Residents turned out en masse Wednesday night to oppose the surveying of an east-west corridor highway for Highland City.
Many of the residents showed up at the City Council meeting in response to a bright orange flier that declared, "Warning. Your way of life in Highland is being threatened! The Highland City Planning Commission and City Council are moving forward rapidly, despite repeated citizen complaints, on establishing a surveyed right of way for an east-west highway to be located at approximately 9800 North."The flier also included a highlighted map detailing the proposed route for the right of way.
The City Council, however, appeared confused at the sudden outpouring of response. The city is revising its city master plan and has no intention of building a major thoroughfare.
Councilman Glen Thurgood responded to several statements by Highland residents. "There are some misconceptions about this road and its purpose," he said. "The purpose of this road is for Highland residents. It is not a freeway. It's not a highway. It's a two-lane road that collects local traffic and connects to major arterial roads outside the community."
Residents, on the other hand, are concerned that the creation of an east-west traffic corridor will create a shortcut for traffic between Lehi and Pleasant Grove.
A petition circulated by Highland residents was submitted to the City Council by Mark Hearst. The proposed corridor would run within 22 feet of Hearst's back yard.
"We do not support the proposed highway and ask that the city's master road plan be amended to remove said highway.
"We are content to live without it," the petition said. "We believe that development of this highway would be deleterious to the open, clean and peaceful quality of life we enjoy."
Councilman Brent Cook said the survey and revision of the road master plan followed questions about a right of way described in the master plan that might infringe upon the development of the Ashby Lane subdivision in Highland.
"A request was made to move the corridor. My understanding of the council's request was, instead of arbitrarily moving the road onto someone else's property, the council asked the Planning Commission to revisit the issue and see what we needed and where we needed it," Cook said.
Rep. Don LeBaron of Highland said he doubted a through road will be built in Highland. "The city does not have the money to build a road like that," he said. "Maybe in 50 years, but not any time in the near future."