11 South Jordan homes may be bulldozed less than three years after being built

Jun 20, 2018, 6:20 PM | Updated: 9:30 pm

SOUTH JORDAN, Utah – Nearly a dozen South Jordan homeowners were stunned to find out their homes will likely be bulldozed to make way for a rebuilt intersection. The homes were only built within the last three years.

As the Utah Department of Transportation rebuilds Bangerter Highway with freeway-style interchanges, it has bought several dozen homes in recent years and taken them out to make room.

Several new homes in South Jordan may be bulldozed to make way for a new intersection alignment.

This neighborhood was only built three years ago, and homeowners said they should have been warned.

The intersection at 10400 South and Bangerter Highway has been slated to be rebuilt in four years.

Right now, according to UDOT’s preferred alignment, the southbound on ramp would be built right where 11 homes sit on Big Meadow Drive.

“It starts with the last home with a three car garage all the way down there to this 11th home right here,” said resident Lane Larkin, pointing out the homes of his neighbors proposed for demolition.

He said his family loves his Rushton Meadows neighborhood, and the people who live there.

“I like the neighbors,” he said.

UDOT may remove 11 new houses near 10400 South and Bangerter Highway to make way for a new freeway-style interchange.

He moved into his brand-new home only 21 months ago.

Larkin liked the fact that he could customize it to his liking with a granite counter upgrade, and other beautiful features.

“A home that’s not even two years old is on the chopping block,” he said in disbelief.

At the South Jordan City Council meeting Tuesday night, Larkin and his neighbors found out their 11 homes were proposed for removal under UDOT’s plan to rebuild the intersection 200 yards away.

“Everybody was devastated,” he said.

He said he understands the need for a rebuilt intersection to improve traffic flow in the rapidly-growing south end of the Salt Lake Valley. He just wished he had known when he bought the home.

“We would have bought somewhere else,” he said.

Nearby homeowners feared their property values will fall. Several homeowners KSL talked with said they moved to the new neighborhood to sink roots, raise their families and stay there for years.

“The city had to have known that something could’ve happened out here,” said resident James Bodamer.

His home was not slated for demolition, but he feared for the property values in the homes left in place, and the impact of construction on the dynamics of the neighborhood.

Residents say the city should have prevented developers from building houses in the Rushton Meadows neighborhood in South Jordan if UDOT was planning a new interchange that would force their homes to be bulldozed within 2 to 3 years.

Other neighbors felt deceived by the city and the developers.

“Obviously, we trusted in them that three years after we built our home it would still be standing,” said Angie Lindahl, who built her home in the neighborhood with her husband to raise their family.

She grew up in South Jordan, and wanted to live in her home many years.

Had they known three years ago what they know now, they would have invested in a different area.

“It definitely would have impacted us purchasing this home,” she said

UDOT’s long-term plan was public record in 2010. However, there were no specifics for the intersection at 10400 South then, and no final decision, yet.

“Until we actually know alignments, or where they’re going to be, it’s really hard to say we need to preserve this because then there’s money involved, and you don’t want to buy something you may not need,” said South Jordan city engineer Brad Klavano.

The city did not believe it could have warned homeowners that homes would be taken out in the neighborhood when it was being developed several years ago.

“It’s pretty tough to do that until we know what the impact will do, because there are property rights and development rights,” said Klavano.

“We try to avoid the situations whenever we can,” said UDOT Spokesman John Gleason. “Unfortunately it’s not always avoidable.”

UDOT officials confirmed the intersection rebuild was planned years ago, but the alignment was not.

“You can see a need for a project, but without the funding, without the environmental studies, without the design it’s impossible to know exactly where that alignment is going to fall,” he said.

Once a final decision is made, UDOT said it will work with homeowners to make sure it’s a fair process.

“I’m devastated for those people whose houses are coming down,” said Lindahl. “But, I also have a lot of questions for the rest of us, as far as what does that do to our home values?”

For Larkin, there was no way to take the sting out of the bad news.

“I was heartbroken,” he said. “We love it here.”

Homeowners hoped to find out more details about the project and the process Tuesday, June 26 at an open house put on by UDOT at the South Jordan Middle School from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.  The public comment period opens for 30 days, beginning that same day.

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11 South Jordan homes may be bulldozed less than three years after being built