Heber City Council Continues Work On Sorenson Annexation

The Sorenson Development, located in the hills north of Heber City, is seeking annexation into the city. In order for the development to enter into city limits, they’ll have to continue negotiations with Heber City Council.

Heber City manager Matt Brower reports that the petition for annexation into Heber City by the landowners of the Sorenson Property is working its way through city council.

“The petition includes an area of about 8,000 acres, 5,700 units,” Brower explained. “The City Council is in the process of reviewing that petition right now. Both the City Council and the Planning Commission will spend the next I imagine two or three months looking at the project and its details. I imagine sometime in the new year, probably January or February, I can imagine the new council will look at perhaps considering the adoption of the annexation.”

The 5,700 units are part of a master plan that was already approved by Wasatch County in the early 2000’s. Brower noted that the developers representative Mike Bradshaw has been involved with Envision Heber 2050 and is in support of many of the ideas presented in the vision statement.

“Such as clustering the developments, preservation of open space, view corridors and the trails,” Brower continued “So, he has spoken publicly that he endorses those tenants. His master plan reflects many of those same tenants.”

Heber City Mayor Kellen Potter notes that any changes to the Sorenson master plan would come after approval from the city through the process of annexation.

“At our City Council meetings, we’re going through different issues,” Potter said. “This last week we talked about some issues, and next week we’ll talk about some issues. And as council members have requests and say what do you think about doing this? Some of these things are being altered and changed as we go through this process.”

Mayor Potter says she hasn’t heard any support for increasing the density in the project.

“I hear this all the time,” Potter explained. “People say well the reason they’re annexing into the city is to increase the density. But I don’t know of one council member, or anyone who has expressed any interest in increasing density. As a matter of fact, I think the city is in a tricky position because the density has already been given to the level that it is. We either have to deal with that on our borders, or we can decide whether to annex that and make it part of our city, or maybe it will become its own city. But I haven’t heard any appetite for increasing density. There’s a significant amount of open space being dedicated, and I have not heard that conversation or support for that among any council members or even candidates who are running.”

Even without an increase in density a large portion of the proposed master plan will be left as open space, over 60%.

“The proposed master plan has, I believe five villages, where the majority of the units will be clustered with remaining amount of the development being open space,” Brower continued. “Most importantly is the hillside that everyone can see from Heber Valley is supposed to be dedicated as open space as well.”

Brower also notes that the master plan also has several access points on Highway 40 and SR 32

“There’s already a negotiated access manager plan with UDOT for highway 40 and highway 32 that has I think eight or nine project ingress and egress spots,” Brower said.

He adds that more traffic signals will be added in the future on 40, once they are warranted. Reviews will continue on the project, a third joint meeting with a planning commission recommendation will come on November 5th, a public hearing to follow on December 3rd and a final decision from the council likely to come on January 7th.