BUSINESS + ECONOMY

Oakley City removes development moratorium as new well brings in more water

Nov 16, 2023, 12:00 PM

A ranch is pictured in Oakley, which has a moratorium on water...

Thousands Peaks Ranch is pictured in Oakley, Summit County, on Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021. (Shafkat Anowar/Deseret News)

(Shafkat Anowar/Deseret News)

OAKLEY, Utah — Oakley, a city in Summit County, will allow new developments after a two-and-a-half-year-long moratorium. 

The moratorium was put into place because the city didn’t have enough water to support any new growth. Oakley Mayor Zane Woolstenhulme told KSL NewsRadio last year that Oakley had been using 9 million more gallons of water each month than it was receiving.

New developments were put on pause in May 2021 until the city had a new well that produces water.

That well has been installed. City Administrator Amy Rydalch said it’s good news for current and prospective residents.

“There are soon-to-be and want-to-be residents that are anxious to get started.  This should allow them to do that,” said Rydalch.

Because of the new well’s high production, current residents won’t have as tight of water restrictions. For the past few years, the city only allowed residents to water their lawns twice a week.

The new well produces more than double the amount of water that their current water sources produce. This includes the original well and some springs.

Installing the new well was a big job. 

“It was tough. They had to go through some pretty significant bedrock quartz.  So they had to go quite deep.  The new well is just over 2,000 feet deep,” said Rydalch.

Funding from the USDA is allowing Oakley to move forward with this project.

While building will now be allowed, Rydalch doesn’t think there will be a building frenzy.  There isn’t a lot of buildable land available in the area. 

Rydalch said, however, they do have people waiting in the wings.

They hope to have the infrastructure finished within the next year.

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Oakley City removes development moratorium as new well brings in more water