Castle Valley Comments
Oct. 25, 2012
by Ron Drake
Oct 25, 2012 | 456 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Now that another successful gourd festival is history and the dust has settled, there were a lot of people who made it happen and coordinator Yrma van der Steenstraeten issued a statement of appreciation.

“All of the committee members and other volunteers, much thanks for your hard work and dedication! Miso, you were awesome! Town of Castle Valley, thanks for your hospitality and letting us almost clog your toilets. Greg and Janet, thanks for getting the terrain ready for us! Thanks to the CV Fire dept. for hosting and setting up the potluck lunch and Jake for your help at the mate’ and coffee table with Cris’ beautiful gourd cups.

“Gourd artists, thanks for coming with your wonderful gourd art from nearby and further away, thank you! Gourdy Tom, thanks for your gracious leading [of] the parade and our Gourd Goddess... wasn’t she lovely, thanks Ali! The LDS Church for use of the parking lot to line up the parade. Of course, there would be no festival without visitors. Thank you for your visit and donations and I hope you all had a blast. And forgive me if I forget anyone, because all involved are precious to me!”

Van der Steenstraeten said they had 200 people at the potluck lunch and between 350 to 400 people who visited the festival. They had people here from all over Utah but also from Washington, California, Colorado, Idaho, Oregon, Montana, Nevada and even a visitor from Germany. She also said the silent auction went well and together with the donations for the festival “we will be able to cover the cost for next year’s festival. And mark your calendar, it will be on the [third] Saturday of October.”

* * *

During the regular monthly meeting of the Castle Valley Town Council, Dave Rhoads addressed the council regarding his automotive business at the lower end of the valley. Last month, the council received a complaint about noise from his home and it was discovered that his conditional use permit was for a mobile mechanical service rather than a business based out of his home. He told the council that he immediately addressed the noise problem and wanted the council to know that he is willing to work with the town and everyone else in the valley.

Rhoads said that he has the material for a barn and will eventually want to erect the building to run a clean and quiet business from his home. He has worked on vehicles belonging to the town and fire department in the past and feels that the two agencies as well as members of the community will continue to benefit from his talents in the future. He has been self-employed most of his working life and owned his own auto repair and fabricating business in California for 25 years before moving to Castle Valley seven years ago.

Later during the meeting, Castle Valley Road Manager Greg Halliday presented Mayor Dave Erley with the key and certificate of occupancy to the new town road shed. The final inspection on the building and electrical work was completed earlier that day giving the town the right to begin using the structure. The town’s road equipment was moved into the building this week after visitors had a chance to inspect the building during the gourd festival last Saturday.

After much discussion, the town council, by a 4-1 vote, approved an application for a permanent conditional use permit for a wind turbine on Lot 365 in the Upper 80 section of the valley. The wind turbine exceeds the 25-foot height limit but the Castle Valley Planning and Land Use Commission (PLUC) recommended approving the application, stating that it is a free-standing structure as opposed to something attached to a structure, like a chimney. Opposition to the permit was noted from two of the neighbors who were concerned about the visual impact of the turbine.

Bob Lippman, who submitted the application, said that he is up-front and trying to do the right thing and noted that there are other turbines in the valley that are not approved by the council. He said the small turbine is to be used on those days when the sun does not shine for several days in a row to charge the batteries of the solar panels. He said he will try to use the turbine at 24 feet first to see if that will be high enough to generate enough electricity to charge the batteries but wants to reserve the right to go to 27 feet if the lower height does not work. He said the manufacturer suggests a 30-foot pole to power the turbine but he is willing to go lower. The application was approved by the council, with Mayor Erley dissenting, saying that, even though he favors alternative energy, it is setting a precedent for other conditional uses.

* * *

Mary Beth Fitzburgh would like to remind everyone that Castle Valley General Plan surveys are due by Oct. 31. They were sent to every property owner and resident more than a month ago and will help shape the general direction for the town for the years to come.

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