Heber City sets four-story height limit on future buildings

Faced with a decision on how tall new buildings should be, the Heber City Council found middle ground in its meeting Tuesday.

The council weighed pros and cons of limiting future buildings to three, four or five stories.

On one hand, more stories per building means more opportunities for affordable housing. But as Councilmember Ryan Stack said Tuesday, many Heberites don’t want the skyline to grow.

“The overwhelming weight of opinion that I’ve encountered has been against five stories,” Stack said. “Because that seems to be where the weight of the community is on this, and because there has been such a visceral reaction to five stories on Main Street, I would support the four stories.”

The council voted unanimously to adopt an ordinance that governs height restrictions in three commercial zones.

In the C-2 and C-4 zones, which are on the northern and western edges of town, the standard permitted height is now three stories. The maximum future height will be four stories, or 55 feet tall, but only if the developer meets requirements such as providing 10% affordable housing.

The city considers people eligible for affordable housing if they earn less than 60% of the county’s area median income, or AMI. In Wasatch County the AMI for a one-person household is $75,000 annually, and 60% of that is $43,000, according to Mountainlands Community Housing Trust.

Hotels are allowed in those zones on a conditional basis. The council decided it should look at making separate rules for hotels in the future.

In the C-3 zone, which includes much of Main Street in central downtown and the businesses along it, buildings will be capped at three stories, no exceptions.

The council had to reach a decision this week because a temporary three-story height limit expires this month.

In May, the Heber City Planning Commission approved a new five-story hotel — taller than any building currently in the county — with the condition that the developer make affordable housing out of 10% of its units. That sparked public backlash, and the council quickly voted to limit all buildings to three stories for six months and to decide what to allow in the future.

For a link to view Tuesday’s meeting in full, visit the web version of this report at heberut.gov.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button
%d bloggers like this: