Showing posts with label Growth. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Growth. Show all posts

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Comments - Benefits of Developments

6. What do you see as the benefits of new developments?
increasing propety values for existing landowners
Added tax base and continued increase in value of property in county for benefit of all. Need to be sure the new developments fully pay for themselves in relation to initial and ongoing costs of support and infrastructure.
none for me
tax base increased
More excellent people with talent, energy, and resources reside as our neighbors and help build this county as the best place to live in the nation.
Development has the potential of creating fresh ideas and creativity. HOWEVER. . . see 7.
There are none unless they bring with them plenty of capital to modernize access to and egress from the subdivision.
new property to be taxed
at the present time, as a developer, plenty. as a ciitzen not much. history has shown new developments do not pay their way. I an tired of picking up the pieces.
Land owners get fair value. Community gets fresh faces with new ideas, talents, and varied interests. Steady growth keeps the whole area vibrant.
some new and interesting people
Slow sustained growth of population will eventually attract more and varied services
More taxes
Not much if anything.
I can't think of any. It seems there are always many existing homes for sale, so why do people feel they have to build new homes and take up rural land, while others are available.
from (#5) question- 30 houses clustered with open space. The benefits of new developments are CCR's so there are no dead cars in the front yard, underground utilities to eliminate power poles. They are inevitable, we have to make the best of them.
To provide housing for the growing demand in the valley. To upgrade the housing supply. New housing provides the type of product that the current buyers are looking for using the current building codes and requirements.
To line the developers pockets.
More tax dollars spent to improve existing areas in the valley.
nothing but income from taxes
there are no benefits, unless developers pay their full way. Projects must be small and must bring something to the community besides people.
If planned correctly, with proposer lot sizes, open space, restrictive covenants on size and quality of homes, these new developments within the county could be a real asset. Improved/expanded services, increased retail options, and a more diverse culture.
affordable housing for families to remain in the valley if they can
Rapid economic growth for the county, fortunes for the landowners and developers.
Nice, beautiful homes in a well managed area. Parks and recreation facilities available. The increase in population will probably force businesses to improve their outward appearance and will, for certain, bring additional businesses into town.
PUD's tend to bring in development in a more orderly way with more attractive homes. Otherwise there is a tendancy to have a really nice home next to a broken down shack.
1. More diverse social, cultural, and economic base. 2. Increased tax base.
Economic benefits to home construction and vendors who sell to that industry. Additional economic benefits to merchants who have more customers.
None, really.
Bringing more diversity to the valley
A larger tax base for the community.
We have already set the standard. One can not say to one you can have more and to another you are limited. The rules were broken too long ago to allow anything else. By allowing 5 acre limits and such we are setting the county up for litigation as there are too many examples of homes long in exisitance on smaller parcels by having a name or paying for the favor.
There are no benefits of growth in the County. The Cities should be allowed to grow into the county. This reduces the cost of growth. Water, sewer, police, etc. are real expences the could be saved. Wasatch County wants to be a city at the expence of the tax payer of the incorporated areas of the county. The benefits of letting the cities grow in the the county whould certainly keep the unincorpated area RURAL.
It is the trend for our area. Too many places are under development to limit growth of those who have not sold out yet. Maybe all the impact fees will help build better roads and services we don't get living rural.
New growth will help to broaden the ideas of those who have only seen one way.
development brings change and change is good. It makes you appreciate what you have so you stand for theose things that mean the most to you.
I don't think that it is a benefit it just means that people found a new place to develop.
Developers monetary gain. The wealthy move into their dream homes and the less fortunate are on waiting lists to apply for housing assistance.
Not any benefits.
More tax dollars
I don't see benefits. The more houses that are built, the less our house is worth and the more saturated the housing market is
none, we have enough.
increased property tax revenue for the county/ The are benifits if the developor puts in parks, trails open to everyone
More property taxes for the county.
large one acre lots often become unkept and cluttered, half acres are large, but can be kept looking nice. New developments benefit housing needs.
none Big box forces businesses out..
Lower Tax
New talent to the vally people with life experance that can give us insigned adds some tax base maybe some new bussness.
Increased tax base to be used on community projects, improvements, etc. Higher standard for property aesthetics. New people and new businesses to add to local diversity.
New poeple moving into the area
gives and option for the people that grew up here to find a home to start of their own.
add to tax base
Very little
economic growth, new people with new ideas
Easier to buy drugs with more people, more people would speak spanish
tax revenue
Very little.
Hopefully more diversity a few better services. Small businesses are more likely to stay in business. Hopefully enough people to improve the High School

Comments - Problems with developments

7. What problems do you foresee with new developments?
pollution, increased txes, urban sprawl, loss of smal town feel, traffic congestion, noise, loss of public safety.
Destruction of a once beautiful valley
Added drain on infrastructure resources if they don't pay for it fully in taxes.
tax increase/more traffic
congestion ,crowded schools and increased traffic. Valley would lose its charm and pollution would be increased. Increased garbage in landfills which might make it necessry for mandatory recycling.
crowds traffic higher taxes air pollution noise pollution light pollution
Congestion, loss of rural environment, polution, tax increases.
Large numbers of people in concentrated geographical areas tend toward crime and failure to know your neighbors. Los Angeles was my last location. Please have enough foresight to avoid creating their problems. "More money for the county" is an extremely high price to pay for all of the big city problems which suck that money away from more vital needs.
Devlopers don't fund them properly and should be forced to landscape them before they are sold. Some homes go ten years before they are landscaped leaving dust bowls throughout the county.
more demands for a City-like business base
Water. Sewer and the lack of a careful process by our government. They seem more interested in pleasing the developer at the expense of common sense.
Crime, Infrastucture impact (sewer, water, roads), traffic. Are we really wanting to become another Park City?
Increased infrastructure and support service costs. Danger of losing the thing that makes everyone want to come here in the first place.
crowding, traffic, pollution, loss of community, crime, increased taxes, rising costs, crime, graffitti, gangs, citification,etc.
In the past, the County has maintained a fast track of growth, without regards to the consequences of their actions. They are supposed to represent the interests of the population instead of a few people and developers who will profit at the populations expense. New developments are not problems, too many develoments are going to be the problem.
More taxes
The cost of land and housing is outrageous. Our children can not afford to get into a small place let alone purchase 5 acres. Then all of the charges on top of that before they can even begin to build a home. Then there are the $ hungry land owners who are holding out to sell their property as one big chunk to a developer.
More traffic, sidewalks, lights,more schools-which we are already paying alot for the ones we have now,more demand on county services. The county seems to discourage many big businesses in, and they are needed with more people. Many residents already leave the county to shop.
Having them pay for themselves. The developer just forwards the costs to the buyer. Then people complain about their children affording a home here. Aspen, Vail, Telluride, Jackson Hole, Sun Valley etc, have not been able to fight it either. Roads need to be widened, and more stop lights on Main Street! More kids in school- we can't just build more schools, we have to pay teachers more to attract QUALITY teachers. That's what the new arrivals are expecting from our education system.
To many to fast, not enough infrastructure to maintain so many new people, main street is a death trap for our children, you can't cross main street unless you are at a light anymore.
The cost is out of control! New developments need to provide funds for truly affordable housing.
Increased traffic in rural areas with drivers not obeying speed limits. It was nice to go for a leisure drive in rural areas, now becoming not an option. Law enforcement rarely enforces speed limits, probably too busy with other issues brought on by increased population density. Developers expect water to be supplied to them, just because they want to develope.
Crowded streets, crime, pollution, greed.
Increase taxes,traffic congestion, pollution, over crowding,loss of rural feel
too much traffic, pollution, and overload on fire protection, and schools...I am old and I am sick of bonds
over running of water, sewer. pollution in the valley that we can not control. traffic, school impacts that are not now paid for by the developer. destroying of open space. destroying the watershed. And new developments seem to bring the need for more services that we neither need or want. New developments allow for our government to get larger and larger with no controls but plenty of spending. We need some wisdom from those involved and not deal making.
If poorly controlled and planned, the only benefit to would be increase retail options, but the quality and quantity of services available would decrease due to an overtaxed governmental system, crime rates would increase, damage to the environment would be greatly increased, and the quality of life would generally be degraded.
Higher taxes to cover increased needs like sewer, water, roads, law enforcement. Housing prices are too high for regular incomes. Restrictions in associations are expensive, limiting and unconstitutional.
too much density and not enough open space, trails, overall planning that is not changed by whims of those whose friends want to sell their property to developers for high density housing. Housing follow the guidelines of a plan that is secure.
1. What appears to be wide spread, haphazard development without sensible planning. 2. Spread of noxious weeds throughout the county with no enforcement of weed control required by developers and land owners. 3. Absentee landowners who take no interest at all in maintaining desirable vegetation such as range grass species to compete with undesirable vegetation. 4. Transportation of noxious weed seeds along with fill dirt and top soil from one site to another. 5. Loss of quality rural life style in Heber Valley. 6. Influx of drugs, gangs, and other undesirable elements into the Valley.
Too much growth for Heber City as it is now built. Overcrowded streets. Downtown Heber has too many cars/trucks/semis as it is.
Totally crowding out the farmland so that the area becomes too "metropolitan".
1. traffic congestion 2. conflicts between gricultural and residential users 3. increased demand for public services 4. increased air pollution
School crowding, rising property taxes, traffic congestion, noise and light polution, increases in crime and stress on county services.
Increased population. Increase demand for services. Increased taxes.
infrastructure not keeping up
More crime.
We have issues to face in the future with the ability to service all the homes. Where will all the trash go? The costs to haul and fill other counties landfill will one day leave us holding our own trash in a place we have not planned to do so! We will then charge the residents more for the services we can not provide as we did not prepare! The same is true of sewer. And with all the deveoplment that is under way let along upon the tables more trash and waste are coming! It appears as if one thought this area was going to be like timberlakes an area where people would build, pay taxes and leave for the rest of the year. People love it here and are willing to llive here no matter the cost. Ten years from now you will look in the phone book and names of the founders will no longer dominate the book it will be new people as the third generation after the founders sold out.
As the growsth accures in the unincorporated areas of Wasatch County there is a burden placed upon the Citizens in the cities in Wasatch County. Everyone shares for expences for say snow removal, Sheriff Dept., road repair, etc. Even though YOU pay for the expences incurred, you don't received the the same treatment if you live in the cities. Midway residents are charged for the Sheriff patroling the streets of Midway. When the snowplows reach the city limits the blades go up. I hope the citizens in the cities wake up soon before they are taxed to death subsidising the the people the live in the unicorporated ares of the county.
Taxes shouldn't go up but they will. We will have more employees and we already are heavy on that end of the scale. We are lacking the infrastructures talked about for years and yet nothing has been done about the talk. We need traffic off Main Street so it is a town rather than a freeway. This means the county and the city have to work as a team rather than two separate cities as they have done for years. We need to work with Daniel, Charleston and Midway. The plan needs to be for the betterment of all of the area rather than benefiting those in office with land or those in office working on borads for a pay check rather than serving. It has been like that for years. The number of new people hopefully won't put up with the networkings that have controlled things from schools to cops it will be a change but one for the better.
Development needs to include low lighting and planned areas for open space. The open space should have a purpose ratehr than just being left as weeds or liability to land owners and County as fire hazard.
The biggest problems will be those of transportation and services to the new developments. We will need more postal delivery people, water and sewer containment and treatment pants. Schools, parks, shopping and churches will be added to the mix. More people living here will demmand more areas for businesses. A palce should be planned for this. Get the city of Heber and Midway together with the County and plan where the shops will be and where the roads will be. Plan the traffic flow and build accordingly. Don't do what happened down at the new area where the two schools are in an industrial park - that was planning without a plan! Kids and trucks are not a good mix.
We see things that were traditions change because size changes the atmosphere of being small. Celebrations become events and the crowds get bigger with fewer faces that you recognize.
No water! Urban sprawl. Muirfield,Timpmeadows etc...........Cottage Homes.........Zermot......
No water, more crime.
Water issues, health issues, safety issues.
Force infrastructural changes. Increase our property taxes, and decrease the rural way of life we have i this valley
More traffic. No more small town atmosphere. More crime.
rising taxes and over crowded schools.
loss of farmland/
Traffic, loss of character of the valley, profits going to people from outside this valley and outside the state, pollution, noise, light pollution.
The lots sizes larger and more expensive. It will allow only higher income people moving here to be able to afford the cost.
They cost existing homeowners, higher values, higher taxes, etc. There must be an impact fee for preserving open space and paying for impacts.
Forcing small family owned businesses out,Too much traffic,not enough WATER!
Crowding,Schools, Water, Power, Road Use
Sewer, Water, Ifrastructure, grabage, crime, and schools finding the balance wil be the hardest part. once a grain it all comes to planing and vision.
Loss of open space; traffic; rising property taxes; need for other businesses and services that again drive further growth. Limited but growing pollution due to traffic and construction industries. Increased crime both in terms of population demographics and new "targets." Effects of economic disparity on community relations.
Too much growth, large beautiful fields being turned into housing developments
Brings in so many people and raises the prices of the homes already here.
cost of infrastructure, policing, water and sewer
No more a nice place to live. Just take a look at Salt Lake.
smog, traffic, noise
drug lord competition
over burden of schools
More governmental services, necessary educational infrastructure, increased traffic demanding expanded roads, traffic lights, drive times; decreased air quality, WATER PROBLEMS, and more.
More traffic, smog. Less open space, privacy

Comments - Misc.

12. Please add any other comments.
we should have the best planners available to face he enormous problem facing wasatch county. It would be a good investment, Perhaps the coun ty and other muncipalities should have a unified planning gommision so developers can not use annexation and other threats to force the county to concede to their wishes.
Respoinsible groth need to continue. Key word here is "responsible". We need to curtail the "high density" development that all the developers want so they can maximize their instant profit and leave residents holding the bag. How come we don't push for more 1+ acre developments and even some 5+ acre ones. The county seems to cave in eventually to every developer that wants high density. There is plenty of financial incentive for 1-5 acre developments.Lets not turn into Snyderville!
I think there should be tax relief for those who moved here to retire and have no children.I moved here because I thought I could live on my social security and limited retirement funds and the taxed were affordable but they keep escalating.Tax children
When a new structure is planned an architectural drawing is usually created so those financing the project have a reasonably good idea of how it will look. It would be helpful if the various parties would likewise lay out verbally and graphically what the county should look like if their ideas were supported by the majority. What we seem to be getting are extreme views with disjointed pieces emphasized and no integrated, holistic picture of our county as it should be when the needs of all are considered.
Thank you for the opportunity to give input
Howard Jarvis sponosored the bill in question #11 in California in the 1970s and it was a boon to the state, not a bane. Mill levys need to drop when excess revenue comes in.
I have great concern, that our elected leaders are taking us down the wrong paths when it comes to growth. their problem solving abilities are based on emotion and the desire to please developers, more than looking at facts and long term solutions. citizens seem to be the last on their list of concerns.
Growth happens! How we manage it determines what our County will be. We moved here 35 years ago to get away from the city, now we are on the verge of becomming the city we moved to ger away from. Be wise!
I am in favor of growth but we need to be cautious that we don't lose the home town feeling. Need to make sure that we are controlling growth and growth is not controlling us.
Wasn't this decided in the bib box survey - A survey may be a good tool, if elected leaders listens.
Please bring in a Big Box so that school bonds can be paid by them. We are growing so quickly that we are not able to keep up with the demand for bringing money into our county. Let's not be pigheaded about what stores comes in. Look at our demographics, do we really need another gas station, tire place or bank? If we can get it into their contracts to be responsible for putting money into a school bond to build and or improve our schools would be best. If open space was a much as a park within the development would be great. We need to keep the kids off the streets and give them places to play and hang out instead of on the street. We need to get out of this small town mentality and start acting like Park City and letting our growth equal the amount of business we could be bringing in, instead of handing it off to other counties.
Is that constitutional to have old residents pay less than new ones??? We need to come to grips with our taxpayers traveling to other counties to shop at Costco, Target, etc. That is sales tax that would ofset property taxes! We can't be a bedroom community for Park City forever...We have to have a diverse economy that will sustain ourselves. Wake Up.
I am not happy about any of the decisions made in regard to developments by our County government. I thought the asphalt plant had been shut down and the next thing I knew there was smoke billowing across the valley. Way to go guys!! That was a good move. NOT
We could learn from our neighbor, Summit County. Everything we are going through they have already experienced. Our leaders need to seek advice and not ignore the help Summit County could provide. The two counties are becoming "The Wasatch Back" with similar issues throughout. With the development around the Jordanelle the Heber Valley, Park City and the Snyderville Basin are beginning to become one seamless community.
Wasatch county should take a lesson from Park City on Open Space preservation.
We moved here one year ago because of the country feel of the valley. Let's not turn it into another Park City, where the people are too snooty to even talk to you.
Is there ever going to be a tax exempt on seniors that are on a very limited income?
over the years, we have seen more govenment with fatter budgets, but it seems to be doing less and less. Our leaders seem to be making sweetheart deals with developers to get more money. all in all, we seem to be in trouble, but no one seems to be coming to our aid. There is a local program on our radio station, they raise the issues and talk with our leaders, but the problems remain the same. Everything our leaders seem to be doing, is always somehow tied to money. we are building things, but few people use what is built. Our leaders seem to spend money, even when it is in short supply and they are willing to raise our taxes to support their habits. I would think, in a few years, we will connect to park city and look like orem or someother place. The view from our mountains will be ugly, since all we will see is the roof tops of 100's of homes, that have brought nothing to our community except high taxes, more crime, traffic problems, and impacts on schools and other services we have.
Include conservation easements, open space, and orderly development in Land Use Planning.
Please, don't let our county turn into wall-to-wall homes as I have seen in other areas. We want to keep the rural, country feel. That's why we are here.
I don't want to be one of those who say: "Now that I'm here, everyone else 'stay out'." However, we have a chance to encourage development in such a way to preserve what makes this valley great; which is NOT "wall to wall" housing.
Question 4 and 5 are confusing. RA-1 seems to require specific land be set aside for agricultural usage. If land must be set aside for agricultural, this value must be subtracted from the total amount before dividing the amount of housing available.
There are too many small developments of relatively tasteless, suburban homes in the county. It creates a checkerboard effect with clusters of homes interspersed with agricultural land that will later be developed absent of a plan to consider any continuity of style or lot size.
All should share the burden of taxes fairly and old timers should never be favored or given preferential treatment unless they are on an income that would prohibit them from being able to pay their inflated taxes. In such cases a petition should be allowed and a review committee could adjust the taxes accordingly.
After talking with people that have moved into the valley, the predominant attitude that has been conveyed to me is that the "newcomers" want to stop the growth. It's almost as if they are saying, "I have mine, so let's close the doors so noone else can come in." An example of this is the big stores that have attempted to establish business in the valley. Almost all long term residents that I have talked to, want these stores. The "newcomers" express their concern about losing the small town "charm." I feel the small town "charm" was lost 30 years ago. Let's live in the now, not in the past. I feel all new structures should be taxed adequately to pay for all of the costs and the existing residents should not have to help cover the costs of sewer, water, road and other costs associated with the new developement. Make all new growth pay for itself! Then and only then will it be fair for the current residents who have lived here all their lives.
We are the Orange County of UT. It would be wise to look at the history of that area to understand where we are and where we are headed. Limits do not limit it only allows those with deep pockets to dwell here. Last year land was valued at 40k to 80k per acre. This year 80k to 140k. It seems unreal to those who have lived here so long and average to those who have come from other places. The county needs to plan for roads, sewter and waste disposal. Schools and churches will come as they are the bi product of housing sprawl. It is far too late it this county to hold back the land owners and say you are limited. There have been too many holes shot in plans and re configured plans to ever hold water or weight in a court of law. The idea is the views are beautiful here. The atmosphere is recreational for horse lovers, skiers both land and water, four wheeler owners and walkers bikers and hikers. We are the bedroom community to Utah County and to Salt Lake County. As summit gathers more soft industry we will bedroom them as well. We should work on soft industry and on organized comminities as that is all we are! Gone are the days of tractors humming at 5:00 a.m. and pa coming in for the noon meal. The pa's that will live here will be on the golf course at 5:30 and be home way after the sun sets in order to pay taxes in this county. We will see flight of long time residents who on limited incomes can not afford to live here. And those who have made the rules will in a decade be in the same situation that they too will be un able to stay. We have sold ourselves out for dollars and are now in a clamour to get a foundation under the house of cards!
The most successful counties in the state of Utah do not allow growth in the unincorporated ares of the county. If Wasatch County wants to be a city then incorporated!!
As a senior citizen the tax rates in this county will limit my time residing here. We will be buried here as we own those lots but we might have to be driven laying on our backs as we just don't make the money it takes to live here. In the planning of things I would suggest assisted living homes or parks where seniors can live in the area they were born in a small place that has limited fees like they have set up for low income families. Our home will be sold to a minority family on a special grant and low interest rate while we move to a condo in a city and for the first time lock our doors. A plan needs to include those who are in kindergarten now will still be residents of this County when they are seniors or we have sold our posterity out!
By placing a hold on taxes and forcing open space the freedom of the landowner is removed. Older people are under the burden of holding on to a property too large for them to take care of as tehy are under the lower tax law. It creates division in a community. The old are safe the new are burdened. The law should be the same for everyone. That is why we are in this pickle is that the laws have not benn consistent in this area since the seventies. We need to build a place where generations can still reside without having to work three jobs to do so.
Let the law be to govern not control. The land owner should be able to do what he wants with his land since he bought it and pays the taxes. Plan and stick to the plan. If it says no horses in Daniel and there are horse there now you have shot yourself in the foot! Plan for a five years, a decade, and out to 2050. Review the plan with the public yearly and make sure the paln reflects the needs of those who live here. For example: If no one owns horses in Heber Valley in 2030; we need to be thinking now what other uses the building built last year can be used for to benefit the community in the future. Plan with a purpose and plan for growth! Mostly what I have seen is some people having to build overkill to meet code and others not appearing to have any code. We need to get consistent. If it works in Midway it can work anywhere. Why re-invent the wheel!
I came to this area just like those who are coming here now. It is pretty and it is peaceful. It will always be pretty. If the roads and paths are put in place now it will still be peaceful. No one can control growth it just has to be managed. This place is in a boom mode. It will grow until it can't and then people will be doing surveys on growth for Tabby!
Houses are being built to close,to many on a lot,and are not'affordable'.
We need a county planning department that can and will direct and control growth and development in a professional and well educated manner, not development by the old boy network where dollars changing hands seals a deal
Dont just think about the money, think about the quality of our lives. Once we bring it all here it will never go away! Been there and have seen it ruin the small town I came from.
we went to the 7 person counsel, but they are not doing any better than the old 3 person counsel. They are not listening to what the people want.
Please save our valley from ending up like all the other "popular" places to live. Help us to save the farm. I would love to have more farm land, but how can we compete with these developers prices. We need to find a benefactor who will buy some of the farms and preserve them.
I think the people moving to this beautiful valley want to stop anyone else from moving here. It isn't going to happen. We need businesses to come in and keep the shopping in our county and add tax income. I am tired of driving (with the high gas prices) to Park City, Provo and Salt Lake City for everything we need. Logan is an example of a small town feel, but there are stores, shopping malls, places to eat and a main street with small businesses. Why can't Heber City have that too? I want my children to be able to afford to buy a home and live here. If only 1 acre lots and larger are allowed, who can afford them?
Prices of land are driven by profits the developer expects to make. The developer need to know there will be impact fees to pay - so let's get them in place NOW, not later.
Building is way out of control in our small valley,with the amount of water we have available Maybe I am old fashioned,lived here my entire life & it is,of course not the same,but growth could be controlled & planned better.
I know it is hard to keep every one happy it is harder to keep us happy when you keep changing the rules it should be the same for john dow as it is for the the old timer's in the valley. be honest, upfront, and having integrity, is the best policy don't twek thing or have heart burn your not puting your best foot forward when you say those things and we all know it!
But to make the law in question in #11 "constitutional," wouldn't there have to be some kind of allowance for newer owners once they had resided in the valley long enough? One final issue that should fit in this survey somewhere: we need a bypass route around Heber City. I think we have enough growth on its own to sustain area businesses (assuming we stand strong against Big Box stores)--the time to acquire land for a Highway 40 bypass route is now. That way, we can work to preserve the character of the valley--in conjunction with the municipalities--and still take advantage of it as a crossroads. We are enough of a destination spot now to do this--and that will only increase in the years ahead.
Please save the beauty of Heber. The fields and animals are why I moved here and bring such joy whenever I drive into Heber from SLC or Provo.
put in the bypass,slow traffic on Main St,make signage appropriate to downtown as opposed to having large "highway" type signage,have ordinances addressing "light pollution" in the valley, I want to be able to see the stars at night.
Please look at California taxes--Prop 13-This is the way to set the taxes.
We need low income housing and tax breaks for small business and large business that would bring in more revenue and honest working families
Subdivisions should have a higher density with clustering and have at leat 50% open space
There seems to be thoughtless control in subdivision growth and understandable, but shortsighted "cashing" in on land for money. The Heber Valley cannot sustain current growth without destroying its character and quality of life.
I think the zoning in the county could use improvement. Businesses need to be clustered into walkable areas. The oil change station at the Holiday Inn Express is like a sore thumb on the property. If this business had to go in that spot there should have been an architectural requirement to make it fit in. The dentist's office on the corner of the library lot also fights the architecture of the new library and blocks the view of that wonderful building. What makes a lot of resort type areas different is that they don't allow this type of haphazard development. I would also like to see the remaining historical buildings preserved. It would also be wonderful to have some trails, especially ones that allow horses in areas where horses are already on the properties such as the trails weaving through the homes in the north end of Park City. Thanks for allowing input into the development of our county.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Another Moratorium!!!

Lo and behold, Wasatch County has discovered that the "solution" to the previous moratorium was unworkable and another moratorium has been enacted at the Wednesday Council meeting 7/12.

Trying not to gloat, I'll simply refer the reader to this posted on Feb 22.

Citizens of Wasatch have another opportunity to speak up about growth - if they will take it. Otherwise, I fear more of the same - or even worse.

Wasatch County Population 2005 - 18,974

Projection based on already approved developments - at very conservative 8.000 approved (probably 9 to 10,000) - add another 24,000 to 30,000 plus all of the other developments not yet introduced.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

More Developments - Pre 2003

Many of these developments were approved by the old County Commissioners prior to the cahnge of government. Some of partially complete, most are still waiting for who knows what.

At an average of merely 3 persons per Household, these 7600 ERU's could account for 22,800 people in Wasatch County. (Many may be secondary homes, which are generally an economic benefit to the county.)

pre 2003North Villageestimated1000
pre 2003Sorensonestimated1000
pre 2003Beaufontaine1600 E Lake Ck Rd.estimated100
Nov 2002Crossings(150 shown above)538336
2005Strawberry Pines3161002
pre 2003Cobblestone1200 Ssome remaining12798
pre 2003Lake Creek FarmsWild Maresome remaining
pre 2003Greener Hills
pre 2003Victory Ranchestimated1000
pre 2003Aspens at Jordanelle1348
pre 2003Tuhayeestimated600
pre 2003Hideout Canyonestimated100
Midway ???
Heber City???
Aug 2006Red Ledges14681900
Aug 2006Spring Hollow3200 E Lk Ck1926
Aug 2006The Woods600 S 2200 ECobblestone912

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Wasatch City - Again

In 2004, the US census estimated Wasatch County had 7,853 housing units. In the last two years Wasatch County, alone, has approved at least 1,448 new houses. This does NOT include many previously approved developments that are still not completely built out. It also does NOT include those approved as single house or small scale developments (less than five acres), or those approved in Heber City, Midway,etc.

Growth moves inexorably forward, but most current residents do not seem too happy about it. In my conversations on the subject, most people seem to feel little can be or, at least, will be done about growth. That's probably true - if that unhappy populace does not express their collective opinion to those who CAN make the decision to moderate the growth rate to attempt to retain at least a facade of rural environment. The county moratorium and subsequent Land Use change certainly didn't solve the problem, nor did the proposed General Plan review committee. (Whatever did happen to that?)

We hear of "smart growth," sustainable" development, "walkable" communities, Envision everything, and Agenda 21 - all apparently leading to the same goal - put everyone in big houses on small lots and make them use public transportation. We seem to have tacitly adopted the philosophy of a "medium rural" environment. That's where you might see the cows, but you can't smell them.

If you're happy, sit back and wait for the traffic lights to change; get out your check books for the property taxes coming as the winter murk begins to settle on the once pristine valley. If you are less than satisfied about the direction we are heading - get involved, make your voice heard. Thursday night, the County Planning Commission will be considering another four new developments, with only a 100 or so houses; but the Red Ledges (1468 ERU's) and other developments are waiting in the wings.

Here's a list of approved developments in the last two years:

Date approvedDevelopmentLocationERU'sacres
TOTAL ERU's =1448
Jun 2006Farms at Tate LaneTate Lanephase 2910
May 2006Crossings3000 E Lk Ck Rdphase 1458
Apr 2006Grand Haven2400 S 2400 E91133
Mar 2006Victory RanchKamas Rd.73298
Mar 2006Wild Mare Farms C3200 E 1670 S13
Mar 2006Jordanelle RidgeKamas Rd.14577
Feb 2006TuhayeJordanelle1531
Feb 2006TuhayeJordanelle4
Feb 2006TuhayeJordanelle6
Feb 2006Black Rock RidgeJordanelle162
Feb 2006Summit Meadows3050 E 1200 S1113
Jan 2006Slipper HollowWallsburg9
Jan 2006River MeadowsRiver Road3980
Dec 2005Triple Crown450 S 1200 E6195
Dec 2005Black Rock RidgeJordanelle10232
Dec 2005Fox Run1800 S 3600 E1722
Nov 2005Crossings3000 E Lk Ck Rd4513
Nov 2005Victory RanchJordanelle22
Oct 2005Hideout CanyonJordanelle15
Sep 2005Deer MeadowsJordanelle
Jul 2005Deer Canyon PreserveJordanelle103401
Jul 2005TuhayeJordanelleRidgeway B37
Jul 2005TuhayeJordanellephase 1315
Jul 2005TuhayeJordanellephase 16 S51
Jul 2005TuhayeJordanelle2411
Jul 2005Victory RanchKamas Rd.phase 1A22289
Jun 2005Farms at Tate LaneTate Lane820
Jun 2005TuhayeJordanellephase 3N15
Jun 2005TuhayeJordanelleRidgeway A11
Jun 2005TuhayeJordanellephase 16So A28
Jun 2005TuhayeJordanellephase 16So B23
Jun 2005Hideout CanyonJordanellephase 2&46933
Apr 2005TuhayeJordanellephase X21713
Apr 2005Deer Point PreserveJordanelle12151
Sep 2004StillwaterJordanellephase 2637
May 2004Crossings3000 E Lk Ck Rdphase 14780
Mar 2004GiltnerHwy 248 Jordanelle615

Monday, April 03, 2006

County Council Candidacy

Fellow Republicans:

It is now one month before the convention on April 29. Feel free to contact me by phone or email or comment here with your questions or comments. I’d love to get your input. I would also invite you to visit my blog for some of my ideas and comments on Wasatch County issues.

Some of you may remember me from my letters and columns in the Wasatch Wave; others may remember my advocacy for the change to a Council form of County Government. Wasatch County was changed to a better form of government, we now need representatives who will be more responsive to the people of the County and embrace the change to more citizen involvement. In the court case over the change issue, Judge Eyre said, ". . . it is the intent of this court to give effect to the express will of the people . . ."

My issues in this campaign are basically threefold:

Growth: Wasatch County growth continues at an accelerating rate. While a moratorium was established, the enacted solution has failed to solve the problem of proper management of growth issues. We need to do more to protect our "small-town," rural valley from becoming Wasatch City. Zoning regulations are for the purpose of protecting the welfare of the community as a whole.

Two questions need to be asked and answered:
1 "Has anything substantially changed to manage growth in the last four years?
2 "What will the Heber Valley look like in ten or twenty years with the current growth philosophy and laws?

Openness in government: We need to do more to solicit community input and provide information to our citizens. The mere placing of a public notice that meets strict legal requirements may not be sufficient to keep people aware of future plans. I will work towards enhancing and enlarging available information to the citizenry. Informed people will result in a better government.

With the introduction of a new form government, the intent was to encourage more citizen involvement in local government and to create more open communications to and from the County government.
1 Have you been encouraged to become more involved?
2 Is your opinion being sought? Are you being heard?
3 Are you getting more and better information about proposals and decisions being made?
Lower Taxes: Every "politician" quotes that mantra. I have a record of being a tax watchdog and actively participate in attempting to save the taxpayers money. Residential development generally has a great negative fiscal impact on the taxpayers of the County and growth must be properly managed. Economy in fiscal management must be the watchword in County operation.

My past experience includes a long record of service in the Republican Party as:

  • County Chairman,
  • State Central Committee member,
  • Many terms as state and county delegate,
  • Constitution and Bylaws Committee.
  • Author and Sponsor of the Resolution on determining cost of Illegal aliens to the taxpayers of Utah which was passed overwhelmingly by the delegates in 2005.

My other experience that might be considered is varied:

  • a longtime student of governmental principles and practices,
  • accomplished as a researcher and analyst,
  • trained as an engineer,
  • owner and manager of a local retail business and
  • retired from my primary occupation as a Captain for a major airline.
  • For the last three years, I have served on the County Planning Commission and agree with the statement in the Development Moratorium (Ordinance 05-11) "zoning regulations in the RA-1 zone are currently inadequate to protect this valuable asset (rural atmosphere, open space and agricultural feel)" from the "unprecedented growth pressure in the form of multiple large scale subdivisions applications and corresponding loss of agricultural use, open space and rural atmosphere."
  • winner of the Wasatch County portion of primary for Utah State Representative, but regrettably lost to current Rep. Gordon Snow when Duschesne County turned out more voters.

My name is Robert Wren, and I am asking for your support as the nominee of the Republican Party for the Wasatch County Council at-large seat A. I am a strong supporter of the Republican Party principles and Platform and a firm believer in the idea of limited government, lower taxes and individual responsibility.

I believe in the triplet:

  • Make good rules,
  • Follow the rules,
  • If the rules aren't good - change them.

In accordance with Wasatch County bylaw 7.2, I declare that:

I have read the Utah State and County Republican Party Platforms. I support those Platforms and accept them as the standard by which my performance as a candidate and as an officeholder should be judged.


Robert Wren.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Moratorium Solution - NOT!

Last week the Planning Commission, by a vote of 6-1, recommended that the County Council adopt the Planning Department’s "Option 3" (of 8 or so), modified to 25 acres to "solve" the problems of open space and growth.

This proposed amendment to Title 16 (Land Use Code) does nothing to slow growth of development - it may actually increase the number of houses that can potentially be built in the unincorporated County.

The avowed purpose of "Zoning" is to protect the health, safety and welfare of the community. A group of citizens have called for an interim zone change to RA-5, (possibly with a Planned Performance Development which will reduce - not increase - potential housing construction) while a deliberate study is done to revisit the General Plan of 2001 (as required by that plan) and present a considered, thoughtful solution to the potential growth potential and to attempt to retain what the residents have expressed a continuing desire for - a rural, small town with open space.

Much in the wording of the overall proposal is excellent. The description of "Rural Landscape Character" was generally well conceived. The proposal of how to protect open space through various ownership and easement arrangement is well done. However, the devil is in the details.
What’s wrong with Option 3, and basically the whole array of proposed options? At one point of time Wasatch County required 200 ft. frontage on county road, and that lots could be only "subdivided" once.
  1. This new proposal will apparently allow anyone over a lot of two acres or more to subdivide further. I will readily admit, that although I have studied the two inch thick Title 16 and the one inch General plan, there be some proviso that may be limiting.
  2. Under the proposal, "property less than 25 acres" . . . with sewer, will allow one Dwelling Unit per acre, on lots as small as 1/3 acre. (About 100 feet by 140 feet) (Variable lot sizes, with no more than 25% of each size.) For example, 6 lots at 1/3 acre, 6 at 2/3, 6 at ½ , and 7 at 1 acre on a 25 acre parcel. This is defined as a "Standard Subdivision."
  3. If the total parcel size is greater than 25 acres, a developer may, by leaving 50% in open space, build 1 unit per "buildable acre" on lots as small as the 1/3 acre. So, with 100 acres, 75 houses (not 100) may be built (because of the "buildable acre" concept)
  4. The Planning Commission voted to retain the "Transition Zone" - the potential "annexation" areas around the incorporated (It had been proposed to delete it). This provides a "bonus" of 25% more houses, by meeting certain criteria.
    It doesn’t take too much analysis to figure out that by dividing a piece of land into parcels of less than 25 acres that you will be allowed to build MORE houses AND proclaim that open space is being preserved, merely by putting houses on smaller lots.

Further subdivision of your current home’s lot At the PC meeting, a list was presented of the various lot sizes currently in the RA 1 zone. It was indicated that there were 335 lots of 5 -10 acres, and it was explained that some currently have homes on the lot. The impression given was that a lot, with a home, on 10 acres, under this proposal, could be further subdivided as noted in #2 above. For example, a home on 10 acres (335 of them, ‘many’ with houses) could carve out a 2 acre parcel for the current owner and build 8 more homes on the remaining property (10 more if within the TROZ)

I sincerely hope that this interpretation is incorrect, but I see little in the law to preclude this. This is part of the reason to slow down and think about this whole proposed change. Find out what the County residents truly desire for our valley; and determine what is best for the health, safety and welfare of the community, as a whole, not for a group of land holders.

Administrative vs. Legislative Acts If you’ve read this far, congratulations, this will surely put you to sleep. There are two types of land use acts. Basically, with an Administrative Act (e.g Standard Subdivision) there is little discretion in approving a subdivision. If the law allows it - must be approved. I believe the "less the 25 acre" proposal will fall into this category.
A Legislative Act (e.g Planned Unit or Performance Development - PUD) allows the county a little more discretion in approving developments. Particular criteria, generally will be "reasonably debatable to further the general welfare," must be met for approval. A PUD will allow more input into developments and allow the discretion afforded under Legislative Acts, if that is what is desired. Otherwise why not just eliminate zoning, and let the ‘market’ work? The answer, of course, is that we DO have zoning and with it certain expectations that the zoning has created. If one buys a rural piece of land in a low density zone, it should be a rational expectation that the surrounding area will be kept rural and low density.

I’m certain that corrections will be forthcoming for any errors expressed here, as they were for the idea that Wasatch was growing at 15% annual growth. While Wasatch is one the fastest growing counties in the nation, that should have been a 15% growth in three years, or 4-5 % annually. In actuality the rate is not all that relevant, the potential for growth IS. This also serves as an excellent example of why it is desirable to study, consider and deliberate, before making the very important decisions. I do not proclaim to have all of the knowledge or all the answers, I do have questions and I do have a concern for the direction we are heading - Wasatch City!!!

If you have similar concerns, this is not the time to rest on your apathetic laurels and trust that your elected representatives will protect you, and your county, from "unprecedented growth pressure in the form of multiple large scale subdivisions applications and corresponding loss of agricultural use, open space and rural atmosphere." (Moratorium Ordinance 05-11) Your action is required because "zoning regulations in the RA-1 zone are currently inadequate to protect this valuable asset (rural atmosphere, open space and agricultural feel)" (05-11) Please Contact the County Council and express your opinion.

A Public Hearing will be held on February 1, your input is needed. Amidst cries of "elitist" and "anti-people" and "you trying to keep my children for living here," I remain a cry in the wilderness (rural, of course) to what is coming. Don’t say you have not been warned as you wait through the fifth stoplight change to turn left. I think developers will love this plan; I hope the only thing left is not the 10,000 plastic cows to maintain the rural facade.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Wasatch City II

Rural or City - which will it be?

In the immortal, paraphrased, words of Chicken Little: "The valley is filling, the valley is filling." Yes, I understand, that warning was false - but, this one can be observed.

Last Wednesday an ad hoc committee presentation was made to the County Council proposing a possible solution to the problems described in the development Moratorium - "unprecedented growth pressure . . . (loss of) rural atmosphere, open space and agricultural feel . . . protect(ion) of this valuable asset." The slide show is available on line. (Large file- long download - self executable)

After an explanation of the current situation, the ad hoc citizen committee proposed to modify all RA-1 (one acre per house) zones to RA- 5 (five acres per house). After dong that, create a citizen Land Use Committee to discuss further plans, in a deliberate and thoughtful manner, for accomplishing the goals of the 2001 General Plan and the desire of Wasatch County residents.

Some of the goals of the citizens’ Committee of 100 were clearly defined and described in the General Plan:
"Preserve the rural Character of Wasatch County"
"Preserve the present air quality of the county"
"Develop land use policies that encourage open space"

A further goal: "Due to the rapid growth that is taking place in the County, the land use portion of this plan shall be reviewed at least every five years to determine if the land use policies are being adhered to and changing conditions are being addressed" also needs to be fulfilled. By law, a moratorium can not be extended beyond its six month limit and enacting passage of Land Use regulations requires a minimum of two months, with required public notice, meetings, etc.

On Thursday of last week, a plan was introduced at the Planning Commission to attempt to resolve the RA-1 moratorium by effectively changing ONE acre zoning to one-half acre zoning, in clusters, and leaving open "green belts" on half the property. This proposal, with or without modification, will be submitted to the Planning Commission on the 19th of January. Public Notice will need to be given in the Wave on the fourth of January to conform with the legal notice law. An approval/disapproval decision will then be made by PC and forwarded to the Council for consideration and passage. The moratorium expires February 23rd.

The moratorium ordinance (#05-11) states, "regulations in the RA-1 zone are currently inadequate to protect (our) valuable assets." I heartily agree, and submit to all of you that the current cluster proposal will also be inadequate.

More information may be found at If you have an idea or opinion on this issue, contact your Council Representatives, or the planning staff, or Commissioners. Please join for a discussion on Growth in Wasatch County. Currently, anyone may join; Emails sent to the group will be sent to everyone who joins.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Welcome to Wasatch City

A little over a month ago the Wave heralded the development moratorium passed by the County Council. At last we were to take a stand about the loss of our "small town" atmosphere and rural environment. During polling on the Walmart issue the people had spoken - the consensus was to maintain the valley as it has been, in so far as feasible.

This moratorium can, by Utah law, only run for six months; during which time we would all hope for some proposals to help alleviate the perceived problems. By County law, amendments to Title 16 - Planning, Zoning and Development Code - and the Master Plan may only be amended annually before 30 November. With public hearings, notices and other meetings, there appears to be little time to prepare and approve changes. It is, perhaps, possible that "emergency" authority might be used to avoid this restriction, but, to date, little has been done (as far as I can tell) to formulate any proposals to correct the RA 1 development concerns that apparently precipitated the moratorium.

Early in September, as a member of the Planning Commission, I emailed Council members asking: " What specific problem(s) are we trying to solve?" and "What is the suggested direction for solution?" See for full text. This was met by a deafening silence. Oh, there have been a few minor general discussions at Planning Commission meetings and I have had some brief discussion with a few Council members, but the only proposal thus far set forth is a proposed Title 16 change which would allow greater "bonus" density (MORE Houses) to developers "willing" to build on SMALLER lot sizes. Instead of 100 homes on 100 acres, they would be allowed to put 125 "clustered" homes on 50 acres and keep the remaining 50 acres "open" or in a park for the use of those in the development. Is this the direction the residents of the County want to go?

To get a feel for our future "rural" atmosphere, I might suggest driving up 1200 South and comparing Cobblestone (2000E -clustered high density), then close your eyes while passing The Crossings (2600 E - very high density - 500+ homes) and continue to Stonebridge (4100E - one acre lots); then turn right into Lake Creek Farms (one + acres). Then amble over to Center Street and visit Greener Hills (4200 E - 5 + acres) and Pole Estates (6000 E -1 acre) and decide for yourself which example you might prefer as an example for future growth in the county. Consider our supposed plan to grow from the cities outward, then contact members of the County Council and Planning Commission and give them your impressions.

There is a process called Public Involvement in local planning matters, it might have an effect - if used. May I suggest attending the October 20 Planning Commission meeting. Go to the Council meetings (Oct 19, Nov 2, Nov 16) - listen and express your opinion on these issues. Take a look at where I infrequently post some items of County interest and leave your comments, please. Join a new discussion group concerning Wasatch County issues by sending an Email to Everyone is welcome. Our 2001 General Plan, which actually considers up to 91,982 homes (pg. 86) in Wasatch County, is up for review at the end of five years.

Personally, I fear that our desire for rural and small town is a long gone vision and the best we might hope for is a small town facade disguising Wasatch City. But, who knows, some of you out there may have a solution. In the meantime, I am researching the possibility of purchasing 10,000 plastic cows which can be placed strategically around the county to at least maintain the appearance of a rural environment, but I'm not sure how to provide an authentic smell - perhaps our local politicians can help.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Moratorium on Developments

An Open letter to the County Council:

I left town for a week and returned to find we now have a development moratorium. If we are to propose a solution prior to the end of the six month period, many considerations must be made to solve the indicated problems. In actuality, as any Title 16 changes (16.02.05) must be made by 11/30/05, there are less than 90 days to complete the process. Two public hearings (PC and Council), with appropriate notice (14 days), appear to be required to make this change.

With the last Council meeting scheduled 11/16, notice would have to be sent for Wave on 11/2; after the Planning Comm meeting of 10/20 to consider the proposed change which would require a notice on 10/5. So basically, it appears there is about a month to create this law change. There is currently one PC meeting scheduled on 9/15.

In my understanding no specific proposal has yet been created or under consideration. It appears to me that gathering more public opinion on these issues ASAP is paramount to creating an acceptable solution. I hope that we are NOT using Cobblestone as a standard of desired development. Although very successful in sales, to me Cobblestone does not appear to be "rural" or even "small town;" (obviously The Crossings has to be the worst example of rural planning). If we do not want to create Wasatch City, Stone Bridge, Lake Creek Farms, Greener Hills and Pole Estates might be better examples.

As a member of the Planning Commission, I would ask the following questions:

1 What specific problem(s) are we trying to solve?
Maintain rural atmosphere?
Maintain Open Space?
Keep agricultural use viable?
Slow the speed of growth?
2 What is the suggested direction for solution?
Rezone to 5 acres?
Require x % open space in any development over x acres or x units?
Purchase of open space by County?
Transfer Development rights?
Larger property tax abatement for agricultural with longer rollback on development?
Dedicated Parks? County maintained?
Create a facade of rural environment - 10,000 plastic cows?
One story homes - at least we will be able to see some land?
Open space on roads - not in back of homes?
Impact fees for buying open space ?
Limited annual building permits - to control the RATE of growth?
No more new roads - Build on current roads only?
No more PUD's?
No more SSD's - No mechanical Waste treatment?
Minimum distance between houses?
Cap the number of homes allowed in the Heber Valley?
A few sites mentioning limiting annual building permits, to better control the rate of growth and necessary infrastructure and "to promote the prosperity, improves the morals, peace and good order, convenience and aesthetics of the community":

Friday, July 29, 2005

Heber City Public Works Study

The U of U Center for Public Policy and Administration recently completed a study of Heber's Public Works future needs due to growth:

"The study concludes that Heber City is on a track for continuous rapid growth.
It is becoming a resort area on its own, as many homebuyers and retirees are being priced
out of Park City and other relatively close resort areas in the West such as Jackson Hole
and Sun Valley. With the increase in home and commercial development, new burdens
will be placed on the Public Works department to provide services to the new and
secondary residents. Unfettered growth in the surrounding unincorporated areas of
Wasatch County will also place large burdens on the city and its public works in terms of
infrastructure demands.
The scenarios provided in the study will show where Heber City will likely be in two
years, five years, ten years and beyond. The following recommendations address
changes that can help the city cope with its demands over the short run – a few years at
best. It is very likely that more strategic, long run plans are needed to deal with expected
growth. "

This report gives an informative comparison with other Western small "cities." It's a sobering analysis for those who are hoping to maintain a "rural" small-town atmosphere.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Water? (from the 1999 archives)

Water, Water Everywhere???

Is anyone else concerned with the source of water to be used by all of the new growth in the Heber Valley? We hear a lot of talk about water rights, water shares, Special Service Districts, and millions of acre feet for this, that and the other. I have a simple question: who is responsible to insure that water is available for me to pump in my well?

It seems fairly obvious that there is a limit to the supply of water in our valley. Our water currently must come from underground aquifers or from lakes, ponds and reservoir. Most of Jordanelle and Deer Creek water has apparently been allocated elsewhere by the ubiquitous CUP.

We therefore seem to be limited basically to that which we can pump from the ground. That water can only come from three places: precipitation, runoff or recycling. Precipitation is obviously rain and snow, runoff is the result of the snowpack and recycling occurs through septic, sewers, irrigation, watering, etc.
Ten years ago, it was difficult to get a building permit. The avowed reason - there wasn't enough water. Now it seems we have created an almost unlimited supply. We are building more and more sewer systems which take water from the local areas and pipe it somewhere for recycling. That water then returns to the aquifer. Is that the same aquifer that MY well pumps from? I have no idea. I fail to see how sewers can INCREASE the available water supply.

Effluent does not flow uphill. These new sewer systems allow greater housing density
Not too long ago there was an irrigation ditch which had water flowing in it most of the summer. With the diversion of water by the new CUP system that seems to have dried up. We are converting irrigation water into home usage. Does that decrease the recycling effect? We had an irrigation system pressurized by gravity, now we are converting to a system requiring electric pumps for distribution. Is this progreess?

Heber City is building a large reservoir which must be filled by pumping from this
underground supply. Will this affect the water level? I have to think that it must. Does anyone know the quantity of our underground water? Where does Heber City obtain their water rights?

Wasatch County recently allocated millions of acre feet to the Jordanelle SSD. Won't all of the new construction in the County need that water? Is there anyone in this county in charge of protecting the water rights of the current valley residents? Are new developments required to insure that proper amounts of additional water will be available to use in those new homes? How much water is, or should be, allotted to each proposed residential unit?

There is a new Planning/Zoning proposal to all "Clustered Development" in RA zones.
This will greatly increase the allowable building density. (County Commission to vote on 13 December!) This seems to violate the rural agricultural setting that the 1973? Master? Plan? was supposed to protect. Is there any such thing as a master Water Plan? Do we hear anything about water conservation? Are we emphasizing low water usage building and landscaping concepts?

These are just a few questions about an item that should concern everyone in this valley. Water is not an unlimited resource, no matter how many sewer lines we build. The overriding question is: In ten years and after hundreds (or thousands) of new homes will you and I be able to turn on our taps and get water from our wells or will we be required to hook up to a public water system (at our expense, of course) which will provide me water from an Alaskan pipeline?

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

The Cost of Growth

The Planning Department has a cost analysis program for developments which should provide breakdown of government cost numbers per family - at least per household. A minimal rough estimate was a $1000 increase in tax expenditures for every home built.

County portion of school costs are about $4,000 per student. The county budget will also provide the overall costs of government provide services, but it's difficult to allocate the costs by a per capita basis of increase in population. More people does not necessarily mean increase in use cost, in fact sometimes it may decrease per capita. - but you already knew that.

Admittedly I have not read the Wikstrom report, but according to Lisa Parkin's letter (very Pro BigBox) in the Wave today, we have a tax leakage on $29 million per year in sales. That amounts to an expenditure of about $6000 per year for every family in the county or $500 per month. Do you spend $500 per month on "groceries and general merchandise" outside of Wasatch? If so, would you stop because WalMart comes to town? Those figures, IMO, are grossly exaggerated. What is the actual sales projection for a Wasatch big box? How are those "tax benefits" computed. Personally, I'd be surprised if my family spent $20 last YEAR and I sincerely doubt that, WalMart was here that we'd spend $200 per year for some item of convenience that I could not get elsewhere. This is the same faulty logic used in the Airport economic analysis.

It is important to note that the sales tax goes mainly to Heber - not the county, Parkin quotes $77K to school (which would be offset by increased people moving in) and $89K to Wasatch.