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Extension of Layton street thwarted

Syracuse allows development in Hill Field corridor

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LAYTON — When west Hill Field Road was extended one mile west of Wal-Mart in the fall of 1997, city officials hoped the 100-foot-wide highway would one day be advanced even farther to Syracuse's 1000 West and provide traffic relief for Gordon and Gentile streets. However, Syracuse has now allowed subdivision development along that potential highway corridor, halting that dream.

City Manager Alex Jensen said Layton's "gentleman's agreement" with Syracuse city officials didn't work.

"In hindsight, we should have asked for a written agreement," he said.

"It was a surprise to us," Scott Carter, Layton Community Development director, said.

Syracuse hired a consultant for its highway planning who advised the city its north-south roads were critical but the east-west access wasn't, Carter said.

"Thus, the (Hill Field Road) corridor was cut off."

Layton had hoped west Hill Field Road could be extended straight west about 1.5 miles to 3700 West and connect with Syracuse's 1000 West Street. That was considered important because west Hill Field Road was a wide highway with no residential development along it and it also has a straight connection with I-15, something neither Gentile nor Gordon streets have.

Jensen believes the road can still be extended west in the future but it won't have the direct access Layton envisioned. In fact, he said an extension of the road will probably now have to taper down in width since it will probably only be connecting with side roads in Syracuse now, not 1000 West.

This recent action by Syracuse is ironic because a lot of the traffic along Layton's Gentile and Gordon streets is being produced by Syracuse residents.

Councilman Stuart Adams believes it is critical the city find a way to get traffic onto Hill Field Road when it is extended or Gentile and Gordon streets will be further congested when both west Layton and Syracuse develop more.

During some public hearings in Syracuse in 1996, many residents along 1000 West objected to a possible extension of Hill Field Road. They feared the increase in traffic and the possible property condemnation the major road would bring.

Jensen said part of the problem is elected city officials change over time. The leaders in Syracuse during the mid-1990s felt the extension of Hill Field Road was a good idea, but those in leadership now apparently don't.

E-mail: lynn@desnews.com