Olympia Hills – the high-density development project that Herriman residents fought to keep out their city last year – may get built after all.
When the development was first proposed, the people of Herriman fought tooth-and-nail to keep it out of their city, expressing concerns about the effects it would have on population density and congestion.
They narrowly won that battle; on June 15, 2018, then-Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams vetoed the development, telling the crowd: “Sometimes slowing down makes sense. The proposal as it stands right now needs to change.”
McAdams, however, is in Washington now, and the development group behind Olympia Hills is trying to get into Herriman once more.
Residents and officials of Herriman and its neighboring communities have already started to raise a protest against the planned project, with some even citing it as a reason for the town to secede from Salt Lake County altogether.
But the developer behind the project, Doug Young, says that the plan isn’t what they think. He joined KSL Newsradio’s Dave & Dujanovic today to explain his plan and why he believes it would help Herriman.
Doug Young on Olympia Hills 2.0
“This is not a subdivision,” Young says. “This is going to be a live-work-play-shop community with incredible amenities.”
By that, he says he means that Olympia Hills won’t just be a lot of high-density housing. He envisions it as an entire community that’ll bring in shopping malls, new schools, and a children’s hospital.
His plan is to work with tech companies moving into the Herriman area to set up housing and encourage the growth of Utah’s tech sector. Tech companies, he says, will be able to buy up swaths of land in Olympia Hills to set up housing for their employees.
It’s an idea some tech giants are already putting into action. Facebook is currently setting up a 59-acre village called Willow Village in Menlo Park, California, while Google is building a community in Mountain View, California.
Communities like these, Young believes, help develop the tech industry, providing better-paying tech jobs that put money in the pockets of private citizens and the economy alike.
“This community is all about tech,” Young says, explaining that he means more than just tech jobs. Young has worked with Utah State University and the Jordan School District to bring a STEM-focused school into the Olympia Hills community to train Utah’s next generation of tech experts.
By putting housing, employment, shopping, education, and essential services into a single, small area, Young believes that he’ll be able to create a self-sufficient community in which people live so close to their workplaces that they’ll be able to walk nearly everywhere they need to go.
“Think of this morning, driving to work through the snow,” Young quipped. “I mean, seriously. You can walk. Right?”
Olympia Hills will be hosting an open house tonight (March. 13th) and tomorrow (March 14th) from 6-7:30 p.m. He invites residents of Herriman to come, learn about the development, and share their thoughts, concerns, and questions about it.
More to the story
You can still catch Dave & Dujanovic’s entire interview with Doug Young on the Dave & Dujanovic podcast.
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