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Annexation, affordable housing, employee training on Heber City Council agenda

Pending Annexations 11-16-21.jpg
Credit Heber City
A map from the Heber City planning department shows proposals for annexations into Heber City that were pending as of November 16, including the North Village Annexation that's on Tuesday's agenda. Since then, the council has finalized the Highlands annexation, which is no longer pending.

In its second meeting of the year, the Heber City Council will discuss a major pending annexation, set budget priorities and hear an employer’s request to build employee housing.

Heber City Attorney Mark Smedley will begin Tuesday’s meeting with training on conflicts of interest for city employees and elected officials, with assistance from Mayor Heidi Franco.

Franco told KPCW she regretted getting off on the wrong foot with council members during a presentation on local government standards on January 4. But despite their critiques, she said it was a necessary exercise, and Tuesday’s presentation will build on those principles.

“Every year, the state requires us to give regular training on the basics,” Franco said. “We’ll have some more regular training [Tuesday] on the conflicts of interest. I’m updating that form and making sure it lines up with the state code, and so I’m excited to be able to enforce the state code and make sure that we’re following the highest standards.”

Later in the meeting, one of five annexations currently pending in the city will come up for discussion, but not a formal decision.

The North Village Annexation would add 130 acres of land along U.S. Highway 40 into the city’s jurisdiction. That’s just north of the land in the Highlands Annexation that passed on December 7, and it includes the Utah Valley University Wasatch Campus.

Plans to develop there include about 300 apartments and townhomes, as well as an assisted living facility for about 35 residents.

The council will also discuss a request by Legend Engineering to allow it to build employee housing in the downtown area. According to city code, buildings in the downtown zone are restricted to business use on their ground floors. The engineering firm says it can’t hire employees because of the ongoing affordable housing shortage, and an exception to the rule could be a solution.

City Manager Matt Brower has described the shortage in the city and county as a “crisis,” and city officials and employers have commonly agreed the need for affordable housing is affecting employers’ abilities to hire.

To wrap up the meeting, Brower will present a list of councilors’ budget priorities. It includes over 40 projects they brought up at the recent Heber City strategic planning retreat, which involve water and other environmental goals, infrastructure and transit, policies for downtown development and bringing the recreation, arts and parks tax back to the 2022 ballot.

Tuesday’s meeting is at 6 p.m. at Heber City Hall, 75 North Main Street, following a 4 p.m. work meeting. No public hearing is scheduled, but the public will have a chance to make general comments to the council early in the meeting.

To attend via Zoom, visit heberut.gov.

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