We dive deep and give some contrasting viewpoints (indented) to consider when analyzing the opposition statement.
Proposition Information Pamphlet
Coalville City Statement
Utah Code 20A-7-401.5
By not signing the petition you are supporting a development that will infuse money into our schools and family owned businesses without burdening classrooms, crowding roads and obstructing Coalville’s beautiful, rural vistas. The additional annual tax revenue generated from this project is as follows: $6 million for North Summit School District, $3 million for Coalville City, and $600,000 for North Summit Fire District. This means better salaries for our hardworking teachers and firemen.
These figures have been provided by the developer and are only rough estimates of what could be received at build out in 15-20 years. A complete analysis of the project costs and benefits has not been done. For example it is unclear how much of the projected property tax revenue will actually remain in the control of the North Summit School District. When tax revenue received is in excess of the Weighted Pupil Units for the district the excess is paid to the state. A careful review by the district is needed to determine the actual net benefit our schools could receive. There has also not been a study of the potential increased property tax to the existing citizens or the cost of an expanded local government. These and many other financial factors need in-depth analysis to determine the true impact to the community. By signing the petition you are allowing additional time for these questions to be researched so an informed decision can be made by voters based on balanced financial information.
Wohali underwent a 22-month public process from the City Planning Commission to the City Council, in which citizens were invited to attend and give their input. This project is better by incorporating input from the City staff, Planning Commission, City Council, Mayor and your neighbors.
Most of these meetings were not open to public comment. The public spoke out clearly and in large numbers against the approval of this development at four key City Council/Planning Commission public hearings. The majority of this input from the public was not incorporated into the project.
- Wohali will develop and pay for their own water needs. They will cultivate new wells and transfer them to Coalville City for free. The water plan was studied and verified by an independent, 3rd party water engineers then approved by the City’s engineers. Coalville City’s attorney concurred Coalville residents benefit from this project.
The problem is these wells are not free, they have been negotiated by our city leaders in exchange for a much higher project density. The success of these wells cannot be guaranteed until they are drilled and at this point it is not known if the new wells wells will generate enough excess water to put back into the Coalville City water system or if they will impact surrounding wells. However the density and rezoning awarded to the developer would be permanent.
- Coalville values our rural background and untouched mountainous views. Thus, Wohali is required to build across the freeway and on the backside of the mountain:
- Homes will be hidden from view with zero impact on pristine vistas or a rural feeling.
- Of the 1,525 acres, 1,000 acres will be preserved open space, ensuring no further development on 2/3rds of the total project area.
The golf course comprises a significant portion of the 1,000 acres of open space. Traditionally, open space is thought to contain natural areas open to wildlife, hikers etc. How much of this space will be “open” to wildlife and those that are not fee-paying golfers? This differentiation needs to be made.
- The Wohali development will provide numerous amenities accessible to all Coalville residents such as new trails, restaurants, shops, a splash pad, an amphitheater and 18-hole golf course. Also, this project will create local employment, including seasonal jobs for our teenagers.
- The new residents moving into Wohali will patronize family-owned businesses. This benefits our local economy significantly, especially during slower months when boaters and recreationalists are not using Echo. Automobile traffic from Wohali will be routed from Coalville’s city center, so the roads will not be crowded or suffer from additional wear and tear.
The traffic will be routed from Coalville’s city center but these same people who are not driving down Main Street will be patronizing family-owned businesses? How is that possible? There is either little impact on our Main Street traffic or an increase in business – which is it?
Utah always respects property rights. Your City insured the owners of this property followed every legal requirement for this development. They have every right to develop their own land, under the permitted use granted by the City. Would you like your neighbors leaning over your fence telling you what you could and could not do with your own land.
We believe in property rights too and the developer has exactly the same right as any other land owner in Coalville City – to develop their land within the existing zoning and ordinances that govern the property. The developer is seeking a change in the zoning laws to fit their project. Surrounding property owners have rights too, even property owners across the freeway. This is especially true when the city’s water shed is involved. When changes in land use are made it absolutely can affect the rights of others. In those instances, you bet, the neighbors can stick their neck over the fence and ask “What’s going on over there?”
The petition does not stop the development of Wohali. It will be built regardless. But, the petition will cancel the changes to the approvals which contain all the public benefits to the community. For example, the petition eliminates public access to the amenities listed above and makes the development less beneficial as a whole to our community.
If the rezoning is overturned by voters the Wohali project with 570 homes and 130 nightly rentals will not be built. The developer recently submitted another application under the original AG zoning. This new project may continue to be named “Wohali” however it will be a very different development and density will be limited to what is permitted in the AG zone. Through utilizing the bonus density formula up to 125 homes could be built under the AG zone. The golf course would also likely be permitted however it is unclear if the nightly rentals requested in the new application will be allowed in the AG zone.
The petition does not limit the public access, it will be up to the developer to decide whether or not to permit public access under the new application.
Our state is growing rapidly. Coalville enjoyed a quiet community for generations and with unique and out-of-view developments like Wohali, we will be able to continue to live a rural lifestyle while boosting our economy, shoring up our water resources and better funding schools.
It’s very difficult to understand how a luxury golf resort and 570 million dollar homes contribute to a rural lifestyle. Many are concerned the project will set in place a pattern of resort development that will be difficult to control and may eventually overtake our small town rural lifestyle. Let’s remember the Wohali landowners asked to be annexed into our city with it’s existing General Plan and Vision Statement clearly defined. The development should be shaped and sized to conform with the city’s vision and not the other way around.