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Coalville Planning Commission Vote Sends Wohali Project To Council

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The proposed Wohali development—the largest project that Coalville City has ever seen—took another step toward approval.    The Coalville Planning Commission on November 4th sent a recommendation for the First Phase of the project onto City Council.

Wohali, which would be located on over 1500 acres west of Interstate 80, is planned as a rural resort and golf course.

It would include 570 residential units—ranging from single-family lots, to cabins and Estate and Ranch lots—and 130 nightly-rental  units.

On Nov. 4th, the Coalville Planning Commission voted, 4 to 2, to recommend a Preliminary Plan for Wohali’s First Phase, which is comprised of 102 single-family units, infrastructure for water, sewer and roads; and five miles of public trails.     The two dissenting votes came from Dusty France and Shoat Roath.

The project coordinator retained by the city, Don Sargent, said Wohali was introduced last year and has had nine official meetings.

Sargent said there was some angst about the proposal—and there still is—with some residents thinking it would be a massive gated development, separated from the rest of the town.

But Sargent said that developers have been working with the city to integrate public amenities into the plan.      

“There’ll be no gates at the entry going into the community.  Portions of the road will be public, the main road going in.  And then all the benefits of what they are proposing as their Village Core, which comprises the Lodge, there’ll be a spa, just some resort support facilities, mostly pedestrian pathways, splash pad, an all-faith chapel.   I mean, there’s  several things that are being contemplated for this Vilage Core that will integrate into a resort atmosphere that will be open to the public.”

He said they’re expecting Wohali to have 11 phases, built out over 15 to 20 years.

Sargent said for each phase,  they will review how many employees will be generated, and how much worker housing can be created in the project.         

“Phase One includes ten employment-housing units, that would help support the employment demand for the project.    But every phase will have their own individual assessment on the employment generators that are needed and required to support the project.”

One of the city’s major water sources, Icy Springs, is located within the project, but is covered under a Water Protection Zone Plan.    At their recent meeting, the Planning Commissioners got details on how the Springs will be protected.         

“Obviously, any sewer has to be piped into the project.   There cannot be any septic tank or drain field.    And there has to be substantial operational best management practices in place.   The developer has indicated they would and would like to do, to protect any source contamination.    And then placement of buildings have to be on a low-permeable shell above the sandstone structure of that acquifer that provides water to Icy Springs.”

Sargent said that under the city’s recently upgraded code, developments have to be accountable for their impacts on the city’s water and sewer.      

“And so Wohali has represented, and this will be verified and memorialized in the Development Agreement, that they will pay 100 percent of any impact they’re creating to the city system.   So the level of services under the existing community residence is not reduced”

There has also been some concern with reports that the city would provide some of its excess water rights to the project.    Sargent said that’s a legitimate concern, but the city thinks it is feasible.      

“I mean, according to the initial city water plan, there appears to be excess capacity.  That’s why this was even discussed with the developer, to maybe receive some benefit from working with them and transferring some of that water to their project.  Not all of it, the city certainly has maintained that they will retain enough reserve for their period of impact, which I think is 20 or 30 years out.”

Don Sargent, Coalville City project coordinator for the Wohali development.    The Planning Commisison’s recommendation goes on to City Council at a public hearing on November 18th.

Known for getting all the facts right, as well as his distinctive sign-off, Rick covers Summit County meetings and issues. KPCW snagged him from The Park Record in the '80s, and he's been on air and covering the entire county ever since. He produces the Week In Review podcast, as well a heads the Friday Film Review team.
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