KAYSVILLE -- A large group of residents in the southern part of this city want to make sure state transportation officials know that the potential impact of the West Davis Corridor is personal and does matter.
A group of nearly 200 people gathered Thursday night at approximately 350 East and 950 North to hold a short rally and vocalize their opposition to one of two options proposed by the Utah Department of Transportation for the highway, which could link Centerville to Ogden.
"How is this not personal?" was the question on one of the many banners in the area. On several occasions the group chanted, "Save millions, go west."
Dave Austin, one of the organizers of the rally, said the cost differential between a proposed route along Shepherd Lane and one farther west along Glovers Lane is significant. But more importantly, he said, the western route would result in the loss of only one home in the Kaysville portion of the route, while the Shepherd ane option would claim 10 homes. He said the impact would also be significant for any homes left in the region, should the corridor go along the eastern route.
"We still feel like the best option is the Glovers Lane option," Austin said.
Austin and rally supporters have already posted two billboards along Interstate 15 to push the western option, and they promised a letter-writing campaign to make sure their voices are heard at every level of state government.
UDOT is currently in the process of preparing a draft environmental impact statement, which is due for release later this summer. Public hearings will follow the release of that outline.
Once the hearings are held, officials are scheduled to come out with a final EIS in late fall this year or spring 2013.
Mayor Steve Hiatt joined the rally and renewed his support for the route farther west. He suggested the social impact of the Shepherd Lane route is more important than the impact on wetlands from a route farther west.
Rhett Kasparian, one of the many neighbors at the rally, realizes UDOT has a tough decision in trying to finalize a route for the proposed corridor, but he said holding the rally is important for the southern Kaysville neighborhood.
"I'd like to know, when the final decision is made, that I did everything in my power to influence the decision," Kasparian said. He said the issue has brought the neighborhood together.
The corridor route is being highly contested throughout the county. Hiatt acknowledes his support for the western option puts him at odds with city officials in nearby Farmington, who deliberated extensively on both options, before expressing support for the Shepherd Lane route, because it has the least impact on that community.
Austin said a fourth-grader wrote to Gov. Gary Herbert and shared his concerns that choosing the Shepherd Lane option through this community, instead of the Glover Lane option, would make wetlands and mosquitos more important than people.