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Heber residents can weigh in on downtown trail, affordable housing plan

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Heber City
An amended trail map shows a design to build a multi-use trail through Heber City neighborhoods.

The Heber City Planning Commission will hold a public hearing Tuesday, where it will focus on how to promote affordable housing and moving a downtown trail route.

The city’s revisiting its moderate income housing plan at the requirement of the state legislature. Residents are invited to weigh in on an updated action plan at the meeting.

The proposed action plan includes goals like creating incentives for developers to build affordable homes and creating programs to help landlords retain tenants.

A staff report includes a report that says a new law passed this year by the Legislature requires the city to drop its previous requirement that 10% of new homes be affordable. It says the city can add new incentives to encourage developers to build affordable housing, but that from 2012 to 2018, no such incentives resulted in new affordable units created.

Heber City’s also considering rerouting a stretch of an 8- to-10-foot paved trail through city neighborhoods. The original trail route was part of a trails master plan adopted in early 2021.

The original design was to build the trail along Center Street running east to west through the city. The new plan would shift that route south a few blocks. Heber City Executive Assistant Luke Searle said that’s to address traffic concerns and avoid having to bury power lines.

The change would run the trail from Mill Road at the eastern edge of town along 200 South, then reroute to 300 South just east of Main Street. It would follow 300 South the rest of the way west to the Heber Valley Railroad.

Searle said this portion of the trail will connect into parks and other trail systems around downtown. The city would work on it while it’s already replacing water and sewer lines in the area.

“We're hoping to get that portion done and work to get funding for that through grants and through the city's budget to complete that trail,” Searle said. “But there's not a specific timeline of when it will be done.”

He said the project will go before the Heber City Council on September 6 for approval. He said that will be another chance for the public to learn about the trail by seeing maps as he and other planners show the design.

The meeting’s Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Heber City Hall, 75 North Main Street. For more on the proposals up for public hearings, or to view the full meeting agenda or participate via Zoom, visit heberut.gov.

Ben Lasseter reports for KPCW in Wasatch County. Before moving to Heber City, Ben worked in Manti as a general assignment newspaper reporter and editor.