Castle Valley Comments
Sept. 27, 2012
by Ron Drake
Sep 27, 2012 | 733 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
During the Castle Valley Town Council’s regular monthly meeting, which was held last Tuesday, Sept. 19, an affirmative vote was given to an application submitted by Michael Dunton for a non-routine conditional use permit. The conditional use application was for the construction of metal sculptures and art to be built on his premises at 413 Creek View Lane.

Last May, the property was the scene of a structure fire that destroyed his shop and adjacent cabin and subsequently started a grass fire across the street that burned 20 acres of land and ignited two outbuildings. The high winds caused the grass fire, but the fire in the structure was listed as undetermined and probably not because of any activity in the shop.

The conditional use permit is reviewed annually when the uses come up for renewal or when complaints are received about the business. A member of the audience thought businesses should be inspected regularly like restaurants.

“They don’t wait until someone gets sick before they inspect them,” he said.

Castle Valley Planning and Land Use Commission chairwoman Mary Beth Fitzburgh said that in certain cases restrictions can be written into the contract.

Dunton told the council that he will build his projects inside the shop to mitigate the noise. When asked about larger projects that will not fit inside the shop, councilman Brooke Williams suggested he notify the neighbors of temporary work to be done outside. The council passed the request, with stipulations of nearby fire extinguishers, hoses and a separate room for “hot work” where there are no combustible materials.

The council also approved a building permit application to a non-complying structure on Pace Lane. The property owner requested an addition to an existing shop building, but there was some question about the legality of the addition. Fitzburgh said that “as long as the add-on complies with the town’s ordinances, there shouldn’t be a problem.”

Acting on a verbal complaint about a business, Castle Valley Mayor Dave Erley said, “It is not the easiest of subjects but must be dealt with,” when he brought up the subject of placing a moratorium on industrial-type business in the valley. Erley said the individual said he would work on the noise mitigation problem. Fitzburgh said she was not sure if the town can place a moratorium on something that is not a safety issue. Instead, she suggested placing a restriction on specific home and premise occupations for six months to give the council and planning commission time to find a way to allow certain businesses to work while dealing with mitigating impacts.

The home and premise occupations referred to include motor vehicle, trailer or boat repair shops, auto body and/or fender repair shops, manufacture, assembly or repair of heavy equipment, major appliances, engines or motors, junk yards, and mortuaries or crematoriums. Fitzburgh said the planning commission will research, seek public input and make a recommendation to the town council, which then will have the option to approve it with changes, approve it as is, or reject the planning commission’s recommendation altogether. The council voted to approve the six-month restriction.

During the August town council meeting, Mayor Erley asked the council to consider ways to lessen the visual impact of the solar panels at the Town Hall. Council member Tory Hill said that she drives by the solar panels and asks herself, “What is the problem?” She said it shows that we were proud of getting a grant and it shows that the town is environmentally conscious. She suggested placing a couple of more trees behind the panels to hide them from the road. Council member Alice Drogin said the town has the dirt and equipment and suggested a dirt hill planted with rocks, bushes and trees behind the panels. The council approved that idea.

Castle Valley Town Clerk Ali Fuller applied for and received a grant to purchase trees to be planted around the Town Hall building. She is asking for volunteers to help plant the trees on Monday, Oct. 15.

Mayor Erley stated that the general plan surveys have been delivered to the property owners and residents and he asked everyone to fill them out and return them to the town. “Get your neighbors to fill them out and get serious about the surveys,” he said.

* * *

Last week, I reported on two characters who were driving around the valley after dark last Saturday, Sept. 15 stating that they were camping in the area and they were asking people what time LDS Church services began the following Sunday. At that time the two men visited five residences asking the same questions, and most thought it was strange and at least one thought they were casing out his home for a future burglary.

Since that time, three more people said they visited their homes with the same story, making at least eight visits altogether. The two men visited one resident on Miller Lane at about 8:30 p.m. The person who spoke with them thought they were driving a red sedan but did not get a license plate number. There have been no other reports of them in the valley since that time, but we should remain aware of suspicious activity.

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