Answer

Heber has grown too quickly over the last few years. We all knew growth was coming, but anticipating the surge in construction costs and the dramatic increase in real estate prices was unexpected. Infrastructure, including schools, has not kept up with resident’s needs. We are in the process of addressing those issues as a community, but I think we can do more to prepare for the future.

I grew up in a small mountain town that experienced the same growing pains. None of my friends currently live in that city because prices got too high. Most moved “down valley” where less expensive housing was built and a new community center was established. Growing is painful and difficult on many levels.

We need to be thoughtful and better prepared as we continue to grow. The school district is studying what schools are needed going forward. The city is starting to require deed restricted properties for new development so that we have places for people who want to work and live in Heber but can’t afford to do so. Our valley is a desirable place to be and I do not see that diminishing over time. Home values in desirable places have a tendency to increase more quickly. That is a dilemma in many ways. Only property values that are deed restricted can be capped. Homes will continue to sell for the price a buyer is willing to pay. It is hard to see this valley ever having enough supply to fill demand so increasing prices will continue to be an issue. Two years ago a family could have moved to Heber and purchased a home for $500,000. That same home currently sells for $750,000. In many cases that same family would not be able to afford the higher home price. We have a lot of work to do on these issues over the next few years.