A huge development planned to the north of Heber City has requested to become a part of the city through an application to the council. City council and the developers are close to finalizing the annexation agreement.
The buildout of the area known as the Sorenson property will ultimately result in 5,700 units on 8,000 acres located to the north of Heber City’s current development. The project will include three village centers, one clustered near the UVU campus, another near the southern end of the Jordanelle Reservoir and the final in the Jordanelle Mountains.
Heber City Mayor Kellen Potter says finalizing the annexation of the project into the city will be the culmination of months of work by city staff, council and the developers.
“There’s been a lot of studies, and a lot of discussions,” Potter said. “I mean hours and hours have been put in by a lot of people to try and workout a master development agreement that would ensure that it's something that's beneficial to the city, that the city is protected, that it looks and feels the way that the people are wanting developments to feel for the future of Heber. And also, so that the developer feels secure in what their investment is going to be, and they also have some predictability.”
Council will hold a special meeting Saturday morning to review some final items in the agreement that city staff and the developer have negotiated. If the council approves the master development agreement all indications are that the annexation will be approved Tuesday evening.
One of the items the city is negotiating is a second access to the Jordanelle Mountain village, through Coyote canyon.
“It won't happen initially,” Potter continued. “I don't know what the final version will say, but the council is pushing to have there be that second access, which is closer to the existing Heber City. It seems like it would make more sense for emergency access and other reasons to have another access. So, my assumption is there will be that second access point.”
Another negotiation is in regard to the location of affordable housing within the development. City ordinance requires any development larger than 10 homes to have 10% of the project include affordable housing or pay a fee instead. The latest agreement excludes the developers from placing all of the affordable housing in one location of the development and encourages them instead to spread the housing throughout the project.
Potter says it’s a tricky balance to work on such a huge application.
“It’s a huge annexation,” Potter explained. “Obviously nothing this size has ever been done in Heber. Eight-thousand acres, it's a lot, but it would happen anyway. That's kind of been the thing that's propelling it, is they already had entitlements and density from the county. So, should it be a part of the county, or should it be a part of the city? So, I assume that once this agreement is worked out that the council will adopt it. I haven't heard of any opposition from the council, it's mainly just working out details. So, I expect it to happen sometime in May, if it doesn't happen on Tuesday.”
Both Saturday and Tuesday meetings will be conducted remotely due to COVID-19.