SANDY — After hearing complaints from neighbors that parking, traffic and noise will be detrimental to their home environment, Sandy's Planning Commission gave the Real Salt Lake soccer stadium preliminary site plan approval Thursday but with limitations.

The commission will review a parking and traffic management plan on March 15, where they will also discuss the extended hours of operation for the $110 million stadium. In addition to the seasonal soccer games, the stadium will play host to a variety of concerts and other special events, and Real is requesting that operation hours go till midnight Sunday through Thursday and 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.

That late-night noise and traffic, however, are upsetting to stadium neighbors who are nervous about the impact the 111-foot-high, 524,766-square-foot, 20,000-to-25,000-seat structure will have on their home lives.

"Who wants to live by a noisy stadium? That's what scares me," said Robert Bennet, who lives on 9400 South across from the stadium site and is concerned about getting his 2-year-old daughter to sleep on those loud game nights.

"How are we supposed to take care of our families and go to sleep if you've got this going on till 1-2 in the morning? ... It's going to be up in the neighborhood that's going to suffer for it."

Crowds at the South Towne Expo Center are already parking on side streets such as Bennet's. Other residents, like Gladys Wilde, who lives on the east side of 9400 South, are concerned about the added traffic problems.

"We have the Expo Center, we've got Larry's place (Larry Miller-owned Jordan Commons), now we're going to have this. As it stands now, I can barely get out of my street," she said. "I'm not exactly against the stadium, but at some point we have to consider people's quality of life."

Planning commissioners agreed they wanted to protect the neighborhoods and are waiting on a report from a special parking committee put together at the request of Sandy Mayor Tom Dolan. Commissioners also voiced problems with pedestrian access to the stadium. Under a state-approved plan that gave the team $35 million of hotel-tax revenue for land and parking at the site, Real must come up with 1,000 new parking stalls in a five-minute walking distance from the stadium.

Real plans to begin grading and demolishing on the site within the next two weeks, but further construction cannot take place until the parking and operation hours are worked out and the Planning Commission gives final site plan approval.


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