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Draper City offers purchase agreement in two encroachment cases

(Draper Journal) The Draper City Council recently approved a resolution offering two Draper Heights homeowners the opportunity to purchase “surplus property” from the city as a way to resolve the city’s largest encroachment cases. The residents, believing they had permission from city staff, added landscaping, play areas and even a pool to open space adjacent to their property, essentially annexing as much as 10,000 square feet of city property to their backyards.

The city council offered the residents the opportunity to purchase the encroachment areas for $20 per square foot, considerably more than its appraised value. Councilmember Bill Colbert, who opposed the sale and said it created a “horrible precedent” implicitly encouraging future encroachments, nevertheless agreed that the $20 price was “somewhat punitive.”

Council members had struggled to decide how to resolve the cases. The homeowners had knowingly encroached on city property, but council members were reluctant to make them remove the expensive improvements, especially since members of the city staff had approved both homeowners’ landscaping plans, not realizing that the improvements were on city property. Instead, council members chose to sell the open space. Council members have expressed their intention to use the proceeds of the sales to improve parks in south Draper, particularly the grounds of the new Draper Amphitheater.

Original Article