Heber City Council gives green light to Smith’s Marketplace, new school and 4-story buildings

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The price to bring a Smith’s Marketplace to Heber could be lower than previously believed.

Instead of $ 7 million, the city could close the deal for less than $ 2 million, Heber City Council learned Tuesday.

On October 5, council learned that Smith’s needed an incentive to open a store in north Heber City.

A representative for Smith said that out of a total road cost of $ 11 million, the city was to cover $ 7 million – and the council had until Friday to agree to the terms.

A review by city staff painted a different picture of the city’s obligation.

“The $ 7 million that came out two weeks ago was the first stab at what the developer thought was our share,” said Councilor Mike Johnston. “We’ve looked at this with our staff, and they’ve determined that this part that we’re responsible for is actually only about $ 1.2 million. So somewhere between 1.2 and 7; we think it will be closer to 1.2.

The city voted 3 to 1 to approve a memorandum of understanding to do the trick. The MOU formally states that the city will reach a development agreement in the future, but does not contain any legal obligations. Councilor Heidi Franco was the dissenting vote and Councilor Wayne Hardman was on vacation.

The memorandum of understanding also states that the city must be prepared to build the road at the same time as Smith’s builds the store. It could start as early as next spring.

“The MOU says we’re committing, we’ll work with Smith’s to do our portion of the road, and how we fund it, it’s up to us whether it’s a public infrastructure bond.” , or whether it’s cash, impact fees, or we do other funding. An MOU is not binding. It’s not a legal contract, but it shows our good faith that we will comply with what Smith asks, ”said Johnston.

The store would be the first major component of an economic development project aimed at developing the city center and generating new public funds. By creating a community reinvestment zone financial strategy, the city could use a large portion of the Smith’s new tax revenue to reinvest in other projects downtown.

Also at Tuesday’s meeting, the board approved a final change to the development of the sawmill. Located east of Heber Valley Hospital, the site will now include an elementary school.

Johnston explained how the development added the school site: “There will be around 1,000 residential units in this area, which in our county means around 1,000 schoolchildren or 600 elementary school children, which is a primary school. . So the school district realized that this was a really important place to have an elementary school.

The amendment makes a few other changes. It eliminates housing for the elderly, offers reduced rents for police officers and allows the construction of commercial buildings up to four floors.

This amendment was contested by residents who came to a public hearing on August 3. Several neighbors of the Sawmill development complained that the multi-level buildings would eliminate their view of Mount Timpanogos. Some have called the amendment process hasty and unfair.

The next Heber City Council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, November 2.


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