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Community Members In Cache Valley Concerned About Impact New Development Will Have On Floodplain

Some Cache Valley residents are concerned about how plans to build a 300-unit apartment complex on the valley's westside could impact the Logan River’s floodplain. Logan city and school board officials, on the other hand, are hoping the project may ease growing pains and strengthen the community.

The Willow Lake Subdivision is a housing project proposed for the southwest part of Logan. Plans include a 300-unit apartment complex as well as a wakeboard lake and a slalom ski lake.


While many community leaders and officials believe it will be an asset, Frank Howe, the chair of the Logan River Task force said the project would build on top of a floodplain and take away the area’s ability to act like a sponge and absorb water.


“Then it doesn't release the water slowly throughout the summer. When the water does come down during the floods instead of the floodplain absorbing it, it all just gets shot down through the rest of the system. And again, it gets put on to the neighbors of this development if it were built,” said Howe.


Howe wants to resolve these issues by building the development on a higher floodplain. He is also concerned about the lakes that are planned as part of the development. The water in the lakes will become hot, he said, because it is stagnant. When the water is returned to the river it will have little dissolved oxygen. 


But Brett Nelson, the developer for the project, said they have plans to address these concerns. 


"There isn't any maintained fish wildlife inside of the lakes to be concerned about there. There is a lot of churn in the water all the way from the surface down into the depths of the water, which is why they're constructed to a certain depth. There's a lot of constant churn, much like a bubbler that you would put in a fish tank, that is there to add oxygen to the water. That's constantly happening,” said Nelson. 


The decision passed the planning commission with a vote of 4 to 3 and will need to be considered by the Logan municipal council as the next step.