A request to close part of Lagoon Lane brought nearly 90 people, equally divided in their reactions, out to a public hearing this week in Farmington.
In addition to speaking on the issue of closing the street, many of the residents aired grievances or took the opportunity to praise the amusement park, the city's largest tax-generating entity.The council heard more than two hours of comments during the Wednesday night meeting, then decided it needs more information and tabled the issue until its first meeting in April.
Lagoon wants to close about 1,000 feet in the center portion of Lagoon Lane, crating two cul-de-sacs, one off Main Street and one off 600 North. The closed portion would serve as access to land the park owns east of the street, an area targeted for expansion.
The park wants to build a mine train and river-rapid ride on the property and reconfigure its existing log flume ride, using the open ground.
In return, park officials have said they will develop a jogging and bicycle trail along Farmington Creek for public use. Picnic pavilions and ball and soccer fields could also be built in the area if the city helps, park officials said.
Some residents protested closing the lane on the grounds it is needed as an alternate traffic route if Main Street is closed, as happened during the 1983 mudslides.
Farmington police and fire department officials have examined the proposal and say other emergency routes are available and there are enough access points into Lagoon that the lane isn't needed.
The city's planning commission also held a hearing on the request last month and has recommended against closing the street.
Lagoon representative David Freed and the park's planner, former Farmington City planner Bob Scott, said the park's city-approved master plan shows expansion into the area, with the eventual closure of the lane.
The lights, music and noise generated by the park are destroying their lifestyle and reducing the value of their property, several residents said.