Guest Post by Fred Smullin
I am saddened to report that after a couple of hours of private debate, the Weber County Board of Adjustment announced that they voted 4-1 to deny the appeal of the current land owners and neighbors to the proposed Green Valley Academy (GVA) site. I have since learned that the vote was actually 3-2 and the minutes will be adjusted to reflect that. They ruled that, as currently defined, the GVA "application language" met the requirements of the AV-3 school definition. It's important to note the distinction that only what GVA put on their application was allowed to be considered, not what the true intent of the facility was, or what their previous contradictory application said. They used the words necessary to get the prize, not what GVA was really about. All for a group that doesn't apparently own the property yet.
I feel for those impacted directly and wish them luck in however they choose to continue their battle. I would encourage everyone to offer them your support as this was a tough loss for them and everyone in the valley.
I'll let the Ogden Valley Protection Counsel (OVPC) advise us on how to best support them next. What we citizens can do is continue to recommend changes to our zoning to limit the impact of these institutions. I'm somewhat skeptical after watching the proceedings. There are too many angles that can be picked apart legally. But, I am not ready to give up. It just shows we have a lot of work to do and rushing changes through may create more gaps than are filled.
If GVA is built, we as citizens can be watchful. The community can be the watch dog and if enough incidents and complaints are documented publicly, licenses can be revoked and facilities closed. It takes a paper trail to reach that decision.
Likewise, parents research the internet leading up to the decision to contract GVA to modify the behavior of their child. If public records exist online citing factual issues with GVA, it will have an influence on their recruiting efforts. The greatest factor to their success is keeping hidden what parents don't want to hear. So, it's up to the community to be diligent, hold them accountable, and report, report, report.
Please use the Valley Forum to voice your opinion and support for the residents that are impacted.