Neighbors Upset Over New Development On Hillside Near Mouth Of Parley’s Canyon

Apr 5, 2019, 10:04 PM | Updated: 10:48 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — It has been billed as a ‘prime’ development with 17 lots high on the hillside near the mouth of Parley’s Canyon, but several neighbors just below the project voiced their concerns Friday about the disruption to the natural environment, noise and intense vibrations—which they claim have even led to property damage.

“These are some of the main ceiling cracks you see over there,” said Zoi Karagouni, as she pointed around her house on Promontory Drive. “There are quite a few ceiling and wall cracks over there, and then they continue to the other side.”

Karagouni said she started taking pictures and videos daily to document changes inside her house since drilling and other construction began at the development called ‘Parley’s Pointe,’ which sits just beyond her property line.

She said she even noticed a tree limb had fallen off one of her trees in the backyard, and believed the vibrations had something to do with that.

“It has been fairly loud—especially when they have been using the hammer,” the woman said. “It goes all day long.”

Karagouni and a handful of other neighbors expressed fear that damage might intensify with blasting expected to take place sometime in the next two weeks.

“Apparently it’s going to take 30 seconds to a minute or two where they start from the south and work their way up,” said John Blankevoort, whose home also borders the project. “We’ve asked the blasting company for their acceleration curves, and acceleration curves translate to about one to two inches of movement per second—so if you can imagine your foundation wall moving one to two inches per second for 30 seconds to a minute, it sounds excessive to us.”

The developer, Cole Cannon, disputed that the blasting would have any kind of significant effect.

“There has been permits granted for that,” Cannon said. “We had the fire marshal’s office up there last week, and so it’ll be very controlled. Frankly, that will probably be the least impactful thing that happens at this development. It might even happen and people not even notice it.”

Cannon also said the drilling has been within accepted limits.

“We actually sent a geologist up there to measure the seismic impact of our drills,” he said. “These are drills that are very commonly used with Salt Lake public utilities, for example. They’re used in your roadways all the time. What we found was even at ‘ground zero’ where the actual jackhammer was hitting the rock surface, it was 10 times below the allowable limit that would cause damage to plaster or drywall.”

The developer maintained he extended an offer to homeowners prior to construction to videotape and document the existing appearance of walls, ceilings and foundations to identify any potential damage that came from construction for the purposes of his insurance policy covering that damage.

“Unfortunately, and frankly kind of shockingly to me, only 3 people took us up on that offer,” Cannon said. “It puts us in a little bit of a frustrating position because I want to help people, but our insurance needs the evidence to help them and unfortunately most people didn’t take us up on that.”

Cannon said he has tried to be a good neighbor to existing homeowners.

“I sympathize with folks who are having a large-scale development go in their back yard,” Cannon said. “There may or may not be damage caused by this heavy equipment. It is what it is, and if there’s damage we’re absolutely going to be responsible for it and take care of any problem that’s been caused.”

Other neighbors, such as K. Karwande—who has lived in the area for 25 years—were unhappy with the impact on nature trails and wildlife.

“Those trails—the access is gone,” Karwande said. “The main (Bonneville) Shoreline Trail is not going to be as rustic as it used to be because there is going to be a paved road right next to it.”

Karwande said he fears arteries coming off the main trail will be most affected in terms of access.

“That’s one of my main pet peeves about this,” Karwande said. “I think I feel helpless. I think we are at the mercy of the developers, and we talked to them about giving us access—some type of easement in terms of the trails and stuff, and we haven’t heard anything back from them—no confirmation, no guarantee, no reassurance that those trails would be preserved.”

Cannon said as part of the project, he was donating 280 acres of the property to the city for trails and open space.

“This development is going to be a prime development in Salt Lake City,” Cannon said. “If you want to look at being a responsible neighbor, there’s not a whole lot more I can do than that than donate 90 percent of my property to the public use.”

Blankevoort acknowledged neighbors are not sure what to do moving forward, despite their ongoing frustrations.

“The nature of this has been destroyed—it’s never going to come back,” Blankevoort said. “Yeah, we’re not happy about it.”

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Neighbors Upset Over New Development On Hillside Near Mouth Of Parley’s Canyon