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Sunday, June 15, 2008

Oquirrh Lake

Oquirrh Lake is the central organizing feature and amenity in Daybreak. It was named after the Oquirrh Mountains (pronounced O-Ker) that are just to the East of Daybreak. The name Oquirrh came from local Native American tribes. In the Goshute language, Oquirrh means "wooded mountain" while in the Ute language the word means "The Shining Mountains" or "Glowing." Many people believe they named the mountains this because sunlight strikes the Oquirrhs first in the morning before anything else in the valley.

Oquirrh lake was designed and created by a variety of firms and has been a massive undertaking. 35 million cubic feet of earth was moved and used in other areas of the development. Once they had dug a massive hole they constructed a dam and lined the lake with three layers: High Density Polyethelene to keep the water from going into the ground, gravel, and silt to make a natural lake bottom. Twenty-five thousand tons of rock were also put in place to create a shore line and habitat for the ecosystem.

The lake is home to minnows, bluegill, channel cats, large-mouth bass and eventually trout. While there has been some rumors about who will stock and maintain the lake in the future, I have not heard any definitive announcements on the subject. The water that these fish live in comes from Utah Lake and natural runoff. As these two sources are not the cleanest, a computerized filtration system cleans the water to acceptable levels. The most noticeable residents of the lake are the ducks and geese. These birds love the lake even though the lake is designed to detract them from staying for long periods of time. I think the main reason that the ducks and geese come is because kids feed them despite the signs posted around the lake. The lake isn't bad when compared to the pond at Liberty Park in Salt Lake City. If you go there at this time of year you will see hundreds if not thousands of these birds wandering the banks.

One question that I get asked a lot is why residents are not allowed to swim in the lake. I have heard people make up a lot of reasons why, but the real reason is that the liability for Kennecott Land would be enormous. Considering the current legal climate I don't blame them. The reason that they seem to state publicly is that it would inhibit the ecosystem. Which is also true, but I believe this to be a secondary reason. All residents are allowed to operate non-motorized watercraft on the lake. Canoes and row boats are common on the lake. I also like the idea of being able to walk a few blocks from my doorstep to go fishing. Overall it is a great amenity for Daybreak.

One of the controversies surrounding the lake is the rumor that Kennecott Land will not build the lake to be as big as the originally planned 85 acres. It seems that future plans have relegated the lake to a smaller 65 acres with the planned third phase being eliminated. This third phase of the lake is an extremely complicated design. It would stretch an arm of water toward the Town Center. This arm would slither through the urban environment much like the canals of Venice, Italy or Amsterdam in the Netherlands. This is truly a grand idea, but would definitely be difficult to implement. The possible reduction in size is an issue that many residents feel strongly about. However, Kennecott Land will ultimately decide on the size of the final product.

The island in the middle however will become a reality in a couple of years. Apparently the homes constructed on this piece of real estate will range from semi-custom to completely custom homes. Waterfront property is hard to come by in Utah so I imagine these homes will fetch a price premium beyond what we have seen so far in Daybreak. I have talked to a few people who claim that several home builders have already been contacted by Kennecott Land to build these custom homes. Needless to say these homes will be the showcase homes of Daybreak.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yeah, so I really do wonder if Kennecott will build the arm extending towards the town center. It would be nice to have a part of the lake that is a recreation of a venice canal. If they don't build that a lot of people will by MAD!

Ryan said...

So my son fell into the lake off one of the docks...is their anyway he could get sick or any diseases from it?

Anonymous said...

So, where do we find such astute engineers? Has anyone noticed that the lake is located in South Jordan, ARIZONA???? At least the map indicates that it is. Hope the streets are laid out better than this....could be a long drive to work.....