OGDEN — A proposed residential subdivision in western Weber County that was originally to have been built around a manmade lake is moving forward, but the controversial water element has been scrapped.
Weber County commissioners this week approved a request for a conditional use permit to allow the development process to proceed. The development — previously called Halcyon Lake Estates in county planning documents but now called Halcyon Estates — calls for 39 residential lots on 31.7 acres, with 10 acres of the land to remain open for farm use. Previous plans called for 28 homes to be built on a 40-acre development that included a 13-acre lake.
The 10 open acres, abutting land already used for farming, would be leased to local farmers, Tammy Aydelotte, a planner in the Weber County Planning Division, told commissioners at their meeting Tuesday. The property to be developed sits at the northwest corner of 1800 South and 4075 East, abutting farmland to the west and a subdivision to the east.
The initial proposal including a lake publicly emerged in mid-2019, generating concern and criticism from farmers and others living in an area characterized by open land and scattered subdivisions. Among other things, plan critics worried about seepage from the manmade lake into area farmland, damaging crops, though the developers said that wouldn’t occur.
Now, however, the lake has been removed from the proposal, and the notion of leaving 10 acres of the development area untouched and available to farmers appealed to Commissioner Jim Harvey.
“I could buy into that, commissioner,” he said at Tuesday’s meeting in discussing the issue with Commissioner Gage Froerer.
Commissioner Scott Jenkins, who didn’t attend Tuesday’s meeting, said Thursday that he had liked the idea of a lake. As envisioned by reps from the firm developing the land, Wakeless Holdings, the lake would have catered to water skiers and other recreational water users. But if the proposal were to move forward, Jenkins said he would have asked that the land all around the lake be landscaped, not given over to weeds as it awaited homes.
Neither Jenkins nor Harvey know why the lake element was removed, and Wakeless Holdings reps didn’t immediately return calls Thursday seeking comment.
A project narrative submitted by Wakeless Holdings to county planners says the development “is designed to allow younger families to move ‘out of the city’ and embrace the living in the country.” The first phase of the project calls for 14 larger lots, each sized 26,000 square feet to 43,000 square feet, which is about an acre. The second phase calls for 25 smaller lots measuring 9,600 square feet to 18,000 square feet.
The project faces continued review by county officials as part of the subdivision process before actual dirt can potentially be moved.