OGDEN — A proposed manmade lake and housing development that has riled some neighbors around the western Weber County location where it’s to take shape wouldn’t adversely impact farming in the area, as some worry.
“Because of the characteristics of groundwater, we know the impact of the lake on the neighboring properties will be minimal,” reads a June 1 memo to Weber County planning officials from WRB Consulting Services, which is assisting in the project.
Many have spoken out against the project, called Halcyon Lake Estates and focus of a public hearing at Tuesday’s meeting of the Western Weber County Planning Commission. Concern that the lake would seep, inundating or otherwise damaging adjacent farmland, has been a particular concern.
But Keith Ward, who’s involved in the project, told commissioners that the lake is to be lined either with clay or a synthetic material, preventing seepage. Similar lake projects elsewhere, he noted, haven’t had seepage issues. Likewise, the memo from Salem, Utah-based WRB said changes in irrigation practices because of the lake may result in less irrigation water entering the soil, lowering groundwater levels.
The lake, the memo goes on, “will not negatively impact the ability of the neighboring farmers or home owners to use their land as they have historically done.” Moreover, it said, the lake shouldn’t hamper the ability to convert other adjacent land into housing subdivisions in the future.
Many residents spoke out at Tuesday’s meeting, expressing concern about the potential impact of the 40-acre development, which calls for 28 homes to be built around a 13-acre lake. The site sits off the northwest corner of 1800 South and 4075 West in an area dotted with farms and housing subdivisions.
“The people who are buying $300,000 lots, they’re going to want it perfect,” said Josh Martini, citing the rumored cost of lots in the development when and if it moves forward. “So I’m sure they’re going to complain about everything, smell and all of that.”
Increased auto traffic is another concern as well as noise from boats plying the proposed lake.
Ward, though, said boats these days don’t make much noise. “I think you would be surprised how quiet they are,” he said.
The proposed development, catering to water skiers and other recreational water users, is a departure from the traditional subdivision development in booming western Weber County, featuring just homes and, perhaps, green space. But promoters say they’ve been popping up around Utah.
The planning commission granted preliminary approval to the Halcyon Lake Estates proposal, deeming it to be compliant with county zoning guidelines. Now the plans will face more technical review before returning to planning officials for final review.
Investors are lined up, and if the plans get the green light, lake excavation could start in 2020, according to Tylor Brenchley, one of the project developers.