Development wars reach South Summit |

Development wars reach South Summit

With standing room only Wednesday in Kamas the Eastern Summit County Planning Commission heard from a developer anxious to build 70 new houses near State Road 32.

"The property is eligible for a base density of 42 residential lots," Summit County planner Don Sargent said.

The so-called High Star Ranch would consist of two existing South Summit ranches where, by preserving agricultural uses on the property, builders hope to nearly double the allowed density.

"I ain’t too excited about having 60 neighbors," South Summit resident Rodney Louder told planning commissioners.

The subdivision is planned on 1,038 acres east on S.R. 32 and adjacent to the Wasatch-Cache National Forest.

"I’ve got a concern with the wildlife," said Wes Blazzard, whose property would border the new development. "I wonder what might happen to those deer."

No decisions were made following this week’s public hearing where commissioners heard concerns that the proposed High Star Ranch could damage existing irrigation ditches.

"We’re very concerned with what’s going on," said Scott Simpson representing a ditch company in the area. "We need to have some detailed explanation about what they propose to do."

But others supported building the new equestrian center.

"I just think there ought to be some more community benefits," Marion resident Beverly Gray said in Wednesday’s public hearing.

Meanwhile, Kamas Mayor Lew Marchant says the proposed neighborhood is too dense.

"I have a hard time understanding how preserving a sage-brush hillside is preserving agriculture. You can’t build on it anyway because the slopes are above 30 percent," Marchant said. "There are some major traffic impacts that we need to address and I hope those are addressed."

At issue is whether zoning on the land allows for employee housing, a day lodge and bunkhouses for guests of the equestrian facility.

"I’m concerned about the density," said county resident Vern Taylor. "I’m also concerned about widening S.R. 32."

The project though, intrigues trail advocates because of a public easement the developer would likely volunteer to provide for a non-motorized pathway through the neighborhood, Summit County trail planner Trish Murphy said.

The project’s master plan would subdivide the existing S Bar S and Tri-Star ranches near Kamas, according to Sargent.

"We’ve worked very diligently at keeping development off the prominent ridgelines and the hillsides," the planner said.

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