30 homes to be built in Cherry Canyon near Wanship
About 40 concerned neighbors attended a public hearing where the Summit County Council greenlit a 30-home development nearby, with some caveats.
The Trail Ridge Subdivision will be a 30-lot development in Cherry Canyon, east of Wanship.
County staff recommended the Summit County Council finally approve the proposal, which has been before the county for over two years, at its meeting Wednesday.
The council’s vote was 4-0 in favor, with Councilmember Canice Harte absent. However, the approval came with some last-minute changes after many of the 40 nearby residents expressed concern or opposition.
Wanship resident Jeffery Johnson, there on behalf of a few other family members, was one of several neighbors who spoke during the public hearing. He summarized the prevailing concerns.
“I do want to voice opposition to this project for four key points: water, sanitation, infrastructure, safety,” Johnson said.
Regarding water availability, developer Brett Hollberg said Trail Ridge will have its own well, which he estimated would be at least .75 miles away from Wanship wells.
“Perhaps most important is that we're having secondary water for all these 30 lots,” Hollberg said. “The well will not provide any outdoor watering for these residential lots and would only be for indoor uses, which is, on average, 300 gallons a day or something very minimal.”
He said previous water issues in the Cherry Canyon area have been caused by outdoor watering.
Wade Homer, president of Wanship Mutual Water Company, said he was concerned about contamination from Trail Ridge’s septic system, were it to fail.
“We're downstream from that,” Homer said.
Part of the reason Trail Ridge has taken years to be approved is the county drew up new sewer code for the development. All 30 homes will be connected to one centralized septic system that treats all the water for release in a single drain field.
County staff said at the meeting they wanted to avoid scattering multiple drain fields over the mountain. Gus Sharry of Canyon Engineering Group assured locals the septic system was “state-of-the-art.”
He said it exceeded the treatment level required by code, and the drain field would be three times larger than what’s required for a system of its size.
The other two issues were related to Cherry Canyon Road and whether it would be able to accommodate the extra traffic and be a reliable escape route during a wildfire.
The development does have a secondary escape road, and councilmembers stipulated in their approval that Trail Ridge must maintain it year round. Cherry Canyon Road will be widened to accommodate the development.
Even after the county council’s approval Wednesday, Trail Ridge’s septic system will need to be approved by both the Utah Division of Water Quality and the Summit County Health Department.