Heber City Launches Website As Part Of General Plan Update

Heber City is updating their General Plan. As part of the plan they’ve launched a website. See the original article at KPCW.org.

Utah state law requires all cities within the state to have a general plan. The law dictates that future land use, transportation and housing all be addressed as part of the plan. In addition, the Heber general plan will look at other topics such as commercial and economic development, environmental issues, and community culture.

Heber Mayor Kelleen Potter explains why now is the right time to update the plan.

“Our general plan the most recent overhaul there’ve been some amendments, was in about 2003″ Potter explained. “There’s been so much change since then, but the idea of the general plan is its sort of the community’s vision for the future of the community. It’s a blueprint for elected officials and planners to look at to say what is it that this community wants to be? Because so many things have changed since it was done last, we’ve had a lot of people coming in asking for different zoning and changing their land use. We believe that it’s past time to go through this process. This process will help, the public will be able to come and really just sit down and look at maps and look at different options. Give their input about how they want Heber to grow as we continue to grow to be able to control and shape and make decisions of what that will look like.”

City staff has put together a 15-member steering committee to guide the Envision Heber 2050 initiative. The steering committee, made up of a variety of Heber residents, will be meeting throughout the year to identify goals and priorities for the general plan. Once the plan is finalized in a few months it will be recommended in a public hearing at a city planning commission meeting before moving on to the city council. Mayor Potter hopes the entire process might be done in a year.

“Our first meeting for the public, it’s a public workshop on the 20th,” Potter continued. “That’s what we’re hoping to get a lot of people to come and participate. That’s the first one, there will be a couple of others after that during the year. We’re hoping to have the whole process pretty well wrapped up within a year. Maybe that’s wishful thinking but again we have this March workshop. We’re going to have an open house in May, we’re going to have another open house in August. We have the steering committee working on things in the background. We’re hoping to get the whole thing wrapped up by the end of the year.”

The first Public meeting will take place on Wednesday March 20th at the Heber Valley Elementary school.

“I guess my biggest hope is that the community will really take this seriously and know that this is an opportunity for them to be heard and to try to come in and be able to express where they think we need to be,” Potter said. “We have so many competing demands right now with growth. There’s private property, and there’s density and there’s affordable housing. We’re just hoping to get a lot of participation in this process so that we can make sure that moving forward this plan does represent the shared vision of our community.”

You can find a link to the website for the general plan update here.

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/.