Sound wall, security gate are rejected
June 16, 2007
Developers of a controversial new subdivision near Jeremy Ranch called The Woods at Parley’s Lane won’t likely be allowed to construct a 600-foot sound wall and security gate at the ritzy new subdivision.
The project drew criticism Tuesday at a public hearing at the Sheldon Richins Building before the Snyderville Basin Planning Commission voted against the proposed changes to the development agreement.
The builders, Roger and Doug Knight, would like to alter their original agreement with Summit County so a sound wall can be built adjacent to Interstate 80 along roughly 600 feet of The Woods at Parley’s Lane. The subdivision, formerly known as Aspen Highlands, is situated north of the freeway and west of Jeremy Ranch near Parleys Summit.
The Knights’ development agreement allows a berm to reduce freeway noise that developers would like to extend with a sound wall.
"While the development code does not expressly forbid them, in general the county is not in favor of sound walls and berms, as they block views and impact hillsides," a report from Summit County planner Kimber Gabryszak states.
In this case, however, Gabryszak explains that the wall and its location are low enough that views from I-80 would not be greatly impacted.
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"The [Knights] were approved for a berm, and the sound wall is effectively a continuation of a berm," according to Gabryszak’s report to the Planning Commission.
But the 18-foot tall sound wall would bounce freeway noise into other neighborhoods, critics complained.
The wall, however, is necessary because traffic volumes on Interstate 80 have increased, builders claimed, adding that more than 200 trees would be planted in front of the wall to hide it from sight.
Meanwhile, the Basin Planning Commission also rejected a proposal for a security gate at the entrance to The Woods at Parley’s Lane that developers didn’t originally plan for.
The Summit County Commission will make the final decision about whether the gate and sound wall should be built at the subdivision where 47 new houses are slated for construction.