Citizens Group Reaches Goal To Put Wohali To Referendum Vote In June

Feb 14, 2020

Credit Ken Lund on Flickr

A Coalville citizens group has gathered enough signatures to put the large Wohali  project to a referendum vote in June.  

The group “Coalville For Responsible Growth” had a goal to get 300 signatures before a deadline of February 24th.   Earlier this week, their website announced they had secured 328—about two weeks early.

The signatures were sent to the Summit County Clerk’s office for verification.

The referendum needed to be signed by 35 percent of registered voters in Coalville.    Senior County Clerk Kellie Robinson told KPCW that amounts to 241 signatures.    She said the group achieved well over that threshold, with 305 of the signers verified.

Wohali would be located on 1500 acres in the hills west of Interstate 80 and Coalville’s city center.     It plans on 570 residential units, 130 nightly rentals and a golf course, with a buildout of 20 years.

The project was approved by a 3-1 vote of Coalville’s City Council at a crowded meeting in early December.

We contacted Jim Boyden, whose family has owned the property going back to the 1800’s.   He said they respect the citizens’ right to vote, and will be hosting some town meetings.    

“We want people to be completely educated on the issues prior to the vote.   Yeh, we wish we would have had better participation at the public hearings and the work sessions that we had with Planning Commission and City Council.  We spent two years working with the city staff and didn’t get a whole lot of participation, and we wish that they were better attended.”

He said they have been willing to negotiate with the opponents on some way of reshaping the project, but that hasn’t gotten off the ground.        

“We’ve had some very good conversations with the group Coalville For Responsible Growth.  We talked about a lot of different ideas for finding middle ground.  We remain willing to have those conversations.  But I don’t get the impression that the group is interested in negotiating away their right to vote at this special election.    I think that they’re very focused on giving the citizens of Coalville the opportunity to cast a ballot.  And that’s something we support.  Lynn Wood mentioned to me that at this point, she doesn’t feel that there’s anything that  we could offer that would incentivize them to withdraw the referendum and not take it to a vote.”

In the meantime, he said they’re moving forward with the project.      

“We’re really excited to create a project that Coalville can benefit from.  And we know that Wohali will be done respectfully and in such a way that Coalville can really be proud of it.”

The referendum would go to the ballot on June 30th, which is Utah’s primary election day.