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West Hills sponsor may redraw town boundaries

The lieutenant governor's feasibility study includes an updated map (above) showing which landowners remain after at least nine opted out of West Hills.
West Hills Feasibility Study
LRB Public Finance Advisors
These were the town's potential boundaries before the second and final round of exclusions. They're about to change again.

The proposed town shrank again last month after at least one more landowner dropped out.

Derek Anderson, the landowner organizing support for a new town between Kamas and Hideout, called West Hills, needs to submit a new petition for incorporation.

That’s because at least one landowner opted out of the proposed town before the March 13 deadline.

Under state law, landowners had between Feb. 12 and March 13 to request exclusion. That window opened after a public hearing on Feb. 12 where consultants presented whether West Hills could be financially feasible.

It was the second opportunity for landowners to opt out since West Hills-area landowners petitioned for incorporation in April 2023. At least nine owning a combined 200 acres dropped out last summer.

The lieutenant governor’s staff wouldn’t say who or how many landowners requested exclusion this time.

But under Utah law, anyone who wants out must own at least 10% of the incorporation area or 1% of that area’s total market value. They also must live on the edge of West Hills, not in the middle.

Anderson has until June 30 to submit a new petition for incorporation and has told KPCW he intends to meet the deadline. That will trigger a new feasibility study by LRB Public Finance Advisors which will look at the new boundaries.

Anderson may redraw West Hills’ boundaries entirely, since some who wanted to opt out didn’t qualify.

“We’re aware a number of landowners asked the lieutenant governor to be excluded from the original proposed boundary, which we want to respect,” he said. “We’ll review the exclusion requests and attempt to modify the boundaries prior to resubmitting a new proposed town boundary.”

According to Jordan Schwanke, who oversees incorporations for the lieutenant governor’s office, if the town acreage changes by 20%, Anderson will need to get 10 new signatures.

Otherwise, the 10 signatures from the original petition will suffice, provided none of the signatories opted out.

Once the lieutenant governor’s office receives the new petition and the new boundaries are deemed feasible, a second public hearing will be scheduled.

After that, Anderson and town supporters can collect signatures to put incorporation on November’s ballot. A simple majority of voters within the proposed town boundaries has the final say on West Hills.