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CAN'T GET SPRING FAST ENOUGH: Shorts, skirts and flipflops: Students outside the TSC are eagerly awaiting the warmth that has been favoring Salt Lake City for weeks. / Photo by Josh Russell
today's word on

Thursday, March 10, 2005

From the High School Free Speech Front:

"If they feel an article isn't appropriate, they will pull it -- or ask the student to make changes to it. They said that isn't censorship. They said they're just approving or not approving what goes in. What's your definition of censorship?"

--Hawley Kunz, co-editor of the Warrior News, Weber High School, Pleasant View, Utah. The principal ordered prior review of the monthly newspaper after an editorial critical of the condition of the school's running track. (3/8/05)

Nibley approves Planned Unit Development after public hearing

By Kevin Nielsen

February 7, 2005 | NIBLEY -- A public hearing for the Planned Unit Development (PUD) on 250 West took up the majority of the City Council meeting Thursday night as citizens and the council discussed the essence of PUDs.

The council preliminarily approved the PUD by a vote of 3-1 with Councilman Jay Harrison abstaining because of a conflict of interest.

The majority of the discussion debated whether the need for the development trumped the density.

"If the need can be justified and we feel it's essential, that spells a PUD," Councilman Scott Wells said.

The proposed PUD would average three houses per acre while the area is zoned for just two per acre. Wells along with Councilman James Waite said the need was there as many citizens and ex-residents of Nibley had talked with them about living in the proposed development.

Councilwoman Dori Petersen said the PUD ordinance was made to make exceptions. That's why the ordinance is on the books, she said.

"One of the factors I try to look at is, are we providing [affordable housing] to all groups?" Petersen said. "We must look at housing that provides for senior-type houses. Where are they going to choose to live and where do they want to live hold some weight with me."

The only dissenting council member, Scott Larsen, said he didn't like the current PUD ordinance.

"The new ordinance was written to let this PUD come in," Larsen said. "In the process it opened the door for the other development."

This fact wasn't lost on some of the citizens. Aaron Nielsen, a neighbor of the proposed PUD, said he had problems with the density of the PUD and was concerned with Harrison's interest in the project. Nielsen said he was in favor of a small increase in density, from 11 to 15, but was also concerned about the PUD ordinance because it allows for development without discretion by the council. He said the ordinance doesn't set limits for density or any other aspects that would allow the council to deny the proposal without seeming arbitrary.

The council's dislike of the PUD ordinance also concerned Nielsen and others. If the council were to change the ordinance after the two proposed PUDs were built or approved it would look as if they were helping out Harrison to gain from building this PUD, they said.

It should be noted that Harrison abstained himself from all discussion and voting on the PUD without being required to do so by law. Harrison said he has also let the council make up their own minds without his influence on the subject.

The council also unanimously passed two resolutions affecting the utility rates of the city. First the council passed the storm water utility rate which added $4 per month to the bill of each residence. Also included in the resolution was the need to determine how to fairly distinguish businesses from residences by the amount of storm water drainage that would occur.

The second rate adjustment was the dropping of the sewer rate $9 per month for every household. Currently at $39 per month, the new rate would be $30.

Overall Nibley citizens will get to keep $5 per month from their utility bills.

In other actions the council:

-- Unanimously approved the preliminary plans for the Summerfield Estates subdivision on 2600 South and 1050 West.

-- Allowed City Administrator Larry Anhder to start on a storm water ordinance.

-- Discussed the concern of acquiring land to become parks in the future, Anhder stressed how the rising price of land would affect the future costs of development.

-- Announced Rep. Rob Bishop has sponsored a bill to give Nibley $1 million for road work to be done on 3200 South, the city should know one way or the other by this summer.


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