More than 200 people crowded the Morgan County Courthouse auditorium during a public hearing Aug. 14 to amend the county’s future land map in the East Canyon area to eventually make way for a new 2,980-acre resort. The landowners asked the planning commission to consider re-designating 2,980 acres currently designated natural resources and recreation to master planned community.
At the Aug. 14 meeting, many residents asked for specifics, wanting to know exactly what the land owners planned to do with the 3,000 acres. That Thursday, they were tight-lipped. However, they laid out grand plans during the July 10 meeting a month earlier.
Plans the group submitted July 10 dubbed “Heritage Peak Resort” include 205 “upscale” half-acre ranchettes, 631 one-acre estate lots and 864 “high end” condominium units valued at $400,000 each, for a total of 1,700 units. Single-family homes would be valued at $600,000 to $700,000. Applicants said July 10 that only a “handful” of the resort residents would be full-time, and the project would likely appeal to retirees.
Other features presented last month included a golf course, hotel, gas station, neighborhood market, family diner, campground, boat ramp and docks, water features, equestrian trail, hiking trails, scenic overlooks, secondary water, private roads, mixed use space, open space, statuettes of prominent pioneers, and a visitors center overlooking the pioneer trail, Donner Reed trail and Pony Express.
Located north of East Canyon State Park, the resort property would “serve as an overflow from the Park City area and other outlying communities,” according to James Tracy in the July 10 planning commission minutes.
The minutes also mention Glen Burton, applicant and Yaryca/Golden Hills property owner, pointing to a Utah Department of Transportation study that provides numbers that current roads could handle the traffic increase. Burton also said there are two agricultural wells on the property and Summit County has given commitment to provide water, bringing it from the Jeremy Ranch area. A package sewer plant, instead of septic tanks, could be an option, Burton said. Tracy said there are 22 water shares from Weber/Davis canal and plans are in place for water tanks.
Tracy compared the Morgan project to Wolf Creek, where 70 percent of those staying at condos do so for only a brief time rather than permanently. He also said priority would be placed on developing the commercial aspects of the project first, but that building was likely three years away.
The planning commission rejected those initial plans, which apparently were first drawn up decades ago. Morgan Planning Commissioner Debbie Sessions said July 10 that the general plan does call for a resort in the area, but the plans as presented that night did not fit the resort concept as currently listed in the general plan.
The action basically sent the landowners back to the drawing board for specific plans, but did not prevent them from amending the future land map.
In fact, the commission threw out the 1,700 residential unit exhibit presented in their packets that July evening. They felt attaching specific numbers at this point was not appropriate. Those details will be considered in the future development process.