)

I live in precinct FA11.

What is your vision for the commercial growth of west Farmington in particular and for other areas of Farmington?

I see growth as the number one challenge facing Farmington in the near and long term.  This growth entails both residential, business, and infrastructure.  When it comes to growth I feel it comes down to a balancing act, you want to plan your building and residential areas so that you can grow but also continue to provide services to your residents.  Farmington residents, myself included, expect a very high level of service from our city and I want to continue to provide them with that high level of service.

We need to allow business in to the city but at a reasonable rate, we have two areas of development that we have for future use, the full station park area and the area north of lagoon.  I would like too see businesses enter both of those areas.  But I would refuse to let a mega chain like wal-mart or target into that area.  I think
business that are in an area like the gateway are much more preferable.

We also need to consider traffic, crime, and fire when creating these business zones.  I love station park and having a place that is close when I need to shopping or want to go to a movie is great.  The cities plans to make it a walk able mall type area that is very close to frontrunner was another excellent idea.

The same can be said for residential areas.  We want growth in population and property taxes.  But with increased growth comes a heavy demand on infrastructure that can often cost more than the increased tax revenue.  So I feel our goal should be to match the residential growth with the business growth and make sure we can still provide what our citizens need and love about Farmington.  That might mean some developers or business owners might not get what they want, but we should be looking out for the long term of Farmington.

I would really like to see a long term plan come into place and at the last planning meeting I attended there was discussion over a 10 year growth plan and how to achieve the things you’ve asked about. Growth is the number one thing when I think of challenges facing Farmington in the future.  We’re moving away from the small bedroom community we were 10-20 years ago and are facing some important metropolitan questions.

Please comment on the West Davis Corridor EIS?

Since Davis and to some extent Weber County have a very limited geography we have very few transportation options.  The east side of Davis county is pretty much built out as much as it can.  This only leaves the west side for any growth.  Because of this we’ve seen rapid growth in this area.  Because of this we have seen the need for a transit option on this side of Davis county.  I feel UDOT has done a fairly good job of the EIS allowing for a wide variety of options and taking into account citizens concerns, especially those of Farmington into account.  This issue is even tricky because of the mix of federal and state laws they must deal with.  No doubt there will be hard decisions to be made, but it needs to be made now for future growth. I would prefer no freeways be built but the growth we have seen in Davis and our norther county neighbors is necessitating this move.

Which of the current refined alternatives WDC EIS alignments do you support through Farmington (Glovers Lane or Shepard Lane) and why? (http://www.udot.utah.gov/westdavis/uploads/map/4Maps_RefinedAlternatives_AlternativesAB_1of3_FarmingtonKaysville-0.pdf)

I believe the C-1 option is the best option we have available to us. It  affects less people, costs less, saves more wildlife and wetlands.  I would prefer that over the Glovers lane option (and not just because I live right off Glovers Lane).  Either option is going to result in hardship for some but the C1 is the best of the options.

Given the divisive nature on the community of the WDC alternatives through Farmington how as a City leader will you help displeased residents cope with the EIS’s inevitable decision?

While the city council can’t do everything, we need to make sure we listen and do what we can for our citizens.  I think the first thing is to listen.  People are upset and have concerns and they are extremely valid.  When we can the council should also stand up for its citizens.  I don’t want to see anyone living in Farmington get ramrodded by UDOT or the county.  I also believe education and informing people of the whats and whys involved in the decision making will greatly help.  Sometimes I feel too much heated rhetoric gets involved and if we can educate people on all the nuances and why these decisions are being made would greatly help.

What changes if any do you want enacted in Farmington and Farmington City government?

I personally think the city government is very well run, I like the openness of the council and have found.  If anything I would like to see more openness in decision making.

What Farmington issues are most important to you?

I see future growth as the biggest issue to Farmington.  This affects quality of life which I think is extremely important to preserver for Farmington.

What else do you what said about you on farmingtoncitizens.org?

I’ve lived in Farmington for 6 years and it is absolutely the best place I have ever lived.  I want to continue to see our community grow but keep its great way of life.

City Council Primary Election Results 2011

From http://www.daviscountyutah.gov/clerkauditor/elections/election_results/. The top six contestants (in bold type) move onto the general election, November 8th.

  • Nelsen Michaelson (410 votes – 24.38%)
  • James Madison Young (368 votes – 21.88%)
  • Cory R Ritz (339 votes - 20.15%)
  • Dustin Siler (274 votes – 16.29%)
  • Tyler Turner (143 votes – 8.50%)
  • Justin LeCheminant (76 votes – 4.52%)
  • Raymond M Walsh (72 votes – 4.28%)

Station Park Update

UtahBusiness.com has an article with an update on the progress of Station Park: http://utahbusiness.com/issues/articles/11462/2011/08/farmington_s_station_park_moves_closer_to_completion?from=c9508f1ad7192bf3948f06a2b7bfa048778fbbda

Sally Beauty Supply, Famous Footwear, and Tilly’s are coming to the stores south of Harmons. Some restaurants in the project will be Johnny Rockets, Settebello Pizzeria Napoletanam ParkStone, and a sushi restaurant.

Other features of the project will be a children’s play area, a fountain, Santa House for Christmas, ice skating arena, summer concerts, and live entertainment.

SLTrib Article: WDC Through Farmington

The Salt Lake Tribute has an article by Cathy Mckitrick on the WDC through west Farmington: Comments flood state agency over West Davis roadway: http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/home/51348474-76/west-udot-lane-connection.html.csp

One factual correction to the article comes from the statement, “The Shepard Lane option paves over 10 homes in Hunters Creek, while the Glover Lane route would wipe out a similar number in the Ranches subdivision farther west.” The reality is no Ranches homes will be taken but homes on Glovers Lane would be the ones to get the ax.

Kaysville Passes WDC Resolution

Kaysville City passed a resolution on the Western Davis Corridor. You can read the resolution here.

In the resolution Kaysville repeatedly mentions support of the 2001 North Legacy Transportation Corridor and 2001 study. However in item 5 the City deviates from supporting the 2001 study (and its own master transportation plan) with regard to the I-15 alignment and “strongly favors and fully supports” the Glovers Lane and westerly alignment.

Save West Farmington Rally

300-500 residents from Farmington gathered on February 28, 2011 at Eagle Bay Elementary to rally support for an I-15 WDC alignment. Cory Ritz of the Farmington City Council spoke along with Anita Todd. Maps and petitions were available for attendees. An ABC4 news crew was there with a spot on the 10PM news.

ABC4.com news article