Summit County residents upset about proposed development at Jeremy Ranch

Posted at 9:49 PM, Jan 07, 2015

SUMMIT COUNTY, Utah -- Residents of Jeremy Ranch are concerned over a proposed development at the entrance to their community, which they said could severely affect their quality of life.

More than 50 residents attended a community meeting Wednesday to show the county their concern.

"I believe it's time for our elected officials and planners to stand up for the residents and say, 'No' to the developers," said Norman Schwartz of Summit County.

The land is located at the intersection of Rasmussen and Homestead Roads.

In 2005, Summit County came to an agreement that the 11 acres of land would only be used for retail and office space and wouldn't exceed 66,000 square feet.

Then, over the summer, land owner and developer, Vernon Merritt, submitted a proposal, asking the county to amend the agreement to 215,000 square feet. Under this new proposal, the development would include a hotel and a variety of homes, some of which would be affordable housing.

"It will change the character of the neighborhood, it will affect 2,000 to 4,000 residents and possibly their home values," Schwartz said.

Residents said if approved, the development would increase traffic, which is already an issue getting on and off I-80.

"There is only one way out, if we build any more, especially hotels and stuff like that, it's going to be crazy," said Richard Brown of Jeremy Ranch.

Laura Arnold said she moved to Jeremy Ranch eight years ago for a specific, open space feel, and she is worried that could be lost.

"I think to change on people after they made a big investment in their lifestyle that they pick is not the right thing to do," Arnold said.

Summit County said this development is in the very early stages and hasn't even officially been submitted. It will ultimately be up to the county council to approve the development.

"The county will stay on top of this, we will continue to notify the residents when the applicant decides to bring this back before the county council again, and that's their opportunity to come in and have their voice heard" said Julie Booth, who is a spokeswoman for Summit County.

The developer, Vernon Merritt, was unable to be reached for comment.

The next meeting regarding this issue will be 6 p.m. Tuesday at Ecker Hill Middle School. Residents will have a chance to address the Summit County Council.