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Wasatch County Council Oct 9, 2010

Much action was taken this week in County Council meeting. The first item of business was the consideration of Justice Court recertification. Judge, Lane McCotter was present to hear this presentation by the County Attorney, Scott Sweat. The U.C.A. 78-7-103 requires that Justice Courts in Utah be recertified at the end of each four year-term. Since the term of the present Court shall expire on February 2011 the Wasatch County Council has received an opinion letter from Scott Sweat which sets forth the requirements for the operation of a Justice Court and of continuing to maintain the same and the Wasatch County Council has determined that it is in the best interests of Wasatch County to continue to provide for a Justice Court. Recertification was unanimously voted upon by the Council.

The second item considered was the approval of a Resolution adopting a final tax rate and budget in Resolution # 10-09. This if approved would essentially minimally raise taxes for each home owner. After discussing this matter, yours truly made the motion to deny this resolution and lower the rate slightly to keep our taxes at the same level. The Council members voted unanimously in favor of this motion. Thus our citizens will not be taxed at a higher rate for this coming year.

UDOT officials gave a presentation regarding the High Risk Rural Roads in Utah. This is a program whereby federal money through UDOT will pay 93.77% of the costs and the Counties will pay a match of 6.22% for any improvements completed. Wasatch County is only one of 3 Counties in Utah that does not participate in this program. An application was given to us at the meeting to complete and County Manager, Mike Davis was asked by the Council to complete it and identify any rural roads we deemed needing improvement. This does not mean that we are obligated to participate, but gives us the opportunity to do so. The question that remains is: Does the County have extra money to participate in this program?

The forth item discussed was the consideration of changing zoning and the appropriate use of the property located at 2117 South Hwy 40. This was a follow-up to the matter from last month. The present use of the location is for RV and boat storage. It appears run down and very weedy. The applicant lives in Wallsburg and has a family owned dismantling auto shop in West Valley. At this location they part out vehicles and refurbish the parts to customer around the country. They would like to locate a shop here in Heber on So. Hwy 40 at this location. They maintain that they will not store old cars and leave any around after parting them out. The company presently only parts newer model vehicles.

The Council had received several letters from residents living next to the property objecting to the rezoning of this property. Mike Hinckey of Heber presented his families views of why the property should not be rezoned based upon several major factors. They included that the applicant had not met the code procedure of applying for a zone change in July for the Council to approve/disapprove in November. That the property is located on two different zones, RA 1 And A20 with the latter consisting of only about 1/3 of the total property and it would devaluate their own properties. Further, there is only one well serving several owners in the adjacent area, and finally a business of this nature would be noisy to the residents who live very close to this property.

After hearing the matter the Council denied the applicants request to change the zoning to a commercial zone. Doing so would create a precedent for other Commercial zones in Wasatch County to allow similar businesses to operate. The Council further suggested that a business involving parting vehicles would better fit into an Industrial Zone. Since Wasatch County does not have such a zone we would need to look at the possibilities of creating one. No further action was taken on this matter.

The Council reconsidered the study and report completed by CivCo Engineering firm of Vernal, Utah. Their recommendation was to keep everything the same as now exists on 1200 So, 2400 So as well as other travel patterns in the County. Yours truly and Mike Kohler on the Council argued that there are still concerns by citizens that at least the 4-way signs at 1200 So and 4800 East, 3600 East and 2400 East ought to be only 2-way signs. The Sheriff, Tod Bonner and Kent Berg, County Director of Public Works spoke in favor of keeping the 4-way signs intact due to the safety of many including children who ride bikes and walk on the road way since the area has no side walks. Several other citizens gave their view in favor of keeping the 4-way signs. After some discussion the motion was made and seconded to approve the recommendation of the engineering company completing the study. The vote was 5 aye votes and 2 nay votes. Yours truly and Councilman Kohler opposed wanting further study done. The data given by the company doing the study will by requested by yours truly to see what additional material was given from the original study.

The recovery act facility bond was discussed concerning those companies who had been granted monies up to the 6.7 million for Wasatch County to grant monies to those who would qualify. Several, including Russ Watts Construction could not qualify for other loans to complete their projects. Chey Enterprises did not complete their application due to last minute stipulations by their financial backers and will pursue other banking institutions to complete their project. All in all this means that the County will return 3.6 million to the State for other projects unless there are other businesses in the County that qualify and are wanting to apply for this bond money. Apparently the time to do this has now expired.

The next item on the agenda discussed was the consideration of Joe Giles request for a waiver of the road standard requirement contained in section 14.02.07 of the county code for a 1-lot subdivision. His property is located at 1200 So. 1450 West in section 1, township 4 South, Range 4 East in in a RA-5 zone. After hearing the matter the Council allowed this request by Mr. Giles.

The big item on the agenda was the first reading of a proposed ordinance concerning Synthetic Marijuana, or “Spice”. Ordinance #10-10 was presented to the Council by the County Attorneys office. This proposal includes the description of the substance, the definition of the substance and abuse, sale, manufacturing and possession of such a substance. The new ordinance when passed would be a class B misdemeanor with a minimum fine of $795. The intoxicating effects of the substance has some serious on the user that varies from person

There will be further readings on this proposed ordinance in future meetings until the Council makes a decision to pass the ordinance

Last but not least the Council met with the Planning Commission to discuss Lots of Record. This comes under Section 16.22 of the Wasatch County Code. After much discussion the Council asked the Planning Commission to further refine the Code and then have the Council look at it for a final approval.


BY NEIL ANDERTON   10/11/2010



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