Summit County seems hell bent on putting 600 or more units of affordable housing between Jeremy Ranch Elementary School and the Burt Brothers complex (The Cline Dale parcel). They are contemplating taking a piece of land that would have had 1 home and are now putting 600-plus homes on it.
During this week’s Summit County Council meeting, representatives from the University of Utah presented a study they performed on the parcel and concluded that hundreds of units could be built on the parcel and it wouldn’t impact traffic. However we have another question… what about water?
For those people in Jeremy Ranch and select other areas of the Basin, they’ve been on water restrictions. Summit Water has limited the number of days that grass can be watered (two days a week). This indicates that there is not enough water, which is troubling since this year we had one of the best snow packs in a decade.
We visited with one resident who was fixing sprinklers on a Sunday morning and was “written up” by the Summit Water patrol. He said the person took down his address and told him that he better look at getting rid of his grass because next year Summit Water was going to cut back another 25%.
What? That doesn’t bode well.
It appears there is not enough water in the Basin. Yet, the County buys a piece of land for a transit oriented development and plans to put 600 to 1200 units on it (currently it is farm land). Averages show an apartment uses 150 gallons of water per day. At 600 apartments, that is an additional 35 millions of gallons of water used per year, if the Summit County Council goes forward.
If we are in a water shortage, where does that water come from? If Wasatch County growth also continues (that also eats into our available water) where does that water come from?
We understand the desire for the county to buy land for affordable housing. However, we are not sure that populace would trade their own water for adding additional affordable housing.
Regardless of personal feelings, it currently doesn’t even seem to be part of the discussions. Currently, it seems the only discussion is economic development and traffic related. There seems to be no discussion of water at all.
We’d encourage the county to look at whether there is enough water available to add another 3,000 people at Cline Dahle. If they discover water is not a problem, they should work to get the regional water companies under control. If they discover that water is an issue, there are many other alternatives that both require less water and would make their constituents happy.