Residents Push Through General Plan Referendum
The group Herriman For Responsible Growth spent the last couple of months gathering signatures for a referendum on the General Plan Amendment that was passed on September 13, 2017. They had noted concerns over the process that took place to amend the General Plan, as well as the implied development plans for the northwest section of the City. The group gathered nearly 5,000 signatures within a 45 day effort that would render the new General Plan ineffective unless or until taken to a vote of the people at a municipal or special election. Those signatures were deemed sufficient by the City Recorder, but due to a condition that had been placed on the amended General Plan during that September vote, there has been some question as to what would be voted on if a special election was held for the referendum. In the motion to pass the new plan, a condition was made that required a Development Agreement be reached before December 31st, 2017 or the amended plan would then revert back to the previous version.
As of the final City Council meeting in December, no Development Agreement had been reached for either development that was proposed in the northwest section of the City and the General Plan returned to its previous version. This was largely due to the efforts and impact that the residents and the referendum had on the City Council as they contemplated the best interests of the City. That being said, it is still necessary to amend our General Plan to include new land that has been acquired by the City through annexation. It is also an important time to take a look at the zoning in several areas to be sure that we are planning for a viable community with opportunity for economic growth through commercial and industrial zoning that had not been considered in years past. Herriman City is undergoing a period of rapid growth, not only in population, but in land mass. When the City acquires new land, it is necessary to amend our General Plan to include the new additions. In a meeting held between the City and the Herriman For Responsible Growth group, it was determined that a vote would not be necessary as the new plan was no longer in effect. However, the group did urge that the public have more opportunity to provide input through the process of drafting a new plan.
As of January 1, 2018, we will need to begin working on a new version of the General Plan and will start outlining a process that includes both residents and developers as we draft a plan that will carry out the mission and vision of our city. Though the process is time-sensitive, the City plans to increase the opportunity for input from our community by holding not only Open House forums, but neighborhood meetings that are scheduled through our Community Facilitators. The City will also generate surveys and hold virtual meetings that will be available to the community through social media and on the City website, thus allowing for a larger outreach that affords more of the population the opportunity to participate in providing input. During one of the first City Council meetings in January, the Council and staff will draft a schedule for the Open House meetings as well as the neighborhood meetings and push those dates out to the public. This will offer residents a variety of dates that they can choose to attend and offer comments and suggestions on the design and layout of our City.
Herriman City is grateful for the efforts put forth by the group Herriman for Responsible Growth, as well as for all of the input from the members of our community. We look forward to working together on the new plan and invite each of you to take this opportunity to get involved in your community and make a difference. With a population of 44,000 and growing, you may often feel like your voice is not heard, but through involvement and working together, you can make a difference and we can plan and design a city that is not only viable, but a great place to call home.