Skip to main content

West Jordan Journal

West Jordan May Get Bumped From Prison Relocation Site List

Dec 16, 2014 04:23PM ● By Sherry Sorensen
West Jordan may be bumped off the short list of possible sites for the state prison.

On Dec. 15 at a packed meeting of residents protesting the prison, Mayor Kim Rolfe read a letter from the developer, Southwest Valley Land, to the State Prison Relocation Commission requesting that their West Jordan property be removed from consideration as a potential site for moving the state prison

This followed a barrage of protests over the commission’s choice of a site for a short list. That site is just 3,000 feet from two schools.

In a strongly-worded statement to the media on Dec. 3 city leaders questioned the Prison Relocation Commission for listing the site near SR-111(7300 West) and 9000 South as the top potential location for the new prison. According to the statement, West Jordan was not identified as a site until October, after 26 other properties had been under consideration all summer by the commission. The commission announced a list of six possible sites Dec. 2.

“[West Jordan] really is the place for our state’s future. It’s not a place for a prison,” said Mayor Kim Rolfe during a Dec. 5 press conference.

He vowed to fight the move with every resource at his disposal.

Of the six possible sites currently under final review by the commission, three are in Salt Lake County, two in Utah County and one in Tooele County.

City leaders said an out-of-state consulting firm added West Jordan to the list because of its proximity to current workforce, volunteers and associated services without consideration of current and future plans for the development of the area or the detrimental social and economic impact such a decision would have on the community. They suggested that this site would only re-create the same problems that Draper City is currently facing.

The PRC recently announced they will evaluate the potential sites using additional criteria that will take into account economic development and population growth projections. The committee will meet again to discuss the issue on Dec. 22.

Not long after a statement and petition opposing inclusion on the final list was posted to the city website and social media pages, residents began to chime in with their thoughts on the announcement.

“This proposed site for the prison relocation is literally in my backyard. And yes, I don’t want it here!” resident Nichole Luthi said. “There are tons of neighborhoods being developed in this area, including mine, and the site is across the street from a middle school.”

City officials encourage residents to be engaged in this issue but to remain civil during the process.

South Jordan City officials also released a statement saying they join West Jordan, Herriman and other southwest Salt Lake Valley communities “in complete opposition” to the proposal.

 “The prison would be 500 feet from existing neighborhoods and have two schools within 3,000 feet. Both South Jordan and West Jordan have long envisioned the area selected as a place for homes, businesses, schools, parks and families to grow. The prison is not consistent with that vision,” South Jordan Mayor David Alvord said.

The commission has not issued a response to the letter.