HOLLADAY — The City Council has denied an appeal filed against the Holladay Village project, thereby choosing to move forward with plans for apartments, shops and an outdoor plaza next door to City Hall.

Five neighborhood appellants filed their claim in November after the Holladay Planning Commission approved a conceptual plan for the project, which calls for apartments to be built above shops near Murray-Holladay Road, 2300 East and Holladay Boulevard. The plan also allows for a five-story clock tower and a parking structure.

Councilman Barry Topham was the lone vote in favor of the appeal. Fresh from a losing mayoral campaign, Topham has been an outspoken critic of the project's height and character.

The appellants had complained about insufficient parking for the project and plans for apartments instead of condominiums. The filing also states that the project is much bigger than the original master plan called for, but city planner Paul Allred said there weren't any real numbers in that plan.

Appellant Holley Richards was disappointed about the vote but said it was expected.

"I'm not particularly happy that it's not what we thought it was going to be," she said.

Richards said she can't afford to take her appeal to district courts, but she still wonders how Holladay residents benefit from the project. Because of the city's investment in the project, officials shouldn't forget about the neighborhood, she said.

Now, developer Cowboy Partners hopes to receive final and preliminary approval for the project in one fell swoop. The issue will go before the City Council at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 15.

If Cowboy Partners gets its way, construction could begin in spring 2010.

The project has been under way for almost a decade. Road construction there was just finished, and the city is still undergoing property ownership negotiations for some parcels.

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