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.