On December 16, 2019 six citizens joined together to file a referendum application regarding Ordinance 2019-7 (Wohali Rezone). If the referendum is successful, Coalville voters will have the opportunity to either uphold or overturn the decision of the City Council.

The Opposition

The Wohali project would more that double the size of Coalville. A change this significant requires significant input and approval from the existing residents.The public spoke clearly and in large numbers against approval of the Wohali project at four key City Council/Planning Commission public hearings.

· March 12, 2018 Annexation Hearing

· November 4, 2019 Planning Commission Hearing

· November 18, 2019 City Council Hearing

· December 9, 2019 City Council Hearing Continuation

Additionally, a door-to-door public opinion survey reached 201 citizens prior to the December 9, 2019 public hearing. Of the residents surveyed 171 requested the original zoning be unchanged.

The Concerns

The community concerns were many and varied but centered around these issues:

  • Water quality and quantity, need for an independent water study
  • No independent fiscal impact study
  • Inadequate affordable housing
  • Wildlife disruption
  • Impact on farming and ranching
  • Inadequate secondary road access
  • Loss of rural and historic heritage

The Decision

On December 9, 2019 in spite of clearly expressed and nearly unanimous citizen opposition the Coalville City Council voted  to approve the rezoning of 1,525 acres related to the Wohali project. The zone change  is the most important entitlement the developer will receive.  The remaining decisions to be made will be largely administrative in nature and the public will have little to no say in these matters.  In order to preserve the public’s voice action was necessary.

The Sponsors

A group of citizens recognized the lack of consideration of the public vision that went into this rezoning decision. These citizens applied for a referendum that if successful will allow the voters of Coalville to decide if the zone change is appropriate and the right decision for Coalville.

The Sponsors of this referendum are:

  • Louise E. Willoughby
  • Stephen R. Hirzel,
  • J.Douglas Porter
  • Kelly J. Ovard
  • Paula I. McGee,
  • Steven B. Richins

The referendum is working its way through the process and we will be able to take signatures soon. Why is a referendum the right direction to go? Because every citizen whether they approve of the zone change and related development or not will have a chance to have their voice heard and counted.  Please join our cause and sign the petition to send the message to our elected officials that Coalville residents oppose large-scale rezoning without the strong support of the existing residents.