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Both sides disavow gravel-pit flier

Anonymous handout says a 'yes' vote will bring 3 restaurants

Dueling groups in Sandy have found something to agree upon.

The Boyer Co. and Save Our Communities, which are on opposite sides of a fight over development at a former gravel pit at 9400 South and 1000 East, both have renounced an anonymous flier that says certain restaurants will fill the development if voters approve a zoning change.

The flier, which was distributed on light green paper and stark black typeface, claims that a "yes" vote for the gravel pit referendum will net voters a Cafe Rio, The Cheesecake Factory and In-N-Out Burger. Two of the restaurants — The Cheesecake Factory and In-N-Out Burger — do not have stores along the Wasatch Front, and the third — Cafe Rio — is not necessarily a potential tenant for the former gravel pit site, Boyer Co. employees said Tuesday.

"We don't want to create the idea that those folks are there," said Scott Verhaaren, a partner at Boyer. The company generally does not release the names of prospective tenants until it signs leases with them — "we wish that (the flier) weren't out there because we don't have any signed agreements with those people."

Robyn Bagley, an SOC member, said that the nameless flier is an underhanded trick meant to make campaigning for her group more difficult.

"We certainly know that people oppose us (and) that they don't agree with our opinions," Bagley said. Instead, she invited opponents to "come out of the shadows and make yourselves known — campaign fairly."

SOC has been battling against a proposed development at the former gravel pit at 9400 South and 1000 East. The Boyer Co. wants to fill the 107 acres with a Wal-Mart, Lowe's Home Improvement Store, smaller stores, restaurants, 317 housing units, and trails. SOC, however, has long held that the big-box retailers — as Wal-Mart and Lowe's are known — are wrong for the spot, would crowd roads and would siphon money from existing stores.

Earlier this year, SOC fought and won the right to hold a citywide referendum on a zoning change that Sandy City Council approved to allow Boyer's development. The group has asked the Utah Supreme Court to write the wording for that referendum; the court has heard arguments about rewording the referendum but has not yet ruled.


E-mail: kswinyard@desnews.com