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Incorporation 'leftovers' want a community council

The Holladay-Cottonwood incorporation has a group of residents to the south wanting to assert their independence.

A parcel of land to the south of the pending incorporation, between I-215 and 6600 South, was left out of the incorporation. Come Jan. 1, when the incorporation officially takes place, that land, plus a spur to the south, will be all that's left of the old Holladay-Cottonwood Community Council.Now some residents of the leftover area want to create their own community council. They don't want to include the spur, because 6600 South constitutes the boundary between the Granite and Jordan school districts as well as voting precincts. That makes it a cleaner and, residents say, more appropriate community council boundary.

Another reason: The residents in that area north of 6600 South have never gotten along with the Cottonwood Heights residents to the south.

There are various reasons for the animosity, including Cottonwood Heights' erstwhile desire to put an arterial road through the area, but suffice it to say the Holladay-Cottonwood leftovers, at least to 6600 South, don't want to become part of Cottonwood Heights any time soon. That possibility is more likely with the incorporation.

"We just want to have some say in our future," resident Dale Howells said.

In 1991, residents in the area between I-215 and 6600 South voted to become part of the Holladay-Cottonwood Community Council rather than Cottonwood Heights. However, the spur was largely unpopulated then, so people there largely didn't participate and don't have the historical distaste for Cottonwood Heights that the others do.

There are other reasons to form a new community council. Holladay-Cottonwood incorporation sponsors promised the Legislature to annex more residential area soon after incorporation to make up for a tax surplus from the Cottonwood Mall -- and the leftover community council area would be a good place to start.

Sandy is also eyeing the unincorporated area, and Salt Lake City is talking about annexing the entire unincorporated area on the east bench to maintain the integrity of its water system there.

Howells and fellow resident Frank Lewis say they're not necessarily opposed to annexation by any of those entities but want to be organized so that they can make good decisions when the time comes.

The area is attractive to nearby cities because it includes the tax-rich Cottonwood Corporate Center. In fact, the Cottonwood Corporate Center was originally included in Holladay-Cottonwood proposals but had to be cut out because it would have created a huge budget surplus for the new city, something not legally allowed.

The County Commission on Tuesday gave the go-ahead for residents to explore new community council options. Howells said if residents of the spur feel strongly about being part of the new community council, even though they are in a different voting precinct and school district, they might be included.