Wohali Project Application Updates
Disclaimer: This purpose of this link is to provide general progress updates of applications submitted to the city and are currently in the review process. It is not intended to replace the project record on file with the city. Please contact, the City Project Coordinator, Don Sargent at (435) 901-0201 or firstname.lastname@example.org, for more detailed information. This link should not be relied on for any official purposes.
Wohali Partners - Application #1 (MPD, Rezone and Phase I Preliminary Plat)
The initial MPD, Rezone and Phase I Preliminary Plat application was approved by the City Council in December 2019. Following the action by the City Council, a citizen referendum petition opposing the development was filed with the City. The application is on hold pending the outcome of a special election by the voters in June 2020.
On May 13, 2020, the Wohali applicant withdrew application #1, including the property Rezoning, MPD and Phase I Preliminary Plat approval from the City continued review process of the final development agreement and plans. According to the applicant, the reason for withdrawing Application #1 was that with the opposition of the CFRG group they did not believe it would be possible to timely complete an acceptable final approval of the development agreement for the project with a negotiated public review process.
The City Council is scheduled to repeal Referendum Ordinance 2019-7 and 2019-8 at their regularly scheduled meeting on June 22, 2020. The ordinances are in reference to the referendum filed by the CFRG group in opposition to the City approval of Application #1.
Wohali Partners - Application #2 (MPD for Permitted Uses Under Existing Zoning)
A new Wohali MPD application proposing permitted uses on the property within the existing Agricultural Zone (AG-20) was submitted in January 2020. A work session was conducted with the Planning Commission in February to review and discuss the issues of the proposed development including residential lots, detached nightly rental units, resort support amenities, recreational uses and open spaces.
Another work session with the Planning Commission was scheduled in March but was cancelled due to COVID-19 meeting restrictions. The application is currently on hold.
On June 15, 2020 the Planning Commission conducted a work session and public hearing to address the outstanding issues of the application, in particularly the proposed nightly rental use as a support facility or use to the permitted primary use of the golf course. To facilitate this discussion Staff requested an independent legal opinion from a third-party attorney familiar with municipal code interpretations and processing. David Church, legal councel for the Utah League of Cities and Towns, reviewed the nightly rental question as it related to the city development code and prepared a legal opinion which was presented to the Planning Commission at the meeting. The legal opinion specified that nightly or short-term rentals are allowed uses in the agricultural zone of the city and should not count towards project density.
Based on this legal opinion and other discussion points, the Planning Commission unanimously recommended approval of Application #2 to the City Council. The recommendation included the approval of the Wohali MPD and Phase I Preliminary Subdivision Plat. The motion also included a statement that nightly rental units are entitled with the development, and the final number of nightly rental units are to be determined by the City Council in their review of the project application.
A public hearing before the City Council to review and consider the Planning Commission's recommendation will be scheduled in July.
Wohali Partners - Application #3 (Golf Course Excavation and Building Permit)
In January, the Wohali applicants discussed the options with staff for obtaining approval to construct only the golf course on the property. The Staff preference was to process the golf course application concurrent with the new MPD application. The applicants subsequently filed an excavation and building permit application in February for the golf course. Due to COVID-19 restriction preventing meetings with the Planning Commission the new MPD application went on hold. The applicants requested that their golf course excavation and building permit application proceed forward as they did not require approval before the Planning Commission or City Council. These are administrative applications which are processed at the Staff level as a permitted use.
Unlike an MPD or Rezone application, which is somewhat discretionary, a permitted use application is not viewed as discretionary and if the application satisfies the requirements of the applicable code or ordinance provisions of the city, it must be approved. The information submitted with these applications did not require review or evaluation by the Planning Commission or City Council. However, Staff regularly updated and informed the City Council on the application.
The City Council is the appellant body for administrative decisions and that is why Staff is the land use authority for administrative actions.
Staff including City Project Coordinator Don Sargent, City Community Development Director/Engineer Shane McFarland, City Public Works Director Zane DeWeese and City Attorney Sheldon Smith were all involved in the review and approval of the golf course permit.
The approval of the golf course excavation and building permit allows Wohali to stage equipment on the property. The execution of the required performance guarantee has been finalized and a pre-construction meeting with Staff has been conducted with the developers and their contractors. Construction on the golf course is anticipated to begin soon.
An Appeal of the golf course excavation and building permit approval was filed with the City on April 24, 2020. An appeal hearing was conducted before City Council (appellant body) on May 11, 2020. After hearing testimony from City Staff, Appellants and the Applicant, the City Council voted to deny the appeal and uphold the approval of the excavation and building permit.
The golf course construction is in process on the project site. Current activity includes general earthwork and rough grading associated with fairways, greens, golf cart paths, and ponds. The access road through the property is also being realigned where it conflicts with golf fairways and ponds as noted on the approved project site plans. Staff is conducting on-going inspections of the construction activity, taking water samples, and monitoring the erosion control measures. To-date the golf course construction is in compliance with the approved project conditions and plans of the permit.