Two major projects received site-plan approval from Orem's City Council Tuesday despite residents' concerns about the already taxed Sandhill Road and the need for more traffic signals on the 1300 South artery.

The proposed 181,776-square-foot Lake Pointe Shopping Center, between 200 and 400 West and 1200 and 1300 South, and 134,442-square-foot Home Depot project, between 400 West and the Wal-Mart property, will bring more traffic to an area already overwhelmed by development, neighbors said.Westar Associates, represented by Peter Koetting, presented a site plan for Home Depot that involved linking a new road (1450 South) to Sandhill Road from 400 West.

Lake Pointe representatives promised stoplights will be put in through a cooperative effort that will help both areas.

Residents in the Home Depot area argued that Sandhill is a small rural road and is too narrow and underdeveloped to support more traffic.

"If you're going to bring in more, then Sandhill needs to be four lanes wide," said Steve Simpson, a resident.

"My recurring nightmare is that we add to the troubles on Sandhill without addressing the concerns there," said Councilwoman Judy Bell.

Mayor Stella Welsh said the Utah Department of Transportation has advised the city that traffic cannot continue to be "dumped onto 1300 South forever" and other options will have to be worked out.

"I don't see how we can go with only one access," said the mayor after Councilman Steve Heinz suggested approving the Home Depot site plan without allowing the connection of the new road to Sandhill Road.

City staff members advised that the cost to improve Sandhill will be around $2.3 million and will not happen "for a while."

"Maybe this will provide the needed push to make Sandhill a priority," said Bell.

Koetting said that in meetings between Westar and UDOT, officials agreed to install signals at both 400 West and 200 West once the warrants prove the need is there.

Lake Pointe representative Lew Swain, of the Boyer Co., said the warrants will be filled almost as soon as the shopping center goes in. Home Depot officials agreed.

The companies, along with BAT Investments, the investment arm of WordPerfect Corp., will pay for installing the new lights.

"Every two blocks you'll have a signal," explained Richard Manning, Orem public works director. "Every interim block you'll have a right in, right out access."

Both projects' requests were approved including the use of unusual building materials for structures within redevelopment agency areas.

Lake Pointe has one tenant who uses a trademark red glossy aluminum tower sign, said Swain, but it would be tasteful and blend with the architecture of the rest of the center's buildings.

Home Depot will be using an anodized aluminum material for its storefront.

"It will not be a metal building?" asked Welsh. Officials for Westar assured her it would be attractive.

In addition, both projects were approved subject to providing answers to questions about lighting and landscaping compatible to the neighborhoods around them.