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The public is invited to a hearing Tuesday night to discuss the proposed creation of a redevelopment area for an automobile mall between 10600 and 11000 South and between State Street and I-15 in Sandy.

The 7 p.m. hearing in City Council Chambers at City Hall, 440 E. 8680 South, is "a real big deal," said City Council Executive Director Phil Glenn. "This is the public hearing where people can come and complain."He said the hearing could become noisy if people decide to protest the proposed project area, but he thinks most area property owners already have agreed to the plan, so the meeting probably will be fairly quiet.

The auto mall, which would bring together several auto dealers in a single shopping area, already is the subject of a potential $5.6 million lawsuit against the city.

Wood-be mall developer Paul Jensen, owner of PMJ Enterprises, has filed a notice of claim against the city, contending that city officials illegally took confidential information he'd prepared and furnished it to another potential auto mall developer, Woodbury Corp., giving Woodbury an unfair edge that helped it to acquire much of the property needed to move ahead on the auto mall. Woodbury and city officials have denied the allegations.

Sandy City Council members say they won't officially be designating anyone as the auto mall developer - they'll just create the redevelopment area, set standards and then work with whichever developer can acquire the necessary land and meet the requirements.

When the city designates the auto mall redevelopment area - to be known as the Civic Center South Neighborhood - it will divert most of the property taxes paid by property owners within the area from the agencies that normally would receive the money and instead pump the dollars back into the project area for several years to do such things as build new roads into the auto mall.

The theory is that this subsidy of business will pay off in greater tax revenues down the road by stimulating development that wouldn't occur otherwise. Woodbury Corp. officials have stated they won't be able to develop the auto mall unless it is a redevelopment project, because it won't be financially feasible without the tax increment financing.