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Sunday, January 30, 2011


Guest post by Teri Busick and Laurel Kirkham

We have visited the National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs (NATSAP) website to gather information regarding Residential Treatment Centers . NATSAP is an organization that the representing agent of the Green Valley Academy is a member.

Their database of facilities consists of the following categories:

Boarding School
Small Residential
Outdoor Therapeutic Program
Residential Treatment Center
Specialty Psychiatric and Behavioral Hospital
Transitional Living Program
Young Adult Program

Search criteria contains the above and can be further identified according to ages and genders by state. For the purpose of this research we used the following criteria: All facilities and Residential Treatment Centers (RTC) for ages 12-18 for all genders.

There are currently 149 all type facilities in the United States. Of these, Utah has 46.
There are currently 77 Residential Treatment Centers in the United States. Of these, Utah has 36.

In the western United States the breakdown looks like:


New Mexico

The Green Valley Academy has indicated that Ogden Valley suits their needs because of the many recreational opportunities that exist here. We have a large number of these facilities in this state. Is Utah the only state in the west, or the country for that matter, that provides recreational opportunities? Are we the recreational capitol of the country, or are we the residential treatment facility capitol? Is the bigger issue our state/ local laws and regulations or lack there of?

Do we have a disdain for state regulation, or has the state legislature failed to notice the large number of these types of facilities? Has the legislature willingly punted on this issue to force the counties and small city and town planning departments to deal with this issue?

Ogden Valley is but one area of Weber County. Are we to assume that there is no other place in Weber County with the proper zoning and necessary infrastructure to accommodate the size of this business? Are the petitioners demanding only this area because they can? One of the few areas in Weber County that has neither a water nor sewer system.

On Tuesday night, we believe we witnessed a political and procedural mugging of the Ogden Valley Planning Commission. Neighbors had received written communication to attend this meeting to provide their comments and viewpoints. When one business has more money or has a loud and aggressive attorney, and threatens a lawsuit, was the governing body able to provide due process? We don’t think it is just about one planner, the local planning commission, or local conduct. We think we have a bigger problem. The Green Valley issue has been simmering for months. Our planning chief and local/state representatives need to step up.

UPDATE:  1/30/11 @6:30 pm 

Now is a good time to provide a complete overview and timeline of all articles pertaining to The Green Valley Academy Residential Treatment Facility that have appeared on our Forum.

Peruse this Treasure Trove of Goodies, complete with Newspaper articles and Letters to the editor by clicking below:

Full Ogden Valley Forum Residential Treatment Facility / Green Valley Academy (GVA) Article Collection


Mr. Briggs said...

I have a suggestion. Contact your State Rep Gage Froerer and ask him to state his view about the GVA. He lives very close to the location suggested. See how he feels about the introduction of this home into his neighborhood.

concerned said...

Excellent looint. He calls himself the protector of property tights...including the way he protected "his" southfork river and access to it.

Teri said...

He did come to one of the original town meetings, and put in his two cents. Some felt it was too tepid a response. Through pressure from the blog, I believe he wrote a letter to the editor. I am looking for it as we speak

Teri said...

I have sent a link to the blog to have posted. If I wasn't so technology challenged I would post a link here. For anyone who knows how, go to the Standard and search Gage Froerer letter to the editor. And there you go.

Danna said...

Look for letters by Gage Froerer, Greg Anderson, Doug and Danna Gregory. (infrastructure key word)

Even better!!! write a letter to the editor. Express your opinion.
The Weber County Commissioners are the voice of the people. They have the authority to overturn the OVPC's decision. The newspaper is a great source for discovering what people are thinking.

Valley said...

Here is The Gage Froerer Letter Previously mentioned:

Letter to Editor of Standard by Gage Froerer

concerned said...

great letter for the previous how about another one or some pressure on the commish on the current one....I like the point about land development being about asking the right questions....and to me one of the biggest questions is answer the question asking to prove this is a school.

openminded in OV said...

I am not even sure where or how to begin.... I know i do not want to stoop to the narrow minded and paranoid behavior that i am reading from my so called 'neigbors' on this issue..

My first question.... because i can't seem to find a clear answer in reading through the history of posts on this GVA issue (and honestly, i cant stomach to read all the BS that you people are writing.. you sound like a bunch of conspiracy theriost!)

This week posters went up saying PROTECT OUR WATER Stop GVA. Is the issue that the proposed academy will take up all the valuable water in the valley?? Is THAT the main issue?? Really? REALLY??? Then i read all the posts on this site that frankly make me embarrassed to live in the same town as some of you.
What i want to know from everyone reading this is: How many of your 'PERFECT DARLING LITTLE CHILDREN growing up in Ogden Valley, have had drug or alchohol problems? Or not even that, Have suffered from depression or behavioral problems, or just went through a slump that you as parents could not help them get out of... Unfortnatly i dont think there is a way i can actually provide numbers on how many OV children have had such challenges, or how many even attended some sort of theraputic school or camp, But i would bet that many of your are silently saying "yes, we have experienced that in our family" How would YOU like it if your neighbors found out and put up a petition for your family to move becasue your kid was going through some rough times? Don't you want to be a POSITIVE IMPACT on our countries futures generations, troubled or not... Wouldnt you rather be part of the solution in helping these kids versus slamming doors in their faces? (reality is probably you would NEVER even see the kids... and if you did you would probably be surprisedd.. they look just like your own little angels.)

Did the Valley residents put up a fight when the Monastary wanted to come to the Valley??
I am begining to feel that there is a contingancy of valley residents that dont want ANYONE or ANYTHING new in the valley, period. Lock the gate and let no one in.
Dont get me wrong, i love the ruralness of the valley and want to protect it at all costs .. but i dont see how a small instatution of this type, if you will, will ruin that rurelness.. i would much rather a school than a housing developemnt.

FOr those of you who are into the research on 'these types of schools' Most of them ARE located in rural areas, with close access to wilderness as wilderness is a large part of the curriculum. That is probably why Utah has so many.. NOT because our legaslature is not paying attention.

If the GVA issue is a VALID zoning/ resouorce issue, then pardon me, but lets stop with all the "not in my backyard" and "i dont want THOSE types to be my neighbors" If you really have that much time on your hands then perhaps you should consider getting yourself out of the valley at least once a week and go volunteer at some sort of special needs , troubled teens, or homeless shelter. Here is a quote that i would like to end with: " A Hundred years from now it will not matter what was in my bank account, the sort of house i lived in, the car i drove, but the world WILL be different becasue i was important in the life of a child."

Anonymous said...

Hey Openminded...keep tellin yourself whatever you need to sleep at night. Maybe if you took some time and actually read the "BS" from all the paranoid conspiracy theorists that live in your back yard you would find that Yes it is my water , REALLY!!! REALLY!!! that I am concerned about. Since my well sits about hmmm 80 or so feet from their drain fields. Utah does have alot of these Treament Centers but when I have traveled outside the state guess what I have god Trees in other states like WILDERNESS!!! We should let the people proposing them know. Oh but wait they make more money here, the cost of living and what they have to pay employees is very low compared to the majority of states. And so much easier to get these Treatment Centers approved in a state that has less that adequate zoning laws. And the Monastary comparison, I'm not even gonna go can you even try and relate the two?? And yes we all have had issues within our own families but like you said they are neighbors and I keep the best interest of my neighbors in mind.You should try and do the same. Cause you clearly have no idea what we are talking about or the impact this would have on the valley and your neighbors ( ie. me.) I can tell you haven't attended any of the town meetings and you cetainly didn't attend the OVPC meeting last week. Just that alone would have left you scratching your head. Something I have learned...I dont start throwing people under the bus unless I have got all the information. Try it sometime. Great quote at the end, your really motivational. Yes, cause you know we are trying to make as little an impact in childrens lives as we can. Inclosing to you and all the other's that are embarrassed to call us neighbors and that you live in the same town as us. Here's a quote for ya "Dont let the door hit you in the _____ on your way out!!"

springer said...

Local government is likely not funded well enough to combat the existing precedence behind Utah's seeming acceptance of these facilities. For a more in depth look at the Federal Governments findings on "Residential Treatment" facilities, their efficacy and track record, check the documented Testimony Before the Committee on Education and Labor, in the House of Representatives. The document title says it all: RESIDENTIAL TREATMENT PROGRAMS: Concerns Regarding Abuse and Death in Certain Programs for Troubled Youth. Of ten deaths detailed in the report, five occurred in Utah. Placement of this type of facility up to 20 miles from the nearest acute care center jeopardizes both care givers and kids. It's not just water and sewage at issue here, it is the kids. Effort at the legislative level will be necessary to change the precedence. Saying no now at the county level waves the red flag to the state.

Teri said...

I couldn't afford the ten thousand dollars a month required to send a kid here. This isn't about kids and their needs. This is about kids with very wealthy parents.

There are lots and lots of issues involved with the GVA. They are much bigger than just slapping a NIMBY name on those with concerns.

bob m said...

You are either a petitioner or an idiot!

ND said...

I've seen more scutiny over a home operated business by the County than this thing has recieved.

Anonymous said...

ND...Exactly. When my neighbors have tried to build a garage they gave him a hard time. When my family tried to buy and develope the same piece of property for the proposed GVA we were given issues of flag lot, and access point would cause to much congestion etc, etc,. And with all the issues we have brang up with the property lines to the perc test and concerns for the water and sewer. I mean really if you were building a house a submitted a passing perc test for the neighbors property they would laugh at you. But in this case it is somehow disregarded. I mean come on....

Lisa said...

Openminded doesn't seem so openminded to me. When you start ridiculing other peoples stand on things rather than trying to understand them you join lots of other people in this world that don't respect others feelings. On this site we encourage people to write their feelings, yes and not hold back. condemn a valley because you disagree with a few posts, that quite frankly aren't all that far off although possibly a little "over the edge" sometimes is wrong. I personally have no problem with how you think, I just respectfully disagree. I have tons of experience with "mental illness, brain damage, drug addiction and treatment centers". I have a brother who has deceased who got Rocky Mountain Spotted fever at 11 years old. He suffered severe damage, went through years of rehab, got to a good point but then hooked up with the wrong group. He led a life of drugs, stealing, cheating, abusive behavior, in and out of treatment centers (some really good ones too). He had tons of support and lots of people who did everything in their power to help him. He pushed it all away. Nobody ever pushed him away and treated him hopeless. Our family went through a living hell for 23 years. They sent him to treatment centers with hope they could fix him and they enjoyed the break. He ended up being hit by a motorist while riding his bicycle and high on drugs. If my brother lived next door to me I would have moved. I would have feared him and his violent behavior and outbursts and would have worried about the safety of my family when he lashed out. We have a responsiblity to keep our families safe. Yes, it is a water issue and a sewage issue. is a deep issue on other levels too. There is no plan to keep these kids contained in their "safe" environment" and the wife of the doctor who is one of the partners said herself that these kids have serious issues. We just had a wreck in the Canyon yesterday that killed a good man. It was caused by a person who couldn't cope with what was happening in his life. I feel so sad for both families, as they both have to live with this. There is compassion but there is reality too. I hope you understand that I am not bashing you but I expect you to respect the other side of the issue. You dont know what other people have dealt with or do deal with and you certainly don't know what good things they do with their lifes. It isn't fair to condemn them or make it seem like the Valley isn't a great place. Great people is what this valley is made of. Everyone is so supportive of everyone else. Yes there are a few that would like to close the door, it is like that everywhere, not just here. But in general they just want to keep the valley a good, safe place to live. It won't be good if we can't survive because it is so poluted or there isn't water or you don't feel safe and the water isn't safe to drink. Are you living in the valley really? I don't think you know too many of the good people who live here. Everyones voice should be heard and respected whether we agree or not. Just seems there might be a nice way to get your point across.

Chris said...


Since you like the tast of sewer water so much, why don't you look into buying some of the property's around the proposed site.I am sure they are going for real cheep. I bet you prefer your fecal matter right from the source, Balmers ass! Your poor attemt to masquerade as a valley resident is not going to work! I hate to interrupt your breakfast but please pull your head out of Balmers ass long enough to tell him to put his treatment center somewhere else, where the infrastruture can support it.

Anonymous said...

Another big question I have. Why are our tax dollars paying the salaries for these public servants to do work on GVA when the past two properties the petitioners have proposed on are not even owned by them? Where are the land owners? I mean how many months did Ben and other staff spend working on the first proposal and there were several commission meetings and then they withdrew. Now again Ben's and staff have been working on the second proposal for a few months now they've held workshops and another commission meeting and the petiontioners still dont own the property. What if they withdraw again. We shouldn't have to foot the bill for people just spinnin' there wheels and testin out the waters. The OVPC and staffs job is to help landowners with the development of "THEIR" property. How do non property owners that don't even live in Weber County have land rights? The taxes they pay don't even pay the salaries of the public servants helping them. I think it should be a requirement before you can submit applications and such for development you have to show property proof of ownership.

Fred said...

I can appreciate that "openminded in OV" is working to assemble information that has been spread across the digital wilderness and it's tough to see the larger picture.

We that have been involved in the fight have always maintained that there are other places in the Valley that are more suitable than the two now proposed by the GVA petitioners.

The first attempt was in a zone that did not allow this type of business. The location was poorly identified due to the fact that the area had no commercial business precidence or history. It attempted to commercialize a private home (palace) owned by self proclaimed "Huntsville Hillbillies" to start-up with 36 students and expand to 100. It did not fit the neighborhood. The road infrastructure was not adequate to sustain the increased traffic for a facility proposed to be double the size of the currently proposed GVA. However, It did have 20 acres and a potential deal was rumored to acquire another adjacent 20 acres.

Take the same start-up facility and wedge it into 8 acres in low density zoning. One could argue that 36 people on an eight acre lot is not low density. Unfortunately, the zoning is geared more to facilities than to people per acre.

Residents ten feet away from the facility border will be subject to noise and loss of privacy from students and staff outdoors moving between the facilities and outdoor activities. Have you heard students of these facilities talk? Non-four letter words are few and far between. The immediate neighbors and their children/grand children will be subjected to this verbal "noise" without compensation.

The current fencing restrictions in this zone and wild life corridor provide the current residents no recourse to break the unwanted noise onslaught or invasion of privacy. I'm sorry, but trees won't cut it and if they are leaf shedding will add insult to injury as they shed all over the neighbor's yard, roof, and clog their rain gutters.

Their quality of life will be irrevocable compromised with no compensation from the offending institution. But, maybe that's what the petitioners want. Maybe they hope to incentivise the neighbors to put their property for sale and thereby acquire expansion room for additional facilities.

Regardless, it's obvious to everyone that it is not a good fit in this location. It is inconsiderate and stupid of the facility petitioners to propose this location and not expect objections. But, a misrepresentation by the petitioner and a loop hole in the zoning law is enabling it. That's where we as citizens have to step up and voice our belief that the original intent of the zoning is being compromised and close the loop hole. The battle is not over yet.

Maybe openminded might be able to now see that it's not the facility. It's that the petitioners don't seem to know how to fit in the community that will yield them literally millions of dollars, especially when they sell.

Openminded in OV said...

Thank You Fred, for your breakdown on the issue. You are correct in your assumption that it is difficult to see the bigger picture when all you see are random posts that include a lot of angry retoric. (as i guess i am guilty of as well!) Just trying to understand what the issue is about and obvioulsy what is being posted is sending some other messages... (at least to me).