Residents push back on proposal to bring hundreds of homes to Coalville

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COALVILLE — A controversial development that would add hundreds of high-end secondary homes to Coalville was at the center of a sometimes-heated public hearing on Monday.

“I’ve seen a lot of changes,” said Betty Crittenden, who for the last 90 years has had a front-row seat to the changes in Coalville.

Crittenden said the growth hasn’t bothered her for the most part. Like many other residents, her main concern Monday night was water.

“Well I don’t want them to take our water,” she said.

The planned Wohali development would add roughly 570 high-end homes and two golf courses to the small Summit County city with a population of around 1,300 people, according to Mayor Trever Johnson.

Many of those people crowded into the small city hall chambers Monday night. The room proved too small for the meeting, forcing some to stand while others left because they couldn’t hear the speakers.

“You have an obligation to us before any developer,” one woman said.

“Frankly, I cannot get my head around we don’t have the water for this,” another resident said.

Few of the public speakers, including a contractor, voiced support for the development. He said the project would help provide work for him and many others in Coalville.

“There are a lot of emotions driving this,” he said. “But I haven’t heard any real argument against it.”

"Here’s what I do know, change is coming, growth is coming,” Johnson said before the meeting.

Johnson doesn’t have a vote in the matter but said with the updated sewer treatment plant the city can handle the water and sewer growth.

“It’s a long build-out. On par with the growth we’ve had already,” he said, citing the construction of 100 neighborhood homes they just approved.

“The next question is, does that fit what we want? Does that fit Coalville?” Johnson asked.

The Wohali development would be done in phases but would be different from other growth in the city because they would be secondary homes.

Still, concerns remained about the lasting impacts of growth.

“You guys want a resort town, you can drive 20 miles south and get all the resorts you want,” one man said during public comment.

“It really shouldn’t affect me at my age,” Crittenden said. “But it’ll affect the other people.”

Council members voted unanimously to put off the deciding vote until December so they can consider the issues the public brought up at Monday's meeting.

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Matt Rascon


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