Wednesday, July 02, 2008


Well, as if Draper's problems with Suncrest going bankrupt with vast scads of infrastructure either incomplete or falling weren't bad enough (although Zions Bank, the principle creditor, looks like it's about to buy the project and complete it, though we'll see just how completed it gets), it also has a growing collection of unfinished houses people are walking away from. Draper is talking about an ordinance punishing walk-away owners and developers, but that's yet another example of too little too late. Draper (and several other communities) neds to get smart and start building the safeguards into the planning at the beginning of the project. We'll see if that ever happens or if we'll just have good-old-boy procedure forever.

Meanwhile, out on the West Bench, Salt Lake County wanted to practice that kind of planning, and Kennecott took its ball and went home. Kennecott has scrubbed its massive development on the West Bench, opting for a couple of smaller developments. It seems Kennecott wanted an upfront guarantee of permits for 200,000 houses. The County said, "No way, too many contingencies over too many years for us to sign off on the whole thing up front." Frankly, I think the County is right. There are a lot of things that can go wrong with a big project over time. Draper gave developers a free rein, and the results are not pretty. Taxpayers should not have to bail out developments, and governments should make sure that doesn't happen.

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