Castle Valley Comments
September 5, 2013
by Ron Drake
Sep 05, 2013 | 742 views | 0 0 comments | 23 23 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The afternoon thunderstorms that have appeared on a regular basis lately sent the Castle Valley Fire Department into action last Sunday about 5 p.m. when a lightning strike lit up a cedar tree. The storm produced heavy rains for a short time in the La Sal Mountains and sent flood waters down Placer Creek, damaging the upper crossing of Castle Valley Drive in the upper 80 section of the valley.

Pam Hackley witnessed the strike and the resulting smoke from the fire and reported the fire to the sheriff’s office, which in turn paged the fire department. Seven firefighters from the local fire department responded and five of them hiked about a half-mile to put out the fire and secured the area so that there was no potential the fire could spread.

Heavy rain on another occasion last week in the La Sal Mountains also sent water flooding down Castle Creek, Onion Creek and Fisher Valley. That flooding in Castle Creek neared the top of the banks in the Castleton area but didn’t have much affect to the creek in Castle Valley. We can always expect these severe weather patterns during the months of August and September as the monsoon moisture comes into the region from the south.

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The Castle Valley LDS Church will be resuming the monthly community potluck dinners after the summer break. Branch president Richard Williams invites everyone in the community to bring a dish to share and join their friends and neighbors next Tuesday, Sept. 10 beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Castle Valley LDS church building.

It is a casual affair to get people together for some delightful food and a short visit with one another before returning to their homes and going about their nightly chores and activities. The potlucks usually last about an hour.

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Another reminder of the fall chipper days, which are scheduled for Sept. 16 and 17. The Utah State Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands will have its massive chipper here in the valley to turn tree limbs into usable wood chips for your planters and flower gardens.

They ask that the limbs be placed next to the road or driveway, with the larger end facing the road so the crew can drive up to the pile of limbs and easily feed them into the chipper machine. Make arrangements with Alison Lerch at 435-210-0362 or Mike Harris at 435-210-4328.

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During the last Castle Valley Town Council monthly meeting, a public hearing was held on the subject of amending the zoning compliance contract with the Castle Valley Inn Bed and Breakfast, located at 424 Amber Lane. The current zoning compliance contract was drawn up July 1, 1996, and clarification on certain subjects is needed for the town and the business owners. There are some issues with the total overnight occupancy and allowable units, further development of the primary residence, terms that allow a manager to act as primary resident and requirements upon sale of the business.

During a walk-through of the establishment earlier this summer, town officials found a rental unit that wasn’t accounted for and there was no building permit issued for the extra unit. When a fire destroyed a rental unit several years ago during the ownership of the previous proprietors, the new building contained a storage room that was later turned into a rental. The owners of the business also applied for a building permit for their primary residence located next door to the inn, which violates the supposed requirement that the owners live on the premises.

Town officials and the owners both agree that the town’s ordinance is not clear and any litigation would probably end up in court, so the town council wants to clear up any ambiguities that are in the need of clarification. Another public hearing on the subject is scheduled at the next town council meeting, Sept. 18 at 6:30 p.m., for amending the zoning and compliance contract for the bed and breakfast business. Castle Valley Mayor Dave Erley wants as many people to be aware of the hearing as possible and encourages all interested people to attend the meeting.

The town council also appointed Bill Rau to the Castle Valley Planning and Land Use Commission and approved a letter opposing the introduction of the Rocky Mountain goat to the La Sal Mountains. Mayor Erley described it as “Beavis and Butthead wildlife management.”

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