Editor: Once again some of the last remaining and highly valued Heber fields are being threatened by the decisions of the County Council. It amazes me that the County Council does not recognize how many community members and visitors love the agricultural fields of the Heber Valley. You would think this message would have been received by the County Council when in November 2016, 74% of Wasatch County voters rejected a plan to rezone the Northfields from 1 home per 20 acres to 1 home per 10 acres.
This January Wasatch County Council Members, ignored community input again. For some reason, Council members Farrell, Crittenden, McPhie and Park think it is a good idea to ignore the 2016 vote results and the many citizens that attended the meeting. It’s amazing that these elected officials ignore the majority! They amended the General Plan to move zoning boundaries, so that they could give one landowner an even larger density than voters defeated last in 2016. This council action opens the door for future re-zone requests, or legal challenges if they refuse, and the increases the potential to have some of the last remaining fields turn into subdivisions.
During the Council meeting, many residents of the South Fields, North Fields and other concerned members of the community pleaded with the Council to continue to protect the Heber fields and to not make this major change to the County General Plan. These concerns were ignored by the Council and it felt as if they had no regard for the concerned members of the community.
Many hours were spent and much community input was invested developing the County General Plan. This plan was established to be a framework and a protective mechanism to insure a high quality of life for the community. Many of us in the community assume the plan is not to be easily modified or changed.
Here are several portions from the County Plan that were completely ignored:
“The Central Planning Area is highly prized by many local residents of Heber Valley
as open space. This area’s scenic value contributes significantly to the real value of all land within the Heber Valley area.”
“The use of this area for housing and other types of development is discouraged due to the physical constraints and the higher costs of providing governmental services.”
“Land within the Central Planning Area has been identified as having a public benefit
as open space. In this area while development may occur at the underlying zone of one unit per 20 acres”
As a directly impacted resident who lives in the South Fields, I am very opposed to any modification to the Central or Southern Zoning boundaries. In response to this irresponsible move by the Council, myself and other concerned land owners started a referendum petition to put this boundary change on the ballot again, in November 2018. It feels like the people should vote on this as our best interests are not necessarily represented by the County Council. This petition needs 3,000 signatures by the first of March. Already hundreds of people have signed the petition. It is amazing to see how many people value the Heber fields. If only the County Council would have listened.
Although we have a good start, getting 3,000 signatures is a huge task. We are trying to make it easy for citizens to sign our petition. So, on Saturday February 10th at the Heber City Public Safety Building from 11AM to 2PM we will have an ice cream social. Everyone’s welcome! Come by to ask questions, register to vote, and show your support by signing the petition. Free ice cream will be provided to the first 50 people by the Wasatch Creamery Ice Cream Company, and Lola’s Food Truck will be there too.
Once again, let’s save some of the last of the Heber fields from development.
South Fields Resident
Farewell Earl Dayton
Editor: We’ve been away from the continent and came back ten days later to discover that Earl had passed away.
In our teenage years he was a joy to the kids/children/teenagers in town. He was a school teacher (later an administrator), a barber, a fine musician and friend. He and his sister, Merle Rasband, sang at funerals we attended and in music settings belonging to church and state all over the county. And he seemed to always wear a smile when doing so.
He was a happy man who seemed to know all of us. On more than one occasion I received a hand-written note from him congratulating me on some athletic performance or musical approach.
He was married to a real fine woman. I note they married the year I was born. They helped with Gold and Green balls in the 1960s as that was a big deal in the LDS Church for the youth. They danced very well together. We all recognized that.
We Valley teens knew which adults liked us and which adults found us irritating. He was one adult who was on our side of the ledgers we were striving to build in life. He knew us by name and he was just an all-around good guy!
He always loved BYU sports. It seems to me that most bishoprics took their male youth to a basketball game in Provo each winter in the days of John Fairchild, Dick Nemelka and others. Other men of the ward would come along as chaperones and protectors (probably of Provo, from us) and we would always see Earl at those things. We saw him at the state tournaments and other sporting events, as well.
As is always the case, each time one of the good ones from our adolescent years leave, we feel a pang of sorrow that he or she is now gone. I just liked the man a whole bunch. Whenever I saw him at church or funerals long after I’d left the Valley, he would greet me and treat me as if we’d just seen each other the other day.
We played softball against each other more than once. It was fun. No trash talking or boasting of ego and individual achievement. He always seemed like a good man. I’m glad I got to know Earl Dayton.
Jon B Fish