FRUIT HEIGHTS — The Davis County Council of Governments has agreed to purchase three parcels of raw land located in the corridor of the future expansion to the Legacy Parkway.

Officials hope to preserve the land from development and turn it over to the Utah Department of Transportation until a highway is built along the western edge of northern Davis County.

That highway, often known as "North Legacy," is officially called the state Route 67 extension on long-range planning maps and isn't expected to be built for 15 years.

Officials hope to speed up that process by purchasing land now, while it is much cheaper than it would be if developed.

Two of the parcels are located west of Kaysville, and the other is located in Syracuse.

The three parcels total nearly 22.3 acres, just a drop in the bucket of how much land will eventually need to be preserved along the 16-mile corridor.

But it's a start.

Estimates peg the cost to preserve the entire corridor at around $100 million.

Currently, the Davis COG, a planning committee of the 15 mayors, three county commissioners and representatives from Hill Air Force Base, Davis School District, Davis Area Conventions and Visitors Bureau and Davis Chamber of Commerce, has about $4 million at its disposal for corridor preservation this year and $4 million in 2009 until matching funds from the Utah Legislature dry up.

After that, $2 million a year from a special $10 fee on vehicle registrations in Davis County will fund corridor preservation efforts.

In 2007, voters turned down a measure that would have created a quarter-cent increase to the local sales tax in Davis County for transportation and transit projects that would have yielded $2.5 million to $3 million a year for corridor preservation.

Davis County planner Scott Hess, who oversees the land purchases for the COG, said he expects COG will try to spend all of the fee revenue and matching funds from the state this year.

Hess said the recently approved agreements are willing-buyer-willing-seller arrangements, meaning the COG has let it be known it is purchasing land and land owners interested in selling may approach the COG.

Several other parcels have begun the process for getting COG approval, Hess said. Once a landowner intends to sell land, COG must decide whether to order an appraisal for the land based on a scoring system. Land within the highway corridor currently receives a higher score than land elsewhere in the county.

Interested parties may contact Hess at 801-451-3279.


E-mail: jdougherty@desnews.com