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Local News

Referendum Campaign On Wohali Kicks Off In Coalville

coalville__utah.jpg
Ken Lund on Flickr
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A Coalville citizens group seeking a referendum on the proposed Wohali development held a kick-off event January 20 at North Summit High School.

The group has a little less than five weeks to get 300 signatures, which would amount to 35 percent of the town’s registered voters.

The group “Coalville For Responsible Growth” drew an audience of 50 to 60 people.

The group is challenging the Wohali project, which is proposing some 700 residences and nightly rentals, plus a golf course,  to be located on over 1500 acres in the hills west of Interstate  80.

The Coalville City Council approved an MPD preliminary plat and a zone amendment for Wohali in December.

The opponents say the project would forever impact the small-town rural feel of Coalville.

They got their signature packet approved January 10th.   They have until February 24th to get their goal of 300 signatures.    At their website’ entitled I Love Coalville, a graphic shows they have 102 signatures at this point.

If they’re successful, the referendum would go to the ballot on June 30th, which is also Utah’s primary election day this year.

The group had filed a lawsuit against the city’s approval, but opposition leader Louise Willoughby said they are holding it in reserve.        

“We actually did that as a protection for our group, actually for the city as well.  We were advised to do so by our attorney that we have hired, and we did that.  And it’s just on the back burner right now.  We haven’t made a move to do anything with it.  It’s just sitting there because our focus is on the referendum right now.”

Another representative, Lynn Wood, said the suit alleged several procedural defects in the city’s approval.      

“Yeh, we have no intention of serving that complaint on the city and turning that into a lawsuit.  It would just be more of an option.  If the city wanted to concede, they could do that, and then it would put it back to the Council.  So we just feel that’s an avenue that needs to be kept open for now.”

Willoughby said you can go to their website for updates and for information on locations around Coalville where petitioners will be available.         

“We are a small community, so we won’t get the number that they’re getting for the Utah tax thing.  But, yes, we’re hoping that we can get to 300 quite quickly.    But we’ll go door to door.   If anyone wants us to come, just contact us.”

Louise Willoughby, who said if the referendum is successful, it won’t entirely stop development at Wohali.    The applicants have a base density of one per 20 acres, or at least 80 units.

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