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BOSAC offer refused

Patrick Parkinson, Of the Record staff

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has rejected an offer from the Basin Open Space Advisory Committee to purchase about 410 acres of land the church owns west of State Road 224 near the Utah Olympic Park.

The project could be the next battleground for fights between pro- and anti-development factions in western Summit County.

A watchdog group pushed BOSAC to purchase a conservation easement for the property to prevent another large, mixed-use development at Kimball Junction.

When reached this week, a spokesman for the LDS Church wouldn’t confirm whether the property has sold.

But a roughly $25 million offer to purchase the land from BOSAC, a group that strives to preserve open space in western Summit County, was turned down, Summit County Commissioner Bob Richer said.

Instead, church officials chose to sell the land to The Boyer Company, a development firm based in Salt Lake City that built the Redstone Towne Center at Kimball Junction, Richer said.

"It’s their property and they’ve chosen to sell to someone else," he said in a telephone interview.

The development of the property is the "number one concern" of Citizens Allied for Responsible Growth, a local environmental watchdog group.

"The last proposal we’ve seen for this piece of property was a reckless and irresponsible proposal that will do great harm to this community," said John Tuerff, president of Citizens Allied for Responsible Growth. "It is a disaster."

Church officials in the past suggested have constructing a school surrounded by dense residential and commercial development on the land, Tuerff said, adding that roughly 800,000 square feet of building space has been discussed for the site in the past.

But road arteries at Kimball Junction already are clogged, he added.

"It will add an amazing amount of traffic to an intersection that has the most problems in Summit County," Tuerff said about the Landmark Drive/S.R. 224 intersection.

Officials at The Boyer Company were not available for comment.


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