Thirty feet may not be wide enoughMar 06, 2023 10:33AM ● By Alisha Copfer
Road construction has been a constant on 1100 West in Woods Cross, and now driveway widths are in question. Photo by Alisha Copfer
WOODS CROSS—Recently, Woods Cross City has been facing some growing pains. These pains refer particularly to the width allotted for residential driveways.
There is currently a large construction project happening on 1100 West that has started from 500 South and will eventually go just past the Silver Eagle Refinery. During this project, the city is working on establishing curb, gutter and sidewalks for this area.
The construction will happen in phases, as laid out in the grants that have been given to the city. Two of the three grants make it possible for Woods Cross to complete portions of this area by late fall 2023. The final area should be completed by summer 2024.
Gregory Seegmiller, Woods Cross Consulting City Engineer with J-U-B Engineers, Inc., sent a letter to residents along 1100 West. This letter stated, “As you are aware, Woods Cross City has been actively pursuing the plan for widening and improving 1100 West from approximately 500 South to 1300 South. This area includes the frontage of your property. Our design team and public involvement team have been in communication with you on our proposed improvements across your frontage.”
While the city is working on this project, some homeowners have reached out with concerns about their driveways. In Woods Cross, driveways for private homes have a standard width of 30 feet. However, some residents have recently been requesting exemptions to this width. Most of the cases for these requests are due to the current driveways being wider due to no curb and gutter.
The letter from J-U-B Engineers says, “Some residents have expressed interest in driveway widths greater than the allowed 30 foot maximum. Please understand that the design team and the City Engineer, in our roles, are only able to design in accordance with the adopted City Ordinances and City Standards. Any amenities, features, improvements, or modifications beyond our design must be appealed to the City Council for their consideration.”
Sam Christiansen, Public Works Director for Woods Cross, has said that the width is there to “limit interactions between pedestrians and traffic.” The construction project, when completed, will actually widen 1100 West from 24 feet to 38 feet.
“At the city council meeting held on Dec. 7, a resident appealed for a wider driveway approach and was granted the appeal, with certain conditions,” stated the J-U-B letter. “As a result, we feel it prudent to notify those residents who had previously expressed an interest in a wider driveway approach so they have the same opportunity to appeal to the city council.”
To date, there have been about five appeals. Each one has been reviewed by the city council and then discussed individually during a city council meeting. Four of these appellants have received exemptions on their new driveways. Several of these residents have also accepted any additional costs that will come with the wider driveway.
Residents who are appealing these driveway exceptions have been encouraged to attend the meeting when their lot is being discussed. In some instances, the residents have not been present for the discussion.
“We have ways that if citizens feel they should have exemptions that we can look at their requests,” said Bryce Haderlie, Woods Cross City Administrator. “I’m glad that the government has these latitudes. It’s about controlling the standards; it’s a delicate balance.”