The Mill Creek Pond is located in the backyards of one of the finest neighborhoods in South Salt Lake. The area is a habitat for a variety of wetland birds, fish, turtles, beavers, etc. The area is a detention basin created in the 1980s to prevent downstream flooding of Mill Creek. The basin serves both as a major flood control facility, as well as an urban wildlife nesting area. We enjoy the wildlife and the many friends that we have around the pond and it’s awesome to have neighbors come to visit in their raft or canoe.
The following is a summary of the creation of MCPAC and MCPHOA: Before reading this history is important to note that our current City Administration, Mayor and City Council are very open and supportive of the MCPAC and all of the residents of South Salt Lake.
In August 2009 it was brought to my attention that the City along with the County was conducting the “Mill Creek Trail Feasibility Study”
I visited our City Planner to ask him why the Residents around the Mill Creek Pond were not being involved with this plan and he said “some of the adjacent business owners have been notified about the Mill Creek Trail Plans but they haven’t notified the adjacent residents yet because they were afraid that they might freak out.” Tracey witnessed this. I told him that I would help to inform all of the neighbors surrounding the Mill Creek Pond!
After the meeting with our City Planner I created a flyer that said: How do you feel about a public trail in your backyard? The City has a new proposed General Plan that say’s: The Mill Creek Trail Plan will also be adopted and steps will be taken to make the area along the stream an attractive desirable amenity to the City. Will this be desirable to us? We need to voice our opinions at the Public Hearing on Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2009
Aug. 26, 2009 Our neighborhood packed the City Council Chambers with more people than the Council had time to listen to during the General Plan public hearing.
“Crime is our main concern; I can’t even imagine the thought of opening that gate up for a fast getaway through my backyard. We can’t even control the crime on the Jordan River Parkway Trail! Crime is out of control at Rite Aid, why would we create a trail for them through the backyards of some of the finest homes in South Salt Lake?” Steve Norr
The City shouldn’t alienate homeowners along Mill Creek just as city officials are trying to get more people to buy homes in the area.
I brought 8 letters from residents who couldn’t attend and here are a couple of comments:
“I cannot and will not support the proposed establishment of any public trail or for that matter any other proposed use, which in any way expands public access to, or public use of, Mill Creek Pond. To that end, I join with you and my neighbors in opposition to this unwanted, unnecessary, expensive, and destructive proposed use. Accordingly, to protect my property interest, and the interests of my neighbors, I am prepared to take all necessary actions in opposition to this proposal.” Jerold McPhee
“In my opinion, if the proposed Millcreek Trail is adopted, it will adversely affect the wildlife and the desirability of the neighborhood homes. Recently, I went walking along the Jordan River Parkway. During the walk, I spotted several signs of gang activity, tagging, homeless individuals and drug activity. I seriously do not want that type of behavior in my backyard. I’m sure we as a community want to attract law-abiding, community contributing, tax paying, solid families to live within the boundaries of South Salt Lake, and if this proposal passes I feel the crime and undesirable behavior in our community and in my backyard will increase. This being the case, I will seriously consider moving elsewhere.” Pam Bennett
After this meeting we created the:
Mill Creek Pond Action Committee
Many times we sit back and see things happening around our neighborhood, things we don’t like and wonder if there is some way we can make a difference? The answer is yes. You can make a difference. The MCPAC will be a way for all the neighbors around the Pond to be informed and to become united as one very strong grass-roots neighborhood organization.
The only way we can protect and preserve our quality of life is to become informed and active in our neighborhoods and our City. That’s why we are organizing our Mill Creek Pond neighbors.
MCPAC has been created to protect and preserve the beautiful, natural area around the pond as a natural wetlands area, and to secure the area from unwanted criminal activity and trespassing.
Next: We came across a Master Plan dated April 2008 called the Mill Creek Greenway.
It says on page 3 “This information will be presented at meetings with the stakeholders such as South Salt Lake, Salt Lake County, UDOT and UTA as well as adjacent landowners. These meetings will help to ensure accuracy, local preferences and overall consensus.”
Please let me know if you were notified of these meetings as adjacent landowners, I know that I was not. (After talking to everyone around the pond, nobody that I talked to had been informed.) The MCPAC will stay in touch with the City to make sure we know what is being planned in our neighborhoods and we will take an active role in future planning.
September 23, 2009 the City Council voted unanimously to remove the section of the Mill Creek Trail between 500 East and 700 East from the City’s new General Plan! This was a huge victory for us, but we still have the Mill Creek Trail Feasibility Study to see through, so we need to stick together and attend those meetings as well.
The trail between 500 East and 700 East has also been removed from the Mill Creek Trail Feasibility Study.
April 17, 2010 MCPAC had a meeting and we decided to create the Mill Creek Pond Home Owners Association. We will create the MCPHOA to insure that we can preserve and maintain the natural area around the pond as a natural wetlands area and to secure the area from unwanted criminal activity and trespassing.
October 9, 2010 we elected officers for the Mill Creek Pond Home Owners Association and we have since filed Articles of incorporation, Bylaws, and CCRs. We have strong support and we are collecting dues and making goals. We are currently working with the City to come up with the best way to maintain this left over RDA property that has enhanced the backyards of the homes in the Creek Meadows Redevelopment / PUD Project completed in the 1980s.
City of South Salt Lake General Plan adopted Dec. 2009
7.3.2 Mill Creek Trail
This Trail is only in the conceptual/feasibility Planning stage as this plan is written. South Salt Lake City and Salt Lake County are sharing costs for the feasibility study being conducted by EPG Engineers. If the study proves that a trail is feasible, the City should continue to plan for this trail. The feasibility study is reviewing the area from 700 East to the Jordan River. In a City Council Meeting held on September 23, 2009 the City Council asked that any future trail planning should not be shown on General Plan maps or considered in the area along Millcreek from 700 East to 500 East. This decision was made because of considerable negative opinion from residents whose property abuts Millcreek in this area. Therefore, the maps and planning reflect this request. The trail could be considered in this area along existing sidewalks on 3300 South to Pioneer Craft House and then along 500 East to Millcreek at 3116 South. Because of years of development and private property issues trail development along Millcreek will be slow.
Granite High Small Area Plan
There was one section that said to increase use of the Mill Creek Pond and the Planning Commission agreed to remove it from their recommendation to the City Council. The Plan said that Open access should not be allowed. It was also said that an advisory committee should be established and meet regularly to review and recommend planning and maintenance activities for the area. The committee should be appointed by the City Council, and include adjoining property owners, wildlife and habitat specialists, and an appointee of the South Salt Lake Parks and Recreation Department.
Thanks for reading this post. We will be updating this BLOG regularly with new information and photos so stay tuned, and you can click on MCPAC in the categories to see past post’s and lots of pictures of the pond area and the wildlife that we share this area with.