Founded in 1871, the area was first used by nomadic bands of Paiute, Shoshone, and Bannock Indians who roamed along the base of the mountains as they traveled from their winter home at Utah Lake to their summer fishing grounds at Bear Lake. Sandy Utah is located at the base of the Wasatch Mountains, fifteen miles south of Salt Lake City. Permanent settlers moved to Sandy during the 1860's, first to distance themselves from the hustle and bustle of the Salt Lake Valley, then as a hub for the silver mining in Little Cottonwood Canyon. After the mines failed in the 1890's Sandy did not become a "ghost town" as history has shown in other places, it reinvented itself as an agricultural town. During the 1970's the community began to really take shape!
Historic Sandy, known to many natives as "the original mile", many rumors circulate as to how it got it's name. Known for it's thirsty soil or maybe after the "colorful Scotsman" Alexander "Sandy" Kinghorn, the engineer who ran the first train-line to the south end of the Salt Lake Valley, or maybe "Sandy Station", do to the old railroad track that used to haul ore and other products in and out of the area. Not matter, the name stuck and it found itself on the map. Fast forward, 2015. Those old railroad tracks are still in use, but instead of freight it's become lite-rail, "TRAX", UTA now owns the rails and they've purchased some land, and with the help of Sandy's elected, and un-elected (WFRC the "Deputy Mayor" "Senior Adviser" and Panning/Zoning Department, Envision Utah), just to name a few, they want to have the zoning changed to accommodate their high density building projects. Although Historic Sandy has gone through many changes over the years, for the most part it has retained it's integrity, 51 sites of which have previously been listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Knowing this, why does Sandy City hierarchy want to erase history?
Truth is, there's a lot of money to be made in the Transit Oriented Development (TOD) being peddled by UTA and the Federal Government through The Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Federal Transit Administration. Sandy officials claim, "the city is built out", so they are going for broke, attaching themselves to the udder of the federal tit and resorting to crony capitalism to line their pockets at every level of government. What is UTA doing in the property development business anyway? The "quasi-public-private agency", subsidized with Utah Tax Payer dollars, legitimizes it's shady development deals as "profit sharing" as it leases the land to developers and pockets the profits. The developers also encourage higher density too, since the government subsidies make it more feasible. It makes it hard to follow the bread crumbs, but they lead right into the spiders web! In a 2009 article Mayor Tom Dolan, and then Council Member turned Chief Administrative Officer, Byron Jorgenson said, "[there is] concern that the streets in the area would not be able to handle so much additional traffic" and "the Federal Government is notorious for promoting high-rise housing that turns into slums, [we] don't want that in Sandy." Although, as I mentioned in a previous post, the two have no problem whatsoever in building just that, (The Cairns 2- 25 story high-rises with surrounding buildings with 6 levels), and from what I found in their documents, it could be worse than that, as there are frequent mentions of "high-rise" buildings in multiple locations, one in which they call "The Ultimate Base Camp." (Use your imagination here). What made these "saps" sell out? They are bringing these problems to Sandy! Traffic congestion and slums to boot!
We do have one thing to be thankful for, and that is that homeowners in the vicinity of 10600 South and 300 East packed the Sandy City Chamber Tuesday Night (November 10) to oppose the project which resulted in tabling the Transit Oriented High Density Development 5-2. Councilman Chris McCandless, also a developer, advocated that, "the project would actually help traffic, and it would cover less area than single family homes and would interfere less with neighbors' views." Although neighbors argue the plan would bring more traffic to already overloaded 10200 and 10600 South and surrounding neighborhoods. They said, "exiting and entering those streets already requires long waits and plenty of accidents and near collisions." Jim Duffin said, "I get religion every time I enter that street!" Council Chairman Stephen Smith said, "the burden on the developer is unfair for the improvements the city seeks and that is why they must build high-density to pay for it!" The council is requiring a traffic study by the engineers and the developer before approving the re-zoning. SAVE YOUR MONEY! THE RESIDENTS OF SANDY HAVE TESTIFIED, "THE TRAFFIC IS MADNESS ALREADY!" Good job on this one Sandy residents, let's keep this on our radar screen and call and email our representatives and give them an ear full on this!
Utah, Developers and the Utah Legislature:
In 2009 Wasatch Property Management (Loy Hansen) won a bid for the Civic Center TRAX station project. Several contracts have been awarded to Boulder Ventures (Jeffrey Vitek - Foursquare Development), although a project in Draper was not completed by Vitek he has also not reimbursed the funds fronted him by UTA, but nevertheless UTA continues to award him contracts. Previous deals with Vitek have also received scrutiny in a 2014 Legislative Audit, despite the criticism, the Utah Legislature passed SB272 in which UTA has authority to become a development partner, but is limited to 5 partnerships at a time. No matter. UTA is expanding it's role from bus and train service provider to developer. If you listen to what UTA and the Developers are telling us, it's all about Transit Oriented Development (TOD), where the housing developments promote mixed-use, high-density units that double or even triple the current allowed density. If you haven't heard by now it's a United Nations Plan called Agenda 21, or the Agenda for the 21st Century, or as it's been re-branded now since Obama's announcement, Agenda 2030, Sustainable Development, Smart Growth. The higher the density, the bigger the subsidy from the Federal Government. Hansen, when asked about units per acre said, "it's more expensive to build high density projects. The break-even point is 23 units per acre (Sandy High Density Zoning was 15 unites per acre in 2009) so, the higher the density the better chance you have of qualifying for government subsidies." UTA recommends at least 30 units per acre, but could rise to 60 units per acre. UTA's Kathy Olsen said, "all federal programs for TOD insist on density." In the words of a Deseret News reader,
"So, how does UTA acquire so much wealth they can now abuse the use of taxpayer funds as developers? The UTA has no business in city development, and are acting like the old time train barons who put up cities wherever they run their tracks."
My thoughts exactly "Fraud and Abuse!" I've said it in previous posts! It's the plan! The perfect plan if you're UTA and the Wasatch Front Regional Council. And even Sandy City's 30 Year Plan states,
"streets are intended to be outdoor rooms, associated to and interactive with the buildings. The street system will be designed to: PRIORITIZE walking, bicycling and transit use. Support the use of streets as public space for social interaction and community life, be outdoor rooms that enhance ecological function!"
Have you heard anything more absurd? And, not sure if you noticed, there is no mention of cars! Not to mention the 2 cars for every "family" they want living in those high-density developments! Have you tried to navigate Sandy City on Real/Rio Tinto Event Nights? I've said this before but, that's the plan...to get you out of your car, or SUV, whatever the case may be. They will make it more difficult for you to drive your car on the streets your tax dollars pay for, because the plan calls for less lanes for vehicles, more lanes for bikes and pedestrians, you heard that right! There are even artist renderings showing this. In one rendering Sandy uses, there is even a horse! Sandy's Plan also talks about the maximum steps (1800 ft. max 1200 ft. min.), people are willing to walk, and this is why the high-density development is being built within walking distance of TRAX and Front Runner.This is not unique to Sandy Utah either. You can find a carbon copy of this Agenda in every city along the Wasatch Front and beyond. Cottonwood Heights, Dhabi, Ottawa..."any-town USA." Only problem is SANDY IS ON STEROIDS! (Check out some of my YouTube Videos for signs of this). If we mobilize now and stay vigilant we can stop the rest of the Agenda at 10600 South 300 East, at the North End Historic District, and coming in the future East on 9400 South to the Canyon. Educate yourself and your neighbors. It's great to hear about a good turnout at Tuesday's City Council Meeting! Let's keep momentum on our side. Keep Sustainable Development out and protect our private property rights.
As far as I'm concerned, TRAX has done more damage than it has good. I had a small business in downtown Salt Lake City across from the Gateway Shopping Center and down the street from the Road Home. The homeless, and others, are using TRAX to commute to every city down the line to panhandle and commit crime, (the Library is high on their list too. Ever wonder why Salt Lake City Library has such a high rate of child molestation)? Don't forget, Draper's Library is also on the TRAX line! The TRAX parking lots are magnets for theft, vandalism and assaults. UTA "Police" visit lots periodically, peek in vehicles to check for valuables, if they find them, they tag your vehicle with a bright yellow card giving theirves and vandal the "heads up! This one is ripe for the pickin'" signal! The trains cause more traffic jams than they alleviate. The traffic jams at 10:00 p.m. on 11400 South East bound between State Street and 300 East are ridiculous! And if they don't keep the skids greased they are NOISY! Can anyone say "noise pollution?" And the CRONYISM, need I say more?
Just a word or two on government and the un-elected boards, 501c3's, planning commissions and appointed positions. Let's weed them out! Government is to big and impersonal anyway. And there's nothing worse than taking dictates from people you had no say in appointing, our tax dollars are going to support, whether through dues or wages. No city really needs a planning department. All they do is add to the code and find ways to collect taxes, fees, penalties and limit what you can do with your property. These items can easily be taken up with the city council. They work for us and should be attentive when we come for redress. If our city officials are listening to the dictates of Non Governmental Organizations like Envision Utah and The Wasatch Front Regional Council we should give them a warning to dis-associate, or they won't be re-elected. When they survey 400 people out of 87,000 to convince you of their plan for you, you tell them you want a re-count! We pay taxes so we can be informed and included in the planning of our cities. Mayor Tom Dolan is front and center on the Wasatch Front Regional Council. A council that includes elected officials from all across the Wasatch Front, that pay dues, city money, to sit on this NGO, and those other city officials are voting to decide what goes on in your city not you. The participants bring home WFRC/Envision Utah Plans (Agenda 21 Plans) and feed them to your council members as the authority in what should happen in your city. Don't stand for it! At every turn tell him you know and you want them off the COG, and to stop giving them your tax dollars. Vote Dolan and those who are complicate out. Research your Utah representatives and whenever possible expose their wrong-doing.
Listen- I'm not opposed to development, but not in the United Nations sense. But, when Mayor Dolan is quoted as saying "We need it for our tax base, we need it for the vitality of the area. We need it to bring jobs here,the office building so people can live, work and play close to their jobs." I say, "we already have a Salt Lake!" If we want Salt Lake, and all the comes with that, we could move 15 miles North! Better yet, just visit, or commute to your hearts delight! The first families that vacated the Salt Lake Valley to inhabit the South end, Sandy area, moved here to get away from the hustle and bustle of Salt Lake. It didn't keep the town from changing and expanding, but people liked homesteading here because it was a slower pace community, a place you could have some elbow room. We can still have the necessities, but we don't need it in the "Salt Lake City" kind of way. And, when corruption and cronyism take root, you get what Sandy has got now, mob rule by elite gangsters. Sandy citizens can put a halt to all the unnecessary development that the elites are forcing on them right now, and I think we should.
Like Benjamin Franklyn said, "We have a Republic, if we can keep it!" We can, and we should!
Learn more about Agenda 21/Agenda2030 in my other blog posts.
Sorry folks! I had to re-post because Blogger was messing with my formatting! Every time I opened the blog post something was changed. Please share the new link.