Press enter to see results or esc to cancel.

UDOT may bring more affordable housing to Jeremy Ranch

To build a wall or to not build a wall — that is the question. In this case we’re not talking Donald Trump. We are talking about a proposed noise barrier being considered by UDOT (Utah Department of Transportation) along I-80 near Jeremy Ranch. As part of the process of adding an additional lane to I-80, UDOT is considering building a 3200 foot long, 18 foot tall concrete wall to reduce the noise. Of course, there have been complaints.

Some residents have complained about not being able to sleep due to the noise. Other residents have responded that those people knew that they were buying a home along I-80 and that a wall runs counter to our General Plan. The counter argument from other folks is that people buying homes didn’t know there was going to be an additional lane built on I-80 — which we guess will further increase the noise.

It’s quite the mess.

Evidently, UDOT is going to ask the 22 homes that are the most impacted to vote on whether they want the 57,000 square feet of wall being proposed. This vote will then influence UDOT’s decision to build or not to build.

However, your friends at the ParkRag have good news (either way) … So, worry not Jeremy Ranch residents.

If UDOT decides not to build the wall, then we pretty much have the status quo. For those people who live along the freeway, it’ll continue to be loud (which we are sure isn’t pleasant)… but you still sort of live in Park City.

However, if the wall is built, we’ll all get some more affordable housing in Jeremy Ranch. There was a study appearing in the Appraisal Journal that looked at home prices of houses behind noise barriers in Montreal. Their study of home prices over 20 years found a “noise barrier induced a decrease of 6% in the house prices in our sample in the short run, while it had a stronger negative impact of 11% in the long run.” It’s a little counter-intuitive. You’d think that less noise would increase value. Of course, there are other studies that have different outcomes, but this study seems to address the weaknesses in other studies. So, we wouldn’t be surprised if there is some merit to reduced home prices behind the wall.

Personally when I’ve driven by these barriers, I usually wonder what sort of Urban Wasteland they trying to hide. That could just be me, though.

Maybe the charm of Park City will override the 18 foot concrete walls… and maybe they’ll even commission an artist to draw moose on them. That’ll be good until the graffiti comes of course. Maybe Banksy will come back and draw a mouse on the freeway wall? A town could hope.

There always seems to be a million battles being fought in Park City — and like most battles — we’re not sure anyone really knows the consequences of the outcome.

To build a wall or not build a wall that is the question. And one that your friends at UDOT will sort out for you, whether you want them to or not.

 

Comments

8 Comments

Jim P.

Correction on your post… The wall isn’t being built due to homeowner complaints (which i’m sure there are plenty). It’s a result of the addition of the new westbound climbing lane that is being added to I-80 between Jeremy Ranch and Parley’s Summit. The way UDOT explained it the other night at the open house was that due to the impact of adding the lane they had to provide a noise study and that study indicated there was enough of an impact to warrant the building of the wall. If there was no climbing lane be added, UDOT would not be suggesting building a wall. By the way it will cost $1.3 million to build.

I live one street up from most of the impacted homes on Wrangler Way and I’m currently not one of the 22 balloted voters. When I bought my home 12 years ago, I was fully aware of the highway noise and accepted the impact then and now, I had a choice. I feel for the homeowners on lower Saddleback who have a clear ear-shot of the highway, but like me they knew what they were getting when they bought. My point is, I don’ think that the addition of the climbing lane is going to really increase the noise already coming off the highway… It already is what it is.

I agree, a 18 foot wall is not in keeping with our environment and received a blank stare from the UDOT official when I ask if there were any “natural” options (large berm with trees). Unfortunately, that’s not in the UDOT handbook (code) and it sounds like they live and die by that code. It’s also interesting that almost 1/3 of the wall is protecting the golf course / driving range… That seems like a bit waste of money and common sense.

While I assume I would get some noise reduction benefit from the wall, we will still get plenty of noise from the truckers “jack-breaking” down the eastbound lanes from the summit. Either way, I say don’t build it… It will be ugly and out-of-place and add to kill-zone for the wildlife. I’d rather see the funds put towards a wildlife overpass near the summit.

By the way, I don’t believe that Park City or Summit County get a say in this matter… It a “right-of-way” for UDOT.

Parkrag

Thanks Jim for the correction. I have updated the sentence to reflect that UDOT’s involvement was because of the new lane.

I believe you are spot on that it’s UDOT’s decision and Summit County has little to do with it. Often times, the City and County will talk about maintaining a seat at the table to have a working relationship with the State. We assume this is a time when the County should cash in on that seat at the table — in order to try and influence the outcome. Our guess is that the County would be against this… due to the visual impacts.

UDOT is powerful. I think they command the biggest budget in the state — at over a billion dollars a year. So, they usually get what they want. It’ll be interesting to see what happens here.

Walt

So a million dollar house would become a $940,000 house?

Boo hoo!

I’ve always been confused about the property values thing. I want property to be cheap! I want to be able to move to a new house and not spend $70k in fees and commissions! I want the folks who fight fires and work at the grocery store to be able to live nearby. Expensive housing is a waste for everyone.

I guess if you’ve done such an incredibly bad job managing your money that your house is the main component of your net worth it seems bad.

Parkrag

I’m with you. As neighbors sell their houses I tell them, for your sake, I hope you get a lot of money. For mine, I hope you get almost nothing. I would like my “Zillow Value” to plummet if possible.

That said, it’s because I plan on living in my house for the next 20 years. It’s also because my retirement plan doesn’t count on me liquidating my house to survive. That could happen… but it’s not the plan.

That’s not so common in Park City.

I think the bigger take away, in that 6%-11% price decrease, is that there is a real reason for it. The house is now behind an 18 foot tall concrete wall. Some people may want to decrease the sound by 5-10 DB so they sleep better at night… the cost of that may be selling your house for less. It’s a trade-off.

That said, if they do build that wall, and you live behind it… be prepared to take advantage of the situation in order to reduce your taxes.

Walt

Yeah, probably true. We spent $15k on solar panels for the house recently and the first question I always get asked by neighbors is “how did you do the financing?”

Um, I live in a neighborhood full of million dollar houses. If I can’t write a check for $15k, there’s something seriously wrong. But I think you might be right that that’s the norm.

I hope the wall gets built because (selfishly) I’d like to be able to ride with my kids on the bike path and have a conversation, and ski the 3k loop in the winter and hear less traffic noise. But it’s not the end of the world either way. I wonder about the apoplexy I hear on social media about this – it’s just a wall next to a highway. Who cares that much? Do people honestly think a wall is uglier than a 6 (soon to be 7) lane strip of asphalt with tanker trucks blasting by? I’d love to have my neighbors hearing less noise and sleeping better at night, personally.

JustMe

I only just heard about this last night. It’s going to be an eye sore if they build it. I’m against the idea altogether.

Walt

JustMe, I hear this a lot, and I’m hoping you can help me understand. Do you think a wall is less attractive than an interstate highway? To me, a highway is the least attractive possible thing (ok, maybe a strip mine or a landfill are worse, but it’s up there) but I keep hearing that walls are ugly. Do you like looking at the highway? I mean, that’s fine if you do, but I find it odd.

I should note that my 5 year old LOVES the semis and would probably be heartbroken if there was a wall.

Lol

Studies have shown that unless you are right behind the wall they don’t do anything.
In a few years the only thing on I80 will be nearly silent self driving electric cars and trucks; most goods will be delivered by drone directly from Amazon and their subsidiary Whole Foods, so really this is a short term problem.


Leave a Comment