Thursday, November 30, 2006

COMMENTARY FOR NOVEMBER 27, 2006

In Proverbs we read, "Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepth the law, happy is he."
When leaders are elected, there is no demand on them to be clairvoyant. But there is hope, that some where, some how, our leaders will have some type of vision for the future, that will protect and serve the people. And when that vision is dimmed, or clouded by not adhering to the plans, or to the rules, that have been laid out, it is evident that people can perish.
Citizens, can usually live for a short time, with leaders, whose vision, because of self-interest, or failure to understand their role, becomes dim and causes directions to change, based on whims rather than needs. But citizens are unable to live with or accept leaders, who allow self-interest, or are unwilling, or have attitudes that shows the lack of caring, which allows them to fail in observing the law and all of its requirements. And when that happens, we find those leaders are willing to dent the law, over lay the law, or just plain ignore the law, with the hope no one will notice.
Within the code of Cities and Counties, are statements, that by reference, have become the law, a vision and a map for success. They provide clues to how a City or a County will provide for the survival of the citizens in this age of uncertainty.
Many use the following: "Promote the health, the safety and convience and the general welfare of the citizens." And others say: "Facilitate the development of a more attractive and wholesome environment." We also find: "Serve the Public well and create environments of trust, fiscal responsibility, and promote peace and prosperity." These statements are found in the General Plans of Heber City, Wasatch County and Midway City.
Many developments have come and gone, and as with most things, the promises had a short life. The selling features used to get approvals, have become nightmares of cost and maintenance. All borne by the current citizens. And now we have a new development upon us. One so large our valley will change in ways, we can never dream. And yes, it has the same selling features, the same promises and the same visions of the future. And also, some leaders without vision, are prepared to buy in, promote and allow regardless of the costs and problems.
The major develpment known as the Red Ledges, has a major difference. Due to the money involved, the citizens, at this time, have no real standing. Some of our leaders are more concerned with the "money" than looking at the health, safety, transportation, school impacts and conveniences of all the citizens in the valley. They have placed all of these important items on the altar, ready to sacrifice to the Gods that rule, when things get out of control.
We cannot stop growth. But with wisdom, vision, and adherence to law and common sense, it can be slowed for the right reasons and orderly as well.
The Red Ledges developers, can not really be faulted. They purchased the land under specific zoning, and they have every right to ask for changes and modifications. But the real problem is; Does the County and the City have the authority to violate the intent of codes and regulations of their respective jurisdictions? Do they have the right to put dents in the law, to overlay the law, and in some cases just plain ignore the law?
Citizens everywhere need to take an active part and make our elected officials accountable. These new problems are just the begining. The Failure of citizens to become involved, will open a door, that will never be closed.
Take a good look at Orem City, Sandy City, and Murray City, their look, seems to be the goal of our current leaders.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

WAL-MART:

A very important question needs to be asked. Will Heber City violate their own code and regulations, to give a developer the things they want?
Here is an excerpt from the Heber City Municipal Code for the C-3 zone:
"Retail establishments shall not exceed 60,000 square feet of gross floor area within the C-3 Zone. No retail establishment shall be permitted to place any one building or any combination of buildings that exceed 60,000 square feet within said Zone.
In no event shall any retail establishment, coroporation, business, or entity have one or more buildings within less than 1,000 feet of each other, wherein the building or buildings would exceed a total of 60,000 square feet. Attempts to circumvent or exceed this maximum, 60,000 square feet, shall be strictly prohibited."
Does this statement allow for Heber City, to make overlay zones, and special deals with the Boyer Company, that are in conflict or out right illegal, based on this law in the C-3 zone?
If this applys to the city as well as a developer, then why has the developer been led to believe that things in this zone will change?
The developer has prepared plans, which the planning department have seen that exceed the 60,000 limit. The developer has said, they have been assured, that Heber City, if necessary, will construct and pass an overlay zone. According to members of the Heber City Planning Commission, this overlay has already been put to paper, but has not been given to the City Council.
This has nothing to do with Wal-Mart, but everything to do with the developer. How far will Heber City go, to satisfy their quest for money? So far, the answer is, they will do anything for the almighty dollar and if they do not get their way, they threaten to raise taxes.
Citizens need to be heard. Attend the meetings, let your leaders know, you want compliance with the law. And for those who suppose they can violate the law, the demand should be for those violators to leave. Is a recall election in our future?