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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Elk-processing operation in Ogden Valley upsets neighbors

 An Elk Processing operation has Liberty neighbors upset.  While we have heard bits and pieces of the issue, this Charles Trentlemen article spells it all out as only Charles can do.

From the 10/25/11 Standard Examiner:

Here is an excerpt from the article:
Garet (Jones) said his grandfather actually owns the 6.15-acre plot, but put his children's name on the deed to make inheritance simpler. He said Rulon, his father, has no connection with the butchering operation.

Garet and Lance say their butchering meets all health and zoning codes and qualifies as agricultural use in an agricultural area.

(Sandi) Tuck, who lives two houses north, has been vocal that the cutting operation is not legal.

Tuck said she has served on local planning councils for years and disagrees that the cutting operation fits the definition of "agricultural."

"They are not connected (to the adjacent ranch), and that makes them totally illegal," she said Friday. "That makes them a commercial meat-cutting business in the middle of a residential agricultural district.

"Their side yards, their front, everything is totally illegal. They do not have parking."

(Bret) Barry, the neighbor immediately north of the Jones property, said the situation just doesn't look right to him.

"This is a residential neighborhood -- you know, with children -- and I don't believe what they've applied for or the way they've applied for it is within the ordinance," he said. "As far as I know, they've applied for family use and have begun commercial slaughter."

In a legal brief about the dispute filed with the Utah State Property Rights Ombudsman, Barry's attorney, Jodi Hoffman, states that the meat-cutting operation violates zoning, will create noise and smells and is "contrary to the public interest."

The Weber County Planning Commission approved the use in September. Early this month, the commission approved its business license.

Expecting trouble

Weber County Planner Scott Mendoza said he knew the case had potential for dispute when Garet Jones' request came in.

"It would certainly be a commercial use if he was opening up a butcher shop," Mendoza said, but the Jones family also raises elk on that parcel.

"So he wanted to continue raising elk and be able to cut the elk meat," Mendoza said, but the elk would actually be killed somewhere else.

"To be honest, I looked at that and said, 'This is one I'm going to sit down with the entire staff and talk about it.' "

What the staff decided was that the county's zoning ordinance definition of "agriculture" was so broad, they needed to narrow things down.

In the Utah State Code, Mendoza said, agriculture is defined as "the science and art of the production of plants and animals useful to man including the preparation of plants and animals for human use."

Further definitions show that "preparation" includes cutting and grinding meat from livestock. "Livestock" includes domesticated elk.

Mendoza decided that fit what the Joneses were doing, but said he also knew it was a matter of reading definitions.

"We also looked at it from the other point. What if we didn't issue? These things can be turned around ... " and the Jones family could challenge him.
"So you can see the county was in a bind," Mendoza said.

(Attorney Jodi) Hoffman, representing Barry (a neighbor), said the county did "results-oriented" research, meaning it wanted the answer to favor Jones and looked for a way to justify that outcome.

"I think the county clearly fudged in favor of the applicant," she said. "They kind of grabbed definitions that fit their purpose."

Hoffman said the county planners interpreted broadly and in favor of the Jones family, when the planners clearly should have defended the neighbors instead.
 Here's your chance Ogden Valley.  To Butcher or Not?  That is the question.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Update on the Heliport Issue in Ogden Valley

--OVPC Appears to be Near Completion of Its Work

Tuesday evening October 4th (in a work session limited by lack of a quorum) the Ogden Valley Planning Commission (OVPC) continued its work toward establishing a rational policy for the permitting of helicopter landing sites in the Ogden Valley. Since a quorum was not present, no official decisions (nor even “official” discussions) could occur; however, Mr. Robert Scott (Director of Planning), three OVPC commissioners, Mr. Sean Wilkinson (County Planner), Mr. Cobalt Stromberg (Director of Planning for Snow Basin), and valley citizens Dave Holmstrom, Steve Clark, and Lee Schussman had a productive, informal discussion of some of the important aspects of the heliport issue.

Official discussions and decisions will have to wait until the next OVPC meeting later this month. However, these are some of the key items that were discussed by the above individuals and about which there seemed to be consensus:

1. Heliport designation should be removed from CV-2 zoning.

2. Heliports should not be placed in any locations on the valley floor. It was initially proposed that establishing a minimal elevation of 6200 feet could accomplish this, but it was then discussed that 6300 feet would likely be a better minimum elevation.

3. The Weber County Commissioners are not able to set or enforce limits on either helicopter flight paths or numbers of flights. However, Weber County is responsible for and is authorized to issue CUPs so as to carefully and wisely site heliports.  

4. In order to mitigate safety and noise issues, all heliports should be located away from dwellings and other sensitive areas.  Toward this end, helicopter landing sites should likely be limited to F-40 or RDD-1 zones.

We have come a long way in the last 18 months. (Please see previous articles on this web site re the helicopter issue.) All valley citizens should be aware of and appreciative of the large amounts of work that have been put in by the OVPC and by the Weber County Planning Office (especially Mr. Sean Wilkinson).

The OVPC is now very close to recommending to the Weber County Commissioners a rational, well thought-out policy. That policy appears to be one that would allow CUPs for helicopter landings and take offs in select sites only in F-40 or RDD-1 zones above 6300 feet. Hopefully that policy will be finalized at the next OVPC later this month.

Lee Schussman
Eden, UT

Friday, October 14, 2011

Police identify boaters in Pineview fatality

Thursday's Standard Examiner identifies the three men in the boat that police say killed a Pineview swimmer on August 21.

From the Tim Gurrister article,
Weber sheriff’s deputies have seized the boat believed to have struck the woman. The recently unsealed affidavits have identified its owner as Skyler Shepherd, 21, of South Ogden. In the boat with him were Colton Raines, 22, and Cole Boyer, 29, both of Ogden, the affidavits state.
In an Aug. 30 interview at the sheriff’s office, Shepherd told investigators Raines was piloting the boat when it struck Fujimoto, according to the documents.
Deputies were told all three men were seen consuming alcohol in the hours before the collision with Fujimoto, and Raines and Boyer were smoking marijuana. The search warrants covered the boat, as well as the blood of Raines and Boyer.
The warrants were executed and the blood samples were taken from the two Aug. 30, the documents said, noting that traces of marijuana remain in the human body for up to 30 days after ingestion.
A witness who lives adjacent to the area where Fujimoto was swimming heard a woman scream and went to the water’s edge to see a boat occupied by three males with a woman floating in the water near the boat, according to the affidavits.
“The witness heard one of the males call out, ‘Hey lady, are you alright, are you alright?” reads the document.
The witness then rowed out to the scene as the powerboat with the three males departed. “He was easily able to tell that Fujimoto was severely injured and bleeding and told the 911 dispatcher that ‘her insides were coming out.’ ”
 The article goes on to state:
A witness who was with the three men at Pineview said he observed Raines and Boyer smoking marijuana in the afternoon on the boat before the early evening collision with Fujimoto, according to the affidavits.
Weber County Attorney Dee Smith said Wednesday the case is still under investigation with no timetable on a decision on possible charges.
Nearly 6 weeks have passed since the Sheriff's office identified the boat's occupants yet no charges have been filed.

A September 16, 2011 Standard article informs us that two of the men are represented by high power Salt Lake attorney Greg Skordas:
Salt Lake City attorney Greg Skordas represents the two men who have not talked with detectives, at his request.

"I've asked my clients not to make statements until I'm present and can go over the case," said Skordas, who didn't identify his clients.
"If the sheriff's office thought a crime (had been) committed, they should have charged (them) awhile ago. Asking my clients to talk about a crime that didn't occur doesn't make sense."
What say you Ogden Valley faithful.  Did a crime occur?  If so, what should be the crime and punishment.

Valley Elementary Fundraiser Friday and Saturday

EDEN -- Valley Elementary PTO is hosting its annual Bulldog Boutique from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

The event at the school, 5821 E. 1900 North, showcases more than 30 vendors selling all sorts of goods, including holiday and baby items, home decor, jewelry, gourmet cupcakes, glitter toes, hair accessories, toys, books, candies, baked goods and a children's shopping corner.

Proceeds will go to provide Valley students with field trips, special learning opportunities, classroom aides, teaching and learning materials and more.

For more information, call Jori Torman at 801-814-1352.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Reminder of Tonights meeting along with a report of findings from the Hydrogeologist that was presented to the state on the well protest.

Just a reminder about the meeting tonight,
Oct. 6, 2011
at the Huntsville Library
at 6:00 pm,
regarding an update on Green Valley Academy.
Please come out and get the lastest on the issue.
Also here is the attachment of the report of findings from the Hydrogeologist that was presented on our behalf to the state on the well protest.
Thank you all....

Ogden Valley Protection Counsel

Click here to view the report