The county is gearing up for a development one Morgan County Council member said could “change the face of Morgan County.”
Snowbasin plans about 2,950 residential dwelling units on its 8,000 acres in Morgan County. Snowbasin representatives have said that build out of those units could take up to 50 years. Plans announced in 2009 included a hotel, ski lodge, parking, golf courses, restaurants, tennis courts, trails, open space and retail establishments.
“This is the biggest paid rezone application Morgan County is probably ever going to see,” Councilwoman Ronda Kippen said. “It terrifies me if it not done right. We need to have our best advisors on board.”
To handle the large rezone application, the county intends to hire up to three consultants at the expense of Snowbasin.
Many of the council members suggested bringing on Grant Crowell as a consultant. He was formerly Morgan County’s planning and development services department director from 2009 to January of 2012. He is now Bluffdale’s city planner and economic development director.
Interim Planning and Development Services Department Director Charles Ewert said the county could use the help of a planner, resort planning expert, and legal land use consultant.
“This has the potential to be the 800-pound gorilla in the room to the north of us,” County Councilman Lyle Nelson said. “The fact that Snowbasin is bearing the cost, we ought to have the best consultants we are aware of.”
In his last Morgan County Council meeting before his untimely death, Councilman Don Mathews suggested the county prepare a request for qualifications, or RFQ, to advertise for help with Snowbasin’s proposal.
Ewert said he is concerned with the amount of time issuing an RFQ could take, since Snowbasin is “antsy to get their first hearing” before the planning commission in January.
Snowbasin has already proceeded with developing 4,200 acres in Weber County.
“Weber County did not go the level of review we are going to,” Ewert said. “It is a little bit bigger of a deal here in Morgan.”