How to dig a hole and build a mountain

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As the old saying goes, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Said another way, when you dig a hole, the dirt has to go somewhere.

That's the case on a downtown project where excavation is taking place for multi-story apartments planned at the southwest corner of Colorado Avenue and Wahsatch Street by Nor'wood Development Group to fulfill a badly needed stock of downtown housing.

Excavation is under way for an apartment building at Colorado Avenue and Wahsatch Street. - PAM ZUBECK
  • Pam Zubeck
  • Excavation is under way for an apartment building at Colorado Avenue and Wahsatch Street.

Well, that dirt has to go somewhere, so it's being hauled a block or two east to the parking lot of the former Gazette building. Here's what it looks like.
Pikes of dirt now occupy a parking lot behind the Gazette building at Prospect Street and Colorado Avenue. - PAM ZUBECK
  • Pam Zubeck
  • Pikes of dirt now occupy a parking lot behind the Gazette building at Prospect Street and Colorado Avenue.
There's so much dirt sitting next to Shooks Run creek that one might wonder if a permit is required. According Regional Building Official Roger Lovell, a permit would be required if that property was located in the floodplain. But it's not, so a permit isn't needed from the Regional Building Department, he says.

"The question is, is it legal from my standpoint," he says, adding, "Yes. If they were putting [the dirt] in a floodplain, then they need a permit."

Chris Jenkins with Nor'wood says that yes, indeed, the city requires permission to pile dirt like this. Via email, he says:
Approval to stock pile dirt within city limits is required by the Engineering Development Review group from the City. We submitted a stock pile and erosion control plan with the City. It was approved. We are stock piling the dirt on our property for future use at the former Gazette building site and other downtown projects needing fill dirt.


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