Castle Valley Comments
June 20, 2013
by Ron Drake
Jun 20, 2013 | 1113 views | 0 0 comments | 58 58 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Last year, the Castle Valley Planning and Land Use Commission (PLUC) began compiling questions for a survey to be sent out to Castle Valley residents and land owners to determine the direction for the community. It is recommended by the state that cities and towns update a general plan for their direction and the town of Castle Valley relies on the survey to that end.

The questions were compiled, the 364 surveys sent out last September and 192 people responded to them last year. Members of the PLUC have been poring over the results ever since.

“In early September 2012,” according to PLUC chairwoman Mary Beth Fitzburgh, “the Planning and Land Use Commission mailed surveys to all property owners. Of the 364 surveys mailed, 192 were returned, giving a response rate of 53 percent. Property owners that own multiple lots were sent only one survey. Of the surveys returned, 78 (41 percent) came from residents; 45 (23 percent) came from part-time property owners; 42 (22 percent) from non-resident property owners; one (less than 1 percent) from a renter; and 29 (15 percent) with an undeclared residency status.

“The 2010 census shows 291 housing units in Castle Valley occupied by: 150 (52 percent) resident property owners; 20 (7 percent) resident renters; and 121 (42 percent) non-occupied because of seasonal/occasional use or are vacant. Overall, this survey’s sample appears to be fairly representative of the makeup of Castle Valley, with the exception of renters, who may be lacking in per capita responses and perhaps, to a lesser degree, for residents who seem to be represented by about 11 percent less per capita.”

The PLUC has completed a report on the general plan survey results and it is available on line on the town’s website: Click on the quick-link at the top of the home page with the title “2012 General Plan Survey Results.”

The Planning Commission will be discussing the findings included in this report at its next regular meeting on Wednesday, July 10, at 7 p.m. Members of the public are encouraged to attend the meeting to discuss the results of the survey and the town’s general plan update.

The questions covered a variety of topics, including water and sewer issues, agriculture and livestock, quality of life, economy, ordinance enforcement, community life and sustainable living, government, capital improvement projects and a miscellaneous section “to let your voice be heard.”

When asked if the town “found a suitable site, would you be in favor of the town spending money to install and maintain a municipal well and pump,” slightly over half of the respondents favored the idea; 25 percent were neutral; and the remaining opposed it. Many of the wells in the valley, especially on the rim side of the valley, produce undesirable water, and a municipal well would give residents the opportunity for self-service fills of their own containers but not a municipal distribution system. Nearly half of the respondents favored requiring mandatory septic tank pumping or a certificate by a pumping company that the septic system is working properly upon the sale of a home. A quarter of the people opposed it and nearly one-third were undecided.

It was a 50/50 split by respondents when asked if agriculture and livestock was the reason for their move to Castle Valley, but nearly all said that the rural character and/or natural landscaping conditions is why they bought here. Fourteen percent have a home-based business here and another 8 percent plan to have one in the future. Sixty-seven percent favored a leash law in order to receive animal control services.

Seventy-seven percent favored cell phone service in the valley while 9 percent opposed it and 13 percent didn’t care. The majority of respondents favored protecting water quality, air quality, the aquifer, scenic views, open space and tranquility/silence. Eighty-four of you said that part of the way you receive news about town government is through the “Castle Valley Comments,” second to direct mailings and followed by the town’s website, attending the council meetings and emails.

There is a lot of interesting information contained in the survey results and it is worth your while to check out the town’s website.


The latest news release from the Lions Park Transit Hub and Colorado River Pathway Project states that construction of wire walls continues between the pedestrian tunnel and the first bridge. “A second traffic signal has been added at about mile-marker 2 to allow work to begin on bridge C1019. Bridge deck C1008 is being poured this week and [at] Negro Bill [Canyon] next week. Work around the transit hub continues as final utilities and subgrades are completed in preparation for curb, gutter and sidewalk in the coming weeks,” according to the contractor. One-way traffic at the bridges will remain through the weekend.


Thirty years ago this week, Fire Chief John McGann told the Castle Valley Property Owners Association at its monthly meeting that the grader was the most versatile piece of equipment in the valley and urged the board to repair it as soon as possible. He also announced that the Castle Valley Fire Department was going to hold a fire seminar on how residents can assist the department during brush fires.

He also urged residents to prepare and guard against brush fires with adequate fire breaks around their homes and buildings. That is still good advice, especially this week during this hot, dry and windy weather and the current “red flag conditions.”

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