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Sunday, June 06, 2010

Meeting on the proposed Green Valley Academy

On Wednesday June 9th at 7pm, there will be a meeting
at the Huntsville Library regarding the plans to establish
a facility on residential property near the Monastery in

If you are concerned and have signed the petition regarding
this facility, you may consider attending this meeting.

Read Below a Guest Post from area resident Laurel Kirkham:

As a Huntsville resident, and someone who could be very affected by the proposed Green Valley Academy, I would like to comment on why the folks on this side of the valley have so many concerns about this commercial business wanting to establish in our neighborhood. First, it must be addressed that we as a whole are not against this academy or the service that it provides. Many people over here are actually employed in this field. We have social workers, therapists, teachers and doctors who live here and support this type of facility. These children do need help and support and we applaud the fact that this group of doctors are trying to make a difference. The issues involved here are really about the bad fit of this facility into the middle of a rural neighborhood here in the valley.
It must also be mentioned that this is a private, for profit school with a $9500.00 per month tuition required. Times that by 36 students and you have $342,000.00 per month, or $4.1 million dollars a year. The boys that will be attending this school will not be from Utah but will be flown in from different parts of the country. They are children of the very wealthy, including celebrities and high profile people. This is not going to benefit Ogden Valley or Weber County in any way, except for the taxes that Weber County can garner from this commercial business. Ogden Valley residents pay an inordinate amount of property tax with very little to show for it, but now we will have the privilege of paying our heavy, heavy property tax, and have our property values depreciate at the same time. Sound fair? I don't think so!
At the recent meeting in the Huntsville library with the directors of this proposed business, there were two women who live by the Oakley school which is being used as a comparitive to the proposed Green Valley Academy, (Oakley was started by these same directors,as was the Island View facility, and both were later sold). The Oakley residents both stated that their property values had not declined. One is an employee at the Oakley school and neither one of them have tried to sell their property or had it appraised. It would be difficult to comprehend that the average person with a family would want to buy a home near a commercial facility when there are so many other properties available.
There is great concern about the traffic this would bring. The road leading to this property is one of the most narrow, winding roads in the entire valley. It is actually a private lane with 90 degree turns where cars often go off the road in the winter. This road will not sustain an extra 20 or 30 cars coming and going daily. The students would also need to be transported to the various activies that this facility proports to provide for its residents, via bus or van, many times during the week, adding to the problem.
The parents of these boys are required to visit once a month (remember, they are from all parts of the country). Adequate parking would be required by law for this business and the mandatory lighting would take away our dark sky at night. No more stars!! A side note here, the grid on this end of the valley is ancient, and our power goes out 2 to 3 times a month, sometimes for 8 to 10 hours at a time. What will the academy do for this problem?
We are worried about the fact that we all live on wells and septic tanks here. This business would need a massive septic system and larger well to accomodate the number of students and staff. We are situated directly above the aquaphor and have a very high water table. The river runs directly behind the proposed facility, so there are concerns of pollution to the river and seepage into fields and other homes.
This business is asking for a conditional use permit that would forever change the FV3 zoning and would "open up a can of worms" for Weber County. FV3 does allow for a school or lodge, but this is a 24 hour 7 day a week facility. No one goes home at 3:00 on the bus, and no weekends or holidays off. The directors of this academy are looking at properties throughout the valley, so it could end up in your neighborhood as well. In fact, if this zoning passed, several of these facilities could open in the valley, and we would have no say in any of it.
Lastly, people are concerned about the safety and privacy of their families. Residential Treatment Facilities often have "runners" and other issues such as suicides , etc. Most of these problems are taken care of "in house" so that the public is never made aware. Oakley has a good record and so does Island View. But, it is known that issues do arise, and things do happen.
For most of us, it has been a big sacrifice to have the privilige of living in this unincorporated part of Ogden Valley. We were required by the county to purchase 3 acres of land, whether we wanted that much or not. We are taxed beyond reason, and have no services to show for it (other than snowplowing). Everytime we want to go somewhere it is at least half an hour away! Why do we do this? Because we love the peace and quiet, the views, the stars at night, no traffic and just plain wonderful country living.
As you can see, we as a group of Valley residents, are just fighting for the quality of life that we have sacrificed greatly for, and have come to love. I suspect if your quality of life was threatened, you would feel the same way. And if you live anywhere in the valley, be warned, it is coming your way.


rider said...

Well said Mrs. Kirkham. Make sure to scroll down and read other comments related to this proposal, as there are many comments that may or may not assist you in making a determination as to if the community should or should not support this.

Zipper said...

What is noted is many people that don't have a problem with this idea would have a different view if it was going to be next to their home.

OV Resident said...

Huntsville Elementary is gone. The School District owns the land and it is in a commercial zone. Huntsville Town is "hungry" for a business at that location. And the increased tax revenue seems very much needed. Culinary water, secondary water, obvious large septic system drain field already used by hundreds of students for decades, parking and security are already in place with a large park across the street.

Road maintenance is an issue since Huntsville Town put up a toll booth. Seems the additional revenue such a special school would bring, location and zoning are ideal and a perfect match.

seeking truth said...

Anonymous said...
I'd like to mention that people are sending emails with misinformation about the academy and its plans, and asking citizens to sign a petition, based on slanderous misinformation. The source of the emails is relaying inaccuracies regarding the number of students accepted, to the types of students who would be housed in such a facility. It's important not to spread fear, so if you seek truth, come to a meeting at the library on Thursday at 7:30, where program directors will freely address your concerns.

Machster said...

To "Anonymous", and assuming you are a representative of or sponsor for the proposed special school in East Huntsville.

Please consider doing something out of the ordinary.

Consider bringing a legal and signed document with legally binding and unimpeachable or changable provisions, standards, numbers, facts which address well stated concerns above by Mrs. Kirkham.

Do not bring some smooth talking "promise them anything you think they want to hear" bullshit artist. We can smell these lobbyists and generally underhanded sleeze bags and their silver tonged over promises, a mile away. No words or "promises" with only "trust me/us" at the end please. "That dawg don't hunt here no mo."

Just bring legally binding parameters, guarantees, and such which address the issues fairly well spelled out in the previous comments above. Violations of any of these provisions would invalidate furtherance of any license to continue business. List them succinctly and brief them in a power point presentation with the hard copy of the briefing as a handout. We have many excellent retired and active lawyers here in the Valley. So do not try the usual smooze routine.

And I will thank you for not wasting any of our time. It would be nice to have more educated and professional people working and living in the area. But do not try to treat us like we are ignorant "farmers with pitchforks" or you will be in for a big surprise.

Good luck.

Teri said...

I hope you will be attending the meeting tonight. People need to hear this.

Lop said...

Misinformation??? -I think not. I have attended the meetings. My family has been in Ogden Valley for six generations. We have watched nearly everyone move in. The reason everyone has moved here is not for the commercial development. It is because it is a wonderful rural farming community.
It is a wonderful place to raise children. This is NOT the place for an academy of any kind. The roads will not sustain an academy of this size. Two cars can not even pass on the corners leading to the proposed site. Our Valley is loved because we have not let institutions like this be built in the past, and we will not now. GREEN CANYON ACADEMY IS NOT WELCOME IN OUR VALLEY!!!

Machster said...

The polls lately and will again in Nov. reflect the outrage of politicians who do not listen to their constituents.

Taking an arrogant or paternalistic, "I/we know best", attitude toward what those most affected by your Commission decision will be reflected at the polls.

And we say loudly and clearly. "Not no." "But Hell no! Not in our bucolic Ogden Valley.

Griezelda said...

Machhster is right, these commissioners are deaf to any input from citizens. So let's vote them out! The best thing anyone can do this November is vote for DREW JOHNSON for seat A and AMY WICKS for seat B in the Weber County Commission election.

Kerry Gibson will be more of the Bischoff/Zogmaister type of pro development, destructive leadership.

Machster said...

Very interesting! Has any one simply asked where Drew Johnson, Amy Wicks, and Kerry Gibson stand relative to the Green Valley Academy location in Ogden Valley?

If so what do they have to say? For or against? Where do they stand on the Powder Mountain MOU?

Inquiring minds would like to know.

Ron Gleason said...

Does anyone know when this item will be on the OVPC agenda.


Ron Gleason

Misinformation?? said...

It has been commented that there is slanderous information about this facility. I disagree. The proposed facility is for 36 students plus staff. This is a commercial for profit organization. It is not simply a non-profit school to benefit troubled children. The area proposed for this facility is residential and zoned for FV3. If we give this organization the conditional use permit, we open up the Valley for many commercial use businesses in residential areas. Additionally, the school wishes to open with 36 students, but the organization made no promises that they would not expand in the future. This group of investors wanting to open the academy has opened several other school and subsequently sold the acadamies off. So whatever they promise, doesn't mean much if they sell the business off in a few years. Some of the previous schools they have opened are Island View in Syracuse and The Oakley School in Oakley. These schools are both 150+ students. They are affiliated with the Aspen Group for Troubled Youth which has many schools throughout the country. There are several blogs on Facebook where students have attended these schools. The students are miserable at the Aspen facilities and claim to have been exposed to all kinds of horrible treatment from staff and other students. This is not a wonderful organization that benefits troubled youth. It is a business all about making money. They charge 9500 per month per child. What parent would send their child there, unless they were desperate and the youth had major problems. Additionally, children under the age of 18 cannot be criminally charged, so of course they cannot have a criminal record and attend the school. They also state the primary diagnosis of the child cannot be a problem with drugs, sex or violence, but there is nothing promised about the secondary diagnosis. The primary diagnosis could be anxiety and because of anxiety the child could be secondarily diagnosed with addiction and drug dependency or sexual disorders. One of the girls who attended Island View was raped by another student while attending. Another student commented that she broke her arm and was not offered medical help and had to go home for surgery. One boy wrote on the blog that he learned many sexually deviant behaviors from the other students and claimed he was way better off before he attended. Keep in mind this is a for profit business trying to sell Valley residents on their facility. They are telling us all the great information about their facilities and keeping out of the negative information. Do your own research if you do not believe this. This will not benefit our Valley, it will only benefit the pocketbook of the investors in this acadamy.

GVAcademy said...

We would ask that this writer immediately cite the credible source for making such a serious accusation (such as a police report, official complaint, or acknowledgement through the Dept. of Professional Licensing, or Dept. of Humans Services, etc), so that others can validate this statement’s accuracy.

Richard said...

OV resident:

You said: "Huntsville Elementary is gone. The School District owns the land and it is in a commercial zone. Huntsville Town is "hungry" for a business at that location. And the increased tax revenue seems very much needed..."

The elementary is gone and Huntsville is "hungry" for that location - not necessarily a business at that location. The school property is zoned residential, not commercial.

Sorry, but we would not allow such a school near our neighbors. I doubt our residents and neighbors would want the school any more than the neighbors near the monastery.

We don't need the tax revenue so bad that we will sell out our residents.

Richard Sorensen
Huntsville Town Council