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IN DRAPER, CHANGE BRINGS PAIN - AND PERHAPS AN EXPRESSWAY

It's become a cliche.

Little old Draper, farming community at the edge of the suburbs, overrun by progress.Almost overnight, Draper's turning into a city, a fact that is far-and-away the favorite topic of discontent nowadays.

The latest burst of noise is from a group of newcomers who are shocked to see what someday could well be a six-lane expressway going in a few hundred feet from their back yards.

The focus of controversy is an extension of Highland Drive, going in at the base of Traverse Mountain, to serve a 1,700-home-and-golf-course project called South Ridge.

New residents of the area say they never got a chance to offer their input at City Hall before the work got its go-ahead, a claim that rankles Mayor Elaine Redd.

"I can't stand at the gateway to Draper and tell them to come down to City Hall and find out what's going on," said Redd. "They've got to do that on their own."

Homeowners from the southeast corner of town showed up en masse this week at a council vote on whether to accept the terms of a deal in which South Ridge's developers agreed to include a passel of public amenities in their project and turn them over to the city.

South Ridge's formal approval - including developers' extension of Highland Drive - was granted last year.

The problem, say residents who are up in arms, is that nobody ever told them what to expect.

Many say they're researching their options on blocking the work.

Redd said the success of such a movement is improbable, however.

"You don't stop a project after you've allowed them to go through the planning process, obtain their permits, hire somebody to build the roads," she said.