Heights mayor expects lawsuit over 100 East construction
March 26, 2009 | RIVER HEIGHTS -- Litigation may be
imminent for the city, as unhappy residents seek help
from the state's ombudsman office regarding property
acquisitions required to complete the development of
100 East Street where it borders River Heights.
"We're walking a tightrope with our property," said
Pat Trostle. Her lot sits adjacent to 100 East Street
and according to the Federal Environmental Impact Statement
(FEIS) conducted prior to beginning the development,
8,000 or more vehicles per day would pass the Trostle
home on a road that has not previously existed.
Trostle provided the City Council with photos of large
construction equipment next to the home and said the
work, which begins at 7 a.m. and continues until 9:30
p.m., makes living conditions unacceptable to her.
"It seems like whatever happens, we're going to court,"
said Mayor Bill Baker after reading a written request
submitted by Trostle. The request included items such
as Trostle's relocation at the city's expense during
the construction, which could take over a year, and
restoration of property damage caused by a temporary
use easement to allow equipment access through Trostle's
lot and the following construction.
Trostle also objected to the council's decision on
the location of a gate that will prevent traffic from
entering 500 South Street from 100 East Street. The
city chose the location of the gate to be set far enough
off of 100 East Street to allow emergency vehicles to
pull onto 500 South Street in order to unlock the gate
for emergency access. Trostle claimed the FEIS clearly
stated the gate was to be at the intersection and would
otherwise compromise "our little road."
"It's not your little road, it's River Heights' road,"
Baker said in frustration.
Councilman Blake Wright, who works closely with the
Planning and Zoning Commission, said the FEIS did not
specify that the gate had to be at the intersection
and that was Trostle's interpretation.
The council also considered the need for access to
a piece of property owned by Jim Lundall in the location
of the gate. Lundall does not live on 500 South Street.
Trostle, unhappy that the needs of a Logan resident
were being considered by the council, made reference
to the FEIS but was unable to cite the gate location
requirement when asked by Wright.
"I don't know that we have to get into everyone's
personal problems," said Councilwoman Francine Davis,
who agreed with Baker that the council's obligation
was to all 1,670 residents of River Heights and the
best interest of the community as a whole.
"There's a lot of emotion attached with this," said
Councilman Rob Gines. "We're getting pulled into something
that's like a playground fight at an elementary school…
that's what it feels like."
In other matters, the council unanimously passed a
new Wireless Telecommunication Facility ordinance following
the clarification of language pertaining to "unacceptable
risk." The council discussed the limited locations within
the city where a tower could be placed which would have
to be 200 feet or "two city lots" from any residential
dwellings, according to Wright.
There are several locations within Heber Olsen Park
where a cellular tower could be constructed but it "wouldn't
be in the center of the park," Wright said.
"It couldn't go there," Gines said, "it's the outfield
of the baseball diamond."