SALT LAKE CITY — Opponents of the controversial Olympia Hills development that’s likely one day away from final approval are making a last-ditch effort to bring the massive housing development to another screeching halt.

And they’re turning to Rep. Ben McAdams, D-Utah, the former Salt Lake County mayor, to do it.

Republican legislators representing communities in southwest Salt Lake County joined together Monday to send a letter to McAdams, begging him to use his “political influence” to convince the Salt Lake County Council or his successor, Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson, to squash the project.

“We are pleading with you to publicly join us in calling for the Council not to move forward or, if necessary, for the Mayor to, as you did, veto this development so that we may all work together to find a compromise solution that will not have such adverse effects for the surrounding areas,” the letter states. “We understand that you are not longer a County elected officer, but surely you have the ability to ensure that voices of your own constituents are heard and a compromise worked out.”

The letter was signed by Rep. Kim Coleman, R-West Jordan, who is running to unseat McAdams in the 4th Congressional District. It was also signed by Sen. Jake Anderegg, R-Lehi; Sen. Lincoln Fillmore, R-South Jordan; Rep. Susan Pulsipher, R-South Jordan; Rep. Candice Pierucci, R-Herriman; and Rep. Mark Strong, R-Bluffdale.

“You did the right thing in 2018 when you vetoed the project,” the letter states, referring to McAdams’ decision to veto a first iteration of Olympia Hills amid public outrage following a swift County Council vote to approve it. The veto came amid McAdams’ campaign for Congress.

“You are in a unique position now to again do the right thing for your constituents,” the legislators wrote. “We ask you to join us.”

Since McAdams’ first veto, developers and county officials negotiated on a scaled-down version of Olympia Hills — but one that is still opposed by some southwest residents and mayors.

The new version of Olympia Hills, which won a green light from the County Council in a first vote last month, downsized the proposed development from 8,700 units on 933 acres to 6,300.

The project is expected to win approval from the County Council in a final vote Tuesday. But southwest legislators hope to change that trajectory with McAdams’ help.

“We all can exert some political influence,” Fillmore said at a news conference on Utah’s Capitol Hill Tuesday. “And because of his past as the mayor and his connection within the Democratic Party, we hope he can have some political influence so that he can help us convince the Salt Lake County Council the right move here is to not move forward with the current proposal.”

Fillmore said when the letter was delivered to McAdams’ congressional office in West Jordan, staff told them McAdams was opposed to the current Olympia Hills proposal for the same reasons he vetoed the first version of the development.

McAdams, in a statement sent to the Deseret News later Monday, said while Olympia Hills isn’t a “federal decision,” he’s encouraging state and local officials to make “balanced” land use and transportation decisions.

“I vetoed the Olympia Hills development proposal when I was county mayor out of concerns I had about the proposal,” McAdams said. “My opinion hasn’t changed. I’m still opposed.”

McAdams added: “As a local planning and zoning matter now, it’s not a federal decision. I encourage state and local officials to go back to the drawing board and work together to fund the necessary transportation infrastructure and make balanced land use and transportation decisions.”

He also pointed to his efforts to address growth in Utah by seeking federal funding to double-track and electrify FrontRunner and money for other infrastructure improvements.

McAdams’ statement, however, did not directly address whether he’d be calling on Wilson to veto the project should it pass the Salt Lake County Council.

Wilson told the Deseret News Monday that she found it “rather shocking and curious” that legislators chose to “go to Washington D.C.” rather than reach out to her directly about their concerns with Olympia Hills. She noted she’s up on Capitol Hill several times a week.

Asked if she would veto the project if it clears the County Council, Wilson said she’d rather wait until the vote Tuesday. After that, Wilson said “that’s a fair question at that point.”

“It’s now the legislative body’s duty to determine where they want it to be, and we’re still in that process,” the mayor said. “Once we get through tomorrow, the question perhaps ends up being, ‘What’s the mayor’s next course of action,’ and that will be a relevant question.”

Asked if McAdams has political influence over her, Wilson said she considers the congressman an “ally,” but he doesn’t have control over her local decision-making.

“I don’t get in the middle of his day-to-day business, and vice versa. I appreciate he’s given me some arms length as it relates to my role,” she said. “So I wouldn’t consider myself a weak mayor needing Congressman McAdams to tell me what decisions might make sense as it relates to governing.”