Planning Commission Meets Tuesday To Discuss, Among Other Items, Overnight Accommodations In Heber

Heber Planning Commission meets Tuesday evening to discuss the creation of a residential transition area south of Heber and regulate short-term rentals in the city while opening the way up for larger bed & breakfast facilities.

Heber City Planning Commission meets at 6:00 pm at the Heber City building located at 75 North Main Street in Heber. The first item on the agenda is a public hearing to permit existing rental residential units such as apartments, and duplexes to become owner occupancy dwellings if desired through conversion into condominium ownership. Staff is recommending the change saying that proposed code amendment promotes more owner-occupied dwelling units, affordable housing, pride of ownership and less occupant turnover.

Also on the agenda is a proposed addition to the Mountain View Fellowship Church, and the relocation of the Timberline Ace Hardware store to 737 South Main Street.

The planning commission will also discuss the proposed regulation of the construction of commercial storage sheds. A request from the last planning commission asked that a caretaker live on-site and that enhanced fencing and architectural requirements are not required for commercial storage sheds that are located along minor collector and local public streets.

Later in the evening the planning commission will discuss whether the city should enter into a development agreement on commercially zoned property with mutually agreed upon standards for the creation of a residential transition area in the parcel located at approximately 2201 South on Highway 40.

Finally, the commission will discuss whether the city should adopt ordinances that regulate short-term rentals in the city such as Airbnb and VRBO. The staff report says they are looking for feedback to prepare an ordinance for a public hearing if the commission choses to move forward with regulation. The commission will also discuss additional regulations that would promote fine dining and larger bed and breakfast facilities.

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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: