THE REFERENDUM PETITION
Heber City is poised to annex the area along Highway 40, north of the UVU area and past the intersection of Highway 40 and River Road, called the North Village. The land use for this area was partially approved by Wasatch County in 2009. Developers have now gone to the City and asked for annexation and MANY MORE units of high density development and commercial space. Heber City planners and City Council have created a zoning code called the North Village Overlay Zone (NVOZ), which they approved on March 16th, 2021.
On March 23rd, a group of citizens filed a referendum petition with the City to revoke this code and put it on the ballot for a vote of the people in November, 2021. Signatures will be gathered throughout the month of April and into the beginning of May. Volunteers are needed to gather signatures!
The following statement will accompany the referendum petition:
In March of 2020, the Heber City Council adopted the General Plan, "Heber City Envision 2050" as “the
primary tool for guiding the future of Heber City.” Thousands of Heber’s citizens helped create this Plan,
but just one year after its adoption, the Heber City Council voted 3 to 1 to approve the North Village
Overlay Zone. This action puts the wishes of developers above existing Heber City residents and
undercuts the public vision of providing quality neighborhoods while maintaining Heber City’s open
spaces and rural character.
• The Citizens’ Referendum on the North Village Overlay Zone (NVOZ) seeks to revoke the NVOZ, and would allow the citizens to vote in November on this issue. The last minute, increased
density standards that were approved by the City Council without proper public vetting, studies,
or data would provide unnecessary density benefits that now allows larger sizes of apartments,
condos, and townhouses (and, therefore, possibly more density) than Wasatch County.
Increased building sizes, without counting it as increased density, could lower open space percentages and increase hard surface areas unless building heights are increased similar to Salt Lake City and Provo.
• Heber City committed to comply to Wasatch County’s standards of residential density in the 2019 Memorandum of Understanding. The NVOZ violates this understanding by encouraging higher density. More people means stressed drinking water supply, increased storm drainage, sewage, traffic, and air pollution in an area that Wasatch County recently determined to be the most environmentally sensitive in the Valley.
• The NVOZ also does not promote the expressed need in Heber Valley for “affordable housing.”
The larger the home, the more expensive it will be. We are not opposed to larger apartments,
condos, or townhouses in the NVOZ provided their corresponding impacts are acknowledged
and mitigated. The NVOZ does not do this.
• The NVOZ allows unconstrained commercial growth, as well. Wasatch County assigned a density standard to all commercial uses. Heber City’s NVOZ does not, which is problematic. Heber City’s approach leaves commercial development essentially unregulated, with density standards difficult to implement and impossible to verify. Heber City’s NVOZ standards hide density and provide meaningless commercial standards in our most environmentally vulnerable areas of the scenic North Fields and the Provo River corridor.
• Heber City’s NVOZ approach to commercial development undermines the viability and integrity of Heber City’s downtown area. The NVOZ creates a totally different commercial zone away from Downtown Heber City, and may set up a new commercial magnet that harms the
necessary revitalization of Main Street.
Heber City has already approved 8,400+ new housing units from 2017 to the present, not including the
NVOZ. The NVOZ provides a bargaining chip for the City to entice developers to annex to the City. The
attractiveness, peace, and other qualities of the City, which, by its own general plan should be further
promoted by Heber City, are encouragement enough. The NVOZ is not in the best interest of Heber City
residents or businesses, and citizens should be allowed to vote on this matter in November.