Q: What is Wasatch Peaks Ranch?

A: Wasatch Peaks Ranch is envisioned as a private, member-based residential community built on private land in Morgan County, UT. WPR would offer skiing, golf, outdoor activities, and amenities to its residents. View WPR’s Development Application HERE.

Q: When was the development approved?

A: The Morgan County Council approved the development on October 30, 2019. They voted 6 – 1 in favor of the development after 10 public meetings. The Council Members explain their votes in the video recording linked here.

Q: How does Wasatch Peaks Ranch (WPR) contribute to Morgan County’s tax revenue?

A: WPR has and would contribute millions of dollars in taxes to Morgan County. As one of the county’s largest taxpayers, WPR’s infrastructure is privately owned and maintained, requiring almost no county services. This would result in annual tax contributions of millions without burdening county resources. View the Wasatch Peaks Ranch Economic & Fiscal Impact Analysis from 2018 HERE.

Q: Will WPR homeowners benefit from property tax exemptions like the majority of County residents?

A: No. WPR residents would primarily be second homeowners. They would pay the full tax rate without benefiting from the Homestead Exemption. They would contribute significantly to the tax base without adding children to local classrooms.

Q: How much does WPR pay in taxes?

A: In November 2023, WPR and its members paid over $2.2 million in taxes for the year 2022. Historically, about 2/3 of these taxes would go to the School District, and 1/3 would go to the County.

The projected property tax benefit to Morgan County from WPR for 2023 taxes, assuming certain conditions and factors, including the assessed values of homesites created in the calendar year 2023, would likely have exceeded $4.5 million. These taxes would have been payable to Morgan County in November 2024.

Additionally, over the life of the project, WPR projects it would pay over $12 million to Morgan County in permits and fees. To date, WPR has already paid over $1.1 million.

Q: What about water rights?

A: WPR has water rights under an existing lease agreement with Weber Basin Water Conservation District. The Utah State Engineer has perfected and approved the water rights, and the wells are located at the end of the Morgan watershed, downstream of all other agricultural users.

Q: How does WPR impact employment opportunities in Morgan County?

A: WPR is already one of the largest employers in Morgan County, directly employing over 200 individuals, including 43 Morgan County residents. WPR also creates hundreds of indirect jobs for local contractors, subcontractors, and service providers who are working on the mountain. Over 500 employees of contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers have been hired to work on the project.

Q: What community support initiatives has WPR undertaken?

A: WPR has donated over $185,000 to local Morgan County youth groups, high school scholarships, and various community causes, demonstrating a commitment to our community.

Learn more.

Q: How much open space does WPR plan to maintain?

A: This area of approximately 12,000 acres has always been privately owned. WPR will preserve 9,000 acres (more than 70%) as private, undeveloped open space. This is far more than the regulatory requirement.

Q: Will Morgan County be responsible for maintaining WPR utilities and roads?

A: No. WPR has created two Limited Improvement Districts to fund its roads and utilities. These services will be paid for and maintained by WPR and its residents, not by the County.

WPR also funds and staffs its own fire department and crew. The 21-member WPR wildland fire crew was called to assist with their first wildland fire in greater Morgan County in 2023.

Q: Will WPR impact local traffic significantly?

A: A 2018 traffic impact analysis found that the proposed WPR development, with its limited membership, will not have a major impact on local traffic, minimizing the strain on our County’s infrastructure.

Q: How does WPR support local Morgan County businesses?

A: WPR and its members actively support numerous local businesses, including Ace Hardware, Ridley’s Family Market, and Tractor Supply Company, among others.

Learn more.

Q: Was this land public before WPR purchased it?

A: No. This area of Morgan County has always been privately owned.

Q: Where is Wasatch Peaks Ranch located?

A: The majority of the proposed development is located in saddles and valleys that are not highly visible from existing Morgan Valley communities. The Wasatch Peaks Ranch Mountain Village is located:

7.9 mi from Downtown Morgan

3.61 mi from Morgan Airport

2.28 mi from Hinds Store

Q: Is the development located on Forest Service land?

A: No, this is not on Forest Service land nor does WPR does lease any public land. The land is, and has always been, entirely privately owned property.

Q: What does WPR plan to build on the property?

A: WPR has built ski and golf amenities and plans for a ranch-style village to serve its residents. You can view the approved development agreement HERE.

Q: How many homes could WPR build on the property?

A: WPR has approval to build up to 750 equivalent residential units. An ERU is defined as a single-family home, condo (one unit, not an entire building), or townhome.

Q: What has been built thus far in terms of infrastructure and recreation amenities?

A: Currently, four lifts and the surrounding ski trails are complete. The golf course is also complete. Before the injunction in December 2023, construction was also underway on a mountain village including community service and amenity buildings.

Q: Will taxpayers be responsible for this project if it fails? How easy is it for the owner to change the development concept?

A: Wasatch Peaks Ranch is not asking the County or any other government to participate in the financing of the infrastructure or other improvements. The County would have no obligation to step in financially should the project stall or fail.

The development cannot substantially change the project without starting over and seeking new approvals through an entirely new public process.

Q: How will this impact my property value and my property taxes?

A: The Morgan County assessor uses like-kind properties to determine property values throughout the County. In this case, like-kind comparables for WPR would only be those homes, condos, and townhomes located within the Wasatch Peaks Ranch property.

In the opinion of the County assessor, WPR would not affect property values in the rest of the County. All Morgan County residents have experienced increased property values over the past few years, a trend seen across Utah.

View Morgan County Commission Meeting presentation on Property Taxes from 12.5.2023 HERE.

Q: Why will the trails and recreation facilities be used only by WPR residents?

A: Over 95% of the land in Morgan County is privately owned. The area of land now owned by Wasatch Peaks Ranch has always been private property, and the former owner enforced no trespassing for the last 20 years. There have never been public access points to this land, as the property is located miles up the mountain and surrounded by many other private properties and farms.

The concept for this development was for a private community, and the people who own real estate within Wasatch Peaks Ranch are assessed substantial fees for the operation and maintenance of all recreation facilities.

Q: Where can I find more information about the outstanding lawsuits against Morgan County?

A: Morgan County Attorney Garrett Smith reviewed the outstanding litigation in front of the County Commission on January 2, 2024. The video is linked HERE.

Q: What about wastewater?

A: In October of 2020, the Mountain Green Sewer Improvement District (MGSID or District) Board of Trustees signed a service agreement with Wasatch Peaks Ranch, LLC (WPR) to be their wastewater treatment provider.

Following the order of injunction filed against WPR in December 2023, The Mountain Green Sewer Improvement District sent a letter to its users noting that “This Order will likely result in a loss in MGSID revenue that is estimated to be $202,456.85 in 2024 and $399,913.70 each year thereafter while the Order remains in effect, which means the District will likely be forced to increase monthly user and impact fees.” The letter can be viewed HERE.