WHAT TO SAY?
Perhaps you're concerned about what's happening with the changes in Heber Valley, but you've never contacted a city official before, and are wondering what to say. You're not alone! This can be a new thing for many people.
Here are some ideas for discussion and thought:
Development IS going to happen, because homes are needed for the growing population of
Heber Valley. But how much development is good and necessary? How do we achieve balance between providing homes for people and not destroying the reasons they want to live here in the
In 2010, the population of Heber was 11,362. The 2020 census estimates it to be 17,894. With the additional of ONLY the approximately 7,300 housing units which have ALREADY BEEN APPROVED to be built in the next thirty years, and assuming an average of four people per unit, that would bring
the population to nearly 50,000 people in Heber Valley by 2050. With the additional developments
that are now seeking annexation and high density approval, that number would increase by
thousands more. This is a small valley. The rate at which Heber City is approving population
growth is unsustainable without severe degradation of the quality of life.
Is Heber City LISTENING to the concerns of its citizens or yielding to pressure from developers?
Why the rush to approve so many more units (ie: the North Village Overlay Zone)?
We need clean water, clean air and traffic management. Vigilance over these issues is more important than ever. Have ALL NECESSARY STUDIES been done to allow the population of this Valley
to double or triple while maintaining its environment so it is a healthy place for people to live?
(Click on the "Pollution" tab for more information about these issues).
Does the proposed annexation code for the North Village Overlay Zone favor developers or the
residents of Heber Valley?
The bottom line is that the more residential units developers build, the more money they make.
Should developers come to the City with a completed plan of what they propose (as is the protocol
with the County), or should developers come to the City with a "general idea" of what they want, at
which point the City "works with them" to create the plan? The danger in this is that developers are
good at making convincing arguments, and in the process of working together, folks from the City
could potentially develop relationships with the developers which will then make it hard for them
to say "no."
It is common for developers to receive entitlements from cities and then "flip" the property, selling it to other developers. What binding assurances will the City receive from developers that the promises they make in exchange entitlements will actually be
When you talk about "affordable housing," what percentage of the proposed housing is actually "affordable?" How long will those properties maintain the deed restrictions that require them to continue to be "affordable?" In some developments the deed restrictions are only for two years.
In the Highlands development, part of the North Village Overlay Zone, where almost 1500 housing units are proposed, only 10% are designated as "affordable." That's less than 150 units, yet we will still get the fallout from thousands of units of high density development. Why is this good?
Will there be enough jobs IN Heber Valley to provide employment for a population double or triple the current size? Or will Heber become a bedroom community for workers from Park City and elsewhere?
When developers say they are including 30% "open space" in their plans, their definition of open space includes roads, parking lots, strips of grass between apartment buildings, and in the case of the Highlands, a 1000-seat amphitheater. What does this do to maintain the rural atmosphere of Heber Valley? Shouldn't they be required to provide at least 40 - 50% open space?
Since developers are not required to help fund education, who will pay for all the new schools which will be needed?
How high of a priority is building affordable/attainable housing for the current residents of Heber?
Do the citizens feel that clustering higher buildings (ie: apartments, condos) with parks or some sort of open space in between is preferable to single family homes? Larger building create fewer "rooftops," but visually create a more crowded look.
What heights are acceptable for multi-unit buildings? 3, 4, 5 stories? As an example, the Best Western hotel at the south end of town is a four-story building. How many of those would you like to see clustered together in the North Village Overlay Zone?
The Wasatch Commons apartments are four stories. How do you feel about seeing many more buildings like those, or another story higher, across from the North Fields? The "Jewels of Heber
Valley" on one side of the road and something that looks like Orem or Lehi on the other?