Heber City General Plan

Looking To The Past To Prepare For The Future

As Warren Buffett once stated, “Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone else planted a tree a long time ago.” For more than a century, Heber City leaders have created a myriad of plans to address various community issues. Some of these plans hit the mark and created the  proverbial shade that so many people presently enjoy. Other, less-than-perfect plans lacked the foresight to address many of the challenges of today.

The Need For An Updated Plan

As one of the fastest-growing communities in the United States, a lot has changed since Heber City’s General Plan was last updated in 2003. The city’s population has more than doubled since then, growing from approximately 7,500 people to more than 16,000 residents in 2019. During this same period of time, the populations of Summit County and the Uintah Basin have also increased dramatically — thus adding more pressure to local roads, businesses and city infrastructure. 

With even more population growth on the horizon, the need to update the general plan is paramount to creating a successful future. “Our city and the world around us have changed significantly since our last general plan update,” said Heber City Mayor Kelleen Potter. “This effort will help elected officials and staff implement the vision shared by the citizens of this community.”

The Process Of Updating The General Plan

In January 2019, Heber City officials and community stakeholders — led by Mayor Kelleen Potter — convened to begin the process of updating the city’s general plan. While the core group of nearly 20 stakeholders come from diverse backgrounds and industries, they all share a common love for the Heber Valley. 

One of the main roles of this group of stakeholders is to build cooperation and awareness with other members of the community. Rather than forcing a top-down approach to updating the general plan, this process will involve an inclusive, more collaborative effort that places great value on public input. In addition, the group will also provide critical analysis and recommendations to help shape the initial phases of the general plan.

During the months to come in 2019, Heber City staff and the stakeholders will host a series of community open houses, workshops, public surveys and meetings. These important meetings will help the steering committee gather public input, conduct community research and create momentum to implement the goals of the general plan. 

The process of developing the general plan will place emphasis on the following three steps:

Values: What do Heber City residents want for their city?

Vision: How will Heber City provide the desired values of the community?

Strategy: How will Heber City implement the goals and strategies of the general plan?

In addition to becoming a planning tool for Heber City officials, the general plan will also become a standard for Heber City residents — a standard for the city that they helped create.

The Importance Of A General Plan

If you have an opinion about what you think Heber City should look like in 30 years, now is the time share your thoughts. Some of the key elements of the updated general plan — as previously voiced by the public — will include strategies to address transportation, affordable housing, economic development, residential zoning, historical preservation, parks and open space.

As Benjamin Franklin, one of our Founding Fathers, once stated, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Our citizens’ guiding questions for the general plan will help shape what our city looks like in five, 10, even 50 years — and will help Heber City prepare for prosperity, rather than failure. 

Have a Say in the Future of Heber City

Whether you live in, work in or just love spending time in Heber City, please share your input regarding the future of the community. Help us plant more trees that will provide shade for generations to come. Learn more at www.envisionheber.com, the primary hub for information about the general plan, and be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram for regular updates, survey questions and feedback.

Envisionheber.com   |    envisionheber  |   envisionheber

I am a stubborn individual. Many times I have pondered whether this character attribute is, in fact, a virtue or a vice. I can see how being persistent in certain circumstances has led me to personal success. I can also see instances where my refusal to alter a course has brought unnecessary hardship to my life. I suppose the answer lies somewhere within the fabled words of Kenny Rogers in that you need to “know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em, know when to walk away and know when to run.”

Life is a gamble these days. The status quo that we knew — even one year ago — no longer exists. The paradigm is shifting to an undefined end. In our current social, political, and economic environment: victories are most often rewarded to those with the most flexibility. However, change is intimidating; and just like a game of cards, making the wrong choice can set you back farther than where you started. The weight of deciding how and when to change any variable of your life can be paralyzing. How does one determine when it is most prudent to stay the course or make a change?

Start by prioritizing regular time for personal introspection. Quiet and meditative time can open windows into your deeper self. I believe that there is a light within our consciousness that (being unaffected by all things temporal) can help us see how things are instead of how they appear. All you have to do is slow yourself down and detach from the world enough to catch a glimpse of that wisdom and light.

Ponder your situation and derive an implementable solution. There is little good in taking on problems that are outside of your sphere of influence. I turn to the oft-quoted ‘Serenity Prayer’ when mitigating stress or anxiety created by things that “I cannot change.”

God grant me the SERENITY to accept the things I cannot change, COURAGE to change the things I can, and WISDOM to know the difference.

Reinhold Niebuhr, American Theologian, 1951

Sins of omission are real. With that stated: it is imperative to recognize that you, as an individual, have little to no control over certain things. Understanding this will help in prioritizing what an implementable change is and what it is not. If the ailment is something that you cannot do anything about — emotionally letting go of that thing could be the exact change needed to find your center again.

When looking to make the world a better place, it is imperative to get your foundation in order first. Make those changes in your own life that will allow you to be a shining example to others first. If you can define your unique personal values: you develop a base of support that will enable you to share yourself with others.

Strength and leadership principles originate in the home. The next place to implement change is at the family level. Strive to create harmony within the relationships that matter most. When outside personal and professional networks see a caring and confident human being with all of their personal affairs in order — they will be more inclined to hear your message.

My challenge to the Heber Valley is to make 2021 a better year than it’s predecessor. We have virtually no control over natural disasters, disease, or pestilence. We may not have much influence at the Federal or State levels of government. However, every individual CAN make changes that will affect their strength and happiness. You can choose to find gratitude in an environment ripe with fear and disaster. We can all positively influence those people that we interact with daily. That is within our control.

Thank you for supporting Heber Valley Life magazine. We live in the best mountain community in the American West. It is my genuine pleasure to highlight those that make it so every season of the year.