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Prison neighbor may miss it when it's gone

Prison neighbor may miss it when it's gone (Photo: KUTV)

(KUTV) Stacy Haward and her husband bought into a new neighborhood south of the Utah State Prison several years ago , and knew one day, the prison would be gone -- and fresh development would take its place.

But the mother of three more than likes the neighborhood the way it is.

"We love it," she said. "Everyone who moves here loves it."

On Wednesday, just after state consultants released their first report on Point of the Mountain redevelopment, Stacy spoke to 2News about her biggest neighbor -- the sprawling home to thousands of convicted and sentenced.

"It's quiet, you don't hear it," she said. "You don't see it; there's no traffic from it."

She said, with a big makeover in the offing for the 700-plus acre prison site, traffic and congestion are among her biggest concerns.

"If all that goes in are new homes, big homes or tall buildings, yeah, I will miss the prison," Harward said.

The report did not identify exactly what will emerge at the site -- but Envision Utah, tasked with developing a plan -- said "a large research facility is one of the key factors that could catalyze high-quality job growth."

It also said "transportation was mentioned as a significant concern four or five times more than anything else" by the public and "stakeholders," and that "Utahns and employers want greatly expanded public transportation."

Kelley Thompson, who lives on Redwood Road, west of the prison, said the report is a good first step, but must be more imaginative.

"What they've put together is phenomenal," said Thompson, a residential and commercial contractor. "They've got to bring in new voices. People need to have bigger ideas."

He called for bringing in the "biggest imaginations."

Public comments have already raised a rash of ideas: a Noah's Ark theme park, a medieval "jousting park," and NFL stadium, and Eiffel Tower replica.

Anyone who would like to comment on ideas that are being bandied about has a chance, at PointOfTheMountainFuture.org.

You may read the first report from Envision Utah, which is hundreds of pages long -- the executive summary is six pages -- and take a survey.

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