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Wasatch County
Heber, Midway and Wasatch County

Wasatch County Council approves playground, extra homes in subdivision despite resident dissent

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A development south of Heber City got a green light to build extra homes during the Wasatch County Council meeting Wednesday. Before the vote, nearby residents let council members know they didn’t approve of the decision.

 

  

Christensen Farms, a subdivision in Center Creek that’s south of Heber City, got permission to add homes to the proposal for its next phases. It convinced the Wasatch County Council to approve the change unanimously with an offer to build a public park there as well.

“I feel the requested density of 38 additional lots is in excess of the benefit being provided to the public. However, I believe a public park in this location is a good location, and the county can offer a density bonus in exchange for a fully constructed park, as offered by the applicant,” Councilman Steve Farrell said.

Over the past few years, the developer, Ivory Homes, has proposed that phases two and three of development include 62 homes. In exchange for building the park, it asked to increase the number of homes by 38 up to 100 total, a 60% increase.

In the end, the council voted to allow 24 new lots.

It denied two requests from the developer. One was to redesignate four acres from phase one to phases two and three, which would’ve further increased the density. The other was to waive affordable housing requirements.

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Credit Wasatch County
The plan for the 13-acre park includes four turf soccer fields, a picnic pavilion, restrooms, a playground and two pickleball courts.

  The 13-acre park design includes four turf soccer fields, a picnic pavilion, restrooms, a playground and two pickleball courts.

Eight residents showed up to the public hearing on the matter, most of them residents in the first phase of the subdivision. They all asked the council not to approve the density change. Many said they didn’t want their specific area and the county at large to lose its rural feel.

“When I talk to anybody in this Heber Valley and this Wasatch County, they value the rural atmosphere,” Suzanne Evanson said. “And when you look at increasing that density to 61%, I don’t think that’s in accordance with the values of the people that you’re representing here, because I think it does set a terrible precedent for what can come.”

Jill Skoy said she opposed the idea because it’ll bring a lot more traffic, and she didn’t particularly like the park design anyway.

She also said, “One councilmember said that development is inevitable in the county, and I would just like to say that you have control over that development and that zoning has been set up to control the content and character of this valley. Obviously, there is going to be growth, but I don’t think that means we have to succumb to that growth and just put in as much growth as we want.”

Other council members echoed Farrell’s reasoning to meet the developer’s request.

“I hate to see the additional density, but several years ago, we looked as a council and realized we were going to need some additional regional parks, specifically on the east side, but part of that was recognizing that having a park would require having some additional density bonus,” Councilman Kendall Crittenden said.

Footage of the whole council meeting and public hearing is available at wasatch.utah.gov.

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