Syracuse to explore sale of Jensen Park land

Dec 23 2011 - 11:39pm

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SYRACUSE -- City leaders have voted to take the first steps toward a potential sale of a portion of a city park they believe will be impacted by the future construction of the West Davis Corridor.

In a recent action, the council voted 4-0 to allow city staff to move ahead with the potential sale of an undeveloped portion of Jensen Park on the city's south side in anticipation that the new highway corridor will cut through the middle of the park.

If the process were to come to fruition, the city could sell a 60-acre parcel south of the proposed corridor route and a 20-acre parcel north of the planned highway.

Neither parcel is currently developed. The parcels are located near 1375 West and 3700 South.

City Manager Robert Rice advised council members that the process would be a long one and the vote simply authorized city staff to initiate it. He said any negotiations for the property would be done in future executive sessions and then finalized in a public session.

Only one person spoke at a public hearing on the proposal. T.J. Jensen, a planning commissioner whose family sold the land to the city for park development in 2002, urged leaders to look at possible options for the land before moving forward.

City leaders broke down the costs of the park and property into two different categories. The developed portion of the park, which is approximately 20 acres, cost $276,000 to purchase. But officials estimate more than $3.7 million was spent to develop and improve the area.

The 60-acre parcel of undeveloped park was purchased for $2.1 million using park impact fees.

In a work session before the public vote, several officials questioned how potential funds from the sale would be used. There has been discussion about putting revenue back into a fund to be used for other city parks.

The details of any potential move to sell the property will be impacted when the Utah Department of Transportation releases its proposed corridor route for the highway, which is expected to extend from Centerville to Ogden.

City officials have described park property potentially impacted by the expected corridor as orphan parcels.

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