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Taylorsville Journal

Taylorsville Dayzz officials, disc golf players concerned about soccer complex proposal for Valley Regional Park

Nov 07, 2018 04:29PM ● By Jana Klopsch

This unfinished portion of Valley Regional Park, west of the Taylorsville Recreation Center, is being considered for an indoor soccer facility, to be built by Real Salt Lake. (Carl Fauver/City Journals)

By Carl Fauver | [email protected]

Taylorsville Dayzz Committee Chairman and State House Rep. Jim Dunnigan had nothing but positive things to report at a recent city council meeting, as he told the body how successful this year’s event was:

$9,500 raised for the Taylorsville Arts Council

1,243 volunteer hours worked by community groups

180 vehicles displayed in the annual car show 

86 groups entered the Taylorsville Dayzz parade

44 local entertainers performed on several stages 

But after running through the positive numbers — and inviting a couple of his 16 Taylorsville Dayzz committee members to speak to the council — Dunnigan also raised some concerns.

“Real Salt Lake officials are now talking with Salt Lake County about the possibility of constructing a soccer complex in Valley Regional Park,” he told the council. “I don’t know exactly what they want to build. But I am concerned about the possible impact it could have on future Taylorsville Dayzz celebrations.”

Speaking after his public appearance, Dunnigan also added: “I have seen a layout of what is being considered for construction, although it is probably not the final design. They have asked us not to discuss it further because the talks (between the professional soccer organization and the county) are still early. But I am worried about the potential impact it might have — particularly on overflow parking — at future Taylorsville Dayzz celebrations.”

Dan Fletcher, 68, is also concerned, for a completely different reason.

“I drive here nearly every morning from my South Jordan home to play on this disc golf course,” Fletcher said, while standing next to one of 11 holes designed to catch flying discs. “I have a friend who meets me to play most of the time. If this course were to close, the next closest one is clear over in Millcreek.”

You may have attended a dozen Taylorsville Dayzz celebrations and have no idea about the area Fletcher is describing. The acreage being considered for the soccer complex is in the northwest corner of Valley Regional Park, which now features a walking path and disc golf course. The ground is mostly dirt, with a little dry grass scattered throughout. For the most part, a tree line blocks the area from sight for most park visitors.

The acreage being considered does not look remotely like the rest of Valley Regional Park. And that is a big reason why — up to this point in the talk of a possible soccer complex — Salt Lake County Council Chair Aimee Winder Newton likes the idea.

Dan Fletcher drives almost daily from his South Jordan home to play disc (Frisbee) golf at the north end of Valley Regional Park. He’s concerned a proposed indoor soccer facility could destroy the course. (Carl Fauver/City Journals)

 “Personally, I am hoping we can make this happen,” Newton said in a Facebook post. “It’s awesome when someone offers private funds for a facility that can also be used by the community! We will make sure there is still adequate parking for Taylorsville Dayzz on site, if this proposal happens. It would be great to get that park finished!”

Other than confirming this unfinished portion of Valley Regional Park is the area being considered for the soccer amenities, the parties involved are being tight-lipped about what exactly is being proposed and how many acres it would occupy.

“I have seen a layout plan for the soccer complex, but it is not yet finalized, and county officials have asked us not to discuss it just yet, since the negotiations are barely getting started,” Taylorsville Mayor Kristie Overson said. “I do think there is enough room at the park to accommodate what they are talking about so far, without causing significant problems for Taylorsville Dayzz. I believe there is enough room for everything.”

Overson said Real Salt Lake officials first approached city leaders about their idea but quickly turned to the county for discussions after learning Valley Regional Park is owned and maintained by the county. Coordinating the conversation between the county and RSL is Salt Lake County Community Services Director Holly Yocom.

“RSL, Taylorsville and Salt Lake County have been working to determine the feasibility of the (soccer complex) project,” Yocom said in a written statement. “We are still in the early stages of design concepts. No decisions have been made. Once and if concepts and operating structures are agreed upon by the three parties involved, we will host a series of public meetings to solicit feedback.”

Yocom went on to add two other key points: “The county is not considering selling any of the land, and maintaining the successful operation of Taylorsville Dayzz is at the top of our priority list.”

At this point, none of the parties involved in the soccer complex negotiations say there is any kind of timeline or deadline. At the moment, they are simply continuing to discuss both construction and cost possibilities.

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