Residents attended Thursday’s meeting with uncertain expectations. The self-organized council has spread flyers, sent e-mails, and posted notices, but this was the first organized meeting with the community. The council, led by Jen Larsen and Michelle Lyman, was created to inform Mountain Green Citizens of the changes that are coming to the city. Lyman said, “At City Council Meetings we looked around and noticed that while big decisions are being made just 17 miles away, few Mountain Green residents are getting involved. These decisions are affecting their community. We get a lot of complaints after the fact, but you can’t squawk unless you are prepared to get involved.” The city faces many infrastructural challenges as it continues to grow.
The council began by discussing rural development. Although a building moratorium was enacted on September 18th in the Highland Water district, preapproved building will continue. The moratorium was put into place after the State Director of Drinking Water found allocation of water to be at 105%. This issue will need to be resolved quickly as the cities proposed rural growth over the next ten years is projected at over 5,000 units.
Next on the agenda was the push for commercial growth in the city. The council began by warning that if commercial growth doesn’t happen in the city, then residents should expect to see steep raises in property taxes. Although the current Morgan County Council rejected the development of the Town Center by a 4:3 margin, the Mountain Green Community Council presented information on the positive affect commercial development would have on the County. Babcock Design Group presented drawings of what a Town Center in Mountain Green may look like. The mockups included hotels, retail space, a grocery store, and office space. The Babcock design presenter said, “growth is going to happen. We are trying to ensure that it happens in the way that we want it to”. This led into discussion of an interchange at Trapper’s Loop. The interchange is designed to lead consumers along the proposed commercial development at Town Center. The road design was likened to the interchanges at Farmington Station, and the B.D.O. in Ogden.
The Council closed with a call to action. They asked city members to attend County Council Meetings, register to vote in Morgan County, talk to County Council Members, and primarily to be involved.
Although audience participation was kept to a minimum, some in attendance called out their opinions saying, “this is a sales pitch” and “who’s paying for this?” Another community member said, “They are not making plans to help keep it rural, they are making plans to make it Park City.” Many residents are pessimistic about the proposed growth and commercial development. Others accept that growth is inevitable and want to help shape the developing community.