The Layton Hills Mall area has become the city's business center and this rapid commercial growth has led to Layton's traffic congestion.

But last fall the city of Layton, the Utah Department of Transportation and the Layton Hills Mall teamed up to improve the busy Hill Field Road-Gordon Avenue intersection. The result was a speedy improvement of traffic flow. Now this joint government-business effort to more quickly improve roads may be catching on.A developer wants to construct two restaurants on the east side of 400 West - across from the Red Lobster and the Training Table - and he's willing to realign 400 West to the south to improve the traffic flow in the area while he's at it.

Layton City eventually hopes to realign 400 West southward to Gordon Avenue, but according to Layton City Manager Alex Jensen, that work is part of a capital improvement plan that is three to five years away and will only happen after Gordon Avenue is widened.

Developer Scott Priest is currently negotiating with 11 homeowners to purchase their property in the area of 400 West and Gordon Avenue. He's applied with the Layton Planning Commission to rezone the affected land from residential to commercial. His plan has the potential to speed up the intersection improvements, as well as save taxpayers' money.

He presented his proposal to the planning commission earlier this month and they've continued discussion on the matter until Tuesday, Jan. 11, at 7 p.m. when a public hearing on the rezoning plan is scheduled.

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"It's an area where some people feel commercial ought to go," Jensen said, explaining the city itself has no stand on the issue at this time.

If the rezoning is approved by the planning commission, it will be forwarded to the City Council for a second public hearing and their OK. This could take place as early as Jan. 20.

Jensen also said whether Priest's plan is approved or not, the city is still committed to eventually improving the 400 West intersection.

An engineering study last spring concluded that for a traffic signal to be effective at 400 West and Gordon Avenue, the intersection itself needs to be moved south to allow more room for cars to back up. Otherwise, the traffic will interfere with the stoplight.

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