Heber City Council Hears Petition To Annex From Development At Intersection Of US 40 & River Road

Heber City Council heard yet another annexation petition at Tuesday evening’s council meeting. The North Village Crossing Annexation could potentially bring retail, apartments and a movie theatre near the intersection of US 40 and River Road.

The North Village Crossing Annexation is almost 140 acres located at the southeast and southwest corners of River Road and US 40. The developers signed a 25-year development agreement with Wasatch County in 2013, the plan allows for 730 equivalent residential units and 487,000 square feet of retail.

Bruce Barrett is the owner of the North Village Resort project, and the planner for the Crossing project. He says 45,000 vehicles a day will travel through the area, so he plans to build mostly retail and office space. Preliminary projections by city staff show a $1.6 million net positive impact on the city’s budget.

“We believe that this is actually a potential for the city to have a tremendous amount of income to offset the tremendous amount of residential that’s going in, in the Views and Highlands and Sorenson,” Barrett said. “Could be a pretty major economic impact for the city going forward. The area definitely needs movie theater, it needs some more retail on that intersection.”

The annexation also includes a resort area where Barrett says they plan to build condos that discourage full-time residency. Barrett says the timeline of their buildout is deponent entirely on demand.

“We’re not building anything ahead of sales,” Barrett explained. “The buildout on this property it could take 15 years. It could take 20 years. It’s going to take however long it takes for it to make financial sense. We’re certainly not going to build units ahead of time before selling them. We’re not going to build units that don’t get rented, that have low occupancies, that’s not going to happen.”

Barrett forecasts buildout to be seven to twelve years, partially because of their proximity to the planned Mayflower Mountain Resort. Barrett says phase one includes one or two condo buildings, half a dozen townhomes, retail buildings, a restaurant the theatre and a gas station. Council asked about the visual impacts of the convenience store.

“The gas station will be screened,” Barrett continued. “It’s my opinion that it will not be visually impactful. I actually can model these up in 3-D as we go over the next few months so that you can see the visual impact at anywhere along the road. If the council thought that it was too negative of an impact, we could actually remove it and replace it with retail.”

Barrett added that the traffic coming from Midway could really benefit from the station.

Heber City Council voted 4-1 to move forward with the application process, with Heidi Franco voting against. The vote did not approve the annexation but allows the petitioners and the city to move forward with their discussions.

Read the originals story at KPCW.org

Heber Valley Artisan Cheese held their 2nd annual Ice Sculptures Exhibition this weekend. Several local businesses sponsored the sculptures being displayed. There were also two different ice carving demonstrations. The event was free to the public.

The annual event began last year when Carolee Kohler saw ice sculpting on a Hallmark movie and thought it would be a fun idea for their farm. They are also considering a woodcarving event.

According to Lindsey Strother, social media and events coordinator, each sculpture takes between 1-3 hours to carve. “We contacted Amazing Ice Creations back in November, and we reached out to local companies to sponsor the ice sculptures,” she said. “Yesterday morning around 9 am, they came in a massive truck and dropped them all off for us, and we set them up.”

Along with the ice sculptures, sponsors receive a sign and canopy for the display and social media marketing. The sponsors decide what they want to have sculpted. After the event, they can take the ice sculptures and display them at their businesses. The creations normally last a couple of weeks. Some will be left in the field and can be viewed throughout the week.

The ice this year included Olaf, company logos, animals, and other items. Darron Kingston, the sculptor, has carved ice for over 10 years with his dad. According to Kingston, “I like sculptures that give me a challenge. Here, for example, my favorite was the lumberjack.” One of his favorite past creations was a 9-foot bear.

Grant Kohler, owner of Heber Valley Artisan Cheese, explained, “We decided to do something that was free and something that people could just get out and come and enjoy. Especially this year with Covid, it seems like Januarys are slow months. People are looking for things to be able to get outside and do.” He continued, “Businesses pay in and buy the sculptures, we have them sculpted, and then we just let people come and enjoy them.” Kohler estimated around 3,000 to 4,000 people will stop by the event.

The dairy farm also offers cheese-making classes and tours of their new robotic barn. “The tours are everyday except Sunday,” according to Kohler. “People hayride over, intermingle with the cows, see the barn and amenities, and watch the cows be milked. The cows will literally go get milked on their own.” Tickets for the tours and other events are available on the Heber Valley Artisan Cheese website: https://hebervalleyartisancheese.com/.