Planning for the new village near Hoytsville is going faster than anticipated
The East Side effort to create a town near Hoytsville is moving more rapidly than its participants expected, though there are still major hurdles to overcome.
The Cedar Crest Overlay committee is charged with coming up with a plan for a new village covering roughly 1,000 acres between Interstate 80 and the Wasatch Mountains and bounded by Coalville to the north and Judd Lane to the south.
Mike Crittenden, a homeowner in the area and the spokesperson for the committee overseeing the process, said the process so far has been fascinating. He credited support from the Summit County Council and the county Planning Department for aiding in the effort.
“It’s something that hasn’t been done,” Crittenden said. “We’re doing our best to plan something people will want to build and buy. People will want to live here, raise their kids and stick around: That’s the hope.”
This process is unique because it turns the traditional top-down land planning approach on its head, building from a foundation of what the landowners want to see in the area.
So far, the committee has zeroed in on what uses it wants to see where — the location of the new Main Street, for example, and places for businesses and parks — and is working on laying out a transportation plan, Crittenden said.
That last part is tricky, he said. The committee has contemplated an on-off ramp connection to Interstate 80 at Creamery Lane, and whether that gets installed dictates how the rest of the traffic would flow.
“It would affect it dramatically from our point of view,” Crittenden said. “If it’s there, everything drains to that point. If it’s not there … instead of collecting at that point, trying to disperse along that road.”
The committee updated the Summit County Council on its progress earlier this month, and asked whether the county would be willing to sponsor the highway project to put it on the Utah Department of Transportation’s work plan.
Council Chair Roger Armstrong said it was premature to formally sponsor the request, but conceptually, the Council sees its value.
Crittenden said the committee would like the project to be put on a list that would enable a developer to come in and pay for the project upfront and then be reimbursed by the state. He said they haven’t found that developer yet, but several have expressed interest. He said the engineering work has already been done. The committee’s plan is to eventually create a master plan, which would then inform developers of what kind of projects should go where. It would be up to those developers to build the village.
The committee is looking for a developer who shares its vision and has what Crittenden called “patient money,” meaning they aren’t looking to turn a quick buck.
He mentioned repeatedly that, at some point, funding would have to come in to the project to make it happen.
At a July 25 meeting, committee members were tasked with mocking up maps to show where they’d like to see different uses, like residences or businesses. Those maps have since been combined and refined into a third draft, which shows green space on the outskirts near the mountains, a greenway/park near the interstate and mixed use zones around that, with a special spot for the historic Hoyt House.
Crittenden explained the next step is to connect those uses with transportation, which is what the committee is working on now.
He said he was impressed with the expertise the Planning Department brought to the table and was looking forward to hearing from the county’s transportation experts who do this sort of thing for a living.
The committee is made up of members of the Eastern Summit County Planning Commission and landowners in the area and has been staffed by members of the Planning Department, including Community Development Director Pat Putt, Planning and Zoning Director Peter Barnes, planner Kirsten Whetstone and others.
The group of 27 landowners came together to address a common problem they’d all come to face at a similar time, Crittenden said: What’s left for the next generation when housing prices make property ownership challenging and interest in traditional ways of life like ranching and farming is waning?
The group has a pact to put self-interest aside and plan the entire thousand acres to make the best space possible without consideration for property lines. The owner of property near the new Main Street could see their property values increase dramatically, for example. So far, that’s holding up well, he said.
“It’s been incredible, actually. Been nothing other than, ‘What’s the best plan for this village we all want to build?’” Crittenden said. “It’s always been strong — no crack there.”
Under a 2004 zoning rule, the landowners have less flexibility to do things with their land like selling a portion to a family member to build a house, Crittenden said, and there aren’t really affordable housing options in the area.
So the committee is trying to build some.
The committee has been meeting every other Thursday at The Ledges Building, 202 E. Park Road, Coalville. Interested citizens are encouraged to attend. The next meeting is scheduled for 9 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 3.
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