Sorenson Annexation Petitioner Answers Questions From Heber City Council

The Sorenson Annexation Petition is moving forward. At the September 3rd City Council Work meeting the petitioner answered questions from the council.

Mike Bradshaw the President of Momentum Development Group stood before the council on Tuesday and answered questions posed regarding the Master Development Agreement.

The proposed master plan would develop five village areas within the 8,288 acres that make up the property. In total 3,166 acres would be developed for over 5,500 residential units. The rest of the 5,122 acres would be left for open space.

Bradshaw attended the Envision Heber 2050 meeting, he was encouraged by the vision shared.

“The positive thing for me is to see that the goals and objectives and the feedback we’re getting from the community are the same goals and objectives that we have as a developer for the property,” Bradshaw continued. “I mean these ideas of open space and clustering units and transportation corridors and those kinds of things that really are the key important things for the community input into the 2050 general plan. It feels good to me that our plan is in line with those goals and objectives.”

Council member Heidi Franco asked about a road that runs parallel to US 40 as part of the second village area. Franco argued that the road, which would serve over 1,100 units should be built larger as a major collector road instead of a minor collector. Bradshaw pointed out four areas where the village would connect with US 40, believing that the traffic would be reduced by residents traveling on both roads.

“We know that Valley Hills Blvd. and Coyote Lane right now are quite a thoroughfare,” Franco explained. “They’re just not built for that capacity, but as your road is added and I do believe it will be built sooner like I say than the frontage roads.”

“Yeah this one should be one of the first roads built.” Bradshaw answered.

“Yes, but because of its proximity and it’s to the Coyote Lane as well as further North I just think that it needs to be upsized and I’m really concerned about the traffic flows on that,” Franco clarified. “But I haven’t seen the traffic study, just received it today, OK that’s one thing.”

Another issue brought up was regarding open space. Some of the undeveloped acres in the project will be maintained as open space. Who runs the open space could vary. If the annexation is approved Heber City they would have the first choice on if they maintain the land, second choice would go to the HOA, and finally a third party land trust could manage the area.

“That’s intended to cover everything from large open space tracts, to you know there might be a city park in one of the areas that the city would like to maintain and keep control,” Bradshaw continued. “Down to maybe a little pocket park that obviously the city doesn’t want to control and or maintain. That would stay in the Homeowners Association.”

Councilmember Ron Crittenden brought up the fact that if the annexation is approved the open space that will be given to the city will not come all at once, but rather prorated as the project is built out. The project was originally approved by Wasatch County. As part of that Master Development Agreement approved with the county there was approximately 2,200 acres that would be deeded over to the county. City Manager Matt Brower says that the county has indicated that they would like those acres to be deeded over to them instead of the city, if the annexation is approved. Councilmember Franco and Mayor Kelleen Potter said that would require some additional conversations.

“That’s something that I feel like we need an MOU on if they are to take it over because you know we want to make sure the trails are maintained to a certain standard, that the access is there.” Franco said. “I mean I don’t know what other issues we have to think about it.

“We’ve got to think through all the pros and cons of that,” Potter added. “Because its technically going to be in the city if we don’t do that.”

The councils half hour discussion went well over the allotted time.  Bradshaw indicated that he would be happy to return for the next council meeting to answer more questions. Following the questions the petitioners will continue to meet with the Planning Commission and the Development Review Committee before the Planning Commission meets in a joint meeting to give a recommendation to city council. That meeting is likely to occur in November.

Read the original story at KPCW.org