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Heber City plans ‘walkable’ Main Street, tourism zone

Part of Heber City's plan for how to evolve its downtown includes building height limits and architectural styles specific to zones within city limits.
Heber City
Part of Heber City's plan for how to evolve its downtown includes building height limits and architectural styles specific to zones within city limits.

After a year of public input, Heber City planners have now unveiled new plans for downtown.

Easier access to shops and restaurants, preserving the historic character of neighborhoods, and developing more tourist attractions are the core principles in Envision Central Heber.

City planners gathered public input at three different meetings, plus, there were more than 1,200 responses to surveys about what residents thought was important in downtown Heber City.

The plan is a blueprint for the next 30 years for Main Street, central neighborhoods and a potential tourism and recreation district on the west side. It’s part of the general plan the city council laid out in 2020.

City Manager Matt Brower calls it “a very detailed vision of what we want to accomplish.”

“This is important because it allows us to now begin re-tooling our ordinances, our policies, so that we can begin executing on that plan,” he said.

Future building heights on and around Main Street are a priority, he said. Envision Central Heber establishes Main Street buildings should be no taller than four stories, and buildings one block east and west of Main Street can be up to three stories tall.

The plan also includes making Main Street, which is also U.S. Highway 40, friendlier to pedestrians.

Brower said that means “taking Highway 40 and converting that into a nice, pleasurable streetscape with a lot of great amenities, mid-block crossings, more landscaping, such as landscaping the center median.”

It also consists of a walking area from Main Street Park to City Hall with plaza and gathering areas.

He also said city and county governments are working together on future parking garages both downtown and on the western edge of town.

Another component of the plan is to create a recreation and tourism district.

The Heber Valley Railroad is the leading tourist attraction in Wasatch County. Brower said city offices see opportunity to build on that.

“Imagine Park City having a ski resort and nothing else around it or supporting it; no hotels, no restaurants, no shopping," he said. "What would your experience be like in Park City? The point I'm trying to make is with the number one tourist attraction being a railroad, what the vision identifies is opportunities to bring about some shopping or retail, dining around that area. So, if people come into downtown Heber, we give them a reason to stay.”

More information about Envision Central Heber is available here.

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