After reading public comments and a brief discussion Heber City Council voted to continue the approval of the Sorenson annexation agreement to their next meeting.
At Tuesday evening’s council meeting Mayor Potter read comments from four Heber residents regarding the annexation of the development on the 8,000-acre area north of Heber City known as the Sorenson property. The development will result in 5,700 residential units on about 3,000 acres with the other 5,000 acres in the project remaining as open space. Public comments read included support of the council’s work on the agreement, as well as requests for amenities within the development and some concerns about the council and the developer agreeing to commit to following the laid-out zoning laws in the area for the next 40 years.
Council member Ryan Stack responded saying that the arrangement is not uncommon in the state and that locking the zoning gives developers predictability while also giving the city the ability to lock the developers into key commitments.
“The question is should it develop in the city or in the county,” Stack asked. “The amount of units we’re looking at are already vested under the county, so it’s simply a question of do we want it in the city? And do we think this does a good job of protecting the city? My answer to both of those things is yes.”
Council member Rachel Kahler added that the public has been able to weigh in over the past 16 months at Envision Heber 2050 hearings as well as public hearings on the annexation application itself.
“The last eight weeks while we’ve been under quarantine, there may be some that feel like they did not have an opportunity,” Kahler continued. “But I do feel like the public is aware of this development and there are people that just don't want to see it happen. Not in the county, not in the city, not at all. And that's just not legally viable anymore.”
Council member Heidi Franco raised some concerns about the agreement as it relates to the three regional parks in the development and the large area of open space. The council agreed to make the change to include definitions regarding improving open space in the document.
“If we cover them both in the village center and in the regional parks then we know what amenities we’re getting,” Franco said.
Mayor Potter requested that the final version of the MDA be posted online by Wednesday May 13, a week ahead of the final meeting on the project.