WELLSVILLE – Sherwood Hills, a once-pristine hotel location nestled close to the Wellsville Mountains in one of the narrowest and steepest ranges in the Rockies, may soon become a 130-home subdivision reaching across both sides of Hwy 89-91. The new name for the subdivision could be Bridle Path Estates if approved.
At one time Sherwood Hills was a hot spot for proms, weddings, reunions and other gatherings with its restaurant and hotel. The place also had an outdoor swimming pool and an outdoor theater. For a few years there was a family that had a stable and horses across the highway. They entertained people giving wagon rides up a down the old Wellsville Road and cooking Dutch oven dinners.
In 1973, Mark Ballif put a 9-hole golf course along Hwy 89-9, in front the resort. He passed away in 2014 and left the ground to his wife and children.
Richard Knapp currently owns the Sherwood Hills resort portion of the land, bought the hotel and property and turned it into a substance abuse resort.
The developer for new Bridle Path Estates is Reeves and Associates, located in Riverdale and have been around for several decades developing subdivisions. They have presented preliminary plans and aerial photographs to Wellsville Planning and Zoning and City Council.
Wellsville City Manager Scott Wells said the new subdivision has not passed the final approval yet.
“There are three levels of approval: concept, preliminary and then final approval,” he said. “The developers have had their concept approved by the Planning and Zoning and City Council.”
The preliminary approval has not been submitted yet. Reeves and Associates still have several things to do before it can get preliminary approval.
“For preliminary approval process they have to turn in more plans,” Wells said. “We are working with our planner and engineer to make sure everything meets the requirements before the approval is granted.”
The city manager said he expects that to be done in the next five to six weeks.
“If they meet and live by all the requirements and codes it will be tough to turn them down,” he said. “Owners of the property have rights, too.”
Tom Leishman, 87, the retired owner of Tom’s Service along the highway in Wellsville said he remembered the resort being built in the ‘60’s.
“When they first started they had a restaurant and they served a damn good meal at a reasonable price,” he said. “All the booths were full about every night and if you had to wait too long, they would bring out shrimp and sauce until we were seated.”
Leishman said in the winter when the snow was so deep it was hard to get in, they plowed it and the restaurant was still filled with hungry customers.
“I think the restaurant and hotel was a hit and I think it could have made it,” Leishman said.
Leishman said he didn’t care for the new plan for the acreage almost halfway between Logan and Brigham City. He’s worried about the water, sewer and the extra traffic crossing the highway.
Wellsville resident Glenn Ames said he is part of a group of citizens that are trying to stop the development and turn it into a permanent recreational space.
“I don’t want the development at all,” he said. “I don’t think it is the proper fit for multiple reasons.”
The group wants to stop the development first before they begin to raise funds to buy the property. He would like to get Cache Trails Alliance, a non-profit involved in maintaining and creating new trails, in Sherwood Hills property.
“The property will have to be purchased by the U.S. Forest Service, Cache County or Wellsville City or some other entity,” he said. “I don’t know what that looks like yet.”
The city council would have to stop the development before the group could get involved.
“We are working to get commitments from different agencies to stop the development in a legislative fashion,” he said. “The property has been annexed into Wellsville City so if there is some way we can stop the project we might be able to pull this off.”
If people want to get involved, they can call Ames at (435) 512-9322.