Showing posts with label Annexation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Annexation. Show all posts

Sunday, November 16, 2008

North/South Fields Rezone

The move is on to rezone the North Fields. The first step appears to be the rezone of the South Fields, this was recommended by a 4-1 vote at the recent Planning Commission meeting.

A public Hearing on the matter is scheduled for 6 PM on 19 Nov. It is item #9. Items #7 and #8 are also rezone requests (P160 to M zone or 1 house per 160 acres to a potential 1 house per 2.5 acres - a 64 fold increase)

Several arguments were presented in opposition to the change, to no avail:
  1. The Wasatch County General Plan (See Chap. 4, pg 159) indicates the area is "highly prized by many local residents" and is "identified as having a public benefit as open space." The area has been called the jewel of the valley and its current zoning A-20 (Agricultural with one house allowed per twenty acres) protects the "desired green belt separation between Heber and Midway" (Policy 1.1.1)
  2. The area is NOT included within the Proposed Heber City Annexation Policy. Several member of the Heber City Planning Commission attended the meeting and spoke against the rezone.
  3. The area is in the "Inundation Area of Sudden Jordanelle Dam Failure" - approval of more houses could present potential danger to those house and liability to County taxpayers.
  4. There are currently only 6 large land parcels (>20 acres) in the 464 acre proposed rezone area and another 12 parcels between 5 and 20 acres which, as "lots of record," could already be built upon. Some parcels already have houses built. Of ten parcels less than 5 acres, 7 current have residences.
  5. A zone change from A-20 to RA-5 would increase the number of allowable houses from 33 to 92.
  6. The long proposed ByPass road passes through several of the parcels, a rezone would likely increase the cost of property acquisition.
  7. An Open Space, Transferable Development Right ordinance was recently passed allowing a "bonus" sale from rights in this area. Rezoning would adversely affect the goals of that ordinance.
  8. While presented as a "County initiated" rezone, it was clearly introduced by the land owners and not necessarily for the "health, safety and welfare" of the community in general.

In 2000, a well written resolution was introduced to "protect" the North Fields - regrettably it was never really considered for passage:

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

People's Referendum Fails

Regrettably, too many listened to the propaganda by Boyer/Walmart outspending the local citizenry by probably 50 to 100 to one. (as predicted) The valiant effort by the citizens' referendum failed to stop the Big Box behemoth, proving once again that massive advertising campaigns with cutesy slogans seem to work (e.g. $900,000 benefits).

On the positive side there will be some new faces on the Council in January.

HOWEVER, the final decision has not been made on the design of the development. A few things can still be done to soften the blow to the Valley.

Especially with the 20 units per acre (or more) which will be requested under the newly approved zone. Explanations and lobbying must be offered to the Planning Commission and City Council members on at least TWO items:
  1. Planning for the location of the Bypass must be made BEFORE approving the Boyer Project.
  2. A proper fiscal IMPACT analysis must be made on the COSTS of the entire project (including housing) to Wasatch County residents (which all Heber residents are) - including potential education and school construction costs. Any benefits (sales tax) should be based on population - NOT on sq ft of the proposed stores. It would seem likely that a store in a market of 22,000 will not have the same revenue as one in a large metropolitan area.
They also should be reminded that just because MURCZA may ALLOW 20 per acre and 150K sq ft, Heber does NOT have to allow these maximums. The project should be built to conform with the general plan AND the wishes of the community. The vote, while legally binding, represented less than 23% of the registered Heber voters and barely 10% of County voters.

Hardly an overwhelming mandate!!

ALL county residents WILL be affected by this development.

Recommended/required for all concerned:
  • The MURCZ code itself (Voter Info pamphlet)
Previous posting on this blog may also be helpful.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

BIG BOX repeal on the ballot

The referendum petition was reportedly certified by the County Clerk today.

1658 Signatures submitted
1424 Certified as valid - others were not registered, duplicates, non Heber, etc.

As under 1200 were required by law to put the item on the ballot; it appears that Heber citizens WILL have the opportunity to repeal the MURCZA zone allowing 150,000 (or more) sqft retail businesses and five story condo units at 20 (?) units per acre.

Heber City Council basically ignored the petition signers:

Ballot box may decide big-box issue in Heber City
By Christopher Smart The Salt Lake TribuneSalt Lake Tribune
Article Last Updated:04/09/2007 12:24:49 AM MDT
The Heber City Council voted last week to zone 70 acres for big-box retail - despite a petition drive to allow voters to determine whether such large structures should be built within city limits.

A grass-roots organization called "Put Heber Valley First" needed to gather the signatures of 1,160 registered Heber City voters to put the referendum on the November ballot. They submitted 1,595 names to City Hall before the April 1 deadline.

Wasatch County Clerk Brent Titcomb is in the process of certifying the petition signatures. That tally should be complete this week. The petition push came in reaction to a February council vote to increase the limit on large retail outlets from 60,000 square feet to 150,000 square feet. That could set the stage for Wal-Mart.

Mayor Dave Phillips said Friday he believes there is a good chance the issue will go to voters. The Boyer Co., which is acquiring most of the 70 acres in question, had requested the rezone, Phillips said. "The developer knows it could go to a referendum," he said. Nonetheless, the council voted 4-1 for the rezone. Councilman Terry Lange cast the lone vote against the change.

Councilwoman Elizabeth Hokanson said the council didn't wait for the petition to be certified because "we wanted our intentions known." She pointed to a 2005 study that showed 90 percent of Heber City residents' nongrocery retail spending takes place outside Wasatch County. In addition, Hokanson said, Heber City leaders fear big-box retail could come to Wasatch County but be located outside city limits. "We want to broaden our commercial area and our tax base."

Monday, March 19, 2007

Council Approves Red Ledges

It continues to amaze me how some elected officials are seemingly oblivious to the desires and wishes of their constituents. Last week (3/15/07) the Heber City Council unanimously approved the annexation of the 1400 unit Red Ledges development. That application, submitted 11/22/06, had previously attempted approval through Wasatch County, but was brought to Heber City when it became apparent that the desired density increase from about 50 to 700 was not going to be approved.

Heber City officials, from the
first inkling of the project, seem to have coveted for the perceived tax revenues which they felt would flow into the city's coffers. (see blog of 9/16/06)

Throughout the entire process, the 'public' was overwhelmingly opposed to the project for various reasons - traffic, congestion, density, gated exclusivity and little direct community benefit. At the 'final' approval meeting before a packed room,s several people spoke against approval primarily for traffic and fiscal reasons. A request was repeated for a deliberate analysis of the potential community fiscal impact prior to annexation. At the conclusion on the public comments, the City Manager Mark Anderson, was asked about that impact.

Reported, as it were, from a quick crayon scribbled analysis on the back of a napkin (figuratively), he acknowledged that the house "values" presented by the developer may be inflated by 30% and the benefit to Heber Light may be exaggerated. He also agreed that the percent of secondary residences was probably way off, etc. While not giving any real analysis of the potential costs to the average taxpayer of Heber AND Wasatch County, he concluded that (paraphrased) "I'm certain that it will be revenue positive for the city." and that his decision was not based solely on money and that we need a "diverse" community and affordable housing. Anderson also declared that there is correlation between retail business and population and that increasing housing will bring more business which will offset the cost of the residential. (A recurring philosophy, he has promulgated for some time in his quest for more annexations and growth.)

Council member Hokanson, then asked if a berm could help the road impact to surrounding neighbors. Anderson replied that with a 102 ft wide property being purchased for the road (connection to Mill Rd.) and only 56 ft required for the road, Heber would have a surplus of 36 or 38 ft (sic) (An example of his analytical prowess?) which could be sold to the neighbors or landscaped.

Council member Bradshaw then indicated that he is just a regular guy and knew there are certain thing government should and should not do and it wasn't government's business how much profit a business should make. He said we should ensure that this project is a benefit to the community and he had confidence in the City Manager and he was favorable to approval.
Council member Lange, gave a delightful homily about a man riding his horse in a neighbor's cornfield and respecting property rights which warmed the cockles of one's heart.

Council member Lazenby said something about if we don't approve it the county will at the same density (A statement which, on its face, failed as the reason for the annexation was DENSITY). Council member Shelton was present. Mayor Phillips was out of town. Approval to annex passed five to nothing.

Now that we have the additional 1400 houses we assuredly will need a Big Box (or two), per the Anderson dicta on growth. Coming soon at a meeting near you.

Monday, February 26, 2007

An Open Letter to Heber City Council

The Heber Big Box issue was recently on KSL Click here: broadcast on KSL!!!

Dear Heber City Council members,

Some momentous decision are apparently soon to be made on two items which will have a lasting and unchangeable effect on the Heber Valley. The removal of the cap on retail business (Big Box) and the approval of the Red Ledges development. I urge, in the strongest terms, that a slow and deliberate process be made in the consideration of these items.

Probably the best thing that has happened as a result of the proposed Red Ledges development is seeing the County and Heber City working together to attempt to solve mutual problems. One of the saddest things about that cooperation is that the solution seems to be more to the advantage of the developer than the consideration of the health, safety and welfare of the Heber Valley community as a whole.

The issue of density was apparently not considered in the Interlocal agreement, the developer’s proposal of 1370 was accepted as the maximum density allowed. The original allowed density was under 100 ERU's, as purchased, on the current county portion of the land.

A plan is being formulated by the County Conservation/Open Space committee and was planned to be implemented for this development. This was to be in coordination with all governmental entities in the valley and talks are reportedly being held to implement the plan. Under the plan, the open space mitigation fee structure for "zone changes," which would include Red Ledges, is being proposed as 12.5% of the lot value times the density increase.

The proposed mitigation fee in the Interlocal Agreement of $4.5 Million is off by a factor of over 10. At an approximate 750 increase in houses requested by the zone change, times $600K average lot price at 12.5% equals $56 Million. With the annexation approval this would now be limited to $4.5 Million. Is this to the benefit of the community or the developer?

As is generally agreed by everyone interested in this issue, the primary (if not sole) reason for the annexation petition by the developer was DENSITY. The primary (if not the sole) reason for consideration of the petition by Heber City was money - in proposed taxes and fees. The city has NOT done any independent analysis of the fiscal impact figures presented by the developer as was promised by Heber City Manager (see podcast of interview with Mark Anderson labeled "city part I" and "city part II")

Many of the developer’s figures are suspect, in my opinion, and overestimated in the developer's favor. At the very least, an analysis needs to be done for a conservative impact of costs and benefits - to the City AND to the county, in general. ALL Heber City residents are also Wasatch County residents, but the City fiscal impact analyses generally ignore the County (and school) costs.

The Red Ledges project has little positive effect or benefit on the "health, safety and welfare" of the community as a whole, which is, or should be, the major deciding factor in these issues.

The Red Ledges developer extols three "benefits" on their website :

  • Money - taxes which may be overestimated and costs which may be underestimated.
  • Public Facilities - of which there may be a few for the community, a private golf course not included.
  • Prestige - Wasatch County is already World Class as proven by all of those desiring to come and those desiring to stay.

There are similar financial analysis problems with the new "unlimited’ mixed use zone and the proposed Boyer development. An analysis of these financial impacts - other than that presented by the developer - should be a MINIMUM requirement for approval consideration. I strongly urge you to revisit Heber’s $10,000 study on the Big Box - it was far from a ringing endorsement of the concept. The Dan Jones survey - including the comments - also needs to be read and heeded - not to mention listening to the strong opposition shown consistently and recently by your constituents.

I won't even mention the traffic issues, which have dominated the discussion so far and still have NOT been solved. The Boyer development will virtually destroy the current concept for the Western bypass. Red Ledges agreement apparently builds a road to nowhere.

In the final analysis, these projects are mainly about one thing - profit for the developer. At the Aug 14 2006 joint County City meeting, the County Manager wisely asked this rhetorical question: "Is it the government's responsibility to maximize the profit to someone that owns property or let them develop under guidelines that are socially compatible with the people that live here?"

The answer to that question, in my opinion, should be your guide to a decision to continue with the protest. To me the answer is clear; maximizing developer profit is not the responsibility of government; protecting the welfare and property rights of the community, as a whole, IS.
This is an opportune time to continue a discussion between all of the entities in the Heber Valley to work, in conjunction, to implement the various General Plans and attempt to retain the rural, small town environment that is cherished by the residents. I strongly urge you to do the right thing for the residents of your community.

Council people, the decision is yours now on both of these issues. Approval of either one will drastically change the face and future of this Valley, in ways not generally favored by the residents OR contemplated in the current Heber City and Wasatch County General Plans. Do the right thing, follow the wishes of the Heber Valley residents.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

An Open Letter to the County Council - Annexation

A letter (Email) sent to County Officials 2/15/2007
(No response from any official)

While I can understand and applaud your attempts to work with Heber City officials on the annexation of Red Ledges, I strongly urge you to continue with the protest of the annexation to the boundary commission, and beyond, if necessary.

  1. As is generally agreed by all interested in the issue, the primary (if not sole) reason for the annexation petition by the developer was DENSITY. The primary (if not the sole) reason for consideration of the petition by Heber City was money - in proposed taxes and fees. (see for the Aug 14 County City meeting recording) The city has NOT done any independent analysis of the fiscal impact figures presented by the developer as was promised by Heber City Manager (see podcast of interview with Mark Anderson at the above site labeled "city part I" and "city part II") Many of the figures are, in my opinion, suspect and overestimated in the developer's favor.
  2. The issue of density is apparently not being considered in the Interlocal agreement. At one time, the agreement even included a further density bonus of 5% for signing the agreement (68 more ERU's at $1.7 Million average or $100 million in increased revenues). The original allowed density was under 100 ERU's on the land - as purchased.
  3. The proposed mitigation fee of $4.5 Million is off by a factor of over 10, under the proposed Conservation/Open Space fee structure. This was discussed at the County Planning Commission and, I believe, part of the proposal that was working through the county process. (approx. 750 ERU increase in houses requested, times $600K average lot price, times 12.5% equals $56 Million) Why should this be now limited to $4.5 Million?
  4. It appears that the proposed Interlocal agreement solves very few, if any, of the legal issues raised by the proposed annexation. In particular, it does not consider these important factors:
  • The proposed annexation DOES create an unincorporated peninsula of Wasatch View Acres.
  • The Annexation Area was specifically changed recently, solely to accommodate this annexation.
  • Heber City will NOT be providing municipal services (sewer, water) to the development, possibly they might not even be able to. This is one the primary reasons for annexation, in general.
  • The annexation is being done primarily (if not solely) for taxes as has been noted in many meetings.

This project has little positive effect or benefit on the "health, safety and welfare" of the community as a whole. The Red Ledges developer basically lists three "benefits" on their website:

  • Money - taxes which may be overestimated and costs which may be underestimated.
    Public Facilities - of which there may be a few for the community, a private golf course not included.
  • Prestige - Wasatch County is already World Class as proven by all of those desiring to come and those desiring to stay.

I won't even mention the traffic issues, which have dominated the discussion so far.

In the final analysis, this project is mainly about one thing - profit for the developer. One of our County Officials wisely asked this rhetorical question: "Is it the government's responsibility to maximize the profit to someone that owns property or let them develop under guidelines that are socially compatible with the people that live here?"

The answer to that question, in my opinion, should be your guide to a decision to continue with the protest. To me the answer is clear; maximizing developer profit is not the responsibility of government; protecting the welfare and property rights of the community, as a whole, IS.
This is an opportune time to continue a discussion between all of the entities in the Heber Valley to work, in conjunction, to implement the various General Plans and attempt to retain the rural, small town environment that is cherished by the residents. I strongly urge you to do the right thing for the residents of your community - continue with the protest of the annexation to the boundary commission, and beyond, if necessary.

I'd be happy to discuss this further with anyone or provide whatever amplifying information I can.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Red Ledges Fiscal Impact Analysis - A Pig in a Poke???

It’s axiomatic that developers and promoters will use numbers to prove and promote their particular project. This appears to be the case with Red Ledges. Is it really the Cash Cow some in the Heber City Government expect??

Heber City Revenue

For the Heber City Tax revenue the study apparently uses a proposed SALE price as the assessed value. These sales prices are, at best, an estimate - probably optimistic at that. While tax value assessment is supposedly equal to "market" value, houses in the valley currently offered for sale at $600K often carry an assessment of about $300K. Therefore, it could be concluded that the tax revenues predicted by using the anticipated sales price may be inflated by a factor of TWO.

It is not clear whether the tax computation separates the land value from the house value. The general Fund revenue would then be $870K rather than $1,750K. The net benefit to the general fund would then be a negative $250K - rather than +$625.

School Costs

School Children are computed at 0.51 per household for a total of 699 students; the County uses 0.8 yielding 1096 students.

***To determine the number of school age children, wouldn't it be logical to divide the number of school children (~4300) by the number of primary homes (total minus the number of secondary homes) - for a school children per house ratio and then multiply by the number of houses in the development or use households: 4000/4743 = 0.84 (2000 enrollment guess and census households) or 4300/18974 * 3.18 = 0.72 (2005 pop.)
(A computation of Timp Meadows showed about 1.6 students/household a few years ago)

Red Ledges study uses 2005 figures and does NOT include the new High School bond which raises the per student cost by $150 (?)

NCES figures show local share of education costs at $3305/student.
1096 students @ $3305 = $3,620,000 Education Cost

Including the increase from the new bond cost 1096 @$3450 = $3,800,000

School Tax generated based on the factor of TWO overestimate would yield $4,500K

Net Results

The net benefit to Heber City indicated in the fiscal report ($625K city + $6,900K school ) appears to be overstated and the more conservative figures might be -$250K and $700K.

The report indicates that the School District is able "to accommodate this proposed increase" indicating that the current taxpayer have, or will be, paying for the current "excess" capacity. A more rational scenario would be for the development to pay for one additional high School (current $60 million for 1500 students = $40M) one Junior High, ($10M); one Middle school ($8M), and on elementary ($7M) to educate the 1000 children brought with the development. (total $65M or $4700 per unit).

The figures also represent amounts at build-out which may be 10 - 20 years and is base on current cost rather than the additional costs which will be created by service required by the development. It does not seem to include the increase in infrastructure cost to the County (e.g. new roads - widening Center St. or Bypass, which would be required to handle the increased traffic; police protection, etc.).

Friday, November 17, 2006

Red Ledges requests Heber Annexation

Despite the 4-3 approval for a Zone change from the County Planning Commission, the Red Ledges apparently has decided to request annexation to Heber City.

"Todd Cates/Lauren Knowles – Annexation Petition – Red Ledges Recreation Community – Consisting of 1,515.73 Acres and located at approximately 2300 East to 3600 East Lake Creek Road on the northern side of Lake Creek Road" Heber City Council agenda 11/16/2006

The City Council gave their preliminary OK and advised them to continue with their submission to the Heber City Planning Commission.

This might be an excellent time to review the Joint County/City meeting of August 14, 2006. A paraphrased transcript may be found on this blog dated 9/16/2006. Better yet, a podcast of that entire meeting can be heard by clicking here or here and then click on the download link.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Criteria for Rezoning

The requirements for rezoning in Wasatch County are very clear. "amendments shall not be made to . . . the adopted Zoning Map except to promote more fully the objectives and purposes of the General Plan and this Title." Refer to the following for the code concerning establishment of the various zones and rezoning procedures.

Also included are the "purposes" of Title 16 (15 items) and the General Plan (9 items).

Title 16 excerpts concerning rezoning:

Section 16.02.05 Procedure to Amend the Title, Code or Zoning Map.

(1) Application. This Title, including the Map, may be amended by the Wasatch County Legislative Body in accordance with the requirements of the Utah Code Annotated (§17-27-101) County Land Use Development and Management Act. For the purpose of establishing and maintaining sound, stable, and desirable development within the County, amendments shall not be made to this Title or the adopted Zoning Map except to promote more fully the objectives and purposes of the General Plan and this Title. Any person seeking an amendment to this Title or the adopted Zoning Map shall submit to the Planning Department a written petition containing the following information:

  • (a) Designation of the specific zone change or Title amendment desired;
    (b) The reason and justification for such zone change or Title amendment, and a statement setting forth the manner in which a proposed amendment or zone would further promote the objectives of the General Plan and the purposes of this Title;
    (c) A complete and accurate legal description of the area proposed to be rezoned; or a draft of the proposed Title amendment;
    (d) An accurate development plan, drawn to scale, showing all areas to be included within the proposed rezoning, designating the present zoning of the property, and properties immediately adjacent thereto;
    (e) A slope map showing categories of slopes at 0-10%, 11-20% 21-30% and over 30% slopes; and
    (f) The filing fee as established by ordinance.

(2) Public Hearing. The Planning Commission and County Legislative Body shall hold a public hearing wherein it must be shown that such amendment is in the interest of the public, and is consistent with the goals and policies of the Wasatch County General Plan:

  • (a) The County Legislative Body may amend the number, shape, boundaries, or area of any zoning district, or any regulation of or within a zoning district, or any other provision of this Title. Such amendments shall either be proposed by the Planning Commission or first submitted to the Planning Commission for its approval, disapproval, or recommendations.
    (b) The County Legislative Body shall hold a public hearing on all proposed amendments and rezonings as defined in this section. Notice of the public hearing shall be given in a manner consistent with state law.
    (c) Except as otherwise provided in this Title, the County Legislative Body shall consider amendments to either the Development Code or the General Plan only once in any given year and rezonings as defined in this section annually in November. The deadline for such amendments and rezoning applications shall be submitted to the Planning Department by July 15, of any given year for the recommendation by the Planning Commission. After July, the item may not be heard until the following year.
    (2003-22, Amended, 11/24/2003)

Section 16.02.03 Zone Establishment.

In order to accomplish the purposes of this Title, Wasatch County hereby divides the County into zones in accordance with the General Plan of the County as herein after set forth. In the preparation of this Title, due and careful consideration was given, among other things, to the relative quantities of the land needed for particular uses and to the suitability of such uses, to existing and probable future conditions within the County, and to the character of each of the several zones, with a view to conserving property values and encouraging the most appropriate use of land throughout the County.

Section 16.03.10 General Plan Consistency
(1) Land Use Regulation. All land use regulations including building, zoning, subdivision and environmental protection regulations shall be consistent with the adopted General Plan. No discretionary land use project, public or private, shall be approved by the County unless it is found to be consistent with the adopted General Plan.
(2) Reviewing Department. The Planning Department is designated as the department authorized to review discretionary land use projects, public or private, and to make findings regarding whether such projects are consistent with the General Plan.

Section 16.01.01 Purpose.
This Title and the regulations and restrictions contained herein are adopted and enacted for the purpose of promoting the health, safety, welfare, prosperity, improved morals, peace, good order, comfort, convenience and aesthetics of the present and future inhabitants of the County and to:
(1) Guide the future growth and development of Wasatch County, in accordance with the Wasatch County General Plan;
(2) Provide for adequate open space, light, air, air quality, privacy, safety from fire, flood, landslides and other geologic hazards, and other dangers and to try to prevent overcrowding of the land, and to lessen traffic congestion;
(3) Protect and conserve the character and stability of Wasatch County, and to encourage the orderly development of the land;
(4) Protect and conserve the Wasatch County property values and minimize conflicts among uses of the land and structures;
(5) Establish public and private policy that encourages action to provide adequate and efficient transportation, water, sewerage, schools, parks, playgrounds, recreation and other public facilities;
(6) Establish reasonable standards of design and procedures for development;
(7) Create an atmosphere attractive to visitors and residents;
(8) Fully exercise all of the powers granted to the County by the provisions of the Utah Code Annotated (17-27-101) County Land Use Development and Management Act, and all other powers granted by statute or by common law for the regulation of land uses and improvements;
(9) Protect and enhance the quality of life in general for Wasatch County residents;
(10) Allow development in a manner that encourages the preservation of scenic values, historic structures, agricultural uses and minimizes the impact on natural resources in Wasatch County;
(11) Provide for well-planned commercial and residential centers, efficient traffic circulation, and efficient use of county services;
(12) Regulate development that may add to existing geologic hazards, erosion, flooding or other conditions that create potential dangers to life and safety in the community or detract from the quality of life in the community;
(13) Require new development to be fiscally responsible by providing all required improvements and adequately mitigating any impacts to the County;
(14) Establish Zone Districts within which the Legislative Body may regulate and restrict the erection, construction, reconstruction, alteration, repair or use of buildings and structures and the uses of land; and
(15) Provide methods of administration and enforcement of this Title and provide penalties for the violation thereof.

General Plan Purpose
The purpose for the preparation of this general plan is to provide a comprehensive approach to the coordination of development, natural resources and open space in such a way as to provide a harmonious relationship that meets the needs of present and future residents and also promotes the health, safety and general welfare of the residents of the County. Specifically, the purposes for planning within Wasatch County are:
1. To promote the most acceptable type of development within each planning area of the County.
2. To insure the orderly growth of urbanizing areas and reduce the haphazard scattering of development that has occurred since the first plan became outdated.
3. To foster commercial and light industrial development that will strengthen the economic base of the County.
4. To protect the natural and cultural resources of the County.
5. To insure that geologic hazards, flood plains, wetlands, ridgelines, view sheds and other physical constraints are adequately considered in each planning area.
6. To insure that local units of government can obtain the highest return per dollar spent in maintaining water and sewer facilities, storm drainage facilities, streets, parks and other types of public facilities.
7. To ensure that public safety personnel and facilities are within a reasonable distance in areas of concentrated development within the
8. To promote the social and economic well-being of the people of the County.
9. To insure that growth does not over tax the water resources and degrade the clean air of the County.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Red Ledges Zone Change Approval

A news story reported on the "ritzy venture" on Thursday, discussing the Red Ledges development and its effect on Wasatch County.

The first step in the approval process came before the Planning Commission on 11/9, after an initial 3 to 3 vote in an earlier meeting. At this meeting, traffic studies indicated a threefold increase in traffic on Center St. from new developments - without some alternatives being implemented.

After extended discussion of the potential traffic which and introduction of various possible traffic plans, several of the approximately 75 citizens in attendance expressed their opinions. About 15 people spoke, with over two-thirds expressing displeasure with proposed zone change. Previous meetings had also brought vocal opposition to the project. A few residents have indicated their approval of the proposed 1500 new houses which the project might bring.

After all of the discussion, a motion was made to deny the approval for the zone change, which was defeated by a vote of 3 to 4. A subsequent motion to approve was passed 4 to 3. The issue now goes to the County Council for their consideration. The change for P160 and RA-1 will allow an increase from less than 50 house to about 500 under current Mountain Zone regulation. An further request has been made to change the law concerning the zone to further increase the allowable houses to nearer the desired 900 plus.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Red Ledges Development Survey

A new internet poll has been posted concerning the Red Ledges development at This survey is open to Wasatch County residents and is totally anonymous. It will take about five minutes to complete and has ample room for personal comments. Please feel free to weigh in with your opinion.

The Red Ledges development is proposed as a large gated community with a private golf course and other amenities for its residents. I would be located on the former McNaughtan farm on the eastern edge of Heber City just north of Center St and would include the adjoining property located in Wasatch County.

More information can be found on the developers' website by clicking HERE.

The project is currently planned to be jointly developed in coordination with both Heber City and Wasatch County. Several hearings have been held on the issue. One joint meeting was reported HERE.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Joint Wasatch County Heber City Meeting

On August 14, the county and the city held a joint meeting to discuss issues of growth, annexation and working together. The primary focus for the first half of the meeting was working together to facilitate the Red Ledges development as a joint project.
Below is a 'paraphrase' "transcript" extracts of the meeting - an interesting discussion. The numbers indicate the times from the beginning of the meeting on the recording. (No minutes of this meeting are found on the County website.) Phillips or DP = Dave Phillips, Heber City Mayor; Anderson or MA = Mark Anderson; Heber City Manager; Lange = Terry Lange, City Council; Price or JP = Jay Price County Council Chair; Davis = Mike Davis, County Manager and other members.

9:40 Philips; This is unique (working together) If Red Ledges makes sense and feels right - It’ll be a landmark . It'll benefit the county for a long time. If you are willing to consider we can take it to the next step.

11:30 Phillips: $1.2 million in property taxes to city on the whole project Red Ledges
Price: Cost to city?
Anderson; I can’t say that (have) figured it
??? Red Ledges says 40% second homes - I don’t trust those developers

12:30 MA: was 1800 ERU's down to 1400 their marketing says the number may go done more.
Davis: Could be different because it’s in the valley, most of secondary homes are out of valley
Phillips: They (RL and developers) say more secondary because not much service to secondary homes. (Italicized comments added)

Lange: some history

15:00 Phillips: We’ve shared our vision
Price; Questions from council ??
Farrell; With a joint planning impasse who has final say?
Phillips: We need a fall back plan - this is what we are going to do. We have differences on safety issues

17:20 DP; divide fees based on ERU’s Committee to work on it In the end we're living here, this is for the folks down the road. We’re not getting anything out of it.
JP; what are your fees?
(Most of the discussion seems to center on how much can be collected in fees - NOT how it affects the future)

18:20 City fees way low - Anderson: escrow actual costs.
Price: 5% for engineering 3% for water we get em for 8% Barely covering costs with that.

19:50 Anderson; we see our boundaries as being restricted this provides us with growth areas to west.
PC Zone City; 40% open space 5500 sqft lots 2 units per acre. (New) McCluskey (60 acres/120 units) nw of mcNaughtan (between McN and city)

Davis; Annex to collect city taxes? YES
Davis; You will annex Wasatch View acres. Illegal without that. Will you Annex Gary Conrad above greener Hills.

22:40 Anderson; Annexation plan dynamic. People might want to annex from twin creeks SSD
Davis; Draw a lIne ?
DP; what are you trying to say Mike - just say it.
Davis; we aren't trying to annex Twin Creek into Heber; we have a line at the city.

23:24 Phillips; Response to Jul 6 Co letter County wants TROZ (16.18) hard to do if you can't set city boundary
Phillips; what do want us to say? To annex Burns without view acrew would be a peninsula. (Illegal)
Davis; we need to know where the city will stop.
Phillips; Maybe I’m reading something into this - I apologize you are asking where do we stop.

25:45 Davis; will the city consider the next to the east
Price; Scott just bot that property and will want the same consideration

26: 15 Davis: TROZ offers higher density adjacent to city. M (meant P160) zone is 160 per home when adjacent to city becomes potentially M zone "with the density we are going to see in the Burns development" (RL & mountain Zone not in TROZ)
If it stays P160, $12 million is very expensive for 40 homes, (Actually $300K/ lot is not too exorbitant these days in the valley) If he is adjacent to city there’s a potential for m zone
Shari Lazenby; How big is the TROZ Davis; TROZ = 2 things Heber annexation and adjacent to that area (NO- not clear, seems to want to include RL as adjacent see 16.08.01)

28:49 Kohler; county trying to give comparative density next to city - you allow 4 per acre 1 acre looks good compare to what you’ve got. If the city was not annexing we would not give as much density than is being considering now. How do we get around that?
Lange; We stayed of ? annexation makes your property more profitable. (Why do we continue to worry about the profitability of empty land and not about the taxes caused on the current property owners) Why do we have to fill in Wasatch view acres they don't want in Behind there they may want to - Cove

31:52 Kohler; If the city keeps annexing up the hill how do we get open space anywhere? If we don't do something you will keep annexing.
Lange; Get a petition (for annexation) and let’s talk about it.
Kohler; The assumption is if we don’t do something, you will so we have to do something.
Farrell??; if we have successful joint planning on RL, I don’t know why you abandon it.
DP;. With PPD we can create open space, our PPD give open space - bring your 160 acres and will talk about it.

33:34 Kohler; The leverage is always there (annexation) they can always come to the city and get more. If the city continues to annex to increase revenue. We have two different ideas. (Open space vs. revenue??)
DP; I like the plan for McN because it has open space, not a grid square subdivision. The rest of the Burns property should be more open than that.
Kohler; He didn’t spend $12mill without expecting something We have to break that expectations that higher densities are available.

36:30 Anderson; philosophical differences. SLC, Summit and Wasatch are pro development. It would be nice to have areas to grow into. Avoid the competition, (between city and county) sit down and plan something for this valley rather than add a lot of density
DP; It terrible that you have to make the decision based on us. If all of the growth had gone from the city outward we wouldn’t be having this problem. 50 years from now we have x people maybe we'll say we should have done better. Maybe tonight is the beginning of the game. This may good for Burns but what problem will it create. Next people come along and change everything
Price; That’s a mistaken attitude. County hasn't gone out promoted development. People have come in and promoted development.
??? ; We haven't either.

39:45 Price; Apparently you aren't feeling the pressure that we are getting to slow development. What are Heber citizens saying?
Lange; Developers always want more development.
KC; people say shut it off
DP;: 95% say I’ve got my place - stop. they don't want more subdivision. They want their open space at someone else’s expense.

Price; Mark, you’re saying leave the open space in the county so we can expand into it. We're saying develop in the county at less density.
DP; Take that to RL and work together. They already given up some density since they started. (Actually they started out high). Then we go to the next guy west and say do you want to build something.
I‘d like to see that guy 6th south collaborate with neighbor. for open space. Maybe one acre is the best we can get.

44:00 DP; we need to work this out
Price; OK, How do we deal with the transition to county
DP; county is more open than city. Where does leave us in the city with the property owners that want to develop. If we say let’s develop everything in the county form this day forward where does that leave the city?
Davis; Is it the government responsibility to maximize the profit to someone that owns property or let them develop under guidelines that are socially compatible with the people that live here?

DP; By limiting them to one house per one or five acres we are taking away their property rights. If I’m saying something wrong, let me know.
Davis: City protested Jordanelle. If the guy wants to build on 40 and River Rd. why not let him, why not let him (under your philosophy?

DP; Because I’d like him to build a it out on 12th South.
Lange; back in the pre Davis days, Mathis came to city and asked for support for stopping commercial north of town. We agreed. I voted no on Southfield Rd annexation turned down. We turned it down many times and have been harassed.

49:15 My wife’s nephew wants to develop condos flowing north into north fields on 105 acres. I told him to stop talking. I ask Val and you what’s the density there, I’m still skeptical with the Bypass road thru that property. Because I thought you guys would protest.

50:54 DP; it's property owners right to annex, city makes decision whether to accept. (City has the right and responsibility to set the annexation zone and protect the welfare of the community)

52:26 Davis; we have no say in annexation.