Public Hearing On Wednesday As Benloch Ranch Seeks Preliminary Master Plan Approval
Wasatch County Council will hold a public hearing for preliminary approval of the Benloch Ranch master plan. One decision by the council regarding the master plan will greatly impact the number of structures in the 2,300-acre community located south of the Jordanelle Reservoir.
Wasatch County Council will meet in council chambers at 6:00 pm Wednesday. Council meets at the County Administration Building located at 25 North Main in Heber City.
Representatives from the Benloch Ranch development will be requesting preliminary approval for their master plan.
Benloch Ranch is comprised of former master planned projects known as Talisman, Highlands at Jordanelle and a portion of Jackson Fork. After the three projects defaulted on bonds to pay for improvements, they were foreclosed.
All three master planned properties have since been bought by Jamie Mackay; a Jackson, Wyoming based real estate developer. The proposed master plan for Benloch Ranch contains 2,046 equivalent residential units on 2,345 acres.
The proposal includes 532 single family lots, 1,193 attached condo or townhouse units. 178 detached condo/townhouses. 50,000 square feet of commercial space and 250 Wheelhouse units.
The originally approved Talisman project had plans for a traditional hotel while Benloch Ranch instead plans for a resort made up of Wheelhouse units.
Wheelhouse units are small standalone cabins used as nightly rentals. The cabins will be 400 square feet in size and owned exclusively by the resort.
One important issue to be discussed at Wednesday’s meeting is how the Wheelhouse nightly rentals will be weighed as equivalent residential units or ERU’s.
Equivalent Residential Unit simply means a dwelling, unit or development that is equal to a single-family residence.
The county uses a chart to determine how different configurations make up an ERU. For example, a hotel room is one-quarter of an ERU whereas a one- or two-bedroom apartment is one-half of an ERU.
If a use is proposed that is not specifically listed on the chart the county planning staff will assign an ERU value that best matches.
The applicant originally asked that the stand-alone cabin units be measured as .25 ERU’s, some council members thought that the cabins ought to be valued as 1 ERU. The different between those two measurements for the cabins could result in as few as 121 of the units or as many as 486 cabins.
At the June 13 Planning Commission meeting county staff presented one-third of an ERU as acceptable for the cabins. The applicants and planning commission also agreed to that designation. That designation would allow as many as 364 cabins, although the applicant is currently asking for just 250 units.
The Wheelhouse ERU designation and therefore number of cabins at Benloch Ranch will ultimately be decided by the County Council.