LAYTON -- Sledding enthusiasts who had planned on speeding down the dirt pile at Fort Lane Village this winter are going to be disappointed.
WinCo Foods has not begun construction on its 94,682-square-foot store that will be the anchor of the 22-acre Fort Lane Village, a commercial-retail center being developed at 144 S. Fort Lane and Gentile Street; however, tractors and dump trucks have been removing dirt from the vacant land.
Crews are taking the dirt to a pair of locations to build future parks throughout the city.
"This is just a very good opportunity to get dirt we need at no cost," said Dave Price, parks and recreation director.
When its original conditional-use permit expired on Oct. 26, WinCo received a six-month extension on that permit. Part of the conditions for the extension, as set by Layton's Planning Commission, was for WinCo to move the dirt at Fort Lane Village.
"Not all of the dirt is on WinCo's property, but most of it is on their property," said City Manager Alex Jensen. "It's a high percentage."
The dirt has been piled up for more than a year.
During construction of the South Layton Interchange, the Utah Department of Transportation put the dirt at the Fort Lane Village development.
"We had to get rid of it, so we agreed to put it there," said UDOT Region One spokesman Vic Saunders. "It was piled there for the use of the development."
WinCo called the developers of Fort Lane Village, who called Skyview Excavation & Grading Inc. to remove the dirt.
Doug Durbano, one of the developers of Fort Lane Village and a local attorney, said he always thought of the dirt as UDOT's dirt, although the dirt could have been beneficial for Fort Lane Village.
"WinCo could have used some of that dirt to fill in if it needed to, but it turned out that the dirt didn't qualify for appropriate fill," Durbano said. "Engineers inspected it and the dirt did not qualify."
So that left a pile of dirt with nowhere to go.
Jensen said city officials decided to facilitate what needed to be done.
"With delay in their construction, the dirt needs to be moved," Jensen said, noting the pile causes problems aesthetically as well as dust issues. "We've been working with them to allow some of it to be hauled to some of our future park sites."
Price said the city plans on putting in a park on the far west end of Weaver Lane near the Kays Creek estate. That's where the dirt was headed this week.
"There's no intention to develop the park immediately, but because we have the dirt and it does not cost the city anything, we'd like to take advantage of that," he said.
Price said the dirt will be graded and spread across the site.
Crews will also deliver dirt to 45 acres of undeveloped land east of Ellison Park, at 700 N. 2200 West.