The North Village developments underway in Wasatch County, just north of Heber City’s limits, have captured the community's attention, with hundreds of people giving their input. At the same time, the Heber City Council is trying to define future zoning for the area.
On Tuesday, March 2, three councilors voted to postpone the approval of the zone changes until the next meeting on March 16.
The North Village Overlay Zone ordinance has been on the council’s agenda for months because it is the first step in guiding the development along U.S. 40 and State Route 32. It's been years since Wasatch County approved some density and development rights in the area.
Councilor Rachel Kahler, who was one of the members who voted to postpone, said the current body has come to understand and agree on the Wasatch County Council's density approvals granted in 2009.
“I don’t think a lot of the citizens realize that the land use is in place and approved with the county,” she said. “Now we understand that there are developments that have been approved in the county and then there's a lot that have not. And so, as a city we've been trying to sift through what is approved. But my struggle is, we're down to the nitty gritty and now that we’ve sort of agreed on an ERU chart then how does that ERU chart convert to the land use, because what I don't want to see happen is that we're over-developing these areas.”
Kahler, along with fellow councilors Heidi Franco and Ryan Stack, voted to continue the NVOZ vote because the current version leaves too many issues unresolved.
"I felt like we were still undecided, and I just didn't want to go to a vote until we had more time to really dive in,” Kahler said. “The current version of the North Village Overlay Zone is filled with red lines. And so, what I've asked everyone to spend the next two weeks reviewing this final draft and come back with your final changes. But before that, email the council members and discuss it so that when we do come to the table, we have all of our issues sorted out, and we can clearly express our concerns and somehow come to a solution."
About 50 people submitted public comments to the council, but the legislative body did not have time to read each remark.
Heber City Mayor Kelleen Potter said they'll post public comments on the March 2 Heber City Council meeting agenda.
"If we started down the road of public commentary, we would be an hour or two hours into the meeting," Kahler said. "I felt like it was more important that we take a breath, look through the documents, and we can still read those public comments. What I'm finding with the public though, is a lot of people are saying no development--we don't want development. And I can understand and appreciate that but what they don't understand is the land use already entitles developers to build."
Heber City council meets virtually again on March 16. They could vote to adopt the land use code for the North Village Overlay Zone.