Summer has been busy for Wasatch Peaks Ranch (WPR). With involvement in the community and continuing a busy construction schedule, WPR is quickly becoming a solid part of the community.
WPR construction activities for 2022, as explained by Ed Shultz, a managing director of WPR, has included a continued work of roads and infrastructure; adding a third chairlift for beginners which is a short lift with only six towers; starting on the first vertical building, a gate house; and conveying of 25 homesites with more expected to happen this Fall.
Not only heavily invested in building a top-tier development, WPR has been seriously involved in the community. Recent community activities have included the county fair and sale in which Shultz said they boosted all 235 kids this year. They purchased a steer and hog and also purchased lamb which will be donated to the Morgan Food bank. Pouring money for the youth, WPR participated in the May high school scholarship award night giving away six scholarships. Now, they are sponsoring the Morgan Mountain bike team and working to coordinate a skills clinic with the son of one of the WPR employees who is a professional mountain biker.
WPR is designing “a private development for the top 1% of the wealthy with amazing recreational activities for our members,” stated Shultz. Shultz further commented some time ago, “The development will feature an exclusive ski mountain, golf course, sporting clays course, horse packing, hiking, and biking trails for its members; 65% will be preserved for private open space. These primarily second, high value homes, will significantly contribute to Morgan County’s tax base. WPR is responsible for constructing and maintaining all roads, water districts, and the majority of infrastructure within the development. And WPR will be a major employer in Morgan.”
Going back in history, Oct. 30, 2019, the Morgan County Council approved the controversial rezone of nearly 20 square miles (12,740 acres) for Wasatch Peaks Ranch, a private development in the mountainous area of Peterson. In response to the approval of this development, a group of residents sponsored a referendum application attempting to give citizens the “final say” concerning continuation of the development, believing that the County Council’s decision contradicted Envision Morgan’s description of limited growth and mountain preservation for that area. Dealing with legal and court situations, WPR has continued in full force to develop the private community. The court dealings between Morgan County Commission, WPR, and the referendum sponsors in still ongoing and unconclusive.
The first of many plats was brought to the Morgan County Commission and approved Dec. 2021. The final plat for WPR was recommended by staff as consistent with the development agreement signed in Oct. 2019. This plat had 52 lots comprising approximately 483 acres. Part of the development agreement required WPR to designate development areas into seven areas with unit counts. The overall requirement was to illustrate where development could or could not go.
Having successfully come this far, WPR approached the Morgan County Commission again July 19 for another preliminary plat. This time it was for 25 lots, or homesites, in addition to the 52 that were approved in Phase One. These lots vary in size from three to seven acres, with each one differing because the topography drives the design of the home site. In lieu of some residents’ fear of the ground being developed then unused, Shultz shared, “We have strong demand for both Phase Two and One. We are beginning the reservation process on the Phase Two homesites and have 10 reserved. In Phase One, we have 45 of the 52 homesites reserved or under contract.” With the preliminary plat approval for 25 homesites, WPR will be submitting for Final Plat to Planning Commission and then County Commission this Fall.
“We are very excited about the progress at WPR and continue to keep very busy,” concluded Shultz. “This has been a great summer participating in community events and hope that we have been demonstrating that we are good neighbors and positive additions to the Morgan community.”